This Easter marks the ninetieth anniversary of the 1916 rising. There is an unedifying scrabble by every politician in the state to wrap the green flag around themselves and stake their claim to be the inheritors of the tradition.

From Micky McDowell across to Gerry Adams, Bertie Ahern to Enda Kenny, every party, paramilitary and sect are raising the flag.

The 1916 proclamation however if taken to mean anything should surely give them some discomfort.

"The Republic guarantees religious and civil liberty, equal rights and equal oppurtunity to all its citizens......cherishing all children of the nation equally..."

Is this what the state is doing when it deports children and their parents, when the Gardai beat people up at protests and in custody, where people are locked up in jail for defending their communities and homes,when workers lose their jobs to be replaced with cheaper labour, where resources are denied to schools whilst the rich are free to pay no tax, when we live with a two tier health system with overcrowding and waiting lists for the poor and exclusive private clinics for the rich. Does this Republic really provide equal oppurtunity and equal rights or does it depend on your wealth?

"We declare the right of the people of Ireland to the ownership of Ireland..."

Maybe this doesn't include the Corrib gasfield or any other oil or gas field, which the state under practically every government has given away to the multinational oil companies, but you would think it should. Does it include other assets like Coillte which owns 7% or Irelands land and is being prepared for privatisation?

2006 will provide plenty of oppurtunity for many a politician to pose as a great patriot and to seek to bask in some reflected glory, but really none of them represent our interests, the interests of the working class, none of them offer any real hope of a break with the system of exploitation and oppression under which we live. To defeat that system and to build a society that truly cherishes all of its children equally will take a revolution built from below in every workplace, community and town in Ireland.

From Workers Solidarity 91, March/April 2006
PDF file online at