1 January 2012
Comrades and fellow-citizens,
As we begin a new year we send greetings and extend our solidarity to the working men and women and the oppressed mass of humanity around the world struggling against imperialism and its allies, both secular and religious. We also extend our solidarity to those countries and peoples building socialism, and especially to the Cuban people, who, under very difficult and complex conditions as well as against great odds, continue to transform their society in a more socially just and humane, people-centred course of development.
To the working class in Europe: let us make 2012 the year of resistance to the policies and diktat of ruling-class forces and the corporate-state institutions of the European Union. We reiterate our solidarity with the Greek working class, who are in the front line of resistance and who have shown great tenacity throughout 2011.
Here in Ireland we witnessed small but nevertheless important expressions of opposition and resistance organised by the trade union movement to the austerity measures being imposed by both the Irish and British governments. The biggest and best organised were carried out by the Northern Ireland Committee of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions throughout the North as well as the demonstration against the budget organised by the Dublin Council of Trade Unions. We also had community-based resistance and opposition, while debt activists kept up their campaigns against the odious debt and continue to publicise weekly its anti-democratic and anti-people nature.
We stand at a moment when the forces of monopoly capitalism have unleashed unprecedented attacks throughout the capitalist world on the rights and conditions of workers. They are attempting to make workers, the poor, the sick, the unemployed, pensioners and children, small business owners and family farmers pay for the growing and deepening crisis of their system.
It is clear that 2012 will be an important if not a decisive year in the life of the Irish people, for working people in particular. The deepening crisis, centred on the odious and anti-people debt, permanent and growing mass unemployment, mass emigration, growing poverty and a collapsing health service are the outcome both of the crisis within the system itself and of the policies being pursued by the Irish ruling class and its international allies, in particular the European Union, to make the people pay for that crisis.
2012 will be a pivotal point for the European Union as it attempts to grapple with the growing crisis of an insolvent banking system, spiralling “sovereign” debt, and a currency that is collapsing. The ruling classes of the member-states have no answers to this crisis except deeper and deeper austerity. Workers will face further attacks.
Working people need to build their organisations of resistance, in particular to rebuild a trade union movement still unable to break free from the mind-numbing demobilising and de-organising effect of decades of “social partnership.” There are no solutions the system can offer workers that will not undermine and destroy all that workers and their families have struggled for over many generations.
Our people showed great resistance to colonialism and exploitation over the centuries. The Irish people need to draw deeply from this well of experience to gain the courage and the strength for the struggles ahead. The struggles of today will shape our future.
The empowering of the people is central. We need to establish people’s democratic control
• over capital and its social use and priorities,
• over the natural resources of the country and their planned, sustainable use, and
• over a planned industrial strategy to give a future to our youth and bring our people home.
The ruling forces are marginalising and weakening themselves with the anti-people policies they are pursuing. We need a stronger militant party of the working class—a stronger Communist Party. We need to make 2012 the year of fight-back and resistance. The odious debt must be dumped off the people’s back to save our country from a future of debt-slavery.