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Announcement :: Social Welfare
AN AMERICAN TRAGEDY
09 Sep 2005
Cumann na Saoirse Náisíunta Statement
Cumann na Saoirse Náisíunta Statement

National Irish Freedom Committee
Cumann Na Saoirse Naisiunta
http://www.irishfreedom.net/

We, the members and supporters of Cumann na Saoirse Naisiunta, are deeply saddened by the enormous loss of life and by the unimaginable hardship endured by the survivors of hurricane Katrina. We extend our heartfelt sympathy to those who lost loved ones and also to those who lost their homes, possessions and security, the fruits of their lifelong labors. May God have mercy on the souls of those who died, and care for and embrace those who survived.

AN AMERICAN TRAGEDY

Brian C Wardlow

Once, a home to Irish Immigrants escaping similar conditions during the great hunger in Ireland; an intriguing city rich in culture, history and mythology, has been reduced to devastation with an unknown future.

I had the opportunity to reside in this great city for almost a decade. I moved to New Orleans in 1993 to find an area in the Deep South that resembled my home in the northeast. My first bewilderment came when I spoke to my first New Orleanian; he spoke with an accent that resembled Jersey City/Brooklyn. I asked him what part of New York are you from? He replied with a stern, "New York! I'm from St. Bernard Parish!" An area devastated by Katrina. In the 17th century a section of Nova Scotia French Catholics that refused to bow to the British crown were exiled from Nova Scotia and settled in Louisiana brining with them their catholic beliefs. New Orleans is one of the few cities in the protestant dominated south that has a strong Catholic influence.

Being a history buff, and of Irish decent, I dove right into the Irish contribution to this intriguing city. Irish immigrants who escaped the torture of starvation in Ireland during the Great Hunger arrived in New Orleans at the same area as the people today who are experiencing similar circumstances outside the Morial Convention Center on the Mississippi River. Upon arrival the Irish were met by the Know Nothing Movement who saw to it that they didn't get to far from where they landed. The Irish found themselves competing with African slaves for work, which forced them to endure unthinkable conditions and low wages. Irish labor was responsible for the canals, railroads and wharfs that line the Mississippi River Today.

St. Bernard Parish which is just down river from New Orleans is home to Chalmette Battlefield, this is where Irish Andrew Jackson and his army of Irish immigrants, and pirates led by Jean Lafitte, defeated the British army in 1814. I lived in this area for four years and it has been devastated by this storm. The entire parish (county) is ten to fifteen feet under water. It is extremely hard for me to see the people who were so good to me suffer like this.

The human anguish that I have witnessed over the last six days has taken its toll on me. I am overwhelmed with grief to see the people of New Orleans, and surrounding parishes have to go through this avoidable tragedy. Nothing bothers me more than to hear, and see government officials - at all levels- say they didn't think this could happen. Their negligence spans more than just six or seven days.

The Bush administration and congress voted to cut the budget for hurricane and flood protection control in south east Louisiana. These programs carried out by the Army Corp of Engineers in south east Louisiana had to be shelved because of budget cuts, leaving the region exposed to the very danger that devastated the area six days ago. Not only was the protection of southeast Louisiana not a priority to our government, but neither were the lives of the thousands of victims of this avoidable tragedy. Government officials at all levels knew that Katrina was capable of bringing as much damage as a small nuclear bomb, and did nothing to prepare. The result is immense suffering and the loss of thousands of lives. Shame on you all.

National Irish Freedom Committee
Cumann Na Saoirse Naisiunta
http://www.irishfreedom.net/
See also:
http://www.irishfreedom.net

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Comments

Saoirse
09 Sep 2005
ifc_rockshow.jpg
I bet Tim Ledwith posted this story anonymously. He is a signatory to the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign. He creates their art posters.

His email is: saoirse1220 at yahoo.com
Re: AN AMERICAN TRAGEDY
09 Sep 2005
The above was posted by the National Irish Freedom Committee (Cumann Na Saoirse Naisiunta), not the "ifc".
Re: AN AMERICAN TRAGEDY
09 Sep 2005
Michael Flannery,George Harrison, Joe Stynes and others founded The National Irish Freedom Committee in 1987. They did so out of concern for what they believed to be a betrayal of traditional Republican principles and values after the Sinn Fein convention was highjacked and the sitting leadership ousted. Their fears were well founded. It turned out that the agenda of the new leadership had more to do with maintaining the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland that with achieving a united Ireland.
In supporting the British initiated Good Friday Agreement (GFA) the new leadership of the reconstituted Provisional Sinn Fein (PSF) acknowledged and accepted the British occupation of six-counties as a fait accompli. In furtherance of that acceptance they proceeded to work within the existing political, military and security institutions, the same colonial era institutions that bedeviled the native Irish for centuries.
For their part the British rewarded PSF with legislative and ministerial positions in the reconstituted Stormont government, personal protection by British security forces, and a free hand to control opposition to the GFA, thus, the continued British presence in the six occupied counties. In pursuit of this British mandate, PSF thugs resort to beatings, knee cappings, and murder.
In founding the National Irish Freedom Committee the intent of the founding members was to build an organization that would safeguard and ensure that the traditional Republican principles and values would continue to be represented here in the United States of America. defined by Wolfe Tone and sanctified by the blood of countless thousands of patriots down through the centuries including Tone himself, Emmet, Pearse and more recently the martyrs of 1981,
The leadership of National Irish Freedom Committee takes this responsibility seriously, has and will continue to abide by the intent of the founding members and by its charter. In so doing, the leadership has set forth clear and achievable objectives and has developed an action program to pursue and achieve those objectives in strict adherence to the founding members dictum.

IRISH REPUBLICAN ACTIVISTS SUPPORT CAMPAIGN -- will engage in activities to support the dependants of Irish Republican political activists, through Cabhair in Ireland, who are harassed and prosecuted by British and Irish authorities for promoting Eire Nua. This undertaking is an obligation inherent in the NIFC’s founding principles as espoused by Wolfe Tone i.e. 1) to unite the whole people of Ireland regardless of religious conviction and 2) to break the connection with England, the never-ending source of all political evil.
As a result of constant police harassment at homes and places of employment, political activists and family members are being ostracized and marginalized in their own communities. As an added burden, political activists appearing before non-jury courts are subjected to arbitrary bail conditions that inflict severe hardships on their dependants. These arbitrary bail conditions are tantamount to a virtual state of imprisonment. All of these malicious tactics are designed to silence the voice of Eire Nua proponents, who are viewed by the ruling elite in both states as a threat to the status quo; hence, a threat to their own privileged lifestyles. The NIFC will continue highlight their plight.

THE EIRE NUA AWARENESS CAMPAIGN -- will endeavor to increase the level of awareness in the U.S. of the Irish authored Eire Nua political program and the proposals contained therein to achieve a just and lasting peace in Ireland
Eire Nua (New Ireland) is a comprehensive Irish authored political program designed to achieve a just and lasting peace in Ireland in the context of a British withdrawal. Initially proposed by the Republican movement in 1972, Eire Nua would reunite the British occupied six counties of Ireland with the rest of Ireland in an all-Ireland federation comprised of the four historic provinces of Ulster, Munster, Leinster and Connacht. The principle on which Eire Nua is based, envisions a system of government in which all creeds and traditions would be represented and all citizens could exercise real power, without any one group infringing on the right of others.
This comprehensive and far-reaching program is in stark contrast to British imposed arrangements such as the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921, Sunningdale, Hillsborough and the faltering Good Friday Agreement, all calculated to copper-fasten and legitimize British control over the occupied six counties of Ireland.
The NIFC will also endeavor to engage political leaders, the media and the American public in bringing pressure to bear on the U.S. government to reverse its selective visa denial policy directed at Eire Nua proponents. Eire Nua is a comprehensive Irish formula for a just and lasting peace in Ireland in the context of a British withdrawal. More importantly Eire Nua is an Irish alternative to the faltering British-initiated Good Friday Agreement, an arrangement that after many years in existence is still ineffective.

OUR EXILED FOREBEARS AWARENESS CAMPAIGN -- will engage in cultural related activities for the purpose of providing a medium to raise the cultural and historical level of awareness amongst those of Irish heritage to ensure that our cultural heritage, values, and Fenian traditions are preserved for future generations of Irish-Americans.
Down through the centuries Ireland has produced some of the world's greatest scholars, writers, poets, and artists. Because of prejudice and intolerance many of these talented individuals left Ireland to practice their art elsewhere. Many others who left Ireland because of political activism, famine or lack of opportunity became in their own right renowned statesmen, politicians, judges, doctors, businessmen and women in their adopted countries. All of these individuals make us proud of our Irish roots and we cherish their contributions to our proud heritage.
The NIFC will support other Irish-American organizations engaged in promoting our cultural heritage. In addition, the NIFC will pursue its own initiative to raise the level of awareness of Irelands' struggle for its independence in a reunited sovereign nation free to determine and charter its own destiny.

NATIONAL IRISH FREEDOM COMMITTEE
www.irishfreedom.net
nifcmem@optonline