Irish Blog Whacked

Sunday, October 28, 2012


Locked down under freedom’s internment
Never convicted or even charged with a crime

In Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland the concept of punishment, justice and logic constantly change. The Irish Lewis Carroll disguises his own childhood experience of independent thought, in his time of Victorian Britain in defiance of authority, with the evolution of Alice.

Alice introduces herself with much concern about doing things right and proper resulting in considerable distress. Alice is tough on herself constantly at the beginning of Alice in Wonderland and also reprimands her cats in her adventure "Through the Looking Glass."

"Sometimes she scolded herself so severely, as to bring tears into her eyes; and once she remembered trying to box her own ears for having cheated herself, in a game of croquet." Alice struggles to obey rules, constantly changing, trying to follow the ones she believes acceptable, while rejecting in principle, those she disagrees with. She sometimes feels overwhelmed, keeping up with ever-morphing justice, in British Occupied Ireland...ahem.. Wonderland.

Alice attempts to logically analyze all of the preposterous and wacky events, that go on around her and tries to behave accordingly  mirroring Lewis Carroll's own experiences in British Occupied Ireland as a child, where he refused to take British lessons, as they were commonly accepted but defied logical understanding of them,  when his views breached their injustice system

His headmaster James Tate, said he was ingenious in replacing ordinary inflexions of nouns and verbs in English grammar by more exact forms of his own creation, even when he read aloud from Virgil, with a more precise term of whatever appeared to him vague.

Lewis Carroll's childhood character, of seeking  logical solutions in obscure concepts, develops in Alice. In the last two chapters in Alice in Wonderland, Alice finds herself in a courtroom, where she does not understand the British logic and justice system, that the judge and jury employ to prosecute. Alice in political conscience, refuses to adhere to the British rules she finds unjust, despite being the only one who is in opposition. Lewis Carroll, also ignored the authoritarian form the English language, in favor of his own conclusions. Alice's experiences considerable adversity with illogical superiors, as is the case today with Marian Price, being interned without trial, by the Vice royal of British Occupied Ireland Theresa Villiers..

The individuals asserting power in British society, Lewis Carroll suggested, decide what things will mean. Their whims, and rule changes, prompted and enforced by irrational fury against people who want freedom, dictating responsibilities, duties, guilts, sins, and punishment such as political internment without trial. Lewis Carroll being victimized, corresponded to the Alices's view of grown-up farcical authority and with Marian Price's interned political conscience today.

Lewis Carroll, valued highly independent thought and those with the ability to rise above the imprisoned, unjust rules of would be British superiors. Alice in Wonderland is the evolving physical metaphor of Alice, asserting her beliefs, like the tortured Marian Price of today in British Occupied Ireland.

Unlike Alice who defied the queen and loudly said "Stuff and nonsense!' saying, "'Who cares for you?' as she had grown to her full size. 'You're nothing but a pack of cards!''  By being forthright and courageous with her own logic, against the queen, Alice grew in size, a metaphor of her character growth and courage.Fortunately for Alice, unlike Marian Price the queen of that time did not intern her without trial and throw away the key.

Lewis Carroll unlike today's teachers, was a teacher that fostered independent thought with one of his pupils writing,  "by his own real wish to know what I was thinking Mr. Dodgson compelled me to that independence of thought I had never before tried to exercise...I felt myself able in some measure to judge for myself, to select and if need be to reject." .

Meanwhile Marian Price is still interned in British Occupied Ireland for almost 18 months, during which time neither her lawyers, or Marian have been allowed to see any of Britain's ‘alleged’ evidence.

• She has been kept in solitary confinement in a ‘male’ high security prison
• She is effectively interned without a trial, sentence, or release date.
• She has not been given any timescale for any investigation.
• She has not been allowed to see the evidence that the state claims to have
• Her release has been ordered on two occasions by judges. However, on both occasions the secretary of state has overruled those decisions.
• The secretary of state claims he has ‘revoked Marian’s license’. This is despite Marian never being released on license. She was given a Royal Pardon.
• Marian’s Royal Pardon has ‘gone missing’ from the home office (the only time in history). The secretary of state has taken the view that unless a paper copy can be located – it must be assumed that she does not have one.
• Despite no ‘license’ existing for her release from prison in 1980, it is the non-existent license that is being used to keep her in prison.
• She can only be released by Theresa Villiers the current Secretary of State responsible.

The second last time Marian appeared in court the charges against her were thrown out of court for lack of evidence by a Judge. Now the very same charges have been re-instated against Marian again by the very same Judge!

In secret courts, being introduced secretly, by the back door, through the House of Lords, by the British secret service, secret trials will take place, with secret evidence by secret witnesses, that not even her lawyers are allowed to know or see. The length of sentence is secret and it is all kept secret with the threat of a penalty of a long jail sentence, under the official Secret's Act. Not even Lewis Carroll could dream that one up.

Despite protests of defense lawyers, the secret courts will operate with virtually no rules of evidence, no discovery rules, no rules of decision and no rules regarding precedent. Not only will traditional law be in short supply, so too, will any sense, as to what interpretive practices would be followed by the 'judges' or what precedent values will exist. Thus the invocation of Lewis Carroll above, as well Kafka to the whole political/judicial system in British Occupied Ireland, demonstrating the absurd basis, of the unchecked British Vice royal regime in Ireland.

In the constant existential crises, of the nonsensical British scum state, established on the basis of a British mentored sectarian headcount, with rules and ongoing lawlessness of farcical law, that commands no respect from the informed Irish citizens, as opposed to Her majesty's bigoted or sectarian commoners, that corresponds to the topsy turvy universe of Alice in Wonderland,

British insistence on their internal logic, may amuse readers of the absurd, even as the rules they constantly re-create are illogically disjointed, in the context of the tests of history, experience and common sense. Alice‘s world is a wonderland only because, like Marian Price it is at odds with her, reader‘s, conventions of civility and expectations of basic humanity. Lewis Carroll's texts demonstrate, how an elaborate, unjust, constantly changing set of rules, that mirror the lunatic reality of a reconstituted normalcy, makes any of its keepers rationalizing it, look foolish by any standards of commonsense.

On the other hand, it  definitively has a Kafkaesque basis, with its indefinite detention, where no one is formally charged, where
one may not seek counsel, where an individual cannot have his or her day in court, where, all along one is being secretly judged, by observers with a vested interest to infer guilt, based on the reasons above an its bigoted, prejudiced, sectarian, racist, perceptions.

The dehumanization of internees such as Marian Price, through the infliction of pain and torture, not only damages her body and mind, it is as Elaine Scarry wrote, world-destroying, "It is the intense pain that destroys a person‘s self and world, a destruction experienced spatially as either the contraction of the universe down to the immediate vicinity of the body or as the body swelling to fill the entire universe. Intense pain is also language destroying; as the content of one‘s world disintegrates, so the content of one‘s language disintegrates; as the self disintegrates, so that which would express and project the self is robbed of its source and its subject. Thus, physical erasure also eliminates the intelligible voice, reducing human speech to the primordial expression of pain, a state anterior to language."

In addition to these erasures of the body, mind and self, British torture achieves a third form of physical erasure, by the very fact
of the political prisoners‘ torture, requiring concealment. The retreat of torture from respectability by international standards, means that the British must perform it in hiding, primarily with censorship. However they also conceal their involvement in rendition, as they hide their activity in subcontracted assassination, with more curtains over their already, shrouded victim's bodies.

While their prolonged stress positions, as well as other conduct constituting cruel, inhuman, degrading treatment may not always rise to the level of torture, they nevertheless were found guilty of such, by the International Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg regarding their activity in Ireland. The physical erasure of British torture is self-evident, and therefore needs only brief comment.

In secret courts, with identity blacked out on their transcripts, judges will not countenance torture complaints, they will have none of this conduct, deeming it unacceptable and defendants will receive a final warning, oblivious to international law. In such courts they do not want to hear the words, such international law again. The British are not concerned about international law, they will insist on it, by having someone like Marian Price removed from the hearings, so that their secret services and military can consider classified evidence against her in secret.

If we accept the integrity of human rights law and its independence from any state sovereign, then it follows that there can never be
lawlessness such as there is in British Occupied Ireland, only gross violations of human rights law.British habeas-corpus-stripping provisions, are a core breach of human rights law, besides the many liberty concerns with regard to the Geneva Conventions. British attempts at unilateral re-interpretation of sections international law, have no constitutional rights whatsoever

British Occupied Ireland with the treatment of political internees such as Marian Price, Martin Corey and many others, has become a human-rights-free zone.The quarantine of many Irish political prisoners is a familiar concealment. When placed in a human rights context. British Occupied Ireland is often described in terms of the British government‘s denial of rights to political prisoners but equally important the denial of their Irish humanity.

British Occupied Ireland has been a laboratory, of their dehumanization, while they use their media, such as the BBC world srvice, to refer to prisoners of conscience, as terrorists, to ostracize them from what it means to be human and allow the British the physical and mental treatment of Irish political prisoners, abhorrent to human beings.Thus they accomplish through cultural erasure, through the creation of  the terrorist narrative; legal erasure and physical erasure through torture.

While the dimensions of dehumanization are distinct, they are interrelated. All are connected by law and specifically by human rights.The British have created the preconditions for state power activity, so brutal, as to deprive Irish political prisoners of the ability to be human or have any human rights.They stand exposed to the violence of the British state, unmediated, unprotected by any human rights, reducing political internees to a state of bare life without humanity. What is evolving is the Irish have no right, to have rights, a vacuum enabling extreme British state violence, placing the internment of Marian Price, at the center of a struggle not just for rights, but for humanity that includes you and me.

Like Alice aspiring to overturn prevailing power relations, the value is its means, as much as its end. Through resistance, political space will open but the mere resistance, the assertion of self against state violence, is self and life-affirming. Resistance is a way of staying human.  This, then, is the work that rights do, when pushed to the brink of annihilation, they provide us with a rudimentary and perhaps inadequate tool to maintain our humanity. Thus by paying particular attention to the value of human rights  and arguing the importance of rights, it becomes a mode of resistance, to state violence.

Irish political prisoners themselves, have a long track record of participating in direct forms of resistance in many forms, including dirt strikes and hunger strikes, as a form of prisoner resistance, with lawyer rights-based litigation and the hunger strikes, sharing an understanding of the relationship between rights, violence, and humanity. While sometimes the resistance of lawyers and of prisoners may not be enough to win the prisoners‘ freedom, it is still essential when British state violence is so extreme, as to attempt to extinguish our humanity.

Before the sickening images can take a political toll
The right-wing spin machine plays damage control