The Blanket

The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent
Republican Prisoners and their families put at risk due to prison strike
Martin Mulholland, IRPWA • 31.10.03

The practice of 'work to rule' adopted by prison officers could potentially result in a serious incident if not addressed immediately. Republican prisoners are currently enduring almost total lock up due to the practice adopted by the Prison Officers Association. The action taken by the POA will undoubtedly leave republican prisoners and their families vulnerable to attack in visiting areas due to a lack of adequate staffing cover.

Republican prisoners believe that they and their families are being used as pawns in a larger game between the POA and the British government. It is no secret that the POA felt that they had had been sold down the river by the British governments decision to implement a policy of segregation.

POA representative Finlay Spratt did however state that although unhappy at the decision their job was to implement any policy that the British government deemed necessary. The POA must accept that they are government employees and that their political opinions should not influence their work.

There is a feeling amongst republican prisoners that the actions of the POA are intended to provoke a reaction similar to that of the loyalist inmates and their supporters on the outside.

Republican prisoners have stated that they will not be provoked by the actions of the POA into making a potentially serious situation any worse.

The republican prisoners have already endured weeks on protest at the denial of their basic human rights and any attempt to further erode these rights is intolerable.

The IRPWA call on all agencies involved in the forming of the Steele report to assist in bringing this situation to a speedy conclusion.

It is the understanding of the IRPWA that if the POA go ahead with their proposed strike on the 5th of November, the prison will be jointly run by the RUC/PSNI and the management of the Northern Ireland Prison Service.

Again this is an intolerable situation with the antipathy between republicans and the RUC/PSNI a matter of record.

The IRPWA believe that the British government cannot let the political agenda of the POA dictate the pace of the reforms called for in the Steele report and we will resist the attempts of the POA to use republican prisoners and their families as political footballs.

In any dispute between the POA and the British government the basic human rights of all prisoners and their families must be protected.




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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent



All censorships exist to prevent any one from challenging current conceptions and existing institutions. All progress is initiated by challenging current conceptions, and executed by supplanting existing institutions. Consequently the first condition of progress is the removal of censorships.
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Index: Current Articles

2 November 2003


Other Articles From This Issue:


A Memo to Adams: Remember That Every Political Career Ends in Failure
Tom Luby



Anthony McIntyre


Ballot Papers and Elysium
Eamon Sweeney


Republican Prisoners and their Families Put at Risk due to Prison Strike
Martin Mulholland


Trust Without Honesty in the Peace Process?
Paul A. Fitzsimmons


The Letters Page has been updated.


31 October 2003


Cieran Perry of Working Class Action Interviewed
Anthony McIntyre


Republican Socialist Alternative Economic Strategy

Liam O Ruairc


The Ultimate Obscenity
Thomas Gore


The Chomskybot Code
Mary La Rosa


CAFTA Thumb Screws - The "Nuts and Bolts" of Free Trade Extortion
Toni Solo




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