The following speech, by Sinn Féin's Gerry Adams, was made to the 2015 National Hunger Strike march and rally in Dundalk.
The election in 1981 of Irish republicans on hunger strike, to the British parliament and Irish Dáil, proved to the world, beyond doubt, that the political prisoners had immense popular support.
Prime Minister Thatcher's criminalisation policy, supported by the Irish government, was discredited by election victories that transformed the struggle for a united Ireland.
By Frances Davis
In the north of Ireland the election was dominated by two factors: the economic situation and austerity; and the political and peace process. Sinn Fein have been at the sharp end of the fight against austerity and in resisting Tory welfare `reform’ cuts from being implemented in the six counties. They have also been in an on-going struggle to defend the peace process and the Good Friday Agreement against an anti-agreement offensive of unionism and the Tory-led government, which has attempted to stall and roll back progress.
Lenin was the foremost exponent of Marxism of his generation whose leadership was decisive in the success of the Russian Revolution. This was made possible by the development of a theoretical outlook which informed the anti-imperialist wing of the socialist movement which subsequently became the worldwide communist movement.
Watch the video here of the launch of Sinn Féin's People's Pact at Belfast Castle on 30 March.
Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD points out that Sinn Féin's progressive politics is the only alternative to austerity.
Sinn Féin members, supporters and representatives march proudly at Dublin Pride on Saturday 28 June.
An opinion poll in the Sunday Independent on June 8 suggested Sinn Féin support had increased to 26% since the European and council elections.
In last week’s elections Sinn Féin stood on a strong anti-austerity programme, both north and south, with a clear, left alternative economic policy coupled with a strong advocacy of the peace process and for Irish reunification. Its vote is the strongest for the party since 1918.
The recent arrest and imprisonment of Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams, who was subsequently released without charge, was a clear political intervention, designed to undermine the peace process and to reverse the rise in support across Ireland for Sinn Fein.
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