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Marian Price Interned in "A Tin-pot African Dictatorship"

category international | crime and justice | news report author Sunday February 24, 2013 10:21author by Brian Clarke - AllVoices Report this post to the editors

Political Internment British Occupied Ireland

After her recent harassment by the resurrected heavy gang of the Gardai in the unfree southern Irish State, parliamentarian Clare Daly asked the Tánaiste or Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, the steps he had taken in his dealings with the British occupiers to highlight the wide-spread concern, that exists in Ireland with regard to persons being in prison without knowing the charges against them and without an open transparent trial. Below is a summary of the article which hopefully the socialist Quill will permit without censorship.

Clare Daly  "A Tin-Pot African Dictatorship" Occupied Ireland
Clare Daly "A Tin-Pot African Dictatorship" Occupied Ireland

There are some excellent Irish Blogs on the internet, one of them being the Pensive Quill. Unfortunately while claiming to be socialist and nationalist at the same time, a tricky balance at the best of times, it definitely falls into the fascist category with some rampant censorship.One of the better reports from this apparently Stalinist approach, is a recent article below on a debate in the Irish parliament concerning political internment without trial in British Occupied Ireland.

After her recent harassment by the resurrected heavy gang of the Gardai in the unfree southern Irish State, parliamentarian Clare Daly asked the Tánaiste or Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, the steps he had taken in his dealings with the British occupiers to highlight the wide-spread concern, that exists in Ireland with regard to persons being in prison without knowing the charges against them and without an open transparent trial. Below is a summary of the article which hopefully the socialist Quill will permit without censorship.

"Deputy Eamon Gilmore (Lab): I am very aware of the cases to which the Deputy refers and my officials monitor these and other cases very closely. The first individual referred to has been detained since 13 May 2011, following the revocation of her life licence by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. Genuine concerns about several aspects of this case have been raised by Deputies on many occasions, and I have raised them very frankly with the British Government, most recently when I met the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland on Monday, 11 February. I have been advised that the Parole Commissioners for Northern Ireland will determine in March on the issue of her continued detention.

In relation to the second individual referred to, the British authorities have confirmed that he was released under licence in 1992. The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland revoked that licence in April 2010 and the individual, has as a result, been in custody for the past two years and nine months. I understand that an appeal on the case will be heard by the Supreme Court in Belfast shortly. As the case is the subject of an ongoing legal process, it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time.

Deputy Clare Daly: I appreciate that the Tánaiste has raised those matters but all of us need to do more. We were among a cross-party delegation that went to Maghaberry Prison where we visited both Martin Corey and Marian Price in recent weeks. The health of Marian Price in particular is a cause of grave concern. We all have a role in putting pressure, not just on the British authorities but also on the Northern Ireland Administration. Deputy O’Sullivan is correct; the Minister, Mr. Ford, could release the two individuals on compassionate grounds at the stroke of a pen.

The issue is a serious one. I am shocked that the media have not taken it up to a greater extent. The cases involve two people who have been in prison for almost two and three years, respectively. They do not know the charges against them. Their solicitors are not entitled to the evidence against them. In the case of Marian Price’s parole commission hearing, a representative is being appointed on her behalf to represent her. This is a person she cannot meet, who cannot discuss matters with her or talk to her. This person will attend her hearing, which will be held behind closed doors, which she herself is not allowed to attend. If that was taking place in a tin-pot African dictatorship, we would be banging our drums demanding justice. It is happening on this island and it is absolutely unlawful and disgraceful. I echo the point made previously on whether we can get an official from the southern Government to be a public voice at the hearing. Could we demand that the case is held in public and that Marian Price and her solicitor could attend? Could we begin to address the issues in the broader European Union community because it is a serious erosion of human rights?

Deputy Eamon Gilmore: Two cases were referred to in the question. In one case a Supreme Court case is shortly to be held on it so I cannot say anything much further in that regard.

In the second case the individual was sentenced to two life terms of imprisonment – 20 years imprisonment to run concurrently. In March 1975 the individual concerned was transferred from prison in England to Armagh Prison. On 30 April she was released from Armagh on humanitarian grounds. The release was on licence and the licence was then revoked on 15 May 2011 by the then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. An issue arose about the terms of the revocation. The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and the Northern Ireland Office inform us that the parole commissioners considered the terms of the royal prerogative of mercy after receiving submissions on behalf of the prisoner, that the Secretary of State ruled that the life sentences were not remitted by the royal prerogative of mercy, and that the individual remained subject to the life sentence.

The prevailing policy within prisons themselves is a devolved matter which is the responsibility of the Department of Justice in Northern Ireland. The Northern Ireland Prison Service is an executive agency of the Department and the Police Service of Northern Ireland. I have received a briefing on the assessment of the parliamentary delegation which visited Maghaberry Prison. My officials are monitoring the situation closely. It is the subject of discussion between the Secretary of State and I and between officials of my Department and corresponding officials in the Northern Ireland Office. That will continue to be the case. I am very much aware of what is going on.

Deputy Clare Daly: If people have done something wrong and have broken the law, they should of course be brought to justice and to trial. This is the opposite case where people are imprisoned for a period of years whose cases have been heard in open court. They have been found to have no case to answer and then secret evidence has been introduced behind closed doors. That is a fundamental attack on human rights and civil rights for everyone in Irish society and beyond.

We do not know that the royal pardon did not cover the sentences because the official excuse is that the pardon has gone missing. Therefore, how do we know what was specified in it?
.
Why does Martin Corey have to go to the Supreme Court? An open court has already said he has no case to answer. These are serious matters. It is 41 years since Bloody Sunday when people marched against internment. Now there is a new Administration and a new power structure but people are in prison who do not know the reason they are there. The Northern Ireland Minister for Justice could release those two people at the stroke of a pen. I hope that when we have next month’s ministerial Question Time, we do not have to raise the two cases in question because if Marian Price is not released soon on compassionate grounds, given her ill health, it will lead to a seriously destabilising situation in the North for the foreseeable future.

Deputy Eamon Gilmore: In one case, as I said, there will be a Supreme Court hearing and my information is that it is due to be held shortly. A date was set for it earlier in the month but the hearing was not held on that date. I understand a new date will be set for it shortly.

My understanding is that the parole commissioners will hear the Marian Price case in early March. Three dates have been indicated to me as to when the case will be held and it has been indicated to us that there will be a decision shortly after that. Clearly, we cannot prejudge what that decision is likely to be and I will certainly be keeping a very close watch on what is happening and my officials will be doing that on my behalf.

9.) Deputy Gerry Adams (SF) asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade asked a cryptic question, whether his attention was drawn to the various legal proceedings currently being taken by persons (details supplied) to set aside the indeterminate sentence being imposed on them by the British Secretary of State, Ms Theresa Villiers, without access to judicial proceedings in which they can see, hear and challenge the evidence against them; and if he has expressed his abhorrence of the denial of fair judicial procedure to these two Irish citizens

29.) Deputy Mick Wallace (Ind) asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade in view of the fact that Marian Price has been interned without trial for a period of nearly two years, if he will consider raising the matter at a European level; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

30.) Deputy Frank Feighan (FG) asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he will provide an update on the Marian Price case; and the action he is taking to advance the case

33.) Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh (SF) asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if his attention has been drawn to the deterioration of the physical and mental health of a person (details supplied); his views on their prison conditions; and if he has discussed them with British Secretary of State, Theresa Villiers.

63.) Deputy Luke 'Ming' Flanagan (Ind) asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the discussions he has had with the Northern Ireland Office and the Secretary of State with regard to Marian Price; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

66.) Deputy Damien English (FG) asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if his attention has been drawn to the fact that the Stormont Assembly Minister, David Ford, denied until the last minute compassionate parole to persons (details supplied); if he will raise with Minister Ford at their next meeting the need to address compassionately requests from both in view of the limbo position in which they have been placed, having being neither charged with an offence, nor given a release date, granted bail or seeing the evidence against them; and his views on a royal pardon issued to one of the persons in the 1970s being conveniently misplaced.

67.) Deputy Martin Ferris (SF) asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he has raised with the British authorities the continued detention-internment without trial of two Irish citizens (details supplied) in prison; and if he has demanded their immediate release.

Deputy Eamon Gilmore: I propose to take Questions Nos. 9, 29, 30, 33, 63, 66 and 67together.

I am very aware of the cases to which the Deputy refers and my officials monitor these and other cases very closely. The first individual referred to has been detained since 13 May 2011 following the revocation of her life licence by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. Genuine concerns about several aspects of this case have been raised by Members on many occasions, and I have raised them very frankly with the British Government, most recently when I met the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland last Monday, 11 February. I have been advised that the parole commissioners will determine in March on the issue of her continued detention.

In relation to the second individual referred to, the British authorities have confirmed that he was released under licence in 1992. The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland revoked that licence in April 2010 and the individual has as a result been in custody for the past two years and nine months. I understand an appeal in relation to the case will be heard by the Supreme Court in Belfast shortly. As the case is the subject of an ongoing legal process, it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time.

Deputy Seán Crowe: There has been some discussion of this but I want to add a few points. The nature of these cases involves unseen and unknown evidence, so it is difficult for people to defend themselves when they do not know what evidence has been presented against them. The common denominator is the involvement of shadowy figures in the background from MI5 and MI6 who are not friends of the Irish peace process. The Minister said he would get the report of the delegation that visited Marian Price. That delegation has stated that her health is getting worse and we know she is only allowed to exercise in a corridor late at night, with no access to the fresh air or the environment. She is also concerned that there is talk of closing the wing she is on and returning her to what she described as the dungeon. She said that part of the problem with the dungeon was that she was refused access to medication. The Red Cross has been refused access to Hydebank where she is being held. Will the Minister raise that with the British Government?

Deputy Eamon Gilmore: I have already brought to the attention of the Secretary of State the previous visit that was undertaken by a group of Oireachtas Members whom I subsequently met and whose report and assessment I was given. On a continuing basis, we have raised with the Minister for Justice in the Northern Ireland Executive the conditions in which Ms Price is being held. The immediate focus is on the hearing by the parole commissioners that is due in early March.

Related Link: http://irelandyoutube.blogspot.com/

Caption: Incarceration of Marian Price Martin Corey.wmv


author by Brian Clarke - AllVoicespublication date Mon Feb 25, 2013 15:30Report this post to the editors

March For Marian Price on International Women's Repeated Article to Highlight

On the 4th of January, 1969 Irish civil rights protesters from People's Democracy which included the Price sisters suffered a brutal attack from around 200 lyalists armed with iron bars, bottles and stones at Burntollet Bridge in a march from Belfast to Derry. It is an important day in history in that for many, in that it was the start of the troubles in Ireland with a number of young women savagely beaten which included the price sisters. Beaten into the river, it was a baptism of fire for the two young teenagers.

The march was repeatedly attacked by loyalists including off-duty members of the British forces along its route.The march was based on the Selma-Montgomery march in Alabama in 1966, which had exposed the racist thuggery of America's deep South and forced the US government into major reforms. This march exposed the the deep rooted sectarianism of British mentored loyalism which is still, vindictively, politically interning Marian. The following are some marchers recounting their experiences.

"Available police forces did not provide adequate protection to People's Democracy marchers at Burntollet Bridge and in or near Irish Street, Londonderry (sic) on 4th January 1969. There were instances of police indiscipline and violence towards persons unassociated with rioting or disorder on 4th/ 5th January in Londonderry (sic) and these provoked serious hostility to the police, particularly among the Catholic population of Londonderry (sic), and an increasing disbelief in their impartiality towards non-Unionists.
"Loyalists viewed the People's Democracy and the march as another attempt to undermine the Unionist government of Northern Ireland. A number of leading Loyalists, including Ronald Bunting and Ian Paisley, had indicated in advance of the march that they would be calling on 'the Loyal citizens of Ulster' to 'harrass and harry' the four-day march.

"On each day of the march groups of Loyalists confronted, jostled, and physically attacked those taking part in the march. At no time did the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC), who were accompanying the march, make any effort to prevent these attacks. The most serious incidents occurred on the last day between Claudy and Derry. The march was ambushed at Burntollet Bridge by approximately 200 Loyalists, including off-duty members of the 'B-Specials', and 13 marchers required hospital treatment. The march was again attacked as it passed through the Waterside area of Derry. Later in the evening members of the RUC attacked people and property in the Bogside area of Derry sparking several days of serious rioting.

"The way in which the police mishandled the People's Democracy march confirmed the opinion of many Catholics that the RUC could not be trusted to provide impartial policing in Northern Ireland. The events also further alienated many in the Catholic population from the Northern Ireland state. The march also marked the point where concerns about civil rights were beginning to give way to questions related to national identity and the constitutional position of Northern Ireland."

"The repeated refrain 'up to our knees in Fenian blood' seemed a little ominous to me" - Eddie Toman

"I saw people, including one man who was standing with an armful of stones against his chest on the lower ground to the left of the field. Suddenly, I heard screams coming from behind, and looking around saw a shower of stones in the air. The march scattered in some panic; then I saw a girl being put onto a police tender with blood pouring from her head. Then I saw a television cameraman with blood streaming down his face" - John Gilmore, Belfast student

"The major portion of the C.R. procession was cut off and left at the mercy of the attackers. A fusillade of stones and bottles was followed by the full weight of the attack against the young men and women who had pledged themselves to a policy of non-violence.

"The attackers showed no mercy. Men were beaten senseless. Girls tore their way through the hedges screaming: 'No! No!' Shouting, club-waving, men pursued them." -Description from the Irish News of the time.

"I saw the police moving through the fields, and then I saw the first attacker wearing a white armband. Then I began to see other men wearing similar armbands standing in groups on high ground along the road. I remember then dismissing the idea that the attackers would simply be angry groups of locals annoyed at demonstrators passing through their village. My impression now was that the attack was well organised, and the armbands were for recognition purposes.

"By now the field seemed crowded with men and youths, perhaps 100 or 150. I saw some women and girls, too, among the people in the field. I saw the police marshalling a girl along in the field. She carried two milk bottles in her hand. Then I saw the first stone come whizzing through the air and remember shouting to the people near me to get in against the hedge. In a second the air was thick with missiles. I pulled my coat up around my head and crouched down, stumbling forward. There was utter confusion as girls screamed, and stones and bottles crashed around. I kept my head down but on once looking up I saw another large group of men with cudgels and sticks running onto the road ahead of us.

"There was tremendous confusion as people stumbled and grabbed each other for cover and protection." - Teacher

"I then saw a girl with a white, furry hat being confronted by a Paisleyite with a wooden club. The hat was taken off and she received two blows each followed by blood." - Cohn Moore from Belfast

"Showers of rocks crashed round us. I was in the middle of the fourth row and bent double in an attempt to avoid the hail of missiles, when a middle-aged man in a tweed coat, brandishing what seemed to be a chair leg dashed from the left-hand side of the road, hit me on the back, then pulled down the hood of my anorak and struck me on the head. I then tried to crawl away, but, teeth bared, he hit me again on the spot on my skull . . . I fell, and a fellow marcher picked me up and dragged me up the road; I passed out, and came round in the ambulance on the way to Alnagelvin Hospital" -Mrs. Judith McGuffin, a schoolteacher from Belfast

"I passed through the hail of stones, being hit only once on the leg. When we crossed the bridge I turned back because my three sons were in the march, and I wanted to find them. Standing on the side of the bridge to the marchers' left, was a large, middle-aged, well dressed man, leaning against the bridge wall quite casually. As a line of marchers passed he whipped what seemed like a police baton out of his overcoat pocket and smashed it on the back of the nearest marcher. Boys and girls went down, one after another" - Mrs. Margaret Tracey, a fifty-four year-old housewife, Dungiven.

Related Link: http://irishblog-irelandblog.blogspot.com/

Dolores Price. IRA Freedom Fighter

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WOMENS day
by Bobby Fri Feb 15, 2013 12:18
Any women involved in organising this? Any contacts with women's groups?

Contact
by AchuslaClarke - AllVoices Fri Feb 15, 2013 13:31
A Chara,

Perhaps if you contact the twitter account below, with a direct message, they can help you.

brendan64

Journalist from Coalisland, currently working for Media Wales in Cardiff. Twitter: @brendanhughes64

Related Link: http://coalislandpost.co.uk/areas/crowds-mark-clonoe-am...e-958
Twitter, facebook etc
by Bobby Fri Feb 15, 2013 18:08
I don't use any info-gathering/corporate websites like twitter or facebook

The Guineapigs
by Brian Clarke - AllVoices Sat Feb 16, 2013 01:43
A Chara,

I was simply trying to be helpful and it is possible to use those sites anonymously. I refuse to allow anyone, drive what is a perfectly legitimate protest underground. That is one of the main purposes of internment, along with creating paranoia and reactionary violence in an area that is of basic human rights.These are useful tools for anyone hoping to build a broad front. There has been enough whispering campaigns in the past, in what is a perfectly legitimate human rights issue.

I do understand your concerns about Twitter and Facebook and there is truth in what you say but they can be very effective tools for any organizer, used intelligently. While we all need to be prudent, progressive politics for me, does not allow fear to dictate my activity, whether it comes from within our own ranks or from state terrorism. I have nothing to hide and I refuse to kneel to the threat of political internment. I'm quite certain from Ireland's history, that there are plenty of Irish women out there who are fearless and will not be bullied by John Bull.

Is mise le meas,

brion o'cleirigh

The Guineapigs by John McGuffin

Bernadette McAliskey Speech Bloody Sunday March 2013

Related Link: http://bit.ly/PLJ9tK
Fear
by Bobby Sat Feb 16, 2013 11:11
For me it's not about fear, it's about my personal security, and the security of my closest comrades.

Anyway, I really hope the march goes well, it's a sad state of affairs.

Communication Tools of the 21st Century
by BrianClarke - AllVoices Sat Feb 16, 2013 12:13
Right so ! Lets go back to smoke signals ? Do you not think, that Ireland has had more than enough of its nudge, nudge, wink, wink, politics over the years and that is largely responsible for the mess we are in ! There is nothing to hide or be ashamed of when campaigning on behalf of Human rights. Twitter is an excellent tool, if used wisely to build a movement as it has done all over the world !

Using Social Media Sites to Power Your Political Movement
Fast-forward nearly 2.5 years, and social media sites such as Linkedin (90 million users), Twitter (190 million users), Facebook (41.6% of the US population) and Youtube (virtually everyone with broadband Internet) are even more popular, accessible and versatile than they were during the 2008 election race. Although your political aspirations might not include a presidential bid just yet, you can copy Obama’s marketing strategy to start your own political movement online by following a few simple steps.

Step 1: Get Connected with a Broadband-Enabled Laptop
For the leader of a political movement, a globally connected laptop computer is a necessity, not a luxury. Laptops with wi-fi and 4g coverage allow you to contribute to the progress of your movement at all times. You’ll be able to post blog entries, upload photos and videos, post tweets and publish news updates as soon as they’re relevant.

Step 2: Base Your Political Movement Around Your Passion
It’s vital to base your political movement around something near and dear to your heart, something that you truly feel would benefit from change. Ask yourself, what’s important to myself and my community? Start by considering aspects of your local government, whether they’re environmental, economic, social or political, and determine a cause that you can passionately support. Without the proper motivation, no amount of campaign strategy will solve the issue at hand.

Further, you should be realistic in choosing a goal for your political movement. Lobbying for overriding changes in national policy might be overly ambitious, while identifying a problem in your local community and gathering the support of likeminded individuals who also seek a solution to that problem is far more attainable.

Step 3: Create a Document Outlining Your Political Movement
This document should include a detailed summary of your political movement, including your goals and the ways in which you plan to accomplish them. Be specific, and include details such as why you think a particular issue is a problem, what will be needed in order to fix the problem, who will benefit from you movement, and what those benefits will entail.

Step 4: Determine a Target Audience, and Reach Out to It
Starting a political movement without a target audience rarely leads to positive change, and simply saying that your political movement will benefit “everyone” has little meaning. Instead, think of who your political movement will immediately benefit, and then reach out to those individuals. For example, if your political movement is designed to serve the needs of low-income mothers, find a website such as BabyCenter.com and share a summary of your movement on its message board.

Step 5: Create a Logo and a Slogan
Your logo should represent your political movement, and serve as an attractive and professional branding that you can place on advertising materials. Unless you’re artistically inclined, it is advisable to seek the help of a professional graphic designer. The fees you’ll pay up front will prove to be a good investment when your logo is finished.

As for a good example of a slogan, we can look back to a popular catchphrase that was often thrown around during Obama’s presidential run, and earlier in 2004 during the Bush v. Kerry presidential election: Vote for Change. In a mere three words, this slogan serves as both a call to action and a representation of an ideal. Obama appealed to the weary sensibilities of an American public that he believed was looking for a distinct change from current policies. Meanwhile, the first word of the slogan served as an actionable instruction: “vote.” The beauty of the slogan lies in its simplicity, and the fact that it leaves the individual with a clear idea of what they need to do in order to support a certain cause.

For these reasons, it is important to create a slogan that is concise, direct and preferably actionable. Further, your slogan should immediately give your audience an idea of what you’re trying to accomplish, if not how you plan to accomplish it.

Step 6: Spread the Word Through Social Media Sites
By this point, your political movement should be ideologically solidified, aesthetically sound, and ready for the masses. Now is the time to start advertising your movement and gathering support through social media sites, including Youtube, Twitter and Facebook.

Create a Facebook page dedicated to your movement, and be sure to include every detail of your campaign. Seek out similar pages and make their members aware of your organization. Update the page with fresh content regularly to continue building support after the initial surge in interest, which may consist largely of your existing Facebook friends. Use the Events section of your Facebook page to schedule live and online events that directly relate to your cause.

Twitter is an ideal medium for posting regular updates about your political movement. Meanwhile, you can create and post videos to Youtube that will generate interest in your movement. Clever and humorous videos can become viral in a matter of days or even hours, and may serve as a method of inciting average Internet users to seek more information about your cause.

Step 7: Interact with Your Growing Support Base
As the leader of a growing political movement, you simply can’t afford to appear aloof or disinterested in your cause. Listen to the feedback you receive from your support base, and address their concerns quickly. Encourage open, honest discussion on your political movement’s Facebook page, which is facilitated by the Discussions area of the page. Speak enthusiastically about your political movement’s successes, and explain how your movement will overcome failures.

International Women's Day March for Marian Price
International Women's Day March for Marian Price

Related Link: http://vimeo.com/58574609
 
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