On the 1st of March 1981 Irish Republican prisoners commenced a fateful battle. They had tried all other methods at their disposal to resolve their status as political prisoners. A previous hunger strike had been fought and the negotiated settlement undermined by a treacherous British Government. Finally, led by their former commanding officer, Bobby Sands, the first group refused to eat.
Tensions rose as the days ticked by and the men got weaker. During this period Bobby was elected to the British Parliament in a by-election. All options were pursued to bring the protest to a peaceful conclusion. Finally Bobby died on 5th May. Massive unrest and protests ensued. Bobby’s place was taken by another volunteer and the strike continued. By the end of the protest 10 men were dead.
The position of the British and their leader, Maggie (tin knickers) Thatcher, was implacable. Their desire was to smash the republican movement once and for all. The protest was a direct battle against a concerted PR campaign to marginalise the republican movement as criminals, gangsters and terrorists. They saw the protest as a win-win situation. They incorrectly took the protest as the last act of a weakened foe and the deaths of their leaders was an added bonus.
While the world watched the Charles & Di fairy tale wedding, the people of Ireland were lifted from their knees by the selfless sacrifice of men who would not wear a convict’s uniform. The hunger strikes were also the most devastating defeat worldwide of the British government for a generation.
As a young boy of 11 I grew up in a community directly affected by the events of that year. All through the Spring and Summer of that year I watched in horror and disbelief that politicians could callously permit those deaths to take place. My naivety died a little that year and the memories of those valiant men will stay with me an example of true heroism until my dying days.
This past week I watched as the most vile regime in the world murdered civilian volunteers on a humanitarian convoy to Gaza. Never mind the crime of piracy, it was an open act of war against the nation of Turkey. These brave men and women showed the world that Gaza is not forgotten and that we are prepared to share the burden of lifting tyranny.
The number of bodies returned was 10. 10 men dead. There were more murders than that but we await the return of all the captives and the wounded before we can give an accurate tally to that night of infamy. The many weasels in the press and in various governments are busy muddying the waters but the cry has gone out. MURDERERS.
I find it shameful that people as beautiful as the Palestinians have been murdered singly, in groups or in their thousands for decades and ONLY NOW the world finally seems to give a shit. The Khazars invaders of Palestine have not changed. There should be no surprise. This is what they do. Only they matter and anyone who gets in their way will be butchered.
I write this as a ship still sails. Her name is Rachel Corrie. If you are reading this you will know what her name symbolises. It may be an Irish vessel but there are volunteers from Malaysia and other nations aboard. There are brave people aboard – everyday people like you and me - but they need our help. Spread the word. This site is a good source of video feeds.
The ship will reach the danger area soon - Friday night/Saturday morning. It all depends when the Khazars pick their moment. There is a young child in me praying for them and for the people of Gaza who desperately need supplies but also hope. My older cynical self stands aside and has other thoughts. You may not see the linkage but I do. My prayers still go out to our heroes on the boat.
Come what may there will be more boats. Maybe when the Turks return they will bring company with them. Tiocfaidh ár lá – our day will come.
Greater Love Than This Hath No Man
11 years ago