On Monday 12th of November, activists from the 32CSM, 1916 Societies and RNU stood together in a spontaneous protest against the latest PSNI charm offensive in republican west Belfast.
The PSNI were due to hold a launch meeting of the so called ‘Policing and Community Partnership’ at ‘An Culturlann’, the heart of the Falls Road Gaeltacht quarter.
The ‘Policing and Community Partnership’ appears to be a mutation of the former ‘District Policing Partnerships’ and ‘Community Safety Partnerships’ which host semi open meetings granting the PSNI an appearance of ‘accountability’ and no small degree of positive propaganda in the local press. They are heavily promoted by Sinn Fein who claim to be able to secure PSNI ‘accountability’ through their involvement.
During the meetings in question, staged questions & answers sessions are held on a range of community concerns, however the PSNI can and do avoid addressing any issues deemed ‘sensitive’.
The PSNI reserve the right (and exercise the right) to refuse to answer any questions regarding their ‘intelligence sources’ ‘immunity from prosecution’ etc, which in the case of West Belfast, renders serious discussion on crime, anti-social behaviour and drugs, arguably pointless.
All in all, the benefits of these meetings for the PSNI (both from a propaganda and intelligence gathering perspective) are immense, while the benefits to the community are questionable in the extreme.
Patrons of An Culturlann had made republicans aware last week that they were unhappy that the building was being used by the PSNI for a political stunt, and in that spirit, activists from various groups set about making their opposition felt through a peaceful white line protest across from An Culturlan.
It was apparent that the protest would be successful despite attempts at low level intimidation from PSNI supporters who lined the front of An Culturlann as the picket took place.
At no time were any of the attendees to the meeting made feel uncomfortable, however leaflets were given to those entering the building explaining Republican opposition to the PSNI and why a protest was necessary.
Not long into the meeting, the mask slipped from the PSNI and their officers began to use the premises they were meeting in to record the faces of protestors, to be used clearly for intelligence purposes. During the RNU video (2:57), a PSNI officer can clearly be seen in the upper floor window brandishing a video camera and pointing it at republicans outside, a gross abuse of a respected Irish language community building on behalf of the British Intelligence services.
Extensive spy footage of republicans was also taken by the PSNI outside the building.
All in all, Monday’s show of unity was an effective peaceful protest against what was an attempt to portray the PSNI as a neutral community service in west Belfast. The PSNI by their actions betrayed their true agenda in West Belfast and made a mockery of those who attempted to force them upon the population there.
Clearly, and as always RNU says, unity in action is the key to Republican progress. Mondays protest proved that fact.
Caption: Video Id: kocj3ouFWIk Type: Youtube Video
Brilliant show of Republican Unity