SAOIRSE — Irish Freedom / Issue number 304 | August 2012

Internet resources maintained by SAOIRSE-Irish Freedom

In this issue:

1. Protect our civil rights, say no to tax bullies
2. British army recruitment attempts condemned
3. RUC attacked in Derry
4. ‘No veto on Covenant march’ – Orange Order
5. Derry march charges re-instated in Marian Price case
6. Family ask for report on murdered parents to be given to them
7. Crown Forces collusion in murder of two nationalists
8. Challenges delay Pearse Jordan inquest
9. McCord inquest delayed for supergrass
10. Killer still in British army
11. Liquid Assets Report — all you need to know about Ireland’s oil
and gasresource
12. Bush and Blair should face trial at Hague
13. Greetings from Leonard Peltier
14. Philippines: political prisoners’ hunger strike
1. Protect our civilrights, say no to tax bullies
ON September 19 Geraldine McNamara, National PRO, Republican Sinn
Féin,said that the decision by both Clare Co Council and Tipperary
SR Co Council toforce those applying for third-level college grants
to provide proof of paymentof the household charge in order to
receive their grant was both unfair andunjust to the vulnerable lower
income people who are trying to put theirchildren through college.
Ironically when they finish college they will bepaying taxes to keep
this country going instead of being at a higher risk of alife of
She continued: “All councillors should remember it is their job
torepresent the public and I call on all local councillors to condemn
thisunderhand manipulation of the system.
“The Labour Party should be ashamed to call themselves
representativesof the working-class while participating in this gross
act of treachery on theworking-class of Ireland.
“The people who are suffering as a result of this unjust charge
and cutsto student grants had nothing to do with the collapse of the
banking system andthe decision to bail out the unsecured bond-holders
who squandered billions ofeuro recklessly. The so-called Labour Party
should be insisting on theunsecured bond holders being “burned”
instead of looking at more ways to punishthe poorest in society.
“Tipperary Co Council has said it is not going to proceed with
thisdecision as a result of the backlash it received from the public,
but they orany other county council have not categorically stated that
they will notattempt this charade in the future.
“Our children are our future and we should be actively looking at
waysto educate and employ them in Ireland instead of rearing them for
2. British armyrecruitment attempts condemned
IN A statement on September 15 the Joe Conway/Brendan Watters
Cumann,Republican Sinn Féin, Newry said they wished to put on record
their “totaldisgust at the recruitment campaign which has been
launched in Newry by theBritish army”.
Republican Sinn Féin spokesperson Oliver White raised concerns of
theadvertisements which have been placed in the Hill Street and
Monaghan Streetareas of Newry calling on
Irish men and women to join the Forces of Occupation in countries
such asAfghanistan, Iraq and here at home in Ireland to name but a
He continued: “We in Republican Sinn Féin Newry and indeed
throughoutthe country see this as a blatant attempt by the British
forces to prey on thevulnerable unemployed members of this country to
join with them in occupyingadditional countries through
the barrel of the gun.
“We call on the local council to remove these
advertisementsimmediately, because if you don‘t you are implicit in
sending young Irishmenand women most likely to their deaths at the
behest of the Britishestablishment.”
3. RUC attacked inDerry
ON September 8 members of the British colonial police were called to
theAileach Road following the discovery of a suspicious object. A
controlledexplosion was carried out at the alert was declared to be a
hoax. The RUC thencame under attack with a petrol bomb, stones and
bottles at the scene. Noinjuries were reported.
4. ‘No veto onCovenant march’ – Orange Order
THE Orange Order has insisted that it will not allow anyone to have
a‘veto’ over its biggest event in decades, according to a report
on September21.
Reverend Mervyn Gibson said the institution would not meet requests
fromnationalists for a single drum beat to be played during a
contentious sectionof next week’s Ulster Covenant parade.
Instead, the county grand chaplain said the loyal orders would
bepressing ahead with plans to play only hymns when marching past St
Patrick’sChurch on Belfast’s Donegall Street.
Tensions have been rising ahead of the huge event on September 29
thatmarks 100 years since the signing of the Ulster Covenant.
The Orange Order has been coming under increasing pressure to
meetrepresentatives of the Carrick Hill Concerned Residents Committee
which will bestaging a protest of up to 500 people on the day of the
Last month, violence flared after members of the Royal Black
Preceptorydefied a Parades Commission ruling and played music outside
St Patrick’s onAugust 25.
Seven police officers sustained injuries during the disturbances.
Meanwhile, residents living in Carrick Hill have spoken of their
“fear”about what could unfold come September 29.
One 49-year-old woman, who has lived in the area since 1971,
saidchildren were being sent away for the weekend.
“I will be taking part in the protest because I want respect for
ourcommunity,” the woman, who was too frightened to give her name,
said. “We havenever had respect, but we coped with it until they
started insulting ourchapel. They are just laughing about it.
“People are calling us dissident republicans, but we are not,”
sheadded. “There are whole families shipping out on the 29th. That
happened yearsago on the Twelfth of July and we shouldn’t have to
put up with it now.”
Another woman, a mother of nine (58), said: “This protest is
strictlyCarrick Hill residents and that message has gone out,” she
added. “We do notwant people coming here to cause trouble.”
The Carrick Hill Concerned Residents Association was initially
formed toaddress social and environmental problems in the area and to
improve thequality of housing in Carrick Hill. The group played a
pivotal role during the1980s in helping to transform what was the
Unity Flats area into the familyhomes that exist today. Frank Dempsey
has been the committee’s longstandingspokesman.
5. Derry marchcharges re-instated in Marian Price case
Marian Price’s lawyer said she was severely depressed and may not be
fitto appear in court
ON September 5 charges against four people including former hunger
strikerMarian Price have been re-instated by the British Public
Prosecution Service(PPS).
In May, a district judge said he would not return the four for trial
asthere were „no papers in front of him“ and the charges were
notproceeded with.
However, the decision by the PPS means that the four will now face
theoriginal charges again.
The three Derry men were freed but Marian Price continued to be held
incustody because her licence had been revoked.
Marian Price (57) who appeared in court under her married name of
MarianMcGlinchey, from Stockman’s Avenue in Belfast, was charged
along with PaddyMcDaid, 42, of Sackville Court, Frank Quigley, 29, of
Elmwood Road and MarvinCanning, 50, of Glendara, all in Derry, in
connection with managing and takingpart in a meeting in support of a
proscribed organisation.
They are due to appear at a preliminary enquiry at the
city’sMagistrate’s Court on September 27.
At the time of her first appearance on this charge in May 2011, it
wasannounced that the British Secretary of Sate had revoked Marian
Price’s licenceand she has remained in custody ever since.
There are increasing concerns about the health of Marian Price.
6. Family ask forreport on murdered parents to be given to them
ON September 6 Bernadette McKearney, whose parents Charlie and Tess
Foxwere shot dead in their home in Moy, Co Tyrone, by the UVF on
September 6, 1992appealed for an investigation into the double murder
to be publishedimmediately.
The couple had no political involvement, but their 23-year-old
sonPatrick had been jailed for possessing an IRA bomb a week earlier.
The Historical Enquiries Team (HET) investigated the murder, but
thefamily said that although the report was completed months ago, it
still hasn’tbeen given to them.
Bernadette McKearney said: “On the 20th anniversary of my
parents’murder, I’m appealing to the HET to hand over this report
“It’s a very emotional time for us and, by holding onto the
report, theHET is compounding our grief. We are also angry that there
has been no inquestinto our parents’ deaths and we have never even
been told why.”
Mrs McKearney recalled the awful morning 20 years ago when she found
herparents lying dead in the blood-drenched kitchen as her own four
children satwaiting for her in the car outside.
“Mammy and daddy had been shot the night before but I didn’t
find themuntil the next morning. Daddy was in his pyjamas. Most of
his face had beenblown away by the gunfire. Mammy had been shot
several times and her jaw wasbroken.
“She’d taken the sweeping brush to one of the gunmen in a vain
effort toprotect herself. He broke her jaw with the gun before
shooting her. Seeing themlying there was the worst moment of my
Mrs McKearney’s husband Kevin, along with his uncle John, had been
shotdead by the same UVF gang in their butcher’s shop just eight
months earlier.Neither man had any paramilitary connection.
The HET has also completed a report into this double murder which
thefamily say has been given to the RUC first, and not them, because
of its“sensitive nature”.
One man was convicted in connection with the couple’s murder, but
thefamily claim he was “a bit player”. They believe the alleged
gunman, who livesin Portadown and is a born-again Christian, was
never charged because he was anRUC Special Branch agent.
Mrs McKearney added: “We have slowly lost faith in the HET
investigationinto my parents’ murder but, out of common decency,
they should show us theirreport now.”
7. Crown Forcescollusion in murder of two nationalists
THE Historical Enquiries Team, which reinvestigates killings from
theTroubles, is expected to claim that there may have been security
forceinvolvement in the murders of two nationalist men on the
outskirts of Derryalmost 40 years ago, a report said on September 20.
John Toland (35), a married man from Windsor Terrace, Derry, managed
theHappy Landing Bar, Eglinton. He was shot there four times by an
Ulster FreedomFighters gang on November 22, 1976.
Three days later James Loughrey (35), married with a family, died
fromhis wounds when he was shot by UFF gunmen outside his home at
Families of both victims told a press conference in Derry that
theybelieve there was Crown Forces collusion in both murders and that
both killingswere carried out by the same gang. They believe the
collusion involved servingmembers of the UDR and RUC.
8. Challenges delayPearse Jordan inquest
ON September 5 lawyers for the family of Pearse Jordan (23), who
wasshot dead by the Royal Ulster Constabulary in disputed
circumstances on theFalls Road in November 1992 claimed it was wrong
to grant anonymity to sixformer Royal Ulster Constabulary members and
screen them as they give evidenceat an inquest into his death.
It was also revealed that the long-delayed inquest may face
furtherdelays due to Public Interest Immunity (PII) issues.
An examination into the circumstances surrounding his death, one of
aseries of alleged shoot-to-kill incidents, was due to get underway
in thecoming week. Before it opened a judge heard separate legal
challenges to thecoroner’s rulings on requests by police witnesses to
remain unidentified.
As well as the judicial review case taken by the Jordan family,
othermembers of the RUC who were refused anonymity were seeking to
have thatdecision overturned.
Justice Deeny was told inquests must ensure accountability and
preventany suspicion of collusion.
Karen Quinlivan QC, for the Jordans, said: “We say the decision
iscontrary to the requirement for open justice and contrary to the
objective ofsubjecting those (who use) lethal force to public
scrutiny. Everybody insociety is at some level of risk if you have a
society where there is any levelof terrorist threat at all.”
Earlier a barrister representing the RUC Chief Constable informed
thecourt that documents relating to three members of the British
police have stillto be disclosed to the next of kin.
Turlough Montague QC said they contained material over which
PIIapplications are expected to be made. The British supremo in the
Six Countiesis expected to consider the applications before the
documents are passed to thecoroner.
9. McCord inquestdelayed for supergrass
AN inquest into the killing of Raymond McCord Jnr has been delayed
untila supergrass has finished giving evidence, it was revealed on
September 5.
No-one has ever been convicted of his murder and Raymond
McCord’srelatives have said they do not want an inquest to proceed
until the RUCinvestigation has been exhausted. It is hoped the
evidence from an assistedwitness could bring charges in the case.
But the coroner was told the British police interviews were
“comingtowards a conclusion”.
Coroner John Leckey told the preliminary hearing in Belfast that
hewould adjourn the proceedings until January, when an update on
progress couldbe given.
The witness is understood to be providing information on a range
ofcrimes committed by the UVF gang from north Belfast’s Mount Vernon
estate thatbeat Raymond McCord to death and dumped his body in a
quarry in Newtownabbey.
A British Police Ombudsman report into the murder, published in
2007,uncovered collusion between the UVF grouping and the RUC in a
number of otherkillings.
It was prompted by a complaint from the murdered man’s father,
RaymondMcCord Snr, who filed a complaint to then-Ombudsman Nuala
The police have since taken over the inquiry entitled
Nine men, including alleged UVF commander Mark Haddock, have
alreadybeen cleared of murdering UDA chief Tommy English following a
trial which sawevidence provided by two other supergrass witnesses.
10. Killer still inBritish army
ON September 4 the Pat Finucane Centre in Derry released the
“Today, September 4, marks the 20th anniversary of the murder of
PeterMc Bride in Belfast by two members of the Scots Guards Regiment,
James Fisherand Mark Wright. Despite their convictions for the murder
of the unarmedteenager in broad daylight both soldiers were allowed
to rejoin their regimenthaving served only three years of their life
sentences. One, Mark Wright, wasdischarged for medical reasons
following a shooting injury sustained in Iraq.The other, James
Fisher, remains a serving soldier in the British Army.
“As Jean Mc Bride deals with the daily consequence of loss and
grief sheis confronted with the additional agony that the British
Government, army andlarge sections of the British media find it
perfectly acceptable that thekiller of an unarmed teenager should
remain in the British armed forces. Nodemands in parliament that
convicted murderers should be dismissed, no outrageon the Steven
Nolan Show on the BBC as has been the case concerning theemployment
of others with convictions for murder, no demands to change the lawas
some Unionist politicians have campaigned for… just silence. Peter
who?And Guardsman James Fisher?
“Twenty years ago today Wright and Fisher shot Peter in the back.
Theyremained soldiers while in prison awaiting trial. They remained
soldiersfollowing their conviction. Fisher remains a soldier today.
No outrage to beheard on behalf of an ordinary working class mother
from a Catholic area of N.Belfast…just silence.”
PFC Derry [3] Tel02871 268846 PFC Armagh [4] Tel02837 515191 JFF [5] 0035318554300 PFC website at [6]“
target=“_blank“> PFCFacebook
PFCTwitter [8]“
11. Liquid AssetsReport — all you need to know about Ireland’s oil
and gas resource
‘LIQUID Assets’ is a definitive guide to Ireland’s oil and gas
resourcesand how the State manages them, published by Dublin Shell to
Sea. Oneelement of this 44-page information booklet is a
groundbreaking map, showingfor the first time all the known prospects
and discoveries in Irish territory,together with tables listing the
relevant exploration companies‘ own estimatesfor how much oil and gas
these licensed areas contain.
The map and tables – the product of months of painstaking
research– are backed by an extensive online spreadsheet, which
contains detailedsources and further information and which will be
up-dated as companies releasenew figures.
You can download the following documents: SourcesSpreadsheet:
contains extensive background information about the 69 areasshown on
the map and lists sources; Liquid Assets: PDF of
44-pagereport/booklet: Map of oil and gas exploration in Irish
territory: Tablessummarising key information about licensed areas,
including company estimates.
These reveal the true extent of exploration in our waters. The total
ofthe estimates issued by exploration companies for their licensed
areas in Irishterritory is 20,964 million (i.e. almost 21 billion)
barrels of oil equivalentand belies the oil industry’s repeated
claims that Ireland’s offshore is an“unproven territory“ with scant
exploration taking place.
The booklet and online material are intended as a resource
forresearchers, journalists, campaigners, politicians and the
Debate on this topic has been hampered by misinformation
andpro-corporate spin. ‚Liquid Assets‘ provides a much-needed
critical analysis ofIreland’s management of its hydrocarbons;
compares our fiscal regime to thoseof other countries; and explores
some policy alternatives available to Irelandwith concrete examples
from comparable countries.
The booklet debunks some of the dominant myths about our oil and
gas,for example the false belief that further discoveries in Irish
waters willnecessarily lead to jobs, investment and a domestic supply
of oil or gas.‘Liquid Assets‘ examines the dangers of fracking;
considers the question offossil fuel extraction in the light of
climate change; and documents theresistance of communities in north
Mayo to the Corrib Gas project.
The booklet has a cover price of €2.
Full report and tables of information on:
[9]“ target=“_blank“>
Our oil and gas might as well be off the coast of Brazil for all
thegood it will do us
The dogs in the street now understand that Ireland’s share of
revenuefrom our oil and gas fields is set to be pitifully small,
thanks to termshanded down by Ray Burke. It’s no longer just
campaigners who want change. InMay an Oireachtas committee with a
majority of Government TDs issued a reportcalling for the terms to be
radically overhauled.
The oil companies are desperate to maintain the status quo. They
defendtheir corner mainly by portraying our offshore as a lonely
wasteland, whereexploration is almost non-existent and where finding
oil or gas is but a remotepossibility. Our “attractive” terms
(the world’s most generous to the oilcompanies) must be maintained
until Ireland is a “proven territory”, theyinsist.
Research to be published today tells a very differentstory.
Campaigners trawled through oil companies’ estimates for how
muchoil or gas is under their respective blocks of Ireland’s vast
seabed. Theintriguing result is a map showing Ireland surrounded by
69 prospects,discoveries and other licensed areas. The combined total
estimated to be in theseareas – according to the relevant
companies’ own geologists – is astaggering 21 billion barrels of
oil equivalent.
Obviously this figure comes with disclaimers: exploration companies
dotalk up their prospects to attract investors; and it is generally
not possibleto extract all of the reserves in a given field. (On the
other hand, the figureis conservative insofar as it only includes
areas for which estimates have beenprovided.) But this research tells
us something important: that while oil companieshave been telling us
our waters could well have nothing to offer and that PatRabbitte had
better keep giving out licences on the old terms, they have
beensaying something very different to shareholders and investors:
namely thatthere are huge quantities of oil and gas here and they
confidently expect tolaugh all the way to the bank.
The research is contained in ‘Liquid Assets’, a report to be
releasedtoday by the Shell to Sea campaign. The report debunks
numerous myths used todefend our giveaway terms, for example the idea
that more discoveries willcreate a thriving industry here and give us
our own supply of oil and gas. Thereality is that the companies
don’t plan to bring the resources ashore here. Infact, almost no
benefits are guaranteed under our current regime.
Let’s look at the Barryroe field as an example of what oil and
gasdiscoveries will mean for the Irish economy. Providence Resources
announced inJuly that Barryroe, 50km off Cork, contains up to 1.6
billion barrels of oil.The company will own every drop it extracts,
paying no royalties to the State.Not only that, Ireland has no say
over what happens to the oil. Providence canchoose to export directly
from the rig to a refinery overseas: there is noobligation to bring it
ashore in Ireland or use Irish services or personnel.Crew on rigs are
flown in from overseas. In the case of its Dalkey Prospect(estimate:
870 million barrels), Providence plans to export directly from
thefield. It has not yet confirmed where oil from Barryroe will go.
So, as well as having no guarantee of economic spin-offs, Ireland
alsohas no guarantee of a domestic supply. And if Providence does
choose to bringthe oil ashore here, it will sell to Irish consumers
at the current marketrate. In other words, having oil or gas under
our waters will not protect usagainst international price rises. Our
oil fields might as well be off thecoast of Brazil.
The only guaranteed return to the Irish exchequer is a tax on
profits of25% (in exceptional cases, where a field is highly
profitable, a furtherpost-tax levy of up to 15% may apply). The State
will not receive a guaranteedshare of revenue: this is the crux of the
problem. For the purposes of tax,when Providence is calculating the
profits from Barryroe, it can avail ofextremely liberal tax
write-offs. Incredibly, it can write off the cost of allits
exploration activity anywhere in Irish waters in the previous 25
I discovered the existence of a 2003 consultants’ study for Shell
that revealsjust how small the State’s share is likely to be: it
projected that the Corribproject would pay just €340 million in tax
over its lifetime, or roughly 7% oftotal field revenue. That’s the
tax return from what “profits” would be leftafter Shell’s
accountants had availed of the tax breaks written into the termsby
Ray Burke 25 years ago.
Pat Rabbitte argues that low revenue is better than no revenue:
ifgiving it away with minimal returns is the only way to get at it,
then give itaway we must. This is short-sighted nonsense, a mentality
born of the samepro-corporate, light regulation approach that caused
our economic crisis. Thefact is that allowing companies to extract
our oil and gas involves greatcosts.
The most obvious costs are environmental: a spill at the Dalkey
Prospectcould reach the shores of Dublin in one hour, according to
the company’s OilSpill Contingency Plan. Then there are the social
costs, as witnessed by thoseresisting Shell in north Mayo. The
environmental and social cost of fracking,if it is allowed in
Ireland, can barely be imagined. But there is also aneconomic cost:
extraction means the depletion of resources that would be vitalin
decades to come, when security of supply is a real issue (currently
there isno threat to our security of supply, that’s another
industry myth).
The starting point for this debate should be: why should we
extractthese resources at all? Considering the various costs
associated withextraction, if Ireland is to allow private companies
remove our valuableassets, the Government needs to be able to point
to significant benefits toIreland in order to justify that
extraction. Under our current terms, itcannot.
Comment piece by William Hederman, Irish Daily Mail, September 10,
(William Hederman is a freelance journalist and campaigner. He blogs
at [10]“
target=“_blank“> He isone of the authors of
the report being launched today by Shell to Sea.)
12. Bush and Blairshould face trial at Hague
Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Desmond Tutu has called for Tony Blair
andGeorge Bush to face prosecution at the International Criminal
Court for theirrole in the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.
Tutu, the retired Anglican Church’s archbishop of South Africa,
wrote inan op-ed piece for The Observer newspaper early in September
that theex-leaders of Britain and the United States should be made to
“answer for theiractions”
The Iraq war “has destabilized and polarized the world to a
greaterextent than any other conflict in history,” wrote Tutu, who
was awarded theNobel Prize in 1984.
“Those responsible for this suffering and loss of life should
betreading the same path as some of their African and Asian peers who
have beenmade to answer for their actions in The Hague,” he added.
The Hague, Netherlands, based court is the world’s first permanent
warcrimes tribunal and has been in operation for 10 years.
So far it has launched prosecutions only in Africa, including in
Sudan,Congo, Libya and Ivory Coast.
Tutu has long been a staunch critic of the Iraq war, while
othersopposed to the conflict — including playwright Harold Pinter
— have previouslycalled for Bush and Blair to face prosecution at
The Hague.
“The then-leaders of the US and UK fabricated the grounds to
behave likeplayground bullies and drive us further apart. They have
driven us to the edgeof a precipice where we now stand — with the
spectre of Syria and Iran beforeus,” said Tutu, who last week
withdrew from a conference in South Africa due toBlair’s presence at
the event.
While the International Criminal Court can handle cases of genocide,
warcrimes and crimes against humanity, it does not currently have the
jurisdictionto prosecute crimes of aggression.
Any potential prosecution over the Iraq war would likely come under
theaggression category.
The US is among nations which do not recognize the
InternationalCriminal Court.
Home Help workers and their clients have already suffered a 500,000
13. Greetings fromLeonard Peltier
“GREETINGS my relatives and supporters, and, we are all truly
relativesin one way or another.
“First of all I want to thank all of you for remembering me on
this day,as many of you probably suspect and some know, that when you
are in prison youhave a lot of time to reflect and think on how things
are, and how they wereand perhaps how they should be.
“Having said that, I was thinking about how on your birthday the
personwho really should be celebrated is your mother, for she carried
you for ninemonths and went through the pain of giving you life. So
truly a person’sbirthday should be another Mother’s Day. So if a
woman has four children, sheshould have four Mother’s days. All too
often people talk about the exploits ofmen and what they said and what
they did, and all too often give no thought tothe women who gave them
life, the women who supported them, the women who caredfor the
children while they did what they did, who kept the home fires
burningand families fed. There is a certain adrenaline flow that
takes place when youare involved in movement activities and trying to
make a difference, asatisfaction in doing the right thing and
sometimes being successful inrighting what’s wrong.
“However, the really true heroes in this are the women who do day
afterday what needs to be done, and give their children the values
they need tostand up for what is right in this world. Again, I want
to thank you, you can’timagine how much it means to a prisoner to
be remembered. When a person goes toprison their immediate family,
relatives and friends are attentive on somelevel but as time goes on,
it’s almost as if you had died and you are onlyremembered on certain
“There are a multitude of people in prison that they have
forgottenabout that were movement people, people who stood up for the
earth, theanimals, nature, water rights, human rights, civil rights,
all of those things,and have been forgotten. They are only remembered
by a few. I am really trulythankful and I have to be thankful to all
of the movement people throughout theworld who have recognized the
injustice that has been perpetuated againstIndigenous people.
“And I am fortunate that there are those who have found me to
beevidence of that injustice because of all of the legal recognition
from thecourts of the improper proceedings that took place. My case
as many of you wellknow probably has more recognition of
improprieties than most, and I recognizethat I am an ordinary man who
has been cast into an extraordinary situation,and have served as legal
evidence of their wrongdoing.
“Forgive me if I am getting too wordy and singing to the choir,
but Ihave probably had too much time to think. I do want to encourage
all of you tokeep standing up for what is right to keep trying to
right what is wrong, and Iwant you to know there are those who
appreciate what you do, and oftentimes youmay find yourself the only
one standing up.
“And more often than not, whether you realized it or not, it was
yourMother that directly or indirectly gave you that strength, that
woman youshould celebrate on your birthday. I encourage all of you to
have fun, enjoyyour freedom, enjoy your life and have some cake and
ice cream, or pemmican, orhotdogs or dog stew for me. And remember
when you stand up, wherever you are,I’ll be standing with you even
though it’s some distant place.
“In closing again I want you to enjoy and know that I am thinking
of youand appreciative and may the Great Spirit Bless you with all
you need andenough to share with others.
“I’ll close for now, got some thinking to do, Ayee.
In the Spirit of Crazy Horse
Doksha Leonard Peltier
September 13, 2012 (his birthday).”
14. Philippines:political prisoners’ hunger strike
A WEEK before the State of the Nation Address (SONA),
politicalprisoners, their relatives and supporters went on hunger
strike to demand thatBenigno Aquino III’s regime release all 385
political prisoners nation-wide.They called for a General,
Unconditional and Omnibus Amnesty for all politicalprisoners. The
hunger strike lasted from July 16 to July 23. It was the
thirdnationwide hunger strike launched by political prisoners since
Aquino came topower.
Karapatan secretary-general Marie Hilao Enriquez assailed Aquino
forclaiming that there are no political prisoners in the Philippines.
The humanrights watchdog said that 104 out of the country’s 385
political prisonersincarcerated in various detention centres
nationwide were arrested under theAquino administration.
Detainees and their supporters from seven regions joined the hunger
strike. Atthe Compostela Valley Provincial Jail, some 500 regular
detainees also stagedtheir own hunger strike to sympathize with the
political prisoners.
In Iloilo, activists wore orange clothes to mimic the prisoners‘
uniforms andstayed inside mock prison cells put up at the centre of
Plazoleta Gay in IloiloCity.
Relatives of Moro political prisoners also appealed to Aquino to
release theirloved ones. Most of them were imprisoned during Gloria
Arroyo’s regime andfalsely accused of being members of the terrorist
Abu Sayyaf.
In a rally, Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas deputy
secretary-general andNational Democratic Front of the Philippines
(NDFP) peace talks consultantRandall Echanis also slammed the Aquino
regime for refusing to release thepolitical prisoners, including 14
consultants of the NDFP. The consultants arecovered by the Joint
Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees signed by boththe
Government of the Philippines and the NDFP.


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