Off with their beards! Brendan Hughes, former republican prisoner writes: "We learned this week that the Yanks had shaved off the beards of their Taliban prisoners. Not a new tactic. The Brits did it with us in the H-Blocks in 1978. Why? The blanket protest, no-wash, no shaving was a way in which we could highlight our case to the wider world that we were not criminals. We lay unwashed, we grew long beards, we put our own shit on the walls of the cells. These extraordinary lengths we went to in order to make ourselves heard over and above the British imposed silence - we were not criminals. When that was not enough we went further and ten men died, bringing the attention of the world to Ireland and shattering the British myth."

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