Thursday, 28 April 2011

éirígí Remember the Easter Rising in Newry

éirígí in Newry marked the 95th anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising by holding a number of wreath-laying events at monuments and graves across the city.

Wreaths were laid at the Vol. Michael Hughes monument and the Derrybeg Volunteers monument in the Derrybeg estate. A wreath was also laid at the Vol. Brendan Watters monument in the Barcroft estate and at the memorial cross in Barley Lane. The events concluded with a wreath being laid on the republican plot in St Mary’s cemetery in memory of all those from the area who gave their lives for Irish freedom.

As well as the wreath-laying events, éirígí also erected a number of flags including starry ploughs, tricolours and éirígí flags along with “Britain Out of Ireland” posters and stickers to highlight the continued occupation.

After the events éirígí’s Stephen Murney spoke about how the objectives and goals pursued by those who fought in 1916 still remain to be achieved 95 years on.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

PSNI Repression Continues in Newry

Once again nationalist areas in Newry are being targeted by the British police as yet more harassment along with house raids and riot situations are directed towards residents.

The latest in a long line of incidents occurred on Thursday [April 14] when a large convoy of armoured PSNI land rovers descended on the Carnagat/Parkhead areas of Newry.

The PSNI proceeded to raid a number of homes and damaged property over a period of over 6 hours, they were backed up with a helicopter that kept the local population under close surveillance. During this time local people going to the local shop were stopped and searched by these thugs in uniform.

A number of concerned residents approached local éirígí activists who quickly made their way to the scene. One of these residents described the scene as being “like Beirut”

éirígí’s Stephen Murney was one of the activists at the scene: “we were approached by a number of residents who were concerned at the harassment of ordinary people going about their everyday business, as well as the actions of the PSNI who were in the process of tearing republicans houses apart. When we arrived we seen there was a large PSNI presence many of whom were heavily armed and dressed in heavy armour”

“At one stage i witnessed roughly 8 riot clad PSNI thugs running down the grass bank towards a group of youngsters standing by the Camlough Road bus shelters at the Derrybeg estate, some of them had their batons drawn and a number of them were carrying assault rifles. This then provoked a riot situation during which a number of armoured land rovers entered the Derrybeg estate in an attempt to draw the youngsters into confrontation. The PSNI had no reason to be anywhere near Derrybeg considering their repressive operation was talking place in another area”

Stephen continued: “This is nothing new to the people of the Carnagat, Parkhead and Derrybeg areas. Numerous times over the past few months these areas have been saturated and subjected to house raids, harassment, and riot situations provoked by the actions of the British forces. The good people in these areas won’t be fooled by the attempts to portray our society and the occupying forces as normal, it is far from normal, they are seeing the same things that they seen in these areas during the 70s, 80s and 90s. Indeed, as éirígí highlighted, just a few weeks ago the British army saturated this very same area, something which the establishment parties have remained strangely silent about”

“We have also been approached by many people who are on the receiving end of harassment in the form of stop and searches. One thing we have noticed is that the PSNI are now asking the victims to remove their shoes and make them stand in the street in their socks. This is a clear attempt to degrade and humiliate people and reminds them who’s in charge.”

Murney finished by saying that: “These recent incidents are only making people more determined to resist and oppose the British police and the status quo. As usual éirígí continues to take a stand and support the oppressed communities whilst others remain silent

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

éirígí Remember Volunteer Colum Marks

éirígí's Newry spokesperson Stephen Murney
éirígí in Newry yesterday [Monday] paid tribute to IRA volunteer Colum Marks by holding a wreath laying event in the town's Derrybeg estate.

The event marked the 20th anniversary of Colum’s death when he was murdered by the RUC in a shoot-to-kill operation in April 1991. Colum was unarmed when he was shot several times whilst on active service.

A wreath was laid on behalf of éirígí, while another was laid on behalf of the Derrybeg residents at the republican monument in the Derrybeg estate.

Speaking at the event, éirígí's Stephen Murney paid tribute to Colum: “Twenty years ago, Colum made the supreme sacrifice for Irish freedom. Colum didn’t waver in the face of danger, he stepped up to the mark and bravely took the fight to the enemy.

“We will never forget Colum and the many more volunteers who gave their lives in pursuit of a socialist republic; they fought for an Ireland free of imperial power and social privilege. That same struggle continues to this day.”

Monday, 11 April 2011

MacCionnaith Slams Adams Comments

éirígí general secretary Breandán MacCionnaith has slammed the comments of Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams on RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland program today[Monday]. Speaking in relation to the recent killing of a PSNI officer in Omagh, Adams claimed that éirígí had not stated their position on the action and were“running for cover” as a result.

MacCionnaith said: “This is the latest in the long line of cynical attacks by Gerry Adams and others in the Sinn Féin leadership upon éirígí. These attacks are motivated by nothing more than Sinn Féin’s fear that éirígí’s coherent socialist republican message is gaining increasing support in areas that Adams& Co regard as their personal political fiefdoms.

“éirígí’s position on the recent killing in Omagh and on other armed actions is clear and unambiguous. The party is not aligned to or supportive of any armed groups or their actions. This has been our position since our foundation five years ago, something Gerry Adams is well aware of.

“Gerry Adams is attempting to obscure this position in acts that mimic British Thatcherite ministers and the most reactionary of Twenty-Six County politicians. He is engaged in felon setting of a kind that was once used against Sinn Féin when the establishment deemed them a threat.”

MacCionnaith added: “It is hardly plausible for Mr Adams to claim that éirígí are ‘running for cover’ at a time when we are, in fact, running for election in his former constituency in West Belfast. Scores of our activists are canvassing daily on the ground in West Belfast, something Gerry Adams is also well aware of.

“And this is exactly what today’s comments were about. Incapable of dealing with éirígí’s platform against the cutbacks to public services being implemented by the Stormont coalition, the president of Sinn Féin is reduced to creating non-issues of his own imagining.

“éirígí spokespeople have consistently made themselves available for public comment on every aspect of the party’s policies and we will continue to do so.

“éirígí is on the record as offering Sinn Féin a public debate on the future direction of the republican struggle, an offer which they have, so far,declined to even respond to. If Sinn Féin is genuinely interested in engaging with republican Ireland, they will take this offer up.

“However, éirígí is more interested in and focused upon rebuilding the socialist republican struggle in west Belfast, in Dublin and across the country. Anybody who has the best interests of the working people of Ireland at heart should be doing the same.”

Sunday, 10 April 2011

éirígí welcome Sinn Féin u-turn on Windsor visit

The socialist republican party éirígí have welcomed Sinn Féin's u-turn on the issue of holding protests against the upcoming Windsor visit to the Twenty Six Counties. However, éirígí Dublin City Councillor Louise Minihan has stressed that such protests must be meaningful and not just token protests.

Responding to the announcement by Sinn Féin yesterday (April 8), Cllr Minihan said:

“We welcome the fact that Sinn Féin have responded positively to the statement made by our party Chairperson Brian Leeson on March 14th, when he called on Sinn Féin to 'do the right thing' in relation to protesting against the Windsor visit next month. That call was made in response to comments from Sinn Féin’s Martin McGuinness, who earlier that day had told the Belfast Telegraph that it would be a 'huge mistake' for there to be protests against the Windsor visit.

“Sinn Fein’s change of position in relation to the issue of protests against the Windsor visit is reminiscent of the sequence of events leading up to the Royal Irish Regiment march through Belfast in November 2008. On that occasion Sinn Féin also initially refused to organise a protest but later reversed their position as the level of popular opposition to the RIR march became clear.

Cllr Minihan added: “While we welcome Sinn Féin’s decision to organise protests we also urge them to ensure that their protests are meaningful and not just token measures. Sinn Féin needs to use its considerable resources and influence to mobilise large numbers of party members and supporters in active opposition to this visit. Anything less will be rightly seen as opportunistic posturing. You are either opposed to this visit or you aren’t.

“Those who are opposed to this visit need to build the largest, loudest and most colourful protests possible at the locations where the Windsor’s are actually visiting. The objective of the protest is to show the Windsor’s and their apologists in Ireland that the British royal family are not welcome in this country for as long as Britain continues to occupy the Six Counties. Holding protests at other locations will be completely meaningless and serve only to draw attention away from where it needs to be focused.

“If Sinn Féin choose to organise token protests as opposed to meaningful ones we are encouraging their members and supporters to join the éirígí protests which will be happening at a number of locations that the so-called British queen will be visiting.”

Friday, 8 April 2011

British royal visit designed to ‘rub salt in the wounds’

Reacting to the announcement of the itinerary of the Elizabeth Windsor state visit, cathaoirleach éirígí Brian Leeson has said that the visit is designed to “rub salt in the wounds of the victims of British violence in Ireland”.

Speaking in Dublin Leeson said, “The itinerary that has been announced today appears to have been deliberately designed to cause maximum offence to the victims of British state-sponsored violence in Ireland. Elizabeth Windsor is to begin her state visit on May 17th, the thirty-seventh anniversary to the day of the Dublin and Monaghan bombings.

“As if this was not bad enough Windsor is to attend a number of events in Dublin city centre, within walking distance of where those car bombs exploded in Parnell Street, Talbot Street and South Leinster Street. The British state, of which Windsor is head, and the British military, of which Windsor is Commander-in Chief, have to this day refused to reveal their role in the slaughter of the innocent that took place in Dublin and Monaghan on May 17 1974.

“Her intention to visit the Garden of Remembrance on Parnell Square is provocative in the extreme. The garden is located only a couple of hundred metres from Parnell Street where one of those British bombs killed eleven people. And the Garden itself is dedicated to those who have given their lives in the fight for Irish freedom. The fight for Irish freedom didn’t end with partition, it continues to this day. For as long as the British occupation of the Six Counties continues the prospect of a British head of state attending a ceremony at the Garden of Remembrance is as insulting as it is provocative.

“Those who have attempted to portray this visit as a non-political celebrity event have now been exposed as complete fools. This state visit has been designed with only one objective - the normalisation of the British occupation of the Six Counties. The itinerary announced today confirms that beyond doubt.

“The elite of Britain and Ireland have now announced their plans for lavish banquets and trips to stud farms at a time when the vast majority of the people in this state are struggling to survive. The entire spectacle is nothing short of disgusting.”

Leeson concluded, “We in éirígí are committed to opposing this visit in as robust a manner as possible. We are calling on the people across Ireland to get involved in the campaign of opposition to this visit. In particular to the young people of Dublin we are appealing. This is their city, the city of the 1913 Lockout and the 1916 Rising, a city with a proud tradition of opposition to British imperialism. A city which we hope will greet the British monarch with protest and defiance.”