Boycott Westminster- Resist British Rule!

In an August 1969 Statement, right at the beginning of the ongoing phase of the fight for National Liberation, the leadership of the Republican Movement asserted that, ‘There is no salvation for the six counties… through Westminster. Strengthening Britian’s hold on the north is not the way to a Free, United Ireland.’

With this simple sentence, the Republican movement was reasserting a basic Republican principle that began with the foundation of the United Irishmen, that the British Government has no right to interfere in Ireland and that Westminster has no right to legislate for or claim sovereignty over any part of Ireland. This position was further developed by the Republican Leader Thomas Davis of the Young Ireland movement in the 1840s when he stated that in order to undermine British Rule Irish Republicans and Nationalists elected to Westminster should abstain from taking their seats in the foreign parliament.

Abstentionism from Westminster then became a tactic used by Republicans right down until the General Election of 1918, when the elected Republican Tds, refused to take seats in Westminster and instead established the Revolutionary Dáil Éireann in Dublin on January 21 1919, as the democratically elected Government and only legitimate parliament of the All-Ireland Republic, Proclaimed in Arms in 1916. With the violent suppression of the Republic in 1923 abstentionism has remained a core Republican Principle not alone from Westminster, but also from its puppet parliaments at Leinster House and Stormont.

Even today, Provisional Sinn Fein, at least in name abstain from taking their seats at Westminster. However their administration of British Rule from the colonial parliament and Stormont and their decades of cosying up to British imperialism in Ireland makes a joke of their nominal abstention.

Anti Imperialist Action Ireland assert that Republicans today should develop the principle of abstention further, by developing a complete and active boycott of Westminster and all election to that foreign Imperialist body. Such a boycott is a very practical way for Republicans across the Occupied 6 Counties to Resist British Rule.

The lower the turn out in Occupied Ireland in in the Westminster Election on July 4th, the more British Rule in our country is delegitimised. It is a simple, passive form of resistance that anyone can take part in without leaving their own home.

Building a campaign of Boycott of Imperialist Elections in Ireland over the next few years to the point were turnout goes below 50% would be a massive statement and a major blow against British Imperialism and the Occupation of Ireland. The passive boycott can then be turned into active resistance through the development of alternative Republican power structures to replace the British one.

There is no reason for any Republican to vote in the Westminster Election. On July 4 stay home, don’t vote and do your part to undermine British Rule in Ireland. Take a stand. Boycott Westminster and Resist British Rule!

‘Believing that the British Government has no right in Ireland, never had any right in Ireland, and never can have any right in Ireland, the presence, in any one generation of Irishmen, of even a respectable minority, ready to die to affirm that truth, makes that Government for ever a usurpation and a crime against human progress.’- James Connolly

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