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 Irish Republicans march defiant and proud behind an impressive colour party in Derry at the Unfinished Revolution Easter commemoration.
Truculently dressed, and following their orders as gaeilge, the 30 strong display marched through the city, before paying their respects to Ireland’s fallen at Derry city cemetery.
Comrades young and old, male and female, veterans and youths all played a part in the colour party. This represented the unique and impressive mixture of activists signifying the diverse make up of Saoradh as an organisation.
Since this extremely successful event, many members of the colour party have been arrested, detained and interrogated by the RUC Crown Forces, clearly nerved at the fact Saoradh can mobilise thousands of revolutionary republicans on our streets.
Five Saoradh activists have been seized and detained by the RUC in the past week in Derry alone in relation to this.
Unionist hysteria and Constitutional Nationalist opposition has resulted in an obvious clampdown of any political alternative to the status quo. Our enemies, in all guises, clearly don’t want us mobilising and organising within our communities in this fashion.
They are worried and worried they should be. Our business is revolution and this is something they fear greatly.
The excuse given for the arrests of our comrades focuses on the clothing worn by the participants of the Easter march.
This is clearly an absurd excuse given the fact that former republicans in Sinn Féin can put their activists on the street during commemorations wearing full combat uniform including replica weapons and balaclavas unhindered.
Loyalist Death squads can also freely display UDA and UVF insignia on their clothing at various events whilst the RUC don’t bat an eyelid.
The difference in the treatment meted out by enemy forces is telling. One rule for some is obvious.
The Unfinished Revolution march in Derry was a display of defiance and opposition to British Occupation.
Saoradh is a militant, radical movement committed to ending British rule in Ireland and establishing a socialist Republic. Therefore because of who we are, and what we represent, we expect to be targeted by the state.
As an organisation Saoradh will face down any and all attempts by our enemies to quell dissent. It is our right to remember our fallen comrades and volunteers in a way we see fitting.