Kevin Doyle Blog

Writing and activism

Archive for the ‘Heroes’ Category

Bradley Manning …Stop, spread the word!

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The video below, from German TV,  tells the story of one of the infamous war crimes committed by the US military machine in Iraq.  The brave individual who stood up and exposed this dreadful crime – Bradley Manning – has been targeted by those same authorities that gave the green light to this atrocity. Currently Bradley is under a 23 hour lockdown imprisonment in a high security military prison in the Quantico, Virgina in the United States.  His conditions of incarceration are harsh:

  • He is held 23 hours in each day in solidarity confinement.
  • His cell has no window and he is not allowed to see daylight at any time.
  • He is not allowed exercise.
  • He is allowed for one hour each day to walk in chains in an empty room.

The documentary explains that Bradley Manning is being punished severely for speaking out.  His situation is grave.  Recently, however, it worsened with the news that the US army had filed 22 additional charges against Bradley.  These include a new charges of “aiding the enemy” – a capital offense under Article 104 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

There are a few things that you can do.  Most of all, inform others about Bradley’s story and encourage them to do the same.  You can do this easily by sharing this video below and/ or by directing people to the web site for Bradley Manning.   There is further information here as well as an extensive What You Can Do section.

‘Pat The Picket’ Allen – A True Rebel

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Pat Allen, May Day, Cork 2008

Pat Allen – one of the most formidable protestors in Cork – died earlier this week after a long battle with cancer. I knew Pat well and will miss not seeing him again on any protests in the city. Pat was always indignant about injustice and angry that more people were not out on the streets trying to put an end to what was wrong in society. He believed in taking action and letting people know what was wrong, and what should be done.  Not only a great character but an indignant one too!

One of my abiding memories of Pat was meeting him one day just off Patrick Street in Cork. He had a few posters with him and some paste.  But he complained bitterly to me that all the ESB poles along Patrick Street were already taken up with other posters and there was no room for his.  I pointed out to him that it was a good complaint to to be making and that it was a sign there was a good level of activity going on around the city.  But Pat could be single minded: he wanted to get his posters up and highlight his issue.  Pat had many issues on his mind and he spent a lot of time making it known that as a society we could a lot, lot better.  And he was right about that.

I took this photo of Pat  on the 2008 May Day celebration in Cork. Here Pat is in costume and he looked fabulous that day. He made his point too about the health cutbacks – what a scandal!  An interesting aside on Pat was the fact that his political prowess brought him into contact with the meaner elements of society – the Special Branch in particular.  Back in the 80s and 90s Pat suffered a considerable amount of harassment from the SB.  I think I had his character in mind (or someone like him) when I wrote ‘But Your Mother’.

An amazing person and a tremendous, defiant spirit.  A true rebel.  You will be missed Pat.

 

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Written by kfdoyle

November 12, 2010 at 1:29 pm

Lest We Forget … Rachel Corrie and Palestine

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Democracy Now is a beacon of honest news reporting in this age of censorship.  Check it out…

At the moment they have a very informative (and for me, ultimately, a very sad) report online about the case of Rachel Corrie who was crushed to death in Palestine by the IDF seven years ago.  Rachel was there with the International Solidarity Movement.

At the moment the Corrie family and supporters are taking the State of Israel to court.  This audio report tells about the current state of play with that action and you can hear it  here.

Written by kfdoyle

March 10, 2010 at 7:09 pm

Lonely Planet’s Cork and Cowen’s Head Taking Off

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Off With His Head ...

One good cut (in time saves nine ...)!

The biggest gimmick of last week must have been Lonely Planet’s inclusion of Cork in its ten best destinations for 2010. Oh come off it like, as we say around here. What sort of a langerated idea is this?  Or to put it another way, ‘Do you think like we came down in the last shower?’

Marketing by Lonely Planet, I think.  Not that the ‘tourish (sic) industry’ didn’t dine out on it for a few days and clap themselves on the back.  It was just what they needed: ‘Oh come here, really do, so we can RIP you off big big time.’

But anyway, none of this is to take away from the fact that we are special down here in Cork. Everyone knows that.  Any by way of an example, here is what I have to offer up –  take a gawk.  Isn’t that something?  I took the photo on the huge ‘Get Up, Stand Up’ march against the cuts that passed through ‘pana’ on Friday afternoon last. Now  that WAS something to see.  And pride of place for me goes to this great placard which got to the nub of the matter.  Surely like.

One good cut!  Now that’s the spirit of the Rebel County…

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