Over the weekend the Republican Socialist Youth Movement (RSYM) held a political retreat for members in Fermanagh. Over the last year the RSYM seen a surge in young people wanting to join from across the country and it was vital that members from different areas spent time together to strengthen their relationships and discuss their politics.
The weekend began with a discussion amongst the grassroots on the topics that should be discussed over the weekend. Members brought up a wide range of topics from political theory and education to mental health initiatives for members.Key areas members highlighted where LGBTQ liberation, women’s liberation, the national and class struggles and the immediate importance environmental politics to tackling the climate crisis.
As part of an RSYM incentive to promote positive mental health and healthy living comrades then decided to take a walk along the shores of Lough Erne to have an informal discussion on opening up more about mental health issues that may affect them. Following the walk and talk our comrades then spent the evening sitting at the shores of Lough Erne solidifying friendships and having discussions on political topics of the day whilst listening to a few tunes played by two of our young comrades on guitar.
The following day comrades were up first thing and continuing the healthy living incentive with one group going for a jog along Lough Erne and the other going for a swim in the local share centre, after this our young comrades made their way to a local hotel for some breakfast before a full day of political discussions.
Our young comrades were then welcomed by Turas nanDaoine who kindly let us use the office for the weekend. The day started with a workshop by veteran republican Barry Murray from Turas na nDaoine on the politics of direct and participatory democracy. Following this our comrades were split into three smaller groups to debate around the theme of taking power in Ireland. Three questioned were posed to our young comrades on:1. How do we build alliances and who would be excluded?2. How can we promote class consciousness amongst a largely disinterested working class?3. How do we take power in Ireland?
After 15 minutes of discussions within the group they all came together and posed their answers opening a lively discussion on each of the questions.
Following on from this local Fermanagh IRSP representatives gave a brief history of the Republican Socialist Movement to our young comrades. This short history lesson then led to an open and frank discussion on the strengths and weaknesses of previous campaigns. This was then followed by a discussion on the importance of the ‘Primacy of Politics’ to a successful revolutionary movement. This topic is especially important for the youth of the movement as young people are often attracted to more romanticised modes of resistance.
On Sunday morning our young comrades came together for a last breakfast to have an informal breakdown of the topics touched on over the weekend and to formally establish a heap of new RSYM Cumanns across the country. The next generation of the IRSM left Fermanagh with a better understanding of their own movement, of revolutionary socialist doctrines and in turn a new confidence in their own capabilities.