3 March 2005 Edition
In Memory of the Ten - Ógra Shinn Féin National Day of Protest
Ógra activists on Tuesday 1 March, the anniversary of Bobby Sands' commencement of hunger strike, took to the streets throughout Ireland to protest against the recent onslaught of accusations of criminality against republicans.
Large groups of young republicans gathered in protest outside City Hall in Belfast and in Dublin, Waterford and Cork to demonstrate their anger at the recent attempts from all sides to criminalise the republican struggle. Republicans also held a candlelit vigil to commemorate the anniversary in Dromore, County Tyrone. Ógra National organiser Mickey Bravender said: "It is significant that on this day in 1981 that Bobby Sands commenced his Hunger Strike, in 2005 young republicans take to the streets to protest against the same attempts of criminalisation.
"In the months ahead and the lead up to the election on 5 May, we must remind young people and voters of the sacrifice of the Hunger Strikers, their selfless desire to defeat criminality and to advance the struggle for freedom.
"Today's generation of republicans have and will stand strong against this current onslaught and our message is, we would not be criminalised in 1981, we will not be criminalised now."
BY BARRY McCOLGAN and ANDREA O'KANE, Ógra Shinn Féin