Thatcher government plans to deport Hong Kong people to Northern Ireland


This video from Mauritius says about itself:

Demonstration against UK occupation over Chagos

Event: Peaceful march
Date: Wednesday, 7 April, 2010
March co-ordinator: LALIT

To put on the agenda once again the original demands for full decolonization, the re-unification of Mauritius, for base closure and environmental clean-up, and for the right to return and reparations for all Chagossians. What this means is that the march is perhaps the beginning of a new long-term campaign that needs to be built up on these issues.

After the British Harold Wilson government deported all people forcibly from Diego Garcia island in the Chagos archipelago to give place to a United States military (and torture) base … after Wilson’s Conservative successors in the 1970s seriously discussed the possibility of ‘ethnic cleansing’ of Northern Ireland by driving all people opposed to the Great Britain-Northern Ireland union violently south across the six counties-twenty-six counties border (recalling the seventeenth century, when the English military said to the Irish people of Ulster: ‘To Connacht, or to hell!’), now this about the later Thatcher administration …

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Thatcher files: Ministers considered Hong Kong relocation

Friday 3rd July 2013

THE government seems to have seriously considered a proposal for the entire population of Hong Kong to be shipped lock, stock and barrel to Northern Ireland, newly released documents show.

This hare-brained scheme was suggested during the height of the Troubles by Reading University lecturer Christie Davies, who asserted that when Britain handed back Hong Kong to China in 1997 there would be no future for its 5.5 million inhabitants.

The alternative, he suggested, was to resettle them in a new “city state” to be established between Coleraine and Derry, revitalising the stagnant Northern Ireland economy.

Recently released National Archives files show that the idea sparked a flurry of correspondence in Whitehall.

When details appeared in October 1983, George Fergusson, an official in the Northern Ireland Office, sent a memorandum to a colleague in the Republic of Ireland department of the Foreign Office, declaring: “At this stage, we see real advantages in taking the proposal seriously.”

Among the benefits, he suggested, was that it would help convince the unionist population that the British government was committed to retaining Northern Ireland.

If this moronic scheme would have gone ahead, then it would have run into trouble from bigotry among the most fanatical of unionists in Northern Ireland. These are not just bigoted against pro-republican Northern Irish people. Or against Romanian people. Or against Jews. There is also nasty racism against people of Chinese ancestry there.

Northern Irish pro-marriage equality campaign


This music video from Ireland says about itself:

Bronagh Gallagher – Love Will Find You

19 February 2013

Bronagh Gallagher (aka Derry‘s daughter) with her amazing band absolutely stormed the Glassworks with a blistering set.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Gallagher: Spread joy of same-sex marriage

Friday 12th June 2015

SINGER and actress Bronagh Gallagher has called for same-sex marriage to be legalised in Northern Ireland ahead of her performance at a Belfast marriage equality rally on Saturday.

Ms Gallagher will be supported on stage by Quire, a 30-strong choir of LGBT singers.

The rally in front of Belfast City Hall will follow a march through the city being organised by Amnesty International, the Irish Congress of Trade Unions and the Rainbow Project.

“I was a big supporter of the Yes campaign in the Republic and now I want to see that joy spread to Northern Ireland,” said Ms Gallagher.

“For me, this is dead simple. I think everyone is equal and the law should treat them as equal. No more and no less than that.”

Northern Ireland left behind on gay marriage issue, say Belfast marchers. Thousands join demonstration calling for an end to province’s status as ‘last bastion of discrimination against gay people in these islands’: here.

ABOUT 20,000 gay rights supporters marched through Belfast city centre on Saturday to demand that the legal recognition of same-sex marriage be extended to Northern Ireland: here.

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.