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The Need for a United, Revolutionary, 1916 Commemoration
Sunday April 08, 2012 00:13 by Nico
Here in Ireland there are many 1916 commemorations that are held annually by various groups and parties, but unfortunately, only a very divided fraction of those celebrate it from a revolutionary point of view.
As we enter an even deeper economic crisis of uncertainty and destitution, the choke hold of capitalism continues to tighten its grasp among its hapless victims. What we are witnessing now, is how our history, both past and present, are inextricably linked together through struggle. And how that time and time again, capitalism continues to dominate over our very lives, everyday.
What’s needed is a united approach for an independent 1916 commemoration with a more revolutionary meaning, linking both our past history to the present situation today. One organised by those on the left who adhere to the ideals of James Connolly and all those who fought and died in the name of national and economic emancipation.
Now, more than ever, do we need to resurrect that revolutionary spirit that once existed among our forefathers as they marched out united, from the mighty pillars of the GPO to face the foe.
A united 1916 commemoration, linking both our past history to the present day situation we all face, would certainly help mobilise the left and aid in the revival of the flame that has been left out fluttering in the breeze, one that has almost but not entirely, been extinguished. A commemoration that will help fan the flames of resistance and lay the foundations from where we can organise and mobilise comrades from far and near so as to build a platform for which all struggles in Ireland can be amalgamated against capitalist and imperialist dominance, and be brought together by one massive, mass influx of organised activists, to combat all the issues we face today, head on, and move forward towards the goal of our national and economic liberation. And in order for all of the people on this island to have a fair slice of the cake, when the means of production, distribution and wealth in Ireland, are finally liberated from the hands of the usurpers, from the set of landowners, the elite, and those who continue to rule and abuse their power under the protection of representational democracy.
In the spirit of 1916 and the gallant men and women who rose up against an empire, let us reflect upon the words of Comrade Connolly, as we ponder a noble cause, the cause of labour and the fulfilment of a Socialist Republic.
“Therefore, friends and comrades in the fight, the Workers’ Republic salutes you with joyfulness as it salutes our oppressors with defiance, and “RESURGAM”, “I will rise again” is its cry as it is the cry of the disinherited the world over. Robbed and despoiled as we are, exiles in our own land wherever that land may be, degraded to the lot of “human tools to build another’s pride”, we of the working class, toiling painfully up the ages from ignorance to knowledge, from superstition to science, from Bondage to Freedom, crushed into the earth as our fathers have been, we yet proudly take up their burden and, casting aside all thoughts of compromise with the forces of iniquity, we devote ourselves anew to the task of uprooting the last traces of slavery from this old earth of ours.”
“Let the great ones of the world note this cry, the cry of the revolutionary spirit, welling up from the hearts of their rebellious slaves:”
“RESURGAM: I will rise again.”
- James Connolly
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Fair play for commenting on what is and will probably grow even more in the discusions around commemorations. Im just back from a marvelous non-party political commeoration advertised here by the North Inner City Folklore project. I think starting from now it should also be priority for like minded people to start organising similar ventures in their own localities. It is very important for people to be able to relate to people and places that are connected with their community and make the relevant connections. It is no use for us to be complaining how RTE, the state, FF/FG/LAB are going to hijack or revise things. If there are communities who are organising on this issue and putting on plays, photo displays, laying wreaths, errecting plaques and monuments, having discussions or whatever than we shouldnt care who then will try to play it to their own agenda, the people themselves will have ownership of their history and not be dictated to by the revisionistas. I hope people generate more debate here and elsewhere on this
There seems to be a lot of talk lately of a big joint 100th anniversary 1916 commemoration. It seems as if the 1916 societies up north are buildding towards a big commemoration in 2016. And talking about a referendum for National self determination.
Wouldnt it be great. If it happens then good.But in the general swing of things it could become a major distraction. I dont believe an All Ireland referendum will be facilitated to this end at all, so what do we do, have our own referendum? as a form of agitational propaganda? To what end?
The focus for republican socialists now should be to attract the youth of Ireland to the ideas of revolutionary activism, and get them involved in activism. Focus on things relevant to the youth i.e . a 'campaign for equal social welfare for people aged 18 to 22'
'A united 1916 commemoration, linking both our past history to the present day situation we all face, would certainly help mobilise the left and aid in the revival of the flame that has been left out fluttering in the breeze, one that has almost but not entirely, been extinguished.'
-This should certainly be the case,any commemoration of past deeds should be linked to what we face today, and let it be shown that 1916 is very much unfinished business.
A republican movement that fully embraces socialism, both in theory and in practice(by engaging in social struggles, much like the fenians did) will be the ones to lead the way. A movement that doesnt just fixate on the north, but one that is in touch with the needs of working class people all over ireland.
A broad campaign for the prisoners protesting in maghaberry, and against internment and for the repatriation of michael campbell could be a way of moblising the republican people and the left
on that fully recognises the prisoners as pows see IRSP article : http://prisonersolidaritygroup.wordpress.com/2012/04/05...sp-2/ and agitates for their demands etc .
The creation of independent support groups in Republican areas to agitate towards these ends could be a practical starting point and could serve as an example for those seeking 'republican unity' and a 'united' commemoration.
I intend to be forgotten when I am dead.
Adoration of my corpse is forbidden.
The importance of commemorating the patriots of 1916, and other periods of the struggle for National Liberation is that we focus of the core inspiration of those shining moments in human development. Particularly today, the temptation is to get lost in campaigns for one thing or another, and loose sight of the core demand. This is the error that Lenin referred to as economism. Economism is always, ultimately, opportunism. This is the great error that the likes of PSF and the Cliffites have fallen into. They get lost in a forrest of secondary considerations and campaigns. We need, from time to time, to remember that the only goal really worth fighting for is a 32 County Workers Republic, in a world of Workers Republics. If our activities are not directly focused on this great task, then we are doing nothing of value. This being the case, I greatly commend the efforts to hold a United Commemoration of all genuine Revolutionaries in Ireland. Let the nay sayers, constitutional nationalists, and Cliffite trendies go to hell.