sabato 5 aprile 2008

Derry republican speaks out



Firstly I would like to wish the four Derry men who are being interned in Portlaoise Gaol all the best of luck.

In a recent visit to Maghaberry Prison to see a republican prisoner my son was searched four times on entry, photographed five times and had his fingerprints taken before being able to see his friend. A sniffer dog was also called in and if this animal sits down beside you, your visit is terminated. These draconian practices only exist for republican visits.

Republican POWs are not criminals, but they are in the eyes of the occupation. Political status was signed away in the terms of the Good Friday agreement in 1998. This is not what Bobby Sands and his nine brave comrades died for. The Good Friday agreement has criminalized republicanism; recently in Derry City men arrested under the ‘terrorism’ act were shown a Bobby Sands book wrapped up in an evidence bag. By attempting to criminalize so called ‘dissidents’ Britain has criminated the entire republican family including the provisional grassroots. It recently became evident to me that the current Sinn Fein Strategy had been grossly underpinned by the Brits. Britain will never tolerate republicanism however it will tolerate those who subvert to its position.

After being a member of Sinn Fein my entire adult life, I decided to leave the party. It was not an easy decision for me to make. However, I felt that the provisional leadership was leading us up the wrong path. Irish republican history is littered with repealist come reformists. I spoke at the recent special Ard Fheis on policing last year, and from that day to this Sinn Fein is incapable of giving me an example of the accountability the grassroots had been promised. In recent weeks the RUC/PSNI have beaten the children of Creggan black and blue, humiliated children as young as eight by photographing them while noting their names to the outrage of their parents. The people of Derry had given the PSNI a chance and they have failed to live up to its promise of change. Policing boards have been exposed as a cosmetic propaganda exercise aimed at hoodwinking republicans into supporting the RUC. If only the RUC/PSNI tackled the current drug scourge that is destroying my Shantallow homeland with the same vigor and determination as they do with dignified republican commemorations’ then maybe they could gain a little trust. Drug dealing is a civic police issue however the RUC/PSNI only react to political issues related to republicanism.

Since leaving Sinn Fein with over 40 years behind me, I have recently joined the 32 County Sovereignty Movement and they have given me a very warm welcome. I would urge all disillusioned Shantallow republicans to contact me for advice; I can confirm that a new Cumann will be established in the greater Shantallow area very soon, we will be dedicated to upholding the republic while tackling anti social behavior and the drug scourge head on.

Seamus Breslin. Derry 32csm


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