A visit to Maghaberry

16 Apr

Today some comrades of mine took me to visit a POW in Maghaberry. We woke up early and drove down and was dropped outside of the entrance. I go inside and hand the person my passport, they tell me to take my hat off for a picture for there file. I then put my finger in the scanner as they took my print and they handed my a card with my name and photo and such. After that we walked down the hall spread our arms while a dog smelled us for whatever reason, after which, we were put on a bus driven to the visiting area where we presented our fingers and the card again.

Finally we were taken to a common room, with other visiters, children running around, familys talking etc. The prisoner got up and shook our hands, we started chatting and it became apparent to me that despite all the attempts of the British imperialist system to punish him torture him and break his spirit they have failed.

The prisoner in question is in the SSU which to my understanding is the isolation wing. Isolation, a tool used by the British imperialists to break Republican prisoners spirits is recognized around the world as a type of torture known as sensory depravation and more then a month in isolation is known as cruel and unusual punishment due to the severe effects it has on a persons mental and physical well being. Despite this, the occupational forces have not only used in this on prisoners like Price and Corey, but rather it is one tool in there arsenal of tricks to break people down by trying to destroy there health and sanity and by doing this get them to renounce the one objective that they are fighting for……..recognition rthat they are not criminals but rather that they are political prisoners and prisoners of war and as such should be treated accordingly.

WE continueing chatting about all sorts of things and eventually the visit is over, and as punishment for his visit and demand to be threated with dignaty had to endure a beating and forced stripsearch just for seeing me.

As I drive down towards Belfast to enjoy the rest of the day with my friends I stop and wonder what the prisoner is going through and what is being done to him because of his convictions. I think about when I go back to KKKanada, or when i pick up the paper here how the ocupational forces will continue the torture not just by the acts that they are doing but by the fact that through the media blackout, they try to silence his screams of indignation by pretending that this does not exist.

When the state talks about peace that has been achieved here they are not just spreading misinformation but continuing the torture that he is enduring by adding insult to injury and denying his existance. When the media states that the prisoners are a block to peace they are continueing the torture by telling the victim of this brutal assault that he deserves what is happening to him because of who he is. When the state and its collaborators continue the process of normalization they are contiueing the torture by saying it will happenned again and again.

As I sit in an apartment in Belfast drinking filth that passes for coffee and having a smoke I think of the priveledge that I have here, as guest, as opposed to a victim of the occupation that I am observing, the priveledge that my KKKanadian passport gives me at a stop and search, and the priveledge I have to go back home and continue living my life.

Most people would stop here and not go any further, recognising priveledge and then play some mumbo jumbo philisophical game that means that we wallow in our guilt and go to workshops where we can beat ourselves like confession of old and be absolved of our priveledge.

The reality of the situation is that for us who know what is going on and have the priveledge that comes with being a benificiary of priveledge based on inequalty, we also have an obligation to speak out and do something about this injustice and use our voices and priveledge not to impose our will over the movement but actually do something to change the sitation, taking the lead from those who are struggling and rejecting the system of torture colonization, genocide and occupation, and putting whatever resources are available to us in the hands of those who are fighting, not out of guilt but rather out of an understanding of our obligation, that if we do not side with the oppressed, we are no better then those who sat outside the gates of Auschwitz and did nothing.

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