Saturday, August 6, was a busy day for the British militia in Newry who went into overdrive harassing, assaulting and arresting numerous republicans in what can only be described as an harassment spree.
Within the space of an hour the PSNI had stopped and searched at least 15 republicans in the centre of Newry.
Amongst those targeted included a 14-year-old child, at least 5 éirígí activists and supporters along with local independent republican councillor Davy Hyland.
This comes just a few weeks after éirígí took to the streets at Ardmore barracks with over 70 people opposing the PSNI and their repressive tactics.
We also predicted that éirígí’s campaign to confront British policing would be met with a fierce response from the PSNI; that prediction has become reality.
One of those stopped & searched on Saturday was éirígí’s Newry spokesperson Stephen Murney.
“I was stopped and searched just after two of my comrades suffered similar treatment including Cllr Davy Hyland. They were particularly aggressive and were demanding my details despite not notifying me which legislation they were using.”
“They then proceeded to search me and attempted to take my mobile phone and wallet from me. I protested against this, explaining that they were personal property and they had no right to take them unless they had a warrant, I also pointed out that under section 21 and 24 it does not state that they can remove personal items,” Stephen said.
“I was then physically grabbed by two PSNI thugs who twisted my arms and bent my wrists with such force that i had to let go of my wallet and phone. They then went through my personal items and threatened me with arrest for “assault” and being “aggressive” despite me remaining calm and peaceful with numerous witnesses.”
A few hours later another republican was assaulted and arrested by the same patrol, who used the exact same tactics of trying to take his personal property during a stop and search. This republican is now facing several trumped up charges.
It’s clear that the PSNI area commander Davy Beck is sticking to his recent promise that they will continue to target republicans.
We urge anyone on the receiving end of such harassment to contact their solicitor to have the incidents recorded.”
Stephen continued, “I have a message for Davy Beck and his band of PSNI thugs. If they think they can harass and intimidate republicans without provoking a reaction from us then they can think again.
“They can beat us, harass us and arrest us but they better get used to republicans openly challenging and resisting them because we won't be going anywhere.
“We are in it for the long haul.”