08 October 2005

IRSP: Struggle not over until Irish working class has economic and political freedom

Daily Ireland

Letters to the Editor

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In response to speculation in the media about the intentions of the republican socialist movement following the oration at the annual Séamus Costello commemoration in Bray, a few points need to be made.
The position outlined in Sunday’s oration has been held by the IRSP since 1998. We refer to the opening paragraph of the INLA’s ceasefire statement issued on August 22, 1998: “We have accepted the advice and analysis of the Irish Republican Socialist Party that the conditions for armed struggle do not exist.
“The Irish National Liberation Army has now shifted from the position of defence and retaliation to the position of complete ceasefire. We have instructed all our units to desist from offensive action from noon today.”
The ardchomhairle of the IRSP stated on the same day; “In the present changed political climate in Ireland, the INLA has also shown that it possesses both the leadership and vision necessary to provide the momentum required to continue the pursuance of that aim by peaceful methods.”
On the position of armed struggle, we have also been quite clear for many years, At the Séamus Costello commemoration in 2003, the IRSP asserted: “Today the IRSP has to face into the struggle for a socialist republic based on democratic principles, equipped with the integrity of republican socialist politics.
“This, alongside our determination to achieve Irish freedom, full social equality for all, and self-government, are the arms required for today's struggle. The political conditions not only in Ireland but also internationally in 2003 demand that our response is measured and tailored to achieve victory, not wallowing in a self-righteous indignation, engaged in a fruitless armed campaign that our enemies long ago learned how to minimise and negate.”
It needs to be restated that the decision on whether or not the INLA decommissions lies solely with that movement, and that decision should only be taken with reference to the actual position on the ground for working-class communities who presently find themselves living under threat of violence and forced evictions.
It will not be taken on a request from the nationalist, pro-Good Friday Agreement republicans.
The republican socialist movement is clear on its position in relation to the GFA. That agreement represented a defeat for the Irish republican struggle. But as we said at the recent anti-internment demonstration in Ballymena: “The republican socialist movement accepts the need for changed tactics in a rapidly changing world.
“But changed tactics don't mean changed principles. We stand by the republic of James Connolly and Liam Mellows.”
Only when the Irish working class achieves full economic and political freedom will we say that the struggle is over.

Eddie McGarrigle
IRSP National Executive

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