2015 was a year of political excitement, optimism and disappointment.
The beginning of 2015 was one of hope, unions made the rallying cry to reject the Stormont House Agreement and defend our class and our public services. As forecast at the time the Union used its power to quash any dissent and alternative voice that opposed the agreement. They attempted to organise in local communities, something completely alien to them and gave hope to those who would suffer at the expense of the Stormont House Agreement. The union done well in organising and rallying the troops for their rally in the Belfast city centre in March (something that they are good at). Despite the war cry on that day the Unions took a back seat, their roar no longer to be heard and our local communities left voiceless yet again, betrayed and demoralised. The false pledge of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions can be found on http://www.ictuni.org/news/2015/03/13/m13-nicictu-statement-for-strike-rallies/
In the summer months we had the killing of Jock Davison, a well respected Republican and community worker, killed in his own community by criminals. Later in the summer Kevin McGuigan was killed resulting in another smokescreen or what the media and politicians term as another ‘crisis’ in Stormont. These latest round of talks that they are usually described as allowed the Stormont parties to plead for more scraps from the occupiers table, the end product being ‘The Fresh Start Agreement’, the Stormont House Agreement Mark 2 and another betrayal of the working class. At a time of austerity, rising unemployment and poverty our politicians yet again chose to line their own pockets in fear that Stormont might fall and hand powers back to the Tories, gone are the days of the Smash Stormont slogans by the constitutionalists. There are no great roars from the toothless tiger of the unions this time, no organising in the local community, there is no rallying of our class!
In a world riddled with conflict and exploitation we recently welcomed Syrian refugees on to Irish shores, I had the privilege of meeting one. We need to continue to stand in solidarity with all oppressed peoples, fight racism and open up our borders to those who are in need.
As we enter 2016 we need to bear in mind those who have betrayed us, these will be the same people who will revise the revolution of 1916 and hijack same. The memory of 1916 does not belong to the political elites for political or capital interests but to the working class who throughout every conflict have fought on the front lines, used as cannon fodder then are threw to the foot notes of history while the elites claim the glory. We hope that 2016 will see the emergence and shift in popular support to new, more radical movements that really strive for the ideals of the men and women who supported, fought and died in the revolution of 1916, one that is disciplined, articulate and driven.
Despite being a bleak year politically it has been one of growth, expansion and development for Belfast Marxist. Belfast Marxist now consists of three writers and our readership has expanded 8 fold from the previous year. Although the bulk of our readership comes from the Western world such as North America, Europe and Australia our blog has been read in over 50 countries worldwide.
In 2016 we plan to continue to develop Belfast Marxist, take on more writers and increase our readership 10 fold on 2015. We will continue to provide a critical voice to the status quo, Marxist analysis, write on a wide variety of areas and to write more frequently. We also hope to expand into the local media in 2016 and we have some new innovative ideas to encourage other amateur Marxist writers to enhance their writing abilities and to write on the things that matter to them.
We hope that when reporting at the end of 2016 that it is a year of success and victory.
To all our readers and comrades we send revolutionary greetings, Go raibh míle maith agaibh!