Representing Victims of Terrorism in South Armagh
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In 1998 victims took to the streets to highlight their plight, FAIR led the way and became a voice for victims. We lent our support to initiatives like the Long March which literally took our message to the streets and mobilised the people of Ulster behind victims. Our message to the people was clear, we as victims have suffered while defending you now you must stand up and defend us. At a time when the political process had locked victims out, when terrorists looked set to enter government and unionist politicians were unwilling and unable to stand by their commitments to the people victims took the lead. Our efforts galvanised opinion against the appeasement process and reminded a new generation of the bloody past.

We used every opportunity to remember victims and to name and shame those involved in terrorism. Today it appears we need to revisit that strategy, and once more take our campaign onto the streets. Victims are angry that our politicians have gone back on their words and have betrayed the trusts we have placed in them. The reason Paisley gives for his retreat from principle is the threat held over him, of joint rule. In essence the threat of violence and a return to terrorism that was used against Trimble has been replaced by a threat from the Irish government.

As victims we are disgusted that the British government has stooped to such anti-democratic tactics and have used bribery, first in terms of water charges and in the lucrative lure of office for our politicians. Then was added the blackmail from Dublin, that they will get increased powers if a deal with terrorists is not done. We have not suffered for over thirty years and held the border paying with the lives of our loved ones simply to see blackmail and bribery used to undo our work. Just as we have stood up to terrorism for Thirty years so now we will continue the fight, against anyone who threatens our birthright

If victims must endure more then we are willing in the hope that our suffering will shame our politicians and fellow-countrymen into action. We intend to take this fight to the doors of the Dublin Government, we will descend on the capital once more and will face them and whatever dredges of Republican opposition can be mustered. They have refused to meet with us for over six years while Ahern can see fit to talk to everyone else. We have a range of issues that need to be addressed; the bloody legacy of Dublinís interference and collusion in terrorism cannot be forgotten. This is what they appear to be running scared of, hard questions around state collusion and the supply of weapons and explosives to the PIRA.

We will see if the welcome that was extended to Ian Paisley Jnr will also be offered to us. It is now obvious that despite our requests victimsí issues and concerns have never been raised by the DUP in the negotiations with Dublin. We it would seem have been forgotten about. That is unfortunate since we now will be forced to travel directly to Dublin to put these questions to southern politicians and society


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