Irish prisoners help northern lapwings


This video is about young northern lapwings with a parent at their nest in the Netherlands.

From daily The Independent in Britain:

Lapwings: Threatened bird species takes sanctuary in a Northern Ireland prison

Prisoners serving life sentences helped create the habitat for breeding lapwings

Michael McHugh

Monday 20 April 2015

One of the world’s most threatened birds has found a sanctuary within a prison that houses Northern Ireland’s most dangerous inmates.

Prisoners serving life sentences helped create the habitat for around 20 pairs of breeding lapwings. The birds have made their home on a marshy no-man’s-land at HMP Maghaberry, dominated by razor wire and lookouts behind reinforced glass.

The six-acre patch of waste ground lies between the perimeter fence and the wall of the jail, near Lisburn in County Antrim, known for holding dissident republicans, sex offenders and murderers.

Swampy, short grass and the lack of predators such as foxes have created the ideal conditions for breeding chicks, said retired prison guard and gardener Denis Smyth.

“We have to work together as a team, the prisoners and myself. We have a very good relationship with them; there is never a problem,” he said.

Lapwings, which are about the size of pigeons, have suffered a population decline of 50 per cent during the last 25 years as changes in farmland have impacted on habitats.

First convictions in Malta for illegal shooting of a Cuckoo and a Lapwing: here.

Northern Ireland child abuse and secret service MI5


This video about Northern Ireland says about itself:

BBC News & The Today Programme 6 August 2014

The Kincora Boys’ Home was a children’s home in Belfast, Northern Ireland that was the scene of a notorious child sex abuse scandal.

The Belfast News Letter reported that files on Kincora were “conspicuously absent” from the routine January 2013 release of 1982 government papers by the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) under the 30-year rule.

In July 2014 former soldier Colin Wallace said that any new investigation into the abuse at the home should have access to information from intelligence agencies. Wallace said that he received intelligence in 1973 that boys at the home were being abused, but some of his superior officers refused to pass on information. He also said that the Terry and Hughes inquiries did not examine evidence relating to the intelligence services.

In August 2014 a former intelligence officer, Brian Gemmell, said that he also had been ordered to stop investigating allegations of abuse at the home. He said that he learned details of what happened in the home while gathering information on loyalists. He was told he was running two agents who had close links to the home. As well as telling him not to investigate, the senior officer told him to stop running an agent. He had spoken out anonymously before, but dropped his anonymity because he wanted the allegations to be investigated again. (Wikipedia)

From daily The Independent in Britain:

Kincora scandal: Abuse victim seeks Judicial Review over MI5 link to Belfast boys’ home

A former resident of the notorious institution says local inquiry lacks the legal clout to expose the extent of cover-up

James Hanning

Sunday 15 February 2015

A victim of abuse at a notorious boys’ home in Northern Ireland will seek this week to challenge the conduct of Whitehall’s ill-fated investigation into child abuse.

A former resident at the Kincora Boys’ Home in Belfast, supported by other victims, is applying for judicial review into the decision to exclude the home from the London-based inquiry, now chaired by Justice Lowell Goddard from New Zealand. At stake is whether current and former members of MI5 can be forced to give evidence.

Widespread allegations of abuse of residents – including claims that abuse was covered up and allowed to continue unchecked for years because police and the British security services were using the home to blackmail people – are the subject of a separate inquiry in Northern Ireland, the Historical and Institutional Abuse (HIA) inquiry, led by Sir Anthony Hart.

Critics of the HIA claim it lacks sufficient powers to get to the heart of the scandal, and want Kincora to be investigated by the Goddard inquiry. On Tuesday at the High Court in Belfast, lawyers representing a Kincora victim, Gary Hoy, will challenge the decision by the Secretary of State, Theresa Villiers, to leave the Kincora investigation under the control of the HIA. The lawyers want the decision judicially reviewed. The Government confirmed last week that it will oppose the application.

Campaigners say Kincora should be removed from the HIA and included in the Goddard inquiry because of the purported links with London of some of those who abused boys, and because, they say, the HIA will not be able to compel witnesses to attend nor insist on seeing sensitive civil service documents.

Kincora has long cast a shadow over both Northern Ireland and MI5. In 1981, three men were imprisoned for between four and six years for a number of offences relating to systematic sexual abuse of children over a period of years. Previously, a number of whistleblowers had attempted to call a halt to the abuse, but it continued unabated, giving rise to claims that staff were being protected by the security services. Last year, former MI5 officer Bryan Gemmell told The Independent on Sunday that he had expressed concern but was told by his boss in MI5 to keep his nose out of Kincora. He also said that he had been asked by the same person if he thought a known Protestant terrorist might be susceptible to being blackmailed over his homosexuality “because they had film of him”.

Former army press officer Colin Wallace also sought to raise the alarm, but went unheeded.

One Kincora victim, Clint Massey, told The IoS recently: “In those days [the 1970s], there were loads of people over from London. I have always assumed they were senior figures from Whitehall. I certainly heard English accents…. I strongly believe it was an entrapment operation [for the security services]. They hoped to get a handle on the people who visited, to get them to work for them and inform for them.”

Last week, Mr Massey gave evidence to the Police Ombudsman, who is investigating the failure of successive police inquiries to get to the truth. Yesterday he said: “The HIA inquiry needs to be able to summon the senior civil servants. When Whitehall says jump, they jump. But if it’s based here in Northern Ireland, it won’t have the authority.” This view was backed by the Parliamentary Home Affairs Committee on Friday.

HIA inquiry chairman Sir Anthony Hart has sought to reassure critics that his inquiry has sufficient powers. It has sought details of all Kincora-related files held by all UK government departments and agencies. It has secured extra funding and claims that witnesses who co-operate with the inquiry will be immune from prosecution, including offences under the Official Secrets Act.

However, victims’ solicitor Kevin Winters says: “This case has to be taken by the Goddard inquiry, because the applicants and many others believe there was a cover-up. It has never been properly investigated, and the sense of there having been a cover-up is compounded by a very real perception the Banbridge inquiry is not fit for purpose.

“The HIA is not a statutory inquiry and doesn’t have the necessary powers. It is true it can seek to be given those powers, but that would take primary legislation, and we can’t know how quickly that would happen or how effective.

“In the absence of a proper inquisitorial inquiry, this case must be taken on by the Goddard inquiry.

A VICTIM of child abuse at a notorious Belfast boys’ home today won the right to challenge the British government’s refusal to hold an inquiry into the crimes committed there here.

Child abuse cover-up in interests of ‘national security’: here.

Michael Brown solidarity in Ireland


This 18 August 2014 video from the USA is called Rev. Osagyefo Sekou on the Lessons of Ferguson.

From the Derry Journal in Northern Ireland:

American civil rights campaigner to be main speaker at Bloody Sunday rally

by Greg Sharkey

The theme of this year’s annual Bloody Sunday march is ‘Resist’, to highlight what has been taking place in the U.S.A. Reverend Osagyefo Sekou, American civil rights campaigner, will be the main speaker after this year’s Bloody Sunday rally.

He will also be guest speaker at a number of events during this week, speaking about this upsurge in police violence against the black community, and why ‘Black Lives Matter’.

An impassioned gathering attended a vigil for Michael Brown‘s family and the people of Ferguson, Missouri at Free Derry Wall on Saturday November 30. Key speakers were Bloody Sunday family member, Kate Nash and veteran Civil Rights campaigner, Eamon Mc Cann.

Media images of several days protest on the streets of Ferguson were shown across the world, following the decision of the Grand Jury not to indict police officer, Darren Wilson, on any charges for shooting dead the American teenager on August 9.

There was much outrage throughout the world, with numerous demonstrations in solidarity with the Brown family, and on the wider issue of institutionalised racism.

Speaking to the Derry Journal before the Bloody Sunday March Committee held their vigil, Kate Nash said:

“As family members of the Bloody Sunday dead, we draw parallels with other unarmed and innocent victims killed by the forces of law and order.”

Regarding the judicial response, or lack of, in the Michael Brown case, Kate Nash drew similarities between their experiences and that of the Brown family, stating:

“You have a judicial system that’s meant to be independent and impartial, but in reality, is actually politically interfered with.”

Regarding similarities between Ferguson and what engulfed Derry, 42 years ago, Eamon Mc Cann said: “Distance and skin colour make no difference to the grief and anger that has erupted across the US since the decision not to prosecute the policeman who pumped six bullets into the teenager’s body.”

Eamon Mc Cann also warned of the dangers regarding the dramatic rise in the militarisation of policing in the US stating:

“We can recognise that scenario here too, and know that no good came of it for anyone involved.”

Over the course of the last two months, several killings by US police officers have occurred, along with countless instances of police brutality.

Twelve year old T[a]mir Rice was gunned down in Cleveland, Ohio, while playing with a pellet gun; and Jerame Reid was shot dead in New Jersey, as he got out of a car, with his hands up.

Shocking images of Eric Garner calling out, ‘I can’t breath’ as he was suffocated to death, while being violently restrained by several police officers; and, the failure to indict any police officer for this, has caused massive resentment.

Michael Brown’s family mulls lawsuit against Darren Wilson, Ferguson PD: here.

In Tamir Rice Case, Many Errors by Cleveland Police, Then a Fatal One: here.

From Watchdog.org in the USA:

Nebraska education board member’s blog has long been inflammatory

By Deena Winter / January 23, 2015

LINCOLN, Neb. — State Education Board member Pat McPherson has been under fire for a week after his blog called President Obama a “half-breed,” but that merely continues a long line of inflammatory posts.

McPherson founded and co-edited the blog, Objective Conservative, that called Obama the racist name last week, but said he didn’t write or vet the offending post. He has rebuffed calls for his resignation from the governor, two U.S. senators, two congressmen, the NAACP, the state teachers union, the Omaha school board, Omaha’s mayor, Omaha city council members and his colleagues on the State Board of Education. Most are Republicans, as is McPherson.

After Nebraska first reported the blog’s racist half-breed posts, controversy erupted and McPherson shuttered the blog, but some editions can still be found on an archiving website called the Wayback Machine. A review of about a dozen of those old archived blogs found other offensive posts saying Democrats don’t have brains, accusing a Republican lawmaker of acting like an “emotional child,” referring to “snapping gals’ bras” and posting a meme suggesting tacos are good bait to catch illegal immigrants.

The blog posts were rarely attributed to a specific author, but usually simply posted by “Objective Conservative.”

Archived editions of the blog show Obama to be a favorite topic. In addition to the half-dozen times the president was referred to as a half-breed, he’s often called an “empty suit,” and in December, the blog called Obama a “sexist, lecherous president” because he only asked women questions at a press conference.

After a Missouri grand jury declined to indict police officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, the blog mocked the fires blazing in Ferguson, posting a meme that said, “Ferguson Fire Sale, everything must go.”

The blog also suggested the Brown case and chokehold death of Eric Garner in New York had nothing to do with race.

Nas: In the wake of Ferguson and Eric Garner deaths, rap is refocusing on law enforcement: here.

NYT COLUMNIST: MY SON HELD AT GUNPOINT, AT YALE ”This is the scenario I have always dreaded: my son at the wrong end of a gun barrel, face down on the concrete. I had always dreaded the moment that we would share stories about encounters with the police in which our lives hung in the balance, intergenerational stories of joining the inglorious ‘club.’ When that moment came, I was exceedingly happy I had talked to him about how to conduct himself if a situation like this ever occurred. Yet I was brewing with sadness and anger that he had to use that advice.” [NYT]

Dozens of people gathered with candle lights and protest signs in Denver after local police shot dead a 16-year-old girl on Monday: here.

Police in Longview, Texas released footage Wednesday of officers killing a 17-year-old girl in the lobby of a police station on January 22. Officers Glenn Derr and Grace Bagley shot and killed 17-year-old Kristiana Coignard last Thursday, after officer Gene Duffie fired a taser at her. The three officers have been on paid leave since the shooting: here.

Ferguson, USA solidarity in Derry, Ireland


This video from Ireland is called Bloody Sunday (Full Movie).

From the Londonderry Sentinel in Northern Ireland:

Ferguson pastor, Rev. Sekou Osagyeyfo, to address Bloody Sunday march

by Staff Reporter

14 January 2015

US pastor, Rev. Sekou Osagyeyfo, will speak in Londonderry this month about the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, last year.

Rev. Osagyeyfo will also address the annual Bloody Sunday march at Guildhall Square, the organisers announced on Wednesday (January 14).

Ex-Bagram and Guantánamo internee Moazzam Begg will also participate in a wide programme of events that will take place between January 22 and February 1.

According to the organisers: “This year’s theme is ‘Resist’ and the programme will reflect the resistance to continued attacks on civil rights and liberties whether in Ferguson, USA, Palestine, Dublin, Belfast or indeed here in Derry itself.

“The programme for 2015 will continue the tradition of acting as an inclusive platform for the seemingly disparate ongoing campaigns concerning the people of these islands and beyond.

“As in previous years it is a time to join together, make connections and raise our voices in solidarity.”

The programme is as follows:

Thursday, January 22, City Hotel 7.30pm

‘Where does the Stormont Agreement leave the Bloody Sunday Investigation’

Bernadette McAliskey (chair) with an invited panel of speakers to include Liam Wray, brother of Bloody Sunday murder victim Jim Wray.

Thursday, January 29, City Hotel 7.30 pm

’Unmasking Injustice – from the Hooded Men to the Craigavon Two’

Bernadette McAliskey (chair), Francie McGuigan (former hooded man), Packy Carty from Justice For The Craigavon Two and Darragh Mackin KRW Law

Saturday, January 31, Pilots Row Community Centre 12noon

Resist!

Diane Greer (Chair), other speakers confirmed include Mary McManus Housing and Welfare Rights Belfast, Louie, performance artist and Yes Campaign Glasgow, and the Revered Sekou Osagyeyfo from Ferguson, USA

Saturday, January 31, Pilots Row Community Centre 2.30pm

’The State We’re In’

Speakers include Patrick Murphy (Irish News), Kitty Holland (Irish Times) and Brian Feeney (Irish News)

Saturday, January 31, Nerve Centre, Magazine Derry 7.30 pm

‘No Justice, No Peace – From Guantánamo Bay to Ferguson USA’

Chair Eamonn McCann, speakers include: former Guantánamo Bay internee Moazzam Begg and the Reverend Sekou Osagyeyfo from Ferguson, who will speak about the killing of the young black man Michael Brown by the Missouri state police.

Sunday, February 1, Creggan Shops 2.30 pm

Annual March and Rally for Justice

This year’s march will finish at Guildhall Square in Derry City Centre where we are delighted to announce that the Reverend Sekou Osagyeyfo from Ferguson USA and the anti-austerity, anti-water charges TD Clare Daly will address the rally.

Actress Ellen Page against British government honouring homophobe


This video about Northern Ireland says about itself:

25 January 2009

A brief history of homophobia and the DUP.

From “Save Ulster from Sodomy” in the 70’s to the Iris Robinson debacle of 2008. (made before the sex/finance scandal of 2010).

From daily The Independent in Britain:

Ellen Page tweets ‘F*** that’ over Queen’s decision to award Maurice Mills – who blamed Hurricane Katrina on homosexuals – with MBE

Hollywood actress shows disgust over Mills’ inclusion in New Year Honours list

Loulla-Mae Eleftheriou-Smith

Tuesday 06 January 2015

The New Year Honours list, in which the Queen recognises the achievements and services of extraordinary people across the UK, is covered extensively in the British press but is a subject that rarely makes a splash across the pond.

But the Queen’s decision to award Maurice Mills, the Northern Ireland politician who reportedly blamed Hurricane Katrina on the LGBT community and claimed that Aids is the result of the “filthy practice of sodomy,” has reached Hollywood since his anti-gay comments came to light and Ellen Page has voiced her anger.

@EllenPage

“The Queen honored a politician who blamed Hurricane Katrina & AIDS on LGBT people: http://bit.ly/1Br4WPe” fuck that
3:05 PM – 5 Jan 2015

The Oscar nominated actress, who came out while giving a speech at a packed conference for LGBT teenagers in Las Vegas last year, tweeted a link to a Vice article about the honour bestowed upon Mills with a picture of the Queen and the words “F*** that”.

Mills, a Democratic Unionist Party councillor for Ballymena, is a “committed born again Christian” and has been awarded the MBE for his services to local Government.

He reportedly blamed the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina, which killed 1,300 people, on divine revenge for the annual LGBT New Orleans festival called Southern Decadence, claiming: “Sure this is a warning to nations where such wickedness is increasingly promoted and practised.”

Mills has also reportedly blamed gay people for Aids, claiming: “This abominable and filthy practice of sodomy has resulted in the great continent of Africa being riddled with Aids.”

Page has taken to Twitter before to shame those who speak out against LBGT rights, and in March last year addressed a message to a pastor who had contacted her about her sexuality.

She tweeted: “Being gay isn’t a belief. My soul isn’t struggling and I don’t want the arms of the Heavenly Father around me. A girl’s arms? Yes.”

Read more:

Page shames pastor who offered salvation for being gay

Maurice Mills, who blamed Aids on ‘filthy sodomy’, awarded MBE

Moore and Page banned from filming lesbian scenes in school

Homophobic politician honoured by British government


This video says about itself:

SO GAY. Short documentary to help prevent homophobic bullying in young people. Combats youth suicide.

From daily The Independent in Britain:

New Year Honours: DUP politician Maurice Mills who blamed Hurricane Katrina on gay people is awarded MBE by Queen

The born-again Christian called homosexuality ‘wickedness’ and that the deadly storm was God’s punishment

Adam Whitnall

Thursday 01 January 2015

A politician in Northern Ireland who reportedly blamed Hurricane Katrina on gay people and said Aids was the result of the “filthy practice of sodomy” has been awarded an MBE in the Queen’s New Year honours list.

Maurice Mills, the Democratic Unionist Party councillor for Ballymena, is described by the local newspaper as a “committed born-again Christian”.

Listed as “Alderman Maurice Turtle Mills”, the controversial politician has been recognised “for services to local government”.

According to the Guardian, Mills said that Katrina, which killed 1,300 people, was God’s revenge for an annual gay pride event called Southern Decadence.

“The media failed to report that the hurricane occurred just two days prior to the annual homosexual event called the Southern Decadence festival which the previous year had attracted an estimated 125,000 people,” said Mills.

“Surely this is a warning to nations where such wickedness is increasingly promoted and practised.”

The comments prompted gay rights activists to stage a protest in Ballymena in early 2006, as well as demanding that Mills apologise.

But Mills has never retracted the comments, and the DUP resisted calls to condemn them.

“There is a principle at stake here and that is homosexuality is a sin before almighty God,” the councillor said at the time.

“If I were to apologise for my comments then God would have to apologise.”

The Guardian also reported that Mills gay people for Aids, saying: “This abominable and filthy practice of sodomy has resulted in the great continent of Africa being riddled with Aids.”

The Queen just honored a politician who believes Hurricane Katrina was caused by gay people: here.

Ferguson solidarity by Irish Bloody Sunday families


This video from Ireland says about itself:

BLOODY SUNDAY full unseen footage of British paras killing 14 MEN+BOYS 1972

14 innocent people shot dead by the British parachute regiment in Derry, Ireland. All these people were unarmed civilians; some as young as 15, they were brutally shot in cold blood by an army out of control, hell bent on mayhem at a civil rights protest.

From the Derry Journal in Ireland:

Ferguson Missouri: Bloody Sunday families show solidarity with victim

by Greg Sharkey

1 December 2014

A small gathering attended a vigil for Michael Brown‘s family and the people of Ferguson, Missouri at Free Derry Wall on Saturday afternoon. Key speakers were Bloody Sunday family member, Kate Nash and veteran Civil Rights campaigner, Eamon Mc Cann.

Throughout the world have been angered by the decision of the Grand Jury not to indict police officer, Darren Wilson, on any charges for shooting dead the American teenager on August 9.

Speaking to the Derry Journal, Kate Nash said: “As family members of the Bloody Sunday dead, we draw parallels with other unarmed and innocent victims killed by the forces of law and order.”

Regarding the judicial response, or lack of, Kate Nash drew similarities between their experiences and that of the Brown family, stating: “You have a judicial system that’s meant to be independent and impartial, but in reality, is actually politically interfered with.”

Speaking of the similarities between Ferguson and what engulfed Derry 42 years ago, Eamon Mc Cann said: “Distance and skin colour make no difference to the grief and anger that has erupted across the US since the decision not to prosecute the policeman who pumped six bullets into the teenager’s body.”

Eamon Mc Cann also warned of the dangers regarding the dramatic rise in the militarisation of policing in the US stating: “We can recognise that scenario here, too, and know that no good came of it for anyone involved.”

USA: Thousands of people took part in a “Hands Up Walk Out” action on Monday, during which participants left their jobs or schools to protest last week’s grand jury decision to not indict the white police officer who killed unarmed black teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri: here.

Massachusetts, USA: In solidarity with Ferguson National Call to Action, students at five area colleges are planning to support a mass walkout at 1:01 p.m., the time Michael Brown Jr. was killed by a Missouri police officer: here.

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — About 100 Syracuse University students marched today to protest last week’s decision by a grand jury in Ferguson, Mo., not to indict police officer Darren Wilson in Michael Brown’s death. “From Syracuse to Ferguson, black lives matter!” the protesters chanted on the half-hour march that started and ended on the steps of Hendricks Chapel: here.

From Bloomberg news agency in the USA:

Communist Party members from New York, pastors from Atlanta and the Korean Culture Association helped form a gathering of more than 300 people over the weekend in a St. Louis church with agendas as far flung as their origins.

The activists passed around water bottles and fliers as they huddled Nov. 29 in the church basement to plan protests over the killing of a black teenager by a white police officer in nearby Ferguson. Outside, members of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People marched past the church en route to the state capital in Jefferson City, 124 miles (200 kilometers) away.

What started as a spontaneous neighborhood protest in the hours after 18-year-old Michael Brown was killed in Ferguson has expanded internationally, drawing support from as far away as London and Hong Kong. As groups joined Ferguson-related protests over the past 114 days, they’ve brought new energy and resources to the movement. They’ve also hatched ideas, goals and tactics of their own — sometimes at odds with the original protests over police brutality and racial profiling.

“A lot of these groups, I’ve never heard of,” said Johnetta Elzie, 25, a St. Louis activist who was at the meeting at Greater St. Marks Family Church. “As long as everyone keeps the focus on black lives mattering, and no one tries to co-opt the movement, I’m fine with whoever wants to join.”

Black Friday Wal-Mart strike! – in unity with Ferguson campaigners: here.