On Thursday March 24, Socialist Republican activists held a picket in Waterford to stand against Charles Windsor’s visit to Waterford Crystal and the rest of the country. From the protest, the activists sent solidarity to the beginning of Anti-Imperialist Week, declared by revolutionary freedom fighters in India, and to the inspiring protests by the people of Jamaica against the visit of Kate Middleton and William Windsor. These comrades bore these international links with the wider, worldwide anti-imperialist movement in mind during their action.
Following the psychopathic tradition of his family, Charles Windsor served in the British Armed Forces as a young man. At the time, the anti-imperialist struggle in the occupied 6 counties was reaching its heights. It is important to remember how Charles and the rest of the Royal family have treated military service as some sort of boy scouts “coming of age” outing, despite the fact that for many people the military they serve is a tool of oppression which brings a level of misery and death not to be taken lightly.
For example a young man Charles’s swastika-sporting son Harry “came of age” when he machine-gunned people in Afghanistan from a helicopter, taking his deeds as seriously as one would take a boy scouts field trip. As a result, a person from the aforementioned country showed solidarity with the action. This was an opportunity for the activists to reflect on the worldwide reach of the Windsors’ racism and disregard for human life.
Even beyond his military service Charles found other ways to assist in the subjugation of oppressed nations. For example, Charles’s regular visits to the murderous royal family in Saudi Arabia are used to promote arms deals between the genocidal Saudi government and the British BAE arms company. Bombs, warplanes, and missiles sold by British companies to Saudi Arabia are all used in the genocidal bombing campaign which has claimed thousands of civilian lives in Yemen.
And perhaps most damningly of all for the people of Ireland, Charles is the Colonel-in-Chief of the infamous Parachute Regiment, the murderous regiment of the British Army responsible for the murder of 14 unarmed and innocent civilians in the Bloody Sunday Massacre. This dark record of endorsing and assisting mass murder both in Ireland and overseas was most likely unbeknownst to many of the Irish spectators during the visit. Had information such as this not been swept under the rug by the media of the Free State, Charles’s “welcome” would have been far colder.
There were many Redmondites (those in the tradition of John Redmond, who lead thousands of young Irish boys to their deaths during WW1 by recruiting them into the British Army) who came from across the country to watch this “hero”. However most of the crowd went about their business after the first sight of Charles, most likely only stopping by out of either curiousity or ignorance, both fostered by our unashamedly pro-Royal Free State media. Regardless the picket was met with a large amount of sympathy and support from passers by, appreciated by the Socialist Republicans as a reflection of Ireland’s anti-imperialist roots, downtrodden by decades of Free State slander but never broken and ever-present.
Not everyone interested in the picket came with good intentions however. The activists, were harassed by members of Special Branch and surrounded by up to 30 Gardaí. The activists also received a number of visits from the press.
Whenever “Prince” Charles Windsor appeared in view, the Republican activists shouted slogans at him such as “Brits out!”, “Royal parasites out!”, “Royal arms dealers out!”, “Tiocfaidh ár lá!”, or “Solidarity with Yemen!”. As many in the crowd had gathered to see the rich arms dealer desecrate Waterford with his presence, some did not appreciate these slogans. However, whether they block their ears or not, they are not free from the cries of justice which ring out from occupied Ireland to the rubble of Yemeni homes sacrificed to Charles Windsor’s despicable career as a chief arms dealer and symbol of a decaying, inbred, and bloodstained imperialist institution.