Statement by the Communist Party of Ireland 28 February 2021
The scenes in Dublin city centre yesterday [Saturday 27 February] should come as no surprise to anyone. The reactions to the violence of the state were as could be expected, as were the weasel words of condemnation by establishment politicians.
Working people are frustrated with their everyday lived experience, their shattered and unfulfilled dreams. The covid pandemic has only brought that frustration out into the open, with the pain and anger that lie beneath.
Yes, people are frustrated by quarantines and restrictions. But the answer does not lie in the politics of reaction, or with those who peddle hate and division, nor with the demigods of the right who are exploiting those genuine fears and frustrations.
We need to respect each other and to protect each other from this pandemic, not because the establishment tells us but because we need to do it in our own interests.
We have suffered decades of “austerity,” low wages, precarious work, overcrowding, growing waiting-lists for public housing, extortionate rents, and the two-tier health system—one the crumbling public health system, the other the bright, shiny one with no queues, the private one.
Working people have listened to the endless droning of the television and radio pundits promising bread tomorrow while our lives are filled with broken promises by the establishment political parties and the failed institutions that control our lives. They hear the same establishment voices and slick PR spin that tomorrow will be better, that the interests of working people will soon be dealt with but that there are “other priorities” at the moment. But they know this tomorrow never comes—just the same old same old.
Yesterday’s events are the result of that bitter legacy, which can only produce bitter fruit.
The solution to the many problems facing working people lies in their own hands. It is the economic and political system that imposes itself upon us that is at the core of all our problems, from Derry to Kerry: the system of capitalism and imperialist domination and exploitation, a system geared to grind out ever-increasing profits and grind down those who make those profits: workers.
The answer lies in radical economic and political change, with investment in public housing, public health, public schools. Investment in real jobs with decent pay and working conditions, constitutionally guaranteed, is the priority of society and a people’s government.
Working people should not be led down a barren cul-de-sac by false promises from cynical right-wing forces, who are offering nothing beyond this tired, corrupt and unreformable system.
Your anger is just, but your target should be the system, not people with a different skin colour, or who come from some other country.
We wear our masks to protect each other. We trust vaccinations because we know that they have saved tens of millions of lives and eliminated dreadful diseases all over the globe.
Yes, we should be wary of corporate-controlled science and medicine, but not science and medicine per se.
Tomorrow will not change unless we make it happen together, a radical, fundamental change. The Communist Party of Ireland is fighting for such a change.