Eamonn McCann, one of the founders of the civil rights movement in the North, will be speaking at a rally in Brent East on Monday 15th September in support of Socialist Alliance candidate Brian Butterworth.
Said McCann: "One of the central conclusions I have drawn from more than 30 years of campaigning against military and political oppression is that we desperately need a force in British politics which links the fight for justice in the North to the fight for justice and equality in Britain. The purpose of the Socialist Alliance is precisely to build that force. Every voter who wants to see not only justice for the McBride family but an end to the system which condones Peter's murder should come out and vote for Brian Butterworth.
"Kelly McBride has made it clear that she has not entered the election in hopes of winning the seat but to focus public attention on the scandal of Peter's murder and particularly on the actions of the British military and political authorities in condoning his murder. This she has achieved.
"The important thing now is to ensure that after the election there will be a political force with enhanced credibility left behind in Brent East, devoted to carrying on the campaign, and putting the issue in the context of the struggle against oppression on both sides of the Irish Sea and, indeed, worldwide. The way to do this is to vote for Brian Butterworth.
"I call particularly on Irish voters to back Brian Butterworth. For far too long, the Irish community in Britain has been used as electoral fodder by establishment parties, especially the Labour Party. Irish people in Brent East now see the grotesque spectacle of Ken Livingstone trying to whip up support for the candidate of the government which released Peter McBride's murderers and supported the British Army in taking the murderers back. Irish voters should help send New Labour packing. The election should be used not only to protest against particular actions of New Labour but to build a principled alternative to New Labour generally. This alternative is the Socialist Alliance.
"I have known Brian for 20 years. He has worked for Brent Council caring for the elderly and the vulnerable. He has been a very active trade unionist defending his members and he has been consistent campaigner most recently against the war on Iraq. He has marched on Bloody Sunday demonstrations and always stood for a united Ireland. Every vote for Brian will be another nail in Blair's coffin, and another blow against the murder machine which took Peter McBride's life."
Eamonn McCann is the chairman of the Bloody Sunday Trust; vice-chairman of Derry Trades Council; author of "War and Peace in the North", "Bloody Sunday In Derry: What Really Happened" etc.; he has written extensively on civil rights issues, including the Peter McBride case, the Dublin and Monaghan bombings, prisoners' rights, the abuse of children in religious institutions, the Holy Cross School issue etc.