Derry bomb desecrates October 5th

By Eamonn McCann

It was totally inappropriate that there should be a bombing in Derry on October 5th.

This was the date when the civil rights movement first brought masses onto the streets to oppose injustice. That’s a valuable legacy to look back to. Planting a bomb at Da Vinci’s under cover of darkness is the exact opposite.

The Real IRA give the same justification for their campaign as the Provisional IRA did for 30 years. But a strategy based on shooting and bombing was a distortion of the legacy of October 5th when it was the Provos who were carrying it out, and it’s still totally wrong.

Those who try to argue that paramilitary violence was justified up to the moment when they themselves ceased doing it are confusing the issue. Condemnation of the Real IRA on that basis is unconvincing.

Some people, particularly young people, left behind by the peace process may look to the Real IRA for a way forward. They should look elsewhere. Members of the Real IRA should themselves seek another road. No matter what the “success” of this or that action, they will achieve nothing but misery and death - and at the end of it, another “sell-out”.

The reason the Provos didn’t win the British withdrawal they fought and killed and died for was not that they abandoned the fight but that the fight was politically unwinnable. To set out to react the same scenario on the basis of the same Nationalist policies is plain stupid.

Many people in our society have a right to feel angry. And they rightly resent being told to calm down and “move on”. But, now more than ever, the way to carry the fight forward is for working class people to come together and have it out with the Tories North and South and the establishment parties which play-act at opposing the attacks on our rights and interests.

The first step for anyone wanting to keep on fighting injustice is to give up this futile strategy and get back to the ideas of the first October 5th.

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