Voice of the Lark
MONTHLY PUBLIC DEBATES
LEGACY OF THE HUNGER STRIKES
Lessons Learned, Lessons Forgotten
On Wednesday, January 31st at Conway Mill in Belfast, former hunger strikers Brendan Hughes, Marian Price, Tommy McKearney and John Nixon spoke to a standing room only crowd about their experience on hunger strike and the legacy left to us today.
The first public debate hosted by the Voice of the Lark Discussion Forum, a new monthly series of debate and discussion sponsored by Bernadette McAliskey, Eamonn McCann and Sandy Boyer, was held last night in Belfast with a standing room only crowd of almost 200 in attendance.
Former Hunger Strikers John Nixon, Tommy McKearney, Brendan Hughes and Marian Price shared a platform that was chaired by Brenda Murphy, while Billy McKee was in attendance in the audience. The opening speeches ranged from a very moving, personal perspective on the lessons of the hunger strikes given by John Nixon, to Tommy McKearney's views on democracy, rather than armed struggle, as embodied by the people, which reached a pinnacle representation of action during the hunger strike period, to Marian Price speaking on armed struggle and the reasons behind it, especially as understood during the time of the hunger strikes, and Brendan Hughes' call for social justice to be a priority for all of us today.
Reflecting the diversity of opinion as expressed on the platform, the debate from the floor was wide ranging and covered much ground. Many people expressed their anger and disillusionment with the current state of the political landscape; a discussion on definitions of republicanism was a theme throughout the evening. A number of calls from the floor were made for independent Republican candidates to stand in upcoming local elections, as a way for people to express the dissatisfaction they feel with how things are in Belfast. It was noted that poverty and unemployment levels in West Belfast today are higher than they have been in 30 years.
People left the evening determined that open, public debates such as last night's continue. The energy created by the discussion is a positive development, and made the evening a resounding success.
Upcoming public debates hosted by the Voice of the Lark Discussion Forum are to be held on an ongoing basis, in different areas of the country.
The Voice of the Lark
was a new monthly public forum for open debate and discussion.
The Lark forum presented debate from a wide variety of views, excluding no one and including all.
Monthly series of open public debate sponsored
The Devine Family * The O’Hara Family