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Ógra Shinn Féin Remember the Hungerstrikers - Falls Road

category national | rights, freedoms and repression | news report author Monday April 03, 2006 23:41author by Ógra B - Ógra Shinn Féinauthor email osf6county at yahoo dot com Report this post to the editors

On Wednesday 29th March Ógra held a demonstration on the Falls Road in Belfast to commemorate the 1981 Hungerstrikers. The event coincided with the departure of young people from all the nearby schools thus sparking interest in all those walking by who availed of the information leaflets handed out.

Ógra Shinn Féin activists proudly hold Hungerstrike placards
Ógra Shinn Féin activists proudly hold Hungerstrike placards

Barry McColgan outlined "this event is one of many constantly taking place in remembrance of our ten brave martyrs - who remain a source of inspiration to young freedom loving people the world over.

"We will never forget the sacrifice of the hunger strikers and during this 25th anniversary we will be holding regular events of this nature in order to commemorate, remember and educate others of the 1981 hungerstrike."

He hailed the event as a success as "Many young people were asking questions and showing a genuine interest in learning more about this monumental period of our history.

"25 years ago ten brave men gave their lives for freedom and many of the young people asking questions today, like myself, were not even born at the time of the 1981hunger strike. So it is an encouraging sign to see them being so fascinated by the sacrifice of Bobby Sands and the hungerstrikers of 1981"

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Ógra Shinn Féin logo showing lark of freedom
Ógra Shinn Féin logo showing lark of freedom

author by Deborahpublication date Tue Apr 04, 2006 00:08Report this post to the editors

Great to see Ógra - the only youth movement doing anything
like the new logo

author by Johnpublication date Tue Apr 04, 2006 12:11Report this post to the editors

Well done to sinn fein youth for remembering the hunger strikers. it is important to remember them and continue the same struggle for which they died- that of a 32 democratic socialist republic in ireland. beir bua

author by not sure of this onepublication date Tue Apr 04, 2006 15:16Report this post to the editors

i don't think the french would agree that socialism is worth dying for , no.

And i don't think that repeating the mistake of the british by forcing the unionists into a republic is a good idea. they would just start a new terrorist outfit for independance like nationalist movement did.

No i think that the hunger strikers are best forgotten as an embarrassing blot on our history. In america the use of peacefull means achieved civil rights in a few years. the ira's campaign achieved sunningdale two.

A thirty two county would not be democratic by definition as it would include 1/2 a million people who did want to be in the republic .

The support for removing the claim on the north of ireland , by 94% of the republic and substitution of an aspiration for unity , shows us that the hungerstrikers were fools . forget them. Just because you die for something doesn't make it right , like the soldiers in iraq !

author by Cynicpublication date Tue Apr 04, 2006 15:46Report this post to the editors

"In america the use of peacefull means achieved civil rights in a few years."

Not the case. For over 100 years after the Civil War, Blacks were denied Civil Rights. Civil rights workers were murdered and blacks fought back. Klansmen were killed even though some wish to write it out of history. Urban Blacks rioted and burned property. Thats what won Civil Rights - the fear of further destruction of private property.

author by go dublinpublication date Tue Apr 04, 2006 17:13Report this post to the editors

indeed until the black community started marching they got nowhere . but once they did start marching , and some enevitable rioting (like in france at the moment) they got their rights pronto .

Compare that with the ira's pointless useless war. What concrete things has that acheived --- > the belfast agreement

the belfast agreement was offered for all intents and purposes at sunningdale. The only thing the ira's campaign did was to alienate unionists , making the chances of unionist seeking to join the republic more remote than ever . Yes let's forget the hunger strikers. they achieved nothing.

author by Cynicpublication date Tue Apr 04, 2006 18:05Report this post to the editors

"Yes let's forget the hunger strikers. they achieved nothing. "

They acheived Political Staus (quitely conceded after the end of the Unger-Strike). the Hunger-Strike also led to a massive increase in support for the IRA and SF. It led to the birth of SF as a political force.

author by again achieved nothingpublication date Tue Apr 04, 2006 18:21Report this post to the editors

yes and sf has done nothing. the the achievements belfast agreement would have been achieved within a few years by the sdlp. who cares if they got political status? what did they do with political status ?

Sinn Fein has been the voice of the most continually impoverished community . After the first decade you'd think the communities would have realised that sinn fein weren't improving jack for them.

Why remember a bunch of violent savage failures? ? how did their violence improve the lifes of people ?? ?? what fundamentallly different concessions has sinn fein got that weren't on offer at sunningdale ? ? the only thing they did is replace the sdlp ?? what kind of a success is that worth dying for ?

author by Cynicpublication date Tue Apr 04, 2006 18:27Report this post to the editors

you really are bitter. But you have to understand one thing, SF are not going to heed your wailings. Maybe you should just forget about them or go into therapy or perhaps attend a 12 steps group. Even join the PDS. But do something. Your hatred of SF is gnawing away at you like a cancer.

author by Richeypublication date Tue Apr 04, 2006 18:39Report this post to the editors

A lot of people care that they got political status. Maggie Thatcher wanted to define the Troubles as a problem with criminality. She was defeated, and the British government was ultimately forced to accept that the IRA campaign was driven by political grievances, not mindless bloodlust.

Funny how the people in those communities weren't so quick to accept the advice of people like you, and follow the SDLP line. Maybe they understood that the SDLP represented the interests of affluent Catholics and didn't care about working-class nationalists once the barriers to their own advancement were removed.

I'm not a republican, and there's plenty of legitimate questions that can be raised about the IRA campaign and how much it achieved. But people like you don't have any constructive contribution to make. Sunningdale didn't collapse because of the Provos - it collapsed because the British government caved in to pressure from extreme loyalism.

Ten years later, the same elements tried to bring down the Anglo-Irish agreement, but London faced them down and they slunk off eventually. What was the difference? The rise of Sinn Fein after the hunger strikes brought home to everyone, even Thatcher, that something had to be done to address the problems.

You obviously know very little about the civil rights struggle in the US. African-Americans are a long way from achieving equality - except for middle-class professionals, the same social strata that led and supported the SDLP.

Northern Catholics tried imitating the tactics of Martin Luther King and what did they get? They were battered off the streets by the RUC, and loyalist mobs attacked their communities with the support of the police. Finally the Paras gunned down 13 people in cold blood, and the British legal system ruled that the killers were innocent and the victims were guilty.

But I suppose it's much easier for you to ignore this context and condemn the Provos out of hand. There was a war because people felt they had no alternative - they had to take up arms if they were going to defend their communities. You can raise legitimate questions about that view, but there's no denying that it was a reasonable view to hold, after the experience of 1968-72. It wasn't based on ideological fanaticism, it was based on practical experience.

The IRA campaign proved to be a dead-end, and it's a good thing that the Provos have moved away from violence. The H-block campaign proved to be one major step in this evolution towards politics, and that's one reason why I, although not a republican, respect the hunger strikers. It's quite right that they should be remembered. Somehow I doubt anyone will be remembering your contribution in 25 years time.

author by go dublin go dublinpublication date Tue Apr 04, 2006 18:44Report this post to the editors

I laugh at you typical response . you can't defend you point of view , so you joke that i hate sinn fein. I don't hate sinn fein , i just can't think of one positive contribution to irelands history past present and future. why celebrate failures .

It is up to you to convince me what has sinn fein achieved. what good things have come out of the armed struggle over and above the result of peacefull politics. The north is dirt poor , it sovereignety is no more final than before the struggle . the south has embraced the world, embraced globalisation. the poorest among us are multiple richer than before. (it's not perfect : the rich are many many multiple richer again) we have low employment. We have achieved this through the oposite policies to sinn fein . peacefull politics . and making it cheap for companies to hire . What have sinn fein done to deserve any celebration ,no mind pride?

Why celebrate the sacrifie of fools ?

author by 32 Sovreignty prisoner - Real Republicanspublication date Wed Apr 05, 2006 11:07Report this post to the editors

How can PSF youth commerate these brave mens sacriface when the PSF/PIRA leadership has endorsed the GFA which criminalises Republican prisoners North and South,Take the flag from the mast OSF aka Provo propaganda tool,coz your just as bad as the freestaters and the Brits

author by richies comments are fair butpublication date Wed Apr 05, 2006 12:03Report this post to the editors

I do not quibble with the detail. Sunningdale would not have worked ,as the climate was not ready.

My central point is that the decision to embrace paramilitary action as a response to the state's paramilitary action acheived absolutely nothing. While undoubtedly there are problems with the black community you concede that there is now a black middle class and i would add a black minister for foreign affairs. By choosing peacefull ( with a sprinkling of rioting ) protests shit moved fast. The comparison with the ira is most apt . The six counties are to put it politely in a bad way. To go on hunger strike to achieve political status , when the same could have been achieved through mass protest is no achievement. Undoubtedly anyone who goes on hunger strike is to be respected. Consider how the french government is currently quaking in its boots over attempts to remove fundamental rights of young workers. Witness too how having previously ignored the people they are now petrified. No the overall picture is that the ira's campaign did nothing and took a long time doing it. The only thing the troubles did is alienate the unionist people and make a united ireland even more remote. Strange really.

It is a bizarre fact that when we used people power AND stood united under daniel o'connell ,shit moved fast. There is a time for guns but internal civil strife is not one of them I think history will come to this conclusion. although it will phrase in a less offensive manner!!!

Re black issues in america, i lived in at the edge of a ghetto in america, so i know all about those problems. Dare i say we have the same problems now, not because of government laws (people here have legal equality and all the things the civil rights movement sought) but because people think that black people are bad. Why i do not understand. There is a grading : irish , eastern european , asian, arab , black .

author by ÓgrAbúpublication date Wed Apr 05, 2006 16:54Report this post to the editors

Attacking actions that commemorate the 1981 Hunger Strikers is not helpful to acheive the objective of the 32-county democratic socialist republic of Ireland.

If you have a problem with the actions of Ógra Shinn Féin then contact and debate with them.
Alternatively, you can ignore Sinn Féin's strategy and use a different form of struggle.
Ógra Shinn Féin's actions are helpful to acheive the objective of the 32-county democratic socialist republic of Ireland.

What are you doing to highlight past or present republican prisoners' struggle?

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author by i am sorry but what ????publication date Wed Apr 05, 2006 17:03Report this post to the editors

i don't agree with you so the only thing for me to do is set up a rival organisation???? i am not to engage you in discussion ? is that what you are saying???

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