The Belfast Irish Republican Socialist Party held a candlelit vigil and protest today to highlight the plight of the political prisoners in Maghaberry concentration camp.
The Republican prisoners in Maghaberry are currently enduring draconian living conditions which are designed to break their spirit. This tactic has been used by various British institutions in the North throughout history. Britain deems political prisoners the weakest point of anti-imperialist movements and therefore uses their jails as breakers yards and torture chambers. This is why we must build an anti-imperialist broad front in support of the prisoners on the outside. Various Republican and Socialist groups have one issue in common – The belief that the August agreement of 2010 should be fully implemented without delay and the savage treatment of political prisoners in Maghaberry should end with immediate effect.
The IRSP feels that the media has been deliberately instructed by the British government to give very little coverage on the various protests that have took place both inside and outside Maghaberry. Margaret Thatcher used this policy in the 80s which she stated was designed to “starve the terrorists of the oxygen of publicity”. Well just as the men and women of the 1980-81 prison struggle were not terrorists neither are political prisoners today. The obvious media blackout is done in order to make the prisoners feel isolated and to damage any chance of unity on this issue amongst supporters of the prisoners on the outside. We would urge the working class people of Belfast, whatever your political persuasion, to support the political prisoners.
It is a simple point of principle. If you were behind the political prisoners in 1980-81 then you should be behind them now. Any views to the contrary would be naked political sectarianism. The choice is simple:
Are you with Minister for Justice David Ford and his torture chamber? Or are you with Irish working class people imprisoned for their political beliefs?
The IRSP across Ireland will not allow the media silence to continue over the inhumane conditions in Maghaberry. The IRSP also believe that human rights organisations such as Amnesty International should be allowed into Maghaberry to make an independent assessment of the conditions. We think that the International community would be shocked to hear of the British government (Who are fond of criticising other countries human rights records) and their barbaric prison regimes.
The IRSP has always been to the forefront of supporting political prisoners throughout our history and we will continue to organise protests in support of the prisoners in the coming year. We are confident that you, the working class people of Belfast will come out in support of the Maghaberry Political prisoners in 2012.
Victory to the Political Prisoners!
Belfast Irish Republican Socialist Party