Earlier this month, Brian Cowen confirmed that Fianna Fáil and the Green Party are to invite the head of the British state on a state visit to the Twenty-Six Counties. While those who support a visit by the self-styled ‘British Queen’ will attempt to portray it as a routine visit nothing could be further from the truth. There are many reasons to oppose a visit by the British head of state. Here are just some.
The British state continues to commit human rights abuses across the Six Counties. Such abuses include the firing of plastic bullets at unarmed civilians, the use of 28-day detention, the illegal ‘stop and search’ of tens of thousands of people, the suppression of peaceful political protests and the ‘big brother’ style surveillance of the population, including the illegal retention of fingerprints and DNA information on innocent people, including children.
The British state has never held its own forces to account for the murders that they have directly committed in Ireland. What signal would a British state visit send to the families of those people who died at the hands of the British army and the RUC? To those who lost loved ones on Bloody Sunday; to those whose family members died in the Ballymurphy Massacre; to those parents who buried children killed by plastic bullets, what signal does a state visit by Elizabeth Windsor send?
The British state continues to block all attempts to establish the truth about collusion between the British state and the unionist death squads. Such collusion resulted in the deaths of hundreds of people in atrocities that spanned at least four decades. Britain refuses to reveal its role in the Dublin/Monaghan bombings, the murders of solicitors Pat Finucane, Rosemay Nelson and hundreds of other incidents of collusion. What signal would a state visit by the British head of state send to the families of the victims of collusion?
It has been estimated that a visit by the British head of state may cost a minimum of €10 million [£8.2 million]. How can such a massive expenditure be justified by the Dublin government at a time when hospital wards are being closed, class sizes are being increased and social welfare is being cut? It seems the Dublin government would rather spend the people’s money on bank bail outs and royal visits than on public services.
By opposing a British state visit, you stand in support of the struggle for Irish freedom and in solidarity with all of those who have suffered at the hands of Britain's official and unofficial death squads.
The British government recently confirmed that, in 2009, it paid compensation to the families of more then 100 civilians that had been ‘accidentally’ killed by the British military. Remember, this figure is for only one year and only includes the people that Britain admits to killing. We in Ireland know that the British state is never quick to admit to its murders.
How can we in Ireland welcome the commander in chief of such a military? By opposing a Windsor visit you show the people of Afghanistan that you stand with them, not the British military.
People across the globe know that Iraq was invaded for greed and not because it represented a threat. The invasion of Iraq was plain old fashioned imperialism designed to bring the country's vast oil and gas reserves under the control of the private corporations of the rich world.
We in Ireland knew why Iraq was being invaded back in 2003 and we took to the streets in our hundreds of thousands to oppose it. Are we now going to welcome the head of state of one of the countries that spearheaded that invasion? By opposing a Windsor visit you are standing in solidarity with the people of Iraq.
For Human Equality:
In Britain itself, more and more people are beginning to question what purpose an antiquated, sectarian, expensive monarchy and its extended class system serves in the modern world. Republicans across Scotland, England and Wales are now challenging the British caste system on a regular basis – through electoral reform and direct challenges to the monarchy.
Since the time of Wolfe Tone, the people of Ireland have overwhelmingly embraced the core values of republicanism – equality, liberty and fraternity. To welcome Elizabeth Windsor would fly in the face of that proud history.
By opposing a Windsor visit you send a message of solidarity to all of those who oppose the idea of inherited wealth, privilege and class across the world, but most particularly in Scotland, England and Wales.
What You Can Do:
Log onto www.eirigi.org for details of upcoming protest and campaign updates. Together we can stop the Windsor visit!
Different Name, Same Aim
Campaign for British withdrawal
We Only Want the Earth!
No British Royal Visits!
Workers in Struggle
Britain's Day of Shame
Reclaim The Republic
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