On 13 October, the Wexford Cumann of the Connolly Youth Movement organised and attended a solidarity march for Palestine with the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign at Wexford Bridge. The demonstration was to show support for the unified Palestinian resistance against apartheid and the attempted ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in the Gaza strip.
We had a very large turn out of many different backgrounds from all ages and political orientation, including members of Wexford Sinn Fein, but all with a unanimous message.
At the event, we supplied signs and placards to the protesters reading, “Saoirse Don Phailistín” and “Resistance is a right.” We also brought along flags of solidarity including the Starry Plough and Tri-Colour, demonstrating Irish solidarity to the Palestinian struggle and to separate the flag from the stance of the Irish ruling class.
We received many honks of support from drivers with our signs, chants, and the IPSC’s large banners saying “Free Palestine from Apartheid.” Along side our flags and signs, a comrade from the Wexford cumann brought forth the message that:
“Europe is once again haunted by warmongering, it is once again haunted by aspirations of annihilation and genocide, now with the new attack on Gaza on the 7th of October, the Israeli regime are not even hiding their intentions, the genocide and annihilation of the Palestinian race.”
He further added the relation that the ruling class of London, Washington aswell as Dublin all share with Israel and their need to support or ignore acts of genocide committed against Palestinians. The Irish government have taken the same stance as every other EU nation of blaming Palestinians for daring to resist their oppressors, while taking the safe position of supporting a “two state solution”.
What makes it a safe position is the fact that it is a non-position that isn’t held by either the Israelis or Palestinians, but which allows the Irish Government to simultaneously not take sides while also supporting Israeli apartheid. It is for this reason that Irish solidarity for Palestine must follow with an out right opposition with the government’s policy on genocidal apartheid.
This point leads on to Sinn Féin’s position in all of this and the juxtaposition between the position of its grassroots membership that you would find in your towns, villages, communities etc, and the Sinn Féin in an Dáil Éireann.
Mary Lou McDonald in the Dáil has outright condemned the Palestinian resistance and has also taken the non-stance of supporting a “two state solution.” It’s difficult to believe the lifeless Sinn Féin I see in the Dail and the very passionate Sinn Féin I saw at the demonstration are the same organisation.
The grassroots Sinn Féin were completely no nonsense around referring to the situation in Gaza as a genocide and in calling Netanyahu a war criminal. But Sinn Féin already in recent years have expelled Palestinian activists such as Farrah Koutteineh for opposing the “two state solution” and even highlight the blatant contradiction in the party supporting it while also opposing British partition.
This demonstration will lead the way for further organising in the Wexford locality and our presence within it will and has boosted peoples interest in our organisation and abilities. It was a great success for not just for our cumann, but for Wexford as a whole to see so many were present, passionate and interested. Our cumann aims to only further grow from here and our presence both in the community and in organising will go on.
We’ll continue to carry the message, without apology or hesitation, “Saoirse Don Phailistín!”