11 August 2012     

Shared experiences

By Lynda Walker

The 9th of August marks the 41st anniversary of internment without trial. Over those years the People’s Festival / Féile an Phobail has become the pride of West Belfast as it expands and takes in more and more events each year, including our own Madge Davison Memorial Lecture, “Jimmy Gralton: An undesirable alien,” given by Declan Bree on Saturday 11 August.
     As it grows, it is also getting more and more sponsorship. This may become an issue. However, the events must be welcome. Who would have thought that the festival would hold events in the Shankill Library, that women’s political bus tours would take place, and that the loyalist prisoners would talk about their experiences in St Mary’s College on the Falls Road. There is more than one way to skin a cat.
     The building of working-class unity and shared experiences is welcome. Any light at the end of the tunnel is welcome. However, the continued imprisonment of Marian Price (McGlinchey) casts a shadow on these events. The parole commissioners have the power to release Marian, and they should do so.

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