Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

The Way Forward

First Published: Class Struggle, November 1982
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Sam Richards and Paul Saba
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During the conference the most important debate was around the question of solidarity with the chosen leadership of the Irish people the Irish Republican Movement. The RCL statement to the conference gives clear reasons why the RCL takes such a stand. The RCL believes that the Irish Solidarity Committees should unconditionally support the actually existing Republican Movement, and not just the ’Irish people’ in abstract.

At the same time the RCL made it clear during the debate that it strongly supported the need to build a broader movement based on the slogans put forward by the Albany prisoners:
Complete British Withdrawal from Ireland!
Self-Determination for the Irish People!
The Right of Repatriation for All POWs!

There are many who support these slogans, but who do not have a thorough going anti-imperialist stand. The RCL has declared its willingness to work with all forces who support these slogans in a broad campaign. We do not intend to make any demands on those forces within such a broader campaign beyond these slogans, either in terms of the areas in which they struggle for support for the slogans. But we do recognise that such a movement must have an anti-imperialist organisation within it with solid principles. The task of the ISCs within such a movement is to constantly raise the anti-imperialist consciousness of members of a broad movement, to prevent any collapse into opportunism and to ensure through their work that the solidarity campaign is carried through vigorously among the most oppressed. At a time then, when we seek to work with broader forces, it is vital to strengthen our own principled position, and to guard against liberalism in the conscious anti-imperialist organisation.

At the same time such a position demands that when the Republican Movement makes a call for any particular campaign, the ISCs fully support that call and do not go their own way.

This principled position of the RCL was voted down at the conference. In the next issue of ’Class Struggle’ we will publish a more detailed argument of the RCL’s position and reply to the arguments put by the platform and the Revolutionary Communist Group. Such a debate cannot be decided by a short session at the end of a conference, and the arguments over the way forward for the movement, will continue alongside the Solidarity activities carried out by the movement.