éirígí ard fheis 2012 statement

éirígí held its 2012 ard fheis in Belfast on Sunday, November 18.  The following is the ard fheis statement read by Louise Minihan:

éirígí sends fraternal greetings to our party activists and supporters, both in Ireland and overseas, who cannot join with us here today. We commend them, and all others, who have contributed to the struggle for a free, socialist Ireland over the course of the last twelve months. This Ard-Fheis recognises the sacrifice of those party members who have been arrested, convicted or jailed over the last year as a result of their party activism.

This Ard-Fheis extends solidarity to those who battle against imperialism across our world. From this venue in West Belfast, in the heart of occupied Ireland, we send a message to those people who live under the tyranny of occupation by the United States, Britain, Israel and other imperial powers – your fight is our fight and our fight is your fight; together we can not only challenge but, ultimately, defeat imperialism in all of its many forms. To the Palestinian people in particular we send a strong message of support at this time as they endure yet another onslaught from the Israeli state.

This Ard-Fheis reasserts the right of the people of Ireland to freedom, to collectively decide their own political, economic, social and cultural futures, free from the interference of foreign governments. We reject the right of the British state to claim jurisdiction over the Six Counties as we equally reject the right of the European Union and the International Monetary Fund to govern the Twenty-Six Counties.

Assembled here in Culturlánn McAdam Ó Fiaich, this Ard-Fheis confirms éirígí’s commitment to the Irish language. We recognise that a nation without its own language will succumb much more easily to imperialism and capitalism – something that our enemies have long understood. We recognise the precarious position of Ireland’s native tongue at this time and commit our party to becoming more active within the Irish language movement. The cultural re-conquest of Ireland must be fought in parallel to its political, economic and social re-conquest.

This Ard-Fheis reiterates éirígí’s call for the immediate release of all Irish republican political prisoners wherever they are being held. We unreservedly condemn the ongoing brutalisation of republican prisoners in Maghaberry Jail and, in advance of their release, we call for those prisoners to be given the full political status that they rightly deserve without further delay.

This Ard-Fheis recognises that both partitionist states are now implementing internment without trial through a number of means, including the revocation of parole licences, spurious membership charges and unduly long periods of remand without the existence of evidence. In the absence of a general release of all republican prisoners, we call for the immediate release of all of those who are currently being held without trial or in some cases even the prospect of trial.

This Ard-Fheis notes with deep concern the continuing erosion of basic civil liberties and legal rights in both the Six and Twenty-Six County states. We call for the repeal of all oppressive ‘special’ legislation that has been created for the purpose of suppressing Irish republicanism.

This Ard-Fheis totally condemns the recent decision by the Six County coroner to halt inquests into the murders of twenty-one victims of British state violence on the grounds of “British national security”. This unprecedented action is designed to bring these and other such inquests under the remit of the proposed ‘Justice and Security Bill’ which will result in secret hearings, with secret evidence being given behind closed doors, from which victims of state violence and their legal representatives will be excluded.

In the month that two further potential oil finds off the west coast of Ireland have been announced this Ard-Fheis call for the immediate nationalisation of all Irish hydrocarbon resources, including the Corrib Gas Field and Barryroe Oil Field. At a time of ever-increasing energy costs the giveaway of Ireland’s oil and gas reserves represents an act of simultaneous economic stupidity and national treachery. We reassert the inalienable right of the people of Ireland to benefit from the natural resources of their own country.

This Ard-Fheis stands with those members of the community in Rossport and surrounding areas who remain steadfast in their opposition to Shell and their partner companies. We re-affirm our support and solidarity to the community of Iorras.

This Ard-Fheis recognises the importance of the mass boycott of the Dublin government’s home tax and commends the hundreds of thousands of people who have joined this collective act of civil disobedience. Such a widespread act of popular civil disobedience has not been witnessed in Ireland since the Land League campaign at the end of the 19th Century or the anti-Conscription campaign of almost one hundred years ago. The Campaign Against Household and Water Taxes has succeeded in developing the first mass movement of recent times that has the potential to effectively challenge the agenda of Ireland’s right-wing forces. We commit our party to building popular mass opposition to unjust home, water and other taxes.

We condemn the Dublin government for their slavish adherence to the diktats of the Troika and their willingness to put the interests of the ruling elite ahead of the interests of the rest of the population. We note with disdain the blatant hypocrisy of proposing constitutional amendments to protect children whilst simultaneously cutting funding to children’s education, healthcare and welfare.

This Ard-Fheis notes that fourteen years after the signing of the Good Friday Agreement, the political parties that make up the permanent Stormont coalition still hide behind the so-called peace process to disguise their collective failure to deliver any progressive social, economic or political change.

For too many people in the Six Counties, that new dawn that the Good Friday Agreement promised has been proven, like the political parties who supported it, to be completely false and without substance. Emigration, unemployment, poverty and deprivation remain all too commonplace within all working class communities across the occupied Six Counties.

This Ard-Fheis understands the Six-County State to be fundamentally irreformable and we reject the notion that the interests of the population of the Six Counties are best served by partition and subservience to Britain.

This Ard-Fheis asserts that the austerity programmes of the administrations in Leinster House, Stormont and Westminster have nothing to do with ‘economic recovery’ and the creation of a sustainable, just economy and everything to do with the rolling back of rights and conditions that were fought for and expensively won.

As we enter 2013, the hundredth anniversary year of the 1913 Lockout, this Ard-Fheis takes inspiration from those workers who stood up against the foreign and domestic capitalist class; who stood firm in the face of threats, brutalisation, imprisonment and death; who asserted the right of Irish workers to organise and take collective industrial action; who through the establishment of the Irish Citizen Army exercised the right of workers to defend themselves from attack.

This Ard-Fheis accepts and fully endorses James Connolly’s Marxist-based analysis of the development of Irish society and believes that analysis remains as valid and as applicable today as it was 100 years ago; this Ard-Fheis views capitalism to be a form of theft which seeks to deprive the working man and woman of that which is rightfully theirs: the intrinsic value of their own labour. Like Connolly and his comrades, we also fight for an Irish Socialist Republic, understanding that it alone can guarantee the interests of the Irish working class.

Posted on November 26, 2012, in 21st century republicanism and socialism, Anti-household and anti-water tax, éirígí, Censorship, Culture, Democratic rights - general, Economy and workers' resistance, Ireland-Palestine, Irish politics today, James Connolly, Natural resources, Partition, Prisoners - current, Public events - Ireland, Repression and resistance in the six counties today, six counties, Social conditions, twenty-six counties, Unionism, loyalism, sectarianism. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on éirígí ard fheis 2012 statement.

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