Committee launched to hold International POW-Day 2013 on October 26

In July 2013, republican activists from Europe, North America and Australia launched the “International Committee to Support the Irish Prisoners of War” as a permanent and independent body to coordinate international support with Irish Republican Prisoners of War.

In the context of a blackout of mainstream media and reformist politics, we rely on our strengths and build solidarity from below. Hence the committee works towards promoting solidarity with all genuine Irish Republican POWs. It operates as an independent network to coordinate support with the Irish Republican POWs world-wide.

It has been agreed by the members of the committee to hold the 3rd Annual International Day in Support of the Irish Prisoners of War on October 26, 2013. All international organisations and Irish republican activists and their supporters are invited to join preparations to make the 3rd annual POW-Day a success.

The 1st International POW-Day in 2011 was organised by the Republican Sinn Féin International Bureau and Liberation Irlande from France. The 2nd International Day 2012 was organised by an ad-hoc committee chaired by Dieter Blumenfeld. Since the situation in Maghaberry has not been solved and internment continues, various republican activists joined forces to set up the permanent “International Committee to Support the Irish Prisoners of War”.

Chairperson of the committee for the coming period is Dieter Blumenfeld. He welcomed the launch of the International POW-Committee as “an important step to promote the cause of Irish Republicanism and the case of the Irish Republican Prisoners in English, Irish and Lithuanian jails on an international level all over the world”.

The main focus of the committee in the coming period is the organisation of the 3rd Annual International Day in Support of the Irish Prisoners of War on October 26, 2013. On the weekend of October 25/26/27, Irish republicans and their supporters will hold various protest and events on at least three continents, Australia, Europe and North America.

October 2013 marks the 40th anniversary of the escape of three republican POWs by helicopter from Mountjoy jail. October 25 is also the anniversary of the death of Sinn Féin’s Lord Mayor of Cork, Terence Mac Swiney and republican Joseph Murphy in Cork prison. Both died on hunger strike in July 1920. On October 27, 1980 the first H-Block hunger strike began.

The members of the committee urge all Irish Republicans abroad, international human-rights activists and progressive political activists to support the 3rd Annual International Day in Support of the Irish Prisoners of War on October 26, 2013. The republican POWs scream, but their voices die away in silence. We on the outside must become the voice of the prisoners!

The members of the committee for the coming period are: from Europe: George Faisan of Liberation Irlande, France, and Dieter Blumenfeld of Republican Sinn Féin, Austria; from North America: Padraig MacLiam of the Release Martin Corey Campaign, USA, and Dominick Bruno of the National Irish Freedom Committee, USA; and Martin Longwill of the Sydney Branch of the James Connolly Association.

The website of the International Committee to Support the Irish Prisoners of War is: http://supportthepows.irish-solidarity.net/.

The contact details to the Chairperson of the Committee are: supporthepows@irish-solidarity.net and 0043 664 556 18 68. Further contact details to each area are available from the website.