As 2010 draws to a close, has it been a momentous year for Irish Republicans in the Occupied Six Counties, or is it more of the same?
We were told that “Policing and Justice” being devolved was huge, but what is actually delivered?
This summer saw the usual “Bigot Fest” stampede through Nationalist areas aided by the RUC/PSNI .
We saw peaceful protesters dragged from a sit down protest, riots ensued for a number of days as the nationalist youth vented their anger and frustration .
In the weeks that followed we saw the RUC release dozens of photographs to the media, appealing for assistance in apprehending these “criminals” -- photographs of young men and children (although it was illegal to do so).
We saw over 200 people charged with “offences” relating to the riots, some of those charged are still in custody.
After the Ardoyne riots had gone we had the Rathcoole riots for two nights with hundreds of men on the streets.
Buses and cars were hijacked and set alight petrol bombs thrown and even gunmen seen on the streets.
There were no photo-montages released to the press, there were no mass arrests.
In fact, to date, only a 16 year old boy has been charged.
As for the “Justice” system, Roe house in Maghaberry was the venue of prison protest Irish Republicans angry with the attempt to “Criminalise” the struggle for self determination embarked on protest actions.
On the outside their families and friends set about aiding their protest, “facilitators” were employed to broker a deal and after weeks of negotiations, 12th of August saw a breakthrough when an deal was announced .
The deal brokered between the PoWs and the NIPS was a compromise and our POWs showed that they were willing to give some time for full implementation.
Now that Christmas is upon us, our POWs are still being forcefully stripped and beaten by screws. They are now having the mouths searched as the screws laugh in their faces that “there is no agreement”
How long must we wait and how many more damning reports must be produced on Maghaberry before we start to ask the questions?
Why are the loyalist prison officers association permitted a free hand to run a prison how they want and not how they are told by others who have been employed to advise on best practice?
How long must we wait until the hundreds of recommendations are implemented?
How long will we do nothing to present change?
Can we really change anything?
Questions must be asked of those Republicans who sit in positions of “power”.
If, in fact as you tell us, the powers of policing and justice are devolved, why are you doing nothing?
Why in today’s so-called new dispensation are Irish Republicans still suffering this degradation?
Has anything really changed?