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The 1981 hunger strike began

The 1981 hunger strikes began on the 1st of March, when Bobby Sands began refusing food. A total of ten people died before the strike ended in October.

A February 1981 document from the National H-Block / Armagh Committee states:

On Thursday 5th February seven weeks after the ending of a fifty-three day hunger-strike in the H-Blocks at Long Kesh, and a nineteen day hunger-strike by women prisoners at Armagh prison, a joint statement from both sets of prisoners was issued announcing another hunger-strike to begin on March 1st. The statement threatened that the prisoners would strike 'to death if necessary' to achieve recognition as political prisoners and a status in accord with that recognition.

The prisoners' statement ended weeks of speculation that a settlement to the four-and-a-half-year-long protest was posssible and confirmed for the prisoners and their supporters that the British reneged on the hunger-strike settlements of December 18th last.