Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Statement by the Executive Committee of the Irish National Liberation Solidarity Front Concerning the Irish Repubican Army and Sinn Fein

First Published: Irish Liberation Press, Vol, 3, No, 1, 1972.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Sam Richards and Paul Saba
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1. The Irish Republican Army and Sinn Fein, both Official and Provisional sections, are part of the struggle against the forces of British imperialism. In regard to this struggle the INLSF will side with the IRA and Sinn Fein.

2. No thorough scientific class analysis of these organizations has been made. However, the role of these organizations and the publicity they are given renders it necessary, even in the absence of a complete analysis of their politics, to say what can be said at this time.

3. What can be deduced from the various publications produced by these organizations is that at leadership level two positions seem to emerge: the leadership of the Officials appear to pursue what can be described as a revisionist line (i.e. they appear to be Marxist, but have revised away the revolutionary essence of Marxism} whilst the leadership of the Provisionals appear to follow a Catholic national socialist line.

4. Within both organizations there appears to exist at rank and file level considerable political confusion and generally a low level of political consciousness which we believe can be (and is being) exploited by the respective leaderships.

5. The honesty, sincerity and courage of the majority in both organizations cannot be questioned. Many genuinely seek the Socialist path. Unfortunately, at this stage of the anti-imperialist struggle there does not yet seem to exist in Ireland a revolutionary socialist leadership or any organization capable of scientifically working out the way forward, giving leadership to the masses, or mobilizing them around a programme that will lead to national liberation, the re-unification of a liberated Ireland, and the setting up of an independent socialist people’s republic. We understand that the coming into being of such an organization of the people is inevitable, a matter of time, and that many of those who are now in the IRA and Sinn Fein will become part of such an organization.

6. Because of the lines dominating both organizations it is impossible for them to give adequate leadership in the fight against British imperialism and domestic reactionaries, although at present they appear to have taken the initiative. Despite the existence of what is clearly a situation that is ripe for the mounting of a massive anti-imperialist campaign – notwithstanding the many difficulties and, complex problems that have to be solved, it appears that the people are not being armed either with revolutionary politics or guns by either of these organizations.

7. Features that appear to characterize the struggle are spontaneity, individualistic acts involving the use of certain types of equipment, that might be described as the small group purely military line, at one end, and at the other an attempt to contain the fight within the reformist confines of ”civil rights”, rather than, as is the real issue, publicly stating that the target is national liberation and that the only weapon that will defeat British imperialism is People’s War, led by a genuine revolutionary Party of the Irish people, having a leadership composed of tried and tested people, integrated with the masses and their problems, based firmly upon and giving leadership to a National United Front of all sections of Irish society which want an end to British imperialist rule of their country.

8. Due to their respective politics these two appear incapable of overcoming the conscious plan of British imperialism to employ religious bigotry to divide and rule the people in north-east occupied Ireland. This problem will indeed take a long time to eradicate and it is not this that causes concern, but that there appears be, and indeed cannot be taking into account the politics that dominate both organizations – no programme of mass work, political education or propaganda in existence capable of giving a lead on this vital question.

9. The people of Ireland are looking for political leadership. It is not being supplied by either section of Sinn Fein or the IRA. In some respects certain actions that have been carried out appear to be anti-social in essence.

10. To sum up, the executive committee of the INSLF will give qualified support to the two groups within Sinn Fein and the IRA when they are involved in struggle with the forces of British imperialism and when they are in any way subjected to repression, such as is the case now with torture, internment and other brutal actions. However, the INLSF recognises the weaknesses inherent in the political positions of the leadership of both organizations and will not opportunistically try to pretend that these weaknesses are not there. The INLSF has of course absolute faith in the Irish people and the justness of their cause and understands that through struggle they will solve their difficulties, throw up genuine revolutionary working class leadership and will liberate their land from the aggressor. In the coming struggle the INLSF will give them the same principled support as in the past.