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Joe McDonnell

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Published on Apr 2, 2009

My version of a song dedicated to the memory of the 5th man to die in the hunger strikes in Long Kesh H-Block prison, outside Belfast in 1981. The strike being carried out by prisoners protesting the policy of the British government to treat them as criminals and force them to wear prison uniforms instead of their street clothes as would be allowed under the status of POW's. The prisoners demanded POW status since they were arrested for their part in the resistance against British rule in Northern Ireland. Margaret Thatcher, the PM of England at the time, under pressure from the US decided to label the IRA prisoners as "terrorists" and treat them like common criminals, (forgetting of course that common criminals have the right to a defense in court) in order to avoid the charge that they were in violation of the Geneva Convention.

As soon as a Democrat was in power in the US, the IRA were no longer called "terrorists" by the US and were actually invited to the US to meet with President Bill Clinton. Just points out the fact that the term "terrorist" is conveniently used to justify atrocities and torture against prisoners otherwise protected by the Geneva Convention as Prisoners Of War.

The main problem with internment from my perspective is that many of the prisoners were never even charged or convicted of a crime (apparently it was too time consuming and cumbersome to prove Irish people guilty before jailing and torturing them), they were denied their rights without even a chance to defend themselves in court. British justice seems to be anything but just.

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