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.