Alliance HQ targeted in ‘dirty protest’


The ongoing dirty protest by some republican prisoners in Maghaberry over prison conditions has landed on the doorsteps of David Ford, Minister of 'Injustice' at Stormont.

Last night members from the Republican Network for Unity smeared excrement on the doors of windows of Alliance HQ in South Belfast. In the past, the offices have been picketed and occupied in a campaign to end brutal strip searching and abuse in Maghaberry which has been exposed in consistent reports.

In a recent report former Chief Inspector of Prisons, Anne Owers stated; ‘Full body-searching is a procedure which is intrusive and invades the privacy of all prisoners...if other less intrusive and more effective electronic methods become available they should be piloted and their use considered’.

Describing controlled movement, one republican (Remand) Prisoner in Maghaberry describes his morning; ‘The cell door opens again. “Shower!” the screw grunts. I step out onto the landing. I am searched again while my towel, boxers, socks and bar of soap (these are the only items we are allowed to bring to the showers) are thoroughly searched. I am again surrounded, marched to the showers and locked in. when finished, I have to wait to get out and I am searched again. These searches consist of arms spread out and searched, from the wrist to the shoulders, then around the neck, ribs and down to the waist, legs and ankles. Most time you are grabbed aggressively and searched. My stuff was searched again. I am surrounded and marched back to the cell and locked in’.

In the last couple of the months the WSM and supporters have taken part in marches and pickets and while we are opposed to state repression, we are also opposed to the cul-de-sac of armed republicanism which only serves to further divide the working class in the service of a narrow, militaristic and all too often sectarian nationalism. We support the prisoners’ demands on a humanitarian basis and call for an end to prison censorship and repression of all political prisoners or otherwise. We need to build one campaign and one voice, linking with wider prisoner struggles at home and abroad based on the ‘relatives action committee’ model free of party political control.