2014 International Day of Action for Republican POWs

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4th Annual International POW-Day 2014 in October

Press release

4th Annual International POW-Day 2014 on October 24/25/26

The 4th Annual International Day in Support of the Irish Prisoners of War held in Maghaberry, Portlaoise, Hydebank, and Magilligan jails will be held on October 24, 25, and 26. Since 2011, the International POW-Day for Irish Republican prisoners is held annually on the last weekend of October. As last year, the POW-Day is organised by the independent “International Committee to Support the Irish Prisoners of War.”

The last weekend of October is a historical date for Irish Republicans. On October 25, 1917, the Ard-Fheis of Sinn Féin adopted a Republican Constitution. Three years later, Sinn Féin’s Lord Mayor of Cork, Terence MacSwiney, died after 74 days on hunger strike. Furthermore, Joseph Murphy died on hunger strike in Cork prison on that day. On October 27, 1980, the first H-Block hunger strike began, and on October 26, 1976, Máire Drumm, Vice-President of Sinn Féin, was murdered in the Mater Hospital, Belfast, by a loyalist death squad. Finally, on the last day of October 1973, the helicopter escape from Mountjoy jail took place.

In 2014, to mark these historical events as well as highlighting the plight of today’s Irish Republican POW’s, protests, pickets, fundraisers, and lectures will be held in Ireland, England, Scotland, Continental Europe, Canada, USA, and Australia. If you want to add a city or country to that list, contact the Organising Committee. All international organisations, Irish republican activists and their supporters are invited to join preparations to make the 4th annual POW-Day a success.

Everyone who wants to support the Irish Republican POW’s on October 24, 25, and 26, contact us as soon as possible for organising protests in your area!

E-mail: supportthepows@irish-solidarity.net

Web: http://supportthepows.irish-solidarity.net

Críoch/Ends.

October 26: Successful international action for Republican Prisoners

The 3rd International Day in Support of Irish Republican Prisoners of War was held on October 26 and 27. This is an extended version of the report carried in the November issue of SAOIRSE.

Protests and solidarity events were held in ten countries on three continents. The international POW-Day is an independent initiative to raise awareness of Irish Republican Prisoners. The initiative is in its third year. The committee that organised the 2013-POW-Day consists of members of the Republican Sinn Féin International Bureau, the James Connolly Association (Australia), Cumann na Saoirse Náisiúnta (USA) and Liberation Irlande (France).

While the committee and the involved organisations support all republican prisoners, the DublinPOW-Day 2013 focused on demanding the release of republican internee Martin Corey, demanding justice for the Cragaivon 2 and the release of political activist Stephen Murney.

In Australia the James Connolly Association held pickets in Melbourne and Sydney.

The ANSWER Coalition and Students for Justice in Palestine organised an International Day for Palestine and Irish Political Prisoners with music, food and the screening of documentaries in Albuquerque, New Mexiko. Between October 26 and October 28, Cumann na Saoirse Náisiúnta organised a lecture tour, dinners and screenings of In the Name of the Father with Gerry Conlon.

GlasgowOn Saturday, October 26, Gerry Conlon appeared live on Radio Free Éireann. This was followed by a book signing and a movie viewing at the Rocky Sullivan’s. The October 27 event in New York with Gerry Conlon was co-hosted by the Westchester County Ancient Order of Hibernians and Cumann na Saoirse Náisiúnta. A third event was held on October 28 in New Jersey.

Gerry Conlon had travelled to the USA to receive the Sister Sarah Clarke Human Rights Award at the National Irish Freedom Committee’s annual Flannery Awards Dinner to be held at Rory Dolan’s on Saturday, 2nd November.

The event on October 27 was organized and promoted by Pat Williams of the Release Glasgow3Martin Corey US-campaign and Dominick Bruno of the NIFC and was aired live on Radio Free Eireann (WBAI 99.5fm). John McDonagh and Sandy Bowyer long-time friends of Gerry Conlon welcomed Gerry back to the RFE show and were joined on air by Jane Enright of Cumann Na Saoirse Náisiúnta.

IRA_0751 Rome oct 2013Gerry spoke movingly on the background of his own case and then spoke about the cases of the Craigavon 2, Martin Corey and others.

Ray Collins, also a Belfast native provided appropriate music for the occasion to the packed house which included representatives from various Irish orgs such as the Brehon Law Society, the National Irish Freedom Committee, the AOH and various human rights organisations, a great day for a great cause was had by all! It was also fantastic to see new younger people attending some who have only recently immigrated to these shores and said they were heartened to see such solidarity work occurring stateside.

Fliers and pamphlets about the cases of Martin Corey, the Craigavon 2 and StephenMelbourne Murney were distributed to all and attendees also signed cards to the prisoners letting them know they have support in America and that they are thought of. Copies of SAOIRSE were also made available.

While in the US Gerry is also promoting his book ‘Proved Innocent’, the story of the Guildford Four who were unjustly imprisoned for 15 years by a corrupt by British government for a bombing that had knew nothing about.

Manchester In Europe protests and solidarity events were held in a wide range of countries. In Rome, Italy, Republican Sinn Féin held a picket on Piazza di Spagna. In Paris, France, activists of Liberation Irlande rose awareness at a solidarity event of the Corse association SULIDARITA. A leaflet distributed by the comrades of Liberation Irlande in France can be read on the website of the organization: www.liberationirlande.wordpress.com.

In Utrecht, the Netherlands, activists of Republican Sinn Féin held a small picket. The Dutch republican activists also highlighted the plight of the republican prisoners in Maghaberry, Portlaoise and Hydebank with stickers, posters and leaflets in the Greater Utrecht Area.

Republican Sinn Féin supporters in Utrecht in the Netherlands and Hamburg in Germany collaborated on a joint effort to highlight the plight of the prisoners in public and contacting the English and Irish Embassies and Consulates with letters of protests. One of this letters of protests was handed over by a republican activist to the English Consulate in Hamburg.

SydneyPickets were also held in the German cities of Marburg by activists of Republican Sinn Féin, Hamburg by activists of the 1978-Society Hamburg and in Darmstadt by the Irish Republican Solidarity Group of Darmstadt.

In the Austrian capitol of Vienna a protest and a successful public meeting were held on the issue of solidarity with political prisoners and especially on comrade George Ibrahim Abdullah, the Palestinian/Lebanese militant. The participants of the meeting sent following message to the participants of the 3rd International POW-Day: “We would like to send you our revolutionary greetings for a successful 3rd International POW-Day. We consider the imprisonment of Irish Republicans to be a political act against democratic rights. The war of Irish people for freedom and independence is just and right and your initiative for an ‘International Committee to support the Irish Prisoners of War’ an important step towards building international solidarity. Only by participating in such initiatives we can organise and support the fight for political-democratic rights and give an answer to imperialism, state’s terror and attack against the people. We consider this fight to be part of the anti-imperialist and anti-capitalist struggle.”

In London two separate protests were held by Republican Sinn Féin and the Irish Republican Prisoners Support Group outside the 26-County Embassy.

Republican Sinn Féin paid a visit to British secretary in the Six Counties Theresa Villiers’ office in Barnet North London. Republican activists protested against the continued policy of internment of Irish Republicans in Ireland.

This protest was successful in highlighting the cases of internment especially in the case of Martin Corey an Irishman who has been held for over three years without any reason given, and without being charged with any crime. Cumann secretary Pat McManus was approached by the police during the protest. A speech given by Jim McDonald was well received and is available to see on the Republican Sinn Féin Midlands YouTube account: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6logVvBJEx4#t=6

The Irish Republican Prisoners Support Group London held a separate protest outside the Irish Embassy in London. They held placards to demand the implementation of the August 2010-Agreement, Free Michael McKevitt and Martin Corey. Flyers and leaflets were handed to the public, and a letter to the Ambassador was handed into the embassy saying: “Please convey our concerns to the Irish Ministry of Justice in Dublin regarding the treatment of Irish political prisoners in both the 26 Counties and the Six Counties of Ireland. We are particularly concerned at the way prisoners Christine Connor and Sharon Rafferty are being treated (and in one case medically neglected) by the prison medical authorities at Hydebank Women’s Prison Belfast. (…)

“The prisoner Martin Corey was released in 1992. He was re-arrested in April 2010 and detained without charge or trial. Treatment like this is reminiscent of the old Stalinist regimes of Eastern Europe which we all know about – and which was roundly condemned at the time by ‘civilised’ nations – including Britain and Ireland. Martin Corey remains a prisoner more three years later.

We bring these cases to your attention because we are appealed at the fact the Irish government has at no time uttered a word of protest, or asked for an inquiry into the treatment of these prisoners – all of whom are IRISH CITIZENS. (…) No other country on earth would tolerate or allow its citizens to be treated (ill-treated) by another government without protest. Ireland seems to be an exception and shouldn’t be.” The letter was signed by the Secretary of the IRPSG London.

In Manchester a picket was organised by the Gaughan Stagg Cumann. Leaflets highlighting the plight of Republican POWs were circulated amongst the public, many members shown interest and were shocked to discover the ongoing injustices in Ireland. The Cumann brought the protest to Albert Square Manchester, and then later on in the day were outside Manchester Crown Court.

The Volunteer Charles Carrigan Cumann held a picket on Buchanan Street in Glasgow City Centre. In the week leading to the International POW-Day a number of unidentified Irish Republican Supporters had been arrested and detained with the police using draconian terrorism legislation. Republican activists used this situation of arrests to highlight repression, harassment and the situation of the republican POWs on the International POW-Day. Leaflets drafted for the day were handed out at the Police Station where Irish activists were held and in the Glasgow City Centre.

Members of Republican Sinn Féin held a protest in Dumbarton.

In Ireland the Release Martin Corey Committee held a successful White Line Picket on the Falls Road in Belfast. Further protests were organised by Republican Sinn Féin at the Bridge of Peace in Drogheda, on the Ha’penny Bridge in Dublin and the Bullring in Wexford.

Following the successful 3rd International POW-Day, the chairperson of the International Independent Committee to Support the Irish Republican Prisoners of War, Dieter Blumenfeld said: “This year’s POW-Day once again showed the huge support for all Irish Republican Prisoners. Pickets and solidarity events were held in nine countries on three continents. This initiative is in its third years and this very fact should send a clear message to the British colonial regime in Ireland that Irish republicans are not alone and the prisoners are not forgotten. We hope that our support will give the prisoners in Maghaberry, Magilligan, Hydebank and Porlaoise strength in their daily fight against the brutal prison regime.”

UtrechtThe members of the International Independent Committee to Support the Irish Republican Prisoners of War will organise the fourth International POW-Day in October 2014. Everyone interested in participating in the work of the international committee can contact the committee directly: supportthepows@irish-solidarity.net.

More information and regular reports are available from the website of independent International Committee to Support the Irish Prisoners of War on: http://supportthepows.irish-solidarity.net/

3rd International POW-Day held on three continents

The 3rd International Day in Support of Irish Republican Prisoners of War was held on October 26 and 27. Protests and solidarity events were held in nine countries on three continents. The international POW-Day is an independent initiative to raise awareness of Irish Republican Prisoners. The initiative is in its third year. The committee that organised the 2013-POW-Day consists of members of the Republican Sinn Féin International Bureau, the James Connolly Association (Australia), Cumann na Saoirse Náisiúnta (USA) and Liberation Irlande (France).

While the committee and the involved organisations support all republican prisoners, the POW-Day 2013 focused on demanding the release of republican internee Martin Corey, demanding justice for the Cragaivon 2 and the release of political activist Stephen Murney.

In Australia the James Connolly Association held pickets in Melbourne and Sydney.

The ANSWER Coalition and Students for Justice in Palestine organised an International Day for Palestine and Irish Political Prisoners with music, food and the screening of documentaries in Albuquerque, New Mexiko. Between October 26 and October 28, Cumann na Saoirse Náisiúnta organised a lecture tour, dinners and screenings of In the Name of the Father with Gerry Conlon. On Saturday, October 26, Gerry Conlon appeared live on Radio Free Éireann. This was followed by a book signing and a movie viewing at the Rocky Sullivan’s. The October 27 event in New York with Gerry Conlon was co-hosted by the Westchester County Ancient Order of Hibernians and Cumann na Saoirse Náisiúnta. A third event was held on October 28 in New Jersey.

In Europe protests and solidarity events were held in a wide range of countries. In Rome, Italy, Republican Sinn Féin held a picket on Piazza di Spagna. In Paris, France, activists of Liberation Irlande rose awareness at a solidarity event of the Corse association SULIDARITA. In Utrecht, the Netherlands, activists of Republican Sinn Féin held a small picket. Pickets were also held in the German cities of Marburg by activists of Republican Sinn Féin, Hamburg by activists of the 1978-Society Hamburg and in Darmstadt by the Irish Republican Solidarity Group of Darmstadt.

In London two separate protests were held by Republican Sinn Féin and the Irish Republican Prisoners Support Group outside the 26-County Embassy. In Manchester a picket was organised by the Gaughan Stagg Cumann of the 32CSM in England and Wales.

The Volunteer Charles Carrigan Cumann of the 32CSM in Scotland held a picket on Buchanan Street in Glasgow City Centre.

In Ireland the Release Martin Corey Committee held a successful White Line Picket on the Falls Road in Belfast. Further protests were organised by Republican Sinn Féin at the Bridge of Peace in Drogheda, on the Ha’penny Bridge in Dublin and the Bullring in Wexford.

Following the successful 3rd International POW-Day, the chairperson of the International Independent Committee to Support the Irish Republican Prisoners of War, Dieter Blumenfeld said: “This year’s POW-Day once again showed the huge support for all Irish Republican Prisoners. Pickets and solidarity events were held in nine countries on three continents. This initiative is in its third years and this very fact should send a clear message to the British colonial regime in Ireland that Irish republicans are not alone and the prisoners are not forgotten. We hope that our support will give the prisoners in Maghaberry, Magilligan, Hydebank and Porlaoise strength in their daily fight against the brutal prison regime.”

Photography’s will be uploaded soon.

INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY WITH IRISH POWS!

On Saturday the 26th of October The Cumann will be in Glasgow city centre, We will be there as part of the international effort to highlight Irish prisoners, the initiative is now in its 3rd year and the cumann are very much behind it this year as we were last year. We will have a picket and information session on current POWs at the top of Buchanan street (Donald Dewar Statue) at 12 noon. This picket will coincide with pickets throught Ireland, england, Europe, Austrailia and America.

The Volunteer Charles Carrigan Cumann would like to invite all groups, Independents, Rights groups and RFB members as possible. For more information please contact the cumann.

32csm Scotland