There is only a matter of hours left in which northern nationalists and republicans can act directly and peacefully to improve their lot.
Years may pass before another such opportunity arises.
`Every vote counts' is a phrase which is bandied around every election, but never and nowhere has it been truer than in the North of Ireland today.
It is certain that only a handful of votes and transfers will make the difference in the bragging rights in the North of Ireland for the next number of years. It could make the difference between a renewed peace process, years of stalemate, or a return to conflict.
This is not a time for idleness, either watching soccer or waiting on sovereignty, while Ireland's destiny is drawn.
A prominent group of Republican dissidents recently bemoaned a perceived shortage of socialist candidates in this election. But it is important to note, despite their tranditional objections to `a partitionist assembly', that there was no call for a boycott of this Assembly poll.
Sinn Fein, if it is returned as the dominant nationalist party, will have largely achieved the electoral goal it set for itself in the aftermath of Bobby Sands' famous election victory in 1981.
The success of the party's political project, if translated into genuine political progress towards unity, would not only remove the conditions for conflict, but could render them obsolete.
Inevitably, unionists will seek to prevent this. The British and Irish governments face some difficult choices next month, and will surely and finally need to face down unionist dysfunction and intransigence.
But after thirty years of armed struggle, there is an opportunity fo the Republican Movement to win tangible return on its sacrifice. This is no time to stand idly by.