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Hanoi Jane Fonda Tried to Save the Lives of IRA Hunger Strikers
Belfast Telegraph ^ | Saturday, 29 December 2012 | Adrian Rutherford

Posted on 12/29/2012 5:03:41 PM PST by nickcarraway

Hollywood actress Jane Fonda lobbied the British Government to intervene and stop the 1981 hunger strike, newly released files reveal.

The two-time Oscar winning star sent a telegram to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher urging her to grant the prisoners political status.

Her message was sent in May 1981, at the height of a crisis which saw 10 republican prisoners starve themselves to death.

The telegram, dispatched to Downing Street, is also signed by her then husband Tom Hayden, a US social and political activist.

It states: “Please save the lives of the hunger strikers by granting them political status.

“The sanctity of human life must override any political considerations.”

The 1981 hunger strike triggered one of the worst crises of the Troubles, galvanising support for republicans and turning Thatcher into a hate figure for much of Northern Ireland’s nationalist community.

The Government’s perceived intransigence also drew widespread international condemnation, and files released by the Public Records Office in Belfast reveal how letters flooded in from across the world, including Russia, Australia and the US.

Ten hunger strikers died, including Bobby Sands who secured a propaganda coup by winning the Fermanagh/South Tyrone by-election, before the protest was called off in early October.

Fonda was the most high-profile name in correspondence sent to Downing Street.

Now aged 74, she is best known for her acclaimed roles in films such as Klute, Coming Home, On Golden Pond and They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?

She is a well-known political activist and controversially opposed the Vietnam War. She also protested against the Iraq conflict and violence against women.

The files contain correspondence relating to the hunger strike from a wide variety of people.

One of the most poignant appeals to Thatcher came from Alice McElwee, whose son Thomas was the ninth prisoner to die after 62 days without food.

In a handwritten letter dated July 22, 1981 — 17 days before her son’s death — Mrs McElwee called for an end to the “dreadful hunger strike”.

“The way I see it, as long as the hunger strike goes on we will never have peace,” she said.

“I appeal to you as a mother to a mother to allow direct talks to take place between the prisoners and the Northern Ireland Office, to bring about a just solution to the prison struggle, save further loss of life and eventually bring peace to our troubled country.”

The letter was passed to Michael Alison, the minister responsible for prisons in Northern Ireland, and a reply was sent by his private secretary.

It states that while Mr Alison felt “great sympathy” for Mrs McElwee, it was her son’s decision whether to end the hunger strike.

“What he and his colleagues demand is far beyond what any reasonable government could concede, and cannot be the subject of negotiation,” the reply stated.

“After so many deaths and so much suffering in the community it must surely now be clear that the only way forward is for your son and the other hunger strikers to call off their fasts.”

The Government was also contacted by a former Dutch prisoner of war about the crisis.

Elka Schrijver (80) was held in Scheveningen prison, before being transported to Germany during the Second World War.

Referring to the right to associate freely with other republican prisoners, Ms Schrijver said the authorities would be “100% mad to allow this”.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Extended News; Foreign Affairs; United Kingdom
KEYWORDS:

1 posted on 12/29/2012 5:03:46 PM PST by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway

I guess the nutritional value of bull$%!t is negligible.


2 posted on 12/29/2012 5:06:31 PM PST by USNBandit (sarcasm engaged at all times)
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To: nickcarraway

How special.


3 posted on 12/29/2012 5:19:33 PM PST by Huskrrrr
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To: nickcarraway

Hanoi Jane can *always* be depended upon to take stances that are contemptful (is that a real word?) of the decency of Western civilization.


4 posted on 12/29/2012 5:20:17 PM PST by Gay State Conservative (When Robbing Peter To Pay Paul,One Can Always Count On Paul's Cooperation)
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To: nickcarraway

I suspect that traitor wench and Nancy Pelosi are closely related genetically.


5 posted on 12/29/2012 5:24:38 PM PST by lwoodham (I am Andrew Breitbart. Don't doubt me on this.)
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To: nickcarraway
“The sanctity of human life must override any political considerations.”

The protesters were making a political statement. They were not being forcibly denied access to food and water.

Liberals never say what they really mean.

6 posted on 12/29/2012 5:26:15 PM PST by a fool in paradise (America 2013 - STUCK ON STUPID)
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To: a fool in paradise
“The sanctity of human life must override any political considerations.”

This from an abortion supporter.

7 posted on 12/29/2012 5:27:50 PM PST by 17th Miss Regt
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To: nickcarraway

8 posted on 12/29/2012 5:28:26 PM PST by a fool in paradise (America 2013 - STUCK ON STUPID)
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To: nickcarraway

So? She is still a tratior to the USA.


9 posted on 12/29/2012 5:39:12 PM PST by Ramonne
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To: nickcarraway

So? She is still a tratior to the USA.


10 posted on 12/29/2012 5:39:12 PM PST by Ramonne
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To: nickcarraway

So? She is still a tratior to the USA.


11 posted on 12/29/2012 5:39:41 PM PST by Ramonne
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To: nickcarraway

Treason seems to be a lifelong policy for this witch. Supporting terrorist murderers is no surprise from Hanoi Jane.


12 posted on 12/29/2012 5:49:16 PM PST by Pollster1 (Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. - Ronald Reagan)
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To: nickcarraway
I love this song.

Hanoi Jane--Leon Rausch

13 posted on 12/29/2012 6:15:50 PM PST by Fiji Hill
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To: nickcarraway
Those that cannot remember the past (or do remember but refuse to learn from it) are doomed to repeat it.


14 posted on 12/29/2012 6:40:42 PM PST by Olog-hai
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To: nickcarraway
Guess some more of these need printing up...

15 posted on 12/29/2012 6:43:13 PM PST by 45semi (A police state is always preceded by a nanny state...)
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To: nickcarraway

God preserve and bless Maggie Thatcher and accept her at last to His Bosom for her eternal rest.


16 posted on 12/29/2012 7:20:38 PM PST by chesley (Vast deserts of political ignorance makes liberalism possible - James Lewis)
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To: Olog-hai

Even though Ireland was technically ‘neutral’, the IRA HATED the British, so it ‘allied’ itself with the Germans during WWI. And since it was the British who created the debacle known as ‘Palestine’, I can see the IRA joining forces with the PLO, later on.


17 posted on 12/29/2012 7:50:11 PM PST by SuziQ
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To: nickcarraway

What many Americans never realized (but I’m sure Jane Fonda knew) was that the IRA was a communist organization

But now that under Obama part deux we’ll all be commies too, who cares?


18 posted on 12/29/2012 10:43:20 PM PST by jocon307
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To: SuziQ

Maybe WW II. The IRA was a legal army that fought with the Brits in the first war. My grandfather was gassed by the Germans.


19 posted on 12/29/2012 10:46:48 PM PST by o-n-money
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To: nickcarraway

Probably the only time she ever defended Republicans in her life.


20 posted on 12/30/2012 5:39:51 AM PST by BobL (Agenda 21...Agenda 21...Agenda 21...Agenda 21...Agenda 21... (whatever the hell that is))
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To: nickcarraway

“...sanctity of human life...”

Did this belief of hers in the Sanctity of Human Life also include the US Prisoners in North Vietnam?


21 posted on 12/30/2012 5:55:25 AM PST by ops33 (Senior Master Sergeant, USAF (Retired))
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To: o-n-money

No, they didnt.

The IRA was formed in 1916 to fight the British. The only name of a fighting force that fought with the British in WW1 that was co-opted later by terrorists was the 36th Ulster Division, the ‘UVF’, who fifty years later had that name sullied by a Protestant Irish terror/murder gang.

Catholics in Ireland fought as part of the 16th Irish Division. And a great division that was.


22 posted on 12/30/2012 3:57:11 PM PST by the scotsman (i)
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