Championing the Criminal Tag
"Staff and volunteers have been busy in the 3 months proceeding, assisting republican ex-prisoners and their families to overcome the ongoing barriers to their full participation in society." - Meabh Mackel Project Coordinator, Tar Abhaile. ( a Shinner thingy)
When I read the above, in a leaflet by that SF group; which was stuck in my letter box, my first thoughts were, had they left out the word 'Republican' this could have been written by a group dealing with ex-cons who by the very nature of their criminal acts had placed themselves outside of society and needed to be, upon release, reintegrated back into that society.
This type of subtle wordage wouldn't have looked out of place in Thatcher's criminalisation policy.
That it was allowed to go out unquestioned by former comrades within that group - who at one time fought the criminalising of Republicanism on The Blanket Protest - shows that while the H-Blocks failed to; in the words of Bobby Sands, "depoliticise us, churn us out as systemised, institutionalised, decent law-abiding robots..." the SF leadership have done so with those who remained loyal to them.
We see every day how a certain mentality has been planted in the minds of men and women, who would have at one time smashed heads if anyone had dared claim that not only they but their families, by their past actions, had placed themselves outside of society.
By continuing to follow with words a man who claimed that all killings were murder, they are not attempting to just criminalize those they'd term as 'dissidents' they are nailing the criminal tag back onto their own backs as well.
And all for what - a job the British can stop funding anytime they so please?