Tuesday, 26 July 2011

éirígí Reponse to PSNI commanders' Comments

I would like to respond to comments made in the July 5th edition of your paper (Newry Democrat) in an interview with the “New area commander” for the British police, Davy Beck.

In the interview he was asked for his response to heavy handedness and harassment directed towards éirígí members.

For some reason he said the harassment and heavy handedness was happening due to what he described as “the terrorist threat”. Is Davy Beck trying to suggest that éirígí members are involved in acts of “terrorism”? If so then he is clearly engaging in what can only be described as felon setting. Maybe Davy Beck can enlighten us to the “acts of terrorism” that éirígí are involved in? Let me make this clear, éirígí are a political party who are involved in legitimate political activities and community activism across Ireland.

Davy Beck then goes on to say that his paramilitary force “will target our attentions against people who present a risk, and we make no apology for that”. In other words Davy is saying that republicans better get used to the harassment. Though that does not worry us as we are well used to it at this stage.

Recently Davy Beck’s band of merry men stopped a minibus full of kids just a few miles outside Newry. The kids were returning from what should have been an enjoyable day trip to Dublin but were stopped by the PSNI and British army just outside Banbridge.

Crying children, as young 4 years of age, were separated from their parents, the kids were then searched for weapons, searched for ammunition, swabbed for explosives, videoed and photographed. One child wet himself with fear and was forced by the PSNI and British army to stand at the side of the road soaked in his own urine.

Davy and his cheerleaders might try to present his force as a fresh new beginning but they simply follow the same failed anti-republican agenda and strategy of harassment and intimidation they have always used and they have access to more repressive legislation than they ever had to try and suppress republicanism.

Indeed Davy Beck also brazenly claimed that his paramilitary force “will marginalise those who are opposed to policing”.

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 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.

Is Mise le mise
Stephen Murney
éirígí Newry

Friday, 22 July 2011

Release Brendan Lillis Now

Rúnaí ginearálta éirígí Breandán Mac Cionnaith has called for the immediate release of Brendan Lillis as the Belfast man’s partner yesterday [Thursday] began a hunger strike in protest against his continued incarceration.

Lillis, who previously served 16 years as a political prisoner, has been held in Maghaberry jail since 2009 when the British secretary of state revoked his release license after he appeared in court on unrelated charges. Despite the fact that these charges have not been proceeded with and that Lillis is seriously ill, he has not been given a release date.

Lillis is suffering from the debilitating arthritic illness ankylosing spondylitis which, his partner – Roisin Lynch – says, has left him with possibly only weeks to live.

Lynch today began a hunger strike in protest at Lillis’ continued imprisonment at the Andersonstown barracks site in west Belfast.

Mac Cionnaith said: “The continued imprisonment of Brendan Lillis, a seriously ill man who may have only weeks left to live, is callous in the extreme.

“Brendan has consistently been denied adequate medical attention by the prison authorities in Maghaberry, while the distress for both him and his family has been heightened by the conditions he is forced to endure.

“The initial charge against Brendan was not proceeded with due to his illness. It is ridiculous therefore that he is held in prison because of a political offence he was charged with in the 1970s – an alleged offence for which he already served a long, long time.”

Mac Cionnaith added: “The plight of Brendan Lillis raises the wider issue of the British secretary of state’s ability to incarcerate republican ex-prisoners who have been released on license. At present, Belfast woman Marion Price and Lurgan man Martin Corey are also being held in Maghaberry on the whim of Owen Paterson.

“This situation is intolerable and an effective opposition must be built against it.”

Mac Cionnaith concluded: “At this difficult time, éirígí extends its solidarity to Brendan, to his courageous partner Roisin and to all his family.

“Brendan Lillis must not be allowed to die in jail. The British government and David Ford must take the only humane course of action and release him immediately.”


Saturday, 16 July 2011

Annual Orgy of Sectarianism Highlighted in Ardoyne

For the last five years, father-of-one Paul McCauley has lain in a coma caused by severe brain injuries.
In July 2006, Paul was attending a going-away barbeque for a friend in Derry’s Waterside area when he and his companions were set upon by a unionist mob. The provocation? Paul and some of his friends were catholic. The perpetrators? The UDA, an organisation alleged to be on ceasefire.

Now, Paul’s father is battling to ensure the only man convicted in relation to the brutal attack – on charges of causing grievous bodily harm – also stands trial for attempted murder.

About Paul, Jim McCauley says: “He is now as he was just hours after the attack. He remains in a minimum responsive state without communication. The left side of his skull is missing [his brain is covered by skin] and he has been diagnosed as being totally blind.

“Doctors have told us this is the way it is going to be. We are now gradually acclimatising ourselves to the fact that this is how it’s going to be. The best we can do is care for Paul, who exists at a low level.”

Half a decade on from the Waterside attack, another unionist mob, this time in the form of the UVF – another organisation alleged to be on ceasefire – descended on the Short Strand area of Belfast in a clearly premeditated act of sectarian savagery.

Among the casualties in this incident was another young catholic, hospitalised with bleeding to the brain after having a breeze block dropped on his head.

This is the price nationalists and, increasingly, foreign nationals in the Six Counties have to pay for the Orange Order’s annual festival of hatred, which cranks up feelings of enmity and bigotry to life threatening levels.

In Ardoyne on July 12, the concoction of elements who conspire to foist Orangeism’s ‘celebrations’ on the whole of society had created yet another nightmare scenario for this isolated nationalist community.

Firstly, the Six County Parades Commission, as it does every year, gave the Orange Order permission to march past Ardoyne shops in complete contradiction of the wishes of local residents.

Secondly, the PSNI deployed the full range of its paramilitary paraphernalia to hem the people of Ardoyne into their homes to ensure the bigoted brethren could walk their route unimpeded by any troublesome croppies.

And, last but not least, the Orange Order, the unionist political parties and their death squads gratefully accepted this facilitation by state agencies and gleefully strutted over the rights of an entire community.

What they didn’t bank upon was the residents of Ardoyne demonstrating in a unified, determined manner that they wouldn’t be treated as second class citizens. Hundreds of them took to the streets in a march organised by the Greater Ardoyne Residents Collective that was attended by many éirígí activists.

As can be seen in the video that is along with this article, the determination of the residents to remain peaceful and dignified in the face of massive provocation stands in stark contrast to the violence first, questions later policy of the PSNI.

Ardoyne is increasingly the epicentre of a sectarianism that, this year, also reared its ugly head in Ballyclare, Ballymena, Bangor, Carrickfergus, Magherafelt, Portadown, Short Strand and elsewhere. And Ardoyne, like some many times in the past, has also shown the way in how to combat this sectarianism – with dignified, militant protest and a complete refusal to be treated as anything other than a first class citizen.


Monday, 4 July 2011

Newry Protest Against PSNI Harassment

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 we are 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