H-Block Men announce Hunger Strike in face of British inhumanity and intransigence
THE responsibility for whatever happens during the course of the long-dreaded H-Block Hunger Strike scheduled to begin on Monday week, 27 October, rests squarely on the shoulders of the British Government. For it was the British Government which back tracked on the political agreement made in June 1972 when hunger striking republicans in jail, backed up by thousands on the street, were close to death.
It was the withdrawal of that agreement in 1976 that created the conditions which led firstly to the H-Block blanket protest, and secondly to the long trial of suffering which the men and their women comrades in Armagh Jail have gone through for four years, and now finally, their patience at the end, to the declaration of a hunger strike `to the death', if necessary.
The blanket men's decision to hunger strike calls upon the support of all Irish people. It is a supreme test of willpower and self-sacrifice, and of peaceful protest versus a violent regime which will only be subdued if it is thoroughly exposed ands widely condemned for its inhumanity.
It is up to all who do not want Irish prisoners to die to protest vigorously and at a level which will pale past activities into insignifigance, and to mobilise thousands on the streets in a force which will tear lumps out of British intransigence.
Phoblacht, 18 October 1980