Cill Dara Shinn Féin Poblachtach

British repression provokes resistance

The leopard does not change its spots and neither does the nature of British rule in Ireland. This was evidenced over the past weeks both in terms of its operation and the reaction of Irish people to it.

On September 17 three Co Armagh Republicans – Damien McKenna, Gary Toman and Seán McConville — were sentenced to 15 years each for possession of a mortar bomb which it was reported was for use against British forces in Ireland. The harsh sentences led to three days of resistance in Co Armagh over the weekend of September 18-20 and led to the closure of the Belfast –Dublin railway line. In both Lurgan and Craigavon Republican youth courageously took on the forces of the British Crown.

Over that same weekend the British colonial police launched ‘Operation Dissent” which was aimed at countering Irish Republican resistance. The draconian operation of mass roadblocks and searches across the Six Counties was timed to coincide with the arrival of the new head of the RUC/PSNI. Matt Baggott, replaced Hugh Orde on September 22.

The appointment of this man who as head of the Leicestershire Constabulary in England oversaw the introduction of plastic bullets in 2003 and last year championed the introduction of 90 day detention signals the intent of the British government and their satellite at Stormont to use whatever repressive measures required to prop-up British rule and the partition of Ireland.

The lesson of Irish history is that while there is a British occupation of Ireland it will be met with resistance. The events of September only serve to bear this out. Irish history is a cycle of armed resistance, followed by coercion and attempts constitutionally to square the circle of British rule and Irish democracy.

It is a circle which can never be squared because British rule denies the exercise of true All-Ireland democracy, namely the right of the people of Ireland acting as a unit to national self-determination.

The only way to break the cycle of Irish history is to end British rule in Ireland once and for all. A public British declaration of intent by the British government to withdraw from Ireland within a stated period would create the dynamic for all of the Irish people to build a New Ireland. ÉIRE NUA with its proposals for a real decentralisation of decision-making from provincial right down to regional and local level based on local majorities empowers all of the Irish people. Thus can be realised the historic demand for the ownership of Ireland by the people of Ireland.

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