Saturday, 23 June 2012

Mac Cionnaith responds to announcement of SF/British queen meeting

éirígí’s Rúnaí Ginearálta Breandán Mac Cionnaith has responded to the decision by the Sinn Féin leadership to endorse a meeting with the British queen, Elizabeth Windsor, commander-in-chief of Britain’s armed forces.

Mac Cionnaith said, “The decision by Sinn Féin to meet with the British queen is not in the least unsurprising, unanticipated or unexpected. However, that decision needs to be examined in a broader context.

“The Sinn Féin leadership previously took the strategic decision to gradually and consciously move that party away from its former role as a vanguard of the anti-imperialist struggle in Ireland. That leadership has also proven itself, in recent times, to be a willing ally of modern neo-con imperialists by assisting the undermining and subversion of anti-imperialist liberation struggles in other countries.

“One calculated outworking of that strategic decision in domestic terms has been the unprecedented acceptance and copper-fastening of partition by that party, and its consent to continuing British government control over part of Ireland, to such an extent that the party is now a willing and integral participant in operating the mechanics of partition and injustice.

“Paying lip-service to demands by families of British state violence for justice and truth while simultaneously acting as a prop for maintaining British injustice has now become one of the hall-marks of the Sinn Féin party.

“The reality of the unchanged nature of British control and the inefficacy of the Sinn Féin approach was highlighted on Monday (June 18th) when incontrovertible proof in the form of official British government documents revealed how, in July 1972, the state at the highest levels officially sanctioned the use of deadly force by its troops against Irish citizens and ensured that members of the Crown forces would receive indemnity from prosecution.

“Further evidence that the 1972 policy is not a mere “legacy issue” but an ongoing and central part of current British policy was demonstrated by the revelation on Wednesday (June 20th) that the British government had rejected a request by the families of the victims of the Ballymurphy Massacre for a public inquiry into those state murders.

“Sinn Féin has also moved away from its working class base and from any semblance of even a thin veneer of socialist politics to a position where it can freely and frequently advocate and ally itself with the interests of the domestic and international business and financial communities.

“It has consistently proved to be a willing tool in the imposition of private finance initiatives and the implementation of the British government’s austerity measures which penalise the young, the old, the sick, the unemployed and those workers on low wages. At the same time, that party has the audacity to hypocritically criticise other parties in the 26 Counties for implementing exactly the same policies at the behest of the Troika.

“In many respects, Sinn Féin today is mirroring and replicating the gradual and total abandonment of core Irish republican ideals in very much the same manner as was practiced by Fianna Fáil in its early history.

“Given that Sinn Féin has decided to target Fianna Fáil’s electoral constituency in the Twenty-Six Counties, it should be no surprise for anyone to learn that Sinn Féin’s current primary objective is to re-create and re-brand itself as some sort of 21st century version of Fianna Fáil with all that particular and discredited political direction entails.

“Meeting with and recognising Elizabeth Windsor as head of the British state in Ireland is but another step along the disreputable path of reformism and one more premeditated and calculated step further away from the revolutionary goal of establishing a free, sovereign and socialist Republic in Ireland.

“But then nothing else could ever be expected from a party which, when correctly politically analysed, amounted only to a modern form of old Catholic ‘defenderism’ and militant nationalist hibernianism.”

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Mac Cionnaith pledges support for victims of state violence

Breandán Mac Cionnaith

The General Secretary of the socialist republican party éirígí, Breandán Mac Cionnaith, has said that the party’s members and supporters will give their full support to the planned “Truth and Justice – Not Jubilation” march and rally in Belfast this Saturday [June 23].

In a statement, Mac Cionnaith said, “It is quite apt that a public event focussing on the victims of state violence should be held in Belfast this weekend – just days before the visit by Elizabeth Windsor to her Irish colony. Our party members and supporters will attend the march and rally in solidarity with those many hundreds of families across Ireland who lost parents, brothers, sisters, sons and daughters at the hands of all those forces of which Elizabeth Windsor is the Commander-in-Chief.

“On Monday of this week, further proof was produced in the form of official British government documents which demonstrated how in July 1972, the state at the highest levels officially sanctioned the use of deadly force by its troops against Irish citizens and ensured that members of the Crown forces would receive indemnity from prosecution.

“On Wednesday of this week, the ongoing outworking of that forty year old policy was reinforced when it was revealed that the British government had refused to hold a public inquiry into the murder of eleven innocent people, including a mother of eight and a Catholic priest, in the Ballymurphy area of Belfast by British paratroopers.

“It is therefore highly unlikely that Elizabeth Windsor, whose successive governments, forces and agents were responsible for hundreds of deaths, will be wearing any sackcloth or ashes as she flaunts herself throughout the Six Counties in a display of imperialist triumphalism, designed to underpin and reinforce the partition of Ireland.

“It is also highly unlikely that all those families of British state violence will ever receive the truth and justice they deserve while Britain remains in control of the Six Counties. That is why it is important that Saturday’s march and rally, with its clear and primary focus on Britain’s victims, receives the support it deserves.”

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Truth and Justice – not Jubilation

Below we carry a statement from the organising committee of the “Truth and Justice – not Jubilation” demonstration taking place in Belfast on June 23 against the visit of Elizabeth Windsor, Commander-in-Chief of Britain’s armed forces.

Posted Image

Truth and Justice – not Jubilation

March and rally planned for Belfast as Royal visit approaches

A demonstration is to be held in Belfast just days before the British royal visit to the North. The demonstration on Saturday 23rd June will have as its theme “Truth and Justice – not Jubilation” and the organisers say the focus of the protest will be on victims of British state violence.

The demonstration will take the form of a silent march, led by a solitary piper, from Dunville Park, Falls Road, at 2.00pm on Saturday and conclude with a rally outside Belfast city hall. The rally will be addressed by speakers from each of the 6 Counties who lost close relatives at the hands of the British state, or who were themselves actual victims of state violence.

The organisers believe the event provides a unique opportunity for everyone within the broad nationalist community, those with differing political opinions and those with none, along with other progressives, to stand shoulder to shoulder in an unparalleled show of support and solidarity with victims’ families of British state violence in their ongoing struggles for Truth and Justice.

Announcing the planned demonstration, the organising committee stated, “The forthcoming British royal visit to the North presents a very unique opportunity to publicly highlight the fact that many hundreds of people, of all ages, met their deaths at the hands of British Crown forces and their agents in Ireland during the course of the present British monarch’s reign. Many, many more were injured or endured physical and psychological abuse by those same forces.

“Countless families across Ireland still live with the painful reality of the tragedies, distress and anguish brought to their homes by those forces of which the British monarch is Commander-in Chief.

“During her reign, British forces who have taken oaths of loyalty to Elizabeth Windsor have:

  • Implemented internment without trial and perpetrated mass murder against civilian protestors objecting to such human rights abuses
  • Tortured, abused and unlawfully detained Irish citizens
  • Murdered many innocent unarmed civilians
  • Murdered innocent school-children with both lead and plastic bullets
  • In conjunction with unionist death squads which Britain trained and armed, conducted a prolonged campaign of murder against men, women and children of all ages from within the nationalist community
  • Continued to conceal and obstruct the truth about Britain’s role in the murders of many hundreds of Irish people
  • Used the most draconian and repressive laws found anywhere in modern Europe

“Having held discussions with a cross-section of families from different parts of the North in recent weeks, it was clear that those families firmly believe that their loss and pain is far too often ignored or brushed aside by the British state and by the mainstream media.

“In many cases, the families of those who died at the hands of Britain’s Crown forces still find that, decades after the murders of their loved ones, the British state continues to obstruct their quest for truth and justice.

“Those families not are aware of any cause for jubilation.

“The families with whom we held discussions indicated that they would welcome and support a public demonstration highlighting the fact that the British state, of which the monarch is head, continues to wash its hands of the many crimes and injustices which it perpetrated in Ireland.

“Saturday’s demonstration will be completely non-party political and will welcome the participation of nationalists from all shades of political opinion and those with none. All we ask is that the focus and the emphasis is placed solely on the injustices still endured by victims of British state violence.

“We ask people to assemble at Dunville Park on the Falls Road at 2.00pm on Saturday 23rd June for a silent and dignified march, led by a lone piper, ending with a rally outside Belfast city Hall.

“All speakers at the rally will be persons who lost a close relative at the hands of the British state, or who were themselves actual victims of state violence. The speakers come from each of the Six Counties, together with others from the two main cities, Belfast and Derry. They will be joined by a person representing those victims of British state violence which, it must never be forgotten, also extended into the South of Ireland.

“We are also publicly asking families across the country that lost loved ones at the hands of the British state and its agents to attend and to carry with them images of their murdered relatives.

“There will no bands at the demonstration, and no party political banners will be allowed. We simply ask all those attending to bring and carry black flags.

“This is a unique opportunity for nationalists, republicans, socialists and other progressives from across the Six Counties and beyond to show their support for all families of victims of British state violence, and to demonstrate their disdain and contempt for those who continue to perpetuate ongoing injustices and discrimination those same families still face.

“The British state might wish that people would simply forget about the deaths, violence and trauma that its forces and agents wreaked across communities throughout Ireland.

“We are saying to everyone within the broad nationalist community that they also have a choice – abide by Britain’s wishes, or stand shoulder to shoulder with their neighbours and their friends in an unparalleled show of support and solidarity for the families of Britain’s victims, in their ongoing struggles for Truth and Justice.”


Wednesday, 13 June 2012

PSNI Assault Newry Republican

Sunday [June 10] was just a normal evening for the colonial forces in Newry with the continuation of an ongoing campaign of harassment, intimidation and violence being waged against the local population by the PSNI.

In the most recent incident a local republican was viciously assaulted and arrested by the PSNI during a stop and search operation in Monaghan Street. As a result of this assault, the victim had to seek hospital treatment for his injuries which included serious bruising and swelling to his arms, back and side.

Such was the ferocity of the assault that several bystanders pleaded with the PSNI assailants to stop what they were doing as the victim was clearly injured and in a lot of pain. Their pleas were ignored.

The PSNI also ignored the fact that this man was injured and in need to medical treatment. Instead, they handcuffed the man before bundling him into a patrol car which took him to a barracks. On top of being assaulted, injured and arrested he then found himself facing spurious charges of disorderly behaviour and resisting police.

éirígí’s Stephen Murney, who witnessed the incident, explained, “This man, who I know personally, was simply walking down Monaghan Street when he was singled out by this PSNI patrol. I was standing just a few feet away and, along with numerous other members of the public, witnessed the unprovoked assault and subsequent arrest.

“I also know that the particular PSNI officers behind this attack are notorious in the Newry area for targeting republicans. Indeed, I also have personally been targeted by these PSNI members.

“This is totally unsurprising behaviour from the PSNI and yet again it proves what we have been saying all along. They are unchanged, unchanging and unchangeable.”

Murney continued, “In the past three years alone over 76,000 people have been targeted by the PSNI using the British government’s so-called “Justice and Security Act”. While PSNI harassment and brutality shows no sign of stopping, that does not mean we should accept it as normal, it is far from normal.

“To help victims of harassment and to dispel the myths surrounding the various repressive legislation éirígí will be launching the party’s “Know Your Rights” campaign in the Newry area in the coming weeks. This may not stop incidents like this from happening but it will empower people as to what rights they have when they are on the receiving end of such human rights abuse.

“As well as launching this campaign locally, we will also be launching several other initiatives to counter and defy the paramilitary police, the details of which will be publicised in the near future. éirígí won’t be found wanting when it comes to exposing the abuse of rights by the state forces.”

Stephen concluded, “We urge anyone on the receiving end of similar treatment to feel free to contact éirígí and their legal representatives to have the incidents logged and recorded.”