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éirígí Defends the Right to Protest

category national | rights, freedoms and repression | press release author Thursday October 23, 2008 11:32author by éirígí PRO Report this post to the editors

éirígí spokesperson Seán Mac Brádaigh has said that unionist scaremongering around next week’s demonstration against the British military parade in Belfast city centre undermines the right to peaceful protest.

éirígí spokesperson Seán Mac Brádaigh has said that unionist scaremongering around next week’s demonstration against the British military parade in Belfast city centre undermines the right to peaceful protest.

Seán said: “Much has been made of the fact that éirígí has not applied to the Parades Commission in the Six Counties for permission to hold a demonstration.

“It would be ludicrous for an Irish republican organisation to apply to the British occupying authorities for permission to protest against the British occupation.

“The Irish people’s right to oppose the British occupation of Ireland is a fundamental right that cannot be left to the whims of a British Government appointed commission to adjudicate upon.”

Seán continued: “Certain unionist politicians have also irresponsibly raised the spectre of violence in Belfast on Sunday week. This is a reprehensible tactic that is deliberately intended to undermine the right of the nationalist population of Belfast to engage in peaceful protest.

“It is ironic that the same politicians who invited one of the most vicious regiments in the British army to coat-trail through the streets of Belfast are now attributing the threat of violence to those who are committed to peaceful protest.

“How did unionist politicians think nationalist Belfast was going to react once it was announced that the RIR, an organisation that terrorised nationalist communities for years, was going to be paraded through our city centre?

“How did unionist politicians think that the tens of thousands of people who marched through Belfast city centre to oppose Britain’s imperialist wars would react once it was announced that the RIR, the Royal Air Force and the Royal Navy were to walk through those same streets?”

Seán concluded: “In a further insult, it was announced today that two RAF bomber jets and three military helicopters are expected to stage a flyover during this already provocative parade. It now appears that the British government are intent on a provocative and triumphalist display of British military might on the doorsteps of tens of thousands of Irish republicans and nationalists.

“Unionism needs to get real – it is the British army and their supporters who will be bringing the weapons of war into Belfast city centre on November 2, not Irish republicans.

“We are calling on all republicans, socialists and democrats to join us on November 2 to expose the violent ones as those wearing the uniform of British imperialism.”

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