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RSF Glasgow on MayDay Harrasment

category international | anti-capitalism | press release author Tuesday May 06, 2008 18:15author by rsfglasgow - Republican Sinn Fein Report this post to the editors

Republican Sinn Fein Defends the Starry Plough

Republican Sinn Féin led the Irish contingent at the Glasgow Trade Union Council march on its 150th year to celebrate May Day. The march was held in Glasgow on Sunday, 4 May 2008. Prior to commencement, we were approached by a trade union steward and informed by her that the police had raised concerns about one of our flags, the Starry Plough.

Press Release/Preas Ráiteas
Republican SINN FÉIN Poblachtach

For immediate release

Seamus Reader (Publicity Officer)
Francis Hughes Cumann
Scotland
www.rsfglasgow.com

Republican Sinn Féin led the Irish contingent at the Glasgow Trade Union Council march on its 150th year to celebrate May Day. The march was held in Glasgow on Sunday, 4 May 2008. Prior to commencement, we were approached by a trade union steward and informed by her that the police had raised concerns about one of our flags, the Starry Plough.

She stated further that those who complained including the police felt the flag invoked IRA.and terrorism connotations. We informed her that their impressions were outrageous and with no foundation. We proceeded to march without further delay with our colour party which included the Tri-colour and Cumann banner. However, after the event we were stopped by two policemen. They told us that they had to question us about the Starry Plough following a complaint by a member of the public. We explained the historical significance of the Starry Plough and justified why it was more than appropriate to raise this flag alongside other trade unionists and workers. We are not sure if our explanations were fully acceptable as they took the details of one of our members, Máirtín MacCriostái.

Máirtín spoke after the incident saying,

"I was shocked but not surprised by the continued animosity shown towards Irish Republicans in this country. I didn’t see concern raised about the many other political/cultural banners present at the May Day event. Why was it just ours? As an Irish Republican living in Scotland I’m not unaccustomed to such shows ignorance by the authorities. I’m totally outraged at the political interference by Strathclyde Police and the fact that they raised their concerns at a march by trade unions about a flag which is widely recognised by trade unions and workers world wide and adopted by the trade union and labour movement in Ireland"

No pun is intended but is this not an opportune moment to 'flag up' the ignorance of some. Perhaps Strathclyde Police should be more informed of the importance of the Starry Plough. The Francis Hughes Cumann calls on all Trade Unions, the Irish community and all progressive forces here in Scotland to unite in defending the democratic rights of workers and the national identity of a minoritys, including the Irish. We see this as a totally inappropriate act of political interference by Strathclyde Police. We must ask why the authorities have taken such offence to a flag that was adopted by fellow Scottish and Irish Republican, James Connolly, and in part represents the social injustice, free speech and men dying for their convictions.

What’s next if it is the Starry Plough now? Is it the Red Flag next? Republican Sinn Féin have demanded a full and frank explanation from Strathclyde Police of their employees actions. Our concerns will also be raised about the incident with the Irish Diaspora in Scotland Association.

Perhaps the Police could save on their precious resources if they were aware of a history that should never be eclipsed.

ENDS.

Related Link: http://www.rsf.ie
author by Oisín - ÓSFpublication date Thu May 08, 2008 03:07author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Not that its fine and dandy but if I done up a press release for every time myself or a comrade had our names taken or were questioned I'd be considerably more pressed for time. This is unfortunate that it is happening but lads when you are claiming to support the continued prosecution of a war against the british state I think the least you can expect is to have your names taken.

Can you imagine what the repression would be like if the contos did anything. Indymedia would crash!

author by Pilibpublication date Fri May 09, 2008 16:48author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Its not the fact that someone ha their name taken. It's the fact that they asked them not to fly the flag.

Its the ignorance of the police that should be highlighted here. They will just keep on harrassing folk when flying this flag if nothing is done to highlight the fact that the Starry Plough does not equal IRA.

What will they take non to kindly to next?

author by w. - WSM (pers cap)publication date Fri May 09, 2008 17:58author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Does anyone know why the starry plough is flying over a builders providers in Santry/Ballymun area?

 
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