The rolling out of the red carpet by Sinn Féin to a delegation from the Zionist Likud Party Israel is a symptom of a corrupt political process built on protecting the privileges and power of the few.
Sinn Fein’s so-called ‘anti-imperialist’ credentials were put out in the dustbin the moment they became a firm pillar of the establishment and British rule. Not to mention their role in implementing a brutal austerity agenda that has inflicted devastation and misery in working class communities.
While the Sinn Féin leadership was busy wining and dining with the forces of Zionism under the guise of ‘peace-building’ and ‘critical engagement’, hundreds of Palestinians were embarking on a hunger strike to the death to protest prison conditions and administrative detention - the system by which Palestinians are unlawfully and wrongly held without trial.
To those of you who protested against the rolling out of the red carpet to war criminal George Bush at Hillsborough by our local political class in 2003, these latest secret meetings will come as no surprise from a party bankrolled from Irish-American gangster capitalists from Wall Street.
While many shades of republicanism will look upon these latest meetings coming after the rolling out of the red carpet to the Royal family as merely an act of ‘betrayal’ and ‘failure of leadership’, for us anarchists we see things a bit different.
Similar to being told that ‘we would put manners on the police’, a force that is still controlled and directed by MI5, the Provisional movement are now part of the problem and a victim of their own success.
The result of embarking along the cul-de-sac of electoralism as the infamous anarchist Alexander Berkman warned nearly a century ago:
With growing success in elections and securing political power they turn more and more conservative and content with existing conditions. Removal from the life and suffering of the working class, living in the atmosphere of the bourgeoisie . . . they have become what they call 'practical'. . . Power and position have gradually stifled their conscience and they have not the strength and honesty to swim against the current. They have become the strongest bulwark of capitalism.
Secondly, the present leadership did not emerge from a vacuum, but from a top-down movement built on democratic centralism, minimizing discussion and silencing dissent. Parliamentary reformism has resulted in a cycle of compromise, disillusionment and powerlessness in which Provisionalism is now an integrated component of the state apparatus serving to pacify and co-opt any radical opposition. The hallmarks of a successful British counter-insurgency strategy that has been employed during its various colonial projects from Malay in the 1950s to Kenya and the North of Ireland.
In the words of Mikhail Bakunin:
Men who were once the reddest democrats, the most vociferous radicals, once in power become the most moderate conservatives. Such turnabouts are usually, and mistakenly, regarded as a kind of treason. Their principle cause is the inevitable change of position and perspective.
Unlike the Shinners, the Green Brigade headed the call from the BDS movement and proudly waved Palestinian flags at Celtic Park - despite warnings from the police - challenged the Zionist normalization agenda in highlighting the Palestinian struggle for independence more than any handshakes and secret ‘critical engagement’ meetings with the sponsors of occupation will ever do.
What is clear that it’s the same forces of oppression and domination, stemming from the same corrupt system that enslaves the Palestinians, to imposing a neo-liberal agenda in the North, to denying a woman’s right to choose, to destroying our planet in the interests of the few.
While thousands recently marched to commemorate the 1981 Hunger strikers, it is worth reflecting on the words from Bobby Sand’s prison diary that have been conveniently sidelined and ignored:
Total equality and fraternity can't, and never will be, gained whilst these parasites dominate and rule the lives of a nation. There is no equality in a society that stands upon the economic and political bog of only the strongest make it good or survive. Compare the lives, comforts, habits, wealth of all those political conmen (who are allegedly are concerned for us, the people) with that of the wretchedly deprived and oppressed.