What is éirígí?
éirígí is an Irish, socialist republican, political party committed to ending the British occupation of the Six Counties and the establishment of a thirty-two county Irish Democratic Socialist Republic.
What does the word “éirígí” mean?
éirígí is an Irish word. The closest English language interpretations are “rise up” and “arise”.
When was éirígí founded?
éirígí was founded as a Dublin-based socialist republican campaigns group in April 2006, coinciding with the ninetieth anniversary of the 1916 Rising. Over the course of the following year the organisation expanded across Ireland. In May 2007, at its first Ard-Fheis, the membership of éirígí voted to unanimously adopt ‘Bunreacht éirígí’ (éirígí constitution) which declared éirígí to be a political party.
What is the éirígí emblem and what does it represent?
éirígí has adopted a green star as its emblem. The green star incorporates both the national colour of Ireland in the colour green and the international symbol of socialist struggle in the star. This symbol reflects éirígí’s analysis that the national and the social struggles in Ireland are inter-related and inseparable. The full national colours of Ireland are achieved when the green star is combined with the word éirígí in the colour orange set onto a white background.
Why socialist republican?
éirígí believes that poverty, exclusion and conflict, both in Ireland and internationally, are caused primarily by the joint system of capitalism and imperialism. This system, which is based upon the exploitation of the majority by a minority, will never allow the bulk of humanity to fulfil its potential. It is only by replacing this system with one based upon co-operation rather than exploitation that true human freedom can be achieved. A Democratic Socialist Republic would be such a system.
In the Irish context the continuing British occupation of a part of the national territory is a clear manifestation of modern imperialism. éirígí views the ending of this occupation as integral to the establishment of an Irish Democratic Socialist Republic.
Why is éirígí so committed to political campaigns?
éirígí believes that electoral and parliamentary politics alone cannot deliver the type of change required in Irish society. The lessons of history indicate that the transformation from a capitalist to a socialist system cannot be achieved without the active support and participation of the mass of the people. Campaigns have the potential to empower, politicise and mobilise the people, who alone can provide the dynamic for such a transformation. Through campaigning on political, social, economic and cultural issues, éirígí aims to contribute to that dynamic.
Why was éirígí formed?
éirígí was formed during the ninetieth anniversary year of the 1916 Rising. éirígí asserts that the vision of the women and men who took part in that historic event has yet to be realised. Ireland remains artificially partitioned with each state’s respective establishments having created an Ireland that fosters inequality, material greed and exploitation rather than an Ireland that cherishes all the children of the nation equally.
In acknowledging this reality and believing that a Democratic Socialist Republic is both necessary and achievable, those who founded éirígí were guided by the words of Fintan Lalor when he implored that “somewhere and somehow, and by somebody, a beginning must be made”.
Does éirígí work with other groups?
We in éirígí believe that an Irish Democratic Socialist Republic can only be established and sustained through the collective action of a progressive social movement incorporating local communities, organised labour, cultural organisations, campaigns groups, individuals and political parties. The very diversity of such a coalition will be its strength. We in éirígí will be part of such a coalition, working on shared projects with other progressive individuals and groups in Ireland.
This co-operation and outreach to other progressive forces cannot be restricted to the island of Ireland. The fight against capitalism and imperialism is by necessity a global one. The emergent global justice movement represents a real and growing bulwark to oppression and exploitation throughout the world. éirígí believes that it is from within this movement that a new and truly progressive era of international co-operation and solidarity will emerge.
What is éirígí’s view of the Good Friday and St Andrews Treaties?
In 2007 the membership of éirígí adopted the policy paper ‘Imperialism, Ireland and Britain’. Within that document éirígí’s view of imperialism in both the national and international contexts is explained. With regard to the Good Friday and St Andrew’s Treaties it states that éirígí is “convinced that these two most recent treaties are considerably more likely to solidify British rule in Ireland than they are to end it.” The full text of ‘Imperialism, Ireland and Britain’ can be viewed here.
Does éirígí contest elections?
At its 2009 Ard Fheis the membership of éirígí adopted a policy paper which contained éirígí’s analysis of liberal democracy, elections and elected institutions. Within that paper it states that “éirígí believes it is possible for a revolutionary party to move closer to its objectives by tactically contesting elections and tactically participating in specified elected institutions.
“Such a tactical approach will provide a major additional platform for éirígí to challenge and expose the status quo while representing the interests of working people and promoting a socialist alternative.
“Any éirígí engagement will be on the basis of a clear understanding that the existing elected institutions must ultimately fall before a new, genuinely democratic system can emerge. The primary purpose of éirígí tactically participating in elections and elected institutions will therefore be to expose the limits of the current system and give voice to those whose interests lie in direct contradiction to the capitalist system.”
The full text of ‘Elections, Elected Institutions and Ireland’s Revolutionary Struggle’ can be viewed here.
How can I support éirígí?
Support for éirígí can take many forms including the distribution of leaflets, erecting posters, organising protests, fundraising and a wide range of other activities. If you are interested in supporting éirígí please email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone (00353) (0)86 236 7298.
How can I join éirígí?
Membership of éirígí is open to anyone, over the age of 16, who supports the principles of Irish socialist republicanism. éirígí believes in “bottom-up” social transformation where a participative democracy shapes the Ireland of the future. This ethos is reflected within the organisational model adopted by éirígí which sees the entire membership partaking in the decision making process. In addition to working on political campaigns members are encouraged to increase their own political development through debate and discussion. If you are interested in joining éirígí or have any questions about membership e-mail email@example.com or phone 086 236 7298.