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by Seamus Twomey
Thursday, Aug. 10, 2000 at 3:51 PM
In 1977 Seamus Twomey while isolated from his family, friends and comrades in arms, wrote a blueprint to indoctrine and harden Irish socialist revoloutionaries to the price each one of them may have to pay while interned indefinitely by imperialist forces. Today the situation is only more critical and the advice of 23years past rings true. All those engaging in direct action must learn from the past as well as from present day treatment, of those held hostage in Philadelphia for putting their asses on the line for all of us, it is time to harden yourselves for the battle.
The following are excerpts from a IRA document published in 1977 or there abouts, providing an outline for the harsh treatment of prisoners of revoloutionary movements and the means by which one must protect and prepare one's self. "The most important thing is security, that means you: Dont' talk in public places. you don't tell your family, friends, girl friends or workmates that you are a member of the IRA don't express views about military matters, in other words you say nothing to any person... Your prime duty is to remain unknown to the enemy forces and the public at large." The emphasis here on privacy is to ensure one's sense of solidarity and self preservation once brought within the confines of incarceration, not allowing the enemy access to your inner self, and thus insuring defense against physical and psychological onslaught. ARREST, "This causes an initial shock resulting in tension and anxiety. All volunteers feel that they have failed, resulting in a deep sense of disappointment. The police are aware of this feeling of disappointment and act upon this weakness by insults...While being arrested the police use heavy handed 'shock' tactics in order to frighten the prisoner and break down resistance....You must bear in mind that the treatement meted out to you is desinged to break you and so bleed you of all the information you may have with regard to the organization to which you belong. They will attempt to intimidate you by sheer numbers and by brutality. Volunteers who may feel disappointed are entering the first dangerous threshold because the police will act upon this disappointment to the detriment of the volunteer and to furtherment of their own ends. Volunteers must condition themselves to the obvious fact that they can be arrested and if and when arrested they should expect the worst and be prepared for it. INTERROGATION: After the prisoner has been placed in a cell, he may be left for some time alone. During this lull, police officers, 'the interrogators' will crowd around the outside of the cell door from time to time, shouting threats and insults, telling the prisoner what they will do to him when they go into the cell." this is done in order to rattle and confuse an already battered and uneven activist/revoloutionary,then after several hours of detention the interrogators will visit the prisoner armed with an impressive appearing file, with accounts of movement of the prisoner and involvement within the movement, this file will function as the interrogators tool of intimidation, again employed to unsettle the prisoner..."Armed with this body of information the police will re-enter the cell and accuse the prisoner fo all sorts of activity. If the evidence does not indicate a degree of guilt on the specific charge, (the Prisoner) will be accused of all kinds of vague activity....If however, the police have some evidence or strong beliefs, linking the prisoner with a specific charge, pressure will be applied immediately. This pressure will take the form of physical and psychological torture, most probably he will be punched and kicked around the cell while they scream at the prisoner to make a confession, indicating to the prisoner that they know all....THE INTERROGATION--ANALYSIS: the best defence in anti-interrogation techniques is to understand the techniques as practised by police forces. the purpose of interrogation is to get a confession. If the interrogators knew what they were searching for then there would be no need for interrogation, therefore interrogation is necessary only when the police are unaware of information, which would lead to a conviction. The best anti-interrogation method is to SAY NOTHING....All police forces work from a story suspicion or a clue, therefore when a volunteer is arrested they strive to build on that clue or that suspicion, and the only way that can be done is to obtain information from the victim (prisoner). They usually start by questioning their victim, writing down a recording of what he says, comparing information with information previously gained, going back to their victim, pointing out these differences, resulting in the victim changing his story with other information,...which will be recorded and used as evidence against him, evidence which will without a doubt be accepted by the court and so lead to his conviction. This cannot be over stressed: when arrested SAY NOTHING...ask to see your solicitor and doctor immediately and keep on doing so. DO NOT INDULGE IN CONVERSATION WITH THE POLICE. When anxiety has been aroused all natural, rational defence barriers break down or weaken. when this happens the prisoner becomes irrationaal and becomes more prone to interrogation, in other words an anxious or frightened man is easier than a cool, calculating person....Most volunteers speak from a sense of fear thinking mistakenly that if they speak, torture or ill treatement will not be used. It is recorded fact that interrogators are guided by a simple rule of thumb: 'if a prisoner won't speak he may be innocent and interrogation may be a waste of time, if he speaks a little there is always more and so interroation is neccessary' therefore the prisoner who speaks a little in order to avoid abuse is in effect inviting more abuse from his interrogators who will always assume there is something more. Therefore the best defence is to reamain COOL, COLLECTED, CALM AND SAY NOTHING.....All volunteers must understand and understand in the clearest possible way that no interrogator/police officer/public official/media type is his friend, that they are the enemy, the instruments of coercion, the tools of suppression and a more dangerous enemy than the police and hired forces who will beat him up. These people act a part in a well-rehearsed play, and are using subtle psychological techniques to undermine the morale of the volunteer....We have seen earlier in this lecture how the 'heavy squad' now enters the scene and proceeds to attack the volunteer in a most vicious and brutal manner. This shock treatment is well rehearsed and is meant to push the volunteer into a physical and mental corner, in other words they hope that their shock treatment will knock the volunteer off balance, and off guard in the hope that he will confess." These violent displays and verbal attacks are, "...merely an assurance to the police they can get a confession, it is the first obvious sign of their own weakness, a compensation for their own shortcomings and all volunteers should and ought to look upon this display as a modern war dance. Just as primitive peoples held war dances, and built totem poles and church spires in order to compensate themselves for their own known weaknesses, so too frustrated interrogators will shout and boast in front of the prisoner to compensate themselves for their own weaknesses. The best anti-interrogation technique when a volunteer finds himself in this situation, is to look upon the police interrogators as he would look upon primitive people, wearing the head of a dead animal, hoping that by doing this they gain the strength or cunning of the animal whose head they wear. the best protection while being interrogated is LOYALTY to the movement. This implies LOYALTY to all YOUR COMRADES and PROTECTION of all members of the movement. Again commitment to the aims and objectives of the movement, a deep and unmoving POLITICAL COMMITMENT to the ideas of a Socialist Republic, CONSTANT AWARENESS that you are a REVOLUTIONARY with a sound political base, noble and justifiable cause, and deep and firm belief that thsoe holding you and interrogating you are morally wrong, that you are superior in all respects, because your cause is right and justified.
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