Provisional Sinn Féin, Special Courts and Counter Revolution

The decision by Provisional Sinn Féin to endorse the use of Special non-jury Courts by the Free State administration this weekend came as no surprise to Revolutionary Socialist Republicans, not least because PSF have endorsed Britain’s non-jury Diplock courts in occupied Ireland for many years and have enthusiastically administered that statelet on behalf of British Imperialism.

Far from being viewed as some new break with Republican Principle, which Sinn Féin dropped any pretense of upholding a long time ago, the move to endorse the Free State’s Special Courts should be viewed as Mary Lou McDonald sending a very clear message to her bedfellows in the Garrison Class, that the party she leads is very much a part of their club, that they are ready to take counter revolutionary state power in the Free State, and that far from rocking the boat will continue with the status quo and will continue to actively suppress the People’s Republic Proclaimed in 1916.

The move was a carefully choreographed declaration that just like Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil, and the Stickies before them, the Provisional Movement have long since turned there back on the Republic, have accepted the presence of imperialism in Ireland and are making clear beyond any shadow of a doubt that PSF want a larger slice of the cake and are no threat to the Garrison Class or Free State Counter Revolution.

Special Courts in Ireland demonstrate more than any other issue that Ireland is not a normal society. Ireland in 2021 remains both a colony and a semi colony of Imperialism, artificially partitioned in two with an ongoing illegal British Military Occupation of the Six Counties, while the Free State completely dominated by British, European and North American Imperialism. The Special non-jury Courts are deemed necessary to ensure that Imperialism and the Garrison Class has the ability to intern those men and women who continue to believe in the Republic of 1916 and the struggle for National Liberation and Socialist Revolution. Provisional Sinn Fein’s move to endorse these courts is a message to both international imperialism and bureaucratic capitalism in Ireland that the party is on their team and endorses not just the Special Courts, but the suppression of Revolutionary Republicanism and any threat to the Occupation and the reactionary puppet statelets in Ireland.

The Special Courts that exist in the Free State, were established under the so-called offenses against the state act to replace the military courts that were being used to try Republicans with a 3 judge non jury court, to give the appearance of normality. The courts are used to silence political dissent, remove opponents of the counter revolution and attempt to demonise and criminalise the Republican struggle. The courts have even been condemned by pro imperialist bodies such as the United Nations and Amnesty International and civil liberties bodies such as the Irish Council for Civil Liberties.

Speaking at the weekend, Mary Lou McDonald, a former member of Fianna Fáil, went further then any other member of the Provisionals to ensure that imperialism and the Garrison Class understood that her party views the Revolutionary Republican Struggle as criminal. Asked by Free State broadcaster RTÉ if she believed that Revolutionary Irish Republicans should be tried in the Special Courts, McDonald explicitly answered yes. Embarrassed by the opposition of the Party’s youth wing, McDonald said she ‘rejected’ their position.

This trajectory of Provisional Sinn Féin has been long in the pipeline and was accurately predicted by the former leader of the Republican Movement, the Revolutionary Irish Republican Ruairí Ó’Bradaigh at Sinn Féin’s special Ard fhéis on the issue of Abstentionism in 1986. Ó’Bradaigh declared ‘where are our revolutionary socialists, how do you expect to build a democratic socialist republic out of Leinster House? How can serious social change come out of Leinster House? How can the fundamental change in property relations come out of Leinster House? No way can it do that. What we are asked to do today is to tip the scales that little bit in favour of parliamentary, constitutional and reformist action.’

The scale has now been fully tipped. Provisional Sinn Féin are a party of the establishment, of the Garrison Class and serve the interests of Imperialism and its ‘law and order in Ireland.

Anti-Imperialist Action Ireland would appeal to the youth who opposed this move and to the many thousands of Republicans that continue to give even tacit support to Provisional Sinn Féin to think again. They are not a Republican Organisation and your support would be far more valued by those who continue the struggle for National Liberation and Socialist Revolution and are working across the country to rebuild a vibrant, militant, Revolutionary Socialist Republican Movement.

Break with the Counter Revolution and Reformism, Return to the Revolution!

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