An historic moment

Liam Ó Ruairc writing in, ‘In less than six months, the one hundredth anniversary of the 24-29 April 1916 Easter Rising will be commemorated throughout Ireland . . . From an anti-imperialist perspective, the 1916 Easter Rising was not simply part of a series of Irish rebellions against British rule – “six times during the past three hundred years” as the Proclamation puts it – but part of a wave of challenges to imperialism globally. In 1916 Ireland represented the weakest point of the British Empire, the colony from which most pressure could be exerted . . . The rising was not simply a pivotal event in Irish history. It also signalled the beginning of a revolutionary wave in Europe that reached its highest point in Russia in 1917 – Lenin wrote, “It is the misfortune of the Irish that they rose prematurely, before the European revolt of the proletariat had had time to mature.”

. . . The 1916 Easter Rising had a very significant impact and influence on  anti-imperialist movements worldwide, at the time particularly on those in India and Egypt.   The Chittagong uprising in India, for example, was inspired and modeled on the 1916 Rising and therefore called the ‘Easter Rebellion in Bengal’.  Ho Chi  Minh was influenced by the Irish struggle.  The 1916 Easter Rising also influenced movements working for the emancipation of subordinate racial groups. If Frederick Douglass and W.E. Du Bois were already very much interested in the Irish struggle, the 1916 Rising provided the major ideological mainspring for Marcus Garvey’s radical political transformation. The Easter Rising had more impact on the Universal Negro Improvement Association than the struggles against imperialism in India, China and Egypt..

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