Public Meeting 'Ireland - a Police State'
The 1916 Societies are holding a public meeting this Saturday at 1pm in Portadown's Ashgrove Centre on the Garvaghey Road to discuss the ongoing issues of unaccountable policing and justice, the reemergence of MI5 as a controlling instrument of British state policy in Ireland and the rising abuse of state power resulting from both these processes. Worrying trends over the course of recent years indicate efforts to resolve historical concerns in the sensitive area of human rights, supposedly addressed under the terms of the 1998 British-Irish Agreement and its subsequent outworkings, are being increasingly undermined by the situation on the ground, with failure to achieve anything resembling a satisfactory resolution to this issue representing the hard reality of society as it currently stands.
The ongoing deterioration in human rights standards, coupled with recent exposure of the accountability deficit at the heart of new policing arrangements in the six-counties - most notably in relation to the powerful, defining role British Military Intelligence continues to play at the heart of the most sensitive areas of the policing process - is a cause of grave concern for both ourselves and of course all those with a vested interest in ensuring a better way for the next generation of people in this country. That these issues present themselves not only in the north, where historically the situation has been much worse, but all across Ireland today is a damning indictment of how the current political process has proved unable to tackle and deal with the underlying causes that continue to allow this ugly reality to repeatedly raise its head.
Unless there is an unequivocal, universal commitment to the exacting standards of human rights that we feel the people of this country are entitled to - alongside a process that ensures a true democratic accountability and transparency to ensure that end - then the problems referred to will only worsen and further deteriorate as time goes on. In a country emerging from violent conflict and seeking to resolve the issues that helped sustain it the inherent dangers involved here need addressed at the root level with an outcome that ensures the democratic norms and protections that should be ours by birthright are restored to both the people of the occupied six-counties and indeed the south of the country also, where human rights issues still remain a concern in many instances.
KW Law, Justice Watch Ireland and other human rights and community activists have been asked to address the meeting and to detail the facts and statistics as they stand at present, as well as offering advice as to how the situation might be dealt with at an individual level and moved forward at that of wider society. The room is open to all who wish to attend and anyone wishing to make a contribution from the floor or seek advice from the panel will be facilitated and provided for on the day. We thank in advance those individuals and organisations who've agreed to offer their expertise as well as the Terence McSwiney Society Craigavon for hosting and putting the day's events together.