Letters to the Editor, by Hugh Brady and Thomas Dixie Elliott (Newry Times)
Dear Editor, “I am standing on the threshold of another trembling world. May God have mercy on my soul.” – Bobby Sands March 1st 1981.
On the 5th May, 31 years ago, Bobby stepped beyond that threshold. In the months that followed nine brave men followed him. Long Kesh was their battleground, a place where they took a courageous stand against injustice. The H-Blocks and the Cages have long gone but injustice continues to rear its ugly head. Like the Hydra of Lerna it has many heads but unlike that mythical beast it is all too real.
Marian Price, Gerry McGeough and Martin Corey are covertly interned by Britain. In Maghaberry Prison Republicans are on a no wash protest for the basic right to be treated as human beings. They all need our support. By our support we mean that of all former political prisoners; those who were themselves interned, they who saw first hand the cages burn, the men and women who refused to be criminalised in the H-Blocks and Armagh jail. And indeed those who were incarcerated in English and Irish prisons.
Bobby Sands encouraged the Blanket Men to write out to those of influence; Politicians, Trade Unionists, Community leaders, Church men etc, asking them to put pressure on the British Government to bring an end to the no wash protest and subsequent Hunger Strikes in the H-Blocks. He encouraged the writing of letters to the press, to any newspaper no matter how small. In the main these letters asked ordinary people to take to the streets and join our protesting families and friends.
We can all, each one of us, do that today, we can do it because we remember how Bobby encouraged it all those years ago. Only this time we can do it for those still imprisoned by British Injustice.
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This is not about who of us is right or wrong, it is about righting a wrong.
Is sinne le meas,
Hugh Brady agus Thomas Dixie Elliott