American Political Actions



Protests following the death of Bobby Sands

Demonstrations against British Leaders


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> "An Open Letter to
    the American



Demonstrations against British leaders

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"On Saturday the twenty-eighth, Thatcher will be feted to a sumputous dinner at the luxurious Waldorf-Astoria. During this dinner, Irish political prisoners will begin hunger strike. A demonstration will be held outside the Waldorf from 6:00 PM onwards.

The demonstrations are expected to attract widespread media coverage thereby using Thatcher's visit to publicize the renewal of the hunger strike."
      "Thatcher Protest"
       Irish People, 28 February 1981, 1

"Screaming pro-Irish demonstrators disrupted a gala performance of the British Royal Ballet last night at which Prince Charles was the guest of honor during his first visit to New York City."
      "Prince Taunted at the Met"
       San Francisco Chronicle, 18 June 1981, 21-1-P

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"Three young relatives of Irish hunger strikers who gave their lives in the cause of that nation's freedom and unity came to New York last Saturday in the hope of meeting with Prince Charles. John Sands, 19 year old brother of Bobby Sands, Elizabeth O'Hara, 21 year old sister of Patsy O'Hara, and Malachy McCreesh, 29 year old brother of Raymond McCreesh, hoped to meet with Charles during his visit to New York on Wednesday.

The relatives, who sent a telegram plea to the British Consulate in New York on Monday, intended to ask the Prince to meet with Prime Minister Thatcher and request her to implement the hunger strike demands for recognition of the special status.

The request to the Consulate was to be strengthened by many phone calls to the Consulate, asking that the prince find time on his tour here to talk with three young people who know firsthand of the ordeal of the hunger strikers and who seek to save the lives of others now on strike or determined to join it."
      "Hunger Strikers Relatives Here"
       Irish People, 20 June 1981, 1

"Princess Margaret, whose reported "Irish, they're pigs" remark in Chicago created a furor on her last visit to the United States in 1979, has cancelled a trip to Washington next month.

The Thatcher government is reportedly concerned that further Irish Nationalist demonstrations in the U.S. would provide helpful publicity for the outlawed Irish Republican Army."
      "Irish protests stop princess' U.S. trip"
       Chicago Tribune, 30 June 1981, 1-1-2-P

Naturally, after the fiasco of the visit by Prince Charles to New York, they are particularly concerned at the American reaction to their intransigence."
      "World Coverage of Northern Ireland Rattles British" by John A. Kelly
       Irish Echo, 4 July 1981

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"On July 29, the bells of St. Paul's Cathedral in London pealed for four consecutive hours in celebration of the royal marriage. On the streets of New York, the bells of Belfast-bin lids-scratched out their own protesting "good cheer" in a mock wedding ceremony alongside the Plaza Hotel on Fifth Avenue.

Inside the hotel, several British-American societies were attending a luncheon lauding their John Bull lineage. Outside, armed with colorful placards, rebel songs and angry chants, more than 500 protestors demonstrated that the allegiance and concern of Irish-Americans remained with Irish hunger strikers.

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Staged by Irish Northern Aid and joined by several other metropolitan groups, the noontime demonstration garnered wide media coverage as well as the attention of the lunchtime New York business community.

The highlight of the demonstration was the unannounced and highly unregal arrival of the "royal" couple, seated in a Central Park hansom cab drawn by six blanket men. To the laughter of both passersby and demonstrators, a frustrated Prince Charles urged his "horses" to pull harder, while beside him, "Lady Di" waved effusively to her sidewalk subjects."
      "Thousands of Protestors in New York Stand with
       Hunger Strikers"
       Irish People, 8 August 1981, 2


"Britons are convinced that wide-spread pro-Republican sentiment in the U.S.-fostered by friendly media coverage of the hunger strike-is what made a shambles of Prince Charles' June visit to America, during which hecklers dogged his heels and disrupted a ballet performance he was attending at the Metropolitan Opera House. A subsequent planned visit of Princess Margaret to the U.S. was canceled for fear of similar incidents."
      "The Battle for Northern Ireland: How TV Tips the Balance," by Neil Hickey
       TV Guide, 26 September - 2 October 1981, 13


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