We have been shown once again the true scale of political policing in the North of Ireland with the arrest of prominent activist and republican Dee Fennell for giving a speech at a 1916 Easter commemoration for Ireland’s patriot dead.
Like a mirror image of what happened with Marian Price, Dee was arrested for giving a speech at an annual Easter commemoration stating :
“The use of arms prior to 1916 was legitimate. The use of arms in Easter 1916 was legitimate. The use of arms after 1916 was legitimate”
This view is not only shared by Dee it is shared by many Republicans, and as stated in the 1916 proclamation it is the right of Irish citizens to take up arm against an occupying force if deemed necessary.
Armed struggle has been used many times before in hopes of forwarding the cause of a United Ireland and not always having the desired outcome but legitimate none the less.
‘We declare the right of the people of Ireland to the ownership of Ireland and to the unfettered control of Irish destinies, to be sovereign and indefeasible.
The long usurpation of that right by a foreign people and government has not extinguished the right, nor can it ever be extinguished except by the destruction of the Irish people
In every generation the Irish people have asserted their right to national freedom and sovereignty; six times during the past three hundred years they have asserted it in arms’ – 1916 Proclamation
Today in 2015 conditions do not exist for an armed struggle and in my own personal opinion the best way for us to forward the cause of a United Ireland is through political means, political agitation and mobilization of the communities. Participating in elections alone will not bring about a United Ireland but this combined with other tactics will.
The claim that political policing no longer exists or that the policy of ‘Internment without trial’ is no longer in effect has been rubbished time and time again, this episode with the arrest of Dee Fennell is just another example of this.
Republican or otherwise we must stand up for our rights and not remain passive as they are gradually chipped away at by the powers that be, these actions will not crush dissent it will only help prove that the North of Ireland remains under the tight grip of the British establishment and that they fear Republicanism just as much as they did back in 1916.