New Years Day Statements… January 1, 2017Posted by guestposter in Uncategorized.
These from the CPI, WP and SF- any others please feel free to forward them to here and I’ll add them into the post.
Communist Party of Ireland
Make 2017 a year of hope, confidence and resistance!
As we enter a New Year working people should look back at 2016 with hope and confidence for 2017. Across the country tens of thousands celebrated the Centenary of 1916 Rising with pride. Despite decades of prolonged assault by the establishment and their pet academia they have failed to undermine the importance of the 1916 Rising in the hearts and minds of working people across the country.
2016 was also a year of industrial resistance from the LUAS and Dublin bus workers winning important pay rises. We also witnessed ASTI taking a stand and demand equal pay for equal work for all new teachers entering that profession. The election of more progressive left TD’s is to be welcomed and the occupation of Apollo House by homeless people with the support of housing activists and trade unionists has raised the political profile of the growing homelessness and housing crisis.
Working people have driven the government and the establishment back as regards water charges but we need to remain vigilant and to step up the pressure to ensure that public ownership of water is enshrined in the constitution. We cannot allow this important demand to be buried in parliamentary committees or parliamentary procedures. The mobilisation of working people in communities and on the street, have brought the struggle this far and these forms of struggle will ensure that we push our demands over the line to full victory.
We also need to step up the demand for a major public house building programme to guarantee the right to housing for all and reduce reliance on heavy indebtedness to Banks.
We witnessed the continued resistance of the Greek working class and intense working class struggles in France and Belgium, as well as the British working class saying NO to the EU, as further examples of the slowly but nevertheless clearly developing resistance by working people against austerity, low wages, precarious employment, longer working hours, the loss of pensions etc.
2017 will present new opportunities for working people both here in Ireland and across the European Union. The EU is enmeshed in a growing and deepening crisis not only economic but also political, developing into a crisis of legitimacy. Brexit can only hasten this, but we need to push forward the struggle for Irish national democracy and sovereignty.
A century ago state power was seized by the revolutionary workers of Russia. 2017 will be a year to honor this earth shattering event and help energise and refocus the workers movement, here in Ireland and internationally. Things can and must be different to the past; change is not just necessary but change is possible and achievable.
Past generations of Irish working people struggled hard. Our people defeated an empire. In Ireland workers have achieved much against great resistance from imperialism and its ally, the Irish ruling class. Nothing has been given to us but we have extracted it by struggle from the Irish ruling class. Without struggle there can be no change. Without unity, the people will remain weak and ineffective.
Make 2017 the year of hope, confidence and resistance.
Build the unity of our people, from Belfast to Cork, from Galway to Dublin.
New Year message of Workers’ Party President Michael Donnelly
WP President Michael Donnelly
Comrades and friends, the past year has been a difficult one for most workers and their families as well as those who are unemployed. Despite the self-congratulations from government ministers and their media apologists, about how much better-off people are both in Northern Ireland as well as in the Republic, the gap between the income of the ordinary people and that of the super-rich has actually grown wider and wider. It is abundantly clear that whatever kind of recovery has taken place, it has not been one shared equally. Of that there is little doubt.
We are also told repeatedly by government ministers in both governments on the island that there have been growths in the numbers actually employed. That is only partly true, however.
Yes indeed new jobs have become available, but there are very important and serious questions surrounding the nature and type of these jobs. Many, the majority in fact, are not well paid at all and even less are they secure, with the result that more and more people are being exposed to quite casual, highly insecure types of employment. Ones which makes their ability to actually make any kinds of long-term planning virtually impossible because their incomes are so low. So low that they they can neither afford to rent suitable long term rental accommodation let alone get mortgages to purchase ones, and they find themselves trapped in precarious jobs and as a consequence locked into in the netherworld of a virtual day-to-day existence.
That this is permitted to happen both in Northern Ireland as well as in the Republic is not at all surprising, of course.
In both jurisdictions the governments are wholeheartedly and energetically committed to the neo-liberal, pro-capital agenda of big-business interests that causes this precariousness. Whatever little spates and spats may occur from time to time between some of their individual ministers, it never deters them from their dedication to furthering the interests of capitalism; as always that remains undiminished.
That two such right wing, pro-capital governments can continue to exist in Ireland of course is disturbing. What should be even more disturbing of course is that so many people allow themselves to be conned so repeatedly by those same conservative parties in election after election, both north and south of the border. And that of course is a major problem that we on the left have to address.
For us in the the Workers’ Party, as well as for our friends and supporters, the fact that we exist is itself both an expression of a determination to both challenge the status quo as well as seeking to radically and irrevocably change it for ever. In fact to overturn it in its entirety is our ambition! But that cannot be done simply by saying it or wishing for it. It needs to be worked at and worked at relentlessly, diligently as well as with passion and commitment. And it is the task we must set for ourselves in the coming year.
Despite what the governments say about growth there is massive unease In Irish society just as there is throughout the entire capitalist world. Ordinary workers and their families are coming under ever increasing pressures simply to maintain an existence themselves, let alone look forward with confidence to what ever future might lie ahead. Indeed for many people there is a very real dread about what that future will actually hold for them. These are very real, very prescient fears and we need to not only respond but also to give clear and unambiguous leadership to all working people at this time.
Whatever the two right wing governments may say, for all their cant about ‘new opportunities’ and back to growth, the underlying realities are starkly different and that silent majority of people who are suffering as a consequence must be convinced that we as a Party do represent a real and meaningful way to help end their misery, that the Workers’ Party will lead them to a new and better life, one that goes well beyond mere existence itself and that gives them meaning and hope.That is the task we must set ourselves for the incoming year and beyond. We must then re-double our efforts and work within and among all working class communities. We must seek ways to urgently mobilise them in highly organised, disciplined campaigns of not just mere resistance but positive ones demanding real and meaningful change. We must give leadership where it currently is lacking or ineffective, and we must do it now.
Whatever our reflections then on the year gone by, it should at least remind us of the urgency, the necessity of that task that faces us. If there is one clear lesson we can draw from the history of resistance to exploitation and oppression it is this-change will only happen when we seek to make it happen. That, then, is the task we must set ourselves to the coming year.
New Year message from Martin McGuinness
Real leadership needed to deal with challenges of 2017 – Martin McGuinness
Sinn Féin MLA Martin McGuinness has said there is a need for real leadership if confidence is to be restored in the political institutions in 2017.
Mr McGuinness said;
“Over the course of the last year we have marked many milestones on our path to a new Ireland, an agreed Ireland. Most notably we celebrated the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising and did so with great pride, dignity and respect.
“This sets the standard for our approach to involvement in the remainder of this decade of centenaries in which the national and democratic character and mandate of the 1918 general election is a keystone of our politics.
“Sinn Féin representatives also acknowledged and demonstrated respect for those thousands of people from both the unionist and nationalist traditions who lost their lives in the 1914-’18 war.
“We also had major elections across the island in which we saw the continued growth of Sinn Féin as we continue to work to realise the vision of the Proclamation.
“We also saw the outworking of the British government’s referendum on the European Union and the potentially very damaging consequences for the entire island of Ireland.
“Sinn Féin has made it repeatedly clear that the vote of the majority of people in the North to remain in the EU should be respected and that we are committed to securing designated special status for the north within the EU.
“There is also no doubt that we are facing a serious growing political crisis in the North as public confidence in the political institutions has been grievously undermined by the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) debacle and the DUP’s failure to deal responsibly and adequately with it.
“In order to address these challenges the DUP and its leader Arlene Foster need to accept there is an overwhelming desire in the community to deal with this issue and for Arlene Foster to step aside as First Minister pending a preliminary report.
“That would allow for an independent investigation to take place, which is transparent, robust, time-framed and led by an independent judicial figure from outside this jurisdiction appointed by the Attorney General. A rigorous process to recoup as much of the money as possible must also be put in place.
“We need to restore public confidence in the credibility of the political institutions, ensuring they deliver for the people.
“This means giving substance to what citizens, north and south, endorsed in referendums almost 20 years ago and in the Good Friday Agreement which both the Irish and British governments have the responsibility to see implemented.
“This is set out in international treaty; that is equality of treatment, parity of esteem and mutual respect.
“Political and civic leaders in the north must play their part in this. My leadership on this is well documented and is a matter of public record.
“There needs to be respect for all political allegiances and traditions on this island, for all narratives. The Irish language, Irish identity, culture and aspiration are as valid as any other and need to be respected as such.
“The political principles agreed to this end and the political infrastructure created to bring this about are not being used for these purposes. This must change. Our society should have no fear of equality, reconciliation and peaceful co-existence.
“On the contrary most people desire it, require it.
“That will require mature leadership from political unionism because we alone cannot deliver reconciliation.
“There is also an onus on the British government to step up to the plate on the vexed issue of dealing with the legacy of the past.
“They are currently holding up legacy inquests, denying justice to victims and their families in the process.
“The British government must implement the legacy mechanisms agreed at Stormont House and release the funds requested by the Lord Chief Justice for legacy inquests.
“The Irish government must hold the British government to account on its failure to implement its agreements on legacy.
“2017 will no doubt be a year of challenges and there is a clear need for real leadership if public confidence is to be restored in the political institutions in the days and weeks ahead.
“I would like to wish everyone a happy, safe and peaceful New Year.”
From Éirígí (thanks to Enzo for finding this).
Éirígí New Year Statement 2017
On the first day of 2017 Éirígí sends New Year greetings and solidarity to our members and supporters across Ireland and beyond. Throughout the centenary year of the 1916 Rising our activists worked within their communities to challenge injustice and inequality. From Galway to Dublin and Wexford to Belfast we honoured our patriot dead by continuing the struggle for an all-Ireland Republic that will put the interests of the many ahead of the greed of the few.
In a change from previous year’s, this New Year’s statement will focus on a single issue – namely the privatisation and commodification of housing and the devastating impact that this is having on our people, the economy and the environment.
While there are some differences in relation to housing in the Six and Twenty-Six County states, both jurisdictions are now in the grip of a full-blown crisis that is denying millions of citizen’s access to secure, affordable, suitable homes.
Contrary to the propaganda of the political establishment, the housing crisis has not happened by accident or because of factors beyond the control of those who masquerade as Ireland’s political leaders. In truth, the housing crisis has occurred as a direct result of the deliberate, calculated housing policies of those same ‘leaders’ and successive administrations in Leinster House, Stormont and Westminster.
Homelessness, evictions, substandard housing, over-crowded accommodation, spiraling personal and public indebtedness, ghost estates, rack-renting and extortionate mortgages are just some of the symptoms of the underlying disease of privatised, commodified housing. Until the underlying disease of commodified housing is eliminated we will all continue to suffer from the myriad of symptoms that stem from it.
The state-sponsored exponential growth of the private rental sector over the last decade has resulted in a dramatic escalation in rents and subsequent homelessness. The private rental market now functions as a giant wealth conduit – transferring wealth from those who are income and asset poor to those who are already income and asset rich. This transfer of billions of Euro from the poor to a new landlord class is daily increasing wealth inequality in Irish society, a scenario which is intolerable to all right-thinking people.
Éirígí asserts that all citizens are entitled to secure, affordable and suitable housing as a fundamental right and not as a privilege of birth or wealth. In this regard the Right to Housing must be considered on a par with the Right to Healthcare and the Right to Education. We further assert that it is the primary duty of the state to directly provide all citizens with universal access to high-quality housing, healthcare and education.
Privatised and commodified housing has ended in disaster for everyone except the land speculators, bankers, developers, estate agents, legal professionals, corporate media and other assorted parasitic vested interests that have attached themselves to the provision of privatised housing.
Unfortunately, there is no immediate or short-term solution to a housing crisis that has been centuries in the making. It is also clear that the vested interests that have grown fat off the poverty of others will fanatically resist any attempt to transform the Right to Housing from a slogan into a legally enforceable Right. But these realities cannot be allowed to block the march of progress. The tyrannical reign of the private banker and landlord can, and will, be ended. To fail to do so, is to condemn future generations to lifetimes of inequality, insecurity, rack-renting and mortgage-slavery.
We believe that any campaign to secure the Right to Housing must be built upon the core demand for the state to directly provide ALL citizens with secure, affordable, high-quality, suitable housing. The state has the land, finances, legal powers, expertise and other resources to build and procure housing on a scale that can deliver such Public Housing For All. The one component that is lacking is political will.
Over the coming twelve months and the years that follow, Éirígí is committed to working with others in building a long-term, sustained housing campaign that will deliver the necessary political will to provide all citizens with a secure, affordable and suitable place to call home. In the past year, we have shown that commitment with the launch of our Public Housing For All campaign and our support for local housing campaigns and the #ApolloHouse occupation.
The battle for housing justice, whilst critically important, must of course be seen in the context of the wider struggle for national, economic, social and cultural freedom.
James Connolly once declared that, “The Irish Republic must be made a word to conjure with – a rallying point for the disaffected, a haven for the oppressed, a point of departure for the socialist, enthusiastic in the cause of human freedom.”
As 2017 dawns, we in Éirígí re-state our commitment to Connolly’s vision of a socialist Ireland where the people are sovereign and free from the interference of London, Brussels and Washington.
An Ireland where the resources of the land and labour of the people are used for the collective good.
An Ireland where all citizens are treated as equal before the Republic, regardless of their gender, skin colour, sexual preference, religion or other false division.
An Ireland where all citizens are guaranteed access to high-quality housing, healthcare and education.
In the words of the 1916 Proclamation we advance in ‘full confidence of victory’ and invite our fellow citizens to join with us as we help build a wave of people power that will smash the corruption, greed, cronyism and incompetence that defines the political establishment. Bígí linn.