March 09, 2016

True Irish republicanism is anti-imperialist and anti-EU

Ruairí Ó Brádaigh speaking into a microphone

Ed Moloney wrote:
"The peace process was… A massive ideological compromise by Provisional leaders which would, inevitably, lead to IRA decommissioning and the transformation of Sinn Fein into a constitutional Nationalist party, not terribly different from the SDLP."
He then said
"Sinn Fein have lost all their defining characteristics in the sense of the IRA and Sinn Féin of the past."
As I watch and listen to Sinn Fein, and read their literature and policies, I ask: Where is James Connolly? All I see is the populism of the opportunist. All the key stone preachments of Connolly are absent. If you want to know where they have gone, you will find them with Republican Sinn Fein.

No better can this metamorphosis into Humeism be seen than in regard to Sinn Fein's approach to Europe and international finance. 

If McGuinness, the former republican Adonis, is now Hume, who is the republican Adonis McGuinness?

The IRA Green Book, the bible of the Republican Movement, opposes EU membership. That stated policy on Europe said:
"Another aspect of economic imperialism at work is the export of raw, unprocessed materials: live cattle on the hoof, mineral wealth, fish caught by foreign trawlers etc. Further, from 1958 on, the Free State abandoned all attempts to secure an independent economy, and brought in foreign multi-national companies to create jobs instead of buying their skills and then sending them home gradually. 
‘Africanisation’ is the word for this process elsewhere. Control of our affairs in all of Ireland lies more than ever since 1921 outside the hands of the Irish people. 
The logical outcome of all this was the full immersion in the E.E.C. in the 1970’s. The Republican Movement opposed this North and South in 1972 and 1975 and continues to do so. It is against such political economic power blocks East and West and military alliances such as NATO and the Warsaw Pact. It stands with our Celtic brothers and the other subject nations of Europe, and with the neutral and non-aligned peoples of the Third World; it seeks a third, socialist alternative which transcends both Western individualistic capitalism and Eastern state capitalism, which is in accordance with our best revolutionary traditions as a people. 
The position of the Irish Republican Army since its foundation in 1916 has been one of sustained resistance and implacable hostility to the forces of imperialism, always keeping in the forefront of the most advanced revolutionary thinking and the latest guerrilla warfare techniques in the world."
Ruairí Ó Brádaigh, twice chief of staff of the IRA between 1958 and 1962 and president of Provisional Sinn Fein from 1970 to 1983 and of Republican Sinn Fein from 1987 to 2009, wrote in December 1970 that Irish republicans who support Europe "are deluding themselves and deluding others". Ó Brádaigh wrote in the Irish Independent:
"The "Treaty” States, both North and South subservient economically to Britain, suppressed the All-Ireland Dáil which was the embodiment of the Republic. For the Republican Movement then, a Republican today is one who rejects the Partition statelets in Ireland and gives his allegiance to and seeks to restore the 32-County Republic of Easter Week. 
In the 26 Counties all the symbols and trappings of freedom were gradually won, but despite limited efforts in the 1930s and 1940s, the new State remains a new colony, an example of unfinished and interrupted revolution, territorially, economically, culturally - a model of “Neo-colonialism”."
He continued:
"James Connolly maintained that "the whole age-long fight of the Irish people against their oppressors resolves itself in the last analysis into a fight for the mastery of the means of life, the sources of production in Ireland.”
To give depth and meaning to Republicanism - beyond just the right to fly the Irish Tricolour or to paint letter boxes green - is to see the Republican objective as one with political, social, economic and cultural dimensions. The Democratic Programme of the First Dáil in 1919 which fulfilled this role has since been carefully left to one side in certain quarters. 
There are many calling themselves Republicans who would be perfectly satisfied with the name of a Republic for all 32 Counties while leaving the present social, economic and cultural system unchanged – or worse still, integrating it with the rampant capitalism of the EEC. They are deluding themselves and deluding others. 
For the Republican Movement only a struggle on many fronts will achieve the Republican objective of restoring the “ownership of Ireland to the people of Ireland” (1916 Proclamation). Such a struggle inevitably gets bogged down in parliament, be it Westminster, Stormont or Leinster House, and those attempting it get absorbed into the Imperial system.
  All necessary means must be used to restore Ireland and her resources to the Irish people, not precluding as a last resort the use of physical force against the British Army of Occupation. The means are, of course, only secondary - the objective and its interpretation are paramount. For the Republican Movement the definition of Republicanism rests mainly on the nature of the ultimate goal and the condition of allegiance to the Republic of Easter Week."
In response to the 1998 Amsterdam Treaty referendum, Ruairí Ó Brádaigh said:
"The 38% “No” vote to the Amsterdam Treaty was very commendable and showed growing support for the idea that European Union integration has already gone far enough and that neutrality must be safeguarded. 
It was the highest “No” vote yet in the various EEC referenda since 1972. Public awareness and debate on these issues are of vital importance to our people and we deplore the holding of two referenda in the 26 Counties on the same day. We stated then, and we repeat today, that regardless of the outcome in two geographical fragments of Ireland, Republican Sinn Féin will continue to campaign for British disengagement from Ireland, and for a new four-province federation with maximum devolution to local level as the best guarantee of a permanent peace in out country."
Ruairí Ó Brádaigh said in 2008 that under the Lisbon Treaty, Ireland's status in Europe would be that of a mere province in an imperialistic superpower, a United States of Europe. He said in his November 2008 speech:
"The anti-Lisbon campaign took the usual course of postering, leafletting and canvassing. Our appeal for a “No” vote was based on four main points: 
  1. The creation of an undemocratic superstate – a United States of Europe (the 26 Counties to be like Virginia in the USA or Bavaria in Germany); 
  2. Increased militarization;
  3. Erosion of neutrality; 
  4. The privatisation of public services and unfettered capitalism. 
We wanted a more democratic, not a less democratic Europe, a Europe of peoples. 
The result was a resounding victory for anti-imperialist and democratic forces: the Irish Times/TSN m r b 1 polls carried out in the week before the vote showed safeguarding neutrality (22 to 25 percent) and keeping power and identity in Ireland (18 to 24 per cent) were the main reasons for the result. 
This showed that our case for independence, democracy and neutrality was central to this great victory. The people of the 26 Counties turned down the proposal of yet more power to the EU and less power here at home. It had all gone far enough – that was the kernel of the matter. 
Ever since from Nicolas Sarkozy in Paris to Dick Roche in Dublin, there has been a sustained campaign to misrepresent the result. Elements of the “Yes” campaign have said that it was time to get “down and dirty” to try and turn the vote around in another referendum. 
There is no mention of the Referendum Commission’s failure to inform people about certain basic facts, as was its statutory duty to do and for which it was given 5 million Euro of public money. A nonsensical claim that fear of conscription into an EU army was pushed by the “No” side is now invented and promoted. Such untruths are presumably examples of getting “down and dirty”. 
The Administration in Dublin is under pressure from Germany, France and Brussels to work towards another Lisbon referendum probably in a year’s time. A change of government in London could prevent that since the Tories are committed to a referendum which the “No” side is likely to win. The 26-County State would no longer stand alone in saying “No” to Lisbon. 
Meanwhile we must push to bring home to politicians, especially Fianna Fail, Labour and the Greens that a repeat referendum to reverse the “No” vote of last June, when a majority of 26-County voters voted “No”, would be an absolute insult – to “Yes” side people as well as to the “No” side – and a subversion of democracy. 
In any event, we must be ready to go out again and campaign for “No” to a new EU in which our status would be that of a mere province in an imperialistic superpower, a United States of Europe. That is the issue, the main issue, which is to be disguised, and to which all the lesser issues are to be subordinated – just props."
He also expressed the true sentiments of Connolly:
"Republican Sinn Féin would go farther. Its Social and Economic Programme, SAOL, NUA, A New Way of Life, states. 
“Finance, Banking and all key industries must be brought under public, democratic or social control, and the scope and extent of local community banking, like the Credit Unions, should be extended, so as to serve the needs of local people”. 
It goes on: “Social control of capital is essential, to ensure that capital serves people, rather than people being the slaves of capital; to achieve wider capital ownership; to promote balanced development and an equitable distribution of wealth. Money must be regarded, not as a commodity, but as an accounting system in which all participate”. 
In other words it is not enough to say “nationalise the banks”. There must be participation at all levels; federal, provincial and local. In the 26-County State there has been a licensing system for banks by the Central Bank, yet we have witnessed their appalling behaviour. The sovereignty of the people must be supreme; no financiers, no people of wealth or of property must be allowed to dictate terms to the people. 
Likewise, the multi-national oil companies Shell and Statoil, with the collaboration of the Dublin Government, have been attempting to dictate to the people of Mayo and of Ireland generally. Having secured a give away deal they seek to implement it without regard to the safety, security and welfare of the local people in the Ros Dumhach Gaeltacht. 
Of course, the local people have fought back, defending their interests and the rights of the Irish people to their own natural resources. Our members have taken part in the campaign on the ground and their spokespersons, including Maire Harrington herself, have addressed successive Ard-Fheiseanna of this organisation. 
Most recently, in September, Maire Harrington showed what she was made of when she began a hunger strike in protest against the presence in Broadhaven Bay of the giant pipe-laying ship Solitaire. 
On the 11th day of her fast the Solitaire withdrew from Irish territorial waters and Maire announced the end of her hunger strike. At this Ard-Fheis today, Republican Sinn Féin salutes her brave and principled stand. We pledge our continued support for the “Shell to Sea” campaign -- “Shell chun Saile”. 
Not alone are our resources, our fish and our natural gas being filched from us and our cultural organisations the GAA and Conradh na Gaeilge, being undermined but community bodies are under attack. The worthy Credit Union movement, which all of us have supported since the early 1960s and with which many of us gave service has been targeted.
He also said:
"United States involvement in imperialist wars has seen neutrality violated, with Shannon Airport used as a staging post and our airspace transgressed."
Clare Daly TD wrote on her blog:
"Our more recent statistics show that at least 2205 US warplanes were refuelled at Shannon airport between January 2009 and end December 2015. That’s an average of 316 US warplanes for each of these seven years. 
These figures do not include Chartered Omni Air International planes carrying up to three hundred armed soldiers each, and of course these Omni Air troop carriers are also warplanes for as long as they are chartered to the US military. It likely that at least a similar number (and probably more) of these troop carrying warplanes were refuelled at Shannon over the same seven year period. 
These figures do not include a far greater number of US warplanes that were granted permission by the Irish Government to overfly through Irish airspace during this period. 
Its likely there will be no let up in US warplanes using Shannon airport in 2016, and we in the peace movement must make this a decisive year in our campaign to end US military use of Shannon airport, restore Irish neutrality, and more importantly, restore Ireland’s commitment to actively promoting international peace, justice and real democracy."
The Principles of Republican Sinn Fein expressed the party policy on Europe:
"Republican Sinn Féin believes the growing European Union is becoming a world superpower in its own right and will become involved in the “resource wars” of the 21st Century. It does not believe that Ireland, with its history of being a colonial possession, should involve itself in the oppression of other nations that the growing EU will eventually mean."
And the party's full position on Europe:
"We recognise the danger of the growing European Union becoming a world superpower in its own right. As it grows stronger it will assert itself and become involved in what Jack Deleors described as the “resource wars” of the 21st Century. We do not believe that Ireland, with its history of being a colonial possession, should involve itself in the oppression of other nations that the growing EU will eventually mean. There is also the danger that, instead of finally winning its freedom and independence, Ireland will find itself swapping British domination for European domination. 
Republican Sinn Féin has opposed full membership of the EU from the outset as a highly centralised political and economic power-bloc where decisions about our lives are taken in completely undemocratic institutions. Our struggle has been to manage our own affairs and our programme is for maximum power at the base. That is real democracy and the very opposite of EU imperialism. 
Under the EU our resources (eg fish) are being taken. The EU bureaucrats are doing well on their large salaries and so are the big farmers. But the plan is to wipe out the small farmers and restructure industry so that the EU centre can prosper at our expense. 
In agriculture far from the promised guaranteed level, milk, cattle and sheep prices are down. New standards for milk collection are being brought in to force the small farmer out. We can expect these processes to increase further. Irish neutrality is under sustained threat."
Des Dalton, President of Republican Sinn Féin, September 2008, said:
"This campaign [against the Lisbon Treaty] is part and parcel of the struggle against imperialism. Just as we oppose British imperialism in Ireland we must also oppose the new imperialism of the EU. The purpose of the Lisbon Treaty/EU Constitution is to build an undemocratic, militarised and ultra-capitalist super-state. The Irish economist the late Raymond Crotty described the EU project as imperialism by other means."
Des Dalton gave an oration at the grave of Theobald Wolfe Tone, Bodenstown Cemetery, June 16 2013, and said:
"It is also proposed that the European Convention on Human Rights be made part of the internal domestic law of the New Ireland. In fighting back against the new imperialism of the finance capitalists of the EU superstate we carry an alternative social and economic programme SAOL NUA. Our social and economic programme SAOL NUA – A New Way of Life – represents a vision of Ireland based on Republican, Socialist, and Self-reliance and Ecological principles; it identifies the obstacles to be overcome and the goals to be reached if we are to build an All-Ireland Federal Democratic Socialist Republic."
Séan Ó Dubhláin, RSF Ard Chomhairle member, said on November 10 2013:
"Be under no illusion, the British and Free State and the wider forces of imperialism stretching from Washington to Brussels have a strategy and that strategy is to wipe out revolutionary opposition in Ireland."
2014 New Year Statement from the Leadership of Republican Sinn Féin:
"In the 26 Counties the economic and social struggle must be an integral part of the drive for a New Ireland. The policies of the Leinster House regime are designed to force our young people to emigrate and to disenfranchise those who remain at home. The social infrastructure of the 26-County State has been sacrificed in order to prop up the neo-liberal economic system of the EU."
Republican Sinn Fein said in February 2015 in a speech delivered in Beirut, Lebanon:
"The occupied 6 Counties still under British imperial rule, and the pro-EU, neo-liberal, capitalist and corrupt South, the Irish Freestate. Both governments in the North and the South are characterized by the Republican Movement as pro-imperialist and not representative of the will of the Irish people since they were installed under British occupation. Therefore, they are a direct product of the colonial rule in Ireland and bare their legacy."
The speech continued:
"We all here at this conference, the Irish Republican Movement as well as all my comrades in this panel and in this hall here today, we know that we are no terrorist. We are progressive, revolutionary freedom fighters! This is the very reason why the imperialists and the political establishments label us “terrorists”. 
Well, to be sure, under those circumstances it is an honour to be called a “terrorist” by those imperialist forces imprisoning our comrades and torturing our people!"
Republican Sinn Fein said in their New Year Statement for 2016:
"The forthcoming 26-County elections will see Leinster House political parties promise change while mouthing platitudes about the ideals of 1916. We say to people don’t be fooled by those who pretend that they can deliver change through the same tired old political channels. However well-intentioned their efforts are all are bound to end in failure and the humiliation of implementing what they set out purportedly to change. Participating in Leinster House or Stormont are not revolutionary actions. 
However those on the left who think that Leinster House can be a vehicle for revolutionary social, political or economic change are greatly mistaken. Once you accept the legitimacy of the State and its obligations to the EU and international finance capitalism you are immediately shackled to the same programme of neo-liberal economics that has decimated people and nations across Europe and in the developing world. Irish Republicans have always recognised this and so have refused to be enmeshed in apparatus of partition or British rule. It is for the same reason we refuse to engage with the political arm of the new imperialism in the form of the EU. Those who think that they can ride both horses, the constitutional and the revolutionary, fail to learn the lessons of history. We call on people not to be distracted by those who promise much and deliver little. Hold out for real revolutionary change."


Moloney wrote that Gerry Adams said in response to the charge that the IRA made ten orphans when they killed Jean McConville.
“That’s what happens in wars, Scott. That’s not to minimize it, but that’s what American soldiers do, British soldiers do, Irish Republican soldiers do, that’s what happens in every single conflict.”
Ed Moloney said that the Gerry Adams of yore would have had a different response. This is the original Gerry Adams would have said:
“How many orphans has Barack Obama made with his drone strikes in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Yemen, Scott? How many orphans did David Cameron make when he and his neocon buddies connived at and fuelled the overthrow of Gaddafi in Libya?”
As Ed closed, “But then these are different days.” 

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