For generation after generation some Irish people have fought for Irish Independence while others fought for Imperialism. While some gave their allegiance - like the United Irishmen, the Young Irelanders and the Fenians – to the Republic, others supported Home Rule within an Empire and advocated Irish participation in its Battle Groups. This involved taking part in wars throughout the world in places like Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine and the Sudan.
That Irish Imperialist tradition has now been restored as the dominant ideology of the Irish political elite.
Since 1996 the Peace & Neutrality Alliance has opposed its restoration. We were the only alliance that campaigned against the Amsterdam Treaty when 38% of the people voted in favour of Irish Independence.
We played a key role in winning the 1st Nice referendum, which had the effect of ensuring the “triple lock” legislation. We also secured a Declaration in favour of Irish neutrality being added to the treaty, plus the establishment of the National Forum on Europe, all of which helped the government win the 2nd Nice referendum.
Now, the “triple lock” legislation has been emasculated and our neutrality destroyed. Ireland has become an integral part of Bush’s war machine, and the National Forum on Europe little more than an EU elite fan club.
Now, the government seeks the support of the Irish people in the referendum on the renamed EU Constitution (the Lisbon Treaty), which is essentially the same treaty that was rejected by the French and Dutch people. The elite changed its name to ensure there would be no more referendums in any of the other states of the EU because they know that they would be defeated. The only reason Ireland is having a referendum is as a consequence of our struggle for National Independence which ensures we have an Irish Constitution, that includes article 6 that states that all power derives from the people and cannot be transferred from them to the institutions of the emerging European Superstate without their consent. Our Supreme Court made that judgment in favour of the case brought by Raymond Crotty.
In an Irish context, this referendum is just another battle between those of us whobelieve in Irish Independence and those that support a Superstate. But because none of the other peoples of the EU are being allowed to have a referendum it is also a European battle that will be fought on Irish soil. It is a battle between those of us who advocate a Partnership Europe, a Partnership of Independent Democratic States, legal equals, without a military dimension, and those that advocate a European centralised, militarised, neo-liberal superstate, allied to the US and actively engaged in the resource wars of the 21st century. The defeat of the EU/US/NATO axis is the only inevitable outcome.
We seek a NO vote, so a new treaty can be agreed that would include a Protocol along the following line that would exclude us from involvement with or paying for the militarisation of the EU:
“With regard to measures adopted by the Council in the relevant articles, Ireland does not participate in the elaboration an implementation of decisions and actions which have defence implications, but will not prevent the development of closer cooperation between member states in this area. Therefore Ireland shall not participate in their adoption. Ireland shall not contribute to the financing of the operational expenditure arising from such measures.”
In this pamphlet PANA outlines the military dimension of the renamed EU Constitution and would hope you will vote no and join us in advocating Irish Independence, Irish Democracy and Irish Neutrality. It will be held in the year that marks the 90th anniversary of the historic vote in 1918 when the Irish people voted for the Republic. PANA calls upon the people to once again confirm their commitment to that Republic by voting no to this Imperial Charter.
Roger Cole, Chair of PANA
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