Statement by the Peadar O’Donnell Socialist Republican Forum
26 October 2019
On Saturday 26 October at Moy Bridge, Aughnacloy, Co. Tyrone, on the Tyrone-Monaghan border, the first of a planned series of “Hands Across the Border” rallies was organised jointly by the Peadar O’Donnell Socialist Republican Forum and the 1916 Societies, under the banner of “Left for Unity.”
There is now debate about whether a united Ireland should be on the political agenda, almost a century after the imposition of partition on Ireland by the British government.
Many voices are clamouring to be heard above the din of establishment politicians and their political parties as they position themselves to gain maximum political advantage from the present turmoil. The voices and opinions of working people have been drowned out.
The Left for Unity initiative agrees that a unitary state is indeed a very important concern to working people, regardless of whatever political tradition they come from. The organisers of Saturday’s rally are campaigning for a united Ireland but stress that of equal importance is the proposed nature and format of that united Ireland. Whose interests will it serve?
We have had a century of experience, north and south, of the consequences of partition and its poisonous legacy: a legacy of discrimination, repression—both political repression and the oppression of women—mass emigration and poverty for huge swathes of the populace.
The establishment in Dublin, Big House unionism and employers all live off the backs of workers. It is time to establish a new democracy in our country, not the cobbling together of two failed entities, carrying on the same old failed economic and social policies.
We need a new republic, a republic in which the rights, needs and interests of working people, of women, youth and the environment are primary. The economy and all social policy must serve the majority of the people, rather than the status quo, which only serves the interests of the rich and powerful, landlords and property speculators, transnational corporations, and those who benefit from discriminatory employment practices.
We want a new republic that is not subservient to London, Brussels or Washington but a democracy founded upon the needs of working people.