Dissident protest forces abandonment of DPP meeting
Dissident protest forces abandonment of DPP meeting

Republicans in Derry forced the abandonment of a local meeting on policing which was to take place in the Guildhall on Wednesday night.

The group broke through a PSNI barricade around Guildhall Square on Wednesday night to interrupt the proceedings, according to the Derry 32 County Sovereignty Movement.

The meeting which had been due to take place at 7pm had been changed to an earlier time in an attempt to outflank protestors but the local Republicans had readied themselves for such an eventuality.

Over 50 protestors made their way into the venue and challenged local politicians in the strongly nationalist city over their involvement with the PSNI (formerly RUC), which remains a British police force.

The 32 County Sovereignty Movement has accused the PSNI of carrying out a concerted campaign of harassment and intimidation against the families of republicans, including house raids in which Christmas toys were ‘ripped apart’.

“These meetings are a talking shop to portray normalisation whilst the two members of the RUC who chaired the meeting have in the past readily admitted that they have no control over subversive RUC units and the undercover British army units who have become more predominant in both targetting Republicans and involving themselves in house raids.

“Republicans will continue to expose the myth of the unacceptable unreformable RUC and the talking shops they use as a foil for their continued targetting of children and families of Republicans.”

A Sinn Fein councillor who was there said people “had to run a gauntlet of abuse and bad language”.

Local Sinn Fein councillor Maeve McLaughlin said the protest was “anti- community”.

“On three occasions the Chairperson gave the protesters an opportunity to address the meeting or read out a statement but they didn’t take up the offer,” Ms McLaughlin said.

“Several older people I knew decided not to go because they were frightened of getting caught up in a situation such as the one developed on Wednesday night and that is totally wrong.”

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