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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent

Only the Beginning


Mick Hall • 4 March 2007

Few of those who are termed Republican Dissidents now believe continuing the armed struggle to bring about the reunification of the island of Ireland is a viable option; however what they all agree on is, if there are no other options open to those who suffer occupation and oppression, then armed struggle is a legitimate right of all oppressed peoples to get out from under the yoke they suffer under.

The aforementioned is just one of the areas where major differences with the current SF leadership have emerged. Although, I might add, not with the majority of Irish republicans, who still stand by this most basic of human rights principles. However, by accepting policing and the UK justice system in the north of Ireland, Mr Adams has allowed the Unionists/UK State, and the media, to retrospectively claim there was never any justification for armed struggle in the north of Ireland, as they claim there was always a democratic option available for Irish Republicans to engage in. Which is nonsense, as it ignores both the type of place the six counties was in 1969 and how the state-let came into being and was maintained with its in-built gerrymandered Protestant majority. As the founding leadership of NI stated clearly and publicly, their state would be a Protestant State for a Protestant People, and so it was until the insurrection broke out in 1969 and to a certain degree remains to this day.

Today Gerry Adams makes much of the need for Unity when addressing any doubts the SF membership might express over his strategy. But he negates to mention the only place you can find totally unity is in a local authority graveyard, and what good is that for the living? In truth the only unity Gerry Adams is interested in is unity on his terms. Does anyone really believe that 95% of the membership of SF support their leadership whole heartedly on policing? Of course not. Yet members of SF, often believing they were doing so for the best of reasons, were convinced by their leaders to support policing in the name of Republican Unity, whilst other delegates were called to Attention.

I feel in time they will come to regret this bitterly. What they did was recognize the legitimacy of the UK State in Ireland. There really is no other way to look at this. Why else would Mr Adams spend such an enormous effort to convince his membership that the dissidents are a threat to the unity of Provisional Republicanism, when in fact at this time they are no such thing? Take the March 7 Assembly elections. The dissidents make up a fraction of the candidates that are standing, whether in the election as a whole or amongst those who are vying for the Nationalist communities vote.

Mr Adams does not claim the Workers Party, Socialist Party or the SDLP are a threat to the unity of his movement, yet all three parties argue for eventual reunification. The reason he fears the dissidents, especially those who accept the armed struggle is over, is the ideas and tradition they represent, and because they are grappling in an open and democratic manner to find a way to move Republicanism forward that does not mean reverting to armed struggle, nor, like SF under Mr Adams, mean publicly bending the knee to the UK State and its loyalist acolytes in the north by rejecting all that has gone before. True, the dissidents have not yet reached any solid conclusions or come up with a way to move forward with certainty. But what the dissidents have proved is that unlike the SF leadership, they do not fear open debate, or democratic accountability. Thus, standing candidates in this election is only the beginning.

When the dissidents chose Peggy O'Hara as one of their candidates, they were spot on. She epitomizes Irish Republican dignity and steadfastness. I understand why she is standing as an abstentionist candidate, but were she to gain a seat, I feel she and her supporters should reconsider their policy of abstention from Stormont Assembly. Her very presence in that mockney parliament would be a daily reminder to the Shinners that Republicans do not have to cross over a line in the sand to gain electoral support, the more so when the line in question has been placed there by the UK State and demands of Republicans that they renegade on their core political beliefs.





























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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent



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Index: Current Articles

6 March 2007

Other Articles From This Issue:

Irish Republican Ex-POWs Against the RUC/PSNI & MI5

Whispering Past the Graveyard
John Kennedy

RSF Campaign Reports
Tony McPhillips – Election Agent

Save Derry
Brian Mór

Support Peggy O Hara
Ex-POWs and Concerned Republicans Against RUC/PSNI & MI5

Only the Beginning
Mick Hall

St Bore's Day
Anthony McIntyre

SS Sinn Fein
John Kennedy

Election Guarantees Nothing
David Adams

Coulter's Pre-Election Report
Dr John Coulter

Others Promise...
Brian Mór

The Curse of the Caudillo Complex
Mick Hall

Rest, Do Not Surrender
Dolours Price

...We Deliver
Brian Mór

Super Six Dictator
Dr John Coulter

Anyone Up for a Serious Alternative?
Philip Ferguson

The View from Outside
Jerry Pepin

Boom to Bust?
Dr John Coulter

Tyre Trees
Anthony McIntyre

Cleanliness Not Next to Godliness in the Shankill
Marty Egan

Leadership Needed
Stephen Hughes

Where Does the State of the Union Leave the Rest of Us?
Richard O'Rawe

22 February 2007

Litter & Glass
Anthony McIntyre

Not Worth the Paper Its Written On
John Kennedy

Ballot Box Pressure
Mick Hall

Commission of Truth Needed, Says O Hara
Peggy O Hara

RSF Election News
Press Release

Help Sinn Feign
Brian Mór

British Policing Must Never Be Acceptable in Ireland
Francis Mackey

The Next Step
Dr John Coulter

Conclusions from the Ard Fheis
Brian Halpin

McAleese Should be Criticised
David Adams

The Best Woman to Succeed
Dr John Coulter

Fred A. Wilcox

The Critical History of (Irish pop) Noise
Seaghán Ó Murchú

No Clean Hands
Anthony McIntyre



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