Dé hAoine, Meán Fómhair 30, 2011

Newry éirígí Activist Arrested & Beaten
Rúnaí ginearálta éirígí Breandán Mac Cionnaith has said yesterday’s [Wednesday] assault and arrest of a party member in Newry is the culmination of a long campaign against republicans in the area by the PSNI.
Stephen Murney, éirígí’s Newry area representative, was held for seven hours and charged with a string of offences after he intervened to check on the welfare of a neighbour who was having his car searched by the PSNI.
Mac Cionnaith said: “Republicans in Newry, including éirígí activists and supporters, have been suffering incessant harassment at the hands of the PSNI for some time now. This harassment has included assaults, arrests, house searches and constant stop and searches. In the last number of weeks, the PSNI has decided to add to this list the policy of harassing parents outside schools when they are dropping their children off or picking them up.
“Yesterday, the PSNI began yet another day by raiding homes on the Derrybeg estate and, later, searching cars in the area. éirígí representative Stephen Murney was present in both instances to offer solidarity to the affected residents. However, the PSNI decided to take exception to his presence and moved to arrest him, punching, kicking and threatening him with further violence in the process.
“After seven hours in custody in Armagh barracks, in the course of which the political police demanded unsuccessfully that he document political activities in Derrybeg, Stephen was charged with a string of spurious offences. We will be challenging these charges and are confident they can be beaten.”
The charges are:
  • Two counts of assaulting PSNI officers
  • Two counts of resisting arrest
  • Two counts of disorderly behaviour
  • Two counts of obstruction
  • One count of fraud, as the date of birth on his provisional driving license was wrong
Mac Cionnaith added: “There is no longer any doubt that the PSNI is both incapable and unwilling to transform itself into a civic police service. The force is nothing more than a sectarian unionist militia, dedicated to protecting the British occupation.
“While incidents like yesterday’s are habitually greeted with silence and indifference by the PSNI’s nationalist cheerleaders on the Six County Policing Board, people in working class communities are increasingly willing to stand up to these thugs in uniform. This was witnessed in Derrybeg yesterday when many residents left their homes to challenge the PSNI when they were assaulting and arresting Stephen.
“éirígí will not take the mistreatment of its membership by state forces lying down. The PSNI should be aware that the party will not be deterred by any amount of harassment or beatings. Anyone who is suffering similar behaviour at the hands of the PSNI should contact their solicitor or éirígí.”
Below is Stephen Murney’s account of yesterday’s arrest.
“At roughly 9am, a large convoy of armoured landrovers and cars descended on the Derrybeg estate. They raided a home in the area and took the usual from the house, including a child’s X Box. I visited the victims during the raid to see how they were and to see if they needed anything.
“At 12pm, I was in Main Avenue, Derrybeg when I observed a neighbour getting his car searched by the PSNI. A small crowd of residents had gathered to watch and I went over and asked my neighbour if he was okay.
“The cops came straight over and told me to “Fuck off up the street” and mind my own business. I told them I was concerned at the treatment my neighbour was receiving as well as them tormenting the residents of Derrybeg on a regular basis and that I would stay to observe what was happening.
“I was then grabbed by both arms by two of the thugs, who then assaulted me. They took me over to a wall and pushed me into it with such force one of the coping stones came off. They twisted my arms up my back and placed the handcuffs on me. I was then punched in the ribs several times and kicked in the legs while I was handcuffed. On two occasions, one of the officers told me he was going to break my jaw.
“This happened in full view of numerous residents, including my mother and sister, who were all disgusted with the cops and challenged them. The PSNI then aggressively pushed and shoved them out of the way. The residents of Derrybeg should be commended for challenging them.
“I was then taken to Armagh barracks where I was photographed and had my fingerprints and DNA taken.
“At the barracks, a doctor examined me and noted cuts, marks and swelling to my wrists and arms and bruised and sore ribs. I was held for roughly seven hours, during which time the PSNI attempted unsuccessfully to conduct an “intelligence interview” with me. I was then released on bail to appear in court on October 26.”

Déardaoin, Meán Fómhair 29, 2011

Palestinian Prisoners Begin Hunger Strike
Free All Palestinian Political PrisonersPalestinian prisoners associated with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine began a hunger strike yesterday [September 27] against conditions imposed on detainees by the zionist regime.
The prisoners are calling for an end to the humiliating treatment and abuse of prisoners, and of those trying to visit them. They are also demanding an end to the solitary confinement of Ahamd Sa’adat, general secretary of the PFLP.
Sa’adat was arrested in January 2002 by Palestinian Authority security at the behest of Israel. He was held without charge or trial at Jericho prison until March 2006, when Israeli forces laid siege to the prison and kidnapped Sa’adat and several comrades.
The zionists eventually tried Sa’adat, convicting him of membership of a prohibited organisation [the PFLP], of holding a post in a prohibited organisation, and of incitement. For these ‘crimes’ he was sentenced to 30 years in December 2008, and has been held in solitary ever since. He has now joined the hunger strike as well.
The Israeli prison regime responded immediately by threatening to increase repression against striking prisoners, by moving them into isolation or to other prisons entirely. This prison transfer tactic has been used frequently by the regime to break up comrades and to disrupt the organisation of resistance within the prison system.
The prisoners answered by announcing that they will escalate their campaign by rejecting all prison orders and refusing to wear their uniforms.
As republicans mark the 30th anniversary of the ending of the 1981 Irish hunger strikes, we in éirígí extend our solidarity to the Palestinian prisoners who have been steadfast in their resistance to the attempts of the zionist regime to subjugate them. We also once more pay tribute to our comrades in the PFLP, who have taken this action for the sake of all prisoners of the Israeli occupation, and for their families and friends as well.
On Wednesday 5th October, éirígí will hold a candlelit vigil in support of the prisoners on hunger strike outside the Israeli embassy, Pembroke Road, Dublin. The vigil will begin at 6.30pm. Bígí linn.
We print below the prisoners’ statement announcing the commencement of the hunger strike.
Free Ahamd Sa’adat“We, the comrades of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine in the Zionist prisons and detention centers, declare to the steadfast, struggling brave masses of the Palestinian people and to all free people in the world:
We announce that we will begin an open-ended hunger strike on Tuesday morning, September 27, 2011, in response to the official policies of the Zionist government and its fascist prison administration. We demand our rights and our dignity, as we struggle for the victory of our values and ideals.
Our goals for this hunger strike:
1. End the solitary confinement and isolation of our comrade, General Secretary of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, member of the Palestinian Legislative Council and the PLO Central Council, Ahmad Sa’adat, Abu Ghassan.
2. End the policy of isolation for all prisoners;
3. End the policy of systematic humiliation by the occupation army against the Palestinian people at checkpoints and crossings, particularly targeting visitors to prisons, and end the arbitrary denial of visits to the prisoners, especially the prisoners from the Gaza Strip. End the humiliation and abuse of prisoners during transfer.
The principles of our revolution include the rejection of all forms of injustice, and for us to struggle and confront the occupier in all areas and places in our own manner. Accordingly, we call upon all of the Palestinian and Arab people, political forces and institutions, human rights and civil society organizations, to raise their voices for us, so that we do not become easy prey for a vicious occupier. We promise to all of our people, and to the legacy of the martyrs of Palestine, that we will continue on our path until victory.
Great glory to the martyrs ...
Victory to the revolution ...
Victory is inevitable.”

Dé Luain, Meán Fómhair 19, 2011

Sligo Protest Demands Ban on ‘Fracking’
éirígí Sligeach activist Gerry Casey has re-iterated the party’s continued opposition to the giveaway of our natural resources. He also expressed support for calls to ban the process of extracting natural gas called hydraulic fracturing, also known as ‘fracking’.
Casey was speaking following a protest on Saturday night [September 17] outside the Sligo Park Hotel where the Twenty-Six County minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Pat Rabbitte was attending a function.
Sligo protest against Fracking
Between 40 and 50 protesters braved the heavy rain to make their concerns known to the Minister. They made clear their total opposition to fracking and called on the Minister to impose an immediate ban on its use in Ireland similar to bans imposed in other countries and in some states in the USA.
Casey, who was among the demonstrators, said:
“An immediate halt must be called to this entire process. Despite paying lip service to it, there has been no meaningful consultation by the Dublin government or by Tamboran with the communities set to be affected by this exploration and extraction of natural gas, despite the massive dangers involved. More importantly, the communities affected have not given their consent for it.”
He added: “Once again éirígí supports the call for the process known as fracking to be banned. The potential for grave environmental damage and the dangers posed to human and animal health and safety are too great and cannot be ignored. The health and safety of the people of the region must be put before the quest to amass profits by private exploration companies.”
Sligo protest against Fracking
Casey also called for the nationalisation of all our natural resources. He said:
“The decision by Pat Rabbitte and his colleagues in the Fine Gael/Labour coalition to continue with the shameful policy of giving away valuable natural resources begun by Fianna Fáil can only be described as despicable. These resources, whether the Corrib gas off the Mayo coast or the onshore gas in the Lough Allen and Clare basins, should be taken into public ownership. If, and only if, those resources can be safely extracted without damage to our environment and to health and safety then the wealth created should be used to benefit the people of Ireland, not the shareholders of private exploration companies.”
Casey concluded: “Let Tamboran Resources as well as Pat Rabbitte and his colleagues be fully aware that the people of this region will not roll over and accept the current situation. If they ignore the massive opposition that there is within this region to this process, then just as Shell and the Dublin government discovered in north Mayo over the past decade, they too will meet fierce and determined resistance here.”

Dé Máirt, Meán Fómhair 13, 2011

Newry & Mourne District Council Maghaberry Delegation Refused
Independent councillor Davy Hylandéirígí in Newry have expressed their deep disappointment and anger at the decision by the British prison service to decline a request by Newry & Mourne District Council to send a delegation to visit republican prisoners currently on protest.
In July the council unanimously agreed to send a delegation to Maghaberry to investigate the prisoners’ concerns, the instigator of the successful motion was Independent republican Councillor Davy Hyland who has expressed his disappointment at the decision.
Davy said, “It’s disgraceful that the NIPS, under the auspices of the so-called ‘Justice’ minister, have refused the councils request with no reason being given. It would have been an important opportunity for councillors and council officials to hear at first hand what republican prisoners have to endure. I will continue to highlight the situation in Maghaberry and promise to do everything in my power to make people aware of the human rights abuses being carried out against republican prisoners in the gaol on a daily basis.”
His sentiments were echoed by éirígí’s Newry spokesperson Stephen Murney.
“When it was first announced that Davy’s motion was passed we, and the families of the prisoners, were jubilant, and were of the opinion that this would bring more attention to the issue as well as more pressure on British minister Ford. However it soon became clear that David Fords office were dragging their heels on the issue and didn’t want the council delegation to go to Maghaberry.
“The British prison service didn’t even give a reason for refusing the councils request. I would personally like to commend Councillor Davy Hyland and also former Councillor Martin Connolly who both raised the issue in the chamber. If it wasn’t for them it would most likely have never been mentioned in the council chamber.”
Stephen concluded, “éirígí extends its solidarity to the protesting prisoners in Maghaberry and pledges to continue supporting their struggle and that of their families until political status is secured. All those with an interest in human rights should do likewise.”