FAIR
Representing Victims of Terrorism in South Armagh
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28/11/05
Govt Attempts To Starve Victims

At a time when we are being told that the government is willing to respond to the needs of victims FAIR has once more been snubbed in an application for its victims centre. The 'Living Memorial Project' which aims to create a safe space for victims to recover and rebuild their lives has been turned down by the Community Relations Unit. It is the second such refusal with the first application now subject to discrimination proceedings. It serves to prove the contempt in which government and their quangoes hold innocent victims. We wait with disgust to hear the lies and double speak they use to justify this latest insult to victims. It is clear that victims who put up and shut up will receive the lions share of funding.

For too long the government has attempted to bully and bribe victims and have tried to direct the sector using the lure or denial of funding. Those they could not buy they have attempted to starve, as FAIR has continued to take a principled stand against the one way flow of concessions to terrorists. However it is clearly because of our role in the high profile lobby visit to Westminster to oppose the Terrorist Amnesty Bill that the government has denied us this funding. Clearly the Government and the Community Relations Council define promoting community relations as acquiescing in the appeasement and placation of terrorism. Thos who take a stand will be literally starved to death in funding terms.

Today the government have declared war on the victims sector, however as we have stood and prevailed against over three decades of terrorist onslaught a foreign Secretary of State and his shower of faceless civil servants and sycophants will not move us. This latest insult to the memory of our loved ones will be answered in the strongest terms, and we hope that the Northern Ireland Office have the stomach for the fight they have begun. Victims will no longer sit and accept their fate, they will no longer appeal cap in hand to government we will fight and win what is rightfully ours. We will fight in the courts, in the streets and in any arena we find ourselves.

The government has taken the roof from over the victims' heads, a cruel move so close to Christmas. At a time when we have just seen Newry and Mourne Council punished for their denial of facilities to FAIR we now see central government doing likewise. However FAIR will continue, we will be forced to hold our larger meetings in a local farm. Already facilities have been offered by a member of the group, of a cattle shed. It is indeed a very telling situation and one the people of Northern Ireland will be acutely aware of, as the government treats victims like animals where else can we meet? However as our forefathers who were persecuted by the governments of their day met in barns and fields so shall we. At Christmas we remember that our Saviour too was forced to seek refuge amongst the cattle in a barn and we will accept that.

The sooner the government and their lackeys realise that they cannot discriminate against FAIR, victims and the wider community the better. We will be calling for a crisis meeting with the Secretary of State, NIO Ministers and the Funders, to explain their position and reasons for refusal. However it seems clear that European Money is being used to control groups and force them to support a government agenda

 



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