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Saoradh Under Attack !!!!

The following opinion piece has been submitted by former Republican Prisoner and current Saoradh National Secretary Stephen Murney from Newry Easter 2017 saw thousands of…

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Saoradh Ard Fheis Report 2017

Saoradh held its second Ard-Fheis on Saturday  [November 18] in Derry City’s Maldron Hotel. Derry republicans put on an amazing display at Easter this year,…

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The Unfinished Revolution 2017

On Easter Monday, thousands of Irish Republicans gathered in Derry, for the National Republican Commemoration Committee's Unfinished Revolution Easter Commemoration. The sun shined as the huge…

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The hills were capped in snow as we made our way off the Cookstown to Omagh road, to climb into the Co Tyrone Sperrin mountains, to the remote rural village of Greencastle. We called with activists and then made our way to the local GAA grounds and met up with over forty cars of local families, children, teenagers and parents. It was ten o'clock in the morning and the local roads were almost impassable in places, with a heavy frost covered in light snow and cloud cover that touched the fields. We travelled in convoy through Greencastle and over the mountain road, to nearby Rouskey, where the view of the iced mountain peaks down to the valley floor and river were stunning, no wonder this place is designated an area of outstanding natural beauty. The mountain road was flanked with old wooden telegraph poles, which were adorned with white boards, hand painted with red slogans opposing poison mining and the Dalradian corporation, this was the only clue in this mountain wilderness that something was amiss. As Saoradh representatives, invited by local activists, we were headed with the people of the Sperrin's to the goldmine at the centre of the community uproar. The convoy met a crown forces checkpoint just short of our destination, on a small winding road, fit for single file traffic carved into the hillside, rather than be held up or curtailed, the residents and activists alighted from their cars, leaving them as they were and walked down the winding road through the thin PSNI lines to the gate of the Dalradian installation. We met up with other Saoradh activists who had travelled over from West Tyrone, to show their solidarity. The crowd was met at the gate by members of Dalradian, some of whom were Canadian. The backdrop to this was a tractor trailer, with a large banner saying "Save Our Sperrin's" and opposing the mine. Likewise people held various sizes of placards and banners and as soon as they met the mine’s staff they began to robustly challenge them on the entire project. The crowd was invited to enter a building were Dalradian had a number of tables, manned by their ‘experts’ and staff. People quickly began to rally round certain staff and again robustly challenge them on the mining of our natural resources and the plan to use cyanide and toxic processes. Frustrated at the answers being received, a community activist called for everyone to form up outside in protest, the building emptied and the people formed up outside with their placards and began chanting slogans. It was well mannered and while robust, it was not aggressive or violent. The Media in attendance moved in for pictures and interviews, we offered a few soundbites in support of the local people, in their battle against this planned corporate theft and destruction. Some former employees took us to the mouth of the mine (which we were told goes almost a mile into the mountain) and pointed out a pipe that was running effluent from the mine, into a drain that led directly to the nearby river. One of the key concerns of residents is the pollution of the water-table and the possible poisoning of themselves and the environment. Shortly after it began, the protest ended and the people returned to their cars and cleared the blocked road. As we made our way down off the mountain, skirting it on our way back to Greencastle, we passed many Crown Force personnel vehicles and as our car entered Greencastle, we were stopped at the village crossroads by the PSNI, under the dubious auspices of the road traffic act. This legislation was quickly changed to the justice and security legislation, in order to search myself, the other occupants and the car we were in. As we were being searched, a number of cars stopped and residents and youths gathered in our solidarity, the residents asked why the PSNI were acting as security guards for Dalradian and why they had recently spent half a million in taxpayers money, oppressing the people of Greencastle and the Sperrins. The Crown Forces were startled and responded by subjecting the most vocal of those who stopped, to the justice and security stop and search themselves. The crowd grew and people demanded to know exactly what this act was and why they and other protesters were being subjected to it. To prevent anyone being dragged to the barracks, Saoradh members advised the local people to comply, outlining how to do so and the arbitrary nature of the vindictive powers. The incident exposed the lie that the Crown Forces are a community service, here they were harassing the local community for having the audacity to challenge a project, that will, if passed be a poisonous blight on their lives and the local environment. This targeting of the local community in Greencastle, is unfortunately the beginning of a corporate and state assault on them, to secure the valuable gold that lies beneath their district. Saoradh will continue to support the people of Greencastle, Gortin and Rouskey in this struggle. Saoradh Statement Saoradh will oppose the planned extraction and processing of gold ore in the Tyrone Sperrins and will stand in solidarity with the people of Greencastle, Gortin and Rouskey. The British ‘Crown Estate’ has taken an area of natural beauty in a rural community, in a mountainous region of Co Tyrone and has sold the natural resources located there, to a multi national Canadian mining firm Dalradian. This multi national corporation intends to mine and process gold ore, in a dangerous and highly poisonous process which includes the use of cyanide. The political status quo has to date facilitated this theft of Irish national resources and raised minimal objections to the proposed poisonous extraction techniques that Dalradian intend to use. The people of Greencastle, Gortin and Rouskey have formed a protest group to oppose the Crown and corporate destruction of their homeland. They say a total lack of respect or consideration has been shown to the local populace, in the quest to secure what is believed to be billions in gold ore located in the bedrock under their districts. The scale of the proposed mine and processing facility would severely impact on their daily lives. The processing techniques, it is believed, will poison the waterways both in the direction of Derry City via the Foyle and through East Tyrone and South Derry via a network of streams and rivers that wind down from the high ground to Lough Neagh. The extraction process is expected to spread cancer causing radon rich dust over a wide area, affecting livestock, wildlife and people living within a 60km radius of the mine site. Residents point out that the process will have far reaching and poisonous effects for many people living outside the immediate mining catchment area. The Crown Forces have recently spent a small fortune acting as guard dogs for Dalradian, no doubt at the bidding of the British Government. Locals have watched, as the area has become saturated with Crown Force personnel, with drones and helicopter a constant feature in the skies. Dalradian recently revealed that Crown Force personnel had been buying up shares in the corporation, this surely expels the myth that the PSNI are a service for the community, as here they are actively working and investing against it. A number of former republicans have also aligned themselves with the corporations and the Crown, against their communities, acting as local sheriffs on behalf of Dalradian. Saoradh opposes the imperialist theft of Ireland's natural resources, many have spoken of the investment and jobs this mine will bring. We constantly hear this economic rhetoric, as a smoke screen to what amounts to corporate and imperialist thievery. Over two billion in gold is estimated to be extracted in this process, it is expected after construction that approximately 100 mid to low level employees will work at the site, the equivalent jobs boost could be matched by a small supermarket or engineering firm. None of the projected two billion will go to those poisoned by the mine, none of it will be used to build hospitals or schools or public infrastructure in Co Tyrone! Instead it will go to already wealthy global elites and those in London who have sanctioned this theft. The entire process exposes the undemocratic out workings of continued British occupation and imperialist exploitation in Ireland, none of these people are democratically accountable to the Irish people. Saoradh has been on the ground in the Sperrins, after residents there lobbied our support. We are deeply disturbed by what we have heard and what we have seen, in relation to this proposed injustice." David Jordan , Saoradh National Chairperson, said the party "will stand shoulder to shoulder with the people of Greencastle, Gortin and Rouskey, to face down British imperialism, corporate thievery and the destruction of people's lives their homes and our environment."

No Poison Goldmine

Investigatory Powers

Saoradh condemns the passing into British Law of the 'Investigatory Powers' legislation which is the latest oppressive tool in the arsenal of British rule in…

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STORMONT MUST GO

Since the creation of the sectarian Six County statelet, and the undemocratic imposition of partition upon the Irish people, the Republican analysis has consistently been…

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