Stop the Extradition of Seán Garland: National Committee Formed March 30, 2009Posted by Garibaldy in Human Rights, Ireland, Justice, Seán Garland, United States, Workers' Party.
The Irish Times reports important developments in the capaign to Stop the Extradition of Seán Garland. A National Committee has been formed, with internationally respected trade unionist and peace camapigner Chris Hudson as Chair and former President of The Workers’ Party and ex-TD and former Lord Mayor of Dublin Tomás Mac Giolla as Secretary.
Chris Hudson is now a Presbyterian Minister in South Belfast, but before that he was an official with Communications Workers’ Union in Dublin. Hudson has a strong track record of opposing violence and promoting human rights. He played a key role in the peace process, helping persuade loyalists to abandon violence, and acting as a go-between the Irish government and loyalists, including at several dangerous points where the process may have failed. I don’t know this for sure, but it seems to me that his involvement is a recognition both of the work of Seán Garland and The Workers’ Party in standing up for Peace, Work, Democracy and Class Politics over several decades, the humanitarian issues raised by Seán Garland’s age and health, and concern at the ludicrous nature of the accusations, and the vindictive and underhanded way in which Garland has been pursued by the Bush regime discussed here.
The Committee has already been in discussions with a large number of people north and south, and has secured support from senior figures in the Óireachtas (as noted here) and public life on both sides of the border, and across the political spectrum. Its stated aim is to “stop the extradition of Seán Garland to the United States, on political, humanitarian, legal and moral grounds”. Over the next weeks and months, public meetings will be held, as part of a broader public campaign, added to the lobbying of public figures and institutions.
Internationally too, the campaign has been stepped up. On March 11th, Greek Communist MEP, Comrade Athanasios Pafilis, raised the issue in the European Parliament, asking
Does the Council condemn the inadmissable arrest and political persecution of Seán Garland as an infringement of democratic rights and freedoms?
Over 50 Communist and Workers Parties have signed a statement of solidarity. The statement includes the following
We condemn this blatant attack on a leading member of The Workers’ Party of Ireland who has pursued a struggle against imperialism for almost 60 years. We express our solidarity with The Workers’ Party of Ireland and with Comrade Seán Garland in the fight against extradition to the US.
We demand the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of these extradition proceedings on political, legal and humanitarian grounds and call on all communist and workers’ parties and progressive organisation to send messages of support to The Workers’ Party at email@example.com and the Campaign to Defend Seán Garland at firstname.lastname@example.org
My sentiments exactly. Although I would call on individuals reading here to give their support to the Campaign, to get involved, and remind people of the petition, which can be signed online, or printed off for distribution.