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Provisionals Attempt to Censor and Exclude RSF in Scotland

Statement from the Francis Hughes Cumann of Republican Sinn Fein (Scotland)

Seamus Reader • 23 February 2004

Our Cumann was invited by the Scottish Republican Socialist Movement to read out a message of solidarity at the annual Massacre of Glencoe Rally, which took place on Sunday 15 February 2004. However, we were informed by the organiser of the Commemoration on the day prior to the event, that we would not now be permitted to have our statement read out.

The reason given was that the Pollok and Thornliebank Republican Flute Band was instructed by the Provisional organisation that if there was an RSF speaker, the Band would be put off the road, and would never be allowed to play at another SRSM event.

We find it outrageous that the Provisionals' political machine should interfere with the organising of a Scottish Republican event in this way. It was intolerable that the SRSM organiser should have been placed in such an unacceptable situation, and we regret that he felt he had no option but to give in to this unacceptable pressure. The SRSM has an excellent track record of support for the Irish freedom struggle and refuses to align itself to any one organisation in Ireland. It has stated that it will never permit itself to be put in this position again.

During the course of the war in the 6 Occupied Counties the Provisionals correctly condemned the attempts by the British State to impose various forms of censorship on them, including attacks on Republican News and the banning of their spokespersons from the airwaves. Their president Gerry Adams is on public record as stating: "Censorship affects us all, it prevents open and informed discussion, postpones the finding of a solution and therefore perpetuates the conflict." Is it not therefore the height of hypocrisy for them to impose their own form of censorship on Anti Agreement Republicans?

It is clear to us that the Provisional organisation has an agenda in Scotland of trying to apply whatever influence it can, to exclude and demonise Republican Sinn Fein. Apart from the Glencoe episode, we can point to last year's James Connolly Commemoration, when an offer from the Cumann to send a contingent and banner to the event was refused. The reason we were given was because RSF does not endorse the Good Friday Agreement. We find their reply unacceptable since the event was called to commemorate an Irish patriot and traditionally is supported by a broad spectrum of political opinions ranging from Irish solidarity groups to sections of the far left. We deliberately refrained from entering into a dispute with the JCS at the time, because we did not want to do anything that would undermine this important event.

The West of Scotland Bands Alliance has a long history of overcoming British State, Labour Party and Loyalist/Fascist coalitions determined to silence the Bands' right to express a political opinion and the right to march. The JCS also have had to endure similar problems including having their marches banned and their purpose deliberately distorted. Members of the Society attended a meeting in Edinburgh in 1994 to listen to a leading member of RSF explain the organisation's aims and policies. It is therefore lamentable that the WOSBA and JCS have allowed themselves to collude in a different form of censorship against Anti Agreement Republicans. Having spent their political life struggling for the right to free speech, how can they justify what they are being asked to do by the Provisionals?

Finally we would call upon the Scottish Republican Socialist Movement, the WOSBA and the James Connolly Society to refuse to engage in this shameful form of political censorship. Let the British State do its own dirty work against Republicans.








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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.
- George Bernard Shaw

Index: Current Articles

25 February 2004


Other Articles From This Issue:


Naming Bobby Sands Street

Pedram Moallemian


Suspended Belief
J. Sean Burns


Kelly's Cellars
Anthony McIntyre


Stop Press!
Jimmy Sands


PSNI/RUC Occupies POW's Family Homes
Marian Price and Martin Mulholland


Did the Black and Tans Run From the Rifles of the IRA?
Liam O Ruairc


Stevens, Inquiries, Resistance to Change
David Michael


Provisionals Attempt to Censor and Exclude RSF in Scotland
Seamus Reader


Provisional Police?
George Young


20 February 2004


A Malignant Menage d'trois

Anthony McIntyre


On the Record
Kathleen O'Halloran


David Lidington
Eamon Sweeney


The Buck Stops Here
Brian Mór


Loyalist Racism and Terror Attacks
Paul Mallon


Foundations for Development Laid as Sinn Fein Goes Unionist
Eamonn McCann


All Are Targets
Mohammed Omer


Calendar of Events
Belfast Anti-War Movement




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