Gerry Adams and Sinn Féin/IRA

mattk at mattk at
Sat Oct 12 09:27:53 MDT 1996

Richard Bos wrote:

>As long as the British stay there the whole political scene is like a
>distorting mirror, and the Irish people will have no chance to come to
>terms with their differing traditions and can't begin to look at things
>with a class perspective.

You can't separate off the fight against the presence of British troops on
this island with the struggle to unite Protestant and Catholics workers in
common cause against capitalism. To do so is to leave the arena free for
the likes of Gerry Adams and other nationalists. They have no answer for
workers on this island other than more military struggle, interspersed with
talks around the same table as Loyalist death squad leaders and the

It is the struggle for socialism which will liberate this island of the
British and the capitalist government of the 26 Counties. As for phrases
such as the 'Irish people"; well I fight for the interests of the working

Adam Rose wrote:

>If socialists in Nothern Ireland are unable to find a way to
>bridge the gap between Catholic and Protestant workers, while
>at the same time opposing the state which oppresses Catholics,
>there can be no solution in Ireland, ever. In order to do this,
>they must make no concessions to nationalist politics, which have
>been shown to be a complete dead end for Catholic workers.
>A good example of this is the Irish Socialist Workers Party's
>involvement in the recent defence of Derry against the Orange
>Order, where there was a significant trade union presence on
>the marches and "road blockings".

And what kind of opposition to the British presence has Socialist Worker
made during the 'peace process'. Your English organisation refused to call
for the withdrawal of British troops when they were introduced by a Labour
Government which your supporters voted for - instead you said that they
would provide a 'breathing space'. Tell that to the Catholics of West

Your organisation doesn't call for the immediate withdrawal  of British
troops to this day - an elementary demand for a Marxist who understands
that whatever the problems in the north, the British aren't going to
provide an answer.

Adam D wrote:

>Well, they are, and then again, not quite -- right?  Are you saying that
>there is no overlap, or just coincidental overlap, between the leadership
>of Sinn Fein and the IRA?  Are you saying that these organizations
>are completely unrelated?  That seems rather farfetched.

Adams represents a wing of IRA/Sinn F=E9in which is suffering from
war-weariness. They believe that they can come to some form of
accommodation with the British and Protestants. There is a real chance that
there might be a real split in the Republican movement in the near future.
The main point for Marxists, however, is that no matter how defensible
their actions against the military barracks in Lisburn, they have no
solution other than some form of accommodation with the imperialist rulers.

Matt Kelly.

=C9irigh lasadh as an splanc seo

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