THE Continuity IRA and the Real IRA have opened fire and killed and wounded soldiers and policemen in the north of Ireland, breaking open the current peace process.
They believe that they are reinstating the armed struggle that Sinn Fein abandoned in its rush to take part in a regional UK government in the north, alongside first of all the Ulster Unionists and then the Paisleyites.
To become part of the Stormont regime, Sinn Fein not only gave up the armed struggle, it was also a party to an all-Ireland referendum that gave up the Republic’s claim on the north, and with it the right of the Irish people to self-determination – in favour of the loyalist majority in the north having the right to decide whether Ireland should be united or not.
For Sinn Fein there is no turning back. To remain part of such a government Sinn Fein will have to prove its loyalty to the crown by using its special knowledge to assist in the apprehension and/or the liquidation of the ‘dissidents’, as others that came before them have done.
The ‘dissidents’ do have major grounds for complaint, and we will not condemn them for their attempts to rekindle the 800-year-old national struggle to liberate Ireland from English and then British imperialist domination.
However, they have gravely mistaken the time on the historical clock, as they seek to revive the Adams-McGuinness theory that a heroic and self-sacrificing minority, with the ballot box in one hand and the Armalite ( or Kalashnikov) in the other, could bring British imperialism to negotiate its withdrawal from Ireland.
In fact the opposite happened. It was the IRA that broke up the Armalites and other weapons in order to become part of the UK political scene.
This is because the theory itself is bankrupt – and the experience does not bear repeating.
Only the Irish masses, led by the working class, and supported by the working class of Britain, can defeat British imperialism and its allies in the north and south, creating the conditions to unite Ireland under a revolutionary socialist government.
The time when this will be done is now fast approaching, since the world crisis of capitalism has destroyed the Irish and British banks and a great mass of the productive forces, and is threatening to destroy the working class along with them.
The Irish working class are going through a revolutionising experience. A ruling class which has never paid a penny of taxes is now engaged in stripping them of all of their gains, so that the Irish banks and bosses can survive the massive economic and political crisis.
While the union leaders are demanding equal sacrifices – as if there has ever been a case of this in any capitalist society – the ruling class is rapidly pauperising the working class and the middle class of town and country.
It is this shocking and revolutionising experience that brought forward the massive 120,000 strong demonstration in Dublin in February and will lead to a one-day general strike on March 30.
The Irish working class is very angry and it is leading the middle class forward in a revolutionary direction, towards nationalising the banks under workers control and nationalising all of the major industries.
This is the struggle that is emerging. It is far more revolutionary than the heroic few sacrificing themselves on behalf of the majority.
Millions are now being forced into the struggle.
What they require is a revolutionary leadership to unite the working class north and south, and arm in arm with the British working class, to smash British imperialism and its little brother, the Irish ruling class.
Once again the conditions for carrying out this historic task are fast approaching.
Now is the time, therefore, to build a section of the International Committee of the Fourth International in Ireland to lead the struggle of the working class and the vast majority of the population to reject all the cuts and the closures that the ruling class is making north and south, to go forward to a united Socialist Ireland.