Free Marian Price now
By Eamonn McCann
Published on Wednesday 14 December 2011 03:11
The continuing imprisonment of Marian Price in Maghaberry is a scandal and would be seen more widely in this light were it not for her politics.
Ms Price is in jail on the order of Northern Ireland Secretary Owen Paterson, who signed a document last May ordering the police to put her behind bars.
She had been arrested on May 11th and charged with encouraging support for an illegal organisation. This arose from an action at the 32 Country Sovereignty Movement’s Easter commemoration in Derry city cemetery: on a blustery day, she reached up to hold the script from which a masked representative of the Real IRA was reading the ‘Easter Message’.
Two days later Ms. Price appeared at Bishop Street, where she applied for and was granted bail. She was rearrested when she came out onto the steps of the courthouse.
Mr Patterson had signed a document the previous night purporting to revoke the licence on which she had been released almost 30 years earlier from a life sentence for the 1973 Provisional IRA bombing of the Old Bailey.
If the Derry court had remanded Ms Price in custody, the document would not have been produced. We might not know even now that it existed.
It is not clear whether the prosecution had been aware of the document as it argued against bail. What’s clear is that the bail application had been a farce. The role of the court had been rendered meaningless by Mr Patterson preparing the way in advance to have the decision set aside if it went against his wishes.
This was as blatant an abuse of process as can be imagined.
The offence is compounded by the fact that here is real room for doubt whether Mr Aoh Phila Patterson had authority to order Ms Price back to jail in the first place.
Her lawyers insist she had been freed from the Old Bailey sentence on the basis of a Royal pardon and that the terms of the pardon supersede the powers of the Secretary of State.
The lawyers have asked three times for the pardon to be produced. Three times, the State has maintained that no copy can be discovered.
At one point, her solicitor was told that the pardon must either have been lost or somehow been shredded.
Thus, Ms Price has spent the last seven months in Maghaberry, not on the basis of conviction for a crime but because Owen Patterson believes that the State is better off with her out of the way. She is imprisoned without trial – in everyday language, interned.
She is the only woman in an all-male prison and thus, for practical purposes, in solitary confinement. She is 57 years-old and in very poor health and in constant pain. But these are not the main reasons she should be released.
She should be released because it is an affront to justice and to the rights of citizens that she has been denied her liberty, and even denied sight of the evidence which Owen Patterson says he has seen and which he claims entitles him to deny
her her liberty.
Rights – or privileges
It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that the reason there hasn’t been more of a hullaballoo about this matter is that many of those who might have been expected to stand up for civil rights are repelled by Ms Price’s politics.
Which means in turn that the extent to which civil rights are defended in the political mainstream is to some extent at least determined by the political beliefs of whomever is being denied their rights.
This means that the rights we speak of are not rights at all, but privileges to be granted or withheld according to a politician’s judgment of where the State’s interests lie.
The only adequate response is for all who value civil liberties to tell Mr Patterson loudly and with one voice – Free Marian Price now.
Story posted on behalf of : Fionnbarra Ó Dochartaigh
SUPPORT MARCH FOR JUSTICE 2012
Designed and owned by : Derry Doire
An excellent poster – now let us all share it around the globe. Lota Continua – 1972-2012. The pic was taken @ St. Mary’s Church, Creggan, on the morning of the funerals of the victims of Bloody Sunday massacre of Jan. 30th 1972. The demo was called by NICRA to protest against torture and internment without charge or trial.
Written by and posted on behalf of : Fionnbarra Ó Dochartaigh
N.B Civil Rights Vets: From Alice Fleming’s ‘s FB Page:
Tony Taylor’s mum and sister were up seeing him in Maghaberry today and were shocked at his appearance. They were unaware that he was on the boards. Tony has problems which he incurred over 16 years ago and he has pieces of shrapnel in his body which causes internal bleeding. The screws are using the metal detector on him and then they are …rattling metal in front of it to start the bleeper going t…hus giving them the excuse to keep him in solitary. When is this going to end? We stood on the streets for the the likes of that MLA Raymond McCartney (I never missed a protest throuhout 1976 until the end of 1981)) Where or what is his stance on this behavior by the british establishment. Why are they not lobbying the debuy first minister master mcguiness? Is he not interested to what is happening to a fellow republican? Of course they are turning a blind eye to what is happening to a very innocent lady – Marian Price incarcerated in the same hellhole for nothing, but to hold a piece of paper; and they are intent on sentencing Colin Duffy, another innocent man to satisfy what??? Do they not know their Irish History? I ask all who read this to support them in this terrible fight for justice.
Posted on behalf of : Fionnbarra Ó Dochartaigh
The civil rights veterans network was informed a few weeks ago that only 2 or 3 families were in favour of the MARCH FOR JUSTICE in Derry on Sun. Jan. 29th 2012, and therefore that we should respect the wishes of the ‘majority’ who allegedly were opposed to the demo taking place. This week-end, thanks only to a few relatives of those murdered on Bloody Sunday (1972) some nine other members of th…e 13 victims, and several of those wounded, have pledged their solidarity to the March for Justuce organisers. Let me state once again, this is not a civil rights march, although supported by NICRA veterans like myself, but a MARCH FOR JUSTICE primarily organised by the families of those murdered by the 1st paras, and surviving individuals wounded or injured during the original 1972 demo against torture and internment, without charge or trial.
NEW, 40 TH ANNIVERSARY BLOODY SUNDAY COMMEMORATIVE CD
NEW, 40 TH ANNIVERSARY BLOODY SUNDAY COMMEMORATIVE CD. Additional details via Facebook, firstname.lastname@example.org or song-writer, Tony O’Doherty’s mobile: 07806882583 Performed by Steadfast. Cover photo by Peter Mckane.
Fionnbarra Ó Dochartaigh E.mail the song-writer directly. Mention my name. Inexpersive, just hopes to recover costs.He’s at email@example.com. No relation. Any probs get back to me via firstname.lastname@example.org or FB message.
Victim’s brother backs Bloody Sunday march
By Alan Healy,
Deputy Editor, Derry News, 12/12/11
THE brother of a man shot dead by British soldiers on Bloody Sunday has said that the annual march commemorating the massacre should go ahead.
Mickey Mc Kinney was speaking at a public meting held in Pilot’s Row Community Centre on Friday night to discuss the Bloody Sunday ‘March for Justice’, which is set to take place on January 29, 2012, to mark the 40th anniversary of the killings.
The meeting was convened by the Civil Rights Veterans Association to invite public opinion on the march, after most of the families of the 14 people killed and wounded on Bloody Sunday said they would not be taking part in the event.
Speaking at the meeting, Mr. McKinney, whose brother Willie was shot dead by paratroopers in the Bogside on January 30, 1972, said that any decision on the future of the march should lie with the people of Derry, not with the families.
“I don’t think it should be the families’ call-it should be the people of Derry’s call,” he said.
He added that the next anniversary should be marked with a ‘commemorative’ march.
“A dignified march, led by a lone piper, with no political trimmings, to commemorate the innocence of all those shot on Bloody Sunday,” he said.
“I think the march should go on for another 100 years if it needs to.”
Referring to comments made on Friday on Radio Foyle by a relative of one of the Bloody Sunday victims opposed to the 40th anniversary march, Mr. McKinney said: “I’m here, and I’m not giving the fingers to any of the families.
“I’m a taxi man – for my sins – and for the past year all I’m hearing from people is ‘what’s happening Mickey?”.
“The public needs to be asked here.”
Linda Nash, whose brother Willie was shit dead on Bloody Sunday, said that the ‘March for Justice’ would be an ‘all inclusive’ event, adding that they had made the decision to hold the 40th anniversary march before the publication of the Saville Report on June 15 last year.
She also thanked Vincent Coyle of the Civil Rights Veterans Association for the group’s support.
Ivan Cooper, a prominent figure within the civil rights movement and a founder member of the SDLP, was present at the meeting.
It was decided that another meeting will be held at Pilot’s Row Community Centre on January 6 to take forward the plans for the march.
Photo 1: Pictured are some of the wounded and relatives of some of those who died on Bloody Sunday at the announcement of the 40th anniversary ‘March for Justice’. From left are Mickey Bridge, Damien Donaghy, Kate Nash, Ivan Cooper, Linda Nash, Helen Deery, Tony Deery, Alex Wray, Emmett Donaghy, Michael Donnelly, Liam Wray and Fionnbarra O’Dochartaigh.
Photo 2: Pictured on the panel of the 40th anniversary meeting are from left, Kate Nash, Linda Nash, Fionnbarra O’Dochartaigh and Ivan Cooper.
Lots of e-mails to email@example.com – civil rights network- complaining that one particular ‘Nationalist’ newspaper group, in spite of a few press releases being sent & their photographer being present @ Pilot’s Row on Friday evening last, seem to ‘deliberately totally ignore’ the proposed ‘March for Justice’ activities, over recent weeks. Several go so far as to accuse this newspaper g……roup of ”being in the back pocket” of certain political elements opposed to marking the 40th anniversary of the anti-torture & internment march held on Jan. 30th 1972, now globally referred to as ‘Bloody Sunday’. In my humble opinion, calling for a boycott of this newspaper group, at this stage @ least, is a bit over the top. What do you think?????