Posts Tagged ‘Bobby Sands’

Britannia’s Shame Continues to Haunt

October 31, 2008

Today is a special day in the Irish calender. The 31st of October is of course Halloween/Oiche Samhna the great pagan festival and New Year which has been celebrated in Ireland for over 3000 years. But today is also the day when Steve Mc Queen’s film Hunger goes on general cinematic release in Ireland. It is 27 years since the death of Bobby Sands the IRA prisoner who went on hunger strike to the death in demand of political status as a prisoner. Ten men were to die before the strikes ended. I am not going into the details of the hunger strikes as they are well documented else where.

One of the things that struck and inspired me were international reactions to Bobby Sand’s death and election to Westminster. There were protests outside many embassies throughout the world, minutes silences in various parliaments and numerous statues erected. The most common tribute given to Bobby is perhaps a street name. There are many streets in France renamed after him in Nantes, St. Etienne, St. Denis and Le Mans Verzion. In Cuba there is a statue to Bobby Sands and his comrades in Havana. There is one memorial in particular which always gives me a smile and that is the re-naming of the street where the British embassy stands in Tehran. The Iranian government decided to replace Winston Churchill Street to Bobby Sands Street. Brilliant.

 Despite constant pressure by the British government to change the name the Iranians refused to bow to Whitehall’s pressure for years. I notice that the British say the British embassy in Tehran and can be found at British Embassy. 198 Ferdowsi Avenue. (PO Box No 11365-4474). Tehran 11344. Whether they decided to change location or the Iranians did succumb to British pressure I don’t know. From what I know Bobbby Sands Street is still the official name of the street. If anyone knows please get in touch.

Here is an article written from the Iranian perspective I took from the Bobby Sands Trust website. It’s entitled ‘The Night we named Bobby Sands Street’.

http;//bobbysandstrust.com/archives/648

The film Hunger is released nationwide today.

Advertisements