Thoughts on Gary Donnelly and the recent attempts to criminalize his politics

23 Nov

When I was down their the talk of the town was about the recent arrest of City Councilor, member of 32CSM, Community organizer and staunch Republican Garry Donnelly for painting a slogan against Internment. The talk within the bourgeoisie press over there is to strip him of his role as city councilor as well as stopping people like him from getting elected (in other words even at a local level if the Irish people decide to vote for someone who represents there interests this is a crime a must be stopped at once, how dare they get so uppity and vote for whom they choose) and as it stands for trying to get a msg out he is facing about 6 months in jail.

Despite popular support on the ground and revulsion from those I chatted to about this, it seems that the British Occupation is continuing this political persecution as an attempt to silence this man and the msg he is trying to get out. What I will attempt to do to those who do not follow what is going on there and are totally baffled about this is explain who I think he is and why he is being silenced. While I admit Mr. Donnelly is not my best friend and only chatted with him a few times I hope to explain my impressions of him and the work that he does and why the Brits would try to sabotage this.

The first time I met Gary, whom to me is a hero was at the Easter Commemoration last year in Derry. I knew who he was from chatting with other people as well as youtube videos, spotlight etc. From the work he does in the Creggan Community mobilizing people to solve the problems that the community is facing by working in the community itself to identify the problems and create solutions, particular with vulnerable sectors people thought I should have a wee chat . Those who know me know that when I am in awe of someone I start either ranting like an Idiot or sit quietly and say nothing. When the people from Belfast saw sitting meekly not chatting or asking any questions they were surprised because once you know me I never shut and were being like now is not the time to be shy. I sat at the CCC watching listening and admiring but said nothing as I drank coffee after coffee, he came up to me and made a comment about my army hat and Guevaraism and I gave a reply about my support for the Irish Struggle and the 32’s on the basis that in the era of conciliation true Republicans are rejecting this and still holding high their banner, though it probably sounded stupider then that.

After making a bit of a fool of myself we went on the march to the commemoration where he gave the key address. He proceeded to identify the social and political issues in the occupied six counties quoting the unemployment rates , pointed out the flaws in the Adams et al approach and than proceeded to throw down the gauntlet by asking the question what is their (adams et al) strategy, point out how they have no other strategy then the strategy of normalization he then proceeded to outline the true republican strategy which is to mobilize then men and woman of no property to solve their own problems and reject the failed model of conciliation.

Over the next few months I have chatted to him a few times about the work that he does, particularly in the Creggan Area with groups such as the Creggan Community Collective, finding solutions to the drugs problem to sorting out people who need furniture clothing etc. and have had him one my radio show once to discuss his election to city council and the significance of this as evidence that real Republicans do have the support of the community. Most recently I saw him in Derry at a public meeting and unfortunately only had a few moments to chat about the work that we are doing here, the work that they are doing there and solidarity and what not. As the armored cars drove by (quite a few in the short time to puff on a few smokes) and we chatted it my impressions of him were confirmed and the reason that the Brits see him as a threat were quite clear.

Donnelly is a salt of the earth guy whose politics are a reflection of the reality that he faces. As a member of the community and a Republican it is quite clear that he see that main contradiction in Ireland and the root of the problems from unemployment, to the drug scourge, policing poverty etc. stem from one thing and that thing is the British occupation. Still he does not stop there, from what I have seen he recognizes that just identifying the main contradiction and doing nothing is not the way forward and such engages in creating an alternative. Instead of relying on crumbs off of the masters table to deal with poverty drugs etc, he goes to the community and engages the community to create the alternative by relying on themselves and as such shows the community that the answer lies not in conciliating or looking to the colonizer for answer but rather to mobilize those of no property to solve their own [problems and by doing that rejecting the paradigm set up by the colonizer that the colonized must be passive and await for solutions as opposed to determining their own affairs. He is articulate charismatic and clearly has popular support.

In other words he is the total opposite of what the media portrays true republicans, he is not a mad man stuck in the past full of bloodlust and anger but rather someone who has taken it upon himself to look at the present conditions and engage which the reality as it presents itself.

This makes him a dangerous man and as such he must be silenced. His arrest and criminalization has nothing to do what it is alleged that he has done, but rather everything to do with silencing him and teaching people a lesson, which is if you dare to speak of an Irish Republic, if you dare challenge the brits or try to determine your own affairs you will targeted and neutralized. To the people who voted for him the msg they are trying to send is clear, you humiliated us by voting for someone we did not approve of, we will make sure this will never happened again, go home now and pretend everything is normal.
unfortunately for the British people of the caliber of Donnelly don’t take well to an illegal occupation telling them what to do, nor are the Irish people stupid enough to ignore one more attack on there political rights by an illegal occupation.


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