Archive for the Police brutality Category

So You Think You Know Me? by Allan Weaver

Posted in Alex McGuigan, Police brutality, Reviews, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 17, 2018 by The Plough & The Stars

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Alan Weaver’s account of growing up in a working class estate will resonate with many and fascinate others. This book is neither a rags to riches nor Damascene conversion, it is the sometimes two steps forward, three steps back, progress that many of us have experienced in life. Weaver’s account of violence, prisons and personal trauma is not glamorised nor is it underplayed. Set in the West of Scotland, it is refreshingly free of the false consciousness of Tartanry or Kailyard themes, and readers will recognise familiar universal aspects of proletarian life.

Criminology departments and other branches of academia will undoubtedly utilise ‘So You Think You Know Me?’ There is personal redemption to be found in this account of alienation and brutalisation experienced by so many within our inegalitarian society. There is much dark humour in the recounting of Alan and his pals’ capers leading to their entry into the tender mercies of the classist criminal justice system.

So You Think You Know Me? has received consistent five star ratings on Amazon and it is available from most booksellers. Alan Weaver’s first book should definitely not be his last!

PSNI intrusion at Clonard Primary School ‘Offensive, Unauthorised and wrong’

Posted in Belfast, Irish Republican Socialism, IRSM, IRSP, Police brutality, PSNI/RUC, RUC/PSNI with tags , , , , , , , , on February 9, 2017 by The Plough & The Stars

Source: IRSP NEWS!

 

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PSNI on the offensive, at homes and schools

IRSP Lower Falls spokesperson Michael Kelly has said that the party has in recent days received numerous complaints from furious parents in the Clonard area, expressing concern at the decision of a local primary school to permit the PSNI/RUC to enter and ingratiate themselves with children during school hours. Despite children being allowed to handle dangerous equipment, (including riot gear), none of the parents concerned were consulted by the school.

This afternoon Kelly said ‘The IRSP understand and share the concern of these parents at the unauthorised exploitation of their children, which is frankly, offensive, unjustifiable and wrong, particularly given the wave of documented harassment operations which have been mounted against republican families in the streets around the school in recent times’. Accordingly we intend to seek a meeting with school authorities.

TARGETTED HARASSMENT OF CHILDREN BY THE PSNI

The PSNI have in recent times embarked upon a deliberate policy of stalking local school runs both in the morning and afternoon, with a view to harassing, searching, and isolating republican families from their neighbours.The homes of local children have also been stormed by heavily armed and aggressive PSNI swat teams leaving children traumatised and psychologically damaged. School authorities will be aware of these incidents as they have been well documented in the press. They should also be aware therefore that to allow the same armed thugs access to what should be a safe space for children, risks retraumatising the victims of politically motivated abuse and aggression.

SCHOOLS ARE FOR LEARNING, NOT BRITISH PROPAGANDA

The PSNI are engaged in an intense political propaganda offensive with a view to isolating the families and children of local Republican activists, this involves countering images of their armed oppression with imagery purporting to show concern for child welfare. This amounts to no less than the exploitation of local children for political ends. The IRSP opposes such despicable practices and asks the school authorities to reconsider the practice of granting such people access to children

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IRSP lower falls spokesperson, Michael Kelly.

Source: IRSP NEWS

Justice For The Craigavon Two -Fight This Miscarriage of Justice

Posted in Alex McGuigan, Belfast, campaigns, Collusion, Community, History, Human Rights, Imperialism, Internationalism, Internment, Ireland, Police brutality, Political prisoners, PR, PSNI/RUC, RUC/PSNI, Sectarianism, Solidarity, Stormont, Supergrass Trials, Sureveillance, The Craigavon Two with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 7, 2016 by The Plough & The Stars

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By now the gross miscarriage of justice visited upon two men, John-Paul Wooton (who when arrested was merely 17 years of age) and Brendan McConville should be reverberating around the world.  Both were hastily arrested following the shooting of a member of the local paramilitary police force, the PSNI/RUC.  Both were held illegally over the maximum limit of time of detention for questioning that the British government supposedly legislates for.  Both men, during detention following arrest, at their trial and post-conviction, that saw them both imprisoned for life, have consistently denied any involvement in the ‘crime’ they have been accused of.  Add into the mix the significant involvement of the shady operatives of the British intelligence agencies, flawed electronic surveillance and highly dubious witnesses and we have all the ingredients of yet another ‘fitting up’ of Irish people by the British establishment seeking a hasty arrest and conviction for their satisfaction.

As we have seen in the not too distant past, the British judiciary who along with the Legislature and Executive constitute ‘Government’ in the so-called Liberal Democratic model, although supposedly independent of each other, they are very far from it, not least their use of Diplock political trials.  A casual glance at Hansard, where one can read Lord Denning’s legal opinion regarding overturning clear miscarriages of justices, in the following quote he is referring to the Birmingham Six:

“Just consider the course of events if this action is allowed to proceed to trial. If the six men fail it will mean much time and money will have been expended to no good purpose. If the six men win, it will mean that the police are guilty of perjury, that they are guilty of violence and threats, that the confessions were invented and improperly admitted in evidence and the convictions were erroneous.

“This is such an appalling vista that every sensible person in the land would say that it cannot be right that these actions should go any further.”

This attitude is still clearly prevalent within the British judiciary and structurally the British government, which in short means that it is better to have innocent people imprisoned than for the public to become aware of miscarriages of justice.  So much for Liberal-Democracy’s supposed in built ‘checks and balances!’

 

Justice For the Craigavon Two Website

Perhaps the best resource for learning more about the gross miscarriage of justice against young John-Paul Wooton and Brendan Mcconville is the excellent campaigning website Justice for the Craigavon Two which has excellent details regarding the entire case, the PSNI/RUC abuses, the deviant involvement of British intelligence agencies, the farce of a trial and the latest in the campaign to free these two innocent men.  I have included an article from the website in the form of a letter from The Craigavon Two, which everyone should read closely and please share this appeal from two innocent men:

We Are Innocent!

On the 30th of March 2012 we, Brendan Mc Conville and John Paul Wootton, were convicted, and sentenced to spend the rest of our lives in prison, for the fatal shooting of Constable Steven Carroll in Craigavon on the 9th of March 2010.

While We fully understanding and empathise with the grief of the Carroll family and with no desire to exacerbate that grief, we wish to take this opportunity to state publicly that we have been convicted of something that we had nothing to do with, we are innocent and we do not believe that we received a fair hearing at our trial under a diplock court.

Further to this we also believe that Justice Girvan erred in his judgement of the information presented and convicted us more on the emotional and political furore created by the case than on the evidence presented. For this reason we have instructed our legal teams to appeal our convictions.

This appeal will centre on the following pieces of evidential information that were never fully dealt with by Justice Girvan, they are;

  • The prosecutions’ key witness, witness M, despite having a prescribed impairment of his sight, claimed that he seen Brendan Mc Conville at a distance that would be medical impossible,
  • It took witness M almost a year to come forward with this information and since that date he has been given anonymity and provided for in protective custody.
  • Witness M’s eye-witness account described Brendan as wearing a coat of a different style and colour from that presented by the prosecution,
  • This coat, recovered within hours of the shooting, was dry yet the weather conditions at the time  were rainy,
  • The forensic examination of this coat and the fire-arm recovered after the shooting did not match,
  • Although multiple sources of DNA were found on the coat only Brendans’ were followed up on,
  • A tracking device that had allegedly been planted on John Paul’s car by MI5 and was used as evidence to place us at the scene of the shooting, went ‘missing’ for a period of time, only to be returned in an altered state and “with data missing”,
  • Although the assault rifle and several rounds of ammunition used in the shooting were recovered no forensic link was made with either of us.

In short a case that placed us at the scene and attributed any role to us was never made, let alone proven. Rather, because the PSNI/MI5 were under so much pressure to obtain a conviction, evidence was constructed and altered to ‘fit the case’ and not examined as pieces of information that could prove or disprove our innocence.

Hopefully this miscarriage of justice can be over turned at our appeal and this nightmare of suffering for us and our families ended. However, after the experience we have already had we do not have a great deal of confidence in the criminal justice system, hence, we are asking you, the public, to follow the course of our appeal and to see for yourself the manner in which information is dealt with and how ‘justice’ is being administered in your name. Let’s not wait 15 – 20 years to deal with a miscarriage of justice, let us do so now,

Yours

Brendan Mc Conville and John Paul Wootton.

Maghaberry Jail Co. Antrim

 

 

Please share, visit the campaign website and ask what you can do to help!  You could be next!

Alex Mcguigan

 

 

 

 

The RUC’s Forced Confessions in Ireland

Posted in Police brutality, PSNI/RUC, RUC/PSNI with tags , , , , , , , on November 1, 2014 by The Plough & The Stars

Video Source: The Guardian

An RUC interrogator speaks: Northern Ireland’s forced confessions revealed

“Hundreds of men and women found guilty of terrorism during the Troubles in Northern Ireland are planning to appeal. Most of them were convicted on the basis of confessions they say were beaten out of them by police. A Guardian investigation has uncovered evidence from former police interrogators that the brutality was routine and sanctioned at a very high level.”

Different name, same aim!

Miriam Daly Irish Republican Socialist Martyr

Posted in 'The Troubles, Alex McGuigan, Armed Struggle, Belfast, Class Solidarity, Collusion, Commemoration, Community, death squads, Dublin IRSP, Fallen Comrades, Feminism, History, Human Rights, Hunger Strikes, Imperialism, INLA, International socialism, Internationalism, Internment, Ireland, Irish National Liberation Army, Irish Republican Socialism, IRSCNA, IRSM, IRSP, James Connolly, Long kesh, Loyalism, Miriam Daly, Murals, Police brutality, Political prisoners, Primacy of politics, Proletariat, PSNI/RUC, Ronnie Bunting, RUC/PSNI, Seamus Costello, Sectarianism, Socialism, Solidarity, State sponsored murder, Thatcher, The founding of the IRSM with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 19, 2013 by The Plough & The Stars

Miriam Daly, an Irish Republican Socialist activist, was callously murdered in her home in Andersonstown, West Belfast, shot dead by a pro-British death-squad on the 26th June, 1980.  She was a founding member of the Irish Republican Socialist Movement a dedicated Republican activist and a highly qualified academic who at the time of her brutal murder by the armed agents of imperialism was a much respected lecturer at Queens University Belfast (QUB) Department of Economic and Social History.

Miriam’s Background

Miriam Daly grew up in Dublin in the South-East of Ireland, attended University College Dublin (UCD) as both an undergraduate then a postgraduate student and subsequently became a member of the academic staff, lecturing in Economic History. Miriam’s first husband, Dr Joseph Lee died tragically of a heart attack aged only 37, leaving Miriam a young widow. Some years later she met and eventually married Jim Daly, a fellow Republican Socialist, university lecturer and lifelong partner. By 1968 both Miriam and Jim Daly had secured lectureship posts at Queens University Belfast (QUB) just as the Civil Rights movement was gaining public momentum. Miriam Daly became active in the struggle for civil rights and as a gifted orator became a publicly prominent spokesperson. Ironically, due to the very real threat of assassination by Loyalist paramilitaries the Daly’s had to move from their home in the then largely Unionist Stranmillis area of South Belfast near QUB, to the perceived safety of Andersonstown in Republican West Belfast.

As a founding member of the Irish Republican Socialist Party Miriam Daly was elected chairperson of the IRSP following the murderous assassination of the IRSP’s co-founder,Seamus Costello. Miriam and her husband Jim were very active in the burgeoning H-Block/Armagh Committees and were tireless workers on behalf of all Irish Republican prisoners. Miriam Daly would have been particularly prominent in the H-Block campaign and would have become a household name as one of the campaign’s most articulate spokespersons and advocates on behalf of the H-Blocks’ Republican POW’s.

 The Murder of Miriam Daly

The brutal murder of Miriam Daly by a British military death-squad can not be viewed in isolation, as her particularly callous assassination was part of a very definite state-sponsored murder campaign targeting Irish Republican Socialist Party members and H-Blocks campaigners. Articulate IRSP leaders and/or Republican prisoners’ campaigners such as Miriam Dally, Ronnie Bunting, Noel Lyttle and John Turnley were all brutally murdered within a short period of time. IRSP co-founder and H-Block campaigner, Bernadette Devlin-McAliskey and her husband were also critically wounded by a pro-British death-squad. Countless other activists were targeted in concerted attempts to silence the most able advocates of Irish freedom.

The British death-squad gunmen who callously murdered Miriam Daly bound the mother of 3 and then waited at her home in Andersonstown hoping to also murder her husband Jim who they were expecting to return from work. However, on that tragic day, June 26th 1980, Jim was in Dublin attending a German language course and it is assumed that when the British death-squad realised that he would not be returning they shot Miriam dead before making good their escape. The Daly children discovered their murdered mother when they returned from school and it can only be imagined how traumatic and heartbreaking an experience that was for the young Dalys.

Just as with the murders of Miriam Daly’s comrades Ronnie Bunting and Noel Lyttle, the death-squad’s modus operandi was that of a British military undercover gangs. They murdered M/s Daly in the heart of Belfast’s largest Republican area, Andersonstown and even waited for some time in the Daly home hoping to murder her husband, Jim. The British death-squad carried out their foul deed in the safe knowledge that, at the very least, the uniformed British military who would normally have been very much in evidence in West Belfast were giving them safe passage both in and out of the area.

Jim Daly, Miriam’s grieving husband, was certain of collusion and the hidden hand of British military involvement in her murder. Jim said of his beloved wife and comrade:

“She came very much to the notice of agencies that were poking their noses in here, for sure. That’s why she was targeted. She had a tremendous energy and never stopped. People called her in the middle of the night to come to an RUC station to help out, while relatives would phone her to find out where their loved ones were. She never stopped. It was amazing how much dedication she had. She was always upbeat and confident and optimistic. If there is an opposite to demoralise, she moralised people.”

As her funeral cortege passed her home in Andersonstown four members of the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) fired a volley of shots in tribute to Miriam Daly, the Irish Republican Socialist Party activist, the Irish National Liberation Army guerrilla, the H-Block activist, the university lecturer, the wife and the mother!

Miriam Daly is buried in Swords, County Dublin. Irish Republican Socialist martyrs like Miriam Daly who made the ultimate sacrifice will always be remembered and commemorated by her comrades. Miriam Daly’s image appears on IRSM commemorative plaques, murals and her name is inscribed on the Irish Republican Socialist Movement (IRSM) memorial stone in Milltown cemetery, Belfast. One of West Belfast’s best known and most striking wall murals on Oakman Street in the Beechmount area commemorates Miriam Daly and was actually painted by her son, Donal, along with others.

Many people who often pass the striking mural dedicated to Miriam Daly, the author included, will think of one of the Irish Republican Socialist Movement’s most outstanding comrades who made the ultimate sacrifice in the struggle for national liberation and socialism. It should be remembered that Miriam Daly had a successful career as a university lecturer and she could quite understandably have chosen to immerse herself solely in the infinitely safer world of academia but instead Miriam chose to fight for human rights and the Irish Socialist Republic envisaged by James Connolly. Being a Republican Socialist activist in those intense and dangerous days was not an easy path to choose as the full weight of the murderous British military industrial complex was ranged against those who dared oppose imperialism. Miriam Daly was one of those courageous Republican Socialists who defied Britannia’s iron grip on Ireland and she sadly and tragically paid for her brave resistance with her life. Today’s Republican Socialist activists are determined that Miriam Daly’s sacrifice will not be erased by the historical revisionism, currently being pushed by imperialism’s lackeys and it’s fellow travellers. The Miriam Daly mural prophetically bears the inscription:

“History is written by the winner.”

Miriam Daly’s widowed husband Jim Daly elucidated further on the well known quote at a commemoration remembering the 25th anniversary of Miriam Daly’s murder:

“This year, on the 25th anniversary of Miriam’s death I feel there is at least one thing I can do, and that is to restate an important message she never tired of repeating. It was: to beware of and shun so-called “conflict resolution” the alleged academic discipline which is in fact an imperialist confidence trick.” 

Miriam Daly the INLA Volunteer, the political activist, the esteemed academic, the loving wife and mother who was gunned down by the forces of British imperialism will never be forgotten by her comrades in the Irish Republican Socialist Movement and even in death remains an exemplary model for today’s young activists who follow bravely in her footsteps!

miriam daly

 

Alex McGuigan

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