An opinion piece by Saoradh Doire member, Barry Millar, whose family have all faced the effects of British occupation and political repression, particularly in recent months.
In the last number of years and the not so distant past British Crown Forces, constitutional Nationalists and their allies in the media have consistently attacked Republicans in regards to young people being involved in Republicanism.
With Derry in particular, they have constantly stated that Republicans recruit young people who are “vulnerable”, who are “easily lead” and that Republicans get said young people “to do things they do not wish to do”.
Within the past week, a number of Republicans from Derry were detained and hauled off to Musgrave Interrogation Unit where they faced questions regarding the Tommy Roberts/Stevie Mellon Memorial Republican Flute Band. Crown Force personnel espoused the narrative that Republicans are using the band in this city to recruit young people into Republican Movement. This couldn’t be any further from the truth. The Republican flute band, and the wider Republican family offer young people - who are often already very political aware - education programmes, art classes, history classes, programmes involving community groups, and above all the parents of said young people have to give permission.
None of this has or will make the media, just like again in Derry where a little over two weeks ago the occupiers war machine based in its Territorial Army Barracks held a passing out parade for young children, or “cadets” as they call them. These children, ranging from the ages of 12 and upwards, paraded in full British military uniform, followed British drill instructors barking orders.
It’s evidently clear that if this was Republicans it would be seen as a recruitment event. This is the same British Army who slaughtered the Irish people, our friends, our families, on our streets, across this island. The same British Army who continue to occupy our country and use it as a training ground!
Where are the “journalists” of the Belfast Telegraph, the Sunday Life, and other rags now? It makes me question that if Saoradh put a young boy or young girl out in an Easter commemoration with a Fianna Éireann uniform on would the media be so silent? Would the Crown Forces draw up a file on the childs parents to say they are promoting terrorism - like they have in the past - or do you think they would remain silent?
The Occupied Six Counties - a hotbed of double standards when it comes to Republicans!