After the Sean Bell shooting, when you thought the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association -- aka NYPD "Union" Local 666 -- could not get any lower than insisting on the existence of an armed and dangerous "fourth man" who doesn't exist anywhere in the first police report, the PBA goes and amazes you.

In a transparent attempt to distract from the lethal actions of NYPD pigs, the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association (along with fellow pigs from other regions) are now raising a stink over the Student Liberation Action Movement's Guillermo Morales/Assata Shakur center at City College of New York. Pat Lynch, head of the PBA, is personally quoted elsewhere on 1010 WINS AM radio.

The PBA and co. all act shocked -- shocked! -- that there might be those who honor their freedom fighters. The Daily News, who make an apparent exception on their hatred of unions to embrace that of killer cops with open arms, now calls for a lynch mob to defend the "honor" of the pigs.

To use an Irish-Gaelic expression, they can pogue mahone. We will honor our freedom fighters, no matter what the powers that be call them. We do so because we have the right and obligation as any other people. The same as, say, Irish-Americans like . . . oh, what's his name? Pat Lynch?

Oh, you say, a good upstanding cop like Pat Lynch doesn't glorify (gasp!) or aid (double gasp!) people who break the law. Or does he?

Leaving aside the fact that the NYPD is just an amalgamation of turn-of-the-century Irish gangs (of the Gangs of New York variety), and leaving aside a deep discussion how black and Puerto Rican freedom fighters are branded "terrorists" by such characters as David Horowitz, let's get into the hypocrisy of a guy like Pat Lynch daring to tell us not to honor our freedom fighters.

It is an open secret, across the Irish-settled portions of the Northeast, Midwest, and Northern California, that the lines between Irish-American cops, Irish-American gangsters, and the Irish-American connections to the Republican movement (Irish Northern Aid committee and such). If you lived in New York during the period of the Troubles, when Irish-American solidarity with the Republican movement was at its peak, the cop bar and the Republican bar were often one and the same.

(This of course had broad implications in the case of one Whitey Bulger, the Boston gangster known for smuggling weapons to the Provisional IRA. He is still at large, thanks to his fellow Irish-American FBI handler tipping him off.)

Now let's get into it with Pat Lynch: it is a yearly tradition for Pat Lynch and the PBA (along with other traditionally Irish labor unions) to welcome over some Sinn Fein official (Gerry Adams, Martin McGuinness or some such) to speak and quietly take some dough for the Republican cause.

Criminal terrorist or freedom fighter?I anticipate the right-wing Irish-American response: "But that's Sinn Fein, not IRA". To which I say hooey: Martin and Gerry were the primary forces in forming P-IRA. That's not something they can announce publicly, but they were the ones who formed it and sustained it for years, and then became Sinn Fein. And moreover, they did so on the great backs of the H-Block hunger strikers like Bobby Sands -- who were known IRA members.

And on that topic of the H-Block hunger strike: the men there were branded criminals by all sorts of powerful people, including then-British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. They chose to starve to death rather than accept that branding. And today, rightfully so, Pat Lynch and co. honor them every year for that sacrifice. Just as we will continue to honor our freedom fighters who took on enormous sacrifices, who refused to be branded as mere "criminals" in this racist and imperialist nation.