Irish anarchists say there is no choice

Statement of the Workers Solidarity Movement on the May 22nd Irish referenda

ON MAY 22nd the people of Ireland, North & South will be asked to vote on the 'Good Friday' agreement. There is a great desire for peace which is being used to pressurise us into choosing between two completely flawed alternatives. The agreement, which was drawn up in secret by our so-called 'representatives', does not challenge the sectarian divisions which have bedevilled this country.

In fact the structures proposed in the agreement actually institutionalise sectarian divisions. Politicians elected to the proposed Assembly must declare themselves either 'unionist' or 'nationalist' - those who refuse will not have their votes counted in measuring the cross community support necessary for passing legislation. We are supposed to line up behind Catholic/Green or Protestant/Orange banners and seek the best deal for 'our community'. The concept of working class interests is not even considered.

What the agreement proposes is bringing some nationalist politicians into a power-sharing arrangement with some unionist politicians. The division between rulers and ruled, between bosses and workers, between rich and poor remains. The biggest change will be a few nationalist faces sitting down with bigots like Trimble and Taylor, to make laws which preserve the dominance of the rich over the poor.


The proposed amendments to Articles 2 & 3 of the Southern Constitution mean nothing to us. They were put into De Valera's 1937 constitution to give it a bit of nationalist window dressing while the Southern ruling class made its peace with British imperialism and got on with the business of exploiting the working class. Articles 2 & 3 have never made one whit of difference to the real lives of anyone on this island.

Those urging rejection of the agreement have no alternative to offer, just more of the same conflict that has ruined tens of thousands of working class lives. The republican forces of the 32 County Sovereignty Committee, Republican Sinn Fein (RSF) and Irish Republican Socialist Party (IRSP) have nothing but increased communalism and sectarian tension to offer. The loyalist opponents - whose rallies are attended by vocal supporters of the Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF) death squads - want a return to a time when Catholics lived in fear and on their knees.

In a typically undemocratic manner we are not being allowed to support or oppose the many individual componants of the agreement, we are only allowed to vote for or against the entire complex package. The Workers Solidarity Movement calls for abstention from this referendum. Neither a 'yes' vote nor a 'no' vote will advance the cause of workers unity and socialism.


We do call for the continuation of the IRA and loyalist ceasefires. There must be no going back to the failed 'armed struggle' which gave us nothing except repression, suffering and increased sectarian hatred.

The task of anarchists, socialists and trade unionists is to unite our class in a struggle for working class interests. When working class people begin to ask what kind of country they want to live in, and what kind of country they want their children to grow up in, the politics of anti-imperialism will start making sense to people who up to now have been trapped in green and orange communalism.

Our struggle is for liberty, we are for the removal of the British Troops from Ireland - and the destruction of the sectarian Orange state in the North and the Green conservative state in the South.


We remain committed to a united Irish Workers Republic, run by working class people in their own interests, and democratically controlled through a federated system of workers and community councils. Nobody has the right to wage war on our behalf, working people themselves must discuss the future they want and fight together for that future. Our struggle is for liberty, and no minority can impose liberty on the majority. The emancipation of the working class is the task of the working class itself.

Issued by the Workers Solidarity Movement
P.O. Box 1528,
Dublin 8.