Policing politics

The PSNI in Belfast seem determined to hand a propaganda victory to éirígí and almost make their political points for them every time they encounter one of their protests.

As the video shows last week saw them deploy en mass, stop and search and use various pieces of legislation against éirígí members taking part in a sponsored walk and protest on Divis mountain. When contacted by the Andersontown News the PSNI flatly denied having any interaction with them but this was exposed as a complete lie when éirígí members presented around a dozen stop and search cards, video of the incident and their version was supported by, amongst others, an Andytown News staff member.The reason the PSNI felt is necessary to use such manpower hasn’t been revealed but given their previous denial anything occurred any statement from them on the incident would be next to worthless.

The éirígí video of the demonstration shows the police action was to deal with a small group of people walking on public land, listening to a speech, holding a few placards and waving flags. At worst there seems to have been one case of trespass.

Using their usual get out of gaol free card the PSNI spokesperson contacted by the ATN stated that anyone with complaints should contact the Ombudsman – something they know won’t happen when those targeted reject the PSNI’s legitimacy and would not make use of any structures supposedly holding them to account. It remains to be seen if those supporting the police and claiming to hold them to account raise the issue on their behalf.

In June they used a mass deployment to prevent their demonstration against Armed Forces Day for a technical breech of parading legislation when supporters stepped on the road at a construction site while making their way to Belfast City Hall.