Since it’s foundation in 1974 the Irish Republican Socialist Party has always supported the rights of Republican prisoners and have seamlessly campaigned for all Republican prisoners throughout the 38 years of our existence.In keeping with this principled support for Republican prisoners, the IRSP have organised a white-line picket at 1pm on Saturday 17th December on the Falls Road, primarily to highlight the plight of Republican prisoners in Maghaberry gaol and to protest against the British government policy of selective internment of Republicans, including Marian Price.
The Maghaberry gaol protesting Republican prisoners are simply asking that what has become known as the 2010 ‘August Agreement’, a mutually binding accord which was accepted by both ‘sides’ in the long running Maghaberry dispute, be implemented and honoured in full. The August Agreement was brokered in 2010 by a respected body of independent mediators, which included leading trade unionists and representatives from the community sector, that guaranteed an equitable, humanitarian and much welcomed long term solution to the Maghaberry gaol impasse. Unfortunately, the ink had barely dried on the written agreement when the screws began to flagrantly renege on many of the previously mutually agreed terms of the 2010 August Agreement.
Since then, the situation in Maghaberry gaol for Republican prisoners has steadily deteriorated with prisoners now being held on near constant lock up and having to live in cells with their own waste! On a near daily basis many prisoners are being brutalised, forcibly strip-searched and regularly placed in the segregation unit (aka the boards) where almost complete sensory deprivation is the norm. Republican prisoners’ visits with families have been routinely denied on the most spurious of reasons, as has access to the exercise yard. Reverting to reactionary type, there has been a concerted drive by the ultra-right wing POA to further isolate Republicans in the most vindictive fashion. Former Republican prisoners who suffered in gaols here, such as Long Kesh and Armagh, will be acutely aware of the naked hostility that many screws harbour for Republicans held captive in their dubious ‘care’ and how vindictive this body would be in the present scenario where current Republican prisoners are being systematically isolated.
The Irish Republican Socialist Party asks that all freedom and justice-loving people in West Belfast and elsewhere support our campaign demanding that the 2010 August Agreement be implemented in full by the ‘N.I.P.S’. You can show your solidarity with the Maghaberry Republican prisoners and your opposition to the continuing British government policy of selective internment of Republicans by supporting our white-line picket on Saturday 17th December. Even if only passing the protest by car, motorists can still sound their car horn in the time honoured fashion to show support for and solidarity with the Maghaberry Republican prisoners especially at this festive time of year.
Republican prisoners were ‘political’ 30 years ago in 1981 and they are still political today!