Cumann na Saoırse Náısıúnta

National Irish Freedom Committee

Irish Republican Information Service 


In this issue -- 2/3/2013
1. Bloody Sunday massacre remembered in Derry
2. Death of Dolours Price
3. Marion Price’s family appalled at Parole Commission delay
4. Extradition to Lithuania denied
5. Loyalist Facebook pages removed
6. £3.8m policing flag protest over one fortnight
7. MI5 tried to recruit Derry man in France
8. Taxi driver ‘traumatised’ after protest attack
9. Repossessions in Craigavon on the increase
10. Eleven held during Operation Standstill
11. British Queen and Obama Costs soar to ?36m
12. Enda Kenny’s constituency office exempt from rates
13. Statement on French Intervention in Mali

1. Bloody Sunday massacre remembered in Derry

THOUSANDS of people took part in the march in Derry on January 27 marking
the 41st anniversary of Bloody Sunday. It followed the route of the 1972
anti-internment march which ended with 14 marchers being shot dead by the British army’s
Parachute regiment.

The march was led by relatives of some of those murdered on Bloody Sunday,
as well as relatives of other victims of British State violence.

Veteran civil rights campaigner Bernadette McAliskey was the main speaker
at the rally which followed the march.

Speaking at Free Derry Corner, Bernadette McAliskey paid tribute to the
march organisers.

“It is important to remember to challenge the cover-up, even though some
people from time to time begin to tire or begin to collaborate with the state and believe
that it should be swept away and a new start made,she said.

She also called for the release of prisoners Marian Price and Martin Corey.
We came on the streets to end internment without trial yet here we are 41
years later in a new administration, a new dispensation, new power structures, and new
civic  collaborators and we still have internment without trial with people in
prison on the whim and diktat of the Northern Ireland Secretary of State, she said.


 

Meanwhile around the same time in the Waterside, hundreds of Union flag
protesters held  what was billed as a march for “loyalist civil rights”. Among those in
attendance at the  rally was victims campaigner Willie Frazer.

A number of relatives of those murdered by British paratroopers on Bloody
Sunday say they will continue to march until those responsible for the 1972 massacre are
held to account.

Earlier this month it was revealed that to date not one soldier implicated
in the murders and the maiming of a further 14 has been interviewed, or indeed arrested,
as part of the investigation.

A lawyer representing the families and wounded of Bloody Sunday said he was
staggered that the RUC/PSNI have still made no attempts to either question or arrest
any former soldier involved in the 1972 massacre.

Peter Madden, of Madden and Finucane Solicitors said there had been an
abject failure to progress the murder investigation which was announced back in July.
Correspondence his firm had received from the RUC/PSNI confirmed that the
police have yet to further the case for soldiers’ prosecutions and have yet to appoint a
family liaison officer to work alongside families and those who were wounded on January
30, 1972.

Joe McKinney, whose brother William was shot dead in Glenfada Park, said:
I read a newspaper report in recent months concerning the trial of a man accused of
murdering Captain Robert Nairac in 1977. The Crown barrister opening the prosecution
said that the passage of time must not absolve those accused of heinous crimes being
brought to justice,but it appears to me to grant absolution if the person responsible for the
crime wore a British Army uniform,Joe McKinney told the Derry Journal newspaper.

“I am extremely angry that there does not appear to be a level playing
field and that those responsible for the murders committed on Bloody Sunday are not being
pursued withany genuine conviction or rigour by the [RUC/]PSNI.”

John Kelly, whose 17-year-old brother Michael was murdered by British
paratroopers on 30 January 1972, said that the British police had all the resources necessary
for a giant security operation ahead of next year’s G8 Summit, which is to be held in
Fermanagh.

The [RUC/]PSNI don’t seem to be complaining about the money or the
resources needed to cover the G8 Summit next year, yet still they insist they don’t have the
resources needed to conduct a major murder investigation? That can’t be right.

The fact is, we are all waiting for news of this murder investigation and
now the [RUC/]PSNI will probably spend millions and draft in hundreds of extra
personnel to police this summit of world leaders.

Kay Green, whose 17 year-old brother Jackie Duddy was the first fatality of
Bloody Sunday said:’ This is still a murder investigation and, while the [RUC/]PSNI take their
time deciding, they need to realise that time really is of the essence here. We are all
getting older, so what are they going to do  wait till either we die off or the soldiers do?
That’s what it looks like to me.”.

“Considering we waited so long since 1972 anyway, and the fact that it’s been two and a
half years since the Saville Report was delivered, not to mention the fact that the police
didn’t even have the common courtesy to inform families about the murder investigation and
we actually found out about it on the news. I am really not surprised. We are only the
families, after all. We’ve always been treated as second-class citizens and
so it goes on our loved ones mean nothing to them. they have every bit of evidence necessary 

evidence that they murdered,  evidence that they committed perjury it’s all there in front of them

. What more do they need?”

A second theme of the weekend’s events is the subject of cover-up, with  links to the
Hillsborough justice campaign in Liverpool. There is a widely-held view that one reason
that the soldiers have not been questioned by police is a fear that those higher up the
political and military chain could become implicated in the massacre.

The families have launched a website (bloodysundaymarch.org) to pool information on the
2013 march and related talks, film-showings and other events.

Kate Nash had a message for those who believe it is time to stop campaigning.
“You are entitled to your opinion. It is your democratic right not to march,” she said.
“However, I also have a democratic right to continue marching and I intend
to do so.”

Meanwhile the family of Gerald Donaghey are continuing their campaign to have his name
cleared and on January 24 his niece Geraldine Doherty headed a delegation of relatives,
wounded and fellow campaigners took their case to members of the EU Parliament in
Brussels.

Geraldine spoke of the personal anguish still felt over her uncle’s case  and her late mother’s dying wish

 to see him fully exonerated. “I will not rest until he is cleared,” she said. “We were left with half-a-declaration

of innocence while my mother was dealing with her own fight with cancer. She died a few months later

 having given up her fight.”

While declared innocent alongside the 27 others murdered and wounded by Britishparatroopers on January 30, 1972,

 Gerald Donaghey suffered a double injustice. He was theonly victim of Bloody Sunday left with a stain upon his

reputation as LordSaville declared that the teen “probably” had nail-bombs on his person throughout.

 It is a claim refuted for decades by both civilian and military eyewitnesses.

2. Death of Dolours Price

ON January 24 Republicans throughout Ireland and abroad were deeply saddened to hear of
the sudden death of Dolours Price, former hunger striker and sister of Marion Price, now
incarcerated in the Six Counties by order of the British government.

Dolours and Marian were the daughters of Albert Price, a prominent Irish Republican and
IRA member from Belfast. Her aunt, Bridie Dolan, also a Republican activist, was injured
in a bomb explosion in the 1940s. Dolours’s political activism began in the late 1960s.

She was arrested for her part in the Old Bailey attack in London in 1973, and in a bid to
be repatriated to a prison in the Occupied Six Counties, she went on hunger strike forover eight months.

During this time both Dolours and Marian were subjected to continuous force-feeding by the prison authorities

 at least twice daily.

In an interview with Suzanne Breen, Marian Price described being force-fed:

”Four male prison officers tie you so tightly can't struggle. You clench your teeth to try
to keep your mouth closed but they push a metal spring device around your
jaw to prise it open. They force a wooden clamp with a hole in the middle into your mouth.
Then, they insert a big rubber tube down that. They hold your head back. You can't
move. They throw whatever they like into the food mixer – orange juice, soup, or cartons of
cream if they want to beef up the calories. They take jugs of this gruel from the food
mixer and pour it into a funnel attached to the tube. The force-feeding takes 15 minutes but
it feels like forever. You're in control of nothing. You're terrified the food will go
down the wrong way and you won't be able to let them know because you can't speak or move.
You'refrightened you'll choke to death.”

In 1975, the British government repatriated Dolours, Marian, Hugh Feeney and Gerry Kelly
to prisons in the Occupied Six Counties. In 1981 Dolours and Marian were released from
prison on humanitarian grounds. She continued as an Irish Republican political activist
and an outspoken critic of the Stormont Agreement and the Provisionals’ participation in
partitionist constitutional politics.

Following her release Dolours Price moved to Dublin and married actor Stephen Rea and had
two children. They divorced in 2000.

She was a very vocal critic of the so-called ‘peace’ process and made her  views very well
known. She was one of those who gave interviews to the Boston College project and her
tapes are the subject of a long-running attempt by the British to have them turned over to
the British police in the Six Counties.

On January 27, Ruairí Ó Brádaigh, Patron and former President of Republican Sinn Féin said
in a statement:

“The untimely passing of Dolours Price is a moment in Republican history. Born into a
staunch Republican household in Belfast she came under the influence of her father, Albert
Price, who was active in the 1940s and was imprisoned, and her aunt Bridie Dolan who was
severely injured when a grenade she was handling exploded prematurely.

”With the birth of the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s, Dolours was to the fore in all
activities. When the struggle escalated and internment without trial was brought in, she
and her sister Marion joined the Republican Movement. There followed activity in London and

 prolonged imprisonment and hunger strike.

”This last development was met by force-feeding for more then 200 days until demands for
relocation to the Six Counties were met, but were not implemented for more than two years.
It is certain that the brutality of the protracted force-feeding had grievous effects on Dolours both

mentally and physically. It surely brought about an early release for both sisters.

”Dolours rejected what she saw as a ‘surrender process’ from the outset. When the Stormont
Agreement was signed in 1998, she visited the Ard-Oifig of Republican Sinn Féin in Dublin
and made her position clear. By attending the subsequent Ard-Fheis of Republican Sinn Féin

she nailed her colours to the mast.

”When attending the 25th anniversary in Ballina of the death on hunger strike of Frank
Stagg in 2001, she spoke at the grave of an old friend and comrade, Jackie Clarke. Here
she made her stand once more.

”In more recent times she publicly attacked what she saw as deceit, hypocrisy and public
lying in high places. She exposed it relentlessly. She saw all that as a  contradiction to
the mountain of sacrifice that had been made over the decades. She herself had contributed
more than her share and she was outraged at the developments. Never did she participate in
deceit, hypocrisy or public lying. She will be remembered – cuimhneofar ort, a Dholours.
You have triumphed in the end ‘.

Sincere sympathy is expressed to her sisters Marian and Clare and to her two sons, Danny and Oscar.”

Her sister Marion was arrested on May 13, 2011 and was held first in Maghaberry jail, then
Hydebank, and is now in Belfast City Hospital under armed guard. The British State asserts
that they have revoked her licence but as she was released on a Royal pardon no such
licence exists. This document is said to have been shredded by the British government.
She was granted bail to attend her sister’s funeral but the Parole Commissioners refused
to allow the parole.

In a statement her family said:

“Given Marian's current health issues it is laughable that she would pose any kind of
security or flight risk. We feel this decision is nothing more than a continuance of a
vicious and vindictive campaign on the part of the Prison Service, the Department of
Justice and the British secretary of state along with M15 to destroy Marian both
physically and mentally.
”We would urge all right thinking people to utterly condemn this blatant breach of

 Marian's fundamental human rights.”However, after her solicitor took an emergency

 judicial review on January26, she was allowed out for three hours on January 27,

accompanied by two MLAs, a Provo and a member of the SDLP, to attend her sister’s

wake at the family home in Belfast.

Dolours Price was buried in Milltown Cemetery, Belfast on Monday, January
28.

3. Marion Price’s family ‘appalled’ at Parole Commission delay

THE family of Marian Price said it is “appalled” at what are deliberate delays by the
Parole Commission in reviewing her case.
The Parole Commission is empowered to release prisoners if they are no longer considered a
‘public threat’. Campaigners have said that Marian Price never posed any threat, and that
her mental and physical health has seriously declined since she was effectively interned
without trial last year.

The Price and McGlinchey families said there was now a widely held view that the   Commission

 was engaged in “a stalling process”. They said they had been assured that the Commissioners

 were in a position to deliver a verdict by Stormont Ministers, as well as by past and present

British Direct Rulers.

“It is now 18 months since Owen Paterson employed mechanisms to revoke a license he
claimed Marian was held under. She is now imprisoned for offences dating back almost 40
years. “Marian has been bailed by the courts, yet since May 2011 has remained in
solitary confinement in prison at the behest of the British secretary of state and
is presently held in an isolated hospital unit.



“As a consequence of her treatment in Maghaberry and Hydebank prison, Marian’s health has
continued to deteriorate. The hospital staff, now treating Marian’s various illnesses,
have had an arduous task balancing highly toxic medications with other treatments.

This ordeal for all involved should be not be happening.

“The courts have said Marian should be released on bail and all medical opinion has stated
she cannot be treated in an environment that is not conductive to recovery.”
They said the former prisons campaigner had been in an ‘outside’ hospital since June and
is held under guard with all the rules and regulations applied to a prison regime.
“The fact that she has been hospitalised by such a lengthy period without  improvement, and
indeed a marked deterioration, speaks volumes about the chronic state of
her health”.


The families said that Marian has been forced to endure the brunt of ‘game-playing’ in a
‘legal limbo’ to her detriment.
“We call on those assigned to adjudicate in this travesty of a so called  justice system to
act now before a shameful situation becomes irredeemable.” They said the Parole Commissioners

 had failed to comply with their obligations under Article 5 of the European Convention,

 which requires such hearings to take place within a  reasonable time
 ‘The Commissioners dealing with Marian’s case must discharge their statutory legal duties
without interference from any source. Their delay in embarking on the pathway to a
resolution of this urgent matter is tilting the scales towards further deterioration in
Marian’s already serious ill health.

“At the same time we call on the state to produce the evidence if it exists
so that Marian’s legal team can defend her. The Parole Commissioners must swiftly
enact the duties charged to them and after such a lengthy process come to a just and
decisive ruling.”

Meanwhile, judgement has been reserved in an appeal against Marian Price’s
fellow internee, Martin Corey, being returned to prison. The British Direct Ruler Owen Patterson

 had challenged a ruling that the Parole Commissioners had breached Martin Corey’s

human rights in keeping him
behind bars.

In July Martin Corey won a judicial review over a decision by the Parole Commission to
keep him behind bars on the basis of ‘secret information’. A High Court judge held that
their determination on whether it was safe to release him had breached his rights under
European law.
The commissioners were directed to reconsider the case and Martin Corey was granted
unconditional bail. But pending a full appeal against the judgment, lawyers for the British
government secured a stay on the bail order from another judge.

Martin Corey’s legal team are seeking to challenge that determination at the Supreme Court
in London.

4. Extradition to Lithuania denied

ON January 18 Judge Burgess ruled in Belfast that Dundalk man Liam Campbell should not be
extradited to Lithuania.
Judge Burgess refused to order Liam Campbell's extradition on the grounds he would be held
in “degrading and inhuman prison conditions” if transferred there.

Liam Campbell is wanted in the former soviet state over allegations he was
part of an operation to buy weapons for the IRA - despite never being in Lithuania -
and no evidence to back up the charges.

Liam's brother Michael is currently serving a 12-year sentence in Vilnius
and awaiting an appeal against sentence.
However, he was refused bail at the High Court on January 25. The Lithuanian authorities are

 appealing the decision and Liam Campbell will stay in jail until the
hearing on February 1.
He has been in prison since he was arrested after crossing the border into south Armagh in
May 2009. His lawyers resisted extradition proceedings by arguing that it would breach his
human rights.

They brought in a special adviser to the British Home Office and the Council of Europe's
Committee for the Prevention of Torture as part of their case. Prof RodMorgan visited
Lukiskes Prison in Vilnius and delivered a critical assessment of prison regimes in Lithuania.

5. Loyalist Facebook pages removed

On January 18 two loyalist Facebook pages -- Loyalists against Short Strand and Loyalist
Peaceful Protests Updater -- were ordered (for the second time) to be taken
down by a Belfast court, after they carried death threats against a nationalist man.

The sites had provided information about street protests being held in Six  Counties. They
had been ongoing since a decision was taken by councillors on December 3 to limit the
number of days the Union Jack flies at Belfast City Hall.

In his ruling at Belfast High Court, the judge ordered that the man's picture and details
about him should be prevented from appearing on any other web pages controlled by
Facebook.

The flag dispute is now in its seventh week. Some of the protests have been followed by
rioting in which more than 100 police officers have been injured.
On January 25 petrol bombs were thrown at the RUC/PSNI during further loyalist
disturbances linked to the Union flag protest.
A series of protests have blocked roads around Belfast on a daily basis, while around 20
were held across the Six Counties. A spokesman for the British colonial police said a
suspicious device was thrown at them in the Cloughfern Avenue area of Newtownabbey, north
Belfast and ten to 12 petrol bombs were also thrown. A further 19 petrol  bombs were seized
by the RUC and taken for forensic examination.

Around 350 people, including six bands, attended a protest in Castlederg, Co Tyrone. It
was the first demonstration to apply to the Parades Commission since the flag protests
began on December 3. Participants marched around the Diamond and laid a wreath at the
British war memorial in the Co Tyrone village.

6. £3.8m policing flag protest over one fortnight

THE total cost of policing the unionist protests against the Belfast City Council-imposed
limitation on flying the Union Flag at Belfast City Hall cost £3.8m in the fortnight
December 3 to December 17 alone, the Stormont Justice Minister David Ford revealed on
January 22.

“The police have informed me that the total cost for the period 3 December to 17 December
has been calculated as £3.8m,” he stated.
“While some of that cost involved redirecting officers from otherwise important work to
deal with the disorder, a significant part of it was from the need for additional police
resource,” he added.
Ford said the figures from December 17 onwards have yet to be verified. He also said that the cost

 of the process was not only financial but human in terms of injuries to officers and the wider cost to

 the community.
He confirmed that up until January 15 115 people had been arrested and 85 charged.
And over January 5 and 6 special court sittings were requested by the Chief Constable Matt
Baggott following which 18 people were remanded in custody.

7. MI5 tried to recruit Derry man in France

IT was reported in the Derry Journal on January 25 that a Derry was approached at a French
airport by two men who identified themselves as members of MI5.
The incident is alleged to have occurred in the early hours of January 20 at Nice Airport
when the man was returning from looking for work in the South of France.

The man, who asked not to be identified, said: “As I approached the security desk at the
airport, I felt a hand on my arm. There were three French policemen, two in
plain clothes and one in uniform, who asked me to go with them as there was a problem
with my passport.
“They led me through a few doors into what looked like a police office and
then we wentinto a room with three chairs in it. One of them took my passport, walked
out the door andcame straight back in and handed it back to me. Then these other two men
entered the room one was an Englishman and the other had a Belfast accent.

“They asked me, ‘What is a wee Derry man doing in the South of France for
two days?’“I told them I was doing a job and then they told me they were from MI5. I
asked them what MI5 wanted with me and they said I was a senior member of the new IRA. When
I challenged them on this, they said they knew everything.

“They asked me was I willing to work with them. I told them I had never
been involved in anything in my life and they then suggested I take a look at a couple of
photos. They then produced a folder and showed me a photo of this guy I know who I did work
for. They also asked me did I know a couple of other guys and I said no.”

The man claimed he was also offered money which he refused. “They then
offered me a phone number and said to take it and phone them and ask for Jim or Rob. They told
me to phone the number at 12 midday on Tuesday and then they let me go but said they
would see meagain. I have no idea why they would have targeted me as I have nothing to
do with anything.”

On Tuesday of this week, the man took the number to his solicitor Paddy MacDermott and
phoned it at noon.

Paddy MacDermott said: “Our client phoned this number and the man known as
‘Jim’ answered.He chatted for a bit asking our client’s travel plans and the like. I then
took the phoneand identified myself and asked what did they want with my client. There
was a bit of afluster at the other end and then they hung up.



“This is a deplorable attempt to recruit a hard working young man with a
clear record whowas only seeking employment. Actions like this only put people’s lives in
danger and, hopefully, he will now be left alone to go about his business. A complaint
will be lodgedon his behalf.”

8. Taxi driver ‘traumatised’ after protest attack

ON January 22 it was reported that a Derry taxi driver was left traumatized when the
windscreen of his car was smashed by loyalist flag protesters in the city’s Waterside at the weekend.
The incident is reported to have taken place in the Lincoln Courts area of Derry city at
around 9pm on Sunday night. It’s believed the driver targeted in the attack works for a cityside firm.

9. Repossessions in Craigavon on the increase

ACCORDING to the Lurgan Mail on January 25, house repossessions in Craigavon have risen
from 45 in 2005 to 79 in 2011.The borough has the fifth highest number of final possession orders in the
Occupied Six Counties with 440 carried out over the past six years.
In 2006 and 2007 the numbers fell with just 42 and 32 repossessions but in 2008 when the
recession began numbers rose to 64 and peaked in 2009 when there were 90 repossessions in
the district. However, repossessions have been slowly declining since with 88 in 2010 and 79 in 2011.

In data obtained from the Six-County Court Service, Belfast was revealed as having the
greatest number of possession orders overall with more than 1200. Derry was
second with 626, followed by Lisburn and Newry and Mourne with more than 500 case orders.

The figures reflect repossessions of all types of property however domestic properties are
believed likely to comprise the majority.

10. Eleven held during Operation Standstill

THE demonstrations – called Operation Standstill -- which aimed to restrict movement
throughout the region, took place between 6pm and 8pm on January 25.
Six men and two women were arrested on suspicion of obstructing a highway following a
protest in the Knock Dual Carriageway area of east Belfast.
In the Waterside area of Derry's three men were arrested on suspicion of a number of
offences including disorderly behaviour and obstructing a highway.

In Belfast, Shankill Road at Brown's Square, Cambrai Street, and Castlereagh Street were
blocked by protestors. Elsewhere police reported flag protests at Ballyclare Square, on Coast Road
in Glenarm, on Rossdowney Road in Londonderry and in Fountain Hill in Antrim.
The Lisburn Road from Elmwood Avenue to Shaftesbury Square and the Albertbridge Road from
its junction with Castlereagh Street and Mountpottinger Road to Connswater were also
affected by protests.
The Shore Road at Mount Vernon, My Lady's Road, Malone Road at Dub Lane and Sandy Row at
Boyne Bridge reopened after roads blocks were lifted.
Meanwhile Translink said all east Belfast Metro services were suspended for a time “due to
numerous protests” on January 21
 Around 350 people, including six bands, attended a protest in Castlederg, Co Tyrone on
January 25. It was the first demonstration to apply to the Parades Commission since the
flag protests began on December 3. Participants marched around the Diamond and laid a
wreath at the British war memorial in the Co Tyrone village.



The demonstrations began last month, after Belfast City Council voted to restrict the
flying of the Union flag to 18 designated days. Earlier this month the first so-called

 Operation Standstill took place as protesters tookto the streets to voice their opposition

 to the Belfast flag decision across Northern Ireland.

It was also reported that the protesters’ plan to target GAA matches and
the annual Bloody Sunday march. DUP HQ could also be picketed by loyalists as part of plans
to change thedirection of the demonstrations after a review of tactics.

A planned conference of the Ulster People's Forum (UPF) could reduce street level flag
protests in favour of publicity-orientated events like a band rally at DUP headquarters
and demonstrations on the way to GAA matches.

On January 24 Jamie Bryson, a member of UPF, refused to comment on specific proposals but
confirmed that a review was under way. He said: “Flag protests will  continue; whether they
will continue in the current format or move onto a new phase is a question I can't answer yet.”

Proposals understood to be under consideration include:
Flag protests at Westminster.

* Protests outside GAA matches or on the route to them, aimed at persuading
the association to stop using the names of dead republicans for awards and grounds.
* Band pickets at DUP offices.
* Asking for a special investigation team set up to report on alleged Irish  government
collusion with the IRA.
* The establishment of a working group.

A series of protests continue to block roads around Belfast on a daily basis, while around
20 were held across the Six Counties.

11. British Queen and Obama Costs soar to 36m

IT was reported on January 25 that while the initial estimate for the security operation
around the visits of US president Barack Obama and Queen Elizabeth was 20 million, the
cost increased to 36 million because serious security threats arose during the Queen of
England’s  visit .Hundreds of rioters clashed with gardaí for almost three hours in Dublin
city centre on the first day of the visit, throwing fireworks, bottles and bricks.

The following night gardaí were involved in a stand-off with a crowd of several hundred.
They included representatives of Republican Sinn Féin and the 32 CountySovereignty
Movement. Pipe bombs were also left at locations in the city.

12. Enda Kenny’s constituency office exempt from rates

CHARITY shops in the Enda Kenny’s home town of Castlebar, Co Mayo are facing demands for
thousands of euro in commercial rates – but his constituency office is exempt from the
charge, according to a report on January 20.
In a lucrative perk introduced some years ago as part of the national  valuation
regulations, TDs’ offices are exempt from the rates.

However in Castlebar charities such as the St Vincent de Paul and Oxfam
have rates charged on their premises at the same rate as other commercial premises.

The same rules apply to charity shops all over Ireland run by organisations like Age Action
Ireland, Aware, Barnardos, Enable Ireland and the Irish cancer Society.

“It is outrageous that the Taoiseach's lavish constituency HQ is a freebie for Enda Kenny
as far as rates are concerned while Oxfam and other charities are being crucified,” local
independent councillor Frank Durkan said. Attempts to make charity shops exempt from commercial

rates have met with a stony silence from the department of finance.

“When you consider the valuable work done by charity shops in helping the marginalised in society on

 behalf of the State, the demand for commercial rates is ludicrous,” said Paul Hughes of the

 Irish Charity Shops Association.

13. Statement on French Intervention in Mali

The Irish Anti-War Movement said in a statement on January 2o:

”We strongly oppose the military intervention by France and other countries in Mali.
Neither France nor any of the other nations directly involved or supporting France (eg the
UK) have any right whatsoever to intervene in this way. The fact that France is the former
colonial power in Mali, as in much of north western Africa, and therefore doubtless has
‘connections’ and ‘interests’ in the area in no way justifies their action, on the
contrary it is merely a further reason why they should cease interfering in the affairs of
Mali and African people as a whole.

“We reject completely the notion that former colonial powers have some special
responsibility for the areas they once ruled (eg France for Cote D’Ivoire, Algeria etc.,
Britain for Zimbabwe, Kenya etc) except in the sense that the whole historical epoch of
European imperialist conquest and exploitation of Africa is the root cause of that
continents desperate poverty and plight to today.


“The pretext for this latest intervention – the alleged threat of an ‘Al Qaeda terrorist
state’ on the doorstep of Europe – would be laughable were it not underwritten by the
general climate of Islamophobia cultivated by politicians and the media.
Mali is in no sense on Europe’s doorstep and, given its location south of the Sahara and
its extreme underdevelopment and poverty, is completely unable to pose any threat to
Europe.

“This pretext has even less credibility than George Bush’s and Tony Blair’s infamous
‘weapons of mass destruction’ claim for Iraq. The current conflict in Mali has its roots in the

 fact that the country of Mali was a western imperialist (French) construct which artificially

 yoked together different peoples. The people of northern Mali are Tuareg who, as should be their
right, have long wanted to form an independent nation of Azawad. It is the refusal of the
military regime in Mali to grant that right and its suppression of the Azawad liberation
struggle that has led to Islamist movements coming to the fore in northern Mali. Instead of
French and other military intervention the people of Azawad should simply be granted their right of
secession.

“The extremely regrettable hostage taking and loss of life in Algeria is a direct consequence of the French

 military intervention and proves, yet again, that making war on Muslim countries fuels rather than

 eliminates terrorist tendencies and endangers rather than protects European citizens.

 The fact that the episode occurred at a BP gas facility in the desert of southern Algeria merely serves to

 highlight the truenature of Western involvement in this, and many other, regions of the world, namely the
exploitation of their national resources.

“In Ireland we would again call on our government and Éamon Gilmore in particular as
Minister of Foreign Affairs, to make clear that it does not support in a way this and
other military operations in Mali or Africa as a whole.”




 


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