Ciaron O’Reilly on Christian Anarchism & the Catholic Worker

VID (8 mins 30 secs) – Ciaron O’Reilly on “Christian Anarchism & the Catholic Worker”.

Talk given at Christian – Anarchist gathering in England 2010.

One thought on “Ciaron O’Reilly on Christian Anarchism & the Catholic Worker

  1. Remember Bobby Sands says:

    Ciaron’s post and a conversation I had the other night with friends about people in their old age reminds me of the Hunger Strike of Irish Republicans led by Bobby Sands nearly 30 years ago. Sands died in the prison hospital after 66 days of hunger-striking, aged 27.
    Bobby Sands

    There were demonstrations around the world in support of the hunger strikers here is their story told in an extract from WikiPedia

    Hunger strike

    The 1981 Irish hunger strike started with Sands refusing food on 1 March 1981. Sands decided that other prisoners should join the strike at staggered intervals in order to maximise publicity with prisoners steadily deteriorating successively over several months.

    The hunger strike centred around five demands:

    1. the right not to wear a prison uniform;
    2. the right not to do prison work;
    3. the right of free association with other prisoners, and to organise educational and recreational pursuits;
    4. the right to one visit, one letter and one parcel per week;
    5. full restoration of remission lost through the protest.

    The significance of the hunger strike was the prisoners’ aim of being declared as political prisoners (or prisoners of war) and not to be classed as criminals. The Washington Post however, reported that the primary aim of the hunger strike was to generate international publicity.

    Bobby Sands Grave
    Sands died in the prison hospital after 66 days of hunger-striking, aged 27. The original pathologist’s report recorded Sands’ and the other hunger strikers’ causes of death as “self-imposed starvation”, later amended to simply “starvation” after protests from the dead strikers’ families. The coroner recorded verdicts of “starvation, self-imposed”.

    The announcement of his death prompted several days of riots in nationalist areas of Northern Ireland. A milkman and his son, Eric and Desmond Guiney, died as a result of injuries sustained when their milk float crashed after being stoned by rioters in a predominantly nationalist area of north Belfast. Over 100,000 people lined the route of Sands’ funeral and he was buried in the ‘New Republican Plot’ alongside 76 others. Their grave is maintained and cared for by the National Graves Association, Belfast. Sands was a Member of the Westminster Parliament for 25 days, though he never took his seat or the oath.

    In response to a question in the House of Commons on 5 May 1981, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher said, “Mr. Sands was a convicted criminal. He chose to take his own life. It was a choice that his organisation did not allow to many of its victims”. The official announcement of Sands’ death in the House of Commons omitted the customary expression of sense of loss and sympathy with the family of the member.

    He was survived by his parents, siblings, and a young son (Gerard) from his marriage to Geraldine Noade.

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