Twenty-five years after the Good Friday Agreement, armed British soldiers are back on the streets of Derry, while Direct Rule from London is increasing. Ahead of the 107th anniversary of the Easter Rising, Saoradh has called on the British forces not to again use violence against republican commemorations of Ireland’s patriot dead.
In the last number of weeks we have seen upwards of a dozen Republican homes ransacked by Crown Force personnel with scores of Republicans hauled off to Musgrave Interrogation Centre before being released unconditionally.
The Republicans targeted range from Derry to Tyrone and Belfast, with the last number of arrests happening to the backdrop of armed British troops openly paraded through the streets of Derry and held communities virtually under siege at times with support from their partners in crime, the PSNI.
The increase of attacks on Republicans and their families at this time of year is nothing surprising as the occupier attempts to intimidate and harass Republicans in the build up to Easter - an honourable time within the Republican calendar.
However, this year has taken a much more sinister turn with the front door of a family home being chainsawed in two in County Tyrone with a young Republican beaten viciously and arrested.
On a number of other occasions recently the family homes of Republicans were declared “crime scenes” and all occupants ordered to leave their own homes. One home belonged to an 81 year old pensioner with delicate medical conditions and another is a home with a young child with complex needs.
This kind of savagery and brutality has gone without condemnation from the do gooders of our community .
It is clear that the vicious attacks on Republicans, Republican homes and the incursions into working class communities is all designed in order to stoke tensions in the run-up to the 107th anniversary of the Easter Rising.
Last year, following a successful and peaceful Easter commemoration in Derry, Crown Forces attacked the crowd attending the march on their way out of the City Cemetery. After trying to lay blame at Republicans for starting the trouble, the people of Derry embarrassed the Crown Forces after speaking out and telling how it was in fact the Crown Forces who began attacking people.
This year again Republicans across Ireland will proudly commemorate the Easter Rising and remember our patriot dead peacefully. Saoradh reiterate firmly and clearly that the blame and responsibility for any violence at Easter commemorations this year will lay solely at the feet of the Crown Forces.