Note: This article first appeared at The Canary on May 5, 2020. It was republished today, May 5, 2021, to mark the 40th anniversary of the death of Volunteer Bobby Sands while on hunger strike in Long Kesh.
Today marks the 40th anniversary of the death of Bobby Sands inside the H-blocks of Long Kesh internment camp. On 5 May 1981, Sands laid down his life for his and his comrades’ right for recognition as political prisoners. On this day, we should remember the sacrifice he made for the cause of Irish freedom. But his struggle does not just provide an example that all anti-imperialists should follow. It also serves as an important reminder of the ruthless brutality of the British government in Ireland under the leadership of then-prime minister Margaret Thatcher. And that is equally something that we should never forget.