Currently in Ireland there are 3 women and 50 men on hunger strike both in British and Free State prisons who need your support. The hunger strike which due to take place for two weeks commenced just over week has now entered its 8th day.
The hunger strike began when 62 year old Dr. Issam Hijjawi, a Palestinian who was arrested in controversial circumstances along with other with other political activists by mi5 and is being kept in forced isolation in Maghaberry Jail in unfit conditions alongside being refused proper medical attention.
Dr. Hijjawi has a long list of medical needs and after being allowed out for an MRI, Dr. Hijjawi was returned to isolation in the dirty and unfit for purpose Foyle House Unit being housed alongside criminals and not fellow political prisoners despite being enough space on republican roe wing to house him.
This also follows liberal Justice Minister, Naomi Longs uneducated and simply outrageous comments that this refusal had been placed down to the security of prison staff and prisoners, despite contradicting her own words only to house Dr. Hijjawi among dangerous anti community criminals, whilst still pandering to loyalist prisoners.
In solidarity with their comrade republican prisoners immediately joined, in what is a historically significant form of protest for inheritors of struggle in Ireland.
Ireland has a long standing tradition of hunger striking from over a century ago, when men and women would protest their captivity, the most notable being Lord Mayor of Cork Terence MacSwiney and 11 other comrades embarked on a hunger strike in Brixton Prison, MacSwiney died after 73 days which would then set the precedent for years to come.
The most famous and possibly the most significant in recent times was the 1981 Hunger Strike where 10 INLA and PIRA prisoners died from May – August, Bobby Sands being the first to die.
Those who are on hunger strike are Grandmothers, Fathers, Mothers, sisters and brothers who are now more than a week into their protest in dismal conditions, some prisoners upon arrival have been told that they were not allowed access to new paper thin clothing and toiletries for up to two weeks.
Following the start of the hunger strike taking place, further protests and fasts in solidarity have been taking place by local communities across Ireland, Scotland and Palestine.
We wish to give full support to Dr. Hijjawi and those currently on hunger strike in Ireland and express solidarity to those taking part in community action to raise awareness of their courageous actions.
Victory to the Hunger Strikers of 2020.