Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Volunteers Black and Ryan Remembered in Two Cities

In this, the 20th anniversary of the deaths of Volunteers Patricia Black and Frankie Ryan, it was a ‘tale of two cities’ with commemorations taking place in both Glasgow and Belfast.
The first of two commemorations organised by the Volunteers Patricia Black and Frankie Ryan Memorial Flute Band (VPBFRMFB) took place in the band’s hometown of Glasgow on Sunday 6 November.
Five bands, representatives of the Black family and upwards of 200 marchers, paraded through Glasgow City Centre in a disciplined fashion, ignoring the provocation posed by loyalist protesters and the inaction of ‘Strathclyde’s finest’.
VPBFRMFB marching in Glasgow
Culminating in a rallying folk night chaired by the band’s leader, Ian Lynch, the large crowd learned of Patricia and Frankie’s selflessness and sacrifice before being addressed by éirígí’s Six-County Chairperson, John McCusker.
Acknowledging the sterling work of the VPBFRMFB, McCusker commended the discipline and determination of those involved in the commemoration, two traits exemplified by those being remembered.
He said, “The determination and disciplined demonstrated today is not only an echo of that exemplified by Patricia and Frankie, but it is also the bedrock upon which the emerging Socialist Republican movement must and will be built.
“If we are to do any justice to the memory of these courageous volunteers then we must not merely lament the losses our enemies have inflicted upon us but plan for the losses we will inflict upon them and their political and economic systems.
“We must continue their struggle against the occupation of our land and the exploitation of our people.
“We must be guided by the words of another great fighter and organiser of the working class, a Cork woman who met her death in America, ‘Mother’ Mary Jones, who instructed us ‘to remember the dead and fight like hell for the living’. Comrades, it’s time to fight like hell!”
Milltown Cemetery
Sunday 20 November witnessed the second of the two commemorations, this time in the Volunteers hometown of Belfast.
The VPBFRMFB, the Black and Ryan families and upwards of 300 republicans assembled in Milltown Cemetery to pay tribute to two of their own. As the sun shone and music strained, the large crowd marched to the graves of the two Volunteers before gathering around the County Antrim Republican plot.
Addressing the gathering was Dublin City Councillor and éirígí activist, Louise Minihan.
“We have gathered here at this historic spot to remember two brave Volunteers with pride. We have gathered to remember their inspirational lives and to rededicate ourselves to the cause for which they died, the cause of Irish national liberation.”
Louise Minihan addresses the crowd
Acknowledging the recent strategic defeats inflicted upon the republican struggle, Louise argued that all had not been lost.
“Despite these setbacks, a vibrant and militant republican movement is in the process of being rebuilt by a new generation who have declared their aim an Irish Socialist Republic.
“Republicanism is back to Connolly and socialist republicanism has emerged as the leading force to challenge British Rule.
“It is the job of each and every one of us, in this graveyard today, to do everything we can to help with the rebuilding of the republican struggle to a point where it can be successfully concluded.”

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

PSNI Harassment

The following was penned by éirígí's Newry spokesperson, Stephen Murney

Tonight myself and 2 fellow éirígi activists were stopped & searched by the British forces (PSNI). The reason given for this stop and search was "due to the increased terrorist threat in this area". Altogether 2 cars and an armoured landrover surrounded us for our henious activitty.

What was our "crime" i hear you ask?

What were we up to to suggest we were involved in "terrorist activity"?

What dodgy activity were we involved in to recieve such attention from our noticably nervous police force.

Well we were involved in putting up highly dangerous stickers regarding the savage cuts being enforced upon the disadvantaged and vulnerable working class in our society. (I've attached one of these dastardly stickers to this note for the readers benefit)

The main thug asked me what was i putting up. I explained i was putting up literature relating to tomorrows public service rally that was taking place. I was then informed that i was going to be stopped and searched under section 21 & 24 of the British Justice and security act and that i would be searched for ammunition and wireless apparatus.

I asked him did he have resonable suspicion that i had those items on my person and he replied no, and that he didn't need to have reasonable suspicion but he was searching me due to the "terrorist threat".

I was then vigorously searched for these invisable items. He took information cards from my pockets, these cards provide information on your rights when you are stopped and searched. I told him he had no right to take any documentation or any personal belongings from me because documents aren't included in section 21 & 24, but he done it anyway.

My 2 comrades suffered the same treatment and were each given a generic white card and told to present ourselves at the barracks.

Tomorrow éirígí activists across the North will march with thousands of working class people in protest at the anti-social policies being implemented by the London government and its Stormont administration. Tonight éirígí members preparing for tomorrows rally were held by Stormonts anti-working class police force.

I'll also add that Last night i posted about a local republican being stopped and searched along with his 15 year old daughter. They were stopped under section 21 and 24 of the justice and security act.

Tonight they were both stopped again, under the same draconian legislation, and held for 20 minutes in the freezing cold. Thats 2 nights in a row this young girl and her father were subjected to abuse and torture from thugs in uniform.

I wonder if any of the local Gaeilgeoirí (Irish speaker) who live amongst us in our very communities brought up the issue of harassment when they were having tea and buns with the PSNI in Newry arts centre tonight? Ironically a few feet away from were tomorows rally will be held.

Victory to the working class

Monday, 28 November 2011

Video - Patricia Black & Frank Ryan Commemoration, 20 November 2011

A video of éirígí's recent commemoration marking the 20th anniversary of Óglaigh Patricia Black and Frank Ryan

Building for November 30

Twenty trade unions representing around 175,000 public sector workers in the Six Counties have voted to strike next Wednesday, November 30. They will join million of workers in Britain for what union leaders there believe will be the biggest strike action since 1926.

This mass strike has been declared in response to the assault by the Tory-led government in London on the pensions of workers in the public sector.

This assault has come in a number of ways. The first is that the Tories wish to change the way pensions are adjusted each year for inflation. They want to change the way this is measured from the retail prices index (RPI) to the consumer prices index (CPI), which will cut 15 per cent from the value of public sector pensions.

The second is that the Tories will increase the pension contribution public sector workers make by 3.2 per cent by 2015. This is taken from workers’ wages and amounts to a new tax directly solely at public sector workers. Traditionally pension contributions are agreed through negotiation but in this instance the British government has decided to ram it through unilaterally.

The Stormont executive voted in September to follow the Tory line and introduce this measure to the Six Counties, though its Scottish counterpart has opposed the increase as long as the pay freeze remains in effect in the public sector.
The third measure is that the age of retirement in the public sector will be increased. So, the Tory-Lib Dem plan for the future of pensions is that workers will have to work longer and contribute more for pensions that are worth less.
Attacking the conditions of public sector workers is merely the thin edge of the wedge. The agenda of the Tories is ultimately to attack all public services – health, education, public transport, social welfare, and more – services that are of no use or importance to the millionaire-filled British cabinet and their capitalist masters.

November 30 will see teachers, classroom assistants, lunchladies and principals stepping out of school to join other public sector workers in rallies all over the Six Counties. Marches and rallies will take place in Belfast, Derry, Newry, Ballymena, Cookstown, Downpatrick, Magherafelt, Omagh, Portadown and more.

These rallies will send a strong message, but more will be needed. The trade unions have all voted in favour of further action beyond the strike on November 30. This ongoing campaign will include work-to-rule actions, lunchtime protests and more, with the possibility of more all-out strike action in the future.

In the end, only a concerted effort by public sector workers and the working-class communities who depend on their services will defeat the anti-social policies being implemented by the London government and its Stormont administration.

Friday, 25 November 2011

Political Policing in Ireland- Ten Years of the RUC/PSNI

Last night a very successful event was held in Belfast to mark 10 years of the RUC/PSNI. This public meeting was addressed by Chris Donnelly (RC/IRSP), Stephen Murney (éirígí) and Ciaran Murphy (RNU).

The 3 speakers gave their opinions of British policing and told of their experiences at the hands of the PSNI.

Below is the account of éirígí's Stephen Murney from Newry

I want to thank the republican congress for inviting me here to speak of my experiences and the experiences of republicans in Newry with British policing.

Firstly i’d like to talk about my childhood when i was growing up in the 80s and 90s. I come from a republican family in Newry were relatives having their houses raided was a regular occurrence. Family members being stopped & searched, sometimes 4-5 times a day was also a regular thing. Members of my family were beaten and arrested and imprisoned in British prisons for their republican beliefs and activities. When i was being taken to primary school in the mornings my mother would have been stopped and searched daily.

These things happened over 20 years ago, today i’m an adult, and i’m experiencing those exact same things.

Just over 10 years ago the RUC changed its name to the PSNI. Republicans knew at the time that this wouldn’t make a blind bit of difference to the functions and tactics used by the force. This wasn’t the first time this force had a name change. In 1922 It went from being called the RIC to the RUC and in 2001 it changed its name to the PSNI.

It’s ironic that 10 years after this force was given a lick of paint, the PSNI now has access to more repressive legislation than it ever had. It has ignored the European court of human rights in regards to stop & search legislation, it continues to fire lethal plastic bullets at men, women and children, it has introduced tasers, has CS gas at its disposal, and in 2006 it was confirmed that Assistant Chief Constable Judith Gillespie approved the PSNI policy of using children as informants to inform on their own family members. The PSNI also co-operates fully with the British army and MI5, indeed in the past year in Newry the PSNI have searched entire housing estates in joint operations along with the British army placing these areas under siege.

Another example of the link between the British army and the PSNI is that in 2009 the former PSNI chief constable Hugh Orde gave the order for the covert British army unit the Special Reconnaissance Regiment to be deployed in occupied Ireland. This unit has close links with the SAS, where is the accountability there?

The rebranding of the RUC was described as “a new beginning” and was heralded as a “new era”. In 2007 during what was described as the “policing debate” some people made astonishing claims and promises. We were told that the PSNI would be held to account, we were told that manners would be put on the PSNI, we were told that we would control the PSNI and we were told that things would change for the better.

None of that has materialised.

In the Newry area there has been a notable increase in harassment directed towards eirigi members and other republicans in the past few years. Stop & searches happen on an almost daily basis, house raids are a regular occurrence. I have also had my home raided in the early hours by the PSNI using the excuse of searching for firearms and explosives.

Just a few weeks ago the PSNI using a battering ram, forced their way into the home of a member of éirígí under the guise of searching for firearms in Newry’s Derrybeg estate.

For several hours they searched the home, during which time they harassed residents and refused family members access to the victim’s house. Some of those involved in the raid were dressed in white forensic suits and had sniffer dogs with them. When the victim’s family members arrived at the scene they had assault rifles pointed at them and PSNI gunmen pretended to be shooting at them in a petty display of intimidation, assaults and arrests also take place on a regular basis.

It’s now common practice for republicans in Newry to be assaulted and arrested during stop & searches and then the victim finds themselves facing charges and being hauled before British courts. I myself am currently facing a total of 9 charges after being assaulted and arrested during a stop & search operation even though i was handcuffed and then punched and kicked by several members of the PSNI in front of my mother, sister and neighbours.

Several of my friends and comrades in Newry have also experienced the exact same treatment

Numerous times they have placed entire communities under siege which in turn causes riot situations. In recent years we have seen the worst rioting in Newry in over a decade as a result of these tactics used by the PSNI.

Children have also been targeted by the PSNI in Newry. We have cases of children as young as 14 being stopped and searched under draconian acts. A few months ago the PSNI stopped a bus full of kids just a few miles outside Newry. The kids were returning from what should have been an enjoyable day trip to Dublin to celebrate fathers day but were stopped by the PSNI and British army just outside Banbridge.

A few of us from Newry received a phonecall telling us what was happening, we travelled the short distance to where the PSNI and British army were holding the victims but we were prevented from getting anywhere near them by armed PSNI and British army gunmen.

Crying children, as young 4 years of age, were separated from their parents, the kids were then searched for weapons, searched for ammunition, swabbed for explosives, videoed and photographed. One child wet himself with fear and was forced by the PSNI and British army to stand at the side of the road crying, soaked in his own urine.

This is child abuse

Quite a lot of the attention that eirigi activists receive in Newry is completely unwarranted and is a perfect example of how unchanged and unaccountable this force is and how they pursue a strategy of engaging in political policing. A lot of the harassment has occurred when we are involved in political activities such as delivering leaflets, erecting posters and banners and taking part in peaceful protests and pickets. These activities are widely accepted as legitimate political activities but when you partake in this type of activism in occupied Ireland you find yourself being stopped and searched for munitions and wireless apparatus.

If you disagree with the Stormont administration, oppose the British forces, speak out against injustices and human rights abuses that are carried out by the PSNI, and even though you may not currently support armed struggle, you will automatically find yourself labelled as being anti-peace process, a dissident, a conflict junkie and you then find yourself becoming a target of political policing, stop and searches, house raids and harassment.

We could, however, always go for the easy option and support the British police like our former comrades have. If we did that then our lives would be much easier. We wouldn’t get stopped and searched on a regular basis, nor would we have our homes raided. And i’m certain we wouldn’t find ourselves being assaulted and arrested by armed thugs of the British state. But that’s isn’t an option for us because we are Irish republicans

The PSNI and their supporters might try to present the force as a fresh new beginning but they simply follow the same failed anti-republican agenda and strategy of harassment and intimidation they have always used to try and suppress republicanism.

The PSNI cannot be reformed, just like the RUC and the RIC before it could not be reformed. The issue of policing in Ireland will not be resolved until partition and British occupation is ended. Until that happens we will always have two militias operating in two different states to protect the interests of those states. The PSNI is at the frontline of protecting, those in power, the occupation and upholding the British state it serves and protects.

So what has changed since 2001?

Well it’s clear that for republicans nothing has changed

West Belfast DPP Threats....

The following is an account penned by Martin Óg Meehan regarding a recent DPP meeting.

Last night some 50 plus Republican Activists including myself were present in the Whiterock College to publically oppose the sitting of the District Policing Partnership otherwise known as the DPP....

As we entered the building there were four armoured RUC/PSNI Landrovers present in the carpark, whilst dozens of well-armed personnel were situated throughout the building in a bid to intimidate those of us who had a right to protest at the presence of such a charade in West Belfast. Particularly given the recent brutal mistreatment of an RNU member and his children hours after he his young Wife had tragically died. The RNU member was forcibly trailed from his car and beaten by the same Political Police Force on the Falls Road while en-route to organise his Wife's funeral.....

We took our seats in the hall being used for the meeting with a number of local RNU members situated at the front because they wanted to challenge the RUC/PSNI Area Commander about the above incident and other siminlar breaches of human rights. Initally, the DPP Chairperson and local City Councillor, Tim Attwood approached me asking we intended doing? Not wanting to discuss tactics etc, I informed him that we would be conducting a militant but PEACEFUL protest. He was quite content with my answer and returned to the main table....

Around the same time, a number of senior members of Provisional S/F members also entered the room and positioned themselves close to our seats and were pretty aggressive in doing so. We all ignored their presence, although I happened to say hello to a few former POWs' who I spent time with in the H-Blocks of Long Kesh.

When the RUC/PSNI Commander entered the room, an RNU Activist from Ballymurphy stood in front of him and asked did he want to search him under 'Terrorist Legislation' as that's what his people did day and daily around the area and in front of his kids every time he was seen by the RUC/PSNI. The senior Peeler said; 'No, I don't want to search you...' Every time he tried to speak he was told to stop harassing, intimidating local Republicans and their families and to stop pointing guns into our faces etc. On one occassion, a well-known member of PSF from West Belfast with the initals; J.T. shouted to the RNU member; 'Sit-down you attention seeker'! The protesters completely ignored the comment and continued with the protest.

Tim Attwood asked for comments to be put through the Chair, which was a responsible request but was rejected because of the mistreatment of citizens by the RUC/PSNI on the streets. Cllr. Attwood then asked if the protesters wanted to make a statement instead? One former Ex-POW spoke for everyone opposed to political Policing when he read a prepared statement condemning the last ten years of the so-called changes to the RUC. At the end of his statement, he asked for all those in the hall to leave and let the Peeler; 'sit by himself as he wasn't part of the local community'. A number of Sinn Fein members including one MLA said that we (the protesters) 'weren't part of the community'.

As we were leaving the room, the Belfast Chairperson of PSF who has the initals; B.S. shouted to me; 'That's the end of it and pointed to J.T. and said, he'll be rapping your door later on and take you away'! I asked him was that a threat, to which he replied; 'No it's a promise'! B.S. had been seated all evening beside another Leading PSF man by the name of 'Duckser' who last June had called me a TOUT...However, when I confronted this person and asked for evidence, he had none nor has he since produced anything to substantiate his ridiculous claims.

Later on, last night I spoke to other RNU members and my family and we agreed that the threat and what was said should be made public...I posted the facts on Twitter, Facebook and on Ir.Net and had no response from Provisional S/F the entire night. Today, I challenged the West Belfast MP, Paul Maskey and the Belfast Mayor, Niall O'Donaille on Twitter about the circumstances of last night and what their Party was doing about it? To date, I've had no response from my former comrades in S/F?

Since leaving the Party over its many comromises of core Irish Republican principles, I and many others have been called many erroneous names and have not replied because it proves just how twisted these people are and their facist attitude to anyone who politically opposes them and their strategy. However, the threat last night in the middle of a public meeting was heard by many and forced me to respond.

I guess the only people who are allowed to engage in political activities according to Provisional S/F....Some things NEVER change

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

End British Torture in Maghaberry

Theses signs have been erected across Newry and South Armagh over the past few days. One which erected at Edentubber was pulled down by anti-republicans who obviously agree with Irishmen being tortured by the British in Maghaberry. The signs were erected by the Newry/South Armagh Republican Prisoners Support Group

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Monday, 21 November 2011

Political Policing in Ireland- Ten Years of the RUC/PSNI

Dispelling the Myth

To mark the tenth anniversary of the RUC’s cosmetic change to the PSNI and to highlight its daily harassment of Republican activists, the Republican Congress have organised a public meeting to be addressed by:

  • Chris Donnelly (RC/IRSP)
  • Stephen Murney (éirígí)
  • Ciaran Murphy (RNU) 

Taking place this Thursday, November 24th at 7pm in the Elmwood Learning and Teaching centre, 216 PCS, Elmwood avenue, Belfast (behind Queen’s Student’s Union).

POW Mural Unveiled

Yesterday hundreds of republicans gathered in the New Lodge for the unveiling of a mural dedicated to republican prisoners in Maghaberry. The mural depicts the silhouette of a man with his fist raised in an iconic stance of resistance. It also compares Maghaberry concentration camp to the H-Blocks along with the spirit of freedom. Issues such as controlled movement and strip searches are also highlighted in the mural along with quotes from Bobby Sands. The bottom of the mural reads "DAMN YOUR CONCESSIONS ENGLAND IT'S OUR FREEDOM WE WANT"

The main speaker at this event was independent republican councillor for Newry & Mourne, Davy Hyland. One of the few elected reps to stand up for republican prisoners, Davy gave a rousing speech.

The fantastic mural was painted by Damien Walker. Damien was harassed everyday by the crown forces (PSNI) as he was painting the mural. The PSNI told him they would make his life hell for painting the mural.

Fair play to everyone involved in this project as it will bring much needed attention to the human rights abuses being carried out in Maghaberry.

Victory to the POWs

Saturday, 19 November 2011

A Day in the life of a Maghaberry POW

The following was penned by, republican POW, DD McLaughlin. It gives a unique insight to the current situation in Maghaberry and outlines what a basic day for the POWs entails

We near the start of our 7th month on protest which started on May 6th 2011. The following is what a POW has to endure daily and has been doing so for the past few months while on protest.

After a night of so called “body checks” ( and for those of you who don’t know what it is) – It’s a screw going round each cell door, banging it open and shining a torch on the POW inside while he is sleeping. This is designed to minimise sleep during the night. It happens at least 2-4 times between the hours of 10pm and 7am.Then,at 7am, between 20-25 alarm bells go off loudly, each one lasting from 5 seconds up to 2 minutes. Then, between 7.30am and 8.15am your door bursts open and standing glaring at you is one of the riot squad doing another check. Each POW’s door is opened and closed aggressively. The riot squad trying to intimidate us as soon as they come onto our wing on Roe 4 to start their daily shift. They have been on our wing since May.

I get up, start to do some exercise and walk the 5 paces up and down the cell. Outside on the landing I hear the cleaners with their shovels, brushes and the wet/dry Hoovers making that dull droning noise. They’re cleaning up the mess from last night and they’ll be on the wing all day cleaning all day. The time is 8.30am.I walk up and down the cell waiting for the door to open and get my breakfast. You can wait from 9am to 11am depending on whether the Riot Squad have to forcibly strip one of our comrades before he goes to court. My last meal was at 4pm yesterday and I’m hoping I’ll get some warm water for a nice cup of tea. At last the door opens and four Riot Squad are standing around my door. I am handed a box containing two Weetabix, a half pint of milk, and I get my cup filled with water for tea but it’s lukewarm, again! The Riot Squad are dressed in white disposable boiler suits, helmets, boots and belt with baton etc. these are the same people who forcibly strip us, that hand us our breakfast at the cell door.

The cell door opens again. It’s 10:15am. ‘Phone!’ one of the Riot Squad grunts. I lift my gallon jar which we have to fill daily and use for drinking water and step out onto the landing. One of them searches me while the others stand around me, staring. I am surrounded and marched to the phone where I am locked in. After a few minutes they shout “Time’s up!”, and I step out onto the landing again and searched. Remember now, I am the only prisoner on the landing and I was on my own on the phone, being watched all the time by the Riot Squad and a camera in the phone room. I am surrounded again and marched to the cell. Only one prisoner is allowed onto the landing at a time, surrounded by four Riot Squad.

It’s 11:25am, the cell door opens again. “Shower!” the screw grunts. I step out onto the landing. I am searched again while my towel, boxers, socks and bar of soap (these are the only items we are allowed to bring to the showers) are thoroughly searched. I am again surrounded, marched to the showers and locked in. when finished, I have to wait to get out and I am searched again. These searches consist of arms spread out and searched, from the wrist to the shoulders, then around the neck, ribs and down to the waist, legs and ankles. Most time you are grabbed aggressively and searched. My stuff was searched again. I am surrounded and marched back to the cell and locked in. some days you won’t get a shower or phone call, it depends if the Riot Squad let you out for it or not. POWs with children at school only get to talk to them at the weekend for a few minutes.

Locked in the cell now, waiting for 12 noon lunch. The door flies open, I am handed a box and the door slams quickly shut. A slight exaggeration as I see no beef! I only have a few minutes to eat this and the door opens again for exercise. If you haven’t eaten it, too bad, it will have to do until after exercise. I step onto the landing again, searched aggressively again, pulling at my collar and ripping up my trouser leggings, tearing the hairs off my legs as foes this with his latex gloves. Pure sectarian hatred, just staring me in the eyes. I don’t flinch; I just stare straight through him. I am surrounded again and marched out to the exercise yard. The only thing you are allowed to take to the yard is tobacco if you smoke. We get roughly one and a half hours exercise. It’s great to get some fresh air and exercise. We are locked in a cage – it’s like a large birdcage with the roof and sides double layered with a thick wire mesh. This is the only time during the day that we get to talk to each other. Then when the times up, we are brought one at a time out of the yard, searched again, marched back to the cell and locked up again until tomorrow.

Back in the cell, it’s 2:05pm and it is time to start the daily ritual of ‘mixing’ – this is done in a small blue ‘pot’ and you have to stir your urine and excrement until it is in liquid form so it will go out the door easier. The screws have blocked the doors on the outside twice (now with rubber and steel) but where there’s a will, there’s a way. No matter what they do, we always counteract it. So you finish mixing and let it sit brewing. Any rubbish or papers go out the windows. Outside’s a mess, inside’s a mess, cleaners going non-stop all day – cleaning cells, cleaning landings and outside has to be cleaned as well.

It’s 3:20pm and a screw opens the door and says “Duty Governor to see you. Any requests or complaints?” I just stare at them both and he slams the door shut. They get the same from the other 13 lads as well. I do some reading until the dinner comes around. It’s 4:05pm and the door opens - Riot Squad are standing there with a food carton and an apple. I get my cup filled with water, lukewarm again. No words are spoken at the door, and it shuts as quickly as it opens. The food is half cooked sausages, a few spuds, some peas and an oil-like substance – gravy. I balance the carton on my knees and eat while I stare out the window at all the grey mesh and razor-wire. I glance around the cell at the corner where all the rotten bits of food and stuff are lying. No clean knives or forks here, or washing of hands. I haven’t even basic things like a mirror. We are locked in the cells for over 22 hours per day. It’s 4:30 pm and I won’t see anyone else until tomorrow.

It’s 6:40pm now and I look out into the darkness at the high grey razor wire – fences all around me, and I wonder how Marian is getting on? All on her own in isolation, not having anyone to talk to, or go for a walk with. We are lucky here, having each other, when Marian has to go through each day by herself. The only time she sees a friendly face is during her one visit a week – which is only for the guts of an hour. I know she is strong, has been in worse situations before and has beaten it.

As the night creeps in, my mind wanders and I think of my wife, my two wee children and all my family and friends. I know they are 100% behind me just like all the families and friend of all the POWs here on Roe 4. I am in cell 11 where a few months ago, our friend Harry Fitzsimons was brutally beaten and tortured for roughly 20 minutes. We were all locked in our cells during his ordeal. To hear this going on while you are locked behind a door is a terrible feeling. Anger, frustration, and you can’t help or do anything, all the while hoping the person getting the beating will be OK. Then have to sit in a visit and see Harry’s family crying at the shape the Riot Squad had left him…

Then just last week Kevin Murphy came in and wasn’t on our wing one day until he was brought to court and he wasn’t needed at all. Just and excuse to forcibly strip search him. He was pulled by the head up and down the cell by the Riot Squad who forced the clothes off him. That night he said he felt as though he had been in a car crash, his body aching all over. That was his welcome from the screws to Roe 4. At resent between us we have endured over 90 forced strip searches and with trials approaching this will increase rapidly. Colin Duffy’s trial is just over a week away, and with him having to endure 2 strips a day, that’s 10 forced strips per week, and a trial expected to last between 2 - 3 months. Colin could be faced with being forcibly stripped between 80 and 120 times over the duration of his trial. Brendan McConville, John Paul Wootton, Kevin Nolan and Gerard McManus will be facing a similar amount of forced strips as their trials also approach.

With thoughts like these going through your mind, it makes you feel very angry and sad at the suffering POWs have to go through but we are strong, determined and unstoppable in our protest to end strip searching and the criminalisation of Republican prisoners in Maghaberry Gaol.

The following men are making a stand; Kevin Nolan, Gerard McManus, Kevin Murphy, Brian Sheridan, Brian Cavlan, Colin Duffy, Harry Fitzsimons, Dominic Dynes, Joe Barr, Sean McConville, John Paul Wootton, Mark McGuigan, Brendan McConville, and myself, DD McLaughlin.

Victory to the POWs 

Friday, 18 November 2011

New low for PSNI Harassment

In the 80s and 90s the British forces in occupied Ireland regularly targeted grieving families who were mourning their loved ones. Today in 2011 the British forces known as the PSNI are doing the same. This incident is disturbing to read but it's the reality of what is happening. Those who continue to support these animals have a lot to answer for.  

In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends-Martin Luther King

The young wife (36) of a well known Belfast republican died this week in tragic circumstances. At first the rumour mill spread around that she had died by her own hand, that wasnt the case and she has died by accident. The night of her death Monday the PSNI pulled up outside the home of the husband. The PSNI began to beep the horn of their car and when he and his gathered family looked out the window, the PSNI officers in the car began to do hanging actions with there tongues out and laughing at them. The angry family had to restrain him from going out to them.

This morning while trying to organise funeral arrangements, the PSNI stopped his car on the Falls rd and told him to pull his car into the bus lane, He said that he would be blocking the bus lane if he did so ans was there a better place to pull in, at this stage one officer pulled his flick stick out and began to attempt to smash his window, he jumped out and told the cop that he had had enough of them and to leave him to grieve. He was wrestled to the ground and had his head, slammed by the boot of their car leaving a large gash on his head, his elbows and shins were cut also. At this stage as parents of children getting dropped to school at nearby St Louise's jumped out of their cars and came to his assistance. They screamed at the cops to leave him alone and to un-handcuff him as he was suffering a loss. The cops sent for re-enforcements and a local SF rep came over and spoke to one cop and asked him to calm the situation down, He was told to go away and not interfere in the incident. In fairness to him he then began to pull at one cop with the other concerned parents who were now also pushing and pulling at the cops. One female officer shouted hit them with CS gas....A PSNI car arrived and one officer after speaking to the others, de-arrested him and told him that he was being referred to the PPS for charges.

This is another example of an un-reformed and un-accountable force that is still abusing our community and know they are free to carry acts like this free from any recourse! 

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Maghaberry 24 hour Fast/Vigil

The family & Friends support group announce plans for the 24 hour fast/vigil.

Maghaberry 24 hour fast/vigil
Friday 25th Nov 1.00 pm ~ Saturday 26th Nov 1.00 pm.
Maghaberry gaol.

All republicans are asked to attend to show their support for the POWs on protest.
This event needs to have large numbers in attendance if to prove successful and we urge everyone to make the effort to show the POWs that we on the outside support them and their protest.


POW Mural Unvieling

The Family and Friends campaign group will this Sunday 20th November unveil a new mural they have had commisioned in support of the POWs on protest.

We are calling on all republicans to attend and show their support for the POWs on protest.

Family & Friends mural unveiling.
Sunday 20th November @ 2pm
Newlodge ( just of Carlisle Road)



20th Anniversary of Óglaigh Patricia Black & Frankie Ryan

Friday night 9.40pm on the 15.11.1991. it was a night when all young folk were having fun on there weekend night out,

But for two young Irish volunteers it was like any other night as on there mind's was freedom, freedom for Ireland but this night they sadly lost there lives on English soil, 

They were Vol Patricia Black and Vol Frankie Ryan, like so many Irish they went and fought the war on British soil, but sadly Vol's were to die on English soil and we will never forget them. 

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Anti-Republicans Remove POW Sign

A Board erected at Edentubber not far from the Carrickdale hotel in support of Maghaberry POWs was removed between 1-4pm today

This isn't the first time that signs/banners have been stolen by cowards in the Newry/south Armagh area.

Last year a banner calling for an end to torture was erected in Camlough, this was cut down by 2 former republicans. They were exposed for their anti-republican activities when hundreds of leaflets were distributed to homes in the village, this was then followed by a very successful and well attended picket.

A few weeks ago another banner in Meigh mysteriously vanished

Then we had the Colin Duffy slogan in Derrybeg removed. Although this was then replaced with a 24ft mural which is still in place today. Although when the board was erected the electoral rejects in the area attacked the mural online and even ridiculously stated that "The people don't need convincing of the plight of Irish prisoners". Colin and his family have been persecuted relentlessly for the past 20 years and is now currently on trial,

The Newry/South Armagh republican prisoners support group have been working flat out in recent months painting and erecting signs and banners all over Newry, south armagh and south down to highlight the human rights abuses being carried out against republican prisoners in Maghaberry.

It would seem there are some people out there who don't want this issue highlighted. Maybe they are uncomfortable with this issue, maybe it embarrasses them

Some of the signs/banners that have been removed called for an end to the torture of republican prisoners. 

The sign that was removed today stated " END BRITISH TORTURE IN MAGHABERRY " with a silhouette of a prison watch tower. What is wrong with that message?

It would seem the cowardly perpetrators disagree with that message. So maybe they agree with republican prisoners being tortured in a British prison?

On one hand they claim to support the human rights aspect of the prisoners protest yet they pull down signs and banners highlighting it.

What are they afraid of?

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Ádh mór ORaibh Colin Agus Brian

Regular readers be know that this blog has been highlighting the persecution of Colin Duffy since he was arrested.

On Monday, after almost 3 years of incarceration, the trial of Colin and Brian began in Antrim court (a non-jury Diplock court i might add). The image of Colin with his long hair and beard, due to months of being on protest, has shocked many people. It has hit home the reality of what the conditions are for republican prisoners in Maghaberry.

This blog would like to wish both men and their families the best of luck with what lies ahead.

I'd also like to state that for obvious reasons the only posts that will be put on this blog during the trial will be official statements issued by Colin's family.

Fan Tréan 

Friday, 4 November 2011

Another Day in ‘Normalised’ Newry

Saturday [October 29] was just a normal day for republicans in Newry’s Derrybeg estate, with a local republican being the target of an early morning raid.

The day began with a convoy of armoured PSNI land rovers arriving at the estate at roughly 7am. Then, using a battering ram, they forced their way into the home of a member of éirígí under the guise of searching for firearms.

For several hours they searched the home, during which time they harassed residents and refused family members access to the victim’s house. Some of those involved in the raid were dressed in white forensic suits and had sniffer dogs with them. When the victim’s family members, who have lived in the estate all their lives, arrived at the scene they had assault rifles pointed at them and PSNI gunmen pretended to be shooting at them in a petty display of intimidation.

éirígí’s Newry spokesperson Stephen Murney, who lives in the estate, was also at the scene.

Stephen said, “Our comrade had his door kicked in, his home ransacked and his personal possessions rifled through by these thugs. They hit the door with the battering ram with such force it almost came off the hinges, the frame has also been badly damaged. Myself and number of other local republicans were prevented from getting anywhere near the house by members of the PSNI armed with assault rifles. Unsurprisingly the PSNI left empty handed after nothing was found.

“I counted no less than ten land rovers and there were dozens of TSG gunmen involved in this attack on our community; as usual the PSNI cheerleaders are nowhere to be seen or heard.”

Murney continued, “The level of harassment being meted out to republicans in Newry is unbelievable. Everyday there is some kind of incident, whether it’s a stop & search, arrest or a house raid. This isn’t the first time that party members in the Derrybeg estate have had their homes raided in such a manner. It hasn’t deterred us in the past and it certainly won’t deter us now. We offer our solidarity and support to our comrade who had to endure this brutal treatment at the hands of this unaccountable militia. He has lived in this area all his life and has suffered this type of treatment before, in recent months he has also found himself being stopped and searched on a regular basis.

“It’s clear that this man is being targeted because of his activities in éirígí and it’s also clear that the crown forces fear us, and fearful they should be.”

éirígí in Newry will be organising a public meeting in the very near future and one of the main topics of discussion will be the harassment and brutality the people of Newry have to constantly endure.

Details of this event will be published in the coming weeks.

Thursday, 3 November 2011


Republicans have been busy in Newry with their campaign to highlight the situation in Maghaberry.

A massive sign saying "Smash Maghaberry" was erected on the Newry bypass and stenciled slogans calling for an end to strip searches have appeared in various places.

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