GEMMA BROLLY: After protesting for Civil Rights for Decades Sinn Féin & SDLP Vote Against the Civil Right to Protest.
After protesting for Civil Rights for Decades Sinn Féin & SDLP Vote Against the Civil Right to Protest.
Responding to last night's Stormont vote to target the right to protest, Aontú Representative for East Derry Gemma Brolly has criticised the decision of the SDLP and Sinn Féin to vote against the right of pro-lifers to peacefully protest, in the latest pro-choice powerplay by the parties.
Rep Brolly: "It is absolutely astonishing to learn that the very parties who marched and protested for civil rights and freedoms throughout history have now dumped these same rights and purposes in order to adapt legislation yet again to suit their own present agenda."
"Regardless of opinion, citizens should always have the right to freedom of speech and the right to peaceful, respectful protest. Men and women sacrificed their lives so we could live our lives fairly, accessing these rights yet here in the present day we have parties now dictating when and where we can utilise these rights. I hope all involved in this decision are fully aware of the precedent now set. Some people may not agree with these protests, but the whole idea of democracy is that you uphold the democratic rights of those you disagree with. "
"Our nationalist parties in particular might do well to recall the words of James Connolly; "The liberty of the public meeting is also, rapidly becoming a thing of the past in Ireland, as far as it is or may be used for the criticism of the activities of the government or its functionaries; and yet it is this very right of the subject to criticise the governing bodies which is the very essence of freedom in a constitutionally governed country."
"This is a devastating day for democracy, civil rights and liberties in what can no longer be a 'constitutionally governed country'" states Ms. Brolly.
"In spite of this," Ms Brolly vows, "Aontú will continue to demand and fight for the civil rights and freedoms of the citizens of our nation, for the very proclamation that hangs on so many bare-faced walls across this country, where we will "cherish all the children of our nation equally." Perhaps the new woke Sinn Féin and the SDLP have forgotten Connolly’s words, as reflected by their votes last night, but democratic freedoms are critical because one day we will all need them”.