Republican confrontation at DPP meeting

Up to 50 republicans forced their way into a public meeting of the local District Policing Partnership in Derry on Wednesday morning.

The protestors had been denied access to the meeting. But after reading a statement voicing their frustrations, the protestors succeeded in gaining entry.

Minor scuffles broke out between the group, police and hotel staff as the protestors pushed through a door, disrupting the meeting.

Once in, protestors chanted slogans and blew whistles, keeping up a barrage of noise until the meeting was abandoned.

There were no arrests.

In a statement by Irish Republican for Unity, which organised the protest, the group claimed that the district meetings were “a pathetic attempt by the British Police and their supporters to present an image of a normal civic Police service.”

“The reality on the ground for republicans and nationalists is a lot different,” they said

“Irish people are still being beating and abused by these British uniformed thugs. Children are wetting themselves on the sight of members of the British Crown Forces who are heavily armed with machine guns and armoured cars”

The statement claimed that Sinn Fein and the PSNI had moved the venue at short notice and began the meeting early in an attempt to avoid the protest, and had been “flooded” with “bussed in members of Provisional Sinn Fein”.

“As protesters pushed the door to gain access to the ‘Public Meeting’ senior members of the Provisional Movement backed up senior British Police officers and tried unsuccessfully to hold the door shut,” the statement read.

“This meeting was orchestrated by Sinn Fein and the British Police, working hand in hand to disparately make sure that a foreign oppressive British Police force has a free reign in Irish communities.

“British Policing can never be accepted in Ireland no matter what guise it hides behind. British Policing headed of by Mi5 which controls the TSG (special British Police units) can never be held to account, as they are only accountable to Mi5 and not to the so called ‘policing boards’.

“The aim and objectives of the Republican Movement has always been to remove British Policing in Ireland, not to make it accountable.

“These meetings will be continually disrupted for as long as Britain remains in Ireland.”

The Chair of the DPP, Sinn Fein Councillor Elisha McLaughlin, said the protestors will not prevent future public meetings from taking place.

“These people are allowed to protest in a peaceful manner but it seems as if they are not capable of doing so,” she said.

In July a similar DPP meeting was called off in the city when republican hardliners stormed the hall.

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© 2009 Irish Republican News