Surely the only sound foundation is peace with justice. But in Stormont’s policing and justice system there is no mechanism or means of achievement, which should be of grave concern to all.
Civil libertarians, human rights activists and society in general witness shocking facts emerging daily. The treatment of those who peacefully set out to document, photograph and expose abuses of power recommended by all human rights groups all over the world can only be described as a backward step reminiscent of the old Special Powers Act of the Unionist regime of Stormont in 1922.
To mention just a couple of examples: Martin Corey was arrested almost four years ago and languished in Maghaberry prison without even been questioned or charged, effectively selected internment without trial. The secret conditions of his release highlight a police force with the full backing of the political administration undeterred by their incarceration for almost four years because the restrictions are further abuse and absurd. He has been ordered not to reside in his home in Lurgan or to enter the Lurgan area and not to speak to the media about his case.
Another example is Newry Socialist Republican and Community Activist, Stephen Murney, who is over a year waiting a similar fate and there is more and growing daily.
Denied justice is no foundation for lasting peace. Roger Casement in his defence from The Dock in London stated:
where all your rights become only an accumulated wrong, while men must beg with baited breath for leave to subsist in their own land, to think their own thoughts, to sing their own songs, to garner the fruits of their own labours- and even while they beg to see things inexorably withdrawn from them- then surely it is a braver, a saner and truer thing, to be a rebel in act and deed against such circumstances as these than tamely to accept it as the natural lot of men.
We must address and stride for a peaceful just society today because redress is only justice delayed. It is better late than never but it cannot erase injuries and scars which will cast a dark shadow over our tomorrow.