Annual easter message read by Francie Mackey, chairman of the 32 County Sovereignty Movement.

In this address to the Irish people at home and abroad we regret we are unable to hold a more fitting Easter commemoration due to the Covid pandemic. Hopefully next year we will be better positioned to commemorate the 1916 Rising and remember the leaders at their final resting place and in so doing remember all who gave their lives for Irish freedom. However, this Easter message is looking at Ireland today and we appraise ourselves on how to uphold and achieve their vision as set out in the Proclamation.

The evolving political landscape on the island of Ireland demands a concise and pragmatic political response from Irish republicanism. Brexit has exposed the deep fault lines of the Good Friday Agreement, and its supposed All Ireland architecture, as a mechanism to progress the evident will and right of the Irish people to live in a sovereign 32 County Ireland.

The developing national narrative has, at its core, a strategic deceit to ensure the consolidation of the constitutional status quo whilst the question of what is termed Irish unity drifts aimlessly in the jargon of a so-called Border Poll.

Irish republicanism does not have the luxury of adopting a supine rejection of this flawed narrative whilst offering nothing more than a shallow analysis which demeans the genuine desire of our people for a peaceful and democratic path to a sovereign republic. That path is not guaranteed, a violent reaction no less so.

The driving engine of any republican analysis must be a clarity of language which expresses our objectives both as a clear and progressive repudiation of partitionist politics (peace process politics) and also sets apart the Ireland we seek to create from the aimless aspirational lip-service of the political hegemony on the island.

In our New Year Statement we referenced the political significance surrounding the provision of a Border Poll. We urged republicans to engage in constructive debate to adopt an agreed strategy as this provision is being presented as the sole path to an assumed British disengagement from our country.

Our own internal discussions have identified key areas where political influences will bring their own agendas to manipulate a porous process to suit their own ends. We also identified the crucial reality that our objections to a Border Poll should not alienate or disparage the genuine held views of the vast majority of Irish people who would vote positively if such an opportunity were presented to them.

A Border Poll however is not a democratic device: it serves as a British veto over change to its imposed boundary in Ireland. British legislative control dominates every facet of its construct and application. Such control determines the timing of its holding, the question or questions posed, the conditions required to ‘win’ such a poll and finally parliamentary approval over the outcome.

It represents a multi-layered veto over the sovereign rights of the Irish people, the natural outworking’s of the original Triple Lock guarantee in the Good Friday Agreement. That guarantee serves British interests in Ireland which Wolfe Tone described as the never-failing source of all our political evils. The Irish people are reduced to bystanders, as our future is determined beyond our sovereign and democratic control.

At a recent televised debate adherents of the Good Friday Agreement discussed the possibility of future unification. None of the participants could make the argument for national sovereignty as our right. None alluded to the influence of British interests in our country as the primary source of divisions amongst our people let alone that such interests exist at all. None would commit to any credible strategic programme to pursue constitutional unity.

It is beyond question that the national rights and ambitions of the Irish people cannot be progressed by the politics of the Good Friday Agreement. Nor can they be engaged with in any meaningful sense with green or red rhetoric. Irish republicanism can only fill this political void if we articulate our position and ideas via language our opponents themselves cannot use.

Beir Bua.

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Recent post from our Belfast cumann:

We have been contacted about loyalist flags being erected outside Holy Cross girls primary school in north Belfast. Some of the flags show the unashamed loyalist murderer Michael Stone with the words "hands up if your going to be sectarian today".

In the early 2000s Holy Cross girls school made headlines around the world after loyalists attempted to harass and intimidate the students, children between the ages 4-11, from gaining entry to their school. These children not only faced vile disgusting name calling from hundreds of loyalist adults, but also had rocks, bottles, urine and blast bombs thrown at them.

The acts carried out back then were in retaliation for loyalists not getting their way and it seems this time round, 20 years later when loyalists are politically stumped, they are again applying sectarian tactics against school children.

We have since heard that some of these flags have been removed, however the people responsible for erecting them remain and are intent on causing fear and misery.

Its clear that sectarian tensions are being ramped up by loyalists acting out and what is equally clear is the fact that the crown forces of the RUC/PSNI will make little effort to combat them.

Belfast 32CSM state that all children should be free to attend school without prejudice and parents equally should be free from the worry and fear of the children being terrorised.

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  • 32CSM

The 32 County Sovereignty Movement sends fraternal new year greetings to all republican and socialist comrades throughout Ireland. We send revolutionary greetings to all peoples struggling for liberation and justice throughout the world.

As we reach the close of an unprecedented year, we open cautiously into 2021 knowing that the threat posed by Coronavirus still looms large and that personal responsibility and community solidarity continues to be the surest strategy in dealing with this menace.

We stand firm with all frontline workers who have been to the fore in ensuring that essential services continue to be maintained. Their immense contribution has brought into focus the deep divisions within our society and the gross inequity in relation to income standards and fair pay. It is a lesson which republicans must draw upon when presenting our blueprint for a sovereign republic.

For republicans 2020 can be viewed as a lost year for street activism, the very lifeblood of our struggle. Establishment politics has continued unabated; partition is being re-enforced, evictions and re-possessions continue to rise, corporate greed denies workers their just entitlements and republicans continue to be incarcerated.

2021 must be the year where republicans make up this lost ground. The paradigm shift in political direction brought about by Brexit has been solidified, now that agreement has been reached between London and Brussels. The ‘United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland’ will now, at every opportunity open to it, exert its political and economic sovereignty as a means to distinguish itself from the EU in the eyes of the world’s nations. That such actions violate Irish sovereignty demonstrates their complete indifference to the wellbeing of the people of Ireland.

This has also exposed the emerging political thinking regarding a Border Poll provision contained within the Good Friday Agreement. Dublin is now making it absolutely clear that a simple numeric majority will not suffice, nor justify, the calling of a referendum to end partition. Given that the holding of such a referendum in the Six Counties is at the whim of a Secretary of State (democratically unaccountable to anyone in Ireland) the political definition of what constitutes a majority will firmly favour the constitutional status quo. This is now the dominant political thinking on this issue. As one senior Provisional spokesperson recently remarked about the GFA, ‘we were sold a pup.’

The reality of this political trajectory must be grasped by republicans if we are to have any hope of exerting political influence on it. Radical conversations must be had concerning the concept and function of a Border Poll so that a clear and coherent position can be agreed between us. It must be stressed that any position taken, whether it be in opposition to, or participation in, (or any other course) concerning such a poll, must contain a viable political strategy to give effect to whatever position is adopted.

The 32 County Sovereignty Movement rejects the concept of a border poll as a mechanism to resolve Westminster’s violation of our national sovereignty. Our position on this was made clear in our submission to the United Nations and we cannot deviate from that.

However, we also recognise that both the issue of a border poll and the holding of such a poll are significant political matters that cannot be simply ignored. This is why we make the call for republicans to come together to forge an agreed strategy on it based on the guiding principle that we must engage with the politics we oppose without being compromised by it.

This coming year will mark the centenary of the imposition of partition in our country. The centenary represents a dual failure both of partition itself and the failure of republicans to remove it. The longevity of partition, the imaginary steppingstone, has also changed its political nature more so now as Brexit has turned the border into a European frontier.

This means a new dynamic is now required in republican arguments to end partition and these arguments need to be presented to our people in a clear and lucid fashion. If we ignore these political realities, if we confine our thinking to the historical at the expense of the contemporary our only reward will be greater marginalisation.

We in the 32 County Sovereignty Movement are ready to play our part.


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