The Irish Republican Socialist Party would like to extend our sincerest gratitude to our members and supporters for their continued sacrifice and commitment. The selfless activism that has been carried out, on a diverse range of issues over the last year, is testimony to the continued and principled culture of resistance embodied within Republican Socialism.
We send our warmest solidarity to all republican political prisoners and their families. We mourn the passing of comrades who have given a lifetime’s service to the working-class struggle and we welcome new comrades with open arms.
Predictably confidence in Stormont is unravelling as its institutions lurch from one embarrassing fiasco to another. Plagued by inaction and scandal, it is clearer now than ever that Stormont exists solely to normalise the British occupation of this island by utilising and fostering the continued separation of the Irish working class along sectarian lines. No serious attempts have been made towards combating sectarianism in the North, only token gestures and empty rhetoric.
While Stormont and Leinster House continue to fail the people, their relentless and systematic attacks upon the working class; the administration so called austerity programs on behalf of the world banking elite show no sign of stopping.
2016 saw a revamping of state commitment in; cuts to education, health, public transport, infrastructure projects, to housing and the arts, it saw unparalleled pandering to corporations, the reduced investment in manufacturing, the destruction of the community and voluntary sectors, the victimisation of the unemployed the sick and disabled and the squandering of our national resources. All such examples provide us with proof (if any more were needed) that neither Stormont nor Leinster House were designed to work in the interests of the Irish working class, as such, neither deserves the allegiance of the working class.
The IRSP membership came under deliberate and unprovoked attack from the armed wings of both partitionist states in 2016, not least from the paramilitary thugs of the PSNI acting on clear directions from British military intelligence. We salute our activists and their families who remain faithful and defiant in the face of such provocation and repeat or refusal to accept any camouflaged manifestation of the Crown forces in Ireland.
Our continued refusal to accept the anti-republican and anti-working class agenda of the Good Friday Agreement, nor the numerous ‘fresh starts’ which have been spawned in its name, have made us a target for a regime which cannot afford to tolerate principled men and women in the streets. In the spirit of the founder of our movement, we repeat the words of James Connolly, ‘we defy you, do your worst’.
As the international crisis in capitalism deepened in 2016, it undeniably gave ground to ideas of jingoistic nationalism, populism, racism and fascist tendencies. It is our eternal duty to remain vigilant and ready to take direct action against such dangerous ideologies, anywhere their proponents try to organise. The wider anti-fascist movement in Ireland needs and is assured of our full support. Irish Republicans and Socialists have a proud history of physically fighting fascism on the streets we must not be found wanting in any future such struggles ahead.
As we continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with workers in their daily struggles, we declare our wish to foster and build mutual respect with other comrades prepared to what is necessary to create real progress which will allow us to best combat imperialism and to implement socialism effectively.
More cooperation is needed in the coming year. A diverse broad front of anti-imperialist organisations, the type needed to combat foreign interference in the affairs of the Irish people cannot be realised without listening to others and engaging in honest dialogue.
The next twelve months will bring many challenges to republican socialists. While we have always been a target for the enemies of the Irish working class, we acknowledge the marked shift in state aggression towards those of us who do not conform to the normalisation of the economic and physical occupation of our island.
Nevertheless, we remain committed to the principled political position which states “there is no parliamentary road to socialism in Ireland. Socialism cannot be created by seizing the bourgeois state apparatus, it must be smashed”. The establishment of a revolutionary republic through revolutionary political activity remains our aim.