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rights, freedoms and repression |
Sunday November 02, 2008 20:06 by éirígí PRO - éirígí
Upwards of 400 republicans marched in defiance of the British Parades Commission and the British Government.
400 Irish republicans today gathered in west Belfast in defiance of the British government, the British army, the PSNI and the Six County Parades Commission.
Activists from all over Ireland saw through the lies and black propaganda mustered up by the Royal Irish Regiment’s cheerleaders and stood face to face with heavily armed PSNI personnel in a powerful statement of opposition to British rule.
éirígí activists and supporters gathered at 10.30am on a glorious day which matched the enthusiasm of the large crowd. The demonstrators marched towards the PSNI barricade which was set up to stop protests against the British military display taking place in the city.
éirígí stewards marched to the barricade and set up a protective line, whilst banners bearing messages such as “Oppose Britain’s Murder Machine”, were erected and a platform prepared.
Only metres from the barricade, the rally was addressed by Alex McCrory, a former H Block republican political prisoner and blanketman, who read a statement from Relatives for Justice – the group which campaigns on behalf of victims of British state violence.
Following Alex’s contribution, Brenda Downes, whose husband was shot dead by the RUC in 1984 at a similar rally, and whose killer was acquitted of the charge of manslaughter in a British court, addressed the rally and condemned the RIR and British state forces as murderers.
Finally, Brian Leeson, éirígí chairperson, addressed the crowd and explained the reasons behind éirígí’s decision to mobilise on the streets of Belfast.
Before finishing he addressed the “paramilitary police force of the state” and told them to take a message back to their masters.
He said: “Tell them that hundreds of men and women of all ages stood before you today. Tell your masters in Downing Street that those men and women stood without fear, that they disobeyed your Parades Commission and they disobeyed your law.
“Tell your masters, that among the crowds you saw many ex-prisoners, you saw blanketmen, you saw the victims of your violence, and tell them, that beside these men from the H Blocks, who brought the war to the British state for 30 years, stood a new generation that was as determined as any generation that came before them.
“Tell them that you looked into the eyes of a risen people, and that they were not afraid. You tell your masters that!”
More Photos and video at www.eirigi.org
Getting ready to march
Murder Machine Out
Section of the crowd