The Socialist Party is anti-capitalist, socialist organisation that is committed to ending the rule of capitalism on our planet. We are the Irish section of International Socialist Alternative (ISA), which is organised in over 30 countries throughout planet.
Capitalism is a system based on the ruthless drive for profit at our expense- it’s a system is creating unprecedented wealth inequality that the richest 1% receive 82% of the wealth in 2018.
It’s a system that is destroying our planet for profit, since 1988 100 companies have been responsible for 70% of CO2 emissions.
It’s a system where huge profits our made by big business, developers and landlords at our expense, while we get a housing crisis, unaffordable childcare and underfunded public services.
It’s a system that breeds oppression of women and LGBTQ people and fuels racist prejudice.
We need socialist change
The Socialist Party stands for a complete break with this system. We stand for the major companies and financial institutions that dominate our economy to be taken out of the hands of the profiteers, and brought into public ownership, under the democratic control of working-class people. On this basis, we can plan the economy to meet our needs and those of our planet.
We stand for the unity of the working class on this island, Protestant and Catholic, North and South, in the struggle against sectarianism, state repression and the capitalist system. We stand for a socialist Ireland, with no coercion and the rights of all minorities guaranteed, as part of free, equal and voluntary socialist federation of Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales. We oppose the capitalist EU, this is an institution run in the interests of bosses, billionaires and bankers. We stand for a democratic socialist Europe based on the rule of the working class.
A record struggle
In the last ten years the Socialist Party has been to the forefront and have played a leading role in many struggles of workers, women, LGBTQ and young people, in the context of a growing radicalisation in Irish society in opposition to austerity and issues of oppression.
Fighting capitalist austerity
In the first three months of 2012, Socialist Party activists were instrumental in organising opposition to the introduction in building organised resistance and mass non-payment to the introduction of a household tax. This involved organising meetings with other left and community activists throughout the southern Irish state with an aggregate total of 30,000 attending in the first three months of that year and 52% refusing to pay the charge.
From this campaign we initiated the Anti-Austerity Alliance, now Solidarity, with working class activists who fought alongside us in the campaign against the household tax and property tax. Today Solidarity has two TDs, all of whom are Socialist Party members — Ruth Coppinger and Mick Barry. Our members act as tribunes for the working class and the oppressed in the Dáil and use our positions to popularise the ideas of socialism.
Water charges and Jobstown trials
The anti-water charges movement that broke out in opposition to an austerity charge that was brought in in 2014-2015 was an inspiring working class revolt against the ravages of capitalist economic crisis. The Socialist Party was central to helping to popularise and build mass non-payment, a crucial tactic in forcing the abolition of this hated austerity tax.
During the water charges campaign our organisation came under a vicious attack from the capitalist state, media and establishment after our comrades participated in a peaceful sit-down protest against then Tánaiste Joan Burton in the working class community of Jobstown in Dublin. This resulted in three of our members, Paul Murphy TD and our councillors Kieran Mahon and Mick Murphy, alongside other anti-water charges activists, standing trial on bogus charges of “false imprisonment”. The concerted solidarity campaign we and the CWI waged resulted in a working class jury acquitting the protesters.
Abortion Rights Struggle and Victory
In 2012, an explosive movement developed from below demanding abortion rights in Ireland. In response to this movement and the growing radicalisation of women and LBGTQ people generally, the Socialist Party initiated ROSA- the Socialist Feminist Movement to help build the anti-capitalist, left wing, working-class struggle wing of the emerging abortion movement.
ROSA organised several militant public actions to highlight the use of the abortion pill and the fact that notwitstanding a ban on it, abortion was a reality in Ireland. Such actions were crucial to winning the availability of free abortion up to 12 weeks on request, not just the repeal of the eighth amendment, the constitutional ban on abortion, in May 2018.
Fighting women’s oppression
In March 2018, ROSA and our TD Ruth Coppinger organised a protest of 8,000 in Dublin City centre in the aftermath of the acquittal of four prominent Rugby players in the rape trial in Belfast. Similar protests were organised in Belfast, Cork and Limerick.
In November 2018, Ruth Coppinger protested against the culture of victim blaming in the courts system by displaying a thong in the Dáil. This gained widespread media coverage internationally in such media outlets as diverse as the New York Times, the Sydney Morning Herald and Indian national television.
ROSA has helped popularise a socialist feminst programme against the oppression of women and LGBTQ people inherent within the capitalist system.
The Socialist Party has a long history in assisting workers in struggle. In 2004-2005, through the work of our councillor Mick Murphy and TD Joe Higgins, we actively exposed the super-exploitation of Turkish and Kurdish migrant workers who were working for the Turkish multinational GAMA. This resulted in a successful strike of its migrant workforce, the first of its kind in Ireland.
In recent years the Socialist Party and our TDs have been actively supporting and assisting different groups of workers engaged in struggle such as tram drivers (2016), bus drivers (2017) and in 2019 striking paramedics organised in NASRA who are opposing union busting by the management of the Irish public health service.