We send greetings first of all to the families and friend of our dead INLA volunteers and our dead comrades from the IRSP killed for their political beliefs. We send greetings and solidarity to all our comrades currently imprisoned for their political activities.
We remember all those who in the latest phase of the struggle for liberation from the yolk of imperialism fell in the struggle. And we salute the memory of all republicans of whatever hue who died in the struggle for the self-determination of the Irish people.
Easter is a time, when all over Ireland and in parts abroad, Irish republicans gather to pay homage to our dead and to renew our resistance. It is also a time to take stock, to re-evaluate where we stand and to ask where stands the struggle for an independent Irish Republic?
Comrades if truth be told the struggle has suffered a severe set back over these last years. Consider the enemies who face us. A foreign power, a native government of appeasers in the South and in the North a puppet administration in cahoots with MI5, the PSNI and supporting the most repressive laws we have ever seen. Those, who sold the Good Friday Agreement as an advance for Irish republicanism, sold a lie. It was a defeat. However it would be a mistake to simply jump up and down and bemoan the mistakes of the past or dwell on what others did or did not do.
Do we, the Republican Socialist Movement learn from our past? Do we the Republican Socialist Movement have a strategy and a determined path to follow? Yes we do!
We have clearly set out our position on the type of resistance we believe should be followed by Republicans in this day and age. That is why we have worked for Republican political unity with other organisations. The IRSP is part of the Republican Forum for Unity. We encourage all republican socialists to give their full support to the activities of the Forum. Where we can work on issues together we will. That does not in any way hinder or stop the building of our own Party. We encourage all those who want to change the system join the organisation that that consistently and persistently opposed both imperialism and capitalism. Join the IRSP!
We say as we have been saying for years that the road forward is the political road. We do not mean the road to Stormont and the pleasures of administering power for the British. We do not mean the path to the Dail and the pleasures of administering power on the behest of the native bourgeoisie and foreign capital. We mean the political road of revolution, of the transformation of the two states in Ireland the seizing of power from the capitalist elites, the taking back from the robber barons the land resources, the economic resources and wealth that rightly belongs to the whole of the people on the island.
We recognise that the continuation of partition is a block to the well being of all citizens on the isle. It perpetuates sectarian bitterness turning neighbour against neighbour, stifles our economic well-being and allows the continued social and economic exploitation of the working class regardless of religion or race. No body should be happy to see peace walls in Belfast City or else where dividing neighbour from neighbour. Those walls are a clear indictment of the failure of British rule. They are an indictment of Stormont rule. They shout loudly that the Northern state is a failed state. No one should be in the least surprise therefore that the continued existence of a failed state perpetuates a violent reaction. There will always be republicans who are prepared to take up arms to resist. That should surprise no one. It is entirely predictable.
Generations have come and gone and seen violence, communal strife, repression discrimination unemployment, emigration and poverty. History worldwide shows that these things breed the conditions for armed resistance. But simply wishing it away will not change that. Nor will it be changed by righteous anger, by emotion or by the trusted and tried and failed methods of the past.
Irish republicanism needs a new direction. All around we see the proliferation of splinter groups evolving from what used to be the Provisional Republican Movement. We do not rejoice in division. That is why we advocate and support a broad front policy of –co-operation with others. Renewed republicanism is in the overall interests of the vast majority of the people on the isle. But renewed republicanism must take into account the wishes and needs of the people. In a time of severe attacks on the living standards of the working people throughout the island Republicanism cannot stand aside and think only of a pure Republic unrelated to the existing social and economic conditions. We believe that the best way forward for Irish republicanism is to totally embrace the socialist ideal and for Irish republicans to throw themselves fully into the day-to-day struggles of the people. The building of a mass movement of working people to change the world we live in is our best chance of success. And it needs to be said loud and clear from this and all republican platforms that the political struggle for a Socialist Republic holds no threat to those who see themselves as coming from different traditions. Part of our task is to convince and reach out to those who we have failed to persuade as to the validity of our beliefs. That is why we in the republican socialist movement will take all opportunities to reach out and influence sections of the protestant working class of the validity of our socialist ideas.
We applaud the tremendous work carried out by our members and ex-prisoners in Teach na Failte in the work they do in working class areas bring working people of differing backgrounds together. That is real republicanism. That’s what Tone, Mitchell, Connolly Mellows and Costello stood for. That is the Republicanism to take away with you today from these hallowed grounds. We are resolutely opposed to Imperialism. We are resolutely opposed to Capitalism. But, we are resolutely for working class unity and against sectarianism.
Comrades, we have, as a movement faced death.
Comrades, we have as a movement faced imprisonment.
Comrades, we have as a movement faced slander lies and informers and traitors.
Comrades we have as a movement faced the might of Imperialism and we have not flinched.
Nor will we flinch no matter what they throw at us.
We stand today at these graves unbowed and as determined today as when we were formed, to stand by the Socialist Republic.
Victory to the Working class
On to the Republic