Anti - Interment picket in Newry - report from Dublin ABC


On Saturday in Newry Co Down the Anti-Interment Group of Ireland held a white line picket to highlight the prison struggle and fight for justice of Republican prisoners. Dublin Anarchist Black Cross attended and sent us the following report on the protest.

“There were many people in attendance from different groups and organizations giving their solidarity. there was a police presence throughout the picket.

Representatives from four different groups read out statements Cogus, Dublin Anarchist Black Cross, I.R.P.W.A and the Save Moore Street Campaign. The chairperson, Cabs Kavanagh, of the Anti-Interment Group of Ireland thanked everyone and every group in attendance.

Below is the statement read out by former Republican Prisoner and Dublin Anarchist Black Cross representative:
We are here today at this picket, many people here in attendance are members of different groups and come from different backgrounds, but what brings us here together is the prison struggles, fight for justice and human rights.

In Maghaberry Prison the Republican prison struggle has been going on for well over a decade. The prison regime is particularly brutal. Prisoners families and loved ones being refused visits without any warning and loved ones being banned for a couple of months at a time also without warning.

There are prisoners being put in forced isolation for no good reason. Life in isolation consists of being locked in your cell for 23 hours every day and having no human contact bar with the screws.There are prisoners serving their entire sentence on the Isolation block for years, Gavin Coyle has spent 5 years in isolation, non republican prisoners usually spend up to 3 weeks on this for punishment. The use of forced isolation is to try destroy the morale, spirit and mind of a prisoner. In Gavin Coyles case the British state are trying to break him down physiologically and MI5 have made several approaches to him in the Isolation block.

The regime in Roe House where the rest of Republican prisoners are held consists of violent assaults on prisoners by screws, controlled movements, forced strip searches (which are sexual assaults in reality). These forced strip searches are even carried out on prisoners that have health problems.

The British and Irish states use all sorts of dirty tricks to jail political activists. There are cases of activists being entrapped by MI5 and the Special Branch. There are many, many cases of state forces falsifying evidence against people and activists in order to suit the agenda the state wants to carry out. This has been blatantly done in the case of the Craigavon 2.

These exact same tactics are being used against anarchist activists across Europe to get activists jailed and used against prisoners and their families to break them. Last year in Greece several anarchist prisoner went on hunger strike as acts of resistance against the repressive Greek state.
One of the prisoners that was on hunger strike for 39 days Tasos Theofilou was sentenced to 25 years in 2014. He was convicted of manslaughter, carrying a firearm and armed robbery of which he has always denied. The only evidence against him was DNA that was found on a moveable object, all the witnesses in trial could not identify him.

Prisons were built to be used against the poor, states also use them as tools of repression against political activists. Here is a quote from a Greek Anarchist that sums up prisons:

"I love life and freedom. Lets fight to tear down the prisons which bury inside them thousands of living people. Lets fight for the vision of social liberation. Lets fight for the liberation of our class from the authority of capital." - Tasos Theofilou

The Dublin Anarchist Black Cross would like to thank the Anti-Internment Group of Ireland for inviting us here to this event.The Dublin Anarchist Black Cross would like to give our solidarity and support to John Paul Wootton and Brendan McConville and all Republican Political Prisoners, Prisoner support groups and campaigns throughout Ireland fighting the British and Irish so called Justice systems.

The Anarchist Black Cross is a global network of anarchists that show solidarity to prisoners and fight for the abolition of the prison system.