Preas Ráiteas – Statement: 23/07/2017
Sinn Féin Poblachtach sends solidarity message to the activists going before the courts in Craigavon on his coming Tuesday, charged for their alleged involvement in an “Unnotified parade” in 2016. In April 2016 a memorial garden was opened to remember those for Armagh that made the ultimate sacrifice for a United Ireland, the occupying administration deemed this commemoration and associated parade illegal.
After the ceremony two vehicles were stopped while driving to the 26 county state and almost a dozen people arrested. Following these arrests a further 70 or so people received letters requesting their attendance at Lurgan police station to account for their movements on the day in question. It is note worthy all the same to point out that only those heading to the 26 county state were arrested and to-date only people from the 26 county state are before the courts, it seems that those in positions of power in the Occupied Six Counties are attempting to dissuade activists from the 26 county state from attending political activities in the Occupied Six.
We call on any available supporters available to attend Craigavon court for 10.00am on Tuesday and possibly Wednesday. The fact that it is effectively illegal to remember our patriot dead shows how unnatural the six county state is, this must be opposed by all Republicans.
It is long past time for resolution of the of the failed experiment that is the “two state solution” it is time for Westminster to commit to withdraw it’s troops, police and political interference from Ireland and leave the people of a United Ireland to work out their own future. It is time that the people decided, as a single unit, what sort of future they want for themselves and generations to come.
We should add that the four men who will be in front of the courts are also being charged with “Membership of, or support for an illegal organisation”. This charge stems from the allegation they were wearing combat style uniforms at the commemoration last year. This relatively new tactic is worrying insofar as it is only leveled at those who do not seek permission or give notification of parades or commemorations.
Republicans and indeed Loyalists have for many years commemorated in this type of dress without it drawing this form of charge. Since these men and others have been arrested, many other commemorations and celebrations have taken place with men, women and even children similarly dressed. In fact at some commemorations mock weapons were carried, with no adverse publicity or charges. The only real difference is that permission was sought from the British state.
It can only be surmised then that this particular charge is again another effort to either force people, groups or communities to seek permission or notify of any parades/commemorations. It must be said that on the occasion of this particular commemoration, it was well postered around the estates of Lurgan & Craigavon and was well attended by families from the estates, there was no trouble from those who partook or supported the event. It was advertised as a family event and many returned to the community center afterwards for snacks and soft drinks. The whole event took place within the Kilwilkie estate in an atmosphere of fun and enjoyment.
The only complaint came from politicians of the Loyalist persuasion who demanded the destruction of the memorial garden and the arrest of all involved in participating in the event. It seems that Republican communities can not commemorate their patriot dead, even within their own estates.
Críoch – ENDS.
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