Local éirígí activist, Stephen Murney, wrote the following letter in reply to the PSNI's response to last weeks harassment article in the local papers.
I’d like to take this opportunity to reply to the PSNI’s response to the harassment article in last week’s edition, which highlighted the case of a local republican being stopped at least 62 times in just 7 months.
A clearly embarrassed spokesperson for the British police force stated “that they will not be drawn into a tit for tat debate”. Let me make this clear, éirígí aren’t seeking a “tit for tat” debate with this unaccountable paramilitary force. What we are doing is highlighting and exposing their unchanged nature.
Thanks to éirígí, thousands of ordinary people are aware of the injustices and acts of repression that continue to be inflicted upon the nationalist community on a regular basis.
The PSNI and their cheerleaders may not like the fact that éirígí are exposing and resisting them at every turn, but that is something they will have to get used to because we will not be going anywhere. We will continue to build our revolutionary movement in Newry and across Ireland.
The PSNI also stated that “they are committed to preventing and detecting all crime”. Is distributing leaflets and erecting posters “crime”? I myself have been stopped and searched by the PSNI many times, including under the ‘Terrorism Act’ while engaging in these forms of legitimate political activity - the same type of political activity that is supposed to be widely acceptable in a democracy. However, it seems that engaging in political activity which is deemed acceptable elsewhere in Europe is classed as subversive by the PSNI, who are intent upon suppressing any form of political activity that is not supportive of the status quo within the Six Counties.
Since the RUC was renamed, the force has access to more repressive legislation than it ever had. The PSNI also has an abundant stockpile of lethal weaponry. 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.
This is the reality of policing in the Six Counties. It is one that is far from what was promised by the nationalist parties who took the decision to endorse the PSNI. As we stated last week, it’s time for people to take a stand and make our voices heard loud and clear that we will not sit back and let these pro-British paramilitaries continue with their repressive actions.
Those in positions of responsibility should withdraw their support for the PSNI and stand by the people they claim to represent rather than silently watching them being, once again, labeled a suspect community.
Over the coming months éirígí will be stepping up its opposition to the PSNI and British rule in Ireland, in Newry and across the occupied Six Counties. We would encourage anyone who agrees with our analysis to join us in rebuilding popular resistance to the ongoing occupation.
Is mise le meas