Irish Blog Whacked

Saturday, November 3, 2012

ACT OF WAR : Irish Republican News


The shooting of a senior British prison official has drawn attention to the conflict in the north of Ireland and the increasingly bitter dispute over the treatment of republican prisoners at Maghaberry jail.
A well-planned ambush on a remote stretch of the M1 motorway resulted in the death of Maghaberry warder David Black yesterday [Thursday] morning. Black had been involved in the torture and abuse of republican prisoners since as far back as the 1980 hunger strike.
Although no organisation has claimed responsibility for the attack, there had been warnings over the years of an IRA response to the abuses of republican prisoners, chiefly by the Continuity IRA.
A government backlash today saw PSNI raids and arrests in Lurgan, County Armagh where the vehicle involved in the attack was said to have been found. Former internee Colin Duffy, who spent almost three years behind bars on IRA charges before finally being cleared in January this year, was one of two men detained.
Sinn Fein and the rest of the political establishment at Stormont have strongly condemned the attack.
“The killing of a prison officer yesterday is wrong,” said Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams. “There is no future in such actions which are rejected by the entire community, North and South.”
He said the organisations that are politically associated with the armed groups had “no popular support or political strategy”.
“On the contrary they play into the hands of those in the British system who are opposed to the peace process and to its potential for achieving a united Ireland.
“These groups must be challenged. The media has a responsibility to ask these organisations where they stand on actions such as Thursday’s murder.”
The attack was also condemned by the DUP, the PSNI Chief Matt Baggott, British Prime Minister David Cameron and 26-County Taoiseach Enda Kenny.
But it drew little sympathy in hardline republican areas of the North. A ‘screw’ who had played an oppressive and mercenary role for the British Crown -- from the original blanket protest and the hunger strikes of Long Kesh, up to the current no-wash protest at HMP Maghaberry -- was seen as a casualty of the war he had engaged in.
Black, who was also a prominent member of the anti-Catholic Orange Order, was the 30th member of the British prison system to be killed in Ireland since 1974.
PROTEST ARRESTThe attack took place just days after a series of international protests were organised by Republican Sinn Fein in protest at the abuse and criminalisation of republican prisoners.
At one picket in Lurgan last weekend, the RSF Ard Chomhairle member Cait Treanor was arrested and taken to Hydebank women’s prison in Belfast.
In March, Treanor was fined for ‘participating in and organising’ a march through Lurgan in January 2011 in support of Martin Corey, interned without trial in Maghaberry since 2010. Treanor refused to pay the fine of 700 euro imposed on her and so was arrested and jailed. She is expected to be released after two weeks.
Pickets also took place throughout Europe, in Canada and in the US to call for the restoration of political status and an end to the strip- searching and controlled movement of the prisoners.
Dieter Blumenfeld, spokesperson of the organising committee, said: “More than 30 years after the H-Block Hunger strikes ended, Irish prisoners are once again forced to protest for their rights. Some of these men are on dirty-protest for more than a year. Injustice in Ireland is growing.
“Marian Price and Martin Corey are both interned for more than a year and an Irishman held in a Lithuanian jail is denied his basic human rights.
“Only international pressure can be successful in the campaign to support the Irish Republican prisoners.”
There were protests in 11 countries on 3 continents. One of the protests, a vigil organised by Irish republicans of the “Maghaberry Awareness Group St. Pauli” in Hamburg was broken up by German police.
PRISONERS’ STATEMENTThe following message was sent from the group of RSF-aligned republican prisoners at Maghaberry to the protests:
“Greetings from the Republican Prisoners in Maghaberry jail to the activists, supporters and participants of the International Day of Action for Irish Republican Prisoners of War 2012.
“We, the Republican Prisoners of War incarcerated in Maghaberry prison camp, wish to send greetings to those assembled all over the world today protesting on our behalf.
“At present we are engaged in a ‘dirty protest’ to end the archaic practice of strip searching and 23-hour lock-down, and to secure conditions befitting of Prisoners of War. The age-old British policy of criminalisation of Irish Republican prisoners is in full swing in Maghaberry and as always we, as Republicans, will oppose this in anyway we can.
“We have been on this current phase of protest now for over 18 months and we see little movement from our captors. The conditions we endure are far from humane or acceptable, yet we will continue in our struggle until our demands are met. We have a duty to all Republicans and to those prisoners who may follow us.
“We find ourselves incarcerated due to British rule in Ireland and are part of the broader struggle for Irish independence. We take heart from gatherings such as this, that Irish Republicanism is alive and vibrant, kept alive by people like you. As Republican Prisoners of War we will not shy away from our duty and we salute all those in Ireland and abroad who work towards the independence of Ireland by any means necessary.”The support we have received from those across the world makes us more determined and resolute, we are indeed grateful for such support, and ask for your continued support and activism on our behalf.
“We applaud those of you who take to the streets all over the world in protest at the detention of true Republicans.
“We will continue to resist all attempts by the British government to criminalise us and our struggle and with your continued support we are confident of victory.
“Onwards to the Republic!
“Signed O/C Maghaberry Gaol, “October 2012”

Finucane report to be vetted by MI5

A British government “security check” on a new report into the murder of Belfast defence lawyer Pat Finucane by British agents has further undermined the credibility of the document.
The newly-appointed British Direct Ruler Theresa Villiers said she had ordered the examination of the case review ahead of its publication to ensure it does not breach “national security”. Similar reviews have been held by British military intelligence (MI5) throughout the conflict to censor any embarrassing facts or details which might emerge.
Mr Finucane was gunned down in his north Belfast home by loyalist paramilitaries in 1989. Previous investigations have uncovered that most or all of the UDA death squad which carried out the assassination were agents of the British Crown.
The murder of the Catholic father-of-three was one of the most controversial of the conflict. British Prime Minister David Cameron has accepted collusion took place and has apologised to the Finucane family.
But his refusal to hold a full public inquiry into the murder - instead opting for a “legal review” - angered the Finucane family, who subsequently launched a bid to challenge the decision in the courts.
Mr Finucane’s son John yesterday said his family never had confidence in the review and the government’s decision to subject it to the so-called “security check” had emphasised their misgivings.
He said it was not appropriate for the state to control the information published in a report that was supposed to be examining its alleged role in a murder.
“This confirms again that the government, who on the one hand are being accused of collusion in the murder of my father and the prime minister has accepted that there was collusion, controls the flow of information - which I don’t think is credible,” he said.
“It is not a process that I think is independent. We think that process is best managed by a court.”
Mr Finucane again called for a full public inquiry to be held. “We did not have any faith to begin with,” he said of the review.
“I would be very surprised if this will put to bed the international concerns around the murder of my father when it is released. The government should deal with this appropriately and announce a full independent inquiry.”

New investigation into PSNI collusion with UVF

A decision by the Police Ombudsman to investigate allegations of collusion between the PSNI and the unionist paramilitary UVF has been welcomed.
The ombudsman is to examine allegations that police colluded with the UVF by failing to properly investigate fatal shootings in north and west Belfast between 1989 and 2010 -- including that of Bobby Moffett, who was murdered on Shankill Road after a dispute with a senior UVF man. It is widely believed that the PSNI had approved the cold-blooded murder, which took place in a casual manner on a busy street in May 2010.
A number of families of UVF victims have welcomed the Ombudsman’s intervention and it is their testimonies which have led to this move.
It is believed investigators will examine claims that no-one has been charged or convicted in connection with the murders because police agents and informers were being protected.
The investigation bears strong similarities with another Ombudsman inquiry.
Operation Ballast, which homed in on north Belfast’s Mount Vernon estate, revealed UVF killers were protected from prosecution because they were police agents.
Raymond McCord, whose son was murdered by the UVF, has welcomed it.
“What people have to understand is that when people from the unionist community or any community go to the Police Ombudsman’s office and make a complaint it has to be investigated,” he said.
“This isn’t having a go at any paramilitary group and I’m delighted because hopefully now it’ll show that there wasn’t a proper investigation in a lot of the murders.”
INQUEST OPPOSEDMeanwhile, the PSNI have said they are ‘unable’ to extradite a man suspected of killing Derry republican Kieran Doherty in 2010 -- but do not want an inquest to go ahead.
A PSNI inspector said a suspect had left the jurisdiction some time ago, but that extradition “would not be relevant”. He said was concerned that “matters would be revealed” in the coroner’s inquest which could be “detrimental to the investigation”.
Senior coroner John Leckey said during decades of conflict in the North, coroners routinely held inquests quite soon after a death and he could not remember police objecting.
The Doherty family remain suspicious of the involvement of MI5 (British military intelligence) in Kieran’s death, despite a report by senior British barrister Alex Carlile which denies this.
Family lawyer Fiona Doherty said: “There is a serious allegation, a serious issue in this inquest about the approaches made to the deceased, Mr Doherty, by MI5 for a continuous period of time up to his death and the family have serious concerns about that and serious concerns about the possible involvement of state agents in the death.”
The family want the full contents of the Carlile report to be available to the coroner. Kieran Doherty’s uncle, Vincent Coyle, said they were only given two paragraphs of the report.
“Now we know there is a lot more in that report which we have not seen. In fact we think there’s a report the size of a phone directory and that must be made available to the inquest,” he said.

Internment by deception

A County Tyrone republican has lashed out at the justice system in the North of Ireland after charges against him and four others were quietly dropped by Crown prosecutors this week -- after more than 14 months held without bail at Maghaberry prison.
The charges against Coalisland man Kevin Barry Murphy were based on alleged forensic evidence linking him to a claimed arms find in County Armagh in April last year.
Another man, Patrick Carty from Dungannon, was also freed after the PSNI police and prosecutors abandoned claims that his fingerprints were discovered on a mortar rocket.
Relatives and friends of the two men, who packed into the public gallery at Armagh Magistrates Court, were filmed entering and leaving the court complex by Special Branch police.
Murphy was previously cleared by a court of IRA charges in 2004 after it emerged that a police informer had been used to lure him and three others to a site where a rocket launcher had been hidden.
He said he had been interned by remand [‘awaiting trial’] and denied ever being a member of the ‘Real IRA’.
“In the past I have been acquitted of being a member of that organisation,” he said.
“The important point is that for the last 14 months we have asked for the fingerprint evidence and they have failed to produce it. It is tantamount to internment by remand.
“Someone said we were guilty of something without producing the evidence. That is the strategy being used against republicans. In the eighties we had the super-grass trials, in the nineties we had shoot-to-kill and today they are using internment by remand.”
He also called for the role of the PSNI and the forensic scientists used in his arrest and detention to be examined.
“An independent body needs to look at how those who step outside the box, those who are not pro-Good Friday Agreement republicans, end up in Maghaberry,” he said.
“What happened to us is also an indictment of constitutional nationalism which has remained silent on the issue.
“It’s an indictment of the new political dispensation on policing and justice.”
The two men have spent their detention at Maghaberry prison in County Antrim, where they joined in the ongoing no-wash protest against criminalisation by other political prisoners held there.
Arms charges against three other men were also dropped this week, although they continue to be held at Maghaberry without bail.
Mr Murphy’s lawyer, Peter Corrigan said the charges had been dropped to avoid having to finally reveal the statements of evidence.
“We have been requesting the so-called fingerprint evidence from the police station from his arrest right through the proceedings,” he said.
“We initiated experts to go into the lab and that request was refused.
“All of a sudden they know we are going to see the statements of evidence and they withdraw the charges.”
He said he believed his client had been targeted for imprisonment and ‘malicious prosecution’.
“This is effectively internment by remand when you don’t produce the evidence to justify the detention,” he said.
“In light of this case we are calling for custody time limits to be brought in so the prosecution cannot do this, so they cannot delay cases without producing the evidence.
“This case is going to be referred to the police ombudsman and we will be initiating civil proceedings for malicious prosecution.”

British MI5 Internment Act of War in British Occupied Ireland

British MI5 Internment Act of War in British Occupied Ireland... on Twitpic

British MI5 Internment Act of War in British Occupied Ireland

by BrianClarkeNUJ - AllVoices Fri Nov 02, 2012 20:28

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

• 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 British Vice royal has overruled those decisions.
• The Vice royal claims they ‘revoked Marian’s license, ’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 British Vice royal has taken the view that unless a paper copy can be located – it must be assumed that she does not have one. It is generally agreed that MI5 shredded her majesty's pardon.
• Despite no ‘license’ existing for her release from prison in 1980, it is the non-existent licence that is being used to keep her in prison.
• She can only be released by Theresa Villiers the current Vice royal responsible for Marian's internment.

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 in front of the very same Judge!

In secret courts, being introduced secretly, by the back door, through legislation in the House of Lords, MI5 the British secret service, push for secret trials to take place, with secret evidence by secret witnesses, that not even the defendant's lawyers are allowed to know or see. The length of sentence is secret with it all kept secret, under penalty of a long jail sentence, of their Official Secret's Act.

Despite protests of defence 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. 

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, its obvious injustice, commands no respect from informed Irish citizens, with the exception of Her majesty's cultivated bigoted, sectarian, neo-colonial, commoners.

With indefinite internment without a fair trial, without formal charges, where counsel is uniformed, where an individual cannot have their day in open court, events such as the miscarriages of justice like the Guildford 4 and the Birmingham 6 will become the secret norm. Internees without trial are being secretly judged, by observers with a vested financial and political interest to infer guilt by often bigoted, prejudiced, sectarian, racist, blackmailed, intimidated bureaucrats of colonial 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 her 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 European standards, means that the British must perform their brutality in hiding, primarily with censorship. However they also conceal their involvement in rendition, as they hide their activity in subcontracted assassinations, with more curtains over their already, shrouded victim's bodies such as several human rights lawyers liquidated in British Occupied Ireland

While in some instances, their prolonged stress positions along with other techniques, 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 in their colonial history worldwide, right up to the present day and therefore needs only brief comment.

In secret British courts, with identity blacked out on their transcripts, judges will not countenance torture complaints, deeming this complaint conduct unacceptable and defendants will receive a final warning, oblivious to international law. In such courts they do not tolerate words, such as international law. The British are not concerned about international law and insist on it, by having internees 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. Britain's current habeas-corpus-stripping provisions, are a core breach of human rights law. The many liberty concerns with regard to the Geneva Conventions and current British attempts at unilateral re-interpretation of sections of international law, have no constitutional basis 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 systematic dehumanization, while they use their corporate right-wing media, such as the BBC world service, to refer to prisoners of conscience, as terrorists, to ostracize them from what it means to be human and allow the British continue the physical and mental maltreatment 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. Irish political internees 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. The evolving normalization, is the Irish have no right, to have rights, a vacuum enabling extreme British state violence, placing the internment of internees such as Marian Price, at the center of a struggle not just for rights, but for humanity that includes you and me.

Through resistance, political space will open up but the mere resistance, the assertion of self against state violence, is in itself life-affirming. Resistance is a way of staying human. This, then, is the work that human 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 peaceful resistance, to British state violence. British internment is a military act of war on a defenceless civilian population, even their own beloved wartime Churchill called it and odious act of war in wartime.

It has been used in every decade in Ireland in the last century with political concentration camps with impunity, because the British ruling class regard and portray the Irish as subhuman. Indeed Irish political prisoners of conscience, currently live in subhuman conditions in British Occupied Ireland. Irish political prisoners pushed to the the edge of annihilation of their identity, 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, along 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 as in the instance of dozens of Irish political prisoners who have died on hunger strike, it is still essential when British state violence is so extreme, as to attempt to extinguish our humanity and carry out this act of war on a defenceless civilian population that we explore every peaceful mode of resistance, besides fighting fire with fire. We have a moral obligation to consider all other alternatives first, that we fight fire with water and deny the British, with their barbaric acts of war on ordinary people, any basis for their inhumanity with their terrorist narrative.

Ordinary people too, who are genuinely interested in real peace in Ireland, have a responsibility to work for justice in Ireland, which is the only basis for a real lasting peace. Careerist politicians making millions off the backs of the long suffering Irish people make superficial careerist calls for peace, knowing full well is is hypocritical nonsense in an island of a divided Ireland, in more senses than one, planted firmly in social and political injustice of the extreme.

There is rally today, Saturday the 3rd of November in Dublin, starting at the Garden of Remembrance at 2.00 p.m, which goes to the historic GPO. That is a good start for anyone genuinely interested interested in Peace in Ireland and remove the basis of political violence. It would do well for those politicians engaged in state violence and acts of war against the Irish people of no property, to open their minds to this suggestion, rather than mouth vacuous, hypocritical condemnations for strictly political profit.


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