The Easter Statement from the Leadership of the Republican Movement was read out across the nation at monuments and graves on Easter week.
On this the occasion of the 102nd anniversary of the 1916 Rising the Leadership of the Republican Movement sends revolutionary greetings to all assembled at the graves and at monuments to the memory of our Republican dead and to celebrate the vision which motivated the men and women of the Irish Volunteers, Cumann na mBan, the Irish Citizen Army and Na Fianna Éireann to take up arms.
As we remember those who fought in 1916 we also remember all those who realised that the work of the 1916 Rising did not end when Ireland was divided into two states. In the over 100 years since the Rising many men, women and young people realised that most of the problems affecting the people of Ireland lie in the occupation of all or part of our land. Since the illegal partition of Ireland, the two seats of power, Leinster House and Stormont, have administered for the rich and better off rather than for the general population.
The words of James Connelly have never rung so true; “If you remove the English army tomorrow and hoist the green flag over Dublin Castle, unless you set about the organisation of the Socialist Republic your efforts would be in vain. England would still rule you. She would rule you through her capitalists, through her landlords, through her financiers, through the whole array of commercial and individualist institutions she has planted in this country and watered with the tears of our mothers and the blood of our martyrs.” For almost 100 years, those who betrayed the 32-County Republic with Collins in ’22 and De Valera in ’27 have enriched themselves and their families at the expense of Ireland and its people.
In more recent years those who left the Republican Movement and eventually entered both Leinster House and Stormont have likewise enriched themselves, their families and those who remain loyal to their brand of politics. None of these career politicians can realistically call themselves Republicans.
To those incarcerated for their Republican activity, we send solidarity greetings. In particular we welcome home our comrade Gabriel Mackle who was interned since November 2017 on the word of the British intelligence services. In what can only be described as an unRepublican act, Gabriel was denied access to the Republican landings. Our POWs have been to the fore of all struggles since the days when political status was sold out by the Provisionals, and if needed they will continue to resist any further attempts to criminalise any of our members as well as POWs of other groups.
Internment has long been used as a means to intimidate Republicans and stifle resistance to the occupation of the Occupied Six Counties. We call for the ending of internment of Republicans and the immediate release of Tony Taylor, who is now in his third year as an internee without charge, without trial.
To the soldiers of the IRA we salute your resolve. We know it is not an easy decision to leave the comfort of home and take up arms against a better-equipped enemy, and traitors living within our communities. To those who struggle to bring about a Sovereign Independent Socialist 32-County Republic, we commend you on your bravery in confronting the unjust occupation of our land and your desire for the betterment of all. We remember those who lived and often died struggling for a united Ireland of equals.
For too long counter-gangs have tarnished the name of Republicanism. Some even tried to usurp the name of Sinn Féin Poblachtach with criminal behaviour. Our activists have faced down many of these individuals and shut down their criminal enterprises. We take this opportunity to place on record that we will never involve ourselves in criminality. We are members of these communities and as such we depend on them for support. If members of the public are confronted by someone using our name for criminality we ask that they contact a local representative and give details.
This past year has seen the collapse of the sectarian assembly that is Stormont. We have long argued that Stormont was simply a stepping-stone towards placating Republicanism and copper-fastening the partition of Ireland. Westminster, which has long said it was neutral in all negotiations etc within the Occupied Six Counties, showed its true colours when, after the last Westminster elections the Tories effectively went into coalition with the DUP. Add to this the looming exit of Britain from the EU and we have a recipe for disaster for those within the Occupied Six Counties who deem themselves Irish. Irish Republicans have always opposed the EU as we recognise it is an imperialist and undemocratic institution. The possibility of some form of border between the Occupied Six Counties and the Twenty-Six Counties will only be another obstacle in the way of a free, fair Sovereign Ireland. We call here, not for a Border poll, not for a vote of any kind on independence but for a declaration of withdrawal from any part of Ireland by British government and an end to its interference in Irish affairs.
To those who say Sinn Féin has no vision for a future United Ireland, an Ireland of equals, irrespective of race, colour, creed, sex or sexual orientation, we say look to our Éire Nua document. We have long promoted it as a sound basis for this United Ireland; it is past time for all political parties to cease ignoring the innate qualities of this document. A united Ireland will come about, and it must be an Ireland where, all the children of the nation are cherished equally, “oblivious of the differences carefully fostered by an alien government”. As we leave here let us work all the harder for the goal of a peaceful, sovereign socialist, democratic and United Ireland.
An Phoblacht Abú.
– Easter Statement from the Leadership of the Republican Movement, 2018
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