Thursday, 30 June 2011

Recent Media Coverage

The following articles were published in this weeks local papers in relation to éirígí announcing they will intensify their Different Name, Same Aim campaign (click image to enlarge)

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

éirígí Newry to Intensify Different Name, Same Aim Campaign

Republicans in Newry will no longer sit back and let the British forces continue with their campaign of harassment and intimidation unopposed.

éirígí’s Stephen Murney was speaking after receiving numerous complaints from people in the Newry area who are suffering as a result of the bully boy tactics meted out by these uniformed thugs.

“At the minute people are approaching éirígí on an almost daily basis to report incidents of PSNI harassment. Some of these victims are being stopped 3 or 4 times a day and it’s clearly a deliberate and planned strategy to try to intimidate and isolate republicans. A number of our supporters have also found themselves being arrested and then having curfews imposed on them by British courts. This is a clear tactic to try and keep republicans off the streets and out of sight.

éirígí have been involved in a continuous campaign to resist and oppose the British police and their repressive activities. This Different Name, Same Aim campaign has been rolled out across the 6 counties, including here in Newry for over a year. It’s now time for us to intensify this campaign to resist these forces and to counter their draconian tactics.” Stephen said.

Stephen continued “Despite the continued suffering and injustices we still have the PSNI cheerleaders who continue to support them whilst ignoring the suffering of those they claim to represent. How can they tell the people of Derrybeg, Carnagat and Barcroft that the PSNI is a depoliticised civic police service when this force is pursuing a strategy of relentless harassment and intimidation directed towards people from those very communities? These people, who only seem to have their own interests at heart, have firmly placed themselves in the camp of the counter-revolution.

éirígí’s revitalised campaign will include more vigorous actions, the details of which we will announce in the near future and we urge the people of Newry to join us on the streets to resist this unaccountable British paramilitary force.”

Murney concluded “No doubt éirígí’s campaign to confront British policing will be met with a fierce response from the PSNI and no doubt they will use all resources available to try and quell any form of resistance. Despite the inevitable we remain undeterred and determined, as James Connolly said “We defy you, do your worst!”

Protest against MI5 and PSNI harassment of republicans, organised by éirígí. Sat 2nd July. Ardmore PSNI barracks, Belfast Road, Newry, 2pm

Monday, 27 June 2011

Protest Against Harassment

Protest against ongoing MI5 and PSNI harassment of republicans, organised by éirígí. Saturday 2nd July. Ardmore PSNI barracks, Belfast Road, Newry, 2pm

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Attack on Short Strand Repelled

Short Strand homeOn Monday morning, we were treated to the spectacle of a County Down golf star representing all that is supposedly great and good about the ‘new Northern Ireland’ amidst official astonishment that the numbers of tourists visiting the Six County state are dropping.
By virtue of a victory on a north American golf course, Rory McIlroy was alleged to be a symbol that made everyone in the Orange state proud to be from ‘Northern Ireland’, while the public was invited to be mystified that tourists were not so keen on visiting the North. ‘Perhaps if we had more golf courses’, mused the corporate voice of New Northern Ireland Inc.
By Monday evening, however, the more familiar face of occupied Ireland had reared its ugly head.
In what was a clearly premeditated attack, hundreds of unionists, armed with petrol bombs, paint bombs and pipe bombs, launched themselves at the isolated nationalist Short Strand enclave in east Belfast. The attack was launched from two different directions at exactly 9pm and was led by a large number of men dressed all in black, with balaclavas over their faces and surgical gloves on their hands.
This was the worst violence to hit the Short Strand since the prolonged sectarian siege of nearly a decade ago and has raised fears that the UVF are intent on raising tensions as the Orange marching season gets underway.
Dozens of houses were damaged during the sustained attack, while at least one man was hospitalised with serious head injuries. The unionist mob was driven back by local people emerging from their homes to defend their community. However, the mob then proceeded to pelt the district with missiles for a number of hours, with the PSNI doing nothing meaningful to halt the attack.
When the PSNI did intervene, it was to fire plastic bullets, injuring a number of young nationalists in the process.
Short Strand homeThe background to last night’s attacks, which were planned and orchestrated by the UVF, was an increasing dissatisfaction within the organisation over the targeting of senior members by the PSNI’s Historical Enquiries Team for sectarian murders carried out over the last 40 years.
éirígí national vice-chairperson Rab Jackson and the party’s Upper Falls representative Pádraic Mac Coitir visited the Short Strand this morning [Tuesday] to show solidarity with residents and to meet with local éirígí activists and community workers.
The two were shown some of the most badly damaged houses and talked to residents who said they had experienced the most terrifying night in a long time.
Jackson said: “Nationalists are sick, sore and tired of the fact that every time there are difficulties within unionism, this manifests itself in violent sectarian attacks. Ultimately, what we witnessed last night was the cranking up of a unionist mob – at the behest of the UVF – that simply doesn’t want a catholic about the place in east Belfast.
“The attack on the Short Strand is also an indicator of the total failure of what is called the peace process and those who police it to protect nationalists in vulnerable areas.”
Jackson added: “The people of the Short Strand are to be commended for their bravery in confronting the UVF and eventually forcing them from the area.
“The Short Strand community has a long and proud history of defending their area from British and unionist aggression, éirígí is confident that the current generation of residents will be no less determined.”

Monday, 20 June 2011

Protest Highlights Harassment

More than 70 people gathered at Grosvenor Road Barracks in Belfast on Saturday [June 18] to demonstrate their opposition to the ongoing harassment of republicans.

The protest, organised by éirígí, was called in the aftermath of an upsurge of intimidatory behaviour by the PSNI and British intelligence agencies.

Among the crowd were many éirígí activists, republican ex-prisoners, family members of serving political prisoners, community workers and others.

In recent weeks, both the PSNI and MI5 have upped their harassment of republican activists and ex-prisoners, in the process often tormenting young families and placing huge strain on many individuals.

Towards the end of the demo, the protestors gathered at the entrance to the barracks where they were addressed by éirígí’s representative for the Upper Falls area Pádraic Mac Coitir.

As Mac Coitir began speaking, a number of PSNI landrovers attempted to drive through the crowd of protestors at high speed. However, the protesters refused to be cowed and the PSNI were forced to wait until the proceedings had ended before entering the base.

Mac Coitir encouraged anyone who has been on the receiving end of harassment to immediately contact their solicitor and inform other members of their community so assistance could be forthcoming.

Rúnaí ginearálta éirígí Breandán Mac Cionnaith commended those who attended the protest.

“At a time when anybody who is seen to be out of step with the establishment point of view is deemed suspect, or worse, being outright ciminalised, it is encouraging to see that so many Belfast republicans took the time to attend Saturday’s demonstration.

“It is important to show the British state and its agencies that we will not be intimidated nor will we allow republicans to be isolated and marginalised.”

Mac Cionnaith added: “The most depressing aspect of the current campaign of harassment is that the nefarious activities of MI5 and the PSNI are completely legal, according to British law, under the Justice & Security Act of 2007. At the time, éirígí were the only party to point out that the Act was about normalising repression in the Six Counties and giving it a permanent legal footing – there is now abundant evidence to support this position.

“éirígí will continue to campaign against political policing and the activities of the British intelligence agencies. It is time all those who claim to uphold the human rights of nationalists began to do likewise.”

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Monday, 13 June 2011

Protest against MI5 & PSNI Harassment

éirígí’s Pádraic Mac Coitir has said it is time to challenge British state forces in the Six Counties about the harassment they are doling out to republicans.

Mac Coitir was speaking as éirígí announced the details of a protest on the issue that is to be held in Belfast this week.

This coming Saturday [June 18], people are being asked to gather at Belfast’s Grosvenor Road barracks at 1pm to demonstrate against the mistreatment republicans are receiving on a daily basis at the hands of MI5 and the PSNI.
éirígí’s Pádraic Mac Coitir

Mac Coitir said: “The harassment of republicans, particularly republican ex-prisoners, seems to have gone into overdrive in recent weeks.

“The PSNI, using the 2007 Justice & Security Act, and British intelligence agencies, using the most ham-fisted of approaches, have been targeting people across the Six Counties.

“This harassment has included physical assaults, arrests, house searches, threats and intimidation and the traumatising of children. On an even more sinister level, British intelligence agencies are regularly attempting to pressurise republicans into becoming informers and threatening these people when they refuse. All the while, respectable society has turned a blind eye and carried on with the farcical pretence of the ‘new Northern Ireland’.”

Mac Coitir added: “The state making a misery of the lives of republican activists and their families was wrong in the past and it is wrong now.

“In the past number of weeks, I have been told of PSNI officers dragging crying children from their parents’ cars, of the same officers attempting to search toddlers and of republicans being followed and harassed while abroad on holiday.

“It is time for all of us to take a stand against this disgraceful state of affairs. We need to send a message out to the British government and its agencies of repression that we will not allow members of our community to be isolated and intimidated.

“From here on in, republicans will regard the harassment of one as the harassment of all.”

Saturday’s protest at Grosvenor Road barracks will begin at 1pm. Bígí Linn!

The Brutality of Maghaberry Strikes Again!

Roughly 500 protesters, including many éirígí activists and supporters from Newry, gathered at the gates of Maghaberry Jail on Sunday [June 5] to demand an end to the degrading treatment of republican prisoners and the immediate implementation of the agreement reached last August.
The family and friends of prisoners were joined by republicans from across the Six Counties and further afield in a noisy demonstration of solidarity.

The protestors gathered in the prison car park before marching the short distance to Maghaberry’s main entrance. At the gates, the rally was addressed by family members of serving political prisoners and music provided by Pol MacAdaim.

Independent Cllr Davy Hyland

The main speaker was local independent republican councillor Davy Hyland who pointed out that the so-called “Justice Minister” David Ford is holding out on information that could bring the protests to an end.

"The minister, we believe, has had a set of recommendations for the assessment which would clarify it for us and bring this protest to an end," Hyland said

Davy Continued: "He has had this since January of this year and he hasn't acted on it - the big question for us is why?"

The protesters blew whistles, horn and set fireworks off to make it clear to the prisoners that support for the campaign is strong and to send a message to the prison regime that it cannot abuse political prisoners without facing a response on the outside.

At Mondays [June 6] monthly meeting of Newry & Mourne District Council, Cllr Davy Hyland proposed a motion to send a delegation to visit Maghaberry.

Speaking about this motion Davy stated: “I raised the prisoner’s plight highlighting the fact that the previous Council had agreed to send a delegation to investigate the prisoners concerns but postponed it when the August 12th agreement 2010 was passed. I proposed a motion that, in the light of the continued strip searching of prisoners it is vital that a Council delegation visit the prisoners as a matter of urgency. The motion was passed without objection.”

For centuries, the British government has attempted to portray the struggle for Irish freedom as a criminal conspiracy. Terence McSweeney, Thomas Ashe and Bobby Sands all died protesting against this policy of criminalisation.

éirígí’s Newry spokesperson Stephen Murney
éirígí’s Newry spokesperson Stephen Murney said: “The situation in Maghaberry is getting very serious. Republican prisoners are now on no-wash protest having been forced to put their bodily waste out through their cell doors. On top of that they are on the receiving end of brutal beatings and forced strip searches.”

Murney continued:” The refusal by the prison administration to implement the agreement reached last August has created a pressure cooker type situation within Maghaberry that has the potential to escalate further. The brutalisation of the republican prisoners in Maghaberry has clearly touched a nerve among nationalist communities in the Six Counties “

Stephen concluded by saying that:” Many people remember only too well the treatment meted out to POWs in the 1970s and early ’80s and they are not prepared to allow this situation take the same sad route. These people are in prison as a direct result of the ongoing British occupation of Six Counties. That makes them political prisoners entitled to political status within whatever prison they are held. Political status is, at its heart, an issue of human and civil rights. Those in Ireland who support the rights of political prisoners in Afghanistan, Guantanamo Bay, occupied Palestine and elsewhere need to extend that support to political prisoners in Ireland also.”

Friday, 10 June 2011

Cameron Visit a Propaganda Stunt

Rúnaí ginearálta éirígí Breandán Mac Cionnaith has said that today’s visit by David Cameron to the Six Counties amounts to nothing more than a propaganda stunt for his government’s anti-social agenda.

The Tory prime minister today [Thursday] addressed MLAs in Britain’s Stormont assembly after being welcomed by his first and deputy first ministers. Writing in a Belfast newspaper, Cameron earlier lauded the success of the normalisation strategy and said that the Six County state was now more stable and secure than at any time since before the start of the civil rights campaign.

Cameron also argued for more privatisation of services and indicated that the corporation tax in occupied Ireland is a step closer to being slashed.

Mac Cionnaith said: “David Cameron’s flying visit to his Irish colony is nothing more than a propaganda stunt for his anti-social cuts agenda and the program of pacifying the North.

“That he addressed an assembly of pliant local politicians is indicative of the fact that the Stormont administration is completely wedded to the Tory government’s anti-social economic agenda and is willing to act as its Irish enforcer.”

Mac Cionnaith continued: “The reality is that the Six County state remains an economic and political slum.

“There are more than 100,000 people on dole queues, while wages and living standards lag way behind those in Britain. Meanwhile, republican prisoners are being forced onto a no wash protest and the British secretary of state is happily signing orders to detain innocent people indefinitely.

“Not a single politician will today have the courage or the integrity to challenge David Cameron about any of these injustices. Instead, they will take part in the charade that everything in this rotten statelet is fine and dandy and act accordingly.

“However, éirígí and many others know that everything in this rotten statelet is far from fine and dandy and we also intend to act accordingly.”

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Support Growing for Political Prisoners

Despite attempts by the political establishment and the corporate media to bury the issue, the plight of the political prisoners in Maghaberry jail is again raising concern on the outside.

Since the end of last year, the unionist thugs in the Prison Officers Association have been successfully attempting to undermine the agreement reached on August 12 2010 that appeared to bring to a successful conclusion the long running struggle for humane treatment in Maghaberry.

Unfortunately, the situation has since deteriorated to the extent where republican prisoners are now back on a no wash protest, while beatings and forced strip searches are again a daily occurrence.

On Sunday [June 5], around 400 people gathered in the Maghaberry car park for the short march to the prison’s perimeter, where they were addressed by a number of prisoners’ relatives as well as independent republican councillor for Newry Davy Hyland.

After folk singer Pól MacAdaim helped the assembled crowd belt out a number of songs by Bobby Sands for the benefit of the screws, the supporters marched towards the wing where the republican prisoners are currently being held.

There, despite the lashing rain and the yards upon yards of barbed wire and concrete, the prisoners could be heard shouting their appreciation while the protestors blew whistles, let off fireworks, beat pots and chanted slogans for political status.

The protest was ended with a cavalcade of nearly 100 cars encircling the prison entrance with horns beeping and music blaring.

Meanwhile, last night [Monday], in a further demonstration of the growing support for the human rights of the prisoners, Newry & Mourne Council unanimously agreed to send a delegation to Maghaberry to investigate the prisoners’ concerns. The instigator of the motion, Davy Hyland, pledged to make the council follow through on its promise as soon as possible.

Rúnaí ginearálta éirígí Breandán Mac Cionnaith, himself a former political prisoner, said: “The last number of days have seen a welcome spike in the support for the rights of the prisoners in Maghaberry.

“The agenda in Maghaberry is currently being set by the notoriously sectarian and thuggish Prison Officers Association. This situation is totally unsustainable.

“The British government needs to recognise that the August 12 agreement of last year presents the basis for resolving the conflict in the prison and face down the POA.”

Mac Cionnaith added: “éirígí extends its solidarity to the protesting prisoners in Maghaberry and pledges to continue supporting their struggle and that of their families until political status is secured. All those with an interest in human rights should do likewise.”