The Return of Connolly
Today, 26th July 2010, marks the one hundredth anniversary of the return to Ireland of James Connolly, activist, revolutionary and one of Irelands most noted socialist thinkers. Connolly, who had spent the previous number of years in America where he was involved in numerous socialist movements and founded the Irish Socialist Federation in New York, returned to Ireland landing in Derry during a time of growing industrial and social unrest.
From the time of his return to his execution by the British in 1916, James Connolly was a leading light in socialist politics in Ireland, being active in trade unionism with the Irish Transport and General Workers Union, involved in the Dublin Lock Out and his organisation of the Irish Citizens Army.
One hundred years on from that momentous day which saw a strengthening of Irish socialist politics, once again, thanks to capitalist greed and the ravages of big business, Ireland finds itself again in the midst of uncertainty, spiraling unemployment and gross class inequalities. Once again the people are crying out for change and that change can only come in the form of socialist politics.
No better commemoration can we have for James Connolly today than to commit to the path of socialist politics and bring about the creation of a new all-Ireland Democratic Socialist Republic based on the principles of sovereignty, democracy, liberty, justice, equality, community and international solidarity.
We the people can make a difference by organising in our communities, in the workplace and on the streets, and by resisting capitalism and imperialism. As James Connolly himself said, “We still believe that the struggle of Ireland for freedom is part of the world-wide upward movement of the toilers of the earth, and we still believe that the emancipation of the working class carries within it the end of all tyranny – national, political and social.”