I have just finished reading the first edition of Scairt Amach (Scream out) magazine produced by the Irish Republican Prisoners Welfare Assoication (IRPWA). The magazine is full of articles provided by current Republican POWs aligned to the IRPWA and provides an interesting read and an insight into the current situations arising from the different prison regimes. I think that a publication such as this is well overdue and provides not only a voice for republican prisoners but a source and platform for debate, analysis and an organizing tool for prisoner related issues.
Having such a magazine in circulation overcomes the censorship of the media, state forces and constitutional nationalists. Political activists and prisoners know too well the effect that censorship has had over the years in terms of curbing any political dissent, criminalization and turning a blind eye to injustice.
One article that really stood out for me was on the Craigavon Two and the injustice surrounding their case and incarceration. Although I have followed the case to some extent this provided a real insight into the injustice that has been dealt to them at the hands of the British state. What has happened to Brendan McConville and John Paul Wooton can happen to not only any political activist but any individual who could be used as a scapegoat by the British state to help them save face.
We have seen in recent years the lengths that the state will go to in order to prevent the growth of any creditable opposition or dissent. One example being Stephen Murney who was interned for over a year away from his family for nothing other than been an éirígí activist and disagreeing with the status quo. Murney is but one of many examples and he features in the magazine. Murney is now released but the prison regime didn’t break him and he is back pursuing his political activism and fighting for his community, the exploited and the working masses and through éirígí he continues to provide that creditable alternative.
I really enjoyed the analysis of the Republican Movement and the writer didn’t hold back with criticisms and the path in which that movement needs to take and how it needs to build.
Other articles include an insight into the tools the prison regimes are using such as isolation, oppression, forced separation in the case of Sharon Rafferty and Davy Jordan and revolutionary analysis.
Scairt Amach is a suitable name for such a magazine to provide a voice for prisoners but also for the general public to now provide that voice and begin to organize and fight for the rights of political prisoners that others have fought and died for.
It was a very good read and I look forward to reading the second issue.