History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as Police farce

I have previously noted how the PSNI seem determined to hand propaganda coups to éirígí and essentially make their points for them at every turn. We have also noted the misuse of Section 44 legislation against republicans – legislation of dubious legality. From the heavy handed response to eirigi members making their way to Belfast City Hall for a protest to PSNI harassment of members on Black Mountain.

When I commented on the launch of éirígí’s anti-PSNI campaign I didn’t expect the police to repeat the same mistakes immediately. Yet when éirígí activists hung banners around Belfast yesterday the PSNI response was to detain them under Section 44 legislation.

Four éirígí activists were detained in the Beechmount area by the political police using the now notorious Section 44 and Justice & Security Act legislation. The car that three of the men were travelling in was boxed in by two armoured jeeps before the vehicle and its occupants were searched by the paramilitary police. Initially, the PSNI claimed they were detaining the men under road traffic legislation, yet, when the driver produced all the necessary documentation, Section 44 came into play….

The éirígí activists in question, including national vice-chairperson Rab Jackson, had just hung large anti-PSNI banners on the Falls and Springfield Roads prior to being stopped and searched. The text of the banners read RUC- PSNI: Different Name, Same Aim and British Police Out Of Ireland.
As the PSNI were leaving the scene, the officer in charge admitted that, far from investigating any ‘terrorist’ incident, the activists were actually detained for hanging banners critical of the force.

  • Paul Doran

    PSNI never learn, People have the right to protest, do they prefer they take up the gun.look where that got us.In the UK It is becomming like a police state, you can’t take a piss that someone is watching you.People hae the right to protest.

  • Mark, London and Dublin will probably have decided that éirígí are the wrong sort of Republicans. Cf the treatment of éirígí Shell to Sea protestors. You might well argue that the right type of Republicans are not really authentic Republicans any more.

  • FitzjamesHorse

    Rab Jackson.I must write that name down. Someday he might be as famous as Dennis Dalton .
    So thats it then….they hung a banner up.I cant blame PSNI for using a sledgehammer to crack a few nuts…which they clearly are.

  • There is a proud Republican tradition, which Eirigi should be well aware of, that when a once violent group of Republicans assume power not only will they denouce those who continue with a campaign of violence but they will not be in the least bit queasy about ensuring that those continuing are treated at least as harshly at they were themselves.

    When and if SF get the justice ministry they will probalby have a bit more than stopping and searching to worry about.

  • FitzjamesHorse

    For all their protesting about police tactics etc, the dissident morons are probably glad that they are not dealing with IRA…..who as we all know……ahem……er dont er actually exist. Er honestly.
    If Eirigi was actually important…..by this stage they wouldnt exist.
    Thei continued existence is evidence that they dont matter.

  • changeisneeded

    dissident morans or people who are challenging quite legally the conditions they find themselves in.

    the thought police comes to mind

  • iluvni

    Cant these Eirigi tubes just go out and get girlfriends or something ffs? Running around sticking banners up. Wise up. Ballbags.

  • Panic, these ones like it up em.

    Any entrepreneurs in or about the incident.

    We could do with some entrepreneurs right about now and for the forseeable future.

    We dont need these clowns or stalling politicians.

    Make love to entrepreneurs as we really need them.

    Refuse love to stalling politicians and these clowns and clowns like them.

  • FitzjamesHorse

    They could always take up a hobby…..astronomy for example…..they could be obsessive about something harmless.

  • changeisneeded

    “Cant these Eirigi tubes just go out and get girlfriends or something ffs? Running around sticking banners up. Wise up. Ballbags.”

    Posted by iluvni on Feb 07, 2010 @ 06:09 PM

    meaning

    dont dare question our authority

  • Alias

    “There is a proud Republican tradition, which Eirigi should be well aware of, that when a once violent group of Republicans assume power not only will they denouce those who continue with a campaign of violence but they will not be in the least bit queasy about ensuring that those continuing are treated at least as harshly at they were themselves.” – Moderate Unionist

    The difference, old chap, that the Irish government was enforcing Irish rule whereas the Provos will be enforcing British rule. So what you really mean is that the Shinners will be administrating the new UDR in order to defend Her Majesty’s sovereign territory. 😉

  • changeisneeded

    so fitzy

    eirigi are the dissidents ?

    whats a terrorist again ??

  • iluvni

    dont dare question our authority

    Posted by changeisneeded on Feb 07, 2010 @ 06:16 PM

    oh for gods sakes would you listen to yourself. Seriously, isnt it time to wise up?

  • changeisneeded

    people are angry about something iluvni

    putting your head in the sand is not going to make it go away

  • Alias,

    I’m not sure those who fought in the civil war against Irealnd’s dominion status (and partition) would agree with you there and anyway suppressing the IRA which was trying to liberate the ‘occupied 6 counties’ is also doing the British ‘dirty’ work on their behalf.

    But I think perhaps you get the substantive point.

  • FitzjamesHorse

    Yes I think Eirigi are political dissidents and “close to dissident terrorists” .
    I think the IRA are terrorists.
    I think Sinn Féin are “close to terrorists”.

    Close students of these kinda things will note that some members of SF have indeed been “terrorists”.

    Of course these are not the only groups who are terrorists or with terrorist sympathies.

  • abc123

    FitzjamesHorse – “I cant blame PSNI for using a sledgehammer to crack a few nuts…which they clearly are.”

    Funny and accurate!

    When eirigi says things like ‘British Police Out Of Ireland’ they are providing encouragement for others to take a more violent path. The police were right to speak to these people and take down their details. We’ve all had enough of violence and we don’t need groups like eirigi going around trying to stir it all up again.

  • changeisneeded

    so does that mean no other political parties are allowed unless they have psni approval ?

    “The police were right to speak to these people and take down their details”

    translation

    harass and threaten

  • FitzjamesHorse

    When I read the types of comment in message 18, I think of Wolfie Smith and the Tooting Popular Front.
    I know younger Slugger readers will have to look this reference up in an online encyclopaedia which are all the rage with the young folks these days.
    Figuratively and literally I grew out of the Che Guevara Tshirt but I still have a sneaking regard for the old days. And perhaps dissident republicans could apply for some kind of Arts Council grant so that their street performances are improved.
    Deep down …..their hearts arent really in it.

  • changeisneeded

    fitzy

    your che tshirt ref is funny

    the ongoing people profiling and harresment carried out by the states forces is not..

    the problem will always exist as long as the border exists in ireland

    dont kid yourself that its anything else

  • lamhdearg

    can anyone hang banners up anywhere they like? ps. i have not yet read any of the posts on this

    pps. i agree with Mark in that the PSNI response to their actions is playing there game, but i do not see what else they,(the psni),can do. “rise” are fortunate they don’t operate in the “land of the free” or 90% of all the other countries in the world where a scuffle with “the pigs” would be the least of there problems.

  • Ramzi Nohra

    Very good title by the way Mark.

    As for eirigi, well they may be “tubes”, lack girlfriends etc – but they do have the right to protest dont they?
    They dont have an active military wing so I think they should be spared the heavy handed treatment.

  • Marcionite

    I’m no fan of Eirigi but the PSNI are being dumb into playing into their hands. the PSNI should just stand by and even offer them cups of tea as they file past.

    Remember, such sad idiots are in every country. Because of our past however, we in NI are overly sensitive to such groups’ existence but if we pat them on the head and leave them alone (as long as they are within the law and do not incite hatred), then they will wither on the vine

    In the 1960s, Wales started its Free Wales Army, its own version of the IRA. They had marches, and uniforms and the rest and even bombed a dam once and set a few hedges on fire.

    They are no more. Not because of the Engish Army storming into the countryside or Special Powers Acts (or would that be Special Powys Acts ! hoho), but because they were seen as comical.

    If RSF and Eirigi were reported in the ‘and finally slots’ of RTE and UTV/BBC N news bulletins, that would spell the end of them.

  • FitzjamesHorse

    Yes Mr McGregor.excellent title. I didnt want to sound patronising but I see what youve done there…..a pun on “force” and “farce”.
    Good work.
    A question however for us all….. as to copyrite…can a political grouping use media footage. Just asking.

  • Fabianus

    “the activists were actually detained for hanging”

    Hmm. A century ago they might well have been. Aren’t they fortunate to be living in gentler times? Lucky sods.

  • Marcionite

    I can understand people wanted an united Ireland in all its shapes and forms (Platonically, there can be no such thing as a perfect state, the perfect State, just like the perfect table, only exists in the World of Ideas)

    However, wanting independance for your territory seems to use the following flawed logic:
    1/ The police exist to oppress those who are anti-state.
    No, the police exist to arrest burglers and rapists etc and to bring calm to troubled streets.

    2/Republicans blame a little too much on Ireland’s economic and social woes on The Border. This lets off a whole range of agents of poverty and bigotry clean off the hook.
    There is nothing intrinsically inpoverising about a Border. Would Portugal and Spain become Nirvana if they merged? Of course not.
    However, I do want a United Ireland because its not often one can take part in the process of founding a brand new nation with a new constitution, new hope and invigoration and emblems etc. THAT is exciting and would provide its own springboard.

  • joeCanuck

    There are people who go out of their way to ensure their “right” to be offended.
    If you are determined to piss off the police then they will not ignore you. If the police step over the line and act illegally, there are remedies that can be sought. Or would seeking those remedies be considered showing your acceptance of the state; a step too far?

  • FitzjamesHorse

    “the activists were actually detained for hanging”

    They SHOULD be well hung…..er so to speak.

  • Paul Doran

    The biggest Terrorist organisation is the British Government.via avia Iraq,Afghanistan, moves into Iran.

  • Fabianus

    FitzJamesHorse,

    “They SHOULD be well hung…..er so to speak.”

    As a horse you ought to know 🙂

  • Here is the Republican Network for Unity’s (RNU) own take on the repressive Section 44…

    http://www.youtube.com/watchv=oP2_luMVdiA&feature=related

  • Here is the Republican Network for Unity’s (RNU) own take on the repressive Section 44…

    http://www.youtube.com/watchv=oP2_luMVdiA&feature=related

  • FitzjamesHorse

    What really worries the protestors is that they might get reported to Castle Court DHSS and lose their claims to Disability Living Allowance.
    Hanging those banners was the most work they had done in years.

  • st etienne

    “I have previously noted how the PSNI seem determined to hand propaganda coups to éirígí and essentially make their points for them at every turn.”
    It’s not in the police job description to operate a PR campaign against political groups even if they are terrorist sympathisers – the role of the police is to maintain law and order.

    Society needs educated here more than anything. That non-neutral political commentators attempt to treat every facet of that society as a political machine is only further proof of this.

  • Gerry Lvs castro

    Stuff the fact that the overwhelming majority voted for the GFA and have no quarrel with the PSNI — the knuckle draggers of Eiregi are determined to trail us all back to the 1970s with their quaintly confrontational ‘banners’ presumably fashioned from their granny’s bedsheets.

    As previously suggested, these lads might be better off seeking gainful employment, getting girlfriends (seriously lads there’s somebody out there for you) and above all getting a life.

    As for the PSNI actions, the last time I looked hanging banners, home made street signs etc was illegal and I know for a fact that displaying such signs, whether for an event or a ‘protest’ has absolutely zero tolerance in the ROI, hence the unfortunate blokes wandering O’Connell Street et al with advertising signs on a big stick. Maybe the eirigi boys might like to have a go at that one — bit of fresh air, multi-tasking on the way to the job centre etc.

  • Anyone who suggest’s the rule of law in the UK and Ireland is impartial is either a fool, liar or charlatan.

    More here, http://bit.ly/9sBYr8