Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Che remembered 40 Years on in Derry

All roads led to Derry at the weekend for the 40th Anniversary celebration of the life and legacy of Che Guevara. In 1967 Che was shot dead by the Bolivian Army in a CIA sponsored operation whilst fomenting revolution in Bolivia.

Irish Republicans in Derry had organised a comprehensive weekend of events to remember Che 40 years on since his murder. Ógra Shinn Fein took part in numerous events over the weekend and according to its West Tyrone Chairperson Barry McNally it was ‘Educating, inspiring and brought the character of Che to life after 40 years since his death’

Friday night seen the Derry premier of the film Por Siempre Che. The DVD and talk was well attended. Indeed a large number of international comrades were also evident. Belfast Republican, Jim ‘Flash’ McVeigh and Cuban Ambassador to Ireland Noel Carrillo also addressed the event with Sean McMonigle chairing proceedings.

A tour of political murals in Derry’s Bogside took place on Saturday morning. As a part of the weekend of the events the tour was free of charge and was joined by the Cuban Ambassador. The tour concluded with the unveiling of a Che Guevara mural in the Bogside. A large crowd had congregated and the events were addressed by a number of speakers.

A youth Discussion in Pilots Row was next on the agenda. Chairing the proceedings was Aoife McNaught of Tóirsire republican youth. On the Panel was Barry McColgan of Ógra Shinn Féin joined by Cuban Ambassador Noel Carrillo and Sinn Fein’s Raymond McCartney. A large number of young people from Derry and further-a-field packed the hall to take part in the discussion. Following the showing of 2 short films the proceedings commenced.

A Cuban information night was held before the conclusion of the weekend of events. The crowd heard of the plight of the Miami 5 (otherwise known as the Cuban 5). The 5 men were arrested in America in 2001. The Cuban Five are serving four life sentences and 75 years collectively, after being wrongly convicted in U.S. federal court in Miami, on June 8, 2001. They are Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando González and René González.The Five were falsely accused by the U.S. government of committing espionage conspiracy against the United States, and other related charges.But the Five pointed out vigorously in their defence that they were involved in monitoring the actions of Miami-based terrorist groups, in order to prevent terrorist attacks on their country of Cuba.

A speaker from the Dublin Branch of the Free The Miami 5 campaign addressed the information evening and called for republicans in Ireland to highlight the injustice and join the campaign.
Earlier in the week republicans in Derry from Sinn Féin, Ógra Shinn Féin and Tóirsire republican youth had collected hundreds of signatures calling for the mens release. This had been presented to Ambassador Noel Carrillo following the conclusion of the Youth Discussion in Pilots Row.

The Weekend of events concluded with an international night with music provided by Gary Óg.

Sean McMonigle from Derry Sinn Féin has congratulated all those involved in organising or who attended the week of events to coincide with the 40th Anniversary of the death of the Che Guevara ,which seen a visit to the city of the Cuban Ambassador to Ireland Noel CarrilloSean said"Congratulations must go to all involved in organising or who attended many of the events that took place in the city in the past week. The theme of the week was to go beyond the iconic image of Che Guevara find out more about the man and the shared history of Cuba and Ireland ,and I think the all the various event achieved that ."Tickets for the Derry premier of the film Por Siempre Che sold out very quickly and every event was very well attended .The excellent new mural at Lisfannon Park has received a lot of interest. There was a lot of interest from other parts of the world about the week .We had media requests for information about the event from as far apart as France and Japan""The Cuban Ambassador to Ireland Noel Carrillo was very pleased about the how the whole week went and was organised .In particular he praised the initiative taken by young republicans in Derry to highlight the case of the Miami 5 in which they got hundreds of signatures calling for the men's release ""We will ensure in the times ahead that the case of the Miami 5 will be given as much support possible to highlight their ongoing campaign"

Barry McNally from Ógra Shinn Féin also congratulated all those involved in the weekend.

“I would like to first of all congratulate those behind the organisation of the weekend and also extend Ógras thanks for the invite to attend and address the weekend. It was a comprehensive and informative weekend run by Irish republicans in Derry. Irish Republicans fully support Cuba and remember with pride the legacy of Che Guevara. He has inspired generations in Ireland to continue the fight for freedom and indeed he will continue to inspire people in Ireland and the world over to continue the struggle against imperialism and it’s destructive by products. Irish republicans keep the name of Che Guevara beside the name of Bobby Sands. Both were brothers in arms in the one struggle. The weekend in Derry has served top reinforce this view and to show our ongoing support for Cuba forty years after the death of El Comandante Che Guevara.


Anonymous said...

well done to those in derry who organised a first class show of solidarity with the cuban people,you would think that it was a none event by derry media standards,with nothing in the local papers indicating such an important anniversary as the death of che,but then again they would have to give up their space that they use every week to show that the only thing derry people do every week is drink,drink ,drink.....forget about the positive stuff....which is here and here la revolution

Anonymous said...

Che -pure legend, he is up there with Frankie Hughs

Anonymous said...

Che is my personal hero.

One of the most complete men of the last 1,000 years - and half Irish.

Great work lads.

Danny Boy said...

Physician, brilliant intellect, competent soldier, charismatic leader, developed—and eventually creative-Marxist economist, always a man able to capture the spirit of an experience in his own being ...

Irishmen Che remains one of the four or five greatest revolutionaries in modern history.

A raise of my glass !

Anonymous said...

"In my sons veins flows the blood of the Irish rebels"

~ Ernesto Guevara Lynch (Che's Dad)

McKay said...

I've always loved Che Guevara.

The lad is the personification of bravery.

One of Ireland's greatest HEROES !