Occupied Ireland - No change

By Ireland Information Group

Much has changed since the days of ‘81 in the occupied six counties in the North of Ireland.

The mainstream Republican movement has laid down its arms and now condemn those who continue to resist via armed struggle. Provisional Sinn Fein, lead by Gerry Adams, are happy to administer rule devolved by the British administration. The same party and its cohorts in constitutional politics are pushing a ‘normalisation’ agenda, aiming to promote the occupied six counties as a peaceful, calm, resistance-free environment.

Whilst it is clear that the Good Friday Agreement brought an end to physical force Republicanism and, in many opinions, Republicanism in general; nothing has changed on behalf of the British forces, their tricks, their abuse and their black operations.

Physical force Republicanism continues on through several smaller, armed groups and resistance continues through groups opposed to the Good Friday agreement, such groups are labelled as ‘dissident republicans’ due to their refusal to follow Provisional Sinn Fein.

Republican Prisoners in Maghaberry jail spent several months on protest. Men were handcuffed to beds, stripped and beaten. Prisoners lived in their own excrement, food was scarce, there was no hot water, excrement on the landings was pushed back into cell doors, family and friends attending visits were harassed and denied access, water was poured on the beds and clothes of prisoners, the list goes on and it is impossible to describe the harrowing situation which the prisoners endured.

A media black-out combined with silence amongst mainstream political parties ensured a lack of knowledge of the protest and the harrowing conditions faced by the prisoners. The prisoners of war inside Maghaberry sought two main demands; an end to controlled movement/ restoration of free association and an end to degrading strip searches. Free association is a basic demand, Roe house, the house in which the Republican prisoners are kept, is the statistically safest area in the jail.

Despite the lack of threat inside Roe house prison guards use 4, often 5 men to one prisoner. There has never been any form of narcotics, mobile phones, weaponry or assault in Roe house, the most offensive weapon ever found was a spring, and it was never followed up due to countless possibilities of its origins. The details of a former prison governor were found in a prisoner’s cell but there is a current investigation into a prison officer for planting the details in a bid to have the governor removed. Degrading strip searches meant that prisoners could not make a phone call without being searched to and from the cell; they could not carry out any basic functions without being searched. The searches involved degrading measures, stripping naked and being forced to go through several humiliating, unnecessary steps before being allowed to move on.

The protest ended on Thursday the 12th of August 2010 when a deal was brokered by prisoners, representatives and guards, the prisoner’s human rights were restored and the situation is being monitored in case of a return to previous conditions. Protests outside the prison, throughout the Island which gathered hundreds of Republicans were ignored by the media or discredited.

Policing, justice and security in the six counties has offered no change. Similarly police in the other 26 counties are equally abusive, often worse. ‘Stop and search’ is a tactic employed by British Police under the banner of the Police Service of Northern Ireland ‘PSNI’, who are, in basis, the RUC with a different badge. The ‘Stop and search’ tactic has been used on republicans and their families. Over 10’000 stop and searches were carried out in three months in 2009, ‘Stop and search’ under Section 44 of the terrorism act has since been made illegal by the European Court of Human Rights, this however has not deterred the Crown police force from harassing Republicans and their families, often searching children on their way to school.

House raids are carried out which often leave children traumatised and on several occasions has resulted in young girls and boys wetting themselves. Republican activists are brutalised by police, often being dragged from cars and homes, in front of partners, children, friends and family. Constant Attempts at planting evidence and ‘black operations’ are carried out, especially by British spooks and intelligence officers in attempts to discredit republicans. Internment was one of the key features of state injustice throughout the Provisional campaign and continues to be employed under the banner of ‘remand’; several prisoners are basic political captives who have never been charged.

The police force in the occupied territory have proven themselves to be a British paramilitary force, they were seen dragging protestors from the road to ensure an orange march passed through a nationalist area despite the vast majority of residents stating that they did not want the march to pass through. The police and marchers provoked riots which were eventually blamed on Republicans.

The revolutionary campaign of the Provisional IRA has been watered to a reformist campaign. The objectives, principles and tactics which made famous Irish republicanism have been abandoned. British police and army roam the streets of the North of Ireland at will, but resistance continues.

2010 has seen as many attacks on the crown forces as in five previous years. Republican groups are proving their capabilities through complex devices and heavy weaponry.

Social unrest is growing due to the growing ambition amongst the working class. Republican socialism is on the rise, the level of threat is currently critical, groups opposed to the Good Friday betrayal are now swelling and once again the British find themselves facing an Irish nation which refuses to bend its knees and be trampled on.

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© 2010 Irish Republican News