Communist Party of the Irish Republic Statement: Christmas Greetings to the POWs
Monday December 17, 2012 16:20 by CPIR - Páirtí Cummanach na Poblachta
Christmas greetings to all anti-imperialist POWs.
As resistance to British occupation grows in Ireland, British prisons, and the prisons of the comprador free state fill once more with Political Prisoners. In many cases, all pretence of due process has been abandoned, and an internment régime put back in place. Martin Corey is now in his third year of internment, without charge or trial. Marian Price suffers similar persecution behind British bars, without any opportunity to defend herself in a court of law (however defective such courts are in Ireland - north or south.)
The British occupation forces have also been trawling through incidents that occurred during a conflict that, according to the British themselves, was resolved by the Good Friday Agreement. Activists, such as Gerry McGeough, now suffer long sentences in relation to that conflict. It seems the British ruling class wants to keep fighting the war - while the natives are expected to lie down and keep Pax Britannica.
Once more, the British court system is being employed as a weapon of war. Irish people, including Gerry Conlon, who had 15 years of his life stolen from him by the racist bias of a British court, are now beginning a campaign for the release of the Craigavon Two - Brendan McConville and John Paul Wooton, who have been sentenced to long periods in prison, without any credible evidence having been presented against them.
Those who peacefully protest on the streets have not been spared the inside of British and free state prisons. Senior members of Sinn Féin Poblachtach and Éirígí were committed to prison for not paying fines. What were the fines imposed for? For having had the courage to protest on the streets. In the comprador free state, those who opposed the visit of the British monarch, last year, are up on reinstated charges - again for simply daring to protest. The comprador ruling class continues to employ a de facto internment régime against Republicans, hauling them before non-jury political courts, and inflicting lengthy sentences - without any evidence at all, but the bought word of a Garda superintendent. When Volunteer Alan Ryan sacrificed his life for his people, and when those people gave Alan a funeral befitting a soldier of the Irish Republic, thus giving the free state and its media minions a demonstration of Peoples Democracy they did not expect, this craven régime took its revenge by arresting and charging several of the mourners, including members of the mourning family. Some of Alan's comrades and loved ones will remain in a free state prison this Christmas.
In today's Ireland, anybody with any ideals, indeed, any ideas in their heads at all, are regarded as "beyond the Pale." Dangerous people, to be dealt with by police brutality and prison. We must be free to profit and consume - without being bothered by ideas. The people we have mentioned above, and many others like them, who will spend this Christmas in prison, are people with ideas. One idea in particular - that Ireland should, and can be, a 32 County Sovereign Socialist Republic. This is the glorious ideal that Ireland's best men and women have suffered torture, prison and death for, down through the generations. The basis of this ideal is that we are born as men and women, who stand upright. We are not born to become consuming sheep. How could the current powers that be regard such an idea with anything but fear and cowardly viciousness?
And not only in Ireland are the prisons filling up. Men and women in Africa, Asia and South America, and in North America too, are standing up - and fighting back. In Greece, Spain and Italy, huge demonstrations have been attacked by the dogs of the ruling class. Hundreds of demonstrators have been charged with public order offences, and committed to prison.
We remember the more than 12,000 prisoners in the detention camps of the NATO Rat régime in Libya. Many of these prisoners have suffered unimaginable torture and cruelty at the hands of NATO's militia gangs. Many because they did their patriotic duty, and defended Libya against imperialist invasion. Many others, simply because of the dark colour of their skin.
We remember the POWs of ETA, many of whom have spent decades in prison - for the "crime" of loving their nation - which already was a nation a thousand years before the idea of France or Spain. We remember the hundreds of Palestinian POWs in the prisons of the Israeli apartheid régime. We remember the hundreds of Maoist POWs in India, and the tens of thousands of civilians corralled into jungle concentration camps by the Indian government. We remember the POWs of Shining Path in Peru, and of FARC and ELN in Colombia. We remember the brave POWs of the CPP and NPA in the Philippines.
We think, also, of the two million prisoners in the privatized gulags of the USA - most of whom are only in prison because of the racist nature of the US régime. We remember, particularly, one prisoner of the US racist régime - Leonard Peltier, who is a POW in every sense of the word. Except that he did not kill anybody. The war was all against him and his native people. A war of extermination. Peltier has spent 36 years in US prisons, following a show trial of the most despicable sort. No US President has had the courage or decency to release him.
To all you Political Prisoners and Prisoners of War, who have had the courage to stand up as human beings, who have had the courage to hold ideas that the Anglo-Zionist empire considers "dangerous," who have dared to love your country and dared to cherish your national sovereignty, your language and your culture:
This Christmas, dearest comrades, from the bottom of our hearts, we greet you and we salute you.
Páirtí Cummanach na Poblachta
Communist Party of the Irish Republic
Nollaig 17iú 2012