Ireland: What does the RISE and People Before Profit merger represent?

Militant Left - the newspaper of Marxists in Ireland

The recent Revolutionary Internationalist Socialist and Environmentalist (RISE) and People Before Profit (PBP) merger in Ireland attracted media attention. People Before Profit now has four TDs [members of Dail – the Irish parliament], one Member of the Legislative Assembly at Stormont Buildings, Belfast, and eleven councillors, concentrated mainly in Dublin and Belfast. This places People Before Profit as the highest-profile Left formation in Ireland.

Given this, a section of youth, the working class and middle class will ask if PBP is the way forward to building the Left. This is in the context of many commentators predicting that Sinn Fein will emerge as the largest party in the next general elections, and People Before Profit’s call on Sinn Fein to form a ‘Left government’.

These are important issues for socialists to discuss. For Militant Left (CWI Ireland), the need to build a new mass party of the working class with strong roots in the working class and a socialist programme with the aim of fundamentally changing society is an urgent task. The need for such a party of the working class – one that is prepared to struggle for socialist change – is posed ever more urgently as immense class battles loom coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the course of developments towards the creation of a viable party of the working class, Militant Left will continue to work with others on the Left, including PBP activists, as well as with working class militants and youth activists on various issues. There can be many campaigns, collaborations and alliances on the Left and wider afield, involving community, trade union, student, anti-racist and environmental and other activists. Militant Left will aim to engage in these processes, always calling for fully democratic decision making, while openly presenting our ideas and programme.

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April 2021