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Bobby Sands

DigiTrad:
BACK HOME IN DERRY
JOE MCDONNEL
THE WOMAN CRIED
THERE WERE ROSES
YOUR DAUGHTERS AND YOUR SONS


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Lyr Req: Goodbye John Joe (9)
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Tune Req: Farewell to the Town (Ben Sands) (3)
Lyr Req: Directions (Colum Sands) (5)
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Chords Req: O'Hara, Hughes, McCreesh and Sands (9)
Lyr Req: The Marching Song (Colum Sands) (15)
Lyr Req: Lookin' the Loan of a Spade (Colum Sands) (9)
Sands Family (6)
Lyr req: seven days are in the week (answered) (6) (closed)
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Neil Lowe 27 Dec 99 - 04:48 PM
InOBU 27 Dec 99 - 06:51 PM
Llanfair 27 Dec 99 - 06:56 PM
Big Mick 27 Dec 99 - 09:57 PM
InOBU 28 Dec 99 - 08:14 AM
alison 28 Dec 99 - 08:57 AM
Phil Hatton 28 Dec 99 - 11:23 AM
Blackcat2 28 Dec 99 - 11:43 AM
Peter T. 28 Dec 99 - 12:45 PM
Mían 28 Dec 99 - 01:40 PM
Blackcat2 28 Dec 99 - 01:51 PM
Neil Lowe 28 Dec 99 - 02:37 PM
InOBU 28 Dec 99 - 03:55 PM
paddymac 28 Dec 99 - 04:41 PM
Rick Fielding 28 Dec 99 - 08:47 PM
Big Mick 28 Dec 99 - 10:43 PM
InOBU 28 Dec 99 - 11:36 PM
Lonesome EJ 29 Dec 99 - 01:50 AM
Big Mick 29 Dec 99 - 08:33 AM
InOBU 29 Dec 99 - 08:40 AM
DonMeixner 29 Dec 99 - 09:02 AM
catspaw49 29 Dec 99 - 09:21 AM
JedMarum 29 Dec 99 - 09:25 AM
Peter T. 29 Dec 99 - 09:47 AM
Blackcat2 29 Dec 99 - 10:14 AM
InOBU 29 Dec 99 - 10:52 AM
Rick Fielding 29 Dec 99 - 11:23 AM
Mbo 29 Dec 99 - 01:00 PM
DonMeixner 29 Dec 99 - 03:32 PM
Áine 29 Dec 99 - 04:01 PM
Hasek 29 Dec 99 - 04:43 PM
paddymac 29 Dec 99 - 04:45 PM
Big Mick 29 Dec 99 - 08:38 PM
Diesel 29 Dec 99 - 10:50 PM
alison 30 Dec 99 - 09:49 AM
Blackcat2 30 Dec 99 - 11:22 AM
Hasek 30 Dec 99 - 11:40 AM
JedMarum 30 Dec 99 - 11:49 AM
InOBU 30 Dec 99 - 01:24 PM
Melodeon 30 Dec 99 - 03:39 PM
InOBU 30 Dec 99 - 03:50 PM
Dave 30 Dec 99 - 04:02 PM
InOBU 30 Dec 99 - 04:30 PM
alison 30 Dec 99 - 10:20 PM
Big Mick 31 Dec 99 - 11:16 AM
Hasek 31 Dec 99 - 12:39 PM
wildlone 31 Dec 99 - 12:42 PM
Brendy 31 Dec 99 - 01:40 PM
Peace - hopefully! 31 Dec 99 - 03:33 PM
Barry Finn 31 Dec 99 - 05:38 PM
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Subject: Bobby Sands
From: Neil Lowe
Date: 27 Dec 99 - 04:48 PM

Over the holidays I don't know why I had been thinking about the potentially explosive political subject of Bobby Sands. He was a man I'd never even heard of before he began his fatal hunger strike in Long Kesh prison nearly twenty years ago, in protest over Thatcher's treatment of political prisoners as criminals - something not remotely connected to me, and that, admittedly, at the time I cared little about. Here in the U. S. his ordeal had been given an occasional acknowledgement by the mainstream media, mostly to unemotionally chronicle the number of days it had been since he had eaten. Reporters seeking to fill a slow news day took the opportunity to educate their viewers and listeners, contrasting with clinical detachment the estimated length of time the body could survive without food to the number of days of survival without water. I could almost imagine the off-camera betting pools being circulated throughout newsrooms across the country as to when or if he would abandon his commitment to starvation, or when the lack of food would ultimately result in his demise.

I was sitting in a bar that early part of May, customarily knocking back a few with a friend after another uneventful and unrewarding day at work when the news of Bobby Sands' death came over the radio the bartender had just switched on. Sixty-six days after he had initiated his hunger strike, at a time when spring's sails were unfurled and full of wind, Bobby Sands was dead.

"So much for that," my friend dismissed off-handedly. "What a stupid thing to do. And what has he accomplished? Nobody cares, and besides, he's no longer alive to protest anything now."

I thought about what he said. What had he accomplished? For sixty-six days he focused the world's attention on the plight of political prisoners in Long Kesh, an issue that otherwise would have gone unnoticed. He brought a political struggle down to the individual's level and gave it a name. He demonstrated to others that a person's convictions could run so deep as to favor the pangs of a slow and agonizing death over life in its present condition. Whether history branded him a thug or a hero, he had done more than anyone I had encountered in my generation to bring to the political forefront the central themes of Ireland's problems.

I tried explaining that to my friend; that regardless of one's own personal feelings towards the subject, to willingly sacrifice one's life for something as abstract as a cause or belief was the most profound statement of protest one could make. He was more worried about who was buying the next round.

Now, when I think of political struggles and sacrifice, and when bands like Rage Against The Machine proclaim, "Anger is a gift," I think of Bobby Sands. I sometimes wish that I too felt as deeply about something, anything - that to feel that way must be a blessing, notwithstanding the inevitable trials and tribulations that surely accompany such feelings.

Neil Lowe


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: InOBU
Date: 27 Dec 99 - 06:51 PM

The question of why in the issue of the 1981 hunger strike is takes a bit of background knowledge. England began a policy of criminalization of the Irish insurrection, after being held to answer in European human rights courts for treatment of POWs in Long Kesh, at the outset of internment, mass arrests without due process in occupied Ireland. They ended the Geneva Convention rights of being represented by the officers, and attempted to force prisoners to work, against the articles of war. For those who say that the IRA is in violation of those articles for fighting out of uniform, that is a common mistake in interpretation, and I point to the SAS, who not only fight in plain clothes, but murder wounded prisoners with some regularity, not a practice of the IRA.
In response to the criminalization policies, the Republican prisoners refused to wear prison uniforms - the blanket protest,, which meant living in a cell without mattress and living naked save for a blanket. They were subjected to beatings at all hours of the day and night. As English prisons do not have toilets, only a bucket, the prison officials denied the prisoners the ability to leave the cells to empty the buckets. The prisoners broke out the windows and poured the buckets out the windows, so the windows were boarded over. The only solution was to smear the excrement on the walls to dry, so the smell would go away somewhat quicker. The conditions grew so bad that republican officers, like the late Bobby Sands, MP, asked permission to go on hunger strike, and it was reluctantly granted by the IRA general command committee.
It should be remembered that not one of these people faced a jury trial, all were victims of torture, and were jailed as POWs, though expected to accept treatment as common criminals. Impartial courts in the United States found there to be an on going insurrection in Ireland, and not common criminality, as alleged by the British government, and what Bobby Sands and the others were asking where basic rights of decent treatment, without which it is hard to call a nation civilized. He died to preserve the sanity of his comrades, and things did improve to a small degree after the deaths of ten remarkable men.
And in Freedom's days, we will sing in praise
of O'Hara, Hughes, McCreesh and Sands
A peaceful and just new year
Larry


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Llanfair
Date: 27 Dec 99 - 06:56 PM

Ian Brady is on hunger strike. When I read about it today, I realised that I am not the forgiving sort of person that I thought I was. Living in Manchester when the Moors Murders were discovered, made it far too close to home for comfort. I cannot say I have no feelings about what that man did, and my wishes for him are uncharitable, in this season of goodwill. Bron.


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Big Mick
Date: 27 Dec 99 - 09:57 PM

Larry, I admire your knowledge in these matters. I have often had to try and explain the Republican positions and motivations here, only to be accused of just being another shamrock Yank. You are a learned and well versed addition and I am grateful you are here. Whether others agree or disagree with our politic and motivations, they are challenged by your well thought out posts to respond to the facts as presented, as opposed to useless phrase slinging. Understanding is the product. And that contributes to peace.

I would add just one observation. The hunger strikers, just like their predecessors in 1916, actions were misunderstood at the time they were taking place. Both were scorned and ridiculed for taking action that would not change anything. But the Irish understand a very important principle. I will quote Padraig Mac Piarais. "Life springs from death; and from the graves of patriot men and women spring living nations". And from Terence MacSwiney, "In matters of principle, there can be no compromise". The hunger strikers knew that the validity of their struggle lay in their being seen as soldiers in a war. They did not, and do not see themselves as terrorists anymore than the SAS sees itself as a terrorist group. It was a matter of principle then, not to mention international law, that they not act as common criminal prisoners, wear the prison garb and do prisoners work.

God be good to them.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: InOBU
Date: 28 Dec 99 - 08:14 AM

Hi Mick:
Thanks for the kind thoughts. I would point out, However, that the world DID take serrious note of the hungerstrike, and they revitalized understanding of the nature of British occupation of our country. In New York, tens of thousands marched in the largest protests of English treatment of Irish POWs, In many nations, France included, streets were named for Bobby Sands. The pope, though the Catholic Church did not often support Irish civil rights) sent a cross to Bobby Sands, (and Patsy O Hara) and declared that those who died on hunger strike, contrary to the statements of English bishops, did not committ suiside.
Without the hunger strike, there would not have been a network of support which benefited cases like that of Vol. Joseph Doherty, who, though winning every case against extradition to England, and all decisions against deportment until losing by one vote in the Supreme Court, focused more attention on the ilegalities of British occupation and methods of inforcing that occupation, even having a street named after him in New York, something we should remain thankful to Mayor David Dinkins for ever... (I should say we should also thank Ray Russell, a city council aid who taught me how to take a joke I made and make it a reality, so that now the federal jail in New York is on Joseph Doherty corner!) The short lesson, something like the film It Is a Wonderful Life, is that the reprocussions of what ten brave young men did, resounds beyond those years, and even though a generation will have to someday face their ancestors and explain why they sold out centuries of struggle by an act of cowardice in removing the Irish constitutional recognition of their sacrifices, because of those many sacrifices, one day Ireland will be a whole nation as sure as, in the words of Dr. M. L. King, the arch of justice bends inevitably towards justice.
Speed the day
Larry


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: alison
Date: 28 Dec 99 - 08:57 AM

In an attempt to bring this thread around to music......

The Christy Moore songbook contains at least two songs about conditions in prisons.... they're probably at the Christy Moore site....

Ninety Miles from Dublin - Christy Moore
and
On the Blanket - by Mick Hanly, and Christy Moore.

slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Phil Hatton
Date: 28 Dec 99 - 11:23 AM

What was Bobby Sands' life outside of the IRA? Did he write any other songs appart from "(I wish I were) Back home in Derry"?


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Blackcat2
Date: 28 Dec 99 - 11:43 AM

Certainly one must admit that the hunger strikes were a protest that proved that non-violent protest CAN work. Who is to say that Bobby Sands and his commrades didn't do a lot to move the humans in N. Ireland, Ireland and the U.K. towards the level of cooperation and peace that occurs today.

And please, never dismiss a human being who is willing to die for their beliefs. Far too many things have changed in this world because of thos sacrifices. You are welcome to disagree with their beliefs and you are welcome to hate them, but to dismiss there action is to lessen you as a human being. Read up on Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr. Jesus and the Buddhist monks in Vietnam if you really don't understand the ultimate sacrifice for your views.

pax and love


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Peter T.
Date: 28 Dec 99 - 12:45 PM

I hate to get involved in this, but Gandhi, Jesus and Martin Luther King and Buddhists in Vietnam didn't go around blowing up innocent people in pubs. The British were a bunch of f****** bastards, but please.
yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Mían
Date: 28 Dec 99 - 01:40 PM

No greater love hath man but this: that a man should give his life for his friends...


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Blackcat2
Date: 28 Dec 99 - 01:51 PM

It is dificult for people to separate two different actions by the same people. I do not expect you to praise Bobby Sands for anything he did, expecially the acts of terrorism. My whole point is look at his final action and see the value in it. Irregardlous of WHY he did what he did, a hunger strike is a remarkably important type of protest, one that many groups/individual in the world could look at as a possibility.

Certainly Bobby Sands was no saint.


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Neil Lowe
Date: 28 Dec 99 - 02:37 PM

Blackcat2's second post succinctly sums up the message I was trying to convey. I thought long and hard before initiating a thread concerning such a politically sensitive subject as Bobby Sands, given the international flavor of this forum. I realized it had the potential to revive some divisive issues, as well as possibly foment disagreement among some Mudcat members. This would never be my express intent. My only point to the original post was that Bobby Sands' hunger strike made me aware of issues that I had largely ignored for various reasons. That someone was willing to consciously starve himself to death in protest of something of which I was essentially unaware brought to the forefront for the first time some political considerations that perhaps deserved my attention.

Neil Lowe


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: InOBU
Date: 28 Dec 99 - 03:55 PM

Dear Phil Hatton:
Good question, and I am glad you asked it. It helps to respond to the observation that Bobby Sands was no Saint. Who is a Saint. He was a remarkable young man of promise. His name was not identifiably Catholic, so after being varry successful in school, he got a job as the only Catholic in a Protestant buisiness. When his co-workers discovered that he was a Catholic, they took him behind the plant, stabbed him, and then burned his house down. He went to the police, and was told that he had no buisness taking a job in a Protestant buisniess, keep in mind the seventy to niety per cent unemployment among catholics in most urban centers in occupied Ireland at the time. Haveing no recource to law, he joined an inserection to bring about democratic law to his land.
A close friend of mine was his cell mate in Long Kesh, called Maze prison. Both had been tortured for a long time at the time they met. Tony, took on, as his way of deeling with prison and torture, a plan to sleep every chance he could, a common story among those who were tortured. Sands, kept waking him up asking if he played chess, he did not, if he spoke Irish, he did not... Sands told him that this was a huge oppertunity. Tony thought he was nuts. Here I was, said Tony, naked and cold, in a bare concert cell, and he tells me this is an opportunity! He explained it was the only time in my life that no one had expectations on my time. Sands made chess peices out of dried bread. He taught Tony chess and to speak Irish, Tony is now fluent. He may not have been a Saint, but he was no criminal. He was a soldier who fought against an occupying army, and DID NOT BLOW UP PUBS... He wrote with compasion of the Scotish and English soldiers, who ecconomic conditions placed in the possition of fighting against a class with whom they had more in common than the class that set them agaisnt each other.
We on this earth can never know who among us are Saints. We can only remember with a degree of wonder remarkable young men and women who dared to speak truth to power and suffer the consqences, and forced to choose, in the words of the song, chose to fight.
He will be long remembered after his detractors are forgotten.
Larry


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: paddymac
Date: 28 Dec 99 - 04:41 PM

It is well to remember that rebellions result from oppression, and the choice of weapons and strategies is imposed on the rebels by the oppressors. Had "the system" allowed the oppressed to find recourse through the courts and legislative arenas, there would never have been a need for violence. But when all facets of government are commited to furthering oppression, there is no other alternative. All Hail! to the "ten men dead" and all their fellow rebels, who gave their lives in so many ways. It's for good reason Irish people sing of the "Butcher's Apron!"


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 28 Dec 99 - 08:47 PM

Somebody blew up those pubs. Somebody blew up that plane over Lockerbie. Somebody (at this writing) is willing to kill hostages on an airplane. Somebody has made Seattle scared enough to cancel it's New Year's celebrations. Somebody killed Dr. Slepian.
Perhaps if I understood fundamentalists better, I might find something to admire in their actions. The goal may be equality at first, but it is always power and revenge in the end.

Rick


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Big Mick
Date: 28 Dec 99 - 10:43 PM

Interesting thread. I have recieved a private email that was very nervous about this thread and what they were afraid it would degenerate into. I see no sign of that, just passionate people explaining their views. I hope we can keep this as a civil discussion of a controversial subject. There is much to be learned.

Rick and Peter, I have the utmost respect for you, and consider you both friends. Rick, you know how I feel about you. But I must ask you to go back and read InOBU's and Paddymac's last posts. You say "someone blew up those pubs" as if that dismisses Sands. The facts are that Bobby Sands never blew up a pub. And while I don't like guerrilla tactics, I understand why they happen. I never hear those that condemn these acts of the IRA in its struggle pass the same condemnation on the Viet Cong. I never hear those that would condemn Israeli's blowing up the King David Hotel condemn the Black South African rebels against apartheid. What's the point? That war, and a struggle for freedom and civil rights is an ugly business. It seems to me the focus, if one seeks understanding, should be on what causes groups to have to use these tactics. It is usually because they are up against a superior force with no other means to fight. If we understand that, then we can focus on whether their cause is just or not.

Once again, my friends, I would beg that we continue this discussion, but keep it on a civil plane whose goal is to understand. I know we can do this. And to those that are troubled by it, please don't read it. That is OK too.

Respectfully,

Big Mick


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: InOBU
Date: 28 Dec 99 - 11:36 PM

Hi Rick:
I apreciate your responce. I offer that it cuts to the problem with alowing our governments to redifine terms like terrorism. In point of fact, the IRA has never blown up civilian aircraft, and only has fired on military aircraft (army helicopters) Yes, someone did blow up the TWA airplane over Scotland, and other than the fact that we both are members of the same human race, there is no other way to place the volunteers of the IRA in the same catigigory as the bombers of TWA. The doctor you mention was killed, most likely by right wing terrorists, not by a left wing resistance movement, however, the killer was, I admit, likely human, and thus in that same catigory as you, I and the IRA. I and all the volunteers in the IRA I know agree with you as to the danger of fundimentalism. This is why, unlike many Peoples Armies, the IRA does not have political comisars. In fact, one cannot hold a commission in the IRA and be a member of Sinn Fien, to make a barrier between the army and political processes. The IRA fought to bring about a democratic invironment in which political change may happen, not be inforced. The reality, if not the folly of this (though I do endorce the separation) is the rise of the Irish Reppublican Yuppie, who are forgetting the workers movement which gave rise to the resistence against english colonialism, and are looking to make Ireland a perfect environment for wage slavery. None of us old hard liners are going to shoot anyone over that either, because in this new time of peace, we have great hopes for a political enviroment of change. But when you get your news from agencies saturated with interferece from British Inteligence, well, I forgive you not knowing the differece between the IRA and terrorist groups.
Do aske what terrorist killed Carol Anne Kelly,Livingston, and all the other children murdered by men in English uniforms, shot point blank and killed in retaliation for armed resistance.
Cry murder cry murder for thats all it was
They shot young O Hagan with out any cause
Accept that if you were not there, you dont know.
Thouse of us who saw with our own eyes... know
Peace and justice
Larry


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 29 Dec 99 - 01:50 AM

I believe that what Rick and Peter may have been objecting to was the comparison of Bobby Sands and the IRA to Gandhi and Martin Luther King. That King and Gandhi were able to accomplish their revolutions through the active renunciation of violence gives to them a nobility that can never belong to those who employ violence as a useful tool to accomplish their aims.


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Big Mick
Date: 29 Dec 99 - 08:33 AM

In fact, Leej, the Irish were dedicated to and using the tactics of Gandhi and King. The year was 1968. They were having a peaceful nonviolent march. The incident is known as Bloody Sunday. And now, some 30 years later, we are finding out what we always knew. The soldiers that were present are admitting that there were British Army snipers present shooting people, and laughing about it. The information has been verified by International agencies.

Big Mick


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: InOBU
Date: 29 Dec 99 - 08:40 AM

We forget that non-violence is a tool of social change. After Burntollet, it was apparent that the terrorist police force of occupied Ireland was prepared to kill non vilolent marchers, and after Bloody Sunday, it was apparent that the English Army was under orders to do the same. Need we remind people that the Queen of England, Mrs. Mountbatten ne Hannover - who styles herself as Windsor, gave medals to those responcible for killing 13 unarmed protestors. Independant journalists at the event said the army fired at non violent, unprovoked protesters, and then decorated the murderers. Is that not the definition of state sponsored terrorism?
Can we speak of Gandhi and not remember Jillianwalla? Can we speak of Jillianwalla and not remember the burning of Cork and the murder of so manny there? How easy is it to say stand in front of the guns. I did, I was in Belfast with a camera, and the only ones pointing guns at those of us who were independant journalists were wearing English uniforms. I come from an Anglo Irish, PROTESTANT family, I never made a secret of that fact and was welcome in every Republican home I went to. On the other hand, loyalist related to me by blood would kill me on sight for speaking the truth to power. Who are the terrorists?
There is a reason the in the United States and England the Ira is painted as terrorists. The reason can be found among the mines illegaly placed in the harbors of Nicaragua, the illegal blockcade of Cuba, The shoot to kill policy and subsiqent surrpression of the Stalker report and the defamation of an honnorable English Police Commisioner John Stalker - who did his job exposing English terrorism and was ruined for it, The answer is found in why we really bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki to keep Russia from invading an already defeted Japan, the answer is found in the murder of civilians in Korea, in the free fire zones of Viet Nam, in short, to Rome, Jews like Christs were terrorists, (remember the two swords in the gardin and Christ said that will be enough... )
Larry


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: DonMeixner
Date: 29 Dec 99 - 09:02 AM

About terrorism in general.

I find I am concerned with the identity of the people involved in these action more and more. As we have learned with the apparent terrorism in the Balkans and in the middle east to blame the Muslims is the same as blaming the Catholics or Protestant people for a crime. What faction did the deed? Was it the IRA, The True IRA, a bunch of drunk guys who are out of work and would never have otherwise potshot into a car? Most of us really don't know well enough on this side of the pond to judge clearly beyond the scope of our emotions.

To blame all Muslims for the work of a militant, fundimental few is a crime against many millions of Muslim faithful who believe the Koran to be the tool for peace that it is. How long did Muslims take the heat for Oklahoma City before it becam apparent that it was a homegrown kind of cowardly murder done here.

I don't know what Bobby Sands did before he stopped eatting. I was impressed that he carried his protest through to the end. Was he saint or soldier? I don't know. That he was a man of amazing conviction seems enough to me.

Don


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: catspaw49
Date: 29 Dec 99 - 09:21 AM

Interesting conversation by intelligent folks and in the best traditions of the 'Cat.

I generally simply read along, inspired and amazed and happy to be in such company...but I'll add 2 cents, no lengthy diatribe, but simply an observation.

Being involved with the movement in the 60's made me aware of the power of non-violence. I hope not to offend anyone, living or dead here, but one of the greatest powers of non-violence is its ability to provoke violence from others, and regrettably, social change is expedited by acts of violence simply because of the attention we pay to them. I find it ironic, but not amusing, that white supremacist groups, especially the Klan, have taken the non-violent lesson to heart and are using it well. At any Klan demonstration it is invariably the well meaning anti-klan faction that is provoked to violence and are arrested. The "Klan Christmas Tree" fiascos that have taken place in many cities are witness to this very thing.

Enough. BTW, be sure to read Don Meixner's song on the thread entitled "A Mother's Kiss."

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: JedMarum
Date: 29 Dec 99 - 09:25 AM

Politics and personal motivations aside, I am always moved and impressed when someone is willing to die for his or her convictions. I am much more careful about giving respect to those who are willing to kill.


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Peter T.
Date: 29 Dec 99 - 09:47 AM

I apologise for getting involved in this thread, it was stupid, and won't happen again. I was responding to the remarks about Gandhi and the Buddhists in Vietnam, and, as LEJ says, making a point about non-violence, which is about rising above the "weapons of your oppressors", whatever that rhetoric means in the context of blowing up innocents wherever, in Israel, South Africa, Ireland, Canada. The idea of attacking innocents is either to win attention for your cause, or to succumb to Maoist rhetoric about how all the "forces" of the oppressor are acceptable targets. In either case your moral strength is lost, which is the only real weapon of the weaker innocent against the superior capacity for violence of armies. Once you move into violence, you are your enemy.
The forces involved in that situation all turned into their enemy, they all behaved like vicious bastards, they turned into scorpions in a bottle, stinging each other into frenzies, and dragged each other down into the depths of depravity. Anyone on any side who isn't ashamed of what their own people did in the name of high-sounding ideals and military rhetoric learned nothing.
yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Blackcat2
Date: 29 Dec 99 - 10:14 AM

Greetings all

Just wanted to set the record straight, if you check back to my prior post, I was not comparing Bobby Sands to Gandhi and MLK,Jr. I was comparing is willingness to die in a non-violent protest to their actions in their struggles. I am no expert on this subject. All I know is what was reported on the news years ago as well as occasional retrospectives and the discussions I've been involved with such as this. I cannot and will not form an opinion on Bobby Sands the man. But I can look at his final days and respect those actions and the intent behind them.

The people who dehumanize "criminals" or "enemies" as seems to have been done to Bobby Sands and the others only ends up dehumanizing themselves. Bobby Sands did something that brought back his humanity. He exerted his free-will and chose to do one of the few things that his captors were unwilling to prevent.

Gandhi and MLK,Jr. dedicated their lives to securing the rights of humans through non-violent means. While both died from assassins and not through protests as did Sands, they both repeatedly put their lives on the line. From what I've seen of the history of pre-1968 N. Ireland, that was tried by at least some of the Catholic leadership. Unfortunately it failed. In my opinion it did not fail because of Bloody Sunday, but because the protesters chose to let it fail because of Bloody Sunday. Gandhi said once that he was not willing to kill for a cause but he was willing to die for a cause.

What happened after Bloody Sunday is neither right or wrong. It was individuals and organizations doing what they thought best to change a situation that they believe was intolerable. I will not condemn them for their actions and neither will I condemn the British/Unionists for theirs.

I WILL praise both sides for the advances in the last few years. And hope and pray that these advances continue until both Catholic and Protestant and everone else have a decent job, a decent house and the feeling of safety that I have in my life.

Blessed be & pax

Blackcat2


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: InOBU
Date: 29 Dec 99 - 10:52 AM

My dear brother PeterT:
Never appoligise for taking part in a well meaning discussion, do however, take a mild crit for refering to Moaist beliefs. I am not a Moaist, I am definatly a Marxist, as much as all scientists are Einstienists. I am conditionaly an anarchist, as a syndicalist trade unionsit, and a communist and a socialist, as confusing as that might be to some.
The reason Seatle has canceled its celibration has little to do with Bobby Sands, rather it may be more the fact that most of your taxes go to buy missiles to aim at the rest of the world, while ignoring the need for health care and housing in this great land, which takes 70% of what the world produces.
Bobby Sands was as much a victem of NATO as he was of English colonialism. Again, as we in NATO nations threaten the world with a blinding flash of light and then eternity, who are we to causualy use the word terrorist for any enimy who sais no to the colateral effects of the cold war - like poverty unemployment and arrest without trial or crime in Ireland.
DON! My brother! I have always appreciated your rehtorical style, and I undertand your point in your comment about Irish drunks with bombs, however, that particular styerotype in this instance is without historical precident to my knowlege or experience.
All the best to all
As ever in peace and solidarity
Larry


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 29 Dec 99 - 11:23 AM

Hi Mick, sorry we didn't connect phone-wise for Christmas. Ours was great, hope yours was too.

First of all folks, I'm a total idiot for even venturing here. I have no idea what made me change my policy of not posting in this type of thread...possibly it was the two Bobby Sands' songs I learned many years ago. Or possibly feeling a bit sheepish about our approaching holiday, and thinking what Christmas would bring for those plane hostages, or even remembering Mudcatter McKnees' (a Glasgow cop, and my sister-in-law) harrowing descriptions of what the Lockerbie "body cleanup" force went through in the way of nervous breakdowns and broken marriages. Anyway, I wasn't taking sides, and haven't for years.
My politics have become simple: I have NO respect whatsoever for ANY group with hierarchical leadership. I've been extremely lucky to have never been exploited or condemned (or arrested and tortured) for my colour, ideas or (total lack of) religion. To put a name to my political beliefs would mean that I had been influenced by someone ambitious enough to think that "they" had the "right" answer, and charismatic enough to gather acolytes around them. I may find most of those who have aspired to leadership, fascinating to read about (I'm a print and history junkie) but just don't have the stomach to allow ANYONE to consistently tell me how to live my life. I observe...and I follow my conscience. It's often put me in situations that make being part of a group, organisation or community, quite difficult...but it's the ONLY thing that works for me. I could kill (or die) for my wife, and quite possibly for many of the individuals that I cherish as friends (am making a few wonderful ones on mudcat) but I doubt I could for a country, with an inherently dishonest structure, wherin the most ambitious eventually call the shots. To me, that is EVERY country.

Rick Fielding (typed this up at 3 am. and couldn't get it through. Looked at it this morning, and it still sums up how I feel. The thread is fascinating. (with that good writing that I mentioned in the "Was this about music?" thread


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Mbo
Date: 29 Dec 99 - 01:00 PM

Is this Bobby Sands guy the one that "Some Mother's Son" was about. I really have no opinion on the subject (I'll remain neutral in this one) but Bill Whelan's music from the movie was really cool, regardless of the subject of the film.

--Mbo


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: DonMeixner
Date: 29 Dec 99 - 03:32 PM

Larry,

Please don't think that I was suggesting that drunkeness and Irishmen are synonymous. I would never be so inclined. Perhaps a poor choice of words and I appologize to all who feel that I promoted an historically inaccurate and unfair stereotype.

Don


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE SEABIRD (Bill Whelan)
From: Áine
Date: 29 Dec 99 - 04:01 PM

Dear Mbo,

I'm very glad that you mentioned 'Some Mother's Son'. Even though the film is not specifically about Bobby Sands, it is an excellent film that examines both sides of the situation in Northern Ireland at the time. The music of Bill Whelan was wonderful, especially his song, 'The Seabird'. This song affected me particularly, since I have a son who is about the age of the hunger strikers at the time; and the film is essentially the story of the mothers and families of the strikers, and the torment and pain that they suffered from the actions of their sons and the actions of the authorities. Below are the words of the song, both in English and my translation of them to Irish.

Slán agus beannachtaí ar achan duine anseo, Áine

The Seabird
by Bill Whelan

I dream of a Seabird
As it opens its wings to the gale
And as it soars o'er the Island
It follows the wake of my trail
And when the dark night falls
And the grey mists surround me
My heart is a small boat
Your love is its sail

Chorus

And I'll sing of all the love I have for you
And I'll bear with all the pain you want me to
For whichever way we may go
And no matter what winds may blow
It's our Nature that binds your heart to me

Oh my hope is for freedom
And it rises and falls on the tide
And as I sail on the ocean
I have one warm secret inside
When the west winds blow
And the white waves are foaming
My heart is a small boat
Your smile is the shore

Chorus

I will sing of all the love I have for you
And I'll bear with all the pain you want me to
For whichever way we may go
And no matter what winds may blow
It's our Nature that binds your heart to me

An t-Éan Mara
(aistriúchán le hÁine Cooke)

Is éan mara go tchímse
Chun an gála a sciatháin ag leathadh
Thar an t-oileán ag ardú
Ag leanúint mo lorg thar lear
Nuair a éirí an oíche dhubh
'S ceo farraige gach taobh domh
Is báidín mo chroíse
'S a sheol atá do ghrá

Curfá

Is síorghrá duitse a bheidh mo cheol go deo
Is do chrá a tógfar ormsa le mo bheo
Cibé bealach a rachaidh sinn
Cibé gaotha ag séideadh orainn
Beidh ár gcroíthese le chéile nascadh go brách

Is m'aisling ár tsaoirse
Agus tagann sí in aghaidh an tsrutha
Mar sheolaim thar mara
Cuirim rúin ó chroí taobh istigh
Nuair a shéideann na gaotha aniar
'S na tonnta gheala ag casadh orm
Is báidín mo chroíse
Is d'aoibhse mo thír

Curfá

Is síorghrá duitse a bheidh mo cheol go deo
Is do chrá a tógfar ormsa le mo bheo
Cibé bealach a rachaidh sinn
Cibé gaotha ag séideadh orainn
Beidh ár gcroíthese le chéile nascadh go brách


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Hasek
Date: 29 Dec 99 - 04:43 PM

Dear Neil, Your thread on Bobby Sands is by far one of the most inspiring pieces touched on in a long while. I am a citizen of the United States and a member of the world and what Bobby Sands ( and his fellow inmates) did to publicize the issues and conditions on political prisoners of war in Northern Ireland was very heroic. All too often we sweep away true history to concentrate on the public indescretions of our own president or subjects which sell newspapers. I have been contemplating for the past 4 months , the writing of a song about Bobby Sands and Long Kesh Prison and your thread has now given me the direction and motivation to complete this. Happy New Year to you and thank you for allowing all of us to see ( in my opinion ) a true revolutionary.

Sincerely yours,

Mike Strobel

Rochester, New York , U.S.A.


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: paddymac
Date: 29 Dec 99 - 04:45 PM

On a thread such as this, I thought it might be helpful, at least for those with a serious interest in the topic, to post a few references by which we might better inform ourselves, collectively and individually. This list of books is certainly not comprehensive, but it does provide some balance for the serious reader. I would welcome suggestions of other works for my own edification.

As to Bobby Sands, more or less directly: (1) "Bobby Sands: Writings From Prison"; Boby Sands Trust, 1997; Roberts Rinehart Publs, Boulder; ISBN 1-57098-113-2 (a composite of "A Day In My Life" and "Skylark Sing Your Lovely Song". (2) "Ten Men Dead"; David Beresford, 1987; Atlantic Monthly Press; ISBN 0-87113-702-x (3) "On The Blanket"; Tim Pat Coogan, 1997, Roberts Rinehart Publs.; ISBN 1-8507098-133-7

As to terrorism: (4) "The Committee"; Sean McPhelimy, 1998, 1999; Roberts Rinehart Publs. (5) "Inside Terrorism"; Bruce Hoffman, 1998; Columbia Univ. Press; ISBN 0-231-11468-0

As to the primary military combatants (excluding loyalist murder squads): (6) "A Pocket History of the IRA"; Brendan O"Btien, 1997; O'Brien Press; ISBN 0-86278-511-1 (7) "Big Boys Rules: The Secret Struggle Against The IRA"; Mark Urban, 1992 Faber & Faber, London & Boston; ISBN 0-571-16112x

As to background: (8) "The Uncivil Wars: Ireland Today"; Padraig O'Malley, 1997 revision; Beacon Press, Boston; ISBN 0-8070-0223-2 (9) "The Irish Troubles: A generation of Victims"; J. Bowyer Bell, 1993; St. Martin's Press, NYC; ISBN 0-312-08827-2

This 'sampler" will serve to reduce the emotionalism some folks seem to expect in this thread, but which truly has not been a dominant element.


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Big Mick
Date: 29 Dec 99 - 08:38 PM

Peter T. and Rick,

I am elated that you joined into this discussion. Please don't feel that you made a mistake. Your posts prompted understanding, debate and brilliant writing. While my leanings are well known by all who have been here for more than just a minute, I have long wanted to have these discussions in the manner in which they are currently happening. It has only been since the appearance of our new friend Larry Otway that we have been able to have these without it turning to a flame war. For those that would like to read earlier discussions, I would like to refer you to the one on the song "Back Home In Derry" which you will find HERE. Another discussion was HERE.

The most important piece of all this is that the people of Ireland, North and South, have spoken. The day of the gun is over. It is time for peace. For any of us living on this side of the water to support anything other than that is to serve some cause other than justice. No more of the senseless brutality of Omagh, and of shoot to kill policies by governments.


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Diesel
Date: 29 Dec 99 - 10:50 PM

I was in school in inner city Dublin when Bobby Sands died. I remember the black flags flying for the period of the hunger strikes, I remember a lot of the news footage and papers of the riots North and South that followed his and others deaths.

I also remember the coal miners strike in England !

What have they in common ? News media !

A documentary on ITV showed the news footage of the riots at the coalminers strike where the miners battled the police which forced the police to charge into the crowds on horseback.The documentary then went on to show the "unedited" footage - where the police charged on horseback into the peaceful miners strikers, which then caused the miners to riot !

Propoganda !

What we see and hear of, especially in relation to Government agencies - and doubly so in conflict zones such as NI, must always be balanced in the light of the 'normal' activities in the same area. Would it hurt people to know that some of the Northern victims were killed by their own side, that security forces when threatened with cost-cutting measures from Government, collude to blow up bombs or shoot innocents so as to 'create' an environment where to withdraw or scale down is harder.

I have worked with English colleagues (and still do !) and am still amazed how little those on mainland England know of what their armed forces are doing. But still compared to those who live in Northern Ireland - from either side of the divide - I am ignorant.

Why did Bobby Sands and others - 3000+ others die ? I can't answer that - maybe Margaret Thatcher can answer the first part - Her predecessors and successors the second part !

I just hope there shall be no more .......

Diesel


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: alison
Date: 30 Dec 99 - 09:49 AM

This discussion has stayed civil because the people who are offended by it aren't posting into this thread (possibly too scared of the reaction the might receive)if you are interested they are posting their views in Wasn't this about music?

Yes, I know Bobby Sands wrote songs, but this thread hasn't been about his songwriting, this thread has been political. I can see the point in having a thread to discuss his music, but having a thread to discuss if the Hunger Strike was a good thing...... surely there are political discussion groups for this sort of thing same as any other political debate.....

as for comments like "I forgive you not knowing the difference between the IRA and terrorist groups"......... count to 10 slowly alison...... tell that to any of the families of the innocents who are dead now as a result of the troubles........

there is a difference in attitudes....... and we aren't going to change each others opinions no matter how much we "discuss" this.. there are those who believe that the IRA were fighting a war, therefore people like Bobby Sands (and all of the others on both sides of the struggle)were Prisoners of War... then there are the others who believe that they (again both sides)were all terrorists...... not soldiers, just murderers, who were in prison for the crimes they had committed.

I know, I have now added to this thread instead of ignoring it and letting it disappear, I tried to stay out... but..........

The people of Ireland, North and South, have voted for peace. I pray that it lasts. This all happened almost 20 years ago can't we let it stay there or take this discussion where it belongs, and keep the mudcat for music.

slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Blackcat2
Date: 30 Dec 99 - 11:22 AM

Alison Thank you for you opinion as to whether this is an appropriate use of the Mudcat. But "and keep the mudcat for music." implies to me that you should be able to tell the rest of us who are here AND the originators of Mudcat what should and shouldn't be discussed.

You do not have that right. Clearly there are people here who think that it is alright to discuss this issue here - therefore, until the owners of Mudcat say otherwise, we shall.

I just don't get it - why do people have a problem with discussing things when it only negligably interferes with their life?

As for inappropriate statements - one of the best things about the Mudcat is that we put out ideas down in "print" so that anyone may refer back and look at what people actually said - stupid, incorrect or sublime and correct. It also affords people a chance to restate their remarks and refine their beliefs. It allows people to become more understood than in a normal conversation.

Unfortunately, people insist on checking a thread, realizing the subject bothers them and then making a comment that complains about the existence of the thread. That wastes more of my time than if they would just move on.


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Hasek
Date: 30 Dec 99 - 11:40 AM

To All, The Mudcat fosters communication and emotions in it's purest and honest sense..................................I , personally find that completely in line with a great song and music in all it's variations.

Happy New Year to all....... Mike Strobel


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: JedMarum
Date: 30 Dec 99 - 11:49 AM

The choice to kill is a very personal and very meaningful decision. Only the killer and the killee can know the justice of the act - but the act nearly always has extreme reactions among the survivors close to it. The troubles in NI have created a legacy of those extreme reactions, spurring others to further violence ... as an American born Irish Catholic, my family has been typical in its wish to support Irish Republican sentiments - but I cannot justify the terrorist activity that I have witnessed as an outsider. I know that murder has occurred on both sides (or maybe I should say all sides). I know there is a long complex history in this conflict, and I have worked hard to truly understand it. I will not comment on Bobby Sands actions prior to his incarceration; I am not inclined to support those who choose to participate in murder, and Bobby may or may not have made that choice. But Bobby's enobling choice was to die for a cause in which he believed - that, in my mind is an action that demands my respect. I suspect his cause was just (better treatment for prisoners) and I suspect his action bore fruit.

Like Alison, I pray that the current attempt at a lasting peace will take permanent root.


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: InOBU
Date: 30 Dec 99 - 01:24 PM

Hi Diesel: I am so glad you brought up the Minors strike. My father, among many other things, was a miner, during the depresion of the 1930s when he was still in his teens. I performed with a friend from Meath at a fundraiser for that strike, and concidered my Yorksire District NMU badge, which was given to me for the performance, one of my most prised possesions until I lost it in the bush in North Eastern Canada while investigating human rights abuses directed at natives at the behest of Hydro Quebec. I is only one struggle, and the news reporting obsurces that. The same people who fought the good fight in Spain, understand who Bobby Sands was, and why his friends put effort in to aid English miners.
La lucha continua! No pasaran
Larry


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Melodeon
Date: 30 Dec 99 - 03:39 PM

What a remarkable thread, with some well thought out arguments. I remember Bobby Sands MP and I remember the sadness and anger I felt when he died.However I must take issue with one thing, The atrocities carried out by the British army were done at the behest of the British government, NOT all the British people. I was and still am sympathetic to the Republican cause, if not their methods. By lumping us all together it is like me accusing all White Americans of slaugtering America's first people and of treating the African Americans so badly. I can think of a few causes for which I would die but NONE for which I could kill.

Viv


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: InOBU
Date: 30 Dec 99 - 03:50 PM

Hi Viv: I hoped it was apparent that I consider myself a comrad to the British working class. I acknowlege that a majority of the people of England as well as Britain wanted out of Ireland for a variety of reasons, many well meaning. However, in a democracy we must share and acknowlege what our nation does in our name. I actively opposed the Viet Nam war, however, I still apologise to the victems of that war. I was active in the fight for origional peoples rights in the US, however, all white Amercia reeps the benifit of that conquest, and if some natives dont wish to thank or acknowelge my help, I dont mind, what I do repays a debt we all have, and I do because it is right, not out of a sence of shame or guilt. Not to make a some of my best friends out of this... but hte best man at my wedding, my closest and dearest friend lives in Divises, in Wiltsire... I apreciate the depths of understanding you show, in being sympathetic to the Republican cause.
Let us hope there will some day be a world where no one kills in forwarding oppression, and in that day, those who kill to resist oppression will indeed be criminals, if it is possible to emagine such.
Good cheer in the New Year, and Peace. Larry


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Dave
Date: 30 Dec 99 - 04:02 PM

I can't help noticing all the blurring of the lines here between Bobby Sands the "Artist" as it were, and the reality that he was a terrorist, and that the organisation he was a member of from 1972 to 1981 was responsible for the majority of the murders in NI's troubles. Indeed, the IRA killed almost as many catholics as did the Loyalist Paramilitaries in NI's troubles.


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: InOBU
Date: 30 Dec 99 - 04:30 PM

Hi Dave: Can you give cites for the facts you allege? The plane fact is I can give cite to my facts. Please be so good as to get to a law library and look up the first decision in the extradition case of IRA Volunteer Joseph Doherty. You will find that the facts you allege were raised by the British government who held that he could be extradicted to Britain in violation of the Political Offense Exemption to Extradition, on the grounds that he was a member of a terrorist organisation. Judge Sprizzo, a concervative American judge, after a lenthy factual inquest, found that the British aligation that the IRA is a terrorist organization could not be up held in light of the facts, presented by two American lawyers, (neither of them Irish by the way). That decision was appealed and apealed again and was upheld in every court. In fact he never was extradicted. Rudolph Juliani, the present mayor of NY, then a prosicutor, used a cold war act giving special power to the executive branch of governemnt (president) to deport in the national interst. As with many cold war acts, he could do so without defining that interest, so Dohertys deportation was accomplished in spite of a prima facie showing for political asylum had been accepted and stood up to apeals. No reason was ever given why it was in Americas interest. In short, in every weighing of fact, IN COURT, the IRA was seen by an independant judicery to be NOT A TERRORIST organisation. I dont falt the British people for not knowing this in light of extrodinary powers to censor the press. But, if you have an interst in the truth, to almost quote Hamlet, Get thee to a law library
All the best, Dave, Happy and PEACEFUL! New Year,
your friend in controversy
Larry


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: alison
Date: 30 Dec 99 - 10:20 PM

Blackcat.... I am not saying that only music should be discussed (you are right only the organisers of Mudcat have that right)...

Now, why did I feel the need to speak out? because others seemed afraid to do so here in this thread....

had this been a political debate linked to a Republican / Unionist song then fair enough it has a place, but it wasn't linked to the music of Bobby Sands at all.. just his political stance....

here's a hypothetical situation...... and I'm only stating it to show what I mean ..... if someone else had started a thread called "Michael Stone", then went on to say wasn't he a hero for what he did (and yes some people believe he was.. others think he is a madman, and a murderer, or is he just another "soldier" fighting for a cause he believed in?)... (for those of you who don't remember, Michael Stone was the Protestant who opened fire on Catholics in a cemetary in Belfast as they buried their dead.... to his mind they were "legitimate targets" because they were at an IRA funeral....)... and then went on into a politcal discussion... has this sort of thing got the right to be in a music discussion forum? Or are people going to take offence? I think they would, and rightly so.

Could I justify its inclusion by saying he played great tunes on the harmonica, (he might well do for all I know.... pure speculation)....... I don't think so...

Again the Michael Stone incident happened nearly 20 years ago... so why dredge it up?.........

I'm just pointing out that what some think is acceptable is offensive to others, and it works both ways. We need to be mindful and respectful of other peoples views.

I'm not here to stir up trouble... but God knows I lived enough of my life in the situation to have a right to my opinion.

slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Big Mick
Date: 31 Dec 99 - 11:16 AM

I would have respected your right to that discussion and would have expressed my sentiments. I must, however, reject the idea that Mudcatters are not discussing here because they are afraid. Never has been the case and isn't now. The facts are that this has been a very good discourse on the subject with posts on both sides of the issue. Once again I will point out that to discuss the issues that spawn the music, and in this case a whole category of music are absolutely legitimate. How can one discuss the music of Ireland without discussing the politics? The whole history of that land over the last 800 years has been affected by its politic. Virtually every aspect of the music has been impacted by the politic. I respect that it may make you uncomfortable, and that you are and still choose to post shows the depth of your character. I salute you for that. But to suggest that the rest of us shouldn't discuss this based on that doesn't work for me.

DaveI suggest you follow Larry's suggestion and investigate your facts. The facts are that the unionist paramilitaries have killed more people during the troubles than the IRA. This is easily verifiable. And what does all that matter at this juncture? I believe that the end is near, there are still bumps in the road, and that the result is predictable. Look to the examples of Germany and South Africa.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Hasek
Date: 31 Dec 99 - 12:39 PM

Mudcatters, You all have demonstrated discourse at it's finest !!!!!!


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: wildlone
Date: 31 Dec 99 - 12:42 PM

I have posted a song written by Bobby as a separate thread it is McIlhatton.


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Brendy
Date: 31 Dec 99 - 01:40 PM

There are but a few things that I would add to this discussion.
Firstly. Good man inOBU. A more succinct description of the conflict I haven't seen in a long time.
Secondly. I wish people would get away from this "Terrorist" word. It is a word which is heavily used by governments to describe, mostly for propaganda purposes, those who have endured enough of the 2nd class citizenship, discrimination which, lets not forget was institutional.
Armed resistance against an oppressive master is the last resort. Whatever drives a man or a woman to take up a gun and fire it into his/her enemy, you can be damn sure that all the other options have failed.
The government, and their masters, who themselves favour one side over the other are themselves the cause of the problem.
Their news media make it acceptable.
While everybody is tch tch ing over what is happening in Chetjnia, the average Russian wants to drop nukes on them.
The reporting of that war for us in "the west" is vastly different from the Russian's handle on the whole thing.
Who's the "terrorist" here?
The IRA are not terrorists in my eyes, never have been. Sometimes I think they have sent a boy out to do a man's job, but remember who is the oppressed here. Incidents like Manchester, Omagh etc are as equally a "mistake" as when as inOBU points out the "Dirty Tricks Brigade" of the British Army did, with the knowledge of the Chief Constable of NI stir the pot a "bit" in order to prolong the conflict, so to justify their presence there.
Have a read at this . When I was going to school there used to be a big map of the world on our classroom wall. And I was impressed, even at a young age at all the red countries there were.
The very people who brand Bobby Sands a terrorist are inheritors of some rather grusome legacies themselves. Their foreign policy was expansionist and territorial. For Gods sake don't start using their terminology as well.

Oh, incidentally, a very Happy, and peaceful New Year to all of you 'Catters. My hope for the new millenium is the end of all militarism......everywhere! God Bless
Breandán


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Peace - hopefully!
Date: 31 Dec 99 - 03:33 PM

Hi Alison and others - Seasons greetings. I havn't been looking at the Mudat for the last few months and when I do come back I find a thread like this - politics creeps in everywhere - in all its various guises. Alison is correct a lot of people would not join this tread for a variety of reasons. This is why I'm not posting my email address. I would hate to get email I didn't ask for.

But I do have a comment. In this enlightened age why oh why do people look and live in the past - is their life so empty that they cannot expand their mind and fill their lives with deeds and thoughts of the possibility of a peaceful future in Ireland. Why live in the past. The recent changes in Ireland might - just might work. Heaven knows enough people want peace. This will hopefully allow people from all sides, all ages, all religions to work and live together. I only hope that the wisdom of age has finally swept through Ireland.

All the best from a wet Northern Ireland at 8.30pm on Old Years night. Can Mudcat keep going for the next 1000 years?

M


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Barry Finn
Date: 31 Dec 99 - 05:38 PM

There's a lot of double & triple talk here as far as I'm concerned.
"Terrorist", my discription, anyone who uses terror on innocents or non military. That means all children who are killed are murdered by murders.
There is no worst crime than to take another life when yours is not being taken.
You use a weapon as far as I'm corncered you have become the enemy to sort to rid yourself of.
There is no logic behind death it's complete, final & makes a cause worthless
No I don't come from somewhere, where there are political troubles. I came from a place where politics didn't matter, where kids killed & got killed over sneakers, men hacked others up for half a bottle of wine, where a 2 bit junkie didn't give a shit about your beliefs only that he'd kill you for your pocket change, where death shoots right at you because you happened to have walked into the wrong spot at the wrong time, where "my dog's bigger than your dog" gets your throat slit.
Tell me what you say to a mother when her kid's bled out with a hole in the head, "he died fighting the good fight & was a stand up guy" or "he died, just one of those things". God dam the person is dead & that's that & the world is the worst for it.
I've never heard of one organization that takes up a gun not to have commited murder, not the military, not the paramilitary org, not one terrorist group, not a panther or a weatherman group, NOT ONE. Doesn't the argument "they've killed more than we've killed" sound just a bit hollow? My wish is that those that kill, kill them selves off to the last murder & maybe then they'll stop trying to involve those that don't want death as their final option. There'll be no respect for anyone once they've become a killer, you can't make someones death right again. I counldn't give a shit about one's beliefs or politics when it cost one kid their life. Barry


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