The Socialist Republican Organisation, Anti Imperialist Action Ireland is calling on all Republicans to oppose the designation of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon as a ‘UK City of Culture’.
Speaking from Armagh, a spokesperson for the group said, ‘Armagh is not part of the UK. Armagh remains one of the 6 counties that form part of British Occupied Ireland, and the City of Armagh, Bandbridge and Craigavon is an Irish city under illegal occupation by British imperialism. Moves to designate the city a ‘UK City of Culture’ are part of a wider British Imperialist strategy to present the ongoing illegal occupation of Ireland as Normal, and must be rigorously opposed by all Republicans.’
The spokesman continued, ‘There is much to celebrate in the culture of Armagh, but the ongoing British Occupation is not one of them. Armagh and her people have a proud culture of resistance against imperialism and moves to designate the city with a British title are deeply insulting to all those who have given their lives for the All Ireland Republic. The spirit of resistance in Armagh stretches back to the stories of Cú Chulainn, to the city’s position as the last resting place of Brian Boru, the High King of All Ireland who defeated an earlier wave of foreign colonists, down to today and the ongoing Republican Resistance to British Imperialism. The move to designate Armagh as a ‘UK city of Culture’ is an attempt to whitewash the centuries of history recognising Ireland as a sovereign, independent nation and instead present the British Governments illegal claim as legitimate. It cannot go unopposed.
The spokesperson concluded, ‘Britain’s attempts to normalise its illegal occupation are intensifing and Armagh is become a frontline battleground in this struggle. Moves to award the city with a British title must be viewed in context with the move to bring the Queen of England to Armagh later this month for an event organised by British imperialism to celebrate the patriot of Ireland 100 years ago. These events are not isolated from each other and must be viewed as part of the wider British Strategy for normalisation.
Anti Imperialist Action Ireland calls on all Republican organisations and individuals in Armagh to take action now to oppose Britain’s strategy of Normalisation. By working together to oppose this designation, Republicans can demonstrate that Armagh is an Irish City and the British Occupation is abs always will remain an unwelcome hostile presence in our country.’