The Struggle for Political Status by the H-Block & Armagh Prisoners is a Just and Heroic Struggle by Revolutionary Irish Patriots
Organisation: Communist Party of Ireland (Marxist-Leninist)
Collection:The Hunger Strikes
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Subjects: Hunger Strikes, 1980/81

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Commentary From The Cedar Lounge Revolution

22nd August 2016

Many thanks to the person who forwarded this to the Archive.

This twelve page pamphlet was published in support of prisoners in H-Block and Armagh Prisons and their five demands during the hunger strikes. These being:

  1. The right to wear their own clothes, instead of prison uniform.
  2. The right to use their time on vocational, craft or cultural education and activity, instead of prison work.
  3. The right to free association with fellow political prisoners.
  4. The right to one otter, one parcel and one visit per week.
  5. Restoration of remission of sentence lost through their protest.

It notes that in the 1970s the British government conceded ‘special category status’ – ‘this amounted to an admission by British imperialism that these patriots were, indeed, political prisoners or prisoners of war’.

But it notes that just four years later that category was abolished. It outlines the course of the situation from there and argues that:

The Irish people are not going to forget that these 6 patriots were allowed to die despite the overwhelming justice of their demand.

It continues that:

In Ireland itself the heroism of the hunger strikers is inspiring more and more to take up revolutionary political activity.

The document also outlines those who it considers allies and opponents of the struggle. It argues that ‘The question of tactics is a question for the Irish people’ and concludes that ‘The Long Term Solution is a United Socialist and Secular Ireland’.

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