Archive | January, 2017

Region agrees to end putting poor people in jail as housing

27 Jan

Yesterday we met with representatives of the region to discuss our two demands which are

1. Create a shelter that has an equal or higher amount of beds than the amount of beds that have been lost with the closing of the Out of the Cold program. This shelter will be temporary in the sense that it will take the place of Out of the Cold and once people are in this shelter they will be given emergency assistance from social workers to get into affordable housing

2. That if there are no beds available at the shelter they be directed to the emergency motel program, which according to the Region’s Chair on Housing is what shelter workers are supposed to do. Further, according to the Chair on housing, this program has enough beds to house everyone so there is no need for anyone to be sent to jail to spend the night.

In our discussion it was agreed that there’s a major disconnect between what is on the books as policy and the on-the-ground reality in terms of how social services and housing is implemented. It became immediately clear when people started talking about the problems they’ve been facing, that the Region did not have access to this first-hand information. The Region did have the proper response however by acknowledging their deficit of information asking for more stories. While this may be just an excuse for them to deny responsibility for the results of the policies they implement, we will gladly oblige them by undertaking social investigation ourselves to document the housing crises we are facing and to collect concrete data on poverty, data the Region is missing.

In terms of our two demands the Region agreed to phase out the use of police cells as housing for poor people, replacing it with a program that we will run which entails the shelter offering the person the option of sleeping at a house, then the shelter would call a phone line monitored by us, we would offer to meet up with the housing client and take them to a vetted residence where they will stay overnight. The people who are volunteering their accommodations would have cleared a vulnerable persons check and other screen checks. They’ll be accompanied there by a Tent City Coordinating Committee volunteer who will join them at the accommodation for the night (if that is their preference). We agreed that every time a youth is offered to stay at the police station they would also be offered this option until finally there will be no need to even mention the cop shop. This idea was put forward by our organization because we feel that everyone has a duty and obligation to take social responsibility in the face of the failure of all levels of government to solve this crisis. A meeting will be set up to iron out the kinks and start implementing this program.

In terms of our second demand although no agreement was reached we are optimistic that we will get it, our alternative will be to squat and do it ourselves. Discussions will continue.

Advertisements

This Wed. Jan.25th we meet with the Region to scrap the program of jailing the homeless

24 Jan

20170118_190244Jan 25th 11 am The Regional Building on Fredrick street (next to the cop shop)
CAS Room

observers welcome but asked to stick to the agenda

On Wed. Jan 25th we will be meeting with the Region to discuss their current program of using the local police station lockup for homeless people when their is over flow. On the agenda will be our two demand which are

1. Build a shelter that has an equal or higher amount of beds then the amount of beds that have been lost with the closing of the Out of the Cold program. This shelter will be temporary in the sense that it will take the place of Out of the Cold and once people are in this shelter they will be given emergency assistance from social workers to get into affordable housing

2. That if their are no beds available at the shelter they be directed to the emergency motel program, which according to the Region’s Chair on Housing is what shelter workers are suppose to do. Further according to the Chair on housing this program has enough beds to house everyone so their is no need for anyone to be sent to jail to spend the night.

The meeting will take place at 11 am.

Ex Irish POW addressing 32CSM meeting in Defense of Latin America

24 Jan

Our Comrade reading statement at our public meeting from an ex Irish POW

Our Comrade reading statement at our public meeting from an ex Irish POW

I want to start off by thanking you all for giving me the honour of
addressing you at this convention. I am an ex Irish Republican
Prisoner Of War of the British/English imperial state. I was very
brutally tortured and horrifically treated by the Brits and their
lackeys in gaol in the Occupied 6 Counties of the North East of
Ireland that they have the cheek to call “Northern Ireland”. The
Republican resistance in the 6 Counties today gets very little if any
coverage whatsoever and it has been this way since 1998 after the Good
Friday Agreement that has further split Ireland in two and was infact
the greatest defeat suffered by Irish Rebels since the year 1603, when
Hugh O’ Neill was forced to surrender to the English at the end of the
Nine Years War of War of the Three Hughs (1592-1603/1604).

Despite this terrible defeat and surrender in the year 1998,
Provisional Sinn Fein or just Sinn Fein painted the defeat as a great
victory and told people that this is what they were fighting, killing
and dying for during the whole of the Long War (1968-1998). Many of
infact most of those men who had fought in the war and ex POW’s who
got out of gaol were just simply abandoned by the leadership of Gerry
Adams, Martin Mac Guinness and others who were far more concerned with
furthering their own wealth and political ambitions rather than
securing freedom, justice and national liberation for their land and
people. Anyone who spoke out before or after the sell out, surrender
and defeat of 1998 were attacked, beaten, with their families and
loved ones terrorised by the traitors and collaborators of Sinn Fein
and the Provisional IRA. Some where even murdered for defying the
Provo leadership and the Provos regularly informed on Republican
resistance activists also a policy that has just sky rocketed since
2007 when they recognised the Brit police in the 6 Counties as their
own police force. Many Republican activists have been imprisoned on
information provided by Sinn Fein and their supporters also.

I was in Maigh gCaibre (Maghaberry) Prison or POW camp for almost 7
years and in that time I and my comrades whose only crime was love of
Ireland and loyalty to the Republic that was declared in 1916,
reaffirmed with mass public support at the general election of 1918,
re-declared in 1919 and 1922 were treated with extreme brutality and
psychological and physical torture and abuse. We were driven onto
several protests very similar to the protests that occurred in the H
Blocks and other gaols in Ireland and England in the 1970s, 1980s and
1990s by Republican POW’s back then during the Long War. The 2 biggest
and most determined protests during my time inside happened in 2010
which lasted 4 and a half months and 2011-2012 which lasted 19 months
in all. And between that time there were numerous smaller protests
going on and even after the 2012 period. So you could say I was on
protest for over 3 years. During the 2 protests we were locked up over
23 hours a day and we also engaged in Dirty Protests at the same time.
We also grew our hair and beards at these times to show all who saw us
what we had been driven too by Brit war crimes and torture.

During our time on protest no media covered what was happening with us
or the brutality we had been put through. After the 2010 protest when
we all signed up to the Roe House or August Agreement in which we as
POW’s would be treated with respect and would never be strip searched
and controlled movement on the landings would be phased out. As well
as that we would have more time out in the yards and more freedom of
movement. But the Brit media did cover the agreement that we signed
that ended the 2010 protest and that was soon to be broke by the Brits
within a few months. The reason that the Brits agreed to and signed
the August Agreement of 2010 was because word had got out to the
Nationalist Catholic people outside of what was happening to us and
there was great anger and tension on the streets of the towns and
cities across the 6 Counties and in the countryside about what was
happening and with a major loyalist pro Brit orange march to take
place in the very Nationalist and Catholic city of Derry the Brits
knew that major riots were about to erupt in Derry that would have
swept across the 6 Counties the same as in 1920-1923, 1925-1927, 1929,
1931, 1932-1933, 1935, 1938-1939, 1942, 1946, 1950s, 1967-1968,
1969-1975, 1980-1981 nearly all of which were during armed rebellions
and revolution against Brit rule in the 6 Counties.

And it was only to avoid these similar events occurring again that the
Brits signed up to the August Agreement of 2010. But like all
agreements and treaties that they have signed with the Irish Nation
and people in the past they could not wait to break it, and break it
they did. Within weeks of the Agreement being signed they broke it
apart piece by piece. They waited til POWs were out at court which to
go there they have to of course be brought out of the gaol to attend
court in person. Now usually this is done through video link but for
actual trials and cases the POWs are made attend. The strip searching
in the 2010-2011 period after the protest was brutal and horrific in
the extreme.

Teams of up to 6 men would come at you in a cell dressed up in full
riot gear, body armour and riots shields. They would attack you and
pin you into a corner, 1 each would grab each of your arms and put
your wrists into a kind of painful lock and just slam you on the floor
of the cell. The riot squad members holding your arms would then twist
your arms back in an extremely painful way and you would also to
pinned to the ground by 2 other team members. One of them of course
would be holding a camera videoing the entire thing. Now when your
lawyers and even judges were to go looking for these video tapes they
would be missing or wiped. Thus no evidence was or is found. After
putting you in these very painful arm and wrist locks with you on the
ground sometimes screaming in pain they would start to remove your
clothes bit by bit. And it was a very painful and humiliating
experience each and every time it happened.

As you are on the ground and they are removing the top half of your
clothing one of the squad puts his full weight by kneeling on your
head, while later another will sometimes stand on your back and pelvis
while your still pinned to the ground. They sometimes also used
pressure points to force your mouth and jaws open which you were
always unable to stop, prevent or resist. But you resisted as best you
could. The riot squad also used shields to beat men into submission
and it has left it’s mental scares on men and me also.

It was only with the killing of the war criminal David Black in
November 2012 that the Brit regime and their collaborationist puppets
in the 26 Counties that have the cheek to call themselves a Republic
and especially the “Republic of Ireland” that media which is widely
censored over here across Ireland that the plight of POWs was able to
come to light. Sinn Fein during all these years did nothing to help
out POWs or their families despite the fact that they used all their
power and influence to censor what was happening to us in the local
Nationalist papers across the 6 Counties and into the 26 Counties
also. They even went so far as to say that we were not Political
Prisoners, that we were not Republicans as there were no Republican
Prisoners or POWs according to them and that we were only criminals
who did all the brutality and torture to ourselves. One Sinn Fein
politician even went so far as to tell Republican POWs that if he knew
who had killed Ronan Kerr who was a Catholic Brit policeman he would
inform on them to the cops as they as his police. Sinn Fein has infact
copied the Conservative Party line and rhetoric with regards to
Republicans who do not agree with their sell out of National
Sovereignty and Independence. As they sit in the Brit puppet assembly
at Stormont just outside of Belfast they can’t even get an Irish
language or Gaelic act through because of unionist loyalist orange
opposition.

Sinn Fein’s recent actions are only done because they have been losing
far too much ground among their voters who see nothing progressive and
no protection for themselves. The Provos also allowed drug dealers to
swamp areas in drugs and they have now allowed the Brits to do to the
Irish what the CIA, FBI and US federal government has done to the
black community. They have destroyed their areas and communities by
drugs or aiding it as it helps them keep control or the appearance of
it anyway.

The brutality of POWs does not begin and end with the beatings and
strip searches. Screws have been caught planting fake evidence in POWs
cells as in the case of Breandan Mac Conmhaoil (Brendan Mac Conville)
in 2009. This was later exposed as a set up and the screw who planted
it was allowed to retire with full benefits and he was never charged
or prosecuted. Sinn Fein, the SDLP and the Catholic Church remained
quiet and tight lipped about the whole affair. What was planted in the
cell was the address and car registration of a prison governor who had
come over from England to reform the brutal practises going on at the
gaol and the gaol staff wanted rid of him. This governor off course
left Ireland never to return.

When we were ever on protest we were locked in our cells for over 23
hours a day and we were reduced to ration portions for gaol food and
my own stomach actually shrank as a result. So we were all going
about like human ghosts and skeletons with long hair and beards all
the while when we reached out for help we were rejected at every turn
especially by the Catholic Church the leadership of which knew our
position well. His name was Cardinal Sean Brady and he was as pro Brit
a traitor that you could get. They are off course backed up and
encouraged by the so called Irish government or Free State regime to
us Republicans.

They came about during a coup in 1922. It was in the middle of a truce
during an intense and very bloody war of independence that a junta
formed among pro Brit elements in the Republican Government called
Dail Eireann. It was only 6 men strong but it had a lot of influence.
This was just after the disastrous Treaty of Surrender in 1921-1922
had been signed and many who saw victory on the horizon for the IRA
and Republican forces were enraged and gearing up for a civil war on
one front and a war of independence on the other. The junta provoked
and ignited a terrible, bitter and bloody Civil War that raged from
1922-1923 and on to 1924 in the gaols and POW camps and even onto 1929
in many parts of the new state.

The so called Irish government in the 26 Counties that has the cheek
to call itself a Republic has done more than anyone. Each and every
time that an armed rising, campaign or resistance has ever been used
to reunify the country they have always stabbed every Revolutionary
army or force in the back by mass internment without trial, raiding
homes of fighters and activists and their family homes also,
persecuting anyone who is in any way supportive of the progressive
forces. This or these actions by the Irish or Free State government
and regime have been going on since 1922 and all to help and maintain
the status quo in a forcefully divided country and nation.

Honoured delegates and comrades, Ireland today is a nation divided
against it’s own will and against it’s own interests. The Free State
regime are no more than what the Vichy regime was to the Nazis from
1940-1944. But the Free State regime in Ireland has been in existence
since 1922 and only came about because of a secret coup and was run by
a small junta for the early years of it’s existence. The similarities
between Free State Ireland which cover most of the country and Vichy
France are almost a complete copy. Vichy persecuted anyone and
condemned all those as traitors who were proud to be French and who
wanted the Nazis gone from the occupied north of France. They even
executed scores of Resistance fighters and activists just like the
Free State continues to terrorise those who want the north of Ireland
liberated and in the past have executed, murdered and even handed
activists and fighters over to the Brits to be given an unfair trial
and imprisonment by them.

Just even now after this conference comrades maybe even look up Vichy
France and it’s crimes of 1940-1944 and you will see a complete
reflection of what is going on in the 26 Counties of Ireland and the
way the Free State regime deals with all and any opposition. Even
watch the new film Atlantic by film maker Risteard O Domhnaill and you
will see poor Irish Fishermen being arrested, fined and persecuted by
the Free State regime who are more loyal to the EU than there own
people and citizens. All of which brings me to the case of the
Craigavon 2 and Tony Taylor. The Craigavon 2 whose names are John Paul
Wootton and Brendan Mac Conville are too innocent men who have been
arrested and wrongfully convicted of something they did not do. The 2
men are the modern form of the Guildford 4, Maguire 7 and Birmingham 6
all of who were innocent Irish citizens and people who were wrongfully
convicted in England in the 1970s of actions they did not commit.

And just as now regarding the Craigavon 2 and Tony Taylor the Free
State regime continues to violate it’s responsibilities to Irish
citizens to make sure that they have a fair trial and that there is no
legal treachery. But as with the legal campaigns for the Guildford 4,
Maguire 7 and Birmingham 6 the Free State regime would rather face
collapse than stand up to the Brits for Irish Human Rights. The fact
remains that the Free State regime failed and continues to fail the
Craigavon 2 and Tony Taylor which is why no Latin American government
should trust the word of those calling themselves the Irish
government. This regime like Vichy will say or do anything not ot be
challenged or embarrassed into admitting the truth that I have just
spelled out for you all here today.

Another important issue to bring to your attention is that this regime
even goes so far as to cover up the Irish Holocaust of 1845-1851 when
with a population of around 12 million people Ireland who was then
under the Brit crown more openly lost 6.2 million of her people dead
who were infact murdered and starved to death by the British imperial
state or empire. Even American academia along with Irish and English
academia are in on the crime of Holocaust denial. The truth of the
Irish Holocaust is that there was enough food being produced in
Ireland in the period to feed over three times Ireland’s population
which adds up to 36 million people but the Brit imperial army and
navy shipped the food out of the country by armed guard and force and
killed all those who resisted and stood in their way. Another crime in
this Holocaust cover up is the way the 3 governments go to such
extreme lengths to deny and cover up one of the greatest genocides
ever to fall upon our people. i would highly recommend and advise all
here to look up http://www.irishholocaust.org or type Ireland’s Mass Graves
into any search engine and it’ll come up. Chris Fogarty and his wife
Mary O’ Sullivan have done wonders exposing this genocide or the Irish
Holocaust and they used the Brit national archives to do it.

The last point I would like to make is the sad and disappointing lack
of interest among the national media of all here today in what is
actually going on in one of the richest puppet states in the world. I
mean the Irish Free State and the occupied 6 counties. Human rights
abuses have multiplied in the 6 Counties a 100 fold and the Free State
is on the brink of a very violent revolution because of the extermely
high level of evictions and the vulture funds that the Free State
regime has just invited into the country and allowed them to buy up
whatever they wanted and continue to want. The Canadian firm IRES is
now the largest landlord in the Free State. But getting back to the
total lack of interest and coverage of what is going on by alternative
media especially Al Jazeera but more so RT or Russia Today and even
Press TV who used to cover alot of what was going on over here.

Efforts to contact RT in particular have resulted in activists only
saying the name Ireland and they have got the run around which is
truly heart breaking when we see all the good work that they have done
and continue to do to many places and locations around the world
except of course Ireland. And the truth is that there is so much to
report and cover in this country at the minute. A top and well
respected Irish journalist just recently said “that the Irish do not
protest much, but when they do it’s always violent”. This a a good
statement and a good warning to any regime not to push it’s people too
far.

So hopefully comrades you manage to do something to turn or help those
of us in Ireland who are only trying to change our beautiful
Motherland for the better.

32CSM event in Kitchener in Defense of Latin America well received.

24 Jan

Myself speaking on behalf of the 32CSM and the Venezuelan Consul General.

Myself speaking on behalf of the 32CSM and the Venezuelan Consul General.

This past Saturday the 32CSM co hosted an event with the Venezuelan Consulate called In Defense of Latin America. The event started with a welcome and food prepared by members of the local Salvadorean community was served.

The event then continued with a speaker from the 32CSM International Department talking about the necessity of upholding international principles in regards to national self determination and condemned the US intervention in Latin America, as well as the hypocrisy of Britain condemning Venezuela for human rights violations when they are occupying Ireland and are currently responsible for imprisoning and torturing over 100 Republican POWS in in the North as well as in the South. The event then continued with the Venezuelan Consul General speaking about the current US attacks internationally, the need to uphold international principle of national sovereignty which the US is currently violating by attempts at regime change and such. The event continued with a comrade reading a letter from an ex Irish POW talking about the conditions of the occupation as well as the struggles of Irish Republican prisoners. This was followed by a statement read by the Hugo Chavez Peoples Defense Front expressing solidarity with the 32CSM and the necessity of us all to unite internationally to smash the Anglo American colonialist system and win freedom from Belfast to Palestine.

This was followed by a cultural part of the evening where a Salvadorean woman read from the poetry of Ramon Portillio a recently deceased comrade of ours who went with us to Venezuelan in 2005. This was followed by more poetry from Sunday Poetry, World Poets for Peace and many others.

This event was quite important in the sense that it demonstrated the unity of revolutionary movements in defense of Latin America and the necessity of solidarity by those forces trying to expel yankee imperialism from Latin America, and those trying to kick of the british occupational force in Ireland

Speech Read Today at Regional Council Meeting,

18 Jan

Regional Councillors, city staff and spectators
I am here to address a serious crisis plaguing this city, the victims of this crisis include woman and children and a disproportional high number of youth ,this crisis is the homelessness epidemic, an epidemic created by the greed of those whom would fill their pockets with stolen from the mouths of these youth.

The current way in which the region is dealing with this is not in line with the on the street reality that poor people face and it is quite clear that the Region is failing poor people whom are forced to fend for themselves in horrible freezing conditions, hoping not to freeze to death or get beaten and robbed while they sleep.

The attempt of the Region to deal with this has been abysmal to the point of locking up poor people when there is no more room at shelters. The fact that the region is attempting to legitimize this by presenting this as voluntary is quite vile especially because the only alternative given is to freeze to death outside. The criminalization of people who are forced into this program starts from the moment when they are bright in, having their names run to see if they can be arrested for anything, to the strip search, having “saftey checks done to them every 30 minutes, and this experience which is pretty much the same experience that criminals get doesnt end until the door which is locked overnight is opened. One must have lost touch with the on the ground conditions if they genuinely believe that people like to be treated like criminals. The fact that poor people are more likely to be victimized by police makes the chances of people being re tramatised much higher.

This crisis that we are facing was created, and locking people up wont solve it . We need real solutions that go to the root of the problem. We are demanding that this program of locking up poor people be scrapped and be replaced with motel rooms. The fact of the matter is that the closing of the out of the cold has left a serious gap in resources that poor people need to survive. It is imperative that the Region create a temporary shelter with the equal number of beds that the out of the cold program had. This shelter is to be equipped with housing workers to get people into housing and help them stay in housing. The resources are their and at your disposal. We demand you take social responsibility and fix this problem. For its quite clear that we wont stay silently by while people are locked up in jail for being poor or freezing in the streets and we will make sure by any means that no one will freeze to death in the region this winter. There are enough abandoned buildings that there is no reason for anyone to freeze to death, if the region wont open them , we will!!!!

Speech given at opening of 32CSM International office in Kitchener

18 Jan

Discussing politics at the new office

Discussing politics at the new office

Comrades and friends… we are here today to launch an office for the international department of the 32 county sovereignty movement. From this office, we aim to establish fraternal and diplomatic ties with all nations and movements that are struggling for justice, freedom and self determination. We plan to build strong ties based on the notions of solidarity and reciprocity. And through these ties we aim to dismantle and smash both partition and the british occupation of Ireland.

For us, this is quite a historical moment as we refuse to allow the Brits to silence our message and let the whole world know what is really happening in the occupied six counties. From this office we will organize campaigns both across this country and internationally with the firm goals of letting people know that in British occupied Ireland, internment is still an everyday fact of life. Political policing is a reality. Through the drug gangs the British government is murdering Republicans in the streets. All this stems from the theft of the sovereignty of the Irish people. The 32CSM was founded on one point and one point only; and that point is sovereignty. This sovereignty can only be expressed when the British leave Ireland and allow the Irish people to determine their own destiny. We stand here today defending the sovereignty by creating a space where we, the 32CSM will use to break the wall of silence around the occupation and unify in common cause with all those who seek the same goals as us. What we mean by that are republican goals outlined in the proclamation which clearly states that the people of Ireland have the right to control Ireland politically as well as to enjoy its resources.

Many times Cummans take on the names of heroes and martyrs. We have decided to name this office 32CSM International Office Ryan/Sa’daat. We all know who Alan Ryan is and what his legacy is. We also know who Vinnie Ryan is and what he has contributed to the cause. We uphold the Ryans as shining examples of what Republicans must be and what we must aim to be like. Ahmed Sa’daat is a Palestinian prisoner currently on hunger strike to protest his administrative detention. What these people stood for is defense of the community and refusal of the occupation, and what we aim to uphold. Thank you very much for coming.

32CSM opens International Office Ryan/Sa’adat and holds public meeting on Ahmed Sa’adat

16 Jan

outside the office enjoying a coffee and a smoke

outside the office enjoying a coffee and a smoke

Discussing politics

Discussing politics

Yesterday the International Department of the 32CSM opened an office in Kitchener Ontario. The purpose of this office is to establish diplomatic relationships with all nations and groups that are engaged in struggle for freedom, economic and social justice and self determination and to build common cause in the struggle against British and US imperialism and push forward our agenda of a united 32 County Socialist Republic of Ireland.

The event began with a message that was read from the 32CSM that talked about the importance of this event. This was followed by a presentation from a comrade from the ILPS on the torture of Ahmed Sa’adat at the hands of the Zionist pigs and why we as Irish Republicans must support him.

The office will be open every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 12 to 5 pm or by appointment.