A powerful start to this year’s programme, this is a video record of the presentations.
Forty six years ago next Sunday an estimated 20,000 people took to the Derry’s streets to march for civil rights and demand an end to internment, imprisonment without trial. The opening event of this year’s programme both honours the memory, courage and resolve of all those who marched that day but importantly focuses on the continued use of internment by the British State and others. Currently three men, Tony Taylor, now imprisoned for more than 670 days, Neil Hegarty and Gabriel Mackle are Britain’s new ‘internees’ on Irish soil.
Meanwhile in Catalonia in response to a referendum result that strengthened the voice of the independence movement, the Spanish state who had firstly tried to disrupt the referendum, resorted to internment of pro-independce political activists Jordi Sanchez and Jordi Cuixart and members of the Catalonian parliament including the vice-president.
And in Palestine the case of 16 year old Ahed Tamimi, whose story went viral on social media after the decision of an Israeli military judge ordered that she be held in custody during her trial, possibly for months, is just one of thousands of Palestinian citizens suffering horrendous social injustices on a daily basis with little or no means of redress.
Francie is a former Long Kesh internee who was one of 14 of men subjected by the RUC and British army to ‘deep interrogation techniques’ at the secret interrogation centre at Ballykelly in the early 1970’s. The case became know as ‘the hooded men’. There’s a good investigative report on it here. Francie will speak about his experiences then and about how the British government continues to employ a more refined form of internment here today, exemplified in its imprisonment of Derry republican Tony Taylor and the more recent imprisonment of Neil Hegarty and Gabriel Mackle.
Omar Merino is a Catalan Philosophy graduate from the University of Barcelona. He was actively involved in the 15M Movement, also known as the Indignados, and became a strong advocate for Catalonia’s independence after the Constitutional Court of Spain overruled the Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia in 2010. Omar has been living in Derry since 2013.
Admission Free, All welcome.