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Bobby Sands

DigiTrad:
BACK HOME IN DERRY
JOE MCDONNEL
THE WOMAN CRIED
THERE WERE ROSES
YOUR DAUGHTERS AND YOUR SONS


Related threads:
Chord Req: Your Daughters and Your Sons (7)
Lyr Req: songs by Tommy Sands (65)
ADD: Almost Every Circumstance (Colum Sands) (52)
Chords:Down Among the Bushes of Jerusalem-T.Sands (11)
Bobby Sands, IRA and The Sands Family (26)
Lyr Req: Whatever You Say, Say Nothing (Sands) (19)
Lyr Req/Add: County Down (Tommy Sands) (12)
Lyr/Chords Req: Shadow of O'Casey (Tommy Sands) (17)
Lyr Req: Johnny Sands (17)
Lyr Req: Let the Circle Be Wide (Tommy Sands) (10)
Lyr Add: The Music of Healing (Tommy Sands) (4)
BS: Bobby Sands hunger strike film (450)
Colum Sands - Gigs in UK ? (8)
Lyr Add: The Politician Song (Mickey MacConnell) (8)
Lyr Req: Goodbye John Joe (9)
Sands Family (5)
Lyr Req: heart's a wonder? / Music of Healing (14)
Who was Bobby Sands? (86)
Tune Req: Farewell to the Town (Ben Sands) (3)
Lyr Req: Directions (Colum Sands) (5)
Ann Colum Sands (6)
Colum Sands at The Cricketers (4)
Where's Tommy Sands? (8)
Celtic Colours - Tommy Sands (11)
Chords Req: O'Hara, Hughes, McCreesh and Sands (9)
Lyr Req: The Marching Song (Colum Sands) (15)
Lyr Req: Lookin' the Loan of a Spade (Colum Sands) (9)
Sands Family (6)
Lyr req: seven days are in the week (answered) (6) (closed)
Lyr Req: All the Little Children (Sands Family) (4)


Neil Lowe 27 Dec 99 - 04:48 PM
InOBU 27 Dec 99 - 06:51 PM
Llanfair 27 Dec 99 - 06:56 PM
Big Mick 27 Dec 99 - 09:57 PM
InOBU 28 Dec 99 - 08:14 AM
alison 28 Dec 99 - 08:57 AM
Phil Hatton 28 Dec 99 - 11:23 AM
Blackcat2 28 Dec 99 - 11:43 AM
Peter T. 28 Dec 99 - 12:45 PM
Mían 28 Dec 99 - 01:40 PM
Blackcat2 28 Dec 99 - 01:51 PM
Neil Lowe 28 Dec 99 - 02:37 PM
InOBU 28 Dec 99 - 03:55 PM
paddymac 28 Dec 99 - 04:41 PM
Rick Fielding 28 Dec 99 - 08:47 PM
Big Mick 28 Dec 99 - 10:43 PM
InOBU 28 Dec 99 - 11:36 PM
Lonesome EJ 29 Dec 99 - 01:50 AM
Big Mick 29 Dec 99 - 08:33 AM
InOBU 29 Dec 99 - 08:40 AM
DonMeixner 29 Dec 99 - 09:02 AM
catspaw49 29 Dec 99 - 09:21 AM
JedMarum 29 Dec 99 - 09:25 AM
Peter T. 29 Dec 99 - 09:47 AM
Blackcat2 29 Dec 99 - 10:14 AM
InOBU 29 Dec 99 - 10:52 AM
Rick Fielding 29 Dec 99 - 11:23 AM
Mbo 29 Dec 99 - 01:00 PM
DonMeixner 29 Dec 99 - 03:32 PM
Áine 29 Dec 99 - 04:01 PM
Hasek 29 Dec 99 - 04:43 PM
paddymac 29 Dec 99 - 04:45 PM
Big Mick 29 Dec 99 - 08:38 PM
Diesel 29 Dec 99 - 10:50 PM
alison 30 Dec 99 - 09:49 AM
Blackcat2 30 Dec 99 - 11:22 AM
Hasek 30 Dec 99 - 11:40 AM
JedMarum 30 Dec 99 - 11:49 AM
InOBU 30 Dec 99 - 01:24 PM
Melodeon 30 Dec 99 - 03:39 PM
InOBU 30 Dec 99 - 03:50 PM
Dave 30 Dec 99 - 04:02 PM
InOBU 30 Dec 99 - 04:30 PM
alison 30 Dec 99 - 10:20 PM
Big Mick 31 Dec 99 - 11:16 AM
Hasek 31 Dec 99 - 12:39 PM
wildlone 31 Dec 99 - 12:42 PM
Brendy 31 Dec 99 - 01:40 PM
Peace - hopefully! 31 Dec 99 - 03:33 PM
Barry Finn 31 Dec 99 - 05:38 PM
Richard Bridge 31 Dec 99 - 07:49 PM
Big Mick 31 Dec 99 - 09:11 PM
Richard Bridge 31 Dec 99 - 09:42 PM
Big Mick 31 Dec 99 - 11:53 PM
Brendy 01 Jan 00 - 12:55 AM
Áine 01 Jan 00 - 01:33 AM
InOBU 01 Jan 00 - 02:41 AM
Richard Bridge 01 Jan 00 - 09:19 AM
Hasek 01 Jan 00 - 09:24 AM
Richard Bridge 01 Jan 00 - 09:26 AM
InOBU 01 Jan 00 - 11:22 AM
Brendy 01 Jan 00 - 04:38 PM
Richard Bridge 01 Jan 00 - 05:56 PM
InOBU 01 Jan 00 - 11:10 PM
Bev Lawton 02 Jan 00 - 12:37 AM
Brendy 02 Jan 00 - 12:48 AM
Brendy 02 Jan 00 - 12:50 AM
Big Mick 02 Jan 00 - 01:00 AM
Áine 02 Jan 00 - 02:22 AM
InOBU 02 Jan 00 - 08:54 AM
Big Mick 02 Jan 00 - 10:24 AM
InOBU 02 Jan 00 - 11:12 AM
Dave 02 Jan 00 - 01:32 PM
Barry Finn 02 Jan 00 - 02:42 PM
InOBU 02 Jan 00 - 03:54 PM
Mbo 02 Jan 00 - 04:05 PM
Dave 02 Jan 00 - 06:55 PM
Brendy 02 Jan 00 - 07:20 PM
Big Mick 02 Jan 00 - 07:26 PM
Brendy 02 Jan 00 - 11:22 PM
alison 02 Jan 00 - 11:43 PM
Barry Finn 03 Jan 00 - 12:35 AM
paddymac 03 Jan 00 - 12:50 AM
Big Mick 03 Jan 00 - 06:11 AM
InOBU 03 Jan 00 - 08:26 AM
InOBU 03 Jan 00 - 09:36 AM
Richard Bridge 03 Jan 00 - 12:17 PM
InOBU 03 Jan 00 - 01:02 PM
InOBU 03 Jan 00 - 01:08 PM
InOBU 03 Jan 00 - 01:36 PM
Richard Bridge 03 Jan 00 - 09:43 PM
InOBU 03 Jan 00 - 10:36 PM
Brendy 03 Jan 00 - 10:41 PM
Big Mick 03 Jan 00 - 11:17 PM
Ringer 04 Jan 00 - 07:53 AM
Blackcat2 04 Jan 00 - 10:09 AM
Hasek 04 Jan 00 - 01:47 PM
JedMarum 04 Jan 00 - 02:59 PM
04 Jan 00 - 03:23 PM
Brendy 04 Jan 00 - 03:29 PM
Big Mick 04 Jan 00 - 04:16 PM
Blackcat2 04 Jan 00 - 04:25 PM
Hasek 04 Jan 00 - 04:39 PM
Richard Bridge 04 Jan 00 - 04:53 PM
InOBU 04 Jan 00 - 05:22 PM
Rick Fielding 04 Jan 00 - 05:55 PM
Richard Bridge 04 Jan 00 - 06:21 PM
JedMarum 04 Jan 00 - 06:39 PM
Brendy 04 Jan 00 - 08:01 PM
remi from Paris 04 Jan 00 - 09:38 PM
InOBU 04 Jan 00 - 11:22 PM
InOBU 04 Jan 00 - 11:29 PM
Ringer 05 Jan 00 - 05:32 AM
GeorgeH 05 Jan 00 - 01:04 PM
Hasek 05 Jan 00 - 01:14 PM
InOBU 05 Jan 00 - 01:40 PM
JedMarum 05 Jan 00 - 01:52 PM
InOBU 05 Jan 00 - 05:07 PM
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Subject: Bobby Sands
From: Neil Lowe
Date: 27 Dec 99 - 04:48 PM

Over the holidays I don't know why I had been thinking about the potentially explosive political subject of Bobby Sands. He was a man I'd never even heard of before he began his fatal hunger strike in Long Kesh prison nearly twenty years ago, in protest over Thatcher's treatment of political prisoners as criminals - something not remotely connected to me, and that, admittedly, at the time I cared little about. Here in the U. S. his ordeal had been given an occasional acknowledgement by the mainstream media, mostly to unemotionally chronicle the number of days it had been since he had eaten. Reporters seeking to fill a slow news day took the opportunity to educate their viewers and listeners, contrasting with clinical detachment the estimated length of time the body could survive without food to the number of days of survival without water. I could almost imagine the off-camera betting pools being circulated throughout newsrooms across the country as to when or if he would abandon his commitment to starvation, or when the lack of food would ultimately result in his demise.

I was sitting in a bar that early part of May, customarily knocking back a few with a friend after another uneventful and unrewarding day at work when the news of Bobby Sands' death came over the radio the bartender had just switched on. Sixty-six days after he had initiated his hunger strike, at a time when spring's sails were unfurled and full of wind, Bobby Sands was dead.

"So much for that," my friend dismissed off-handedly. "What a stupid thing to do. And what has he accomplished? Nobody cares, and besides, he's no longer alive to protest anything now."

I thought about what he said. What had he accomplished? For sixty-six days he focused the world's attention on the plight of political prisoners in Long Kesh, an issue that otherwise would have gone unnoticed. He brought a political struggle down to the individual's level and gave it a name. He demonstrated to others that a person's convictions could run so deep as to favor the pangs of a slow and agonizing death over life in its present condition. Whether history branded him a thug or a hero, he had done more than anyone I had encountered in my generation to bring to the political forefront the central themes of Ireland's problems.

I tried explaining that to my friend; that regardless of one's own personal feelings towards the subject, to willingly sacrifice one's life for something as abstract as a cause or belief was the most profound statement of protest one could make. He was more worried about who was buying the next round.

Now, when I think of political struggles and sacrifice, and when bands like Rage Against The Machine proclaim, "Anger is a gift," I think of Bobby Sands. I sometimes wish that I too felt as deeply about something, anything - that to feel that way must be a blessing, notwithstanding the inevitable trials and tribulations that surely accompany such feelings.

Neil Lowe


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: InOBU
Date: 27 Dec 99 - 06:51 PM

The question of why in the issue of the 1981 hunger strike is takes a bit of background knowledge. England began a policy of criminalization of the Irish insurrection, after being held to answer in European human rights courts for treatment of POWs in Long Kesh, at the outset of internment, mass arrests without due process in occupied Ireland. They ended the Geneva Convention rights of being represented by the officers, and attempted to force prisoners to work, against the articles of war. For those who say that the IRA is in violation of those articles for fighting out of uniform, that is a common mistake in interpretation, and I point to the SAS, who not only fight in plain clothes, but murder wounded prisoners with some regularity, not a practice of the IRA.
In response to the criminalization policies, the Republican prisoners refused to wear prison uniforms - the blanket protest,, which meant living in a cell without mattress and living naked save for a blanket. They were subjected to beatings at all hours of the day and night. As English prisons do not have toilets, only a bucket, the prison officials denied the prisoners the ability to leave the cells to empty the buckets. The prisoners broke out the windows and poured the buckets out the windows, so the windows were boarded over. The only solution was to smear the excrement on the walls to dry, so the smell would go away somewhat quicker. The conditions grew so bad that republican officers, like the late Bobby Sands, MP, asked permission to go on hunger strike, and it was reluctantly granted by the IRA general command committee.
It should be remembered that not one of these people faced a jury trial, all were victims of torture, and were jailed as POWs, though expected to accept treatment as common criminals. Impartial courts in the United States found there to be an on going insurrection in Ireland, and not common criminality, as alleged by the British government, and what Bobby Sands and the others were asking where basic rights of decent treatment, without which it is hard to call a nation civilized. He died to preserve the sanity of his comrades, and things did improve to a small degree after the deaths of ten remarkable men.
And in Freedom's days, we will sing in praise
of O'Hara, Hughes, McCreesh and Sands
A peaceful and just new year
Larry


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Llanfair
Date: 27 Dec 99 - 06:56 PM

Ian Brady is on hunger strike. When I read about it today, I realised that I am not the forgiving sort of person that I thought I was. Living in Manchester when the Moors Murders were discovered, made it far too close to home for comfort. I cannot say I have no feelings about what that man did, and my wishes for him are uncharitable, in this season of goodwill. Bron.


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Big Mick
Date: 27 Dec 99 - 09:57 PM

Larry, I admire your knowledge in these matters. I have often had to try and explain the Republican positions and motivations here, only to be accused of just being another shamrock Yank. You are a learned and well versed addition and I am grateful you are here. Whether others agree or disagree with our politic and motivations, they are challenged by your well thought out posts to respond to the facts as presented, as opposed to useless phrase slinging. Understanding is the product. And that contributes to peace.

I would add just one observation. The hunger strikers, just like their predecessors in 1916, actions were misunderstood at the time they were taking place. Both were scorned and ridiculed for taking action that would not change anything. But the Irish understand a very important principle. I will quote Padraig Mac Piarais. "Life springs from death; and from the graves of patriot men and women spring living nations". And from Terence MacSwiney, "In matters of principle, there can be no compromise". The hunger strikers knew that the validity of their struggle lay in their being seen as soldiers in a war. They did not, and do not see themselves as terrorists anymore than the SAS sees itself as a terrorist group. It was a matter of principle then, not to mention international law, that they not act as common criminal prisoners, wear the prison garb and do prisoners work.

God be good to them.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: InOBU
Date: 28 Dec 99 - 08:14 AM

Hi Mick:
Thanks for the kind thoughts. I would point out, However, that the world DID take serrious note of the hungerstrike, and they revitalized understanding of the nature of British occupation of our country. In New York, tens of thousands marched in the largest protests of English treatment of Irish POWs, In many nations, France included, streets were named for Bobby Sands. The pope, though the Catholic Church did not often support Irish civil rights) sent a cross to Bobby Sands, (and Patsy O Hara) and declared that those who died on hunger strike, contrary to the statements of English bishops, did not committ suiside.
Without the hunger strike, there would not have been a network of support which benefited cases like that of Vol. Joseph Doherty, who, though winning every case against extradition to England, and all decisions against deportment until losing by one vote in the Supreme Court, focused more attention on the ilegalities of British occupation and methods of inforcing that occupation, even having a street named after him in New York, something we should remain thankful to Mayor David Dinkins for ever... (I should say we should also thank Ray Russell, a city council aid who taught me how to take a joke I made and make it a reality, so that now the federal jail in New York is on Joseph Doherty corner!) The short lesson, something like the film It Is a Wonderful Life, is that the reprocussions of what ten brave young men did, resounds beyond those years, and even though a generation will have to someday face their ancestors and explain why they sold out centuries of struggle by an act of cowardice in removing the Irish constitutional recognition of their sacrifices, because of those many sacrifices, one day Ireland will be a whole nation as sure as, in the words of Dr. M. L. King, the arch of justice bends inevitably towards justice.
Speed the day
Larry


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: alison
Date: 28 Dec 99 - 08:57 AM

In an attempt to bring this thread around to music......

The Christy Moore songbook contains at least two songs about conditions in prisons.... they're probably at the Christy Moore site....

Ninety Miles from Dublin - Christy Moore
and
On the Blanket - by Mick Hanly, and Christy Moore.

slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Phil Hatton
Date: 28 Dec 99 - 11:23 AM

What was Bobby Sands' life outside of the IRA? Did he write any other songs appart from "(I wish I were) Back home in Derry"?


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Blackcat2
Date: 28 Dec 99 - 11:43 AM

Certainly one must admit that the hunger strikes were a protest that proved that non-violent protest CAN work. Who is to say that Bobby Sands and his commrades didn't do a lot to move the humans in N. Ireland, Ireland and the U.K. towards the level of cooperation and peace that occurs today.

And please, never dismiss a human being who is willing to die for their beliefs. Far too many things have changed in this world because of thos sacrifices. You are welcome to disagree with their beliefs and you are welcome to hate them, but to dismiss there action is to lessen you as a human being. Read up on Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr. Jesus and the Buddhist monks in Vietnam if you really don't understand the ultimate sacrifice for your views.

pax and love


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Peter T.
Date: 28 Dec 99 - 12:45 PM

I hate to get involved in this, but Gandhi, Jesus and Martin Luther King and Buddhists in Vietnam didn't go around blowing up innocent people in pubs. The British were a bunch of f****** bastards, but please.
yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Mían
Date: 28 Dec 99 - 01:40 PM

No greater love hath man but this: that a man should give his life for his friends...


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Blackcat2
Date: 28 Dec 99 - 01:51 PM

It is dificult for people to separate two different actions by the same people. I do not expect you to praise Bobby Sands for anything he did, expecially the acts of terrorism. My whole point is look at his final action and see the value in it. Irregardlous of WHY he did what he did, a hunger strike is a remarkably important type of protest, one that many groups/individual in the world could look at as a possibility.

Certainly Bobby Sands was no saint.


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Neil Lowe
Date: 28 Dec 99 - 02:37 PM

Blackcat2's second post succinctly sums up the message I was trying to convey. I thought long and hard before initiating a thread concerning such a politically sensitive subject as Bobby Sands, given the international flavor of this forum. I realized it had the potential to revive some divisive issues, as well as possibly foment disagreement among some Mudcat members. This would never be my express intent. My only point to the original post was that Bobby Sands' hunger strike made me aware of issues that I had largely ignored for various reasons. That someone was willing to consciously starve himself to death in protest of something of which I was essentially unaware brought to the forefront for the first time some political considerations that perhaps deserved my attention.

Neil Lowe


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: InOBU
Date: 28 Dec 99 - 03:55 PM

Dear Phil Hatton:
Good question, and I am glad you asked it. It helps to respond to the observation that Bobby Sands was no Saint. Who is a Saint. He was a remarkable young man of promise. His name was not identifiably Catholic, so after being varry successful in school, he got a job as the only Catholic in a Protestant buisiness. When his co-workers discovered that he was a Catholic, they took him behind the plant, stabbed him, and then burned his house down. He went to the police, and was told that he had no buisness taking a job in a Protestant buisniess, keep in mind the seventy to niety per cent unemployment among catholics in most urban centers in occupied Ireland at the time. Haveing no recource to law, he joined an inserection to bring about democratic law to his land.
A close friend of mine was his cell mate in Long Kesh, called Maze prison. Both had been tortured for a long time at the time they met. Tony, took on, as his way of deeling with prison and torture, a plan to sleep every chance he could, a common story among those who were tortured. Sands, kept waking him up asking if he played chess, he did not, if he spoke Irish, he did not... Sands told him that this was a huge oppertunity. Tony thought he was nuts. Here I was, said Tony, naked and cold, in a bare concert cell, and he tells me this is an opportunity! He explained it was the only time in my life that no one had expectations on my time. Sands made chess peices out of dried bread. He taught Tony chess and to speak Irish, Tony is now fluent. He may not have been a Saint, but he was no criminal. He was a soldier who fought against an occupying army, and DID NOT BLOW UP PUBS... He wrote with compasion of the Scotish and English soldiers, who ecconomic conditions placed in the possition of fighting against a class with whom they had more in common than the class that set them agaisnt each other.
We on this earth can never know who among us are Saints. We can only remember with a degree of wonder remarkable young men and women who dared to speak truth to power and suffer the consqences, and forced to choose, in the words of the song, chose to fight.
He will be long remembered after his detractors are forgotten.
Larry


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: paddymac
Date: 28 Dec 99 - 04:41 PM

It is well to remember that rebellions result from oppression, and the choice of weapons and strategies is imposed on the rebels by the oppressors. Had "the system" allowed the oppressed to find recourse through the courts and legislative arenas, there would never have been a need for violence. But when all facets of government are commited to furthering oppression, there is no other alternative. All Hail! to the "ten men dead" and all their fellow rebels, who gave their lives in so many ways. It's for good reason Irish people sing of the "Butcher's Apron!"


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 28 Dec 99 - 08:47 PM

Somebody blew up those pubs. Somebody blew up that plane over Lockerbie. Somebody (at this writing) is willing to kill hostages on an airplane. Somebody has made Seattle scared enough to cancel it's New Year's celebrations. Somebody killed Dr. Slepian.
Perhaps if I understood fundamentalists better, I might find something to admire in their actions. The goal may be equality at first, but it is always power and revenge in the end.

Rick


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Big Mick
Date: 28 Dec 99 - 10:43 PM

Interesting thread. I have recieved a private email that was very nervous about this thread and what they were afraid it would degenerate into. I see no sign of that, just passionate people explaining their views. I hope we can keep this as a civil discussion of a controversial subject. There is much to be learned.

Rick and Peter, I have the utmost respect for you, and consider you both friends. Rick, you know how I feel about you. But I must ask you to go back and read InOBU's and Paddymac's last posts. You say "someone blew up those pubs" as if that dismisses Sands. The facts are that Bobby Sands never blew up a pub. And while I don't like guerrilla tactics, I understand why they happen. I never hear those that condemn these acts of the IRA in its struggle pass the same condemnation on the Viet Cong. I never hear those that would condemn Israeli's blowing up the King David Hotel condemn the Black South African rebels against apartheid. What's the point? That war, and a struggle for freedom and civil rights is an ugly business. It seems to me the focus, if one seeks understanding, should be on what causes groups to have to use these tactics. It is usually because they are up against a superior force with no other means to fight. If we understand that, then we can focus on whether their cause is just or not.

Once again, my friends, I would beg that we continue this discussion, but keep it on a civil plane whose goal is to understand. I know we can do this. And to those that are troubled by it, please don't read it. That is OK too.

Respectfully,

Big Mick


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: InOBU
Date: 28 Dec 99 - 11:36 PM

Hi Rick:
I apreciate your responce. I offer that it cuts to the problem with alowing our governments to redifine terms like terrorism. In point of fact, the IRA has never blown up civilian aircraft, and only has fired on military aircraft (army helicopters) Yes, someone did blow up the TWA airplane over Scotland, and other than the fact that we both are members of the same human race, there is no other way to place the volunteers of the IRA in the same catigigory as the bombers of TWA. The doctor you mention was killed, most likely by right wing terrorists, not by a left wing resistance movement, however, the killer was, I admit, likely human, and thus in that same catigory as you, I and the IRA. I and all the volunteers in the IRA I know agree with you as to the danger of fundimentalism. This is why, unlike many Peoples Armies, the IRA does not have political comisars. In fact, one cannot hold a commission in the IRA and be a member of Sinn Fien, to make a barrier between the army and political processes. The IRA fought to bring about a democratic invironment in which political change may happen, not be inforced. The reality, if not the folly of this (though I do endorce the separation) is the rise of the Irish Reppublican Yuppie, who are forgetting the workers movement which gave rise to the resistence against english colonialism, and are looking to make Ireland a perfect environment for wage slavery. None of us old hard liners are going to shoot anyone over that either, because in this new time of peace, we have great hopes for a political enviroment of change. But when you get your news from agencies saturated with interferece from British Inteligence, well, I forgive you not knowing the differece between the IRA and terrorist groups.
Do aske what terrorist killed Carol Anne Kelly,Livingston, and all the other children murdered by men in English uniforms, shot point blank and killed in retaliation for armed resistance.
Cry murder cry murder for thats all it was
They shot young O Hagan with out any cause
Accept that if you were not there, you dont know.
Thouse of us who saw with our own eyes... know
Peace and justice
Larry


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 29 Dec 99 - 01:50 AM

I believe that what Rick and Peter may have been objecting to was the comparison of Bobby Sands and the IRA to Gandhi and Martin Luther King. That King and Gandhi were able to accomplish their revolutions through the active renunciation of violence gives to them a nobility that can never belong to those who employ violence as a useful tool to accomplish their aims.


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Big Mick
Date: 29 Dec 99 - 08:33 AM

In fact, Leej, the Irish were dedicated to and using the tactics of Gandhi and King. The year was 1968. They were having a peaceful nonviolent march. The incident is known as Bloody Sunday. And now, some 30 years later, we are finding out what we always knew. The soldiers that were present are admitting that there were British Army snipers present shooting people, and laughing about it. The information has been verified by International agencies.

Big Mick


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: InOBU
Date: 29 Dec 99 - 08:40 AM

We forget that non-violence is a tool of social change. After Burntollet, it was apparent that the terrorist police force of occupied Ireland was prepared to kill non vilolent marchers, and after Bloody Sunday, it was apparent that the English Army was under orders to do the same. Need we remind people that the Queen of England, Mrs. Mountbatten ne Hannover - who styles herself as Windsor, gave medals to those responcible for killing 13 unarmed protestors. Independant journalists at the event said the army fired at non violent, unprovoked protesters, and then decorated the murderers. Is that not the definition of state sponsored terrorism?
Can we speak of Gandhi and not remember Jillianwalla? Can we speak of Jillianwalla and not remember the burning of Cork and the murder of so manny there? How easy is it to say stand in front of the guns. I did, I was in Belfast with a camera, and the only ones pointing guns at those of us who were independant journalists were wearing English uniforms. I come from an Anglo Irish, PROTESTANT family, I never made a secret of that fact and was welcome in every Republican home I went to. On the other hand, loyalist related to me by blood would kill me on sight for speaking the truth to power. Who are the terrorists?
There is a reason the in the United States and England the Ira is painted as terrorists. The reason can be found among the mines illegaly placed in the harbors of Nicaragua, the illegal blockcade of Cuba, The shoot to kill policy and subsiqent surrpression of the Stalker report and the defamation of an honnorable English Police Commisioner John Stalker - who did his job exposing English terrorism and was ruined for it, The answer is found in why we really bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki to keep Russia from invading an already defeted Japan, the answer is found in the murder of civilians in Korea, in the free fire zones of Viet Nam, in short, to Rome, Jews like Christs were terrorists, (remember the two swords in the gardin and Christ said that will be enough... )
Larry


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: DonMeixner
Date: 29 Dec 99 - 09:02 AM

About terrorism in general.

I find I am concerned with the identity of the people involved in these action more and more. As we have learned with the apparent terrorism in the Balkans and in the middle east to blame the Muslims is the same as blaming the Catholics or Protestant people for a crime. What faction did the deed? Was it the IRA, The True IRA, a bunch of drunk guys who are out of work and would never have otherwise potshot into a car? Most of us really don't know well enough on this side of the pond to judge clearly beyond the scope of our emotions.

To blame all Muslims for the work of a militant, fundimental few is a crime against many millions of Muslim faithful who believe the Koran to be the tool for peace that it is. How long did Muslims take the heat for Oklahoma City before it becam apparent that it was a homegrown kind of cowardly murder done here.

I don't know what Bobby Sands did before he stopped eatting. I was impressed that he carried his protest through to the end. Was he saint or soldier? I don't know. That he was a man of amazing conviction seems enough to me.

Don


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: catspaw49
Date: 29 Dec 99 - 09:21 AM

Interesting conversation by intelligent folks and in the best traditions of the 'Cat.

I generally simply read along, inspired and amazed and happy to be in such company...but I'll add 2 cents, no lengthy diatribe, but simply an observation.

Being involved with the movement in the 60's made me aware of the power of non-violence. I hope not to offend anyone, living or dead here, but one of the greatest powers of non-violence is its ability to provoke violence from others, and regrettably, social change is expedited by acts of violence simply because of the attention we pay to them. I find it ironic, but not amusing, that white supremacist groups, especially the Klan, have taken the non-violent lesson to heart and are using it well. At any Klan demonstration it is invariably the well meaning anti-klan faction that is provoked to violence and are arrested. The "Klan Christmas Tree" fiascos that have taken place in many cities are witness to this very thing.

Enough. BTW, be sure to read Don Meixner's song on the thread entitled "A Mother's Kiss."

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: JedMarum
Date: 29 Dec 99 - 09:25 AM

Politics and personal motivations aside, I am always moved and impressed when someone is willing to die for his or her convictions. I am much more careful about giving respect to those who are willing to kill.


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Peter T.
Date: 29 Dec 99 - 09:47 AM

I apologise for getting involved in this thread, it was stupid, and won't happen again. I was responding to the remarks about Gandhi and the Buddhists in Vietnam, and, as LEJ says, making a point about non-violence, which is about rising above the "weapons of your oppressors", whatever that rhetoric means in the context of blowing up innocents wherever, in Israel, South Africa, Ireland, Canada. The idea of attacking innocents is either to win attention for your cause, or to succumb to Maoist rhetoric about how all the "forces" of the oppressor are acceptable targets. In either case your moral strength is lost, which is the only real weapon of the weaker innocent against the superior capacity for violence of armies. Once you move into violence, you are your enemy.
The forces involved in that situation all turned into their enemy, they all behaved like vicious bastards, they turned into scorpions in a bottle, stinging each other into frenzies, and dragged each other down into the depths of depravity. Anyone on any side who isn't ashamed of what their own people did in the name of high-sounding ideals and military rhetoric learned nothing.
yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Blackcat2
Date: 29 Dec 99 - 10:14 AM

Greetings all

Just wanted to set the record straight, if you check back to my prior post, I was not comparing Bobby Sands to Gandhi and MLK,Jr. I was comparing is willingness to die in a non-violent protest to their actions in their struggles. I am no expert on this subject. All I know is what was reported on the news years ago as well as occasional retrospectives and the discussions I've been involved with such as this. I cannot and will not form an opinion on Bobby Sands the man. But I can look at his final days and respect those actions and the intent behind them.

The people who dehumanize "criminals" or "enemies" as seems to have been done to Bobby Sands and the others only ends up dehumanizing themselves. Bobby Sands did something that brought back his humanity. He exerted his free-will and chose to do one of the few things that his captors were unwilling to prevent.

Gandhi and MLK,Jr. dedicated their lives to securing the rights of humans through non-violent means. While both died from assassins and not through protests as did Sands, they both repeatedly put their lives on the line. From what I've seen of the history of pre-1968 N. Ireland, that was tried by at least some of the Catholic leadership. Unfortunately it failed. In my opinion it did not fail because of Bloody Sunday, but because the protesters chose to let it fail because of Bloody Sunday. Gandhi said once that he was not willing to kill for a cause but he was willing to die for a cause.

What happened after Bloody Sunday is neither right or wrong. It was individuals and organizations doing what they thought best to change a situation that they believe was intolerable. I will not condemn them for their actions and neither will I condemn the British/Unionists for theirs.

I WILL praise both sides for the advances in the last few years. And hope and pray that these advances continue until both Catholic and Protestant and everone else have a decent job, a decent house and the feeling of safety that I have in my life.

Blessed be & pax

Blackcat2


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: InOBU
Date: 29 Dec 99 - 10:52 AM

My dear brother PeterT:
Never appoligise for taking part in a well meaning discussion, do however, take a mild crit for refering to Moaist beliefs. I am not a Moaist, I am definatly a Marxist, as much as all scientists are Einstienists. I am conditionaly an anarchist, as a syndicalist trade unionsit, and a communist and a socialist, as confusing as that might be to some.
The reason Seatle has canceled its celibration has little to do with Bobby Sands, rather it may be more the fact that most of your taxes go to buy missiles to aim at the rest of the world, while ignoring the need for health care and housing in this great land, which takes 70% of what the world produces.
Bobby Sands was as much a victem of NATO as he was of English colonialism. Again, as we in NATO nations threaten the world with a blinding flash of light and then eternity, who are we to causualy use the word terrorist for any enimy who sais no to the colateral effects of the cold war - like poverty unemployment and arrest without trial or crime in Ireland.
DON! My brother! I have always appreciated your rehtorical style, and I undertand your point in your comment about Irish drunks with bombs, however, that particular styerotype in this instance is without historical precident to my knowlege or experience.
All the best to all
As ever in peace and solidarity
Larry


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 29 Dec 99 - 11:23 AM

Hi Mick, sorry we didn't connect phone-wise for Christmas. Ours was great, hope yours was too.

First of all folks, I'm a total idiot for even venturing here. I have no idea what made me change my policy of not posting in this type of thread...possibly it was the two Bobby Sands' songs I learned many years ago. Or possibly feeling a bit sheepish about our approaching holiday, and thinking what Christmas would bring for those plane hostages, or even remembering Mudcatter McKnees' (a Glasgow cop, and my sister-in-law) harrowing descriptions of what the Lockerbie "body cleanup" force went through in the way of nervous breakdowns and broken marriages. Anyway, I wasn't taking sides, and haven't for years.
My politics have become simple: I have NO respect whatsoever for ANY group with hierarchical leadership. I've been extremely lucky to have never been exploited or condemned (or arrested and tortured) for my colour, ideas or (total lack of) religion. To put a name to my political beliefs would mean that I had been influenced by someone ambitious enough to think that "they" had the "right" answer, and charismatic enough to gather acolytes around them. I may find most of those who have aspired to leadership, fascinating to read about (I'm a print and history junkie) but just don't have the stomach to allow ANYONE to consistently tell me how to live my life. I observe...and I follow my conscience. It's often put me in situations that make being part of a group, organisation or community, quite difficult...but it's the ONLY thing that works for me. I could kill (or die) for my wife, and quite possibly for many of the individuals that I cherish as friends (am making a few wonderful ones on mudcat) but I doubt I could for a country, with an inherently dishonest structure, wherin the most ambitious eventually call the shots. To me, that is EVERY country.

Rick Fielding (typed this up at 3 am. and couldn't get it through. Looked at it this morning, and it still sums up how I feel. The thread is fascinating. (with that good writing that I mentioned in the "Was this about music?" thread


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Mbo
Date: 29 Dec 99 - 01:00 PM

Is this Bobby Sands guy the one that "Some Mother's Son" was about. I really have no opinion on the subject (I'll remain neutral in this one) but Bill Whelan's music from the movie was really cool, regardless of the subject of the film.

--Mbo


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: DonMeixner
Date: 29 Dec 99 - 03:32 PM

Larry,

Please don't think that I was suggesting that drunkeness and Irishmen are synonymous. I would never be so inclined. Perhaps a poor choice of words and I appologize to all who feel that I promoted an historically inaccurate and unfair stereotype.

Don


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE SEABIRD (Bill Whelan)
From: Áine
Date: 29 Dec 99 - 04:01 PM

Dear Mbo,

I'm very glad that you mentioned 'Some Mother's Son'. Even though the film is not specifically about Bobby Sands, it is an excellent film that examines both sides of the situation in Northern Ireland at the time. The music of Bill Whelan was wonderful, especially his song, 'The Seabird'. This song affected me particularly, since I have a son who is about the age of the hunger strikers at the time; and the film is essentially the story of the mothers and families of the strikers, and the torment and pain that they suffered from the actions of their sons and the actions of the authorities. Below are the words of the song, both in English and my translation of them to Irish.

Slán agus beannachtaí ar achan duine anseo, Áine

The Seabird
by Bill Whelan

I dream of a Seabird
As it opens its wings to the gale
And as it soars o'er the Island
It follows the wake of my trail
And when the dark night falls
And the grey mists surround me
My heart is a small boat
Your love is its sail

Chorus

And I'll sing of all the love I have for you
And I'll bear with all the pain you want me to
For whichever way we may go
And no matter what winds may blow
It's our Nature that binds your heart to me

Oh my hope is for freedom
And it rises and falls on the tide
And as I sail on the ocean
I have one warm secret inside
When the west winds blow
And the white waves are foaming
My heart is a small boat
Your smile is the shore

Chorus

I will sing of all the love I have for you
And I'll bear with all the pain you want me to
For whichever way we may go
And no matter what winds may blow
It's our Nature that binds your heart to me

An t-Éan Mara
(aistriúchán le hÁine Cooke)

Is éan mara go tchímse
Chun an gála a sciatháin ag leathadh
Thar an t-oileán ag ardú
Ag leanúint mo lorg thar lear
Nuair a éirí an oíche dhubh
'S ceo farraige gach taobh domh
Is báidín mo chroíse
'S a sheol atá do ghrá

Curfá

Is síorghrá duitse a bheidh mo cheol go deo
Is do chrá a tógfar ormsa le mo bheo
Cibé bealach a rachaidh sinn
Cibé gaotha ag séideadh orainn
Beidh ár gcroíthese le chéile nascadh go brách

Is m'aisling ár tsaoirse
Agus tagann sí in aghaidh an tsrutha
Mar sheolaim thar mara
Cuirim rúin ó chroí taobh istigh
Nuair a shéideann na gaotha aniar
'S na tonnta gheala ag casadh orm
Is báidín mo chroíse
Is d'aoibhse mo thír

Curfá

Is síorghrá duitse a bheidh mo cheol go deo
Is do chrá a tógfar ormsa le mo bheo
Cibé bealach a rachaidh sinn
Cibé gaotha ag séideadh orainn
Beidh ár gcroíthese le chéile nascadh go brách


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Hasek
Date: 29 Dec 99 - 04:43 PM

Dear Neil, Your thread on Bobby Sands is by far one of the most inspiring pieces touched on in a long while. I am a citizen of the United States and a member of the world and what Bobby Sands ( and his fellow inmates) did to publicize the issues and conditions on political prisoners of war in Northern Ireland was very heroic. All too often we sweep away true history to concentrate on the public indescretions of our own president or subjects which sell newspapers. I have been contemplating for the past 4 months , the writing of a song about Bobby Sands and Long Kesh Prison and your thread has now given me the direction and motivation to complete this. Happy New Year to you and thank you for allowing all of us to see ( in my opinion ) a true revolutionary.

Sincerely yours,

Mike Strobel

Rochester, New York , U.S.A.


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: paddymac
Date: 29 Dec 99 - 04:45 PM

On a thread such as this, I thought it might be helpful, at least for those with a serious interest in the topic, to post a few references by which we might better inform ourselves, collectively and individually. This list of books is certainly not comprehensive, but it does provide some balance for the serious reader. I would welcome suggestions of other works for my own edification.

As to Bobby Sands, more or less directly: (1) "Bobby Sands: Writings From Prison"; Boby Sands Trust, 1997; Roberts Rinehart Publs, Boulder; ISBN 1-57098-113-2 (a composite of "A Day In My Life" and "Skylark Sing Your Lovely Song". (2) "Ten Men Dead"; David Beresford, 1987; Atlantic Monthly Press; ISBN 0-87113-702-x (3) "On The Blanket"; Tim Pat Coogan, 1997, Roberts Rinehart Publs.; ISBN 1-8507098-133-7

As to terrorism: (4) "The Committee"; Sean McPhelimy, 1998, 1999; Roberts Rinehart Publs. (5) "Inside Terrorism"; Bruce Hoffman, 1998; Columbia Univ. Press; ISBN 0-231-11468-0

As to the primary military combatants (excluding loyalist murder squads): (6) "A Pocket History of the IRA"; Brendan O"Btien, 1997; O'Brien Press; ISBN 0-86278-511-1 (7) "Big Boys Rules: The Secret Struggle Against The IRA"; Mark Urban, 1992 Faber & Faber, London & Boston; ISBN 0-571-16112x

As to background: (8) "The Uncivil Wars: Ireland Today"; Padraig O'Malley, 1997 revision; Beacon Press, Boston; ISBN 0-8070-0223-2 (9) "The Irish Troubles: A generation of Victims"; J. Bowyer Bell, 1993; St. Martin's Press, NYC; ISBN 0-312-08827-2

This 'sampler" will serve to reduce the emotionalism some folks seem to expect in this thread, but which truly has not been a dominant element.


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Big Mick
Date: 29 Dec 99 - 08:38 PM

Peter T. and Rick,

I am elated that you joined into this discussion. Please don't feel that you made a mistake. Your posts prompted understanding, debate and brilliant writing. While my leanings are well known by all who have been here for more than just a minute, I have long wanted to have these discussions in the manner in which they are currently happening. It has only been since the appearance of our new friend Larry Otway that we have been able to have these without it turning to a flame war. For those that would like to read earlier discussions, I would like to refer you to the one on the song "Back Home In Derry" which you will find HERE. Another discussion was HERE.

The most important piece of all this is that the people of Ireland, North and South, have spoken. The day of the gun is over. It is time for peace. For any of us living on this side of the water to support anything other than that is to serve some cause other than justice. No more of the senseless brutality of Omagh, and of shoot to kill policies by governments.


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Diesel
Date: 29 Dec 99 - 10:50 PM

I was in school in inner city Dublin when Bobby Sands died. I remember the black flags flying for the period of the hunger strikes, I remember a lot of the news footage and papers of the riots North and South that followed his and others deaths.

I also remember the coal miners strike in England !

What have they in common ? News media !

A documentary on ITV showed the news footage of the riots at the coalminers strike where the miners battled the police which forced the police to charge into the crowds on horseback.The documentary then went on to show the "unedited" footage - where the police charged on horseback into the peaceful miners strikers, which then caused the miners to riot !

Propoganda !

What we see and hear of, especially in relation to Government agencies - and doubly so in conflict zones such as NI, must always be balanced in the light of the 'normal' activities in the same area. Would it hurt people to know that some of the Northern victims were killed by their own side, that security forces when threatened with cost-cutting measures from Government, collude to blow up bombs or shoot innocents so as to 'create' an environment where to withdraw or scale down is harder.

I have worked with English colleagues (and still do !) and am still amazed how little those on mainland England know of what their armed forces are doing. But still compared to those who live in Northern Ireland - from either side of the divide - I am ignorant.

Why did Bobby Sands and others - 3000+ others die ? I can't answer that - maybe Margaret Thatcher can answer the first part - Her predecessors and successors the second part !

I just hope there shall be no more .......

Diesel


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: alison
Date: 30 Dec 99 - 09:49 AM

This discussion has stayed civil because the people who are offended by it aren't posting into this thread (possibly too scared of the reaction the might receive)if you are interested they are posting their views in Wasn't this about music?

Yes, I know Bobby Sands wrote songs, but this thread hasn't been about his songwriting, this thread has been political. I can see the point in having a thread to discuss his music, but having a thread to discuss if the Hunger Strike was a good thing...... surely there are political discussion groups for this sort of thing same as any other political debate.....

as for comments like "I forgive you not knowing the difference between the IRA and terrorist groups"......... count to 10 slowly alison...... tell that to any of the families of the innocents who are dead now as a result of the troubles........

there is a difference in attitudes....... and we aren't going to change each others opinions no matter how much we "discuss" this.. there are those who believe that the IRA were fighting a war, therefore people like Bobby Sands (and all of the others on both sides of the struggle)were Prisoners of War... then there are the others who believe that they (again both sides)were all terrorists...... not soldiers, just murderers, who were in prison for the crimes they had committed.

I know, I have now added to this thread instead of ignoring it and letting it disappear, I tried to stay out... but..........

The people of Ireland, North and South, have voted for peace. I pray that it lasts. This all happened almost 20 years ago can't we let it stay there or take this discussion where it belongs, and keep the mudcat for music.

slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Blackcat2
Date: 30 Dec 99 - 11:22 AM

Alison Thank you for you opinion as to whether this is an appropriate use of the Mudcat. But "and keep the mudcat for music." implies to me that you should be able to tell the rest of us who are here AND the originators of Mudcat what should and shouldn't be discussed.

You do not have that right. Clearly there are people here who think that it is alright to discuss this issue here - therefore, until the owners of Mudcat say otherwise, we shall.

I just don't get it - why do people have a problem with discussing things when it only negligably interferes with their life?

As for inappropriate statements - one of the best things about the Mudcat is that we put out ideas down in "print" so that anyone may refer back and look at what people actually said - stupid, incorrect or sublime and correct. It also affords people a chance to restate their remarks and refine their beliefs. It allows people to become more understood than in a normal conversation.

Unfortunately, people insist on checking a thread, realizing the subject bothers them and then making a comment that complains about the existence of the thread. That wastes more of my time than if they would just move on.


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Hasek
Date: 30 Dec 99 - 11:40 AM

To All, The Mudcat fosters communication and emotions in it's purest and honest sense..................................I , personally find that completely in line with a great song and music in all it's variations.

Happy New Year to all....... Mike Strobel


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: JedMarum
Date: 30 Dec 99 - 11:49 AM

The choice to kill is a very personal and very meaningful decision. Only the killer and the killee can know the justice of the act - but the act nearly always has extreme reactions among the survivors close to it. The troubles in NI have created a legacy of those extreme reactions, spurring others to further violence ... as an American born Irish Catholic, my family has been typical in its wish to support Irish Republican sentiments - but I cannot justify the terrorist activity that I have witnessed as an outsider. I know that murder has occurred on both sides (or maybe I should say all sides). I know there is a long complex history in this conflict, and I have worked hard to truly understand it. I will not comment on Bobby Sands actions prior to his incarceration; I am not inclined to support those who choose to participate in murder, and Bobby may or may not have made that choice. But Bobby's enobling choice was to die for a cause in which he believed - that, in my mind is an action that demands my respect. I suspect his cause was just (better treatment for prisoners) and I suspect his action bore fruit.

Like Alison, I pray that the current attempt at a lasting peace will take permanent root.


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: InOBU
Date: 30 Dec 99 - 01:24 PM

Hi Diesel: I am so glad you brought up the Minors strike. My father, among many other things, was a miner, during the depresion of the 1930s when he was still in his teens. I performed with a friend from Meath at a fundraiser for that strike, and concidered my Yorksire District NMU badge, which was given to me for the performance, one of my most prised possesions until I lost it in the bush in North Eastern Canada while investigating human rights abuses directed at natives at the behest of Hydro Quebec. I is only one struggle, and the news reporting obsurces that. The same people who fought the good fight in Spain, understand who Bobby Sands was, and why his friends put effort in to aid English miners.
La lucha continua! No pasaran
Larry


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Melodeon
Date: 30 Dec 99 - 03:39 PM

What a remarkable thread, with some well thought out arguments. I remember Bobby Sands MP and I remember the sadness and anger I felt when he died.However I must take issue with one thing, The atrocities carried out by the British army were done at the behest of the British government, NOT all the British people. I was and still am sympathetic to the Republican cause, if not their methods. By lumping us all together it is like me accusing all White Americans of slaugtering America's first people and of treating the African Americans so badly. I can think of a few causes for which I would die but NONE for which I could kill.

Viv


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: InOBU
Date: 30 Dec 99 - 03:50 PM

Hi Viv: I hoped it was apparent that I consider myself a comrad to the British working class. I acknowlege that a majority of the people of England as well as Britain wanted out of Ireland for a variety of reasons, many well meaning. However, in a democracy we must share and acknowlege what our nation does in our name. I actively opposed the Viet Nam war, however, I still apologise to the victems of that war. I was active in the fight for origional peoples rights in the US, however, all white Amercia reeps the benifit of that conquest, and if some natives dont wish to thank or acknowelge my help, I dont mind, what I do repays a debt we all have, and I do because it is right, not out of a sence of shame or guilt. Not to make a some of my best friends out of this... but hte best man at my wedding, my closest and dearest friend lives in Divises, in Wiltsire... I apreciate the depths of understanding you show, in being sympathetic to the Republican cause.
Let us hope there will some day be a world where no one kills in forwarding oppression, and in that day, those who kill to resist oppression will indeed be criminals, if it is possible to emagine such.
Good cheer in the New Year, and Peace. Larry


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Dave
Date: 30 Dec 99 - 04:02 PM

I can't help noticing all the blurring of the lines here between Bobby Sands the "Artist" as it were, and the reality that he was a terrorist, and that the organisation he was a member of from 1972 to 1981 was responsible for the majority of the murders in NI's troubles. Indeed, the IRA killed almost as many catholics as did the Loyalist Paramilitaries in NI's troubles.


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: InOBU
Date: 30 Dec 99 - 04:30 PM

Hi Dave: Can you give cites for the facts you allege? The plane fact is I can give cite to my facts. Please be so good as to get to a law library and look up the first decision in the extradition case of IRA Volunteer Joseph Doherty. You will find that the facts you allege were raised by the British government who held that he could be extradicted to Britain in violation of the Political Offense Exemption to Extradition, on the grounds that he was a member of a terrorist organisation. Judge Sprizzo, a concervative American judge, after a lenthy factual inquest, found that the British aligation that the IRA is a terrorist organization could not be up held in light of the facts, presented by two American lawyers, (neither of them Irish by the way). That decision was appealed and apealed again and was upheld in every court. In fact he never was extradicted. Rudolph Juliani, the present mayor of NY, then a prosicutor, used a cold war act giving special power to the executive branch of governemnt (president) to deport in the national interst. As with many cold war acts, he could do so without defining that interest, so Dohertys deportation was accomplished in spite of a prima facie showing for political asylum had been accepted and stood up to apeals. No reason was ever given why it was in Americas interest. In short, in every weighing of fact, IN COURT, the IRA was seen by an independant judicery to be NOT A TERRORIST organisation. I dont falt the British people for not knowing this in light of extrodinary powers to censor the press. But, if you have an interst in the truth, to almost quote Hamlet, Get thee to a law library
All the best, Dave, Happy and PEACEFUL! New Year,
your friend in controversy
Larry


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: alison
Date: 30 Dec 99 - 10:20 PM

Blackcat.... I am not saying that only music should be discussed (you are right only the organisers of Mudcat have that right)...

Now, why did I feel the need to speak out? because others seemed afraid to do so here in this thread....

had this been a political debate linked to a Republican / Unionist song then fair enough it has a place, but it wasn't linked to the music of Bobby Sands at all.. just his political stance....

here's a hypothetical situation...... and I'm only stating it to show what I mean ..... if someone else had started a thread called "Michael Stone", then went on to say wasn't he a hero for what he did (and yes some people believe he was.. others think he is a madman, and a murderer, or is he just another "soldier" fighting for a cause he believed in?)... (for those of you who don't remember, Michael Stone was the Protestant who opened fire on Catholics in a cemetary in Belfast as they buried their dead.... to his mind they were "legitimate targets" because they were at an IRA funeral....)... and then went on into a politcal discussion... has this sort of thing got the right to be in a music discussion forum? Or are people going to take offence? I think they would, and rightly so.

Could I justify its inclusion by saying he played great tunes on the harmonica, (he might well do for all I know.... pure speculation)....... I don't think so...

Again the Michael Stone incident happened nearly 20 years ago... so why dredge it up?.........

I'm just pointing out that what some think is acceptable is offensive to others, and it works both ways. We need to be mindful and respectful of other peoples views.

I'm not here to stir up trouble... but God knows I lived enough of my life in the situation to have a right to my opinion.

slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Big Mick
Date: 31 Dec 99 - 11:16 AM

I would have respected your right to that discussion and would have expressed my sentiments. I must, however, reject the idea that Mudcatters are not discussing here because they are afraid. Never has been the case and isn't now. The facts are that this has been a very good discourse on the subject with posts on both sides of the issue. Once again I will point out that to discuss the issues that spawn the music, and in this case a whole category of music are absolutely legitimate. How can one discuss the music of Ireland without discussing the politics? The whole history of that land over the last 800 years has been affected by its politic. Virtually every aspect of the music has been impacted by the politic. I respect that it may make you uncomfortable, and that you are and still choose to post shows the depth of your character. I salute you for that. But to suggest that the rest of us shouldn't discuss this based on that doesn't work for me.

DaveI suggest you follow Larry's suggestion and investigate your facts. The facts are that the unionist paramilitaries have killed more people during the troubles than the IRA. This is easily verifiable. And what does all that matter at this juncture? I believe that the end is near, there are still bumps in the road, and that the result is predictable. Look to the examples of Germany and South Africa.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Hasek
Date: 31 Dec 99 - 12:39 PM

Mudcatters, You all have demonstrated discourse at it's finest !!!!!!


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: wildlone
Date: 31 Dec 99 - 12:42 PM

I have posted a song written by Bobby as a separate thread it is McIlhatton.


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Brendy
Date: 31 Dec 99 - 01:40 PM

There are but a few things that I would add to this discussion.
Firstly. Good man inOBU. A more succinct description of the conflict I haven't seen in a long time.
Secondly. I wish people would get away from this "Terrorist" word. It is a word which is heavily used by governments to describe, mostly for propaganda purposes, those who have endured enough of the 2nd class citizenship, discrimination which, lets not forget was institutional.
Armed resistance against an oppressive master is the last resort. Whatever drives a man or a woman to take up a gun and fire it into his/her enemy, you can be damn sure that all the other options have failed.
The government, and their masters, who themselves favour one side over the other are themselves the cause of the problem.
Their news media make it acceptable.
While everybody is tch tch ing over what is happening in Chetjnia, the average Russian wants to drop nukes on them.
The reporting of that war for us in "the west" is vastly different from the Russian's handle on the whole thing.
Who's the "terrorist" here?
The IRA are not terrorists in my eyes, never have been. Sometimes I think they have sent a boy out to do a man's job, but remember who is the oppressed here. Incidents like Manchester, Omagh etc are as equally a "mistake" as when as inOBU points out the "Dirty Tricks Brigade" of the British Army did, with the knowledge of the Chief Constable of NI stir the pot a "bit" in order to prolong the conflict, so to justify their presence there.
Have a read at this . When I was going to school there used to be a big map of the world on our classroom wall. And I was impressed, even at a young age at all the red countries there were.
The very people who brand Bobby Sands a terrorist are inheritors of some rather grusome legacies themselves. Their foreign policy was expansionist and territorial. For Gods sake don't start using their terminology as well.

Oh, incidentally, a very Happy, and peaceful New Year to all of you 'Catters. My hope for the new millenium is the end of all militarism......everywhere! God Bless
Breandán


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Peace - hopefully!
Date: 31 Dec 99 - 03:33 PM

Hi Alison and others - Seasons greetings. I havn't been looking at the Mudat for the last few months and when I do come back I find a thread like this - politics creeps in everywhere - in all its various guises. Alison is correct a lot of people would not join this tread for a variety of reasons. This is why I'm not posting my email address. I would hate to get email I didn't ask for.

But I do have a comment. In this enlightened age why oh why do people look and live in the past - is their life so empty that they cannot expand their mind and fill their lives with deeds and thoughts of the possibility of a peaceful future in Ireland. Why live in the past. The recent changes in Ireland might - just might work. Heaven knows enough people want peace. This will hopefully allow people from all sides, all ages, all religions to work and live together. I only hope that the wisdom of age has finally swept through Ireland.

All the best from a wet Northern Ireland at 8.30pm on Old Years night. Can Mudcat keep going for the next 1000 years?

M


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Barry Finn
Date: 31 Dec 99 - 05:38 PM

There's a lot of double & triple talk here as far as I'm concerned.
"Terrorist", my discription, anyone who uses terror on innocents or non military. That means all children who are killed are murdered by murders.
There is no worst crime than to take another life when yours is not being taken.
You use a weapon as far as I'm corncered you have become the enemy to sort to rid yourself of.
There is no logic behind death it's complete, final & makes a cause worthless
No I don't come from somewhere, where there are political troubles. I came from a place where politics didn't matter, where kids killed & got killed over sneakers, men hacked others up for half a bottle of wine, where a 2 bit junkie didn't give a shit about your beliefs only that he'd kill you for your pocket change, where death shoots right at you because you happened to have walked into the wrong spot at the wrong time, where "my dog's bigger than your dog" gets your throat slit.
Tell me what you say to a mother when her kid's bled out with a hole in the head, "he died fighting the good fight & was a stand up guy" or "he died, just one of those things". God dam the person is dead & that's that & the world is the worst for it.
I've never heard of one organization that takes up a gun not to have commited murder, not the military, not the paramilitary org, not one terrorist group, not a panther or a weatherman group, NOT ONE. Doesn't the argument "they've killed more than we've killed" sound just a bit hollow? My wish is that those that kill, kill them selves off to the last murder & maybe then they'll stop trying to involve those that don't want death as their final option. There'll be no respect for anyone once they've become a killer, you can't make someones death right again. I counldn't give a shit about one's beliefs or politics when it cost one kid their life. Barry


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 31 Dec 99 - 07:49 PM

I have, I hope, a great deal of sympathy for the oppressed.

I have, I hope, a great deal of sympathy for those who wish to defend themselves.

I have little sympathy for those who visit themselves upon the innocent. I have little sympathy for the demagogues who ride upon debating tricks. I have been a debater. I have won cups for it.

The link to the findings of the US courts as to whether the IRA was a terrorist organisation are not supplied. If you wish us to evaluate those findings please supply them. If you wish to surf upon the US courts please explain how you adopt them at one turn and reject them at another (Docherty). The link to the RUC affidavit terminated at an early stage and the full affidavit was not to be found.

I use my real name to post (unlike many) and I am of the preliminary view that a terrorist organisation is one using a military or quasi-military structure militarily to attack non-military targets. The IRA attack on Mountbatten - fine! He may have been old and retired, but he did not have to join the army. He could even have chosen to refuse orders (spot the sarcasm). But bombs on London buses - please!

Cromwell conquered Ireland. A historian can supply the date. Constitutional Lawyers (my field is copyright and new technology) can confirm that domain confers jurisdiction and legitimacy after a reasonable period. But we have hundreds of years since then. After the "Rising of the Green" this century England ceded the South. The Northern States (I prefer to coin a new name to avoid old baggage) voted not to secede (choice of word to illuminate Americans).

I should be grateful if those who would prefer to conquer the Northern States of Ireland do not pretend to legitimate attacks on civilians as military action.

I am entirely happy for Southern propagandists to write songs and to perform them. When will they afford the same civility to others?

I am open to rational debate but I am inclined to the view that Bobby Sands was as much a terrorist, criminal and murderer (whatever wrongs had been done him) as Ali la Gioconde. His songs may live on their merit - as do those of Leadbelly, who, if my memory serves me, was convicted of murder (likewise the guitarist Lee from the band Love but not Puff Daddy (yet))- but they do not justify his politics or his acts.

By some kind of aside but also by way of mirror image a Jewish (it is relevant) friend of mine was wrong to refuse to sing "Die Lindenbaum") despite the fact that it was adopted (well after being written) by the Nazis. He should have reclaimed it.

I therefore do not accept that Sands was a political prisoner or that he was entitled to refuse normal orders to prisoners.

I do accept that by choosing to die from his hunger strike he achieved propaganda valuable to his preferred cause aand showed great courage.

I hesitate to salute a brave murderer and terrorist more, even, than I hesitate to salute a brave fighting dog, a brave fighting cock or a brave toreador or foxhunter. What they do is wrong, whether or not they do it bravely. Cromwell's invasion of Ireland may have been wrong (as may the Norman invasion of England) but that does not justify Sands' responses other than his hunger strike, and of course his hunger strike was not about that invasion but rather about things somewhat later in time.

Would a native American planting a bomb in a shopping mall to protest the confinement of native Americans to reservations be a murderer or a political protester entiteld to exoneration?


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Big Mick
Date: 31 Dec 99 - 09:11 PM

Ahhhh, the old shift the premise to move away from the facts.......neat trick, Richard. But your prejudices creep through. I note that you make no mention of any "terrorists" other than the ones that fought against your position. Neat little bit of clouding of the facts, Barrister. But transparent.

I will accept your assertion that one man's terrorist is another man's patriot. No problem with that. And I will also accept that Cromwell was victorious. He may have conquered, but the Irish were never totally subjugated. They rose time and again against the crown. Never stopped the quest for some form of either Home Rule or independence. Again and again they hurled themselves. As for your assertion with regard to the 'vote', well of course the unionist position won. They had been planted there to make it so.

The tactics of the Republicans have been a response to the tactics of the Crown forces from the very beginning. We all know that both sides of this issue have used propaganda for their own ends throughout. Far too many of my own countrymen have succumbed to it. My feeling is that they have caused this conflict to be lengthened in their blindly buying the bullshit. But that does not take away from the legitimacy of the struggle. The majority of your countrymen do not even buy into your governments policies in the North of Ireland. Amnesty International has concluded that the actions of the British Army and the RUC have violated the civil rights of the citizens of the north on untold occasions. They have even taken part in political assassination.

But at this point it is all a moot point. This peace process is going to work. It is my feeling that in the end reunification is inevitable. It will happen because it makes sense. It will happen because your own government knows that the economics of the current situation don't work. They need to get the economic millstone of the North of Ireland off their neck. And it will happen because like it or not, the people that live there are Irish.

And by the way Councillor, perhaps you could cite the parts of the consitution of Northern Ireland that give the British government its rights in the North? Oh, there is none.......

By the way, most of us that watch these things in our country have already supported Native Americans in this fight. Check out the archives for stories of Russell Means, Wounded Knee, AIM, and the FBI attacks on reservations.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 31 Dec 99 - 09:42 PM

Mick

If I were that hostile I would not have used my real name. But stick to track. I'm not a barrister. I'm a solicitor. Where are those citations on which you rely? Perhaps they do not really support you - or perhaps you are laying traps. Is the person who tries to shade reality you, not me?

Did I suggest the Amerindians should be oppressed? I think not.

Did I suggest that the conquered (or otherwise) Irish should not strike back at military targets? Likewise.

Did I say that one man's terrorist was another's patriot? Not a lot.

Did I support the UK's concentration camps for Boers? No. Were the Irish part of the UK at the time? Is this relevant?

I would like to see peace in Ireland. Once it was a leading centre of education and civilisation. It has suffered much. But pacification out of the barrel of a gun is no better than Cromwell offered. I think that the process will eventually fail. Let's wait and see. The economies may be more persuasive than bombs.

Forget my government. Even the present one is a right wing capitalist conspiracy. I didn't vote for them even on the principle of the lesser evil. But don't pretend that bombing civilians advances the cause of peace.

Bedtime!


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Big Mick
Date: 31 Dec 99 - 11:53 PM

You raise interesting points, Richard. I was stirring a bit, because I thought you were. I thought I sensed a bit of smugness. If I read your last post correctly, I don't think that is the case. You have given me a bit to chew on. I will and respond a bit later.

And I sincerely wish a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year to you and all of our UK 'Catters.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Brendy
Date: 01 Jan 00 - 12:55 AM

I don't think that anybody condones the taking of innocent life. I certainly don't.
What I understand and accept as an unalienable truth is that innocent people do get killed in a war situation. Nobody likes the fact, but there you go!
When I did my 'A' Levels (final exams from High School), there were 12 puils in my class. That was 1978. Today there are four of us living.
I know of the killing of innocents.
Unfortunately it is one of those war things that happens from time to time.
That does not make the perpetrator a terrorist. To do that would be then to brand your own government as one too.
But as our Councillor knows the law can suit one purpose one time, and another one the next.
Read my Lips. There is no such thing as a 'terrorist' in the context of like insurgencies.
The main spoilers of democracy are the elected officials. The gun is ALWAYS the last resort of any peoples resisting oppression. When all the talking is done, and still there is no concession, what options are there open to vent the frustration and anger.
The men and women in such organisations are not "cold blooded' anything. They are a heavily wronged part of the community. They experience discrimination for discriminations sake. They have had enough. Because they are fallible; because their target rate is never 100%, it gives the PR guys a much better stick to beat them with.
Please don't use the terminology of an ignorant when you describe these people. They are not all psychopaths, and the loss of innocent lives effects them as it would affect any other human being.
The emergence of civil disobedience in any society should be met by the rulers with dialog and reform.
There were those who said at the time that John Hume and David Trimble would never have received the Nobel Peace Prize had it not been for the efforts of Gerry Adams.
As the Big Fella' said in a post further up there somewhere that most of this talk is superfluous anyway, because there is a new will there at the minute to make it work.
I saw the New Year celebrations report from Belfast tonight on Sky News, and Gary Hunniford said that there was a sense of togetherness among the people. This is good.
But do remember who started the fight in the first place. All we ever wanted was to be left alone. The Irish never invaded anyone. Again I ask for the definition of 'terrorism'. Maybe I should ask some spin-doctor in Washington or Whitehall, or whatever wag coined the phrase and applied it to soldiers of conscience. For that is what they are.

HNY2K Brendan McKeever. (Somebody who thinks that it's not such a big deal to give your whole name)


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Áine
Date: 01 Jan 00 - 01:33 AM

May the poor boy rest in peace. Let's start the new year in peace also.

Slan agus beannachtai d'achan duine anseo agus suaimhneas san bhlian ur seo.

Health and blessings to every person here and peace in this new year.

Le meas, Áine


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: InOBU
Date: 01 Jan 00 - 02:41 AM

My Dear Brother Bridge: As you know we dont have the distinction between solisitor and barrister, here in the US, however, as a Juris Doctor who is not a litigator, I supose you and I are in similar trades. My field, funny enough, is Federal Indian law, and I sit as a judge in a Native American court, an Algonquin nation, which retains criminal and civil jurisdiction over tribal lands.
As far as taking one US court finding and rejecting another, I would point out that extradition from our nation to yours of political detainees was impossible until the US - due to NATO concerns, rewrote our extradition treaty with Britain, after the Doherty case. As - unlike in your nation, I belive, ex post facto law is not allowed, Joe Doherty could not be extradicted as the law was change in responce to his case. That change made it possible that the government of Britain would not have to show that the IRA was a terrorist organization in order to extradict.
Think about what this means. In every instance where, US courts, as an independant forum, wieghed the issue, we found that the inserection in Ireland was not different that that which we fought, and the tactics were within the articals of war. I remember a particuarly poinent moment when a federal prosicutor asked Joe Doherty if he was trained to kill. He said no, a soldier is trained to do damage to the enimy until resistance seaces and that to kill an injured enimy is agains the articals of war, that the only ones he encountered who were trained to kill, where the SAS, who assasinated wounded combatants, as happened in Gibralter. Our courts were not swayed by rhetoric alone, our judges looked at the facts, and just as thouse facts where so feared in Ireland that the speacial powers act brought about courts without juries, that accepted evidence cooerced under torture, our legislative and executive brance, both political branches, changed the law to avoid examining the facts. This is a great shame on our democracy as the special powers act was a great shame and limit on yours.
As we are both dedicated to law, and law is only law when it deels with facts and rights separate from politcal winds and whims, I urge you to think about the implication of, for example, the surpression of the Stalker report and what it means to the realization of justice in your system.
It is late, 2:30 on the first morning of a new century. I think we both agree the last one made a piss poor attempt at justice and peace. By way of this note, I extend to you a hand accross the pond and a hope we can do better next hundred.
By the way, the earilier post about Mountbattan, he was killed by the INLA, not the IRA, and I and a number of republicans, believe it was a wrongful and terrible act. The unfortuate thing about war is that no side comes out without fault, and my prayers go out to his family and all the families who lost members in this much too long a struggle. I also feel the Manchester bombing was stupid, ill concieved and not within the tradition of the Republican movement. However, when looking at the policies of both the leadership of the IRA and the direction of the war by the British governemnt, a clear policy of war against a civilian population, with a clear policy of dicrimination against one portion of the population is clear.
Well anyway, it is late, speak to you all soon, and hope to sing a bit with you all one day, maybe in Wiltshire, Devises has some good music pubs last time I was there.
Peace and justice
Larry Otway


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 01 Jan 00 - 09:19 AM

Mick

Yes, I was stirring a bit.


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Hasek
Date: 01 Jan 00 - 09:24 AM

There are indeed some tremendous minds out there. Complements to all !!!!!!!!!!


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 01 Jan 00 - 09:26 AM

InoBU

I am sorry but I don't follow your argument at all.


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: InOBU
Date: 01 Jan 00 - 11:22 AM

Too early perhaps, or without spell check, I may not be completely literate ...
For the sake of making suer we are speaking about the same things, I have numbered the points I believe you are refereing to and answer them in order below,(I hope)

1.The link to the findings of the US courts as to whether the IRA was a terrorist organisation are not supplied. If you wish us to evaluate those findings please supply them. 2.If you wish to surf upon the US courts please explain how you adopt them at one turn and reject them at another (Docherty). 3. The link to the RUC affidavit terminated at an early stage and the full affidavit was not to be found.

1. US Court cases are found in most university law librarys in common law nations such as England. I offered that one might look up the Doherty cases, and add one should even read the Supreme Court case he lost, as you will see it does not contradict my point, he was not extradicted, he was deported, and the supreme court case was structured to avoid all the facts. In fact the Executive Branch of governemnt refused to the end to even disclose the nation interest in his deportation. So much for democracy. If any out there are as challenged by legal reasearch as I am with spelling, I will be happy to supply actual cites, however, if you use the name Doherty in the name indexes, in the mid nineteen eighties to early nineties in federal reporters, you will find all the cases. I am not kidding when I say get you to a law library, you learn more than if you live by your computor alone.

2. I thought I was quite clear about how I reject one case and accept another. When the defense is precluded from raising the issue of is the respondant a political offender (a legal term of art for some one involved in a recognised inserection) then that case has not looked at the question we are speaking of, is the IRA a terrorist organization. What US court cases - in particular, do you feel I overlook? By setting aside the Political offence exeption to extradition in our treaty with England, the US does what England does, states the IRA is a terrorist organizaiotn because we define it as such, and keep the historical details away from judges, it will only confuse them.

3. I am not sure I understand your use of the word termanated, is it equivelant to our term excluded, as the affidavit was excluded for being flawed? I am not sure of the affidavit you reffer to and will speak with the lawyer on Dohertys case and see if she knows what you reference. In my recolection, no British evidence was ruled inadmissable, rather it was countered by fact before a judge (Sprizzo) who began the preceedings with the following ... Let me get this straight, you are telling me I cant send this murderous son of a bitch back? and ended, after Judge Sprizzo was presented the facts with, I find that Mr. Dohertys case presents the polical exemption in the most classic form.
You may also wish to look at the case of Sean Mackin, who the US executive branch of government droped their deportation case against when it was clear that the courts were about to grant him polical asylum in his claim against Britain.
Now Brother Richard, dont make me do all the foot work and scut work for you. I think you will find some of our cases in the US as inspiring as we find yours. I do, in fact, often quote from Dudley and Stephens v. Regina. (your dear old canable case, which we should nail to the sampson post on the dear old schooner Mudcat!
One last point, and then an e-glass of new years cheer... Mary Pike (our own US version of Garith Pierce) in her arguemnet to the supreme court, said that individuals should not be pawns in governments internation polical policies. It was a sad day in this nation when our Supreme Court said she was wrong, that they should be so used. Shortly there after the same nine judges said that it was not a violation of the US constitution to exicute an innocent man. I prefer lower courts which are courts of fact to the political institution which is mistakenly refered to as a court in the naming of the supreme court.
Peace in the new year, and as to close with a quote from my late and dear friend Bill M. Kunstler, when Judge Sweat told him that he hoped justice would be done (as bill waited for a jury to return) and Bill replied, Yes judge thank you and if it is we will appeal!
Cheers
Larry


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Brendy
Date: 01 Jan 00 - 04:38 PM

I think the reference to the RUC affidavit is the link I provided in one of my earlier posts
The link is to an affidavit made by an RUC officer, Oliver Weir who in an interview connected with Michael McPhilemy's book "The Committee", which deals with RUC collusion with the UVF and UFF among others, in the County Armagh area (my home) in the 1970's
It is not related directly with the Docherty case, and I only referred to the document as testimony to the existence of a 'Dirty Tricks Brigade'.
The link works when I click it, although there's quite a lot of those infernal adverts that keep popping up.
What is on the front page is only the first of 15 or 16.
Plus the fact that I'm new to the clicky things Love to all.


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 01 Jan 00 - 05:56 PM

InOBU

You say "If any out there are as challenged by legal reasearch as I am with spelling". If you want to trade insults I can do that too, but it is not the best tradition of the Mudcat.

I did not start to cite US cases with a view (seemingly) to defending Sands or the IRA. If someone wants me or anyone else to consider a case it is common courtesy to supply it not to ask me to go and look it up.

We were asked to consider an affidavit. It seemed to be impossible to read all of it with a view to evaluating it, for not all of it would read through from the link. It started but ended prematurely. No legal terms of art. I just could not read it all.

However I think I now understand you to say that Doherty is not relevant to the question of whether the US courts have ruled the IRA to be a terrorist organisation, because (a) although DOherty was sent back to ENgland it was not an extradition but a deportation and (b) by jiggery-pokery, the possibility of arguing that the IRA served only political ends and was thereby protected from criminal liability was prevented from arising.

I think that your fundamental thrust is that the IRA is a political organisation and that killing indiscriminately (and beating and crippling in the name of discipline or some internal "law" not, so far as I can see, sanctioned by any proper legal process) is therefore prevented from being criminous.

Is this really what you as a lawyer are saying?


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: InOBU
Date: 01 Jan 00 - 11:10 PM

Dear Richard:
I did not mean the comment about legal research as an insult at all, but rather was enguaging in a bit of self deprivation at the fact that I will always spell as I did as a boat builder and coal miners son, no matter how many years I spend getting letters added to my name, and missunderstanding your comment - believing you meant to hot link to a cite with US court opinions. In fact, I am sure it is as costly in England as here to do on-line legal reasearch, and because of that, American law schools are doing everything possible to produce law students who become lawyers addicted to on-line research on Westlaw or Lexis.
I will, as I seem not to be making to point adiquately, provide you with the cites in Doherty and some of the earlier extradition cases. The point I am attempting to make is that extradition, before the removal of the Politcal Exemption clause, was a fact driven process. And, Doherty WAS argued in the time before that exemption was removed. Therefore, in all the Doherty extradition cases - the initial hearing and the appeals by the US government, on behest of the crown, the aligations that the IRA enguaged in terrorism were weighed in detail, with England having every opportunity to present experts on terrorism and the history of the conflict in Ireland to prove to Americna courts that the IRA was involved in terrorism. In that battle of history and experts, England lost. The jiggery pokery came as a method around that loss. To give more detail, as you may know, many of the leading US rocket scientists were Nazi war criminals. A law was quietly passed to assure that if they were to be deported, they would not be able to choose to go to Russia. That law was never used until the Doherty case was lost by the US executive branch of government. As such, the then secritary of state, Meese, provided an affidavit to the court, saying that it was in the US national interest to send Joe back to England, nothing else was stated, including what the national interest was. That is what the supreme court case was about, can a non spesific claim of national interest justify the sending of an individual to a country where US courts have ruled to which he may not be extradicted and would face discrimination. As you can see if Britain where to have proved that as you say, the IRA is involved in killing indiscriminately (and beating and crippling in the name of discipline or some internal "law" he would have been extradicted, as those actions are would have defeted a claim of political offence exemption.
A word about democracy censorship. One of the problems I find in discussing the North with many is the spin placed on Irish news stories by British Intelligence. As I said in an earlier post, I had occation to meet Frank Holroyd, an ex-British Intellengence agent, who worked on redirecting news reporting to distort that news that was not censored. An example was the reporting on the killing of Pat Campbell - head of the Shankill butchers. The Shankill Butchers would indescrimiatly take Catholics into the romper room, as they called their den, and torture them to death. When RUC and Army failed for years to act against them, the IRA killed Pat Campbell when an opportunity arose. It was reported in the New York Times, as Pat Campbell, a ShankelL Butcher, was killed in sectarian violence in Ireland by the IRA. Now, all that was true, but so out of context as to continue the belief that the IRA was involved in indescriminate killing. That is the kind of thing that in the press carries a lot of wieght, but in court is meaning less in light of the presentation of fact which put events in context.
Should you not, as a British voter ask, if English policies and tactics are justified, why is there censorship of the press about Ireland?
I truely hope you were not offended by the comment about research, and that much of what we are discussing will someday just be the historical background to our musical traditions. However, history not understood is as likely to be repeted as history forgoten.
Best wishes for peace in the New Year
Larry Otway


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Bev Lawton
Date: 02 Jan 00 - 12:37 AM

I have tried very hard not to get involved in this thread but somehow the ignorance displayed by what appears to me American's of Irish extraction draws me reluctantly like a moth to a flame. In the distant past I did respond to a post on a similar subject and I got responses from (I think) Big Mick spitting venom - for various reason's I felt unwilling to respond - the venue for one - but mostly the horrific memories it brings back to me.

The original start of this thread was about Bobby Sands a man I admire for his beliefs and personal courage but degenerated into the usual ill-informed debate - usually from people far removed from the hard realities of thier rhetoric.

I love Ireland, her people and music and I have lived there - my experiences of twenty odd years ago have haunted me ever since - hardly a week sometimes every day goes by without a nightmare.

The thing that strikes me about most of the posts that seek to glorify or justify actions of the IRA is that you wern't there - it's different when you are in the bars singing songs to the hero's to when you are shovelling up the intestines of men, women and children.

I'm English and as it happens I really don't give a shit whether Northern Ireland stays part of the UK or Eire but we are supposed to be a democracy and we have a system to change our government.

I have a lot of sympathy for the idea of a re-united Ireland, it makes a logical sense to me - I just take issue with the methods of the IRA (to name but one organization)to achieve or prevent it.

Let me try to explain - it is hard for me as normally I'm a rational articulate individual - but this subject ties me in knots and it doesn't always come out well.

I'm English but did live in Ireland on several occasions I have never actually served in the Armed Forces but for a while worked with both Armed Forces, RUC, GARDA and the other emergency services.

I attended the scene of 132 bomb and "other" incidents caused by IRA UDF UVF and the Army - each and every one etched on my memory - I can still smell them as if I was still there twenty odd years ago. The resulting 30+ years of carnage was never worth the candle. The general population of Ireland North and South didn't believe it was worth it and still don't - bigots and zealots from both sides of the divide would argue against me - but don't try and tell me that the mass of the people do I won't believe you.

The people of Ireland have long memories and are patient - demographics would have achieved the same aim's in the same timetable.

I draw no distinction between the IRA, UDA, UVF or whatever set of initials you care to have - they were terrorist organizations - pure and simple - I understand the principle of "One man's terrorist another's freedom fighter" ie. if he's on thier side he's a terrorist - but to claim that ANY of these organizations was not terrorist in nature defies both logic and fact. The AIM of these organizations was to TERRORIZE - pure and simple - the IRA at least attacked the British Army regularily as well but they DID bomb pubs, clubs, shops in both N.Ireland and England purely to terrorise. I have seen the reaction of men & women shitting and pissing themselves with fear and aborting thier babies, rooted to the spot, not knowing where to turn in case they had been deliberately led into and ambush with a second bomb - it did happen on many occasions - I was there and I saw it many times caused from both sides IRA/UDA/UVF - it wasn't all propoganda - try telling me these people weren't terrorised I won't belive you.

Explain what military objective was achieved by such actions?

The aim was to make the British Government and people so sickened and fed up with N.Ireland as to achieve the IRA's aims - I have no problem or misunderstanding of the intention, why can you not at least admit it? - I simply take issue with the methods and results.

Big Mick and the others are correct on several points though regarding deeds on both sides of the line. Torture did take place on both the government side and IRA/UDA/UVF factions but you appear to have selective memories - OBU as you like to quote documented cases go and look in your records and tell me that the IRA did not torture Robert Nairac and then shoot him - one of the men involved later said that he was the bravest man he had ever met - please deny this.

Yes the Army did make mistakes and did kill innocent men and women - as did the other side - but an Army is a blunt instrument for this type of situation and many were young frightened soldiers ill-equipped and trained at first for the task given them - most of the regretable incidents happened early on.

I am no bleeding heart liberal - I believe there are times that war and fighting are justified - I just don't think the situation in Ireland justified the carnage and pain - all the bombs and bullets achieved nothing - ultimately, as in any war the talking achieved the aims not the bullets.

I have no religion and after seeing what the religious of either persuasion were capable of never will. I don't care what God you worship or what politics you subscribe too - the sight of a severed little girl's hand with fingers crossed lying on the sidetable - cannot be justified by any arguments I have yet seen put forward.

You can have you point of view but at least have the honesty to admit what really happened - don't give us your drivel from a bar stool in a "Shamrock Bar" in Boston or where ever - believe me It's real different when you are slipping in the spilled blood rather than the black stuff.

Sorry if I have offended anyone with the tone - I much prefer to talk about music here really - but Christmas is a bad time with too many memories.

Peace to you all with the coming of the Millennium. Bev Lawton


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Brendy
Date: 02 Jan 00 - 12:48 AM

I never read such a load of crap in my life!
And what do you know of Niarac?
This thread was an intelligent pondering of some fairly serious subjects; it has turned into "Who has got the worst memories" competition.
Indeed, no one side has the monopoly on pain and suffering, but I wonder, Bev, if you really have read this post, or if you read it carefully enough.


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Brendy
Date: 02 Jan 00 - 12:50 AM

Last line should read, 'these posts'
B.


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Big Mick
Date: 02 Jan 00 - 01:00 AM

You know Bev, I am not sure what the hell the point of that was. Your story touches me. Mostly because I have seen the same horrors. Shall I recount the faces of the dead and living children that still wake me in the night from my time in Vietnam? I won't because it isn't relevant to what we are DISCUSSING. The tone has remained relatively civil, and the reading has been very interesting. You see, Bev, what will get the "Shamrocks" in the right position is understanding. That comes with discussion. That was going really well. Had you simply stated the horrific stories so these people could see the true cost of war, I would have posted a complimentary post to say thanks. Because if you do a name search on my name you will find that I have posted time and again about not dehumanizing the sides. That plays into the propaganda. What really upsets me about people like you is your insistence on pointing out what is wrong with Shamrock Yanks. But if you did a bit more reading than one post, you would find out that is not what I am. You would find out that I have expressed time and again that if Irish Americans care about the North of Ireland, and peace as much as they say they do, they will respect the wishes of the people that live there in this matter. In short, what I want is to cause 'Catters to understand that the victims here are the people, and the combatants. I don't think you would have a problem with that, but you want me to do so without expressing the legitimacy of the Nationalist position and struggle.

So thanks for relating your experiences. They are horrific and they serve a purpose. And I know they are accurate because I have seen, felt, smelled and have nightmares about the same experiences.

Big Mick


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Áine
Date: 02 Jan 00 - 02:22 AM

Dear Bev,

As Big Mick has said, your experiences are horrific and they do serve a purpose; however, I see a fatal flaw in your argument. Although you said that you love Ireland, her people and her music, how can you hate the children of her Diaspora? Isn't stereotyping all Irish Americans as uninformed, beer swilling idiots just slurring the people of Ireland, only one step removed?

I agree with Mick when he says that understanding will only come through discussion and education. That surely applies to all people in all countries, does it not?

Bev, you cannot know us if you will not understand us. Do you really think that our elders left prejudice, bigotry, hatred, and violence behind them in Ireland? If you do, you know nothing, nothing at all, about the Irish in America.

Do you think that the problems in Ireland do not still reach across the sea to us here in America, with the same threat of fear, hatred and violence? If you do, you know nothing.

Bev, you have seen the result of violence in the remains of the dead. So have we here. We have also seen the result in the eyes of the living. In the eyes of old people and the eyes of children. And we weren't sitting on bar stools when we saw it.

We know where we are and who we are. We also know what we are. I beg you to learn about us and understand us; not to pass judgement on us. We are of as many minds as there are leaves on all the trees of God's earth. And we are luckier than most; we have a country, but we also have a homeland.

Le meas (respectfully), Áine


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: InOBU
Date: 02 Jan 00 - 08:54 AM

Dear Bev.
I have been there, I do not sit on a bar stool in Boston, nor do I deny the horrors of war. I have lost many close friends in the conflict and prayed that others horribly wounded would live. I agonised over the descriptions family members provided of the sesicrated courpses of family members of close friends - Patsy O Hara, for example, burned by cigarette butts, the bones of his face broken by being stomped by British Soldiers, post humously, - but as I have not responded to others with personal invective, I have also tried to deel with facts more devoid of the pain we have all felt who have been involved int that terrible conflict, which no one I know who has been forced into its horror and pain, either conciders glorious or anything but the only way to respond to a situation that Republicans did not choose to make. I remind you, England came to us with guns and suspention of due process of law to re-enforce bigotry and discrimination.
I can address many of the individual points, and at the risk of some at Mudcat accusing us of politisizing the environment, I will. As in South Africa, these wounds can only heal after reconciliaiton, and that takes shedding light on the truth. I do so, in hopes that we can embrace as a community of Peoples Musicians, understand our different perspectives so our songs dont divide us any more than Yankee Doodle divided the US and Britain.
Bombs. I had a criminal Law prfessor who once said, it is always depraved heart killing when you use a bomb. I agree with him. I am in favor of humanity endeding the institution of war as barbaric and waistful. However, once a war begins, one side cannot claime the other must lay down and wait for destruction, and the weapons one uses are often determined by the reaction to the tactics of the other. The IRA, representatives of a small nation fighting a huge one, used weapons which caused a lot of damage, as Britain and the US did, in BOMBING North africa, a few years ago. The IRA developed a radio controled bomb to attempt to reduced civilian deaths. The British began to broadcast up and down the radio frequencies to prematurely explode IRA bombs, there by forceing the IRA to return to timered explosives. This increased the danger that military targets would not be the victems of the attack and there was a rise in civilian deaths, It was a horrible by product of the stupidity of war, but I wont accept that we bend to heartless will of a large uncaring power which as part of its cold war plans, wishes to continue unemployement, and ruination of lives of one portion of the population, killing them when they non-violently protest those conditions, remember Burntollet and Bloody Sunday, Republicans did not start the violence. Republicans also had an offer of a sease fire from the start.
Bev, I have to make breakfast for the wife, so I must run, but, we have to try and look beyond the pain we caused each other in order to live together in the future. I dont live in some dusty library far removed from the issues. I went into law, because I had seen so much harm being done on the streets in social conflict, and that was a better way of dealing with the issues than war. Maybe one day we need a Mudcat silent convention, of sitting and thinking together about each others pain, before we go to the next step of really listening to each others story of how we came to think as we do. One side or the other does not hold a monopoly on truth or pain.
Peace in the New Year Bev, and best wishes
Larry
PS I am not avoiding the issue of torture by IRA, I will get back to that after Genie and I have our wee bit of sunday morning


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Big Mick
Date: 02 Jan 00 - 10:24 AM

Bev, I guess what is so offensive about the post is that it implies that all yanks are the Shamrock Irish that you refer too. That is as offensive to me as me saying that all English support the murder and persecution of Irish people would be to you. Or all Brits. (note to others: if you don't understand the distinction, you should.)

Big Mick


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: InOBU
Date: 02 Jan 00 - 11:12 AM

PS Dear Bev: I hit the wrong key in spelling desicrated corpses, for those who are reaching for the dictionary, wondering what Larry was talking about. I just had a moment to do a little catch up, and read Big Micks post. One of the most meaningful things I witnessed in the past few years was a meeting between the Viet Nam Veterins against War and a similiar group of Russians. I worked for a Vet member of that organisation, and helped him with the Peace Convoy to Nicaragua. At several times Veit Cong vets met with American Vets, embraced and appologised, (though they certainly felt justified in defending their country, as US soldiers felt they were doing their duty in V N) and cried together for each others pain. But they talked, most importantly they talked. As a result other extrodinary things happened, for example, American Vets, against the instructions of the state department, went back to Viet Nam to help remove land mines they had placed. Their government refused to give them maps that would have made the work safer, but they did it to undo the horrors of war. I saw, on tape I believe, or from a description from Steve Sommerstien, my boss at the time, an incident where an American vet who lost legs to a russian land mine in Viet Nam embraced and cried with a Russian vet who lost his legs to an American land mine in Afganistan.
Bev, we are pawns in a game wherein we never had control. As to the witnessing of horrors, my father, when I was in my teens was stabbed 11 times in the back and the neck, and came within moments of bleeding to death. He could bearly talk, and I was in a blind rage. I had been away for a day or two and came back to find him swathed in bandages and unable to move. He had me bend down to hear him say, dont let my injuries hurt you more than me, dont let this thing change who you are, and how you think in your politics. My old dad, with all the rough edges and flaws was a remarkable fellow, and I have tried to live by his strenth of conviction. If we are blinded by our pain we will all never heal.
With love and conciliation
Larry


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Dave
Date: 02 Jan 00 - 01:32 PM

Subject: RE: Bobby Sands >From: InOBU >Date: 30-Dec-99 - 04:30 PM > >Hi Dave: Can you give cites for the facts you allege? >The plane fact is I can give cite to my facts.

Oh? where?

On to some facts of my own:

Fay, Morrisey and Smith give the total number of people killed in the troubles as 3601. Oh, and Big Mick, Republican paramilitaires were responsible for 2001 of these deaths. The IRA were responsbile for 85% (1684) of these. Loyalist Paramilitaries were responsible for 983 deaths. The rest were miscellaneous or are attributed to the various security forces. The amount of civilians killed by the IRA was 713, or nearly half of their total, and almost as many as the loyalists. Some freedom fighters eh? Not to mention the case of Patrick Gillespie, a catholic civilian, who in 1990 was strapped into a bomb laden vehicle and forced to drive to an army checkpoint, where the Provos detonated it via remote control, with Mr Gillespie still strapped into the car, blowing him and five soldiers to bits.

The facts of the matter are that the IRA, other republican paramilitaries, and the loyalist paramilitaries are scum, and no amount of glorification of it by their apologists can change this. It is they who have plagued and oppressed the people of Ireland and Britain over the last thirty years.

>Please be so good as to get to a law library and >look up the first decision in the extradition case of IRA Volunteer Joseph Doherty. You will >find that the facts you allege were raised by the British government who held that he could be >extradicted to Britain in violation of the Political Offense Exemption to Extradition, on the >grounds that he was a member of a terrorist organisation. Judge Sprizzo, a concervative >American judge, after a lenthy factual inquest, found that the British aligation that the IRA >is a terrorist organization could not be up held in light of the facts, presented by two >American lawyers, (neither of them Irish by the way). That decision was appealed and apealed >again and was upheld in every court. In fact he never was extradicted. Rudolph Juliani, the >present mayor of NY, then a prosicutor, used a cold war act giving special power to the >executive branch of governemnt (president) to deport in the national interst. As with many >cold war acts, he could do so without defining that interest, so Dohertys deportation was >accomplished in spite of a prima facie showing for political asylum had been accepted and >stood up to apeals. No reason was ever given why it was in Americas interest. In short, in >every weighing of fact, IN COURT, the IRA was seen by an independant judicery to be NOT A >TERRORIST organisation.

Oh come on. If the IRA are not a terrorist organisation then please tell me why they are illegal in both the ROI and the UK? Or tell us about the terrorists that *have* been deported from the US.

> I dont falt the British people for not knowing this in light of >extrodinary powers to censor the press. But, if you have an interst in the truth, to almost >quote Hamlet, Get thee to a law library.

Oh right. So that's it. So your good self who lives thousands of miles away knows the truth, whereas our poor selves who actually live in the British Isles are the ones who are

I think you are the one who is delusional. After all, it is people like you who are indirectly and directly responsible for years of violence in *my* country.

The facts of the matter is that republicanism has pratically NO mandate from the people of ireland, north and south, something like 95% of the people of Ireland, North and South, have rejected terrorism, and that they have also decided that it is up to the people of NI alone to decide their future.

>All the best, Dave, Happy and PEACEFUL! New Year, >your friend in controversy >Larry

How do you square wishing me a peaceful new year with your support of illegal terrorist organisations? Ones who committed atrocities like Enniskillen, The Shankill, Warrenpoint, and many others?

Anyway, I do hope you have a happy festive season (or what's left of it), and in the coming year you devote your energies into purely *peaceful* areas which do good for all the people of NI, GB and the ROI.

Regards, Dave


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Barry Finn
Date: 02 Jan 00 - 02:42 PM

Hi Bev & Dave & thanks. Bev I fully understand your point & do not feel offended by your veiws of "Shamrock Yanks", sometimes it seems that way to me too. I do come from Boston but sadly I have no more politics that follows what seems to be the norm. today. I refused to fight in Veit Nam when my draft # was pulled & I refuse to support any cause where an innocent child is look upon as a casualty of war & so being, is excepted. My view of death came young & for no reason & ever since I can find no logic in it. Barry


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: InOBU
Date: 02 Jan 00 - 03:54 PM

Hi Dave
Much better quality of responce, giving some fact to support your contentions - though you go a wee tad overboard in a few presumptions and ad homminum statements.
To begin with, as I have said on several occations, I have lived in Ireland and spent time in the north, not that this is the only way to understand a complex historical and political history.
When you ask - If the IRA are not a terrorist organisation then please tell me why they are illegal in both the ROI and the UK?
the simple historical answer is, that the same revolution which brought about the ROI, was equally illegle, but by the conventions of war, was not terrorism. Terrorism and inserection are two separate concepts. (and of cource the same ROI that calls the present inserectionists terrorists, strapped IRA men to a landmine in Kerry, at Ballyseedy.)
Or tell us about the terrorists that *have* been deported from the US.
Again, it is possible that you are overlooking the difference between extradition and deportation. Extradition is based on a much more complete fact finding process, which after the Doherty case was abriviated ONLY in extradition requests by the government of Britain, so as not to embarass a NATO member, after Britain lost every attempt to convince American fact finders that the IRA was a terrorist organisation. Now, either Britain is completely incomptetant to make its case or Britain has a dirty secret to hide in Ireland.
Now one thing overlooked in my posts is my statements that war is not an acceptable way to solve social and political problems, however the war in Ireland was not started or continued by the IRA. As Sean MacBride, the founder of Amnesty International and deputy Sec Gen of the UN pointed out, time and again, England had opportunities to end the war in the North of Ireland, however, as a non-aligned nation a reunited Ireland would mean an end to NATO presence in Ireland, and guarding the Scapa flow against Soviet sub movements would be greatly harder if not impossible. Do you not find it odd that the secret talks with the IRA started the year the Soveit Union broke up and Ireland allowed NATO to use Irish air fields as staging points for bombing of North Africa?
as far as wishing you peace, at the hieght of the war, I have never met an IRA or INLA volunteer, who given the oppertunity would not have chosen peaceful solutions to the war in the north. Read again what drove Bobby Sands to join the republican movement and ask what you would have done. In his situation there were two opptions, after being stabbed and his home burned he could leave or fight.
Personaly I dont blame anyone who left, and I cant blame anyone for fighting. As to the incident with the death of Gillespie, I agree that it sounds, on the face of the facts you present, to be an inhuman act, and one that is not within the articals of war. I will acknowlege that who ever is responcible, there should be an inquest into the event as a war crime. On the other hand, will you demand that the English soldier who pressed his gun to the head of 12 year old Carol Anne Kelly and blew her brains out, should also be tried for war crimes?
Do you feel the British officer who ordered live rounds to be fired at unarmed civilians should at least have his meddal taken away, if not be tried?
If you chose not to wish me peace and whatever, that is within the tradition of those who opposed civil rights in Ireland for generations, and I dont fault you for it. I continue to wish you well, and even though I feel the presnet treaty was cooreced, I hope it brings about peace and justice. A far as living in the past, as Big Mick and a few of us are accused, it seems we are quicker to say forgive the past, though we also say dont forget the past, as there is a great chance of repeteing it, in other Viet Nams, other Afganistans, other Nicarauguas, and other Northern Irelands.
Do let us know over here, when the political censorship is lifted, so we can send you books, banned in the UK and Ireland, which offer facts not available to you at present. Even close up - in Belfast for example, one cant see everything, and experince is actually a part of the equation, study works also as a good adjunct.
I would offer that getting over your hate is a good first step towards listening to the other. Anyway Dave, the practice of law is generaly seen as a peaceful undertaking, however, I have been seeking even more peaceful undertakings, and mostly involved with my band, though keeping up a small bit of my Native American advocacy.
Again best wishes
Larry


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Mbo
Date: 02 Jan 00 - 04:05 PM

"Long live all of us crazy soldiers who were born under calico skies
May we never be called to handle
All the weapons of war we despise
And I'll hold you for as long as you like
I'll hold you for the rest of my life."
--from "Calico Skies" by Paul McCartney

--Mbo


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Dave
Date: 02 Jan 00 - 06:55 PM

>Hi Dave >Much better quality of responce, giving some fact to support your contentions - though you go a wee tad overboard in a few presumptions and ad homminum statements.

They are not contentions I propose - they are facts, whither you or anyone else like it or not Larry.

>as far as wishing you peace, at the hieght of the war, I have never met an IRA or INLA volunteer, who given the oppertunity would not have chosen peaceful solutions to the war in the north. Read again what drove Bobby Sands to join the republican movement and ask what you would have done. In his situation there were two opptions, after being stabbed and his home burned he could leave or fight.

Don't forget that there were thousands of protestants driven from their homes as well. Yet I don't try and justify the actions of the loyalist paramilitaries.

>Personaly I dont blame anyone who left, and I cant blame anyone for fighting. As to the incident with the death of Gillespie, I agree that it sounds, on the face of the facts you present, to be an inhuman act, and one that is not within the articals of war.

It is what actually happened. Then of course there's Andrew Kearney, a catholic shot simply because he disagreed with an IRA man in a pub. This happened only a couple of years ago. There are hundreds of these incidents, commited by both sets of terrorists.

>I will acknowlege that who ever is responcible, there should be an inquest into the event as a war crime. On the other hand, will you demand that the English soldier who pressed his gun to the head of 12 year old Carol Anne Kelly and blew her brains out, should also be tried for war crimes?

If he committed a criminal act then I support a criminal prosecution of the person concerned. BTW it's criminal acts, not war crimes. The situation in NI was never a war. It was simply illegal criminal activity. By your logic then the actions of Timothy McVeigh are part of a war as well...

>Do you feel the British officer who ordered live rounds to be fired at unarmed civilians should at least have his meddal taken away, if not be tried?

Once again, if a crime was committed then I fully support a criminal prosectution.

>If you chose not to wish me peace and whatever, that is within the tradition of those who opposed civil rights in Ireland for generations, and I dont fault you for it.

What are you talking about? I have wished you well.

> I continue to wish you well, and even though I feel the presnet treaty was cooreced,

Tell that to the 95% of people who voted for it.

>I hope it brings about peace and justice.

With it there is NO excuse for any terrorist group to commit violence.

>A far as living in the past, as Big Mick and a few of us are accused, it seems we are quicker to say forgive the past, though we also say dont forget the past, as there is a great chance of repeteing it, in other Viet Nams, other Afganistans, other Nicarauguas, and other Northern Irelands. >Do let us know over here, when the political censorship is lifted, so we can send you books, banned in the UK and Ireland, which offer facts not available to you at present.

Don't be so stupid Larry. The only book that I know of not available over here is the Commitee, because there are libel actions currently going on against it and the author. It also happens to be a spectacular fairy story as well, and I've read portions of it...

> Even close up - in Belfast for example, one cant see everything, and experince is actually a part of the equation, study works also as a good adjunct.

I lived in NI for the first 22 years of my life (I'm 24), I have quite an extensive library on the subject. I know what I'm talking about. >I would offer that getting over your hate is a good first step towards listening to the other.

What hate? What are you gabbling about? Where have I expressed hate towards you or anyone here. Where do you get the idea that I hate you.

Regards, Dave


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Brendy
Date: 02 Jan 00 - 07:20 PM

Like it or not, lads and lassies, cause and effect plays a big part in what has gone on in the past.
If there was no England, there would be no IRA. That might be called simplistic.... but it is true. Also true is that it was England who named tose collection of islands The British Isles.
Now, when I hear people referring to Ireland as a part of said collective, it doesn't necessarily piss me off, it just makes me able to predict the rest of his/her argument.
When your definition of history has been formulated by an education system designed to instil into the young mind that Britannia still indeed rule the waves, then ones whole definition of reality has also to be flawed.
The trick about the Irish education system was that we didt really have all that much to cover up; it is strange to hear English people giving me lectures on on what a bunch of murderers we are, when the whole woes of the world, most of them anyway, can be traced to London.
Anybody want a few cited examples? I've got loads of them.
Let us get on with our peace, because you didn't do a hell of a lot before. 'The Irish Problem'?.....don' make me laugh.


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Big Mick
Date: 02 Jan 00 - 07:26 PM

Nice bit of diatribe, Dave, but it shows once again how people of your persuasion deal with surface BS to attempt to shift the premise of the debate. Neither Larry or I said that we find war to be acceptable. On a personal level I detest it as only a person who has had to practice it can. That is not to take away from folks like my friend, Barry Finn. While our views on this matter may not jibe, I find people who stood on their principles and risked jail to be very brave. I cannot argue with his courage and morals. Actually, I thank God for people like him. They are warriors in the truest sense. But back to you and your post. I do congratulate you on your posting of facts and I will square them with my own sources. I will then respond. Thanks for posting them. I would also like to thank you for including all sides in your post. One of the "hot buttons" of mine is when people post about IRA violence as if it was the only violence being committed.

Now let me tell you why I consider your post to be a self serving diatribe. Once again you, like others, post without reading the entire thread. Either that or you chose to ignore what I have said on any number of occasions. And that is........are you listening Dave, Bev and others?.........that it is a moot point because the people of the North and the South, the Orange and the Green, Unionist and Nationalists, have spoken. I have said repeatedly, going back at least 15 months, that if we care about the land of parents and grandparents as much as we say we do, then we will support the peace process with the same vigor that we supported the armed struggle. The children, all the children, of the North and of the South of Ireland deserve this. Please CLICK HERE and HERE. If those links don't work, then go to the Forum search and enter [Back Home In Derry] and go to my posts of 98Sept22 at 11:30 and 98Sept29 at 9:47. My position has always been clear, but people like you don't seem to want to reference that. And most troubling is that you don't want to see an informed discussion. You would rather turn it into a finger pointing session. And that has got more to do with the troubles lasting as long as they have than all the "Shamrock Yanks" in the world. Peace will come because people of honorable intentions and differing views will attempt to sit down and understand one another. Not because pompous people, from the power side of the equation, sit in judgement of the tactics of the other side. I would point out to you that the IRA, despite intense provocation from the Unionists, has been the party responsible for both starting the cease fire, and maintaining it. And I am betting that THIS peace process will work..............because the people of that island have said it must be so.

Big Mick


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Brendy
Date: 02 Jan 00 - 11:22 PM

Here Here!


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: alison
Date: 02 Jan 00 - 11:43 PM

The problem with the situation is that it is not clear cut... there is no black and white. One side is not the 'goodies" and one side the "baddies"... it all merges in a murky grey area......

Neither side has the whole truth.... maybe we'll never know exactly what went on...... and the media doesn't help... it gives the story it is paid to give....and that coverage will vary.... the Irish, British and USA media will all have a different slant on events.

but this is a very emotive subject, and people have been brave enough (brave... because it is a difficult thing to do when it dredges up such deep feelings, and often, the opinion gets ridiculed because it is different to the majority..) to express their views......

Talking about the media... I remember at the time being told that Bobby Sands and the others were forced to go on hunger strike, (the threat being that their families would be hurt if they didn't comply,).... and when one of them died then the next name on the list was picked to replace him..... if this was true then I pity them for being forced through that ordeal. Gillespie's family were held too while he drove the bomb into the check point.

slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Barry Finn
Date: 03 Jan 00 - 12:35 AM

Am I missing something here? Is it OK that kids get killed by all those discussed here & get tossed aside as if they were yesterday's byproduct of eating. Is it OK that whatever the reason some poor parent loses the whole of their heart & it lasts until they too lose their life. Bobby Sands is dead but if he were my son I want to trade my life for one more hour with him to hold him & tell him how much he was loved & damn all the causes that took him away if only he'd still be alive. I'd trade my life for one more day with my kids if they were taken from me & how could I ever visit that pain on another. After a bloody 1000 years we're still fighting turf wars the whole world round & finding good reason & cause to continue doing so, doesn't look to me as if we've progressed very far, hope we do better in the next 1000. St. Vlad or Vlad the Impaler was a prince, hero, doctor, saint, warrior, a politician, a soldier & mostly a terrorist & a VAMPIRE. He's (in all his forms) what I see as my vision of violent death, he just needs more blood to keep existing & more people to feed into his doctrine of death to feed the frenzy, he doesn't care about sides or who's right or wrong, what's just or unjust only that he feeds his blood lust from the innocent souls that either got lost on their way or were sacrificed in his honour. Is it too hard to love life to much? Barry


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: paddymac
Date: 03 Jan 00 - 12:50 AM

We had a rational and basically well considered thread running here most of the way, but it seems to have degraded a bit in its later stages with Bev's emotive post and then with Dave's diatribes. But even with that, I believe that the thread, though it quickly crept beyond the original question, has a productive and worthwhile endeavor. I would even call it the best that I've been privileged to engage in.

It might be worth reflecting on the make-up of the present NI statelet at the time of its excission from what became the republic. It consists of only six of the nine counties in the traditional province of Ulster. Of those six, only two (Down and Antrim) had majority protestant populations. The majorities in those two were sufficient to outweigh the catholic and republican majorities in the other four ultimately included, but not the other seven of the traditional province. I don't recall there having been a vote by the people of the six, the nine, the 26, the 32, or any other subset of counties in advance of the decision to partition the island by the "Welsh Wizard", but if there were, could we fairly place credence in it in the face of such gerrymandering?. There was, however, a bitter civil war caused by the arbitrary partition. Yes, I fully recognize that gerrymandering voting districts is a wide-spread practice and probably occurs wherever voting occurs, but it always taints the result of any vote taken.

My humble suggestion is this thread now be allowed to find its place in Mudcat history before it degrades further.


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Big Mick
Date: 03 Jan 00 - 06:11 AM

Yes, Paddymac, I concur. I came on this morning to say that it appears to have reached the point of rehash. While there are things that I would like to respond to, I am afraid that it will turn into a mudslinging mess if it goes on. Overall it has been a very good thread.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: InOBU
Date: 03 Jan 00 - 08:26 AM

Alison:
I know many of the close family members of the hungerstrikers - brothers sisters, fathers, mothers, and what you were told about being forced to be on the hunger strike is the kind of propaganda which colors peoples misinformation about the events of the past few decades. In point of fact, the only cooersion happened when two developed kidney or liver trouble and were ordered off the strike, the purpose of a hunger strike is not to die.
It is very clear that the next step in Irelands interest would be the kind of truth and reconclilation process that went on in South Africa, but as Enland is still involved in covering up the past, I would be surprised if England would agree to such an undertaking. I have been surprised in the past however, and would urge that this be proposed. Issues left undisscussed fester.
Dave, the expressions of dislike are found in such statments as how can you wish us peace etc... If those statements were missinterpreted, my appologies. I accept fully that you wish well, and send back the same.
I feel Breny and others have addressed many of the issues well, Dave, but one last note about democracy. Americas cities are filled with tens of thousands of exiles from the Northern troubles, who have left within the past several decades because of staggering unemployment and arrest without trial or charge, torture and other discrimination at the hands of British athorities. Many have made new lives here, and a few, in spite of these new lives went home to vote against the treaty, as absentee ballots were not accepted. They were not in favor of continuing the war, but were against terms which, for example, withdrew the constitutional recognition of Irelands unity, or did not give adiquate protection to the minority in the north. In fact, there would have been a nationalist majority in the north decades ago, by the birth rate alone, but for the extrodinary discrimination, so democracy has not occured in a vacume - both censorship (I am shocked that you dont accept that there is censorship in England and Ireland! Did you read the Stalker Report yet?) and forced migration has played a role. This forced migration is one reason why the political difference between the Irish community in England and the US - victems of British prejudice came here.
Well, two days into the new millenium and the system seems to still be working, so lets be a little hopeful that progress is possible. As Lawrence Olivier said to aspire to our tallents and work with our failures, lets be inspired by our shared musical traditions and use our disscussion of our differences to grow.
All the best
Larry


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: InOBU
Date: 03 Jan 00 - 09:36 AM

Dave, ol man:
You bring up some very good points, I was in the shower getting out to work and remembered your statement about McViegh. Good point, becasue it shows the difference between war and the criminialization process in Ireland.
McViegh and his codefendants were given free and open trials with juries of their peers, in spite of the likelyhood that they would put the government of the US on trial for the event at Waco. They are members of organizations, who should be carefuly watched by the police, and yet, because we value our freedoms, we are not allowed to inflitrate the politcal aspects of those organizaitons, but rather put on trial the spesific illegal acts of individuals, and do not enguage in mass arrests of members of the Militias. As such, such actions as the bombing of government buildings is rare here, and was never common, other that when the Cointell program under Nixon, nearly brought us to war by beginging to place us on the road to war that England went down in Ireland.
The militias do not recieve huge endorcement from the American public, as, even though there is a likely cover up of mistakes or bad acts at WACO by the FBI and ATF, thre is not only an on going government investigation, but there is also no prior restraint of our press to report on that investigation, and after the Pentigon Papers case, our papers may even print stolen papers without fear of Prior restraint of the press, if in that investigation a whistle blower feels there is a cover up as with the Stalker report.
Not to say things are perfect over here, by any means, but to illustrate the difference between war and crime. War happens in the void created by suspention of due process of law and politics. You may be aware that Lincoln suspended Habia Corpus, an intrigal part of due process in the middle of the American Civil War, and that is still being debated today as an act of tyrony and threat to American democracy.
Thanks again for the well thought out responce.
Must go to work...
All the best
Larry


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 03 Jan 00 - 12:17 PM

InOBU,

My holiday is over and I have to stop play and get back to work, but there are things I find odd. I will certainly have to get to the Doherty case (other than the Supreme court decision) because it seems to me that that is the core of the matter. I cannot understand how the IRA can be thought to be other than a terrorist organisation. I can see how some would say that its acts of terrorism were justified (although I would disagree). I can see that some acts of the British Army and some acts of the loyalists could be thought unjustified (although I confess that firing at an unidentified car speeding through a roadblock strikes me as more justified than the act of a guard at the US embassy who drew a revolver on me when I ducked under a rope (dividing two lines of a potential queue) simply to avoid walking round the end of the rope).

I am surprised that you seem to have been so close to personal protagonists in the troubles, given your judicial status.

However you seem to stand, principally, on the thesis that the US courts held Doherty not to have been a terrorist. There may well be room for a thousand angels to dance on the head of that pin. I am not going to start the hare of US extra-territorial jurisdiction right now! You leave us to make the unspoken assumption that the US courts would have decided justly. I may come back to that (and any good conspiracy theorist could construct some scenarios for the difference between the opening quote you gave (was it from judge Rizzo? - I'm too lazy to re-scan the thread jut now) and the colsing views you attribute to him).

However there are well known examples of cases which turned on legal expertise (or lack of it). Ruth Ellis (perhaps the most famous client of Victor Mishcon, now Lord Mishcon, the solicitor, and Melford Stevenson (later Mr Justice Melford Stevenson, of whom I think it was once said "My Lord, this is an appeal from a judgment of Mr Justice Melford Stevenson, nut there are other grounds too") might be argued to be one. Lord HaHa was executed for treason partly because it was just after the war, and partly because his barrister unwittingly led himself to an argument which he belatedly realised he was afraid to put to the court because of the effect it could have had on his case overall and indeed his own position as barrister. There are others which turn on inhibition in advancing a case. I can well imagine the UK government refusing to allow evidence which would have helped them win the Doherty case to emerge in open court - if only to satisfy their obsession with secrecy. That obsession lead them to a very expensive defeat in the Australian courts (Spycatcher) - but that loss could also have been ascribed to having a poor case on established confidentiality principles, or to taking English barristers (who the Australian courts hate) up against a very competent Australian Solicitor-advocate. However the fact that they are obsessed with it does not always mean that they are wrong. There are times when the enforcement and protection of state secrets is right.

The armed insurrection of or about 1922 in what is now the Republic of Ireland was without doubt an illegal act at the time. But it has been solemnised by success. The armed acts of the IRA are largely carried out against non-combatants, and against persons who are not in occupation of any disputed territory. I do not see how those things can be part of a legitimate insurrection. I also do not see how the IRA could claim to be fighting a war, for no war has been declared by the English government or indeed the government of the Republic of Ireland.

The legitimate methods of by force compelling the independence of Northern Ireland from England and/or its union with Southern Ireland could have been (I am at a loss for another legitimate route): -(a) insurrection of the Northern Irish against their Northern Irish government (followed, if you like, by that government requesting assistance from the UK and the insurrectionists seeking volunteer support (Spain is the precedent) or official Southern Irish government support, or (b) invasion by the Southern Irish Government.

I won't have much time to continue this debate after today, but it was interesting to talk to someone with some jurisprudential basis for asserting the non-criminal status of the IRA.


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: InOBU
Date: 03 Jan 00 - 01:02 PM

Dear Robert:
Good luck back at the grind of the work day, and best hopes of justice, and as Bill Kunstler said, in the earlier quote an appeal when it happens! An excellent point about official secrecy, and in fact much of what passes for far flung conspiracy is just the knee jerk reaction to secrecy among governments today. The judge is Sprizzo, rather that Rizzo, and offered me one of the greatest comments I ever recieved off the record in a court room I approached the bench to tell him that a fiddler I played with, was his roomate in law school. He replied, Oh yes, Jim. A wonderful musician, but much to intelligent to practice law!
The paranoia of Americans with guns is becoming indemic. On behalf of many Americans who shrink into the shadows in pubs and restraunts in Europe when fellow contry folk enter, and who always takes the advice of an old anarchist friend when in an American security que, take your time and be obstructionist, let me appologise. 99 per cent of US military and police training is the development of hightened paranoia, which is why we have over a million Americans in prison at present.
I ran across an interesting quote from Father Des Wilson, of Ballymurphy about a conversation he had with a British Army officer which he offered when giving a summery of the outcome of the 1981 hunger strike.
I... remember a conversation I had with a very high ranking British Army officer in the the days when people still thought it was a good idea to argue with them.

I said, "You will never help to solve a problem if you do not speak the truth about it. You tell the people that the people who have taken up arms here, the IRA, the UDA, the UVF and others, are nothing but thugs and gangsters. But you know as well as I do that among the military groups there are men and women who are sensitive and highly intelligent political thinkers and strategists. You tell the public lies."

He replied, "but we know this is so."

"Then why do you tell the public that they are only thugs?"

"We do not tell the public that; the government does. We know differently," was his response.

When reading this quote from Father Des, I remembered a morning early in the cease fire when a spokes person was sitting rather uncomfortably in the green room at WBAI in New York. I was there to speak about the rights of Gypsies, and noticed that no one quite knew what to do about him. I thought that he looked very uncomfortable and that he had reacted to the same political assassinations and staged incidents by British Intelligence that Republicans had. I poured two cups of tea and sat down next to him, commenting how we had arrange a cold wet day, to make him feel at home. In only a few words someone whose political acts and beliefs were an anathema to me was an acquaintance rather than an enemy. We had a lot to talk about that we did not agree in any way with, but in the right environment peace is easily done. Part of the equation is to remove the instigation of governments who divide people for geo-political political gain.
All the best
Larry


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: InOBU
Date: 03 Jan 00 - 01:08 PM

PS:
Re my aquaintence with memembers of the IRA, and INLA, and my status as a judge. You would find not greater mix of politics then the membership of the National American Indian Court Judges Association. It is truely a model for world peace when we have our conventions. You find your self at dinner with Apache traditionals - concervative judges from the IRA courts (Indian Reorganisation Act!)and Senica peacemakers from concenses courts. The sharing of wisdom is extrodinary. One of the most tresured peices of advise was delivered by Justice Mary Winn, of the Colville nation, who said, there is no greater excersise of judicial power than the power to pause.
Best wishes in your work, (from a John Mortimer fan)
Larry


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: InOBU
Date: 03 Jan 00 - 01:36 PM

One more PS... After signing off, I recalled the last time I faced an American police officers gun. It is a rather funny story. Have you heard of William Kunstler? He was the lawyer for Dr. M L King, one of the negotiators for the Attica Prison Uprising, lawyer for and friend of Dylan Thomas, and the Chicago 7. The head of the Russian communist part had him admitted to the Moscow bar to defend him against charges brought by Boris Yeltzin. He was an old and dear friend of mine, and one day I found myself driving to a native reservation with him that was surrounded by State Troopers, due to a dispute over cigarette taxes (the thanks we give for being given tobacco I suppose.) There was a ring of state troopers with M 16s around the reservation, which as a tributary of the Iroquois confederacy, was being defended by Mohawk warriors armed with AK's. I was strongly reminded of the feeling in Belfast.
A trooper stopped us as we drove up to the entrance to the reserve. I had a canoe on top of my van, having no where else to keep it, and long braided hair. Bill, was sitting beside me, with his long white locks. To remind the troopers where they were, I greeting him in Western Nantic, the language of this particular nation.
"Askoway Kawasin" I said.
"What are you guys, Indians?" the trooper replied.
"No, we're lawyers, " came Bills sonorous voice from the inside of the van.
"Where do you practice?"
"I am William Kunstler" came the reply.
"Ugh huh, I'll ask again, where do you practice?"
Bill looked thunder struck and whipped his head around in a staged double take.
"I said, I'm William MOSES KUNSTLER! I practice in all 50 States and quite a few foreign nations!"
"Got any guns" the officer asked, unimpressed.
"I don't have any guns, " I said. However, I knew that although a famous radical, Bill was also an ex- Marine captain, and a bit of a gun nut, and sometimes went about the town with a gat.
"Hey Bill, you packing heat?" I asked.
"I don't have a gun, " Bill huffed.
"Nothing sharper in here than our wits," I told the officer.
Bill suddenly roared out the window, "Young man, we have something far more dangerous than guns!"
The officer took a step back and unsnapped the cover of his side arm. Across no man's land there came the sound of numerous AK's being locked and loaded, and instantly a like response from the troopers.
Bill shouted, as if nothing was amiss, "WE HAVE THE SWORD OF JUSTICE!!!"
There was a palpable relaxing sigh, all around. Bill then motioned the officer over with his index finger...
"Tell me sonny, You really never heard of William M. Kunstler?" he asked like an old grandfather.
Taken in the officer smiled sheepishly and said, "No, Sir, I never have." "ROOKIE!!!" Bill yelled! Then turned to me and said, "Drive on Larry, my boy! " thereby dismissing the police and we drove onto the res.
Sorry for the thread drift, however, Bill was the soul of American People's law, and his presence here would certainly cause him to smile
. All the best
Larry


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 03 Jan 00 - 09:43 PM

Sounds like just you and me interested now. Kunstler - sounds familiar. What was his firm? I know a few.

Send me the cites for the Doherty case. I have a friend who used to lecture at Queen Mary and Westfield (she and I wrote a lot of stuff about an arguable area of copyright - called "format rights" which my oldish acquaintances Bud Brylawski (the father, not the son) and Mel Nimmer (the father not the son) and indeed the surviving (happily) Dennis Angel have asserted are likely to be protectable under US law. She may be able to get copies free for me. She is now sitting in immigration tribunals and laughs when I call her right wing on the ground that she thinks most of the other adjudicators are right wing. So if you think that I am right wing....

If all else fails her husband is a parliamentary draftsman and may have sources......

Your remark about the sword of justice sounds a sour note over here. Have you followed libel developments in ths jurisdiction? One Jonathan Aitken made a similar remark and is now regretting it, and a certain Al Fayed has adopted a part of it and I pray (I don't, 'cos the history of organised religion is black with sin - sorry if the phrase is politically incorrect but I searched my heart for one with the same resonance and it was not there) that it causes him the same pain.

I do not accept that the practice of law is dissociated with intelligence. I find that it demands much. I regret that it requires (or seems to) more dissimulation these days. But I have had a couple of recent successes which cause me to ask what my opponents were doing - they missed easy routes to rout me.

You say: - (of a conversation) "I said, "You will never help to solve a problem if you do not speak the truth about it. You tell the people that the people who have taken up arms here, the IRA, the UDA, the UVF and others, are nothing but thugs and gangsters. But you know as well as I do that among the military groups there are men and women who are sensitive and highly intelligent political thinkers and strategists. You tell the public lies." "

It is a good speech, but that is all. Problems domestic local and international are often solved without truth. Look at WIPO and emergent nations and the collision with producer rights both agricultural and intellectual - cf the EU. No-one says that the paramilitaries are nothing but thugs (do I detect an impermissible bias against an accredited former religious group (BG)). They may say that they are thugs etc, but never that that is all they are. What they do say is that they are discredited by acting as thugs etc.

If I may suggest it you should not confuse debating (for which I also have cups) with law (velvet paws).

In passing I ponder your reference to Gipsy issues. I was unaware that true Romanies had reached America.

There are so many issues lawyers ought to debate. I submitted 120 points to the UK govt before the passage of our 1988 Copyright (etc) act, and they adopted only one. I had a fairly heated exchange of letters with Lord Denning after he retired about rights of way - he was anti four wheel drive, I for them. But mostly the exigencies of making a living prevail.

A thought occurs however. Do you have a series of anecdotes about native rights lawyers? It is about time there was a film more intelligent than the recent "mob" inspired ones about a lawyer fighting for right. The last one I can think of starred James Stewart!!! I might (no promises) be able to source a producer, some finance, and a scriptwriter. One such story or more might have legs. Message me.


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: InOBU
Date: 03 Jan 00 - 10:36 PM

What timing, Genie has just arrived with dinner, so I will respond a bit now and a bit latter.
The first Roma arrived here in 1620, deported from Scandinavia to Maryland. The biggest migration came during the 1850s - 1906 or so. There are about one million here, and they live a completely separate existence, having their own language and courts, and are more of a cultural isolate than in most other places. There is potentialy 90 per cent illiteracy among them, though it is imposible to come up with an accurate number as they do not answer surveys. My work was to provide a road in to main stream society without forced assimilation under the legal device, that they had been denyed citizenship by both de jure and de facto law until recently (several counties in the varrious states still outlaw the presence of even US born Roma, though this is clearly unconstitutional)- that they are an encapsulated nation, like Natives and we should recognise their very complex formal government and then help provide them with what they need to come out of the margins...
Genie is getting impatient!
The quote is about thugs, is from Father Des Wilson
Och... time to eat... Ill be back later... and dig out the Doherty brief for the cites...
all the best
Larry


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Brendy
Date: 03 Jan 00 - 10:41 PM

You haven't really just got it to yourselves Richard, and truth be known you did say earlier on that you were going to be too busy to continue this discussion.
But WIPO and emergent nations notwithstanding, this thread was about Bobby Sands.
Debating, and the posession of awards for it does not make your argument any more valid.
Further up this page - way up there somewhere, you said that you didn't hold up much hope for the Peace process, and we know that you do not recognise the legitimacy of the IRA.
Give us your solution Richard. Tell us how you would manage it.
There is one fundemental weakness in your argument. You believe it too much. I'm sure you're an intelligent bloke (and I'm not being condescending here), you speak and think, for the most part, intelligently.
But sometimes black is white, and conditioning to one point of view makes it even more difficult to accept the arguments of others.
Too many English people feel that they have to support the actions of their govts. In these days of compensation being paid to survivors of the Haulocaust, The German and Japanese govts. apologising for their conduct in WW2, I think the psychological damage that would be done to ones sense of patriotism and country would be a very deep one if the English govt. had to make similar compensation to India, for example. Or Bangladesh maybe, where the overcultivation of the tea plant is one of the main reasons why the country is gradually washing out into the Bay of Bengal
Don't judge us Richard, Dave, Bev, and others. We are only playing by the rules that were laid down for us, not by you personally, but by Kings and govts. down through the centuries.
Please don't feel as if you have to defend something which you had no part in instigating. But tell me one thing. Do you think it was right that England had such a progressive foreign policy?. If you answer yes to that, well, we don't have too much to talk about then on issues such as these.
If on the other hand you disagree, well then lets take that a bit further. If England had not converted God into a bullet and shot him into the hearts of men and women, maybe we wouldn't have half the wars in the world as it is. Don't you see that the IRA is England's legacy. You (metaphorically) gave birth to that monster.
Live with it. No. Do something about it. Saying that England never 'declared' war on the North must be one of the most ill-informed statements so far this millenium.
What have the SAS been doing then crawling aroung our back garden then?. Why did the RUC beat the shit out of the folks at Burntollet, the Paras kill them in Derry, the 'death squads' of the RUC/UVF set up 'road blocks' dressed as policemen. Come on Richard what were they doing?
The difference between the IRA and the likes of the UVF etc. is that the UVF etc. are committed to the extermination of the Catholic population. The IRA have made no such targets of the Protestants, nor the English peole in general people. Imagine if the IRA adopted those tactics as an integral part of their cause.
Try and look it a wee bit from our side. I want peace there like everyone else who has been touched by our 'normality', but I also want justice.
Please let this one go, because any other discussion on this matter will not solve anything, as long as an un-willingness to accept that the other's argument has some validity exists. I hope I have enticed you into the idea of re-evaluating your angle on all of this. Is there any possibility that your government, and their masters, have been feeding the English people dis-information for years? If you accept that, then there are grounds for reasonable doubt. Breandán


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Big Mick
Date: 03 Jan 00 - 11:17 PM

Richard, I have been lurking because I have enjoyed the fascinating discussion between yourself and Larry. As I read Brendy's post I believe the central theme of it is correct. There is no need for further debate between us on this thread as our relative positions are fairly well laid out. But let me add this. Some time back I reacted to a UK 'Catter whose nom de guerre was Sapper. And he and another UK 'Catter by the name of Penny caused me to reflect and realize that righteous indignation is a huge impediment to understanding. And lack of interest in and understanding of the other side's position leads to continued conflict. And in this case, that means more bodies. The time has come for that to end. And for that to happen, the finger pointing must stop. We could all sit here using the classic tactics of a demogogue and tell stories to justify our positions. But in the end, that will not serve the cause of peace. The thread started as a discussion of Bobby Sands and the circumstances that spawned his, and the others, act of supreme committment to a cause. It has served its purpose and you have been an important part of that. Thanks.

Big Mick


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Ringer
Date: 04 Jan 00 - 07:53 AM

Brendy:
I'm afraid that you can't argue on the grounds that "conditioning to one point of view makes it even more difficult to accept the arguments of others". Because, of course, you, too, are conditioned, albeit differently (as am I). So that argument destroys the validity of all argument, and so must be rejected.

The discussion must be about the relevant merits of different points of view.


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Blackcat2
Date: 04 Jan 00 - 10:09 AM

Greetings all

I've continued to read the conversation in this thread, though because I have a limited knowledge of the issues that have been discussed in the past few days, I've not added anything myself.

I'm all for thread creep - certainly most of what has been discussed here is fascinating and important - just outside my knowledge base. I'm learning though. Thank you all for your comments.

I realize that the issues discussed are far more personal to others on this list than they ever could be to me. I am an American of most English and German ancestry but that ancestry goes back to Europe 250 - 350 years ago. Consequently my ancestors have been "American" for many generations and I have no "blood" ties with Europe. I look to England and Germany without much difference than I do Peru or Kenya. I do have a connection to Ireland - I fell in love with it's music years ago and because music is such an expression of culture - I fell in love with it's people as well. So I've learned a lot in 20 years. But, because of my non-personal connection and also because of my educational background I feel as though I am able to stay away from the personal reactions so many fall into (as do I on other issues such as religious freedom & civil rights in the U.S.)

I added my comments to this thread because of the original posting - basically musing over Bobby Sands and the other hunger strikers attempts to gain the last bit of freedom allowed them.

Thank you for this discussion. It has been very enlightening. It is scary though, that so many (not just on this list) feel that the many people in Northern Ireland who have committed acts of violence have done so "gleefully"(my word) instead of because they saw it as a last resort. To assume that a group of people who are different from you, happily take the lives of your bretheren without any significant reason. is an act of dehumanization, and as far as I'm concerned, actually contributes to the continuance of violence.

If I am treated like an animal, I will eventually act like one. If I am treated as a human being - with any luck I'll rise to the challenge.

To me, one of the worse things about war - any war - even as Studs Turkel named WWII, "The Good War" is the dehumanization of the enemy. One of the only ways to get people to kill is to make them believe that their enemy is sub-human. I don't know if anyone on the list is of Japanese heritage and was or has family who were interned in the U.S. during WWII, but if there is, I'm sure they could certainly speak from that perspective.

Peace to all and here's to equal rights for all in Northern Ireland as well as everywhere else (my own neighborhood included).

pax yall


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Hasek
Date: 04 Jan 00 - 01:47 PM

To all a thread worthy of the communication it brought to individuals like myself. It truly opened my mind to issues and dialogue amongst passionate people the world over. Though , I am not a religious individual " , God Bless ALL of you , your views , and in the Voice of William Kunstler " Let the world know that tolerance of injustice is wrong ". Regards, Mike Strobel


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: JedMarum
Date: 04 Jan 00 - 02:59 PM

Seems to me Kuntsler was intollerant of justice ... he made a career of fighting against those who enforce justice. He was an extreme egotist, as OBU's story points out, and seemed to believe that any fight against the state was a good fight, as long as it was against the 'powers that be' - a self styled 'freedom fighter' who knew that those in power are always wrong, and that they are always deceitful. He was a bigot, not the kind we usually think of when we hear that word, but equally intollerant. Intollerant of social systems and methods of our modern Western civilizations and the people who support those systems. As you can guess; he was/is not one of my favorites!


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From:
Date: 04 Jan 00 - 03:23 PM

>Dave, the expressions of dislike are found in such statments as how can you wish us peace etc... If those statements were missinterpreted, my appologies. I accept fully that you wish well, and send back the same.

I was simply asking you a question, how can you wish me peace if you support or have supported a terrorist organisation. If you do not support the terrorists then fair enough. I'll wish you peace anyway, whatever the circumstances.

>In fact, there would have been a nationalist majority in the north decades ago, by the birth rate alone, but for the extrodinary discrimination, so democracy has not occured in a vacume -

Oh? That's an interesting statement. Prove it. Protestant migration out of NI has been quite high as well. Indeed, I left NI two years ago myself - I now work in Bournemouth on the south coast of England. I will go back to NI at some point, but not for a while.

BTW I remember reading an article in the Belfast Telegraph a while back. It said that the latest demographic figures show a large decline in the catholic birthrate in NI. So much so that it is reckoned that catholics may actually never reach a majority. NI will probably end up evenly balanced between Protestants and Catholics. Having said that, support for a United Ireland is actually only about 35% or so in Northern Ireland.

>both censorship (I am shocked that you dont accept that there is censorship in England and Ireland! Did you read the Stalker Report yet?) and forced migration has played a role. This forced migration is one reason why the political difference between the Irish community in England and the US - victems of British prejudice came here.

And the million and a half Irish citizens living on the mainland UK? Don't forget that last numbers of Irish emigrated to the UK mainland after the famine.

>Well, two days into the new millenium and the system seems to still be working, so lets be a little hopeful that progress is possible. As Lawrence Olivier said to aspire to our tallents and work with our failures, lets be inspired by our shared musical traditions and use our disscussion of our differences to grow. All the best Larry

Progress has been made. The people of NI are governing themselves for the good of all the people in NI (the words of David Trimble spring to mind: "A pluralist parliment for a pluralist people"). The ROI has dropped its offensive and immoral claim on NI, and soon the terrorists will start disarming.

However, on to another point re The Stalker Report: if there was really a shoot-to-kill policy, do you think that there would be a lot more dead terrorists about? NB Stalker never found any evidence of a shoot-to-kill poilicy (source Jack Holland: Hope Against History, The Ulster Conflict, Hodder & Stoughton, 1999).

Anyway, this thread seems to be drawing to a course (perhaps fortunately, as mudcat is not a place for a political discussion like this). So unless someone has a question or anything I consider this to be my last post on the subject.

Regards, Dave


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Brendy
Date: 04 Jan 00 - 03:29 PM

Hold on there Bald Eagle!
My conditioning is based on what I experienced, yours is purely by what you were told. That's my point.
Like it or not I, now, have grown out of my bias to some degree, so I'm not as prejudiced as I was, say 20 - 25 years ago. I can see now how we were all fooled.
We were kept away from our working class comrades on the other side of the political divide to suit a more sinister purpose of the English govt. in general and NATO in particular, to keep BOTH sides down and play on their fears while they got on with manning the North Eastern approaches.
As I say, my conditioning is different, and as a result I am much more aware about such things. Things that you never see in the newspapers or on TV.
B.


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Big Mick
Date: 04 Jan 00 - 04:16 PM

Dave, once again I would point out that I really enjoy the way you argue your points. I had wanted to let this one run its course which is why I have tried to stay back and read the fascinating dialogue between yourself and Larry. But I am going to take issue with you on one point. The Mudcat is exactly the place to discuss politics. Those that would leave politics out of a folk music discussion forum would doom us to a very sterile version of music. A very large percentage of folk music is of the protest or "commentary" type. Music has been used from the beginning to make political statements. Woody Gutherie's "This Land" was written as a protest against Irving Berlin's music. This is exactly the right place to discuss this type of thing. We don't subject those that choose not to be involved to our arguments, and we get very informed discussion as this thread proves. Imagine if Sean Tyrell with his "12th of July" or Tommy Sands with his "There Were Roses" felt as though politics shouldn't be part of the discussion. Make folks uncomfortable??.............I say "Good!!" . Then we are accomplishing something. We are making ourselves and others who choose to take part examine their own notions. That is a good thing in my estimation.

All the Best,

Mick


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Blackcat2
Date: 04 Jan 00 - 04:25 PM

This from a post a couple ones up: "The ROI has dropped its offensive and immoral claim on NI"

Little has bothered me on the idea of people's opinions but this does.

Does this presuppose that God gave the U.K. the right to invade, usurp and populate N.I. and that everyone should shut up and leave them alone?

I'm not saying that the ROI HAS a right to claim N.I. - I'm just saying that their claim is not all that unreasonable. and it is an insult to the intelligence of the Irish people to say such a thing. With people using such inflamatory language it is a wonder that the peace process has progressed at all.


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Hasek
Date: 04 Jan 00 - 04:39 PM

Music with out politics ( in my own opinion and song writing and performances ) lacks a strong ingredient. In my life the song represents the struggle and the voice is the tool to let it be heard !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Mike Strobel


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 04 Jan 00 - 04:53 PM

I am more pressed for time so this will be short. I am going to have to come back to the central issue - what did Sands achieve, and was he hero or villain, soon.

But right now I do want to say that having thought quite a lot about it while driving back and forth to visit my wife in hospital over the last few days (funny how the human mind turns things over while apparently doing something else), I do feel that this thread is more than just another BS thread. Like disco music in pop and rock, Irish music has come to occupy a huge part of the stage of folk music. We should try to understand the songs we sing. We should even try to understand the songs we don't sing (and I don't sing many Irish songs, partly because I don't agree with many of them, and partly because I could understand the rage of an Irishman who found an Englishman born into the upper middle classes occupying not just his homeland but also his music. So, although the impish glee of "the Old Alarm Clock" makes it an attractive song, I avoid it. Comparably I would never sing "Champion he was a dandy (a/k/a the twenty pound dog)". I abhor dog-fighting.

So it is important to folk music to get to grips with it. And because of the importance of Irish folk music to folk music generally (a flute and whistle player I know, who although an upper-middle class Englishman also owns a cafe in the West of the ROI once infuriated an Irishman who objected to him, an Englishman, playing Irish tunes by riposting that Irish music was too important to be left to the Irish) it is important for all folkers to understand the English conquest of Ireland and its consequences. Some songs we may sing as a result. I certainly am not afraid to play (I have not the tenor to sing) "Young Ned of the Hill". If I were good enough I could do "the Praties they were small". I do not support the Cromwellian occupation or the boycott.

So this thread is important to the music, and so it has a place here.


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: InOBU
Date: 04 Jan 00 - 05:22 PM

Dear Richard: My band will be ariving for a rehearsal in a few moments, so I will be very brief. First and most important, you and your wife have my wife and my best wishes and prayers for her quick recovery. I hope it is nothing serrious.
As to Liam Devlin and his accusing Bill of being anti governemnt and a biggot... I have to answer that. Bill was a Captain in the US Marine core and almost lost his arm, and in fact his life, fighting off an attack by a Japanese soldier who was armed with a bayonett while Bill was unarmed. He expressed his hopes and love for his country the way a good parent does for a child, by challenging that child to be better, as should every citizen. While on an airplane once, he was simmalarly verbally attacked, and an older gentleman rose to his defence, and asked him to change his seat and sit next to him. It was one of the conceservative Supreme Court judges - which one I forget. Bill did more for his country than many of us ever will have an opportunity to have done, if only to be a voice for those who the majority sees as pariahs. Those who knew Bill, and I expect more than a few who read this did, as he was a great fan of traditional music - know that as he walked the streets strangers from those racialised and hated groups would come up to him and recieve the Kunstler bear hug. His was a legacy of love in the face of hate.
For those who complain that this particular post has grown too long, I am ending with my e-mail address for Richard, and any others who have spesific points on this all.
Got to run, Again, Bet well soon Mrs. Bridge.
Larry Otway InOBU@aol.com


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 04 Jan 00 - 05:55 PM

For anyone who appreciates impassioned and articulate (for the most part) writing, this has been a fascinating thread. Thank you for having the nerve to keep it alive. I've learned a great deal by listening to both (all) sides

Rick


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 04 Jan 00 - 06:21 PM

Blackcat, I respectfully suggest that after almost 400 years it is not the ROI who might have a claim on Northern Ireland, but rather the people of Northenr Ireland.

THe ROI would be an invader.

As would the English if we sought to re-take Calais.


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: JedMarum
Date: 04 Jan 00 - 06:39 PM

Larry - actually I don't doubt Bill Kuntsler's bravery during his military career, nor his good intentions for his country. Maybe my judgemental comments above were a bit harsh. Let me try again, in a more positive light. I think Bill had a 'question authority' attitude, I recognize this in him, since I have a 'question all' attitude myself.

I mean Bill no ill-will. I know he did good for our country, as well. It may be that his public persona was harder and more bitter the real man, and that public persona is what my comments were based on. So I would ammend my comments to say that it appeared to me that Bill's relentless pursuit of anti-authority issues made me suspect they were based upon personal bitterness, rather than altruism. I could be wrong. I hope I am. Maybe ... I was playing the devil's advocate myself, just a bit ....

Anyway to all, this has been a good thread. Deep, thought provocing and, frankly, deeply disturbing. I thank all for your thoughts. I wish we had solved something here, but I know we can't ... still I walk away with a deeper understanding ... and I still pray that all of this discussion was academic because the pending and promising peace takes root.


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Brendy
Date: 04 Jan 00 - 08:01 PM

And Richard I would respectfullly suggest that it is the Irish, no matter what their religion, are the only ones who have a claim on Ireland.
A good part of a lot of the 'anti - Irish' point of view in this thread pre-supposes that it is England (The United Kingdom is a perverse description, long outdated, and no longer relevant) who has the claim on us.
This is exactly the conditioning that I am talking about. And attitudes have to change in that department, where people stop thinking and acting superior to others as if it was theirs by Divine Right.
Was Bobby Sands a terrorist?
If he was, England made him that way.
B.


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: remi from Paris
Date: 04 Jan 00 - 09:38 PM

An answer to Phil Hatton : In 98' I heard a song in the podoir O'Donnell in derry that was -they said- written by Bobby Sands. Can't remember the title. A line said :

but you gave your sons and daughters the sense of liberty

all I can do for you...


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: InOBU
Date: 04 Jan 00 - 11:22 PM

CITATION: 599 F. Supp. 270 Here is the cite and a few quotes from Doherty v US. If anyone wants the whole case, e-mail me at InOBU@AOL.COM
Sorry for the delay
IN THE MATTER OF THE REQUESTED EXTRADITION OF JOSEPH PATRICK THOMAS DOHERTY BY THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED KINGDOM OF GREAT BRITAIN AND NORTHERN IRELAND

No. 83 Cr. Misc. 1

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK

599 F. Supp. 270; 1984 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 21294

December 12, 1984


The Court is not unmindful of the fact that it would be most unwise as a matter of policy to extend the benefit of the political offense exception to every fanatic group or individual with loosely defined political objectives who commit acts of violence in the name of those so called political objectives. Therefore it is proper for the Court to consider the nature of an organization, its structure, and its mode of internal discipline, in deciding whether the act of its members can constitute political conduct under an appropriate interpretation of the Treaty.

However, the PIRA, as the evidence showed, while it may be a radical offshoot of the traditional Irish Republican Army, has both an organization, discipline, and command structure that distinguishes it from more amorphous groups such as the Black Liberation Army or the Red Brigade. Indeed, as the testimony established, its discipline and command structure operates even after its members are imprisoned [**16] and indeed, as Doherty testified, it was at the direction of the PIRA that he escaped and then came to the United States. See Tr. at 650-73, 830; see also In Re Mackin, supra, 80 Cr.Misc. 1 at 78-80. ....
n2 While the Court is not persuaded that the methods and objectives of the PIRA are in fact shared by a majority of the people in Ireland, or indeed by a majority of the Catholics in Northern Ireland, that circumstance is not dispositive of the issue of whether respondent, as a member of that group, is entitled to rely upon the political offense exception to the Treaty. Indeed, at the time of the American Revolution, there were a large number of colonists who not only desired a continued union with England, but regarded the thought of armed opposition to the Crown as both treasonous and abhorrent. See, e.g., J. R. Alden, The American Revolution 1775-1783 (1954); S. E. Morison, The Oxford History of the American People (1905); C. H. Van Tyne, Loyalists in American Revolution (1902). Many loyalists suffered the consequences of these beliefs both before and after independence. Given the nature of that history it would indeed be anomalous for an American court to conclude that the absence of a political consensus for armed resistance in itself deprives such resistance of its political character. ...
In sum, the Court concludes for the reasons given that respondent's participation in the military ambush which resulted in Captain Westmacott's death was an offense political in character. The Court further concludes that his escape from Crumlin Road prison, organized and planned as the evidence established that it was, under the direction of the PIRA and to effect its purposes rather than those of Doherty himself, was also political. That conduct and all of the various and sundry charges which are connected therewith and for which extradition is sought are not extraditable offenses under Article V(1)(c)(i) of the Treaty. n7 The request for extradition is therefore denied.
All the best wishes
Larry


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: InOBU
Date: 04 Jan 00 - 11:29 PM

Liam, :
I know you have no ill wishes for Bill, and if you did, it is too late, as he is above us all, looking down, and chuckling. There was a particularly mean spirited heckler at his funeral, who, I found, was very abusive about Bill as a supporter of draft resisters, though he had himself never been in uniform , of a varity of other issues, and worst of all was screaming at those of us who filled St. Johns Cathedral to burry Bill. I finaly said to him that it was actualy good Bill died before the fellow heckling did, and he asked why, I told him Bill would argue his case in case his eternal sentence was not so much the upper lodgings as the lower ones...
Bill had thick skin, as all of us who confront the tyrony of governments in all the nations we love.
Thanks for the interest in this post, Liam, and good new year.
Larry


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Ringer
Date: 05 Jan 00 - 05:32 AM

Brendy: I repeat that you can't discount any argument on the grounds that the person making that argument is conditioned. He merely has to reply that you are only saying that because you are conditioned, and that's not just the end of that argument, but the end of all argument. Unless argument/discussion is based on the respective merits of the different points of view, then we all might as well pack up and go home.

That our points of view are determined by, amongs other things, our conditioning, is a completely different matter and is not one that I reject.


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: GeorgeH
Date: 05 Jan 00 - 01:04 PM

Can I propose a new prefix for Mudcat? A suitable abbreviation for "Republican Propaganda", please. Because so much of what appears as reasoned argument in this thread (no, I've not read every article here) is, in fact, propagandist. Mainly by selection of facts, but also by lack of context. To take just a couple of points from the tale of this thread:

US court rulings reflect the reality of US society, where the Irish ex-pats are a significant influence; whatever the US court may claim it perfectly possible to argue that its distinction between the PIRA and the Red Brigades is a bogus convenience for pandering to the political realities of the USA. (Actually, I accept the political motivation of the IRA and - as a non-lawyer - would expect this to invalidate extradition under many such agreements. But would say the same arguments apply to the Red Brigades.)

Even if we accept Ireland as the "Land of the Irish" (whoever they may be) rather than an extension of England, that does nothing to legitimise the IRA or their political aims.

And - to return to an early comment which particularly irritated - only the lunatic fringe of the terrorists' supporters have ever claimed they should be regarded as Prisoners of War . . Within the frameworks which recognise the concept of Prisoners of War there's never been a war in Ireland - though it suited the British to so describe the so-called "civil war" between the Free-State and the Republicans, as doing so allowed them to wash their hands of the "semi-judicial" murders of Republicans by the Free State.

Yes, the British have screwed up just about everything they've done on/in Ireland, for as far back as you care to go. However that OF ITSELF does not in any way LEGITIMISE either the actions or the objectives of the PIRA.

But there is simply too much misunderstanding (of facts, and of background) and downright nonsense in this thread - from so many different angles - to even begin to deal with it. However, to return to the original post; whatever else, Bobby Sands was a man of remarkable courage, and his self-sacrifice did have a significant effect (but remember the Hunger Strikes were a characteristic of both the Republican and the Loyalist prisoners/internees.

G.


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Hasek
Date: 05 Jan 00 - 01:14 PM

Dear G. Your last sentence was and is the only part of your post , I agree with. Please read all OF THE POSTS TO THIS THREAD in an effort to understand all issues and view points. It's a remarkable thread !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mike Strobel


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: InOBU
Date: 05 Jan 00 - 01:40 PM

Hi GeorgeH:
Good to see you back! US courts,are a nuetral environemnt, wherein the government of GB made its best arguement the IRA Vol. Joe Doherty was a member of a terrorist group, and therefore extradictable. A judge who is much more concervitive than I will ever be, listened to months of testimony and read boxes of submitted materials, and ruled as he did in the post above. To say that this is an examination of Republican Propaganda hardly justifies comment. I dont think that United States Federal District Court Judges, appointed by the President of the United States and ratified by the Congress of the United States to a possition of life long tenure are often - if ever - advocates of radical politics. To show that he ruled against his inculturation, he made a quip to several of us, durring another case, after a piece of reporting from the NY Times, that we should be happy that particular incident did not happen before the Doherty case, and in that comment we see the difference between wieghing all the facts in court and what we read in the news. However, a good judge, studies the facts presented uncolored by the less than careful reporting of the news (especially when reporting on Ireland often comes through the coloring of British Intellegence, as is attested to by British Intellegnce member retired, Frank Holroyd).
As always good to hear from you, in the New Year.
All the best
Larry


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: JedMarum
Date: 05 Jan 00 - 01:52 PM

chuckle ... the thread that wouldn't die!


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: InOBU
Date: 05 Jan 00 - 05:07 PM

Liam
If old Bill were here, he would answer the tread that woulnd t die, with, - like the light of truth and freedom.
By the way, are you related to the Pavee Devlins - as in Bernadette? Some great musicians there!
Slan go foil
Larry


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Sep 04 - 07:07 AM

I may not be Irish but I believe that Bobby Sands is not a terrorist.According to my opinion terrorists are all those who provoke and give birth to the so called "terrorists".In this case if the British hadn't caused that much pain and sorrow in the Ulster area we would'nt have all these incidents.Why doesn't anyone call
George Bush or Donald Rumsfeld terrorists?


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: GUEST,Nick O'Neil
Date: 20 Mar 11 - 05:53 PM

As one who lost a nephew Jonathan Ball (age 3) to a bomb placed by these murderous thugs that you call "soldiers," in a Belfast market bombing, let me tell you that those imprisoned in the Maze were killers of 2,000 innocent men, women and children in an attempt - not to unite Ireland - but to impose a Marxist government on it (as in the Sinn Fein manifesto.) My little nephew was toddling on his little chubby legs to buy a Mother's Day card for my sister. Along with other children, he was blown apart. In a similar outrage in Warrington, the IRA set a bomb in a trash can outside a favorite kids' eatery, and a second one timed to catch those fleeing the first - more dead kids and innocent women and men.

The Czech Semtex used in IRA bombs came from Libya, bought by money collected in Irish-Amereican pubs, bars and clubs in the New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago etc. Michael Hensall, Bishop of Warrington, said: "Pictures should be sent to America and people there told 'this is what some of you are funding. Look at it. See what you have done.'"

So don't give me your rubbish about how the IRA represent the Republic of Ireland. They have been illegal from the very formation of the Republic in 1922. Eamon deValera, no lover of Britain, used to hang IRA members as enemies of the state (ironically, he used the official British hangman!) Every single Irish Prime Minister has condemned the IRA, and the majority of Irish regard them as thugs, murderers and Mafiosi. Most of them are not even Irish; they are from the six counties that form Northern Ireland, recognized by every country on earth as part of the United Kingdom.

The prisoners in the Maze were not "political prisoners" - men imprisoned for their political beliefs - they were there because they committed murder, arson, torture and maiming, and witness intimidation - violent offenses illegal in any civilized country. As common prisoners they were required to wear prison clothing during the day, but WERE ALLOWED TO WEAR THEIR OWN CIVILIAN CLOTHING AFTER WORK HOURS, AND DURING THE DAY WHEN RECEIVING VISITORS. They took their case to be treated as "special case" (i.e. political) prisoners to the European Court of Human Rights, which ruled that they did not qualify for any special treatment or classification.

Sands was convicted of several weapons offenses, including possession of a gun used to fire at police. First conviction 1972; five years. On release in 1976 (one year off) he returned to the same criminal activity, being involved in one bombing. Leaving behind two wounded confederates (brave of him) after a gun battle with police, he and three others tried to escape by car, but were cought. His printes were on one of the guns in the car. This time he got 14 years. Some hero.

Example of the other hunger strikers are just as ghastly:

Sean McKenna: 21 offences, including attempted cop killing, kidnapping, hijacking, possession of firearms and explosives, intimidation of witnesses - all in 13 months. April 10, 1972, he and his buddies hijacked a car at gunpoint, shot at a policeman and policewoman, wounding the male. At his triel, he said: "I didn't think I had killed the policeman ... I intended to kill him." But this piece of dirt was just getting warmed up. Ordered to kill a member of the Ulster Volunteer Force in Newry: "We hijacked a car and drove to the house where I thought he lived. I asked the girl for her husband and fired three shots into him. Then we drove to the Border Inn and had a few drinks. I found out that I'd shot the wrong man."

John Nixon: Armed robbery and possession of arms;
Tom McFeeley: Ditto
Tommy McKearney: Murder of a part-time cop;
Raymond McCartney: Murder of DuPont executive Jeffrey Agate and a cop;
Leo Green: Cop killing;
Brendan Hughes: Firearms possession.
And on the list goes. Murder, arson (one was imprisoned for killing an elderly woman in the shop he firebombed). As Sean O'Casey said: "They live to kill and they kill to live."

Want to hear the ultimate irony? The first hunger strike deaths were in 1940, when seven prisoners went on hunger strike IN DUBLIN'S MOUNTJOY PRISON, BECAUSE THE REPUBLIC'S DEVALERA WOULDN'T ACCORD THEM POLITICAL PRISONER STATUS. Two of them, Tony D'Arcy and John McNeela, died after 51 and 54 days, respectively. :)


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Richie Black (misused acct, bad email)
Date: 20 Mar 11 - 06:00 PM

I see the new crop of "Guests" have arrived on this thread. should be closed as it started out asking a simple music question.


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: GUEST,Alan Whittle
Date: 20 Mar 11 - 09:55 PM

I'm not sure this thread was ever about music. Not the initial post. The intial post seems to be about Bobby Sands and his achievement and how it should be measured.

There seems to be a measure of disagreement about that. Doubt if we'll sort it out here, or change anyone's opinion. I can't see much profit for anyone in sensibilities being outraged by this thread.

We disagree. People have, for a while at least stopped killing each other over these grave matters. I can't see that an outbreak of violent argument and insult (even in the rough and tumble of Mudcat debate) is desirable.

Lets just hope we can put our unfortunate past far behind us.


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: GUEST,Tim O'Neil
Date: 20 Mar 11 - 10:34 PM

Nick sorry for your loss! Might I suggest you read up on your history, particularly the Cromwellian years during the days innocent women and children were butchered seeking refuge inside church walls and the famine years when England attempt the mass extermination of the irish race. I think then you might have a better understanding of who were actually the original perpetrators of the term " terrorists"!


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: ollaimh
Date: 21 Mar 11 - 12:33 AM

ah yes the old right wing crank richard bridges is back obsfucating at his best. if he's a lawyer as suggested i not in cape breton the pronouciation of liar and lawyer are almost identical.

i note he has routinely defended the killing of peacefullcivilians by the british army on bloody sunday but finds it teribel and wothy of condemnation that the ira killed innocent civilians. there's the old bigot not seeing the sauce for the gander and and goose/

i am a pacifist for life, but there is no ethical or moral difference between the ira and the americasn revolutionaries. or the south african freedom fighters under nelson mandela--something mandela siad hinself.

bobby sands may have used tactic i wouldn't but he lived by his principles, and he died by his principles.

therte was a recent documentasry on cbc about the gorta mor--the great hunger. british people who have these thing c3nsored should try to see it on line. it was a clear cut genocide of convience to the welth landowners and their alles. landlords who got thier land through a series of military events over three hundred years disposssing the native population. after ireland the british empire took the show on the road if i may quote gore vidal. they "practiced genocide in ireland then took the show on the road and ended up on the california coast all dressed up for empire and no one left to kill."

there is a great book of essays about the dispossession of natives in north america also called "the dispossed" and a great book of gaelic poetry of the same name"an duanaire" to have an opinion on these things these are must reads. the sstory of the victums of dispossession and the power that ethniclly cleansed them--natives all--is riviting. it is the story of laissez faire capityalism. the story of the neo con "market capitlists" the story of the miltary industrial complex. they are all one powerfull heartless and greed driven movement in history that has driven us to the brink of extinction through enviornmental ignorance and ddestyruction. all one theme that is often ignored.

i point out one more poetic/spiritual connection. to ancient celts, at least in our gaidhlig ledgends in ole cape breton--such as they survive--starvation is a shamefull end. beyond redemption. however there is one exception. to enact permanent dioglais(vengence) on an enemy you can do it by starving yourself to death a the enemy's front gate. then your soul will become a demon that will curse them for eons. i love the symbolism of the starving irish at the front gate of the empire. and the same for bobby sands. starving at the british empires front gate.

as for remining a bit anonymous.well richard i doubt you have been assaulted by other folkies for speaking out about liberation of all peoples --well i have, on native american issues,,balck issues and gealic issues. i am getting old but i have always been prepared to defend my self. and luckily anglos are so cowardly in fisticuffs--in my experience--they will only go through with the threats if they out number you badly, and even then when you attack with vengence and all weapons blazing they run usually.however i try to avoid these situations as mch as possible, so i remain partially anonymous. i however state unequivocally i have been threatned in folk circles in toronto vancouver and london, and these have occasionally required me to throw a bar table into a crowd of anglos redneck to get out the door!!!!

i did thaqt in sasketchewan once as welll--that's another story i will tell one day

again i quote a black poets paraphrse--by an old busking bud in new york from back decades

" they don't come by ones, they ddon't come by threes they come by tens, they don't talk by ones they don't talk by threes they talk in hundreds, they don't kill by ones they they don't kill by tens they kill by thousands thousands and thousands"

so i try not to have to fight anymore than i have to. i was young when the esstern solicist alliance went campaigning for the organization of the nova scotia fishermens unon--we had to fight the best we could because the enemy was preparted to use violence and had state support for that violence. in a protest some of my georgian busker pals from decades ago got me into we had to fight the rednecks.and many irish have had to fight the abuse of violence supported by the state. in t he case of blody sunday openly supported by the military the courts and all levels of society for thrity years.however if i don't have to fight i don't, even if the threatning assholes are obvious chirpers who will back down if confronted. and i actually only had to duke it out a half dozen times in my wanderings. a good mad man agrtessive stance will get you out of most shit--and we highland wscotts are real goos at the madman agressive stance--people tell me i am terrifying when i start my conyrolled scream. so i like to lay low because the people who arte poassive ifots and the agressively violent anglo military capitalst state people don't pull any punches.

thse empires that kill so many, i point out are legal responsible and democratic governments. and i remain amazed and out raged that so many british on these lists hold anyone speaking out about irish oppression--or the oppression of the french in canadan is held responsible for every group fighting the opression, no matter how underground and no matter how un connected they are, while none of the britsh seem to think they haveanyperson responsibility for the deadly actions of their elected governments soldiers and secert services.

and finally rick fielding--i know people who respect you, but don't be an idiot. the main stream in ontario may be unaware of the massive historically injustices perpetrated by the british on the gaels, but you should know better--reaaaaaly. its not just those mad violent terrorist insanely and criminally fighting the sweet and just ethical state. the british state and the canadian state had killed many mnay minorites and expect no reprisals. i think canadian natives are among the most forgiving people on the planet and you should be gratefull for that. so are most irish.most anglo camadians and most british would stop at nothing , violence, war nuclear retaliation, if these things were dome to them.

the canadian native schools right now is going through a sham truth and reconcilliation commission on native schools. the anglican, protrstant, and catholic churtches with the authorization of the canadiasn state took native children from their patents, assumed legal guardianship and put then i shool that existed ntill th late seventies. there the average death rate was above fifty per cent right up untill the end. its no accident that native population has been booming since the residential schools have ended.and what was the official response? natives have to provide a written advance copy of their testimony to bureaucrats before they can testify--nastives who often come from wilderness traditional orasl cultures as far as tadoolie lake and rankin inlet. and they can;t name any names of the crimial perpetrators.what hypocracy!

this is not a digression.the same capitalist/military state that ethncally cleansed the hghlands and committed genocide in ireland created these schools, for the same reason--to dispossess the landholders on land wanted by the conquerors!!

there you have it
1. bobby sands was dedicated fighter for liberation and no more violent nor more murdeous of the innocent than the british army and secert sertvices. nor canadian army or secert services or indian affairs department
2. the sme empire ethnicallyn cleansed us highlanders and us french acadiens==remember le grand derangerment?? well you all should--that's when the british collected acadien allied natives' scalps for pay for several decades, thats when they deportd the settled acadiens without regard to famly unity nor for safety--almost a third died in the deportation year. and acadiens didn't get equal civil and human rights untill the sixties and seventies, under louis robichaud and piere trudeau--i like to say trudeau and robichaud promoted us to white folks!!

3 the british empire was not the most abusive nor violent in history, far from it, they were totally venial and greedy but they did have some tradition of human and civil rights, but they have no claim to any ethical nor any moral authority. they used state power to kill the innocent from the geraldine wars in munster--which killed three quarters of the population, to the great hunger--other european nations had a the potato blight and food riots, but not being the richest and most powerfull empire on earth they fed their citizens!!! to the north americamm genocde right up to residential schools, and to the paying bounties for native scalps by the british army in nova scotia to le grand derangement(the deportation of the acadiens. and including the massive civilain deaths in .

4 and finally some of us don't have the luxury of being part of the majority culture, and have to try to recude their exposure to the violence from the majority culture--in the folk scene and in civil rights and human rights battles. so we try to have a little anonymity. any who question that ought to answer when was the last time they got beat up with axc handles or chains by anglo rednecks fighting for corporations or even for white suprenists thugs? when you've ad that experience then criticize those who like a lttle protection--and not much. any one who reads all my psts can likey nfigure out who i am.


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Mar 11 - 07:18 AM

P.S. Nick
It should also be said....the existence of the IRA is directly related to the atrosities committed by the British Empire.

Good to hear from you Lor!


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Subject: bobby Sands son
From: GUEST,dezarahg
Date: 15 Aug 14 - 09:42 PM

Hello, I've been learning more about the acts of Bobby Sands and I adore his passion for his beliefs. Every one has a sole purpose in this life. However, I just don't understand his his son suffered the most, obviously having to be hidden his entire life to be protected, simply because of his father's core values. Nothing is ever mentioned of Gerad yet he's the only child? Are we supposed to believe that he's a chef? The irony in that is just crazy. Whomever must think that the supporters that live and carry on Bobbys very own beliefs and ideas are silly to not know. Why not let him be known? Gerad deserves to be his own person and not trapped with an identity crisis the rest of his life. Good Lord he's in his 30s he's suffered long enough also..


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Aug 14 - 06:12 AM

Should this thread not be in the bottom list?


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Aug 14 - 06:36 AM

One of the best songs to come out of this period is Mick Moloney's 'Ohara, Hughes, McCreesh and Sands.
I first heard it during the Willia Clancy Summer School sung by Seamus Mac Mathúna around the time of the events - powerful stuff
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 16 Aug 14 - 06:41 AM

I wonder if Bobby Sands' death made the lasting impact on the lives of his many supporters, at home and abroad, that it did on the dozens of grieving families of people who were killed on the streets of Belfast in the few days after his suicide.

My local MP, Don Concannon -went to BS's deathbed and begged him not to go through with it. Still if you adore his passion - knowing fully the mayhem it unleashed......you gotta admit his achievement was a bit nothing compared what the 9/11 guys achieved against the US.

one man's terrorist.....heh! heh! heh!

its funny how US perceptions of terrorism have changed now they are on the receiving end of all that adored passion.


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: michaelr
Date: 16 Aug 14 - 02:00 PM

Ouch.


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