Bobby Sands
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Bobby Sands


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michaelr 16 Aug 14 - 02:00 PM
Big Al Whittle 16 Aug 14 - 06:41 AM
Jim Carroll 16 Aug 14 - 06:36 AM
GUEST 16 Aug 14 - 06:12 AM
GUEST,dezarahg 15 Aug 14 - 09:42 PM
GUEST 21 Mar 11 - 07:18 AM
ollaimh 21 Mar 11 - 12:33 AM
GUEST,Tim O'Neil 20 Mar 11 - 10:34 PM
GUEST,Alan Whittle 20 Mar 11 - 09:55 PM
Richie Black (misused acct, bad email) 20 Mar 11 - 06:00 PM
GUEST,Nick O'Neil 20 Mar 11 - 05:53 PM
GUEST 21 Sep 04 - 07:07 AM
InOBU 05 Jan 00 - 05:07 PM
JedMarum 05 Jan 00 - 01:52 PM
InOBU 05 Jan 00 - 01:40 PM
Hasek 05 Jan 00 - 01:14 PM
GeorgeH 05 Jan 00 - 01:04 PM
Ringer 05 Jan 00 - 05:32 AM
InOBU 04 Jan 00 - 11:29 PM
InOBU 04 Jan 00 - 11:22 PM
remi from Paris 04 Jan 00 - 09:38 PM
Brendy 04 Jan 00 - 08:01 PM
JedMarum 04 Jan 00 - 06:39 PM
Richard Bridge 04 Jan 00 - 06:21 PM
Rick Fielding 04 Jan 00 - 05:55 PM
InOBU 04 Jan 00 - 05:22 PM
Richard Bridge 04 Jan 00 - 04:53 PM
Hasek 04 Jan 00 - 04:39 PM
Blackcat2 04 Jan 00 - 04:25 PM
Big Mick 04 Jan 00 - 04:16 PM
Brendy 04 Jan 00 - 03:29 PM
04 Jan 00 - 03:23 PM
JedMarum 04 Jan 00 - 02:59 PM
Hasek 04 Jan 00 - 01:47 PM
Blackcat2 04 Jan 00 - 10:09 AM
Ringer 04 Jan 00 - 07:53 AM
Big Mick 03 Jan 00 - 11:17 PM
Brendy 03 Jan 00 - 10:41 PM
InOBU 03 Jan 00 - 10:36 PM
Richard Bridge 03 Jan 00 - 09:43 PM
InOBU 03 Jan 00 - 01:36 PM
InOBU 03 Jan 00 - 01:08 PM
InOBU 03 Jan 00 - 01:02 PM
Richard Bridge 03 Jan 00 - 12:17 PM
InOBU 03 Jan 00 - 09:36 AM
InOBU 03 Jan 00 - 08:26 AM
Big Mick 03 Jan 00 - 06:11 AM
paddymac 03 Jan 00 - 12:50 AM
Barry Finn 03 Jan 00 - 12:35 AM
alison 02 Jan 00 - 11:43 PM
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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: michaelr
Date: 16 Aug 14 - 02:00 PM


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 16 Aug 14 - 06:41 AM

I wonder if Bobby Sands' death made the lasting impact on the lives of his many supporters, at home and abroad, that it did on the dozens of grieving families of people who were killed on the streets of Belfast in the few days after his suicide.

My local MP, Don Concannon -went to BS's deathbed and begged him not to go through with it. Still if you adore his passion - knowing fully the mayhem it gotta admit his achievement was a bit nothing compared what the 9/11 guys achieved against the US.

one man's terrorist.....heh! heh! heh!

its funny how US perceptions of terrorism have changed now they are on the receiving end of all that adored passion.

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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Aug 14 - 06:36 AM

One of the best songs to come out of this period is Mick Moloney's 'Ohara, Hughes, McCreesh and Sands.
I first heard it during the Willia Clancy Summer School sung by Seamus Mac Mathúna around the time of the events - powerful stuff
Jim Carroll

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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
Date: 16 Aug 14 - 06:12 AM

Should this thread not be in the bottom list?

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Subject: bobby Sands son
From: GUEST,dezarahg
Date: 15 Aug 14 - 09:42 PM

Hello, I've been learning more about the acts of Bobby Sands and I adore his passion for his beliefs. Every one has a sole purpose in this life. However, I just don't understand his his son suffered the most, obviously having to be hidden his entire life to be protected, simply because of his father's core values. Nothing is ever mentioned of Gerad yet he's the only child? Are we supposed to believe that he's a chef? The irony in that is just crazy. Whomever must think that the supporters that live and carry on Bobbys very own beliefs and ideas are silly to not know. Why not let him be known? Gerad deserves to be his own person and not trapped with an identity crisis the rest of his life. Good Lord he's in his 30s he's suffered long enough also..

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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
Date: 21 Mar 11 - 07:18 AM

P.S. Nick
It should also be said....the existence of the IRA is directly related to the atrosities committed by the British Empire.

Good to hear from you Lor!

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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: ollaimh
Date: 21 Mar 11 - 12:33 AM

ah yes the old right wing crank richard bridges is back obsfucating at his best. if he's a lawyer as suggested i not in cape breton the pronouciation of liar and lawyer are almost identical.

i note he has routinely defended the killing of peacefullcivilians by the british army on bloody sunday but finds it teribel and wothy of condemnation that the ira killed innocent civilians. there's the old bigot not seeing the sauce for the gander and and goose/

i am a pacifist for life, but there is no ethical or moral difference between the ira and the americasn revolutionaries. or the south african freedom fighters under nelson mandela--something mandela siad hinself.

bobby sands may have used tactic i wouldn't but he lived by his principles, and he died by his principles.

therte was a recent documentasry on cbc about the gorta mor--the great hunger. british people who have these thing c3nsored should try to see it on line. it was a clear cut genocide of convience to the welth landowners and their alles. landlords who got thier land through a series of military events over three hundred years disposssing the native population. after ireland the british empire took the show on the road if i may quote gore vidal. they "practiced genocide in ireland then took the show on the road and ended up on the california coast all dressed up for empire and no one left to kill."

there is a great book of essays about the dispossession of natives in north america also called "the dispossed" and a great book of gaelic poetry of the same name"an duanaire" to have an opinion on these things these are must reads. the sstory of the victums of dispossession and the power that ethniclly cleansed them--natives all--is riviting. it is the story of laissez faire capityalism. the story of the neo con "market capitlists" the story of the miltary industrial complex. they are all one powerfull heartless and greed driven movement in history that has driven us to the brink of extinction through enviornmental ignorance and ddestyruction. all one theme that is often ignored.

i point out one more poetic/spiritual connection. to ancient celts, at least in our gaidhlig ledgends in ole cape breton--such as they survive--starvation is a shamefull end. beyond redemption. however there is one exception. to enact permanent dioglais(vengence) on an enemy you can do it by starving yourself to death a the enemy's front gate. then your soul will become a demon that will curse them for eons. i love the symbolism of the starving irish at the front gate of the empire. and the same for bobby sands. starving at the british empires front gate.

as for remining a bit anonymous.well richard i doubt you have been assaulted by other folkies for speaking out about liberation of all peoples --well i have, on native american issues,,balck issues and gealic issues. i am getting old but i have always been prepared to defend my self. and luckily anglos are so cowardly in fisticuffs--in my experience--they will only go through with the threats if they out number you badly, and even then when you attack with vengence and all weapons blazing they run usually.however i try to avoid these situations as mch as possible, so i remain partially anonymous. i however state unequivocally i have been threatned in folk circles in toronto vancouver and london, and these have occasionally required me to throw a bar table into a crowd of anglos redneck to get out the door!!!!

i did thaqt in sasketchewan once as welll--that's another story i will tell one day

again i quote a black poets paraphrse--by an old busking bud in new york from back decades

" they don't come by ones, they ddon't come by threes they come by tens, they don't talk by ones they don't talk by threes they talk in hundreds, they don't kill by ones they they don't kill by tens they kill by thousands thousands and thousands"

so i try not to have to fight anymore than i have to. i was young when the esstern solicist alliance went campaigning for the organization of the nova scotia fishermens unon--we had to fight the best we could because the enemy was preparted to use violence and had state support for that violence. in a protest some of my georgian busker pals from decades ago got me into we had to fight the rednecks.and many irish have had to fight the abuse of violence supported by the state. in t he case of blody sunday openly supported by the military the courts and all levels of society for thrity years.however if i don't have to fight i don't, even if the threatning assholes are obvious chirpers who will back down if confronted. and i actually only had to duke it out a half dozen times in my wanderings. a good mad man agrtessive stance will get you out of most shit--and we highland wscotts are real goos at the madman agressive stance--people tell me i am terrifying when i start my conyrolled scream. so i like to lay low because the people who arte poassive ifots and the agressively violent anglo military capitalst state people don't pull any punches.

thse empires that kill so many, i point out are legal responsible and democratic governments. and i remain amazed and out raged that so many british on these lists hold anyone speaking out about irish oppression--or the oppression of the french in canadan is held responsible for every group fighting the opression, no matter how underground and no matter how un connected they are, while none of the britsh seem to think they haveanyperson responsibility for the deadly actions of their elected governments soldiers and secert services.

and finally rick fielding--i know people who respect you, but don't be an idiot. the main stream in ontario may be unaware of the massive historically injustices perpetrated by the british on the gaels, but you should know better--reaaaaaly. its not just those mad violent terrorist insanely and criminally fighting the sweet and just ethical state. the british state and the canadian state had killed many mnay minorites and expect no reprisals. i think canadian natives are among the most forgiving people on the planet and you should be gratefull for that. so are most irish.most anglo camadians and most british would stop at nothing , violence, war nuclear retaliation, if these things were dome to them.

the canadian native schools right now is going through a sham truth and reconcilliation commission on native schools. the anglican, protrstant, and catholic churtches with the authorization of the canadiasn state took native children from their patents, assumed legal guardianship and put then i shool that existed ntill th late seventies. there the average death rate was above fifty per cent right up untill the end. its no accident that native population has been booming since the residential schools have ended.and what was the official response? natives have to provide a written advance copy of their testimony to bureaucrats before they can testify--nastives who often come from wilderness traditional orasl cultures as far as tadoolie lake and rankin inlet. and they can;t name any names of the crimial perpetrators.what hypocracy!

this is not a digression.the same capitalist/military state that ethncally cleansed the hghlands and committed genocide in ireland created these schools, for the same reason--to dispossess the landholders on land wanted by the conquerors!!

there you have it
1. bobby sands was dedicated fighter for liberation and no more violent nor more murdeous of the innocent than the british army and secert sertvices. nor canadian army or secert services or indian affairs department
2. the sme empire ethnicallyn cleansed us highlanders and us french acadiens==remember le grand derangerment?? well you all should--that's when the british collected acadien allied natives' scalps for pay for several decades, thats when they deportd the settled acadiens without regard to famly unity nor for safety--almost a third died in the deportation year. and acadiens didn't get equal civil and human rights untill the sixties and seventies, under louis robichaud and piere trudeau--i like to say trudeau and robichaud promoted us to white folks!!

3 the british empire was not the most abusive nor violent in history, far from it, they were totally venial and greedy but they did have some tradition of human and civil rights, but they have no claim to any ethical nor any moral authority. they used state power to kill the innocent from the geraldine wars in munster--which killed three quarters of the population, to the great hunger--other european nations had a the potato blight and food riots, but not being the richest and most powerfull empire on earth they fed their citizens!!! to the north americamm genocde right up to residential schools, and to the paying bounties for native scalps by the british army in nova scotia to le grand derangement(the deportation of the acadiens. and including the massive civilain deaths in .

4 and finally some of us don't have the luxury of being part of the majority culture, and have to try to recude their exposure to the violence from the majority culture--in the folk scene and in civil rights and human rights battles. so we try to have a little anonymity. any who question that ought to answer when was the last time they got beat up with axc handles or chains by anglo rednecks fighting for corporations or even for white suprenists thugs? when you've ad that experience then criticize those who like a lttle protection--and not much. any one who reads all my psts can likey nfigure out who i am.

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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: GUEST,Tim O'Neil
Date: 20 Mar 11 - 10:34 PM

Nick sorry for your loss! Might I suggest you read up on your history, particularly the Cromwellian years during the days innocent women and children were butchered seeking refuge inside church walls and the famine years when England attempt the mass extermination of the irish race. I think then you might have a better understanding of who were actually the original perpetrators of the term " terrorists"!

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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: GUEST,Alan Whittle
Date: 20 Mar 11 - 09:55 PM

I'm not sure this thread was ever about music. Not the initial post. The intial post seems to be about Bobby Sands and his achievement and how it should be measured.

There seems to be a measure of disagreement about that. Doubt if we'll sort it out here, or change anyone's opinion. I can't see much profit for anyone in sensibilities being outraged by this thread.

We disagree. People have, for a while at least stopped killing each other over these grave matters. I can't see that an outbreak of violent argument and insult (even in the rough and tumble of Mudcat debate) is desirable.

Lets just hope we can put our unfortunate past far behind us.

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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Richie Black (misused acct, bad email)
Date: 20 Mar 11 - 06:00 PM

I see the new crop of "Guests" have arrived on this thread. should be closed as it started out asking a simple music question.

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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: GUEST,Nick O'Neil
Date: 20 Mar 11 - 05:53 PM

As one who lost a nephew Jonathan Ball (age 3) to a bomb placed by these murderous thugs that you call "soldiers," in a Belfast market bombing, let me tell you that those imprisoned in the Maze were killers of 2,000 innocent men, women and children in an attempt - not to unite Ireland - but to impose a Marxist government on it (as in the Sinn Fein manifesto.) My little nephew was toddling on his little chubby legs to buy a Mother's Day card for my sister. Along with other children, he was blown apart. In a similar outrage in Warrington, the IRA set a bomb in a trash can outside a favorite kids' eatery, and a second one timed to catch those fleeing the first - more dead kids and innocent women and men.

The Czech Semtex used in IRA bombs came from Libya, bought by money collected in Irish-Amereican pubs, bars and clubs in the New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago etc. Michael Hensall, Bishop of Warrington, said: "Pictures should be sent to America and people there told 'this is what some of you are funding. Look at it. See what you have done.'"

So don't give me your rubbish about how the IRA represent the Republic of Ireland. They have been illegal from the very formation of the Republic in 1922. Eamon deValera, no lover of Britain, used to hang IRA members as enemies of the state (ironically, he used the official British hangman!) Every single Irish Prime Minister has condemned the IRA, and the majority of Irish regard them as thugs, murderers and Mafiosi. Most of them are not even Irish; they are from the six counties that form Northern Ireland, recognized by every country on earth as part of the United Kingdom.

The prisoners in the Maze were not "political prisoners" - men imprisoned for their political beliefs - they were there because they committed murder, arson, torture and maiming, and witness intimidation - violent offenses illegal in any civilized country. As common prisoners they were required to wear prison clothing during the day, but WERE ALLOWED TO WEAR THEIR OWN CIVILIAN CLOTHING AFTER WORK HOURS, AND DURING THE DAY WHEN RECEIVING VISITORS. They took their case to be treated as "special case" (i.e. political) prisoners to the European Court of Human Rights, which ruled that they did not qualify for any special treatment or classification.

Sands was convicted of several weapons offenses, including possession of a gun used to fire at police. First conviction 1972; five years. On release in 1976 (one year off) he returned to the same criminal activity, being involved in one bombing. Leaving behind two wounded confederates (brave of him) after a gun battle with police, he and three others tried to escape by car, but were cought. His printes were on one of the guns in the car. This time he got 14 years. Some hero.

Example of the other hunger strikers are just as ghastly:

Sean McKenna: 21 offences, including attempted cop killing, kidnapping, hijacking, possession of firearms and explosives, intimidation of witnesses - all in 13 months. April 10, 1972, he and his buddies hijacked a car at gunpoint, shot at a policeman and policewoman, wounding the male. At his triel, he said: "I didn't think I had killed the policeman ... I intended to kill him." But this piece of dirt was just getting warmed up. Ordered to kill a member of the Ulster Volunteer Force in Newry: "We hijacked a car and drove to the house where I thought he lived. I asked the girl for her husband and fired three shots into him. Then we drove to the Border Inn and had a few drinks. I found out that I'd shot the wrong man."

John Nixon: Armed robbery and possession of arms;
Tom McFeeley: Ditto
Tommy McKearney: Murder of a part-time cop;
Raymond McCartney: Murder of DuPont executive Jeffrey Agate and a cop;
Leo Green: Cop killing;
Brendan Hughes: Firearms possession.
And on the list goes. Murder, arson (one was imprisoned for killing an elderly woman in the shop he firebombed). As Sean O'Casey said: "They live to kill and they kill to live."

Want to hear the ultimate irony? The first hunger strike deaths were in 1940, when seven prisoners went on hunger strike IN DUBLIN'S MOUNTJOY PRISON, BECAUSE THE REPUBLIC'S DEVALERA WOULDN'T ACCORD THEM POLITICAL PRISONER STATUS. Two of them, Tony D'Arcy and John McNeela, died after 51 and 54 days, respectively. :)

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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
Date: 21 Sep 04 - 07:07 AM

I may not be Irish but I believe that Bobby Sands is not a terrorist.According to my opinion terrorists are all those who provoke and give birth to the so called "terrorists".In this case if the British hadn't caused that much pain and sorrow in the Ulster area we would'nt have all these incidents.Why doesn't anyone call
George Bush or Donald Rumsfeld terrorists?

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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: InOBU
Date: 05 Jan 00 - 05:07 PM

If old Bill were here, he would answer the tread that woulnd t die, with, - like the light of truth and freedom.
By the way, are you related to the Pavee Devlins - as in Bernadette? Some great musicians there!
Slan go foil

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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: JedMarum
Date: 05 Jan 00 - 01:52 PM

chuckle ... the thread that wouldn't die!

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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: InOBU
Date: 05 Jan 00 - 01:40 PM

Hi GeorgeH:
Good to see you back! US courts,are a nuetral environemnt, wherein the government of GB made its best arguement the IRA Vol. Joe Doherty was a member of a terrorist group, and therefore extradictable. A judge who is much more concervitive than I will ever be, listened to months of testimony and read boxes of submitted materials, and ruled as he did in the post above. To say that this is an examination of Republican Propaganda hardly justifies comment. I dont think that United States Federal District Court Judges, appointed by the President of the United States and ratified by the Congress of the United States to a possition of life long tenure are often - if ever - advocates of radical politics. To show that he ruled against his inculturation, he made a quip to several of us, durring another case, after a piece of reporting from the NY Times, that we should be happy that particular incident did not happen before the Doherty case, and in that comment we see the difference between wieghing all the facts in court and what we read in the news. However, a good judge, studies the facts presented uncolored by the less than careful reporting of the news (especially when reporting on Ireland often comes through the coloring of British Intellegence, as is attested to by British Intellegnce member retired, Frank Holroyd).
As always good to hear from you, in the New Year.
All the best

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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Hasek
Date: 05 Jan 00 - 01:14 PM

Dear G. Your last sentence was and is the only part of your post , I agree with. Please read all OF THE POSTS TO THIS THREAD in an effort to understand all issues and view points. It's a remarkable thread !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mike Strobel

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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: GeorgeH
Date: 05 Jan 00 - 01:04 PM

Can I propose a new prefix for Mudcat? A suitable abbreviation for "Republican Propaganda", please. Because so much of what appears as reasoned argument in this thread (no, I've not read every article here) is, in fact, propagandist. Mainly by selection of facts, but also by lack of context. To take just a couple of points from the tale of this thread:

US court rulings reflect the reality of US society, where the Irish ex-pats are a significant influence; whatever the US court may claim it perfectly possible to argue that its distinction between the PIRA and the Red Brigades is a bogus convenience for pandering to the political realities of the USA. (Actually, I accept the political motivation of the IRA and - as a non-lawyer - would expect this to invalidate extradition under many such agreements. But would say the same arguments apply to the Red Brigades.)

Even if we accept Ireland as the "Land of the Irish" (whoever they may be) rather than an extension of England, that does nothing to legitimise the IRA or their political aims.

And - to return to an early comment which particularly irritated - only the lunatic fringe of the terrorists' supporters have ever claimed they should be regarded as Prisoners of War . . Within the frameworks which recognise the concept of Prisoners of War there's never been a war in Ireland - though it suited the British to so describe the so-called "civil war" between the Free-State and the Republicans, as doing so allowed them to wash their hands of the "semi-judicial" murders of Republicans by the Free State.

Yes, the British have screwed up just about everything they've done on/in Ireland, for as far back as you care to go. However that OF ITSELF does not in any way LEGITIMISE either the actions or the objectives of the PIRA.

But there is simply too much misunderstanding (of facts, and of background) and downright nonsense in this thread - from so many different angles - to even begin to deal with it. However, to return to the original post; whatever else, Bobby Sands was a man of remarkable courage, and his self-sacrifice did have a significant effect (but remember the Hunger Strikes were a characteristic of both the Republican and the Loyalist prisoners/internees.


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Ringer
Date: 05 Jan 00 - 05:32 AM

Brendy: I repeat that you can't discount any argument on the grounds that the person making that argument is conditioned. He merely has to reply that you are only saying that because you are conditioned, and that's not just the end of that argument, but the end of all argument. Unless argument/discussion is based on the respective merits of the different points of view, then we all might as well pack up and go home.

That our points of view are determined by, amongs other things, our conditioning, is a completely different matter and is not one that I reject.

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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: InOBU
Date: 04 Jan 00 - 11:29 PM

Liam, :
I know you have no ill wishes for Bill, and if you did, it is too late, as he is above us all, looking down, and chuckling. There was a particularly mean spirited heckler at his funeral, who, I found, was very abusive about Bill as a supporter of draft resisters, though he had himself never been in uniform , of a varity of other issues, and worst of all was screaming at those of us who filled St. Johns Cathedral to burry Bill. I finaly said to him that it was actualy good Bill died before the fellow heckling did, and he asked why, I told him Bill would argue his case in case his eternal sentence was not so much the upper lodgings as the lower ones...
Bill had thick skin, as all of us who confront the tyrony of governments in all the nations we love.
Thanks for the interest in this post, Liam, and good new year.

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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: InOBU
Date: 04 Jan 00 - 11:22 PM

CITATION: 599 F. Supp. 270 Here is the cite and a few quotes from Doherty v US. If anyone wants the whole case, e-mail me at InOBU@AOL.COM
Sorry for the delay

No. 83 Cr. Misc. 1


599 F. Supp. 270; 1984 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 21294

December 12, 1984

The Court is not unmindful of the fact that it would be most unwise as a matter of policy to extend the benefit of the political offense exception to every fanatic group or individual with loosely defined political objectives who commit acts of violence in the name of those so called political objectives. Therefore it is proper for the Court to consider the nature of an organization, its structure, and its mode of internal discipline, in deciding whether the act of its members can constitute political conduct under an appropriate interpretation of the Treaty.

However, the PIRA, as the evidence showed, while it may be a radical offshoot of the traditional Irish Republican Army, has both an organization, discipline, and command structure that distinguishes it from more amorphous groups such as the Black Liberation Army or the Red Brigade. Indeed, as the testimony established, its discipline and command structure operates even after its members are imprisoned [**16] and indeed, as Doherty testified, it was at the direction of the PIRA that he escaped and then came to the United States. See Tr. at 650-73, 830; see also In Re Mackin, supra, 80 Cr.Misc. 1 at 78-80. ....
n2 While the Court is not persuaded that the methods and objectives of the PIRA are in fact shared by a majority of the people in Ireland, or indeed by a majority of the Catholics in Northern Ireland, that circumstance is not dispositive of the issue of whether respondent, as a member of that group, is entitled to rely upon the political offense exception to the Treaty. Indeed, at the time of the American Revolution, there were a large number of colonists who not only desired a continued union with England, but regarded the thought of armed opposition to the Crown as both treasonous and abhorrent. See, e.g., J. R. Alden, The American Revolution 1775-1783 (1954); S. E. Morison, The Oxford History of the American People (1905); C. H. Van Tyne, Loyalists in American Revolution (1902). Many loyalists suffered the consequences of these beliefs both before and after independence. Given the nature of that history it would indeed be anomalous for an American court to conclude that the absence of a political consensus for armed resistance in itself deprives such resistance of its political character. ...
In sum, the Court concludes for the reasons given that respondent's participation in the military ambush which resulted in Captain Westmacott's death was an offense political in character. The Court further concludes that his escape from Crumlin Road prison, organized and planned as the evidence established that it was, under the direction of the PIRA and to effect its purposes rather than those of Doherty himself, was also political. That conduct and all of the various and sundry charges which are connected therewith and for which extradition is sought are not extraditable offenses under Article V(1)(c)(i) of the Treaty. n7 The request for extradition is therefore denied.
All the best wishes

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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: remi from Paris
Date: 04 Jan 00 - 09:38 PM

An answer to Phil Hatton : In 98' I heard a song in the podoir O'Donnell in derry that was -they said- written by Bobby Sands. Can't remember the title. A line said :

but you gave your sons and daughters the sense of liberty

all I can do for you...

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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Brendy
Date: 04 Jan 00 - 08:01 PM

And Richard I would respectfullly suggest that it is the Irish, no matter what their religion, are the only ones who have a claim on Ireland.
A good part of a lot of the 'anti - Irish' point of view in this thread pre-supposes that it is England (The United Kingdom is a perverse description, long outdated, and no longer relevant) who has the claim on us.
This is exactly the conditioning that I am talking about. And attitudes have to change in that department, where people stop thinking and acting superior to others as if it was theirs by Divine Right.
Was Bobby Sands a terrorist?
If he was, England made him that way.

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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: JedMarum
Date: 04 Jan 00 - 06:39 PM

Larry - actually I don't doubt Bill Kuntsler's bravery during his military career, nor his good intentions for his country. Maybe my judgemental comments above were a bit harsh. Let me try again, in a more positive light. I think Bill had a 'question authority' attitude, I recognize this in him, since I have a 'question all' attitude myself.

I mean Bill no ill-will. I know he did good for our country, as well. It may be that his public persona was harder and more bitter the real man, and that public persona is what my comments were based on. So I would ammend my comments to say that it appeared to me that Bill's relentless pursuit of anti-authority issues made me suspect they were based upon personal bitterness, rather than altruism. I could be wrong. I hope I am. Maybe ... I was playing the devil's advocate myself, just a bit ....

Anyway to all, this has been a good thread. Deep, thought provocing and, frankly, deeply disturbing. I thank all for your thoughts. I wish we had solved something here, but I know we can't ... still I walk away with a deeper understanding ... and I still pray that all of this discussion was academic because the pending and promising peace takes root.

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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 04 Jan 00 - 06:21 PM

Blackcat, I respectfully suggest that after almost 400 years it is not the ROI who might have a claim on Northern Ireland, but rather the people of Northenr Ireland.

THe ROI would be an invader.

As would the English if we sought to re-take Calais.

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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 04 Jan 00 - 05:55 PM

For anyone who appreciates impassioned and articulate (for the most part) writing, this has been a fascinating thread. Thank you for having the nerve to keep it alive. I've learned a great deal by listening to both (all) sides


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: InOBU
Date: 04 Jan 00 - 05:22 PM

Dear Richard: My band will be ariving for a rehearsal in a few moments, so I will be very brief. First and most important, you and your wife have my wife and my best wishes and prayers for her quick recovery. I hope it is nothing serrious.
As to Liam Devlin and his accusing Bill of being anti governemnt and a biggot... I have to answer that. Bill was a Captain in the US Marine core and almost lost his arm, and in fact his life, fighting off an attack by a Japanese soldier who was armed with a bayonett while Bill was unarmed. He expressed his hopes and love for his country the way a good parent does for a child, by challenging that child to be better, as should every citizen. While on an airplane once, he was simmalarly verbally attacked, and an older gentleman rose to his defence, and asked him to change his seat and sit next to him. It was one of the conceservative Supreme Court judges - which one I forget. Bill did more for his country than many of us ever will have an opportunity to have done, if only to be a voice for those who the majority sees as pariahs. Those who knew Bill, and I expect more than a few who read this did, as he was a great fan of traditional music - know that as he walked the streets strangers from those racialised and hated groups would come up to him and recieve the Kunstler bear hug. His was a legacy of love in the face of hate.
For those who complain that this particular post has grown too long, I am ending with my e-mail address for Richard, and any others who have spesific points on this all.
Got to run, Again, Bet well soon Mrs. Bridge.
Larry Otway

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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 04 Jan 00 - 04:53 PM

I am more pressed for time so this will be short. I am going to have to come back to the central issue - what did Sands achieve, and was he hero or villain, soon.

But right now I do want to say that having thought quite a lot about it while driving back and forth to visit my wife in hospital over the last few days (funny how the human mind turns things over while apparently doing something else), I do feel that this thread is more than just another BS thread. Like disco music in pop and rock, Irish music has come to occupy a huge part of the stage of folk music. We should try to understand the songs we sing. We should even try to understand the songs we don't sing (and I don't sing many Irish songs, partly because I don't agree with many of them, and partly because I could understand the rage of an Irishman who found an Englishman born into the upper middle classes occupying not just his homeland but also his music. So, although the impish glee of "the Old Alarm Clock" makes it an attractive song, I avoid it. Comparably I would never sing "Champion he was a dandy (a/k/a the twenty pound dog)". I abhor dog-fighting.

So it is important to folk music to get to grips with it. And because of the importance of Irish folk music to folk music generally (a flute and whistle player I know, who although an upper-middle class Englishman also owns a cafe in the West of the ROI once infuriated an Irishman who objected to him, an Englishman, playing Irish tunes by riposting that Irish music was too important to be left to the Irish) it is important for all folkers to understand the English conquest of Ireland and its consequences. Some songs we may sing as a result. I certainly am not afraid to play (I have not the tenor to sing) "Young Ned of the Hill". If I were good enough I could do "the Praties they were small". I do not support the Cromwellian occupation or the boycott.

So this thread is important to the music, and so it has a place here.

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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Hasek
Date: 04 Jan 00 - 04:39 PM

Music with out politics ( in my own opinion and song writing and performances ) lacks a strong ingredient. In my life the song represents the struggle and the voice is the tool to let it be heard !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Mike Strobel

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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Blackcat2
Date: 04 Jan 00 - 04:25 PM

This from a post a couple ones up: "The ROI has dropped its offensive and immoral claim on NI"

Little has bothered me on the idea of people's opinions but this does.

Does this presuppose that God gave the U.K. the right to invade, usurp and populate N.I. and that everyone should shut up and leave them alone?

I'm not saying that the ROI HAS a right to claim N.I. - I'm just saying that their claim is not all that unreasonable. and it is an insult to the intelligence of the Irish people to say such a thing. With people using such inflamatory language it is a wonder that the peace process has progressed at all.

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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Big Mick
Date: 04 Jan 00 - 04:16 PM

Dave, once again I would point out that I really enjoy the way you argue your points. I had wanted to let this one run its course which is why I have tried to stay back and read the fascinating dialogue between yourself and Larry. But I am going to take issue with you on one point. The Mudcat is exactly the place to discuss politics. Those that would leave politics out of a folk music discussion forum would doom us to a very sterile version of music. A very large percentage of folk music is of the protest or "commentary" type. Music has been used from the beginning to make political statements. Woody Gutherie's "This Land" was written as a protest against Irving Berlin's music. This is exactly the right place to discuss this type of thing. We don't subject those that choose not to be involved to our arguments, and we get very informed discussion as this thread proves. Imagine if Sean Tyrell with his "12th of July" or Tommy Sands with his "There Were Roses" felt as though politics shouldn't be part of the discussion. Make folks uncomfortable??.............I say "Good!!" . Then we are accomplishing something. We are making ourselves and others who choose to take part examine their own notions. That is a good thing in my estimation.

All the Best,


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Brendy
Date: 04 Jan 00 - 03:29 PM

Hold on there Bald Eagle!
My conditioning is based on what I experienced, yours is purely by what you were told. That's my point.
Like it or not I, now, have grown out of my bias to some degree, so I'm not as prejudiced as I was, say 20 - 25 years ago. I can see now how we were all fooled.
We were kept away from our working class comrades on the other side of the political divide to suit a more sinister purpose of the English govt. in general and NATO in particular, to keep BOTH sides down and play on their fears while they got on with manning the North Eastern approaches.
As I say, my conditioning is different, and as a result I am much more aware about such things. Things that you never see in the newspapers or on TV.

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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
Date: 04 Jan 00 - 03:23 PM

>Dave, the expressions of dislike are found in such statments as how can you wish us peace etc... If those statements were missinterpreted, my appologies. I accept fully that you wish well, and send back the same.

I was simply asking you a question, how can you wish me peace if you support or have supported a terrorist organisation. If you do not support the terrorists then fair enough. I'll wish you peace anyway, whatever the circumstances.

>In fact, there would have been a nationalist majority in the north decades ago, by the birth rate alone, but for the extrodinary discrimination, so democracy has not occured in a vacume -

Oh? That's an interesting statement. Prove it. Protestant migration out of NI has been quite high as well. Indeed, I left NI two years ago myself - I now work in Bournemouth on the south coast of England. I will go back to NI at some point, but not for a while.

BTW I remember reading an article in the Belfast Telegraph a while back. It said that the latest demographic figures show a large decline in the catholic birthrate in NI. So much so that it is reckoned that catholics may actually never reach a majority. NI will probably end up evenly balanced between Protestants and Catholics. Having said that, support for a United Ireland is actually only about 35% or so in Northern Ireland.

>both censorship (I am shocked that you dont accept that there is censorship in England and Ireland! Did you read the Stalker Report yet?) and forced migration has played a role. This forced migration is one reason why the political difference between the Irish community in England and the US - victems of British prejudice came here.

And the million and a half Irish citizens living on the mainland UK? Don't forget that last numbers of Irish emigrated to the UK mainland after the famine.

>Well, two days into the new millenium and the system seems to still be working, so lets be a little hopeful that progress is possible. As Lawrence Olivier said to aspire to our tallents and work with our failures, lets be inspired by our shared musical traditions and use our disscussion of our differences to grow. All the best Larry

Progress has been made. The people of NI are governing themselves for the good of all the people in NI (the words of David Trimble spring to mind: "A pluralist parliment for a pluralist people"). The ROI has dropped its offensive and immoral claim on NI, and soon the terrorists will start disarming.

However, on to another point re The Stalker Report: if there was really a shoot-to-kill policy, do you think that there would be a lot more dead terrorists about? NB Stalker never found any evidence of a shoot-to-kill poilicy (source Jack Holland: Hope Against History, The Ulster Conflict, Hodder & Stoughton, 1999).

Anyway, this thread seems to be drawing to a course (perhaps fortunately, as mudcat is not a place for a political discussion like this). So unless someone has a question or anything I consider this to be my last post on the subject.

Regards, Dave

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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: JedMarum
Date: 04 Jan 00 - 02:59 PM

Seems to me Kuntsler was intollerant of justice ... he made a career of fighting against those who enforce justice. He was an extreme egotist, as OBU's story points out, and seemed to believe that any fight against the state was a good fight, as long as it was against the 'powers that be' - a self styled 'freedom fighter' who knew that those in power are always wrong, and that they are always deceitful. He was a bigot, not the kind we usually think of when we hear that word, but equally intollerant. Intollerant of social systems and methods of our modern Western civilizations and the people who support those systems. As you can guess; he was/is not one of my favorites!

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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Hasek
Date: 04 Jan 00 - 01:47 PM

To all a thread worthy of the communication it brought to individuals like myself. It truly opened my mind to issues and dialogue amongst passionate people the world over. Though , I am not a religious individual " , God Bless ALL of you , your views , and in the Voice of William Kunstler " Let the world know that tolerance of injustice is wrong ". Regards, Mike Strobel

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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Blackcat2
Date: 04 Jan 00 - 10:09 AM

Greetings all

I've continued to read the conversation in this thread, though because I have a limited knowledge of the issues that have been discussed in the past few days, I've not added anything myself.

I'm all for thread creep - certainly most of what has been discussed here is fascinating and important - just outside my knowledge base. I'm learning though. Thank you all for your comments.

I realize that the issues discussed are far more personal to others on this list than they ever could be to me. I am an American of most English and German ancestry but that ancestry goes back to Europe 250 - 350 years ago. Consequently my ancestors have been "American" for many generations and I have no "blood" ties with Europe. I look to England and Germany without much difference than I do Peru or Kenya. I do have a connection to Ireland - I fell in love with it's music years ago and because music is such an expression of culture - I fell in love with it's people as well. So I've learned a lot in 20 years. But, because of my non-personal connection and also because of my educational background I feel as though I am able to stay away from the personal reactions so many fall into (as do I on other issues such as religious freedom & civil rights in the U.S.)

I added my comments to this thread because of the original posting - basically musing over Bobby Sands and the other hunger strikers attempts to gain the last bit of freedom allowed them.

Thank you for this discussion. It has been very enlightening. It is scary though, that so many (not just on this list) feel that the many people in Northern Ireland who have committed acts of violence have done so "gleefully"(my word) instead of because they saw it as a last resort. To assume that a group of people who are different from you, happily take the lives of your bretheren without any significant reason. is an act of dehumanization, and as far as I'm concerned, actually contributes to the continuance of violence.

If I am treated like an animal, I will eventually act like one. If I am treated as a human being - with any luck I'll rise to the challenge.

To me, one of the worse things about war - any war - even as Studs Turkel named WWII, "The Good War" is the dehumanization of the enemy. One of the only ways to get people to kill is to make them believe that their enemy is sub-human. I don't know if anyone on the list is of Japanese heritage and was or has family who were interned in the U.S. during WWII, but if there is, I'm sure they could certainly speak from that perspective.

Peace to all and here's to equal rights for all in Northern Ireland as well as everywhere else (my own neighborhood included).

pax yall

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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Ringer
Date: 04 Jan 00 - 07:53 AM

I'm afraid that you can't argue on the grounds that "conditioning to one point of view makes it even more difficult to accept the arguments of others". Because, of course, you, too, are conditioned, albeit differently (as am I). So that argument destroys the validity of all argument, and so must be rejected.

The discussion must be about the relevant merits of different points of view.

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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Big Mick
Date: 03 Jan 00 - 11:17 PM

Richard, I have been lurking because I have enjoyed the fascinating discussion between yourself and Larry. As I read Brendy's post I believe the central theme of it is correct. There is no need for further debate between us on this thread as our relative positions are fairly well laid out. But let me add this. Some time back I reacted to a UK 'Catter whose nom de guerre was Sapper. And he and another UK 'Catter by the name of Penny caused me to reflect and realize that righteous indignation is a huge impediment to understanding. And lack of interest in and understanding of the other side's position leads to continued conflict. And in this case, that means more bodies. The time has come for that to end. And for that to happen, the finger pointing must stop. We could all sit here using the classic tactics of a demogogue and tell stories to justify our positions. But in the end, that will not serve the cause of peace. The thread started as a discussion of Bobby Sands and the circumstances that spawned his, and the others, act of supreme committment to a cause. It has served its purpose and you have been an important part of that. Thanks.

Big Mick

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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Brendy
Date: 03 Jan 00 - 10:41 PM

You haven't really just got it to yourselves Richard, and truth be known you did say earlier on that you were going to be too busy to continue this discussion.
But WIPO and emergent nations notwithstanding, this thread was about Bobby Sands.
Debating, and the posession of awards for it does not make your argument any more valid.
Further up this page - way up there somewhere, you said that you didn't hold up much hope for the Peace process, and we know that you do not recognise the legitimacy of the IRA.
Give us your solution Richard. Tell us how you would manage it.
There is one fundemental weakness in your argument. You believe it too much. I'm sure you're an intelligent bloke (and I'm not being condescending here), you speak and think, for the most part, intelligently.
But sometimes black is white, and conditioning to one point of view makes it even more difficult to accept the arguments of others.
Too many English people feel that they have to support the actions of their govts. In these days of compensation being paid to survivors of the Haulocaust, The German and Japanese govts. apologising for their conduct in WW2, I think the psychological damage that would be done to ones sense of patriotism and country would be a very deep one if the English govt. had to make similar compensation to India, for example. Or Bangladesh maybe, where the overcultivation of the tea plant is one of the main reasons why the country is gradually washing out into the Bay of Bengal
Don't judge us Richard, Dave, Bev, and others. We are only playing by the rules that were laid down for us, not by you personally, but by Kings and govts. down through the centuries.
Please don't feel as if you have to defend something which you had no part in instigating. But tell me one thing. Do you think it was right that England had such a progressive foreign policy?. If you answer yes to that, well, we don't have too much to talk about then on issues such as these.
If on the other hand you disagree, well then lets take that a bit further. If England had not converted God into a bullet and shot him into the hearts of men and women, maybe we wouldn't have half the wars in the world as it is. Don't you see that the IRA is England's legacy. You (metaphorically) gave birth to that monster.
Live with it. No. Do something about it. Saying that England never 'declared' war on the North must be one of the most ill-informed statements so far this millenium.
What have the SAS been doing then crawling aroung our back garden then?. Why did the RUC beat the shit out of the folks at Burntollet, the Paras kill them in Derry, the 'death squads' of the RUC/UVF set up 'road blocks' dressed as policemen. Come on Richard what were they doing?
The difference between the IRA and the likes of the UVF etc. is that the UVF etc. are committed to the extermination of the Catholic population. The IRA have made no such targets of the Protestants, nor the English peole in general people. Imagine if the IRA adopted those tactics as an integral part of their cause.
Try and look it a wee bit from our side. I want peace there like everyone else who has been touched by our 'normality', but I also want justice.
Please let this one go, because any other discussion on this matter will not solve anything, as long as an un-willingness to accept that the other's argument has some validity exists. I hope I have enticed you into the idea of re-evaluating your angle on all of this. Is there any possibility that your government, and their masters, have been feeding the English people dis-information for years? If you accept that, then there are grounds for reasonable doubt. Breandán

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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: InOBU
Date: 03 Jan 00 - 10:36 PM

What timing, Genie has just arrived with dinner, so I will respond a bit now and a bit latter.
The first Roma arrived here in 1620, deported from Scandinavia to Maryland. The biggest migration came during the 1850s - 1906 or so. There are about one million here, and they live a completely separate existence, having their own language and courts, and are more of a cultural isolate than in most other places. There is potentialy 90 per cent illiteracy among them, though it is imposible to come up with an accurate number as they do not answer surveys. My work was to provide a road in to main stream society without forced assimilation under the legal device, that they had been denyed citizenship by both de jure and de facto law until recently (several counties in the varrious states still outlaw the presence of even US born Roma, though this is clearly unconstitutional)- that they are an encapsulated nation, like Natives and we should recognise their very complex formal government and then help provide them with what they need to come out of the margins...
Genie is getting impatient!
The quote is about thugs, is from Father Des Wilson
Och... time to eat... Ill be back later... and dig out the Doherty brief for the cites...
all the best

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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 03 Jan 00 - 09:43 PM

Sounds like just you and me interested now. Kunstler - sounds familiar. What was his firm? I know a few.

Send me the cites for the Doherty case. I have a friend who used to lecture at Queen Mary and Westfield (she and I wrote a lot of stuff about an arguable area of copyright - called "format rights" which my oldish acquaintances Bud Brylawski (the father, not the son) and Mel Nimmer (the father not the son) and indeed the surviving (happily) Dennis Angel have asserted are likely to be protectable under US law. She may be able to get copies free for me. She is now sitting in immigration tribunals and laughs when I call her right wing on the ground that she thinks most of the other adjudicators are right wing. So if you think that I am right wing....

If all else fails her husband is a parliamentary draftsman and may have sources......

Your remark about the sword of justice sounds a sour note over here. Have you followed libel developments in ths jurisdiction? One Jonathan Aitken made a similar remark and is now regretting it, and a certain Al Fayed has adopted a part of it and I pray (I don't, 'cos the history of organised religion is black with sin - sorry if the phrase is politically incorrect but I searched my heart for one with the same resonance and it was not there) that it causes him the same pain.

I do not accept that the practice of law is dissociated with intelligence. I find that it demands much. I regret that it requires (or seems to) more dissimulation these days. But I have had a couple of recent successes which cause me to ask what my opponents were doing - they missed easy routes to rout me.

You say: - (of a conversation) "I said, "You will never help to solve a problem if you do not speak the truth about it. You tell the people that the people who have taken up arms here, the IRA, the UDA, the UVF and others, are nothing but thugs and gangsters. But you know as well as I do that among the military groups there are men and women who are sensitive and highly intelligent political thinkers and strategists. You tell the public lies." "

It is a good speech, but that is all. Problems domestic local and international are often solved without truth. Look at WIPO and emergent nations and the collision with producer rights both agricultural and intellectual - cf the EU. No-one says that the paramilitaries are nothing but thugs (do I detect an impermissible bias against an accredited former religious group (BG)). They may say that they are thugs etc, but never that that is all they are. What they do say is that they are discredited by acting as thugs etc.

If I may suggest it you should not confuse debating (for which I also have cups) with law (velvet paws).

In passing I ponder your reference to Gipsy issues. I was unaware that true Romanies had reached America.

There are so many issues lawyers ought to debate. I submitted 120 points to the UK govt before the passage of our 1988 Copyright (etc) act, and they adopted only one. I had a fairly heated exchange of letters with Lord Denning after he retired about rights of way - he was anti four wheel drive, I for them. But mostly the exigencies of making a living prevail.

A thought occurs however. Do you have a series of anecdotes about native rights lawyers? It is about time there was a film more intelligent than the recent "mob" inspired ones about a lawyer fighting for right. The last one I can think of starred James Stewart!!! I might (no promises) be able to source a producer, some finance, and a scriptwriter. One such story or more might have legs. Message me.

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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: InOBU
Date: 03 Jan 00 - 01:36 PM

One more PS... After signing off, I recalled the last time I faced an American police officers gun. It is a rather funny story. Have you heard of William Kunstler? He was the lawyer for Dr. M L King, one of the negotiators for the Attica Prison Uprising, lawyer for and friend of Dylan Thomas, and the Chicago 7. The head of the Russian communist part had him admitted to the Moscow bar to defend him against charges brought by Boris Yeltzin. He was an old and dear friend of mine, and one day I found myself driving to a native reservation with him that was surrounded by State Troopers, due to a dispute over cigarette taxes (the thanks we give for being given tobacco I suppose.) There was a ring of state troopers with M 16s around the reservation, which as a tributary of the Iroquois confederacy, was being defended by Mohawk warriors armed with AK's. I was strongly reminded of the feeling in Belfast.
A trooper stopped us as we drove up to the entrance to the reserve. I had a canoe on top of my van, having no where else to keep it, and long braided hair. Bill, was sitting beside me, with his long white locks. To remind the troopers where they were, I greeting him in Western Nantic, the language of this particular nation.
"Askoway Kawasin" I said.
"What are you guys, Indians?" the trooper replied.
"No, we're lawyers, " came Bills sonorous voice from the inside of the van.
"Where do you practice?"
"I am William Kunstler" came the reply.
"Ugh huh, I'll ask again, where do you practice?"
Bill looked thunder struck and whipped his head around in a staged double take.
"I said, I'm William MOSES KUNSTLER! I practice in all 50 States and quite a few foreign nations!"
"Got any guns" the officer asked, unimpressed.
"I don't have any guns, " I said. However, I knew that although a famous radical, Bill was also an ex- Marine captain, and a bit of a gun nut, and sometimes went about the town with a gat.
"Hey Bill, you packing heat?" I asked.
"I don't have a gun, " Bill huffed.
"Nothing sharper in here than our wits," I told the officer.
Bill suddenly roared out the window, "Young man, we have something far more dangerous than guns!"
The officer took a step back and unsnapped the cover of his side arm. Across no man's land there came the sound of numerous AK's being locked and loaded, and instantly a like response from the troopers.
Bill shouted, as if nothing was amiss, "WE HAVE THE SWORD OF JUSTICE!!!"
There was a palpable relaxing sigh, all around. Bill then motioned the officer over with his index finger...
"Tell me sonny, You really never heard of William M. Kunstler?" he asked like an old grandfather.
Taken in the officer smiled sheepishly and said, "No, Sir, I never have." "ROOKIE!!!" Bill yelled! Then turned to me and said, "Drive on Larry, my boy! " thereby dismissing the police and we drove onto the res.
Sorry for the thread drift, however, Bill was the soul of American People's law, and his presence here would certainly cause him to smile
. All the best

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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: InOBU
Date: 03 Jan 00 - 01:08 PM

Re my aquaintence with memembers of the IRA, and INLA, and my status as a judge. You would find not greater mix of politics then the membership of the National American Indian Court Judges Association. It is truely a model for world peace when we have our conventions. You find your self at dinner with Apache traditionals - concervative judges from the IRA courts (Indian Reorganisation Act!)and Senica peacemakers from concenses courts. The sharing of wisdom is extrodinary. One of the most tresured peices of advise was delivered by Justice Mary Winn, of the Colville nation, who said, there is no greater excersise of judicial power than the power to pause.
Best wishes in your work, (from a John Mortimer fan)

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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: InOBU
Date: 03 Jan 00 - 01:02 PM

Dear Robert:
Good luck back at the grind of the work day, and best hopes of justice, and as Bill Kunstler said, in the earlier quote an appeal when it happens! An excellent point about official secrecy, and in fact much of what passes for far flung conspiracy is just the knee jerk reaction to secrecy among governments today. The judge is Sprizzo, rather that Rizzo, and offered me one of the greatest comments I ever recieved off the record in a court room I approached the bench to tell him that a fiddler I played with, was his roomate in law school. He replied, Oh yes, Jim. A wonderful musician, but much to intelligent to practice law!
The paranoia of Americans with guns is becoming indemic. On behalf of many Americans who shrink into the shadows in pubs and restraunts in Europe when fellow contry folk enter, and who always takes the advice of an old anarchist friend when in an American security que, take your time and be obstructionist, let me appologise. 99 per cent of US military and police training is the development of hightened paranoia, which is why we have over a million Americans in prison at present.
I ran across an interesting quote from Father Des Wilson, of Ballymurphy about a conversation he had with a British Army officer which he offered when giving a summery of the outcome of the 1981 hunger strike.
I... remember a conversation I had with a very high ranking British Army officer in the the days when people still thought it was a good idea to argue with them.

I said, "You will never help to solve a problem if you do not speak the truth about it. You tell the people that the people who have taken up arms here, the IRA, the UDA, the UVF and others, are nothing but thugs and gangsters. But you know as well as I do that among the military groups there are men and women who are sensitive and highly intelligent political thinkers and strategists. You tell the public lies."

He replied, "but we know this is so."

"Then why do you tell the public that they are only thugs?"

"We do not tell the public that; the government does. We know differently," was his response.

When reading this quote from Father Des, I remembered a morning early in the cease fire when a spokes person was sitting rather uncomfortably in the green room at WBAI in New York. I was there to speak about the rights of Gypsies, and noticed that no one quite knew what to do about him. I thought that he looked very uncomfortable and that he had reacted to the same political assassinations and staged incidents by British Intelligence that Republicans had. I poured two cups of tea and sat down next to him, commenting how we had arrange a cold wet day, to make him feel at home. In only a few words someone whose political acts and beliefs were an anathema to me was an acquaintance rather than an enemy. We had a lot to talk about that we did not agree in any way with, but in the right environment peace is easily done. Part of the equation is to remove the instigation of governments who divide people for geo-political political gain.
All the best

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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 03 Jan 00 - 12:17 PM


My holiday is over and I have to stop play and get back to work, but there are things I find odd. I will certainly have to get to the Doherty case (other than the Supreme court decision) because it seems to me that that is the core of the matter. I cannot understand how the IRA can be thought to be other than a terrorist organisation. I can see how some would say that its acts of terrorism were justified (although I would disagree). I can see that some acts of the British Army and some acts of the loyalists could be thought unjustified (although I confess that firing at an unidentified car speeding through a roadblock strikes me as more justified than the act of a guard at the US embassy who drew a revolver on me when I ducked under a rope (dividing two lines of a potential queue) simply to avoid walking round the end of the rope).

I am surprised that you seem to have been so close to personal protagonists in the troubles, given your judicial status.

However you seem to stand, principally, on the thesis that the US courts held Doherty not to have been a terrorist. There may well be room for a thousand angels to dance on the head of that pin. I am not going to start the hare of US extra-territorial jurisdiction right now! You leave us to make the unspoken assumption that the US courts would have decided justly. I may come back to that (and any good conspiracy theorist could construct some scenarios for the difference between the opening quote you gave (was it from judge Rizzo? - I'm too lazy to re-scan the thread jut now) and the colsing views you attribute to him).

However there are well known examples of cases which turned on legal expertise (or lack of it). Ruth Ellis (perhaps the most famous client of Victor Mishcon, now Lord Mishcon, the solicitor, and Melford Stevenson (later Mr Justice Melford Stevenson, of whom I think it was once said "My Lord, this is an appeal from a judgment of Mr Justice Melford Stevenson, nut there are other grounds too") might be argued to be one. Lord HaHa was executed for treason partly because it was just after the war, and partly because his barrister unwittingly led himself to an argument which he belatedly realised he was afraid to put to the court because of the effect it could have had on his case overall and indeed his own position as barrister. There are others which turn on inhibition in advancing a case. I can well imagine the UK government refusing to allow evidence which would have helped them win the Doherty case to emerge in open court - if only to satisfy their obsession with secrecy. That obsession lead them to a very expensive defeat in the Australian courts (Spycatcher) - but that loss could also have been ascribed to having a poor case on established confidentiality principles, or to taking English barristers (who the Australian courts hate) up against a very competent Australian Solicitor-advocate. However the fact that they are obsessed with it does not always mean that they are wrong. There are times when the enforcement and protection of state secrets is right.

The armed insurrection of or about 1922 in what is now the Republic of Ireland was without doubt an illegal act at the time. But it has been solemnised by success. The armed acts of the IRA are largely carried out against non-combatants, and against persons who are not in occupation of any disputed territory. I do not see how those things can be part of a legitimate insurrection. I also do not see how the IRA could claim to be fighting a war, for no war has been declared by the English government or indeed the government of the Republic of Ireland.

The legitimate methods of by force compelling the independence of Northern Ireland from England and/or its union with Southern Ireland could have been (I am at a loss for another legitimate route): -(a) insurrection of the Northern Irish against their Northern Irish government (followed, if you like, by that government requesting assistance from the UK and the insurrectionists seeking volunteer support (Spain is the precedent) or official Southern Irish government support, or (b) invasion by the Southern Irish Government.

I won't have much time to continue this debate after today, but it was interesting to talk to someone with some jurisprudential basis for asserting the non-criminal status of the IRA.

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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: InOBU
Date: 03 Jan 00 - 09:36 AM

Dave, ol man:
You bring up some very good points, I was in the shower getting out to work and remembered your statement about McViegh. Good point, becasue it shows the difference between war and the criminialization process in Ireland.
McViegh and his codefendants were given free and open trials with juries of their peers, in spite of the likelyhood that they would put the government of the US on trial for the event at Waco. They are members of organizations, who should be carefuly watched by the police, and yet, because we value our freedoms, we are not allowed to inflitrate the politcal aspects of those organizaitons, but rather put on trial the spesific illegal acts of individuals, and do not enguage in mass arrests of members of the Militias. As such, such actions as the bombing of government buildings is rare here, and was never common, other that when the Cointell program under Nixon, nearly brought us to war by beginging to place us on the road to war that England went down in Ireland.
The militias do not recieve huge endorcement from the American public, as, even though there is a likely cover up of mistakes or bad acts at WACO by the FBI and ATF, thre is not only an on going government investigation, but there is also no prior restraint of our press to report on that investigation, and after the Pentigon Papers case, our papers may even print stolen papers without fear of Prior restraint of the press, if in that investigation a whistle blower feels there is a cover up as with the Stalker report.
Not to say things are perfect over here, by any means, but to illustrate the difference between war and crime. War happens in the void created by suspention of due process of law and politics. You may be aware that Lincoln suspended Habia Corpus, an intrigal part of due process in the middle of the American Civil War, and that is still being debated today as an act of tyrony and threat to American democracy.
Thanks again for the well thought out responce.
Must go to work...
All the best

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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: InOBU
Date: 03 Jan 00 - 08:26 AM

I know many of the close family members of the hungerstrikers - brothers sisters, fathers, mothers, and what you were told about being forced to be on the hunger strike is the kind of propaganda which colors peoples misinformation about the events of the past few decades. In point of fact, the only cooersion happened when two developed kidney or liver trouble and were ordered off the strike, the purpose of a hunger strike is not to die.
It is very clear that the next step in Irelands interest would be the kind of truth and reconclilation process that went on in South Africa, but as Enland is still involved in covering up the past, I would be surprised if England would agree to such an undertaking. I have been surprised in the past however, and would urge that this be proposed. Issues left undisscussed fester.
Dave, the expressions of dislike are found in such statments as how can you wish us peace etc... If those statements were missinterpreted, my appologies. I accept fully that you wish well, and send back the same.
I feel Breny and others have addressed many of the issues well, Dave, but one last note about democracy. Americas cities are filled with tens of thousands of exiles from the Northern troubles, who have left within the past several decades because of staggering unemployment and arrest without trial or charge, torture and other discrimination at the hands of British athorities. Many have made new lives here, and a few, in spite of these new lives went home to vote against the treaty, as absentee ballots were not accepted. They were not in favor of continuing the war, but were against terms which, for example, withdrew the constitutional recognition of Irelands unity, or did not give adiquate protection to the minority in the north. In fact, there would have been a nationalist majority in the north decades ago, by the birth rate alone, but for the extrodinary discrimination, so democracy has not occured in a vacume - both censorship (I am shocked that you dont accept that there is censorship in England and Ireland! Did you read the Stalker Report yet?) and forced migration has played a role. This forced migration is one reason why the political difference between the Irish community in England and the US - victems of British prejudice came here.
Well, two days into the new millenium and the system seems to still be working, so lets be a little hopeful that progress is possible. As Lawrence Olivier said to aspire to our tallents and work with our failures, lets be inspired by our shared musical traditions and use our disscussion of our differences to grow.
All the best

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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Big Mick
Date: 03 Jan 00 - 06:11 AM

Yes, Paddymac, I concur. I came on this morning to say that it appears to have reached the point of rehash. While there are things that I would like to respond to, I am afraid that it will turn into a mudslinging mess if it goes on. Overall it has been a very good thread.


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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: paddymac
Date: 03 Jan 00 - 12:50 AM

We had a rational and basically well considered thread running here most of the way, but it seems to have degraded a bit in its later stages with Bev's emotive post and then with Dave's diatribes. But even with that, I believe that the thread, though it quickly crept beyond the original question, has a productive and worthwhile endeavor. I would even call it the best that I've been privileged to engage in.

It might be worth reflecting on the make-up of the present NI statelet at the time of its excission from what became the republic. It consists of only six of the nine counties in the traditional province of Ulster. Of those six, only two (Down and Antrim) had majority protestant populations. The majorities in those two were sufficient to outweigh the catholic and republican majorities in the other four ultimately included, but not the other seven of the traditional province. I don't recall there having been a vote by the people of the six, the nine, the 26, the 32, or any other subset of counties in advance of the decision to partition the island by the "Welsh Wizard", but if there were, could we fairly place credence in it in the face of such gerrymandering?. There was, however, a bitter civil war caused by the arbitrary partition. Yes, I fully recognize that gerrymandering voting districts is a wide-spread practice and probably occurs wherever voting occurs, but it always taints the result of any vote taken.

My humble suggestion is this thread now be allowed to find its place in Mudcat history before it degrades further.

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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: Barry Finn
Date: 03 Jan 00 - 12:35 AM

Am I missing something here? Is it OK that kids get killed by all those discussed here & get tossed aside as if they were yesterday's byproduct of eating. Is it OK that whatever the reason some poor parent loses the whole of their heart & it lasts until they too lose their life. Bobby Sands is dead but if he were my son I want to trade my life for one more hour with him to hold him & tell him how much he was loved & damn all the causes that took him away if only he'd still be alive. I'd trade my life for one more day with my kids if they were taken from me & how could I ever visit that pain on another. After a bloody 1000 years we're still fighting turf wars the whole world round & finding good reason & cause to continue doing so, doesn't look to me as if we've progressed very far, hope we do better in the next 1000. St. Vlad or Vlad the Impaler was a prince, hero, doctor, saint, warrior, a politician, a soldier & mostly a terrorist & a VAMPIRE. He's (in all his forms) what I see as my vision of violent death, he just needs more blood to keep existing & more people to feed into his doctrine of death to feed the frenzy, he doesn't care about sides or who's right or wrong, what's just or unjust only that he feeds his blood lust from the innocent souls that either got lost on their way or were sacrificed in his honour. Is it too hard to love life to much? Barry

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Subject: RE: Bobby Sands
From: alison
Date: 02 Jan 00 - 11:43 PM

The problem with the situation is that it is not clear cut... there is no black and white. One side is not the 'goodies" and one side the "baddies"... it all merges in a murky grey area......

Neither side has the whole truth.... maybe we'll never know exactly what went on...... and the media doesn't help... it gives the story it is paid to give....and that coverage will vary.... the Irish, British and USA media will all have a different slant on events.

but this is a very emotive subject, and people have been brave enough (brave... because it is a difficult thing to do when it dredges up such deep feelings, and often, the opinion gets ridiculed because it is different to the majority..) to express their views......

Talking about the media... I remember at the time being told that Bobby Sands and the others were forced to go on hunger strike, (the threat being that their families would be hurt if they didn't comply,).... and when one of them died then the next name on the list was picked to replace him..... if this was true then I pity them for being forced through that ordeal. Gillespie's family were held too while he drove the bomb into the check point.



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