Statement from Roe 4 Republican Prisoners 08/12/14

Common Sense Replaced with Belligerence.

Republican Political Prisoners wish to set out clearly our position on the Stocktake recently undertaken and released by David Ford’s Independent Assessment Team. The Stocktake was a unique opportunity to re-engage the implementation process of the August 2010 Agreement, and to deal with the unacceptable isolation of Republican Political Prisoners. Although willing to give the Stocktake a “fair wind”, we remained sceptical. We have at all times acted in good faith. Unfortunately our initial scepticism has, once again, proven well founded.

Like the August 2010 Agreement before it, the Stocktake has been immediately attacked and subverted by the DUP, in coalition with a loyalist cabal within the jail staff, which maintains a stranglehold on Jail policy. The Stocktake is being used as a means to rewrite the August 2010 Agreement and supplement its core tenets. A result of this has been overt attacks by bigoted fundamentalists on our daily regime within the jail confines. A cursory read over Hansard: Justice Committee reports Stormont on Tuesday November 18 provides clear evidence of this. No amount of revisionism will change the well documented facts, and timeline of events, of how the 2010 Agreement was deliberately sabotaged, long before David Black was executed by the IRA or a “dirty protest” was commenced. Republican Political Prisoners are not afraid of the facts. We have them chronicled in abundance. (www.irpwa.com)

It is our view that the “elephant in the room” can no longer be shied away from: We are not “ordinary prisoners”; we are Political Prisoners and therefore will not accept being treated as anything else. The schizophrenic dealings with us, where all “privately” accept what we are, on one hand, but then try to enforce a criminal regime, has only helped stoke the bigoted fire of the DUP.

David Ford, the NIO and the constitutional nationalist parties in Stormont have given the DUP carte blanche to thwart progress. Where else would such a biased political party hold sway over such processes within a jail? The Stocktake itself is now based on the notion of Republican Political Prisoners “behaving” before inadequate, piecemeal changes can be made. In effect, the outworking of this has been the regression of our already limited regime. It is not us who need to “behave”. We will always behave exactly like Political Prisoners because that is what we are. Let us be clear; all of the conflict surrounding this situation is based on several core issues which were identified and could have been remedied in 2010. Instead, the isolation of Republican Political Prisoners has been added, and the opportunity to get back on track has been squandered.

Republican Political Prisoners are committed to the August 2010 Agreement. We have been relentless in our pursuit of a Conflict-Free Environment. But, a Conflict-Free Environment will only be achieved when those with the power are prepared to stand up to the bully-boy tactics of the DUP and their loyalist fifth column within the jail. The DUP and their loyalist cohorts within the jail staff are deliberately provoking a situation in which conflict is inevitable. The blame for this should be laid directly where it belongs. We will be as clear and unambiguous as possible; Republican Political Prisoners and our supporters are well prepared for the struggle ahead.

Republican Political Prisoners
Roe House, Maghaberry 8-12-14

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