Repression in Derry ‘ignored’ by new campaign

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The chairperson of Saoradh in Derry has called on those protesting against racism and oppression around the world to address the issues of discrimination and repression in Ireland.

Jude McCrory was arrested earlier this month following a heavy-handed search at his home in Derry, and taken to Belfast for interrogation. As in a number of recent raids in the city, a militarised PSNI unit forced entry into his home and seized a number of items.

Their warrant, which dated from March, stated that the raid was necessary “to seize items to prevent them being concealed, lost, damaged, altered or destroyed”.

In the end, they took only a birthday card, a 1916 Easter Rising banner and a book. Mr McCrory said he would not be deterred by the incident.

“Some in riot gear and most heavily armed, some wielding battering rams and some so serious they couldn’t expose their faces. Panting like rabious dogs and I don’t mean to insult sick dogs with that comparison,” he said.

No evidence or reasoning was put forth for his detention, but he said he was not surprised to be targeted and was “not looking for sympathy”.

“Those who set out to dismantle systems of oppression and imperialism should not be flattered or mislead about what that journey entails. Republican socialists should expect this, re-energise from it and push on,” he said.

“When the state flexes its muscle it is a symptom of fear -- they fear relevance, they fear those who are organised, determined, proud and steadfast. And no amount of jack-booted baton-wielding Nazis, cell doors or interrogation rooms will ever deter that.”

He added that those who took part in protests outside Derry’s Guildhall this week should be conscious of events closer to home.

“I don’t wish to take away solidarity with those facing oppression anywhere in the world, it is vital, but whilst you stand in the Bog [Bogside] with your fist in the air against brutality 3000 miles away, within a three-mile radius there are working class areas under the boot of Stormont, under the boot of poverty, deprivation and military repression. This you choose to ignore.”

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