Gerry Adams

Chris Burford cburford at
Fri Oct 11 16:44:10 MDT 1996

Matt D:

I wonder if the comrades in Britain would be so kind to reflect a bit on
Adam's role in the whole situation over there.  If someone could clarify
what exactly -- or speculatively -- Adam's role is vis-a-vis the armed
wing of the IRA/Sinn Fein, I'd sure appreciate it.


IMO the Irish are the world experts in
combining legal with illegal methods of work.

The skills go back at least over two hundred years.
They did not have to learn it from Lenin. My impression is
it comes with the culture.

Gerry Adams himself is obviously also an extremely skilful

In the early seventies I was encouraged to read a series
of articles in An Phoblacht which although under a pseudonym,
were said to be by Gerry Adams. They were subtle and thoughtful
strategic articles about the role of the protestant working

The possibilities of unity with Protestants is of
course a theme of Irish Republicanism since the "United
Irishmen". The class angle could under different circumstances
have deepened into something more compatible with a recognisable
form of marxism but that avenue was closed strategically for
many reasons, and I suspect that for Gerry Adams the thrust
of this has mainly gone into his commitment to stay close
and mingle with poor and working class people of the
most oppressed part of the nationalist community.

It is still not clear to me where the Nationalist strategy
is going, even though the majority of the non-parliamentary
left in Britain are in favour of troops out, as are
the "British public" according to repeated opinion polls.

But Nationalist strategy simply cannot be debated here.
No serious marxist Nationalist would dream of stepping forward
openly as a champion of the armed struggle on this list.
That's my guess anyway.

I regard "Living Marxism" as mainly a form
of journalism, and I did not bother to read the
Ryan article, but I sympathised with people's criticisms.

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