Tuesday, November 11, 2014

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Censoring the Republican Alternative

The 1916 Societies refuse to be censored by the Students Union at Queen's University, Belfast. The statement featured on the website of the Societies.


QUB Information Night To Go Ahead Despite Attempts To Censor And Exclude 1916 Societies And The Republican Alternative
 
 
QUB INFORMATION NIGHT TO GO AHEAD DESPITE ATTEMPTS TO CENSOR AND EXCLUDE 1916 SOCIETIES AND THE REPUBLICAN ALTERNATIVE

In a disturbing development on Friday evening just past, Queen’s Student Union, in a last-minute and blatant effort to censor and marginalise the 1916 Societies, decided on cancelling our planned information night for this week, Wednesday 12th November, using the pretext our presence would somehow breach ‘Union neutrality’ as we are not as yet registered with the University – a process the night in question was intended to help speed.

This is a grave disservice to those within the student body who took the effort of setting the night up, that their fellow students might be allowed hear what the 1916 Societies are about and how we hope to achieve our aims. We are deeply disappointed with this decision but unfortunately and in truth it was to be expected. This incident surely begs the question of how this supposed ‘neutrality’ can be maintained if the only threshold is whether or not you are a recognised society within the student body. Is it ok then to be in ‘breach of neutrality’ so long as you’re registered? A bizarre position to say the least.

The powers that be in society today bemoan of alternative republicans that they find methods of advancing their politics without resort to armed force, yet when a credible alternative begins to emerge they quickly move to kill it at source. The politically-biased position taken by Queen’s Student Union is reflective of that attitude in this instance and is indeed out of sync with their purported requirement to remain neutral on the constitutional situation in Ireland today. The hard reality is neither Queen’s Student Union or those who hold power in wider society want an alternative of ANY description emerging to the status quo and that is the key issue in play here and not neutrality.

Regardless of these saddening attempts at censorship we will not be deterred and the information night will go ahead this Wednesday evening in an alternative venue. We have secured a room in An Realta Civic and Social Space at 48 King Street, facing the side of the Ibis Hotel and within walking distance of the University campus. We will meet as planned at 7pm. Independent councillor from Dungannon Barry Monteith will gladly meet those interested in hearing about and joining our campaign and the 1916 Societies remain committed to offering the students of Queen’s University a political alternative to the failed status quo, and indeed to securing recognition within the Union body – the campaign for which will begin with immediate effect on the back of this Wednesday’s information evening.

We sincerely hope and trust this incident has not impacted on those at QUB who wish to hear more regarding what the 1916 Societies are committed to achieve in the time ahead and we look forward to meeting with those who have expressed an interest in joining our campaign for a singular all-Ireland referendum on Irish Unity.

Unfortunately Queen’s Student Union have attempted to suppress that alternative for their own narrow reasons but we move on regardless.

6 comments :

pat murphy said...

Anyone who does not lie down and kiss the royal ass will be ostracised. Ask Marty. Keep going and good luck.

Fionnuala Perry said...

Not much ever changes at Queens. I remember a complaint being made that a background to a reading list was green and some students wanted a more neutral colour ?
It had to be reprinted on a beige type non descript coloured paper.
Where else would you get it ?

sean bres said...

We held the meeting last night regardless courtesy of a wee venue in the city 'An realta', some of you's probably know Donal who manages it - great fella. All went well and that's us now organiosiong in Queen's, next step is seeking official recognition so they can't pull the like of that again. According to legal advice we were offered they've actually breached their own constitutional commitments to equality of opinion but as Nuala says whaty to expect from a pig but a grunt. whereas years ago though it was Unionism putting the blockers on I get the feeling this time around it's coming fron 'our own'

AM said...

Sean,

a number of years ago myself, the Dark, Tommy McKearney and Tommy Gorman were to speak at QUB. One of their councillors got it blocked and then told the Sunday Business Post that the party should not allow people a platform to attack it. And he was one of the better ones and up until then a close friend of mine. We have not spoken since. We are always pushing against a heavy censorious tide. And I don't really believe that there is a great deal of enthusiasm for free expression among the current anti-Treaty republicans. I think they often see it as an instrument which is useful to highlight SF's censorship but not something they actually value for its own sake.

That is one of my reasons for being resolutely determined never to be part of a republican group again. Censorial traits are in the republican DNA and not merely something that afflicts SF.

grouch said...

have u ever censored anyone?

pat murphy said...

AM I can't quite get my head around what you are appearing to say. Am I correct in saying that you think the present crop of republicans have no interest in free expression and ultimately their aim is just to pour scorn on Sinn Fein?. When yous were stopped from giving your talk in queens would you have appreciated being labeled as you have just labeled those who were censored by some in queens?. If SF censor dissent then should they not be exposed for the hypocrites they are?. I may be reading your post wrong and if I am I am sorry for saying this. As a republican I don't need to be part of any group but I can appreciate those who are.