The Birmingham Six, 35 years after wrongful conviction.
The Independent has a very informative interview with Johnny Walker today which sheds light on the lives of the members of the Birmingham Six after their release from prison.
He admits “hatred” for the British authorities: “Everybody’s a terrorist as far as they’re concerned now,” he adds, referring to the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes. “If you’re a coloured chap and you’re on a train and you’re carrying a bag, it’s ‘oh, like watch him, he’s a terrorist’… it’s awful.
“They all said what happened to us would never happen again… but the Pakistanis, the Indians, these different nationalities, they’re getting the backlash now. I don’t think there’s been much change, to be honest.”
The very notion of an apology from the Government fires him up further: “There’s no chance the British government is going to apologise to six Irish men, no chance! The justice we got was: after 16 and a half years they let us out of prison. They thought they were doing us a good turn. I don’t want their apology. I know I was right and they were wrong… that does me. We’ve got to bury the hatchet one day, and I think it is buried after tonight.”
His voice is quiet: “What happened to us should never happen again. We pray it never happens to anybody.”