IRSP Easter Commemoration 2008 Speech

For the interest of our readers we publish a speech delivered by Paul Little (of the IRSP Ard Comhairle) on Sunday, 23rd March, at the Republican Socialist Plot, Milltown Cemetery, Belfast. He explains that the aim of the IRSP is “to oust imperialism, oust capitalism in all its guises and end the occupation and exploitation of the Irish working class.”
Republican Socialism will not be bought, will not be sold and will not be deflected from its revolutionary path.

Comrades, supporters and friends, on the 92nd anniversary of the Easter 1916, we assemble to commemorate the courageous actions of Irish Republicans and Socialists as they strove to light the revolutionary touch paper that would rid Ireland of British occupation and capitalist control.

We recall with pride the courage and tenaciousness of Comrades who made the ultimate sacrifice in the struggle for a 32 County Irish Socialist Republic. Today we honour our fallen Comrades of the Irish Republican Socialist Party and Irish National Liberation Army.

We pay tribute to their families and friends, your sacrifice has been permanent and long term and often goes unacknowledged, we acknowledge your courage, your steadfastness and your pain. It is only through the pursuance of the revolution, the continuance of working class struggle and the attainment of our goals that we can truly commemorate our fallen comrades.

We send revolutionary greetings to our POW's in Portlaoise and Maghaberry, your continued incarceration is testament to the arrant failure of those who purport to represent the interests of the Irish working class, whilst swigging champagne and playing happy families with our oppressors.

Across the world, global imperialism runs rampant, we send solidarity to all those who struggle against occupation, exploitation and genocide in Iraq, Palestine and Afghanistan. ‘Western Democracy', far from being a tool for liberation and empowerment for oppressed peoples across the globe, is in fact the weapon of the oppressor.

It corrupts and divides the oppressed and disenfranchised, replacing the natural solidarity among our class with division, suspicion and poverty. Western democracy dissipates working class unity; it promotes sectarian and racist division that enables it to exploit countries and peoples in the pursuance of greed and profit.

In each and every decade there have been a generation of Irish men and women who have been prepared to step up to the mark and ensure that the noble aim of an Irish Socialist Republic that recognises and cherishes the worker as the central pillar of revolution from which all else is possible.

The Republican Socialist Movement has come under attack by the forces of capitalism in both the six counties and the 26 counties, over the past year our membership and supporters have come under a sustained and draconian assault from the Free Staters. Arrest, assault and detention of republican socialists have become commonplace.

It is important to put these detentions in their political context. The IRSP is experiencing measured growth; this growth of membership is due in no small part to our involvement and support of civil rights campaigns across the Island.

Whether it is the fight against occupation, against unjust wars, against racism, against unfair taxes, against the exploitation of workers or against the rape of our national resources, the IRSP seek no compromise and make no apology for our revolutionary actions. We will not take any lectures from the corrupt and internationally discredited Dublin administration in regards to how we organise.

In 2008 in Ireland we are witnessing a prolonged and sustained attack by the reactionary forces of global imperialism and national capitalism on the Irish working class. Whether it's our people ravaged by poverty due to economic recession, unemployment, ill health, and poor education or imprisoned in their own homes frightened of the drug barons and their hooligan thugs.

This week we have witnessed the brutal murder of former republican prisoner Bap McGreevy in West Belfast attacked by thugs, crazed by drink and drugs. Many of you here today will remember Bap McGreevy, not just here in Belfast where he was a friend and neighbour, but also those who met Bap in Long Kesh, an innocent man sentenced to life imprisonment by a corrupt British regime. He bore this grave injustice with great courage and dignity, he deserved better than being kicked to death in his own home.

Unfortunately, Bap's murder is not isolated, each week across Ireland, in Dublin, Derry, Limerick, Cork, we learn of such attacks. These conditions exist because of exploitation, poverty and hardship; they are not an innocent symptom or a side effect of capitalism; capitalism requires the exploitation of workers to make excessive profit.

To paraphrase Seamus Costello when talking about the Republican Socialist Movement he said, ‘a movement that cannot defend itself has no place talking about defending and representing the Irish working class'. I would like to extend that sentiment.

A working class movement that cannot defend, protect and nourish the interests of the Irish working class has no place calling itself a revolutionary movement.

Our aim is to oust imperialism, oust capitalism in all its guises and end the occupation and exploitation of the Irish working class. To our oppressors we state; you will not criminalise the Irish working class or our struggle for emancipation.

Let no one here today have any doubt about our intentions we intend to prosecute revolution in Ireland, we will achieve revolution through organising mass agitation and civil disobedience; remember comrades if the working class refuses to be governed by what passes for democracy in Ireland, it will not be governed. That has to be our starting point for rebellion.

We remember fallen Irish revolutionaries of past liberation campaigns on the anniversary of Easter 1916, we remember them with pride and a determination to succeed.

- You are today's revolutionaries
- Be a revolutionary in the home
- Be a revolutionary in the community
- Be a revolutionary in the workplace
- Refuse to conform in an unjust society.

Together we can conclude the unfinished business of Easter 1916 in this new millennium.

Source: e-mail newsletter of the Irish Republican Socialist Party, The Plough, Vol. 5, No. 4, Saturday 22nd March 2008