Once again republicans have been forced to take to the streets to stand up against MI5/PSNI harassment in Newry.
Over 70 people took part in yesterday’s [July 2] protest at Ardmore PSNI barracks in Newry, in direct response to a relentless campaign of harassment and intimidation directed towards republicans in the area by the PSNI.
The protesters were met with a large presence of PSNI thugs in several cars, armoured landrovers and on foot around the barracks, obviously fearful of éirígí’s intentions. For the duration of the protest the PSNI videoed and recorded everyone, including children, some of whom were stopped and searched last weekend.
Speaking at the protest éirígí’s Stephen Murney thanked all those who attended.
“Just a few months ago we were forced to come to this barracks to protest against harassment, now here were are again with double the numbers. At a time when people are being persecuted by the PSNI and MI5 it’s heartening to see so many people, young and old coming here to confront the thugs responsible for harassing them. Last week we announced that we would intensify our Different Name, Same Aim campaign, this protest is only the start of things to come,” Murney said.
The main speaker at the protest was rúnaí ginearálta éirígí Breandán Mac Cionnaith.
In his speech Breandán highlighted the unchanged nature of the force.
“In November 2001, amid much fanfare, the British government re-branded the discredited Royal Ulster Constabulary with a new name. And with that new name, the occupying power promised ‘a new beginning’ to policing in the Six Counties.
“Almost a decade later, it is now abundantly clear that, instead of delivering a ‘new beginning’, the PSNI has simply continued with the same failed anti-working class and anti-republican agenda of the RUC and Royal Irish Constabulary before them. The lie of ‘community-based’ policing has been exposed by the reality of increased draconian legislation, harassment and brutality,” he said.
Mac Cionnaith continued, “éirígí activists in Newry are no strangers to Crown Force harassment. Our activists, along with other republicans are being stopped under the draconian British Justice and Security Act. It’s clear that our activists and supporters in the area are being singled out for special treatment because of their political activities.
“The PSNI are only proving by their own actions that they are an unchanged, unaccountable paramilitary force. The PSNI remains a British police force, enforcing British law in support of the British occupation.
“No amount of PSNI harassment, in Newry or anywhere else, will prevent éirígí activists from continuing the work of rebuilding the republican struggle.”
Breandán concluded, “Despite what those constitutional nationalist parties who sit in Stormont may claim, that move has neither affected the function or the form of the PSNI. Nor has it placed manners on them, as one prominent apologist for British policing once claimed.
“The PSNI remains a British police force, enforcing British law in support of the British state. Like police forces across the capitalist world its primary aim remains the protection of the state and the protection of the interests of the ruling class; interests which run in direct contradiction to the interests of the working class and of republicans.”
Republican Newry will be seeing a lot more actions in the coming weeks and months and we urge all those who oppose British policing to join us in our struggle.