Meet the new cops – same as the old cops

The essentially unreformed and irreformable nature of the British police apparatus in the six-county state is pointed up by recent events in Strabane and Newry.  In Strabane, the Irish Republican Socialist Party report, the PSNI (Police Service of Northern Ireland) used their considerable stop and search powers a total of 756 times in a three-month period earlier this year (April-June).

In Newry, PSNI harassment of nationalist areas like the Derrybeg estate takes place frequently.  On September 28, a police “security operation” saw homes being raided and residents harassed and abused.  On that day, local éirígí spokesperson Steven Murney was punched and kicked in public while attempting to assist a neighbour whose car was being searched.  Although it was Murney who was assaulted by the police, he was the one arrested and charged with assault.

As an IRSP statement notes, “Policing in the North of Ireland is far from normal, the PSNI remain a heavily armed occupation force. British intelligence services roam the North with impunity covertly causing division, confusion and gathering intelligence. The stop and search powers are only another weapon in the PSNI’s ever growing arsenal of oppression.”

In Newry, éirígí have been a particular target as they go about building a movement of resistance to both British rule and capitalist austerity.  In Strabane, the IRSP has been building similarly.  It’s important that overseas supporters of Irish freedom, and in particular of socialist-republicanism, publicise these kinds of cases and point to the way in which the ‘new Northern Ireland’ hasn’t changed anything fundamental – it’s still a gerrymandered entity because it is built on a denial of Irish national self-determination and it is still about preserving the power and wealth of the rich at the expense of the working class and small farmers.

Posted on October 28, 2011, in éirígí, IRSP, Repression and resistance in the six counties today. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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