Demo in Derry against “unrelenting, torturous” harassment

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A protest took place against police harassment last Saturday outside Strand Road PSNI barracks in Derry.

The protest, organised by Saoradh’s youth wing, Éistigí, saw statement read out in denunciation of what it said was the “brutality” being inflicted upon the republican family in Derry and throughout Ireland.

Saoradh said state harassment, stop and searches had increased over the marching season, and has released almost daily video logs of abuses in the city.

“Crown Force personnel have continuously stalked party members homes, revving car engines and shining lights into windows at night,” they said.

“From the sky British spy planes fly overhead for long periods followed by hours of helicopter activity and now the frequency of stop and searches has increased.”

The party’s vice chair in the city was detained this week with his young son, who has a number of very serious health conditions. In a video of the incident, uploaded to Facebook, the son can be heard asking “why have they have stopped us, Daddy”. The young child was comforted and assisted by strangers as his father was arrested and taken away, and the family car seized.

Saoradh said there was an attempt being made to disrupt family life, but said it would not allow the “deliberate intimidation and targeting of the family members” of activists to deter legitimate political campaigns.

Standing outside the heavily fortified walls of the PSNI’s main Derry base, Éistigí condemned the police as “the enemy of free speech, the enemy of freedom of assembly, the enemy of the Irish people and the enemy of anyone who dare speak out and demand change from the status quo.”

They said the protest was taking place to “take a stand against the unrelenting torturous tactics that British Crown Forces use to intimidate and harass Republican activists and our families.

“These tactics are designed to deter our activists in their commitment to building and strengthening the Republican Socialist structures throughout Ireland. While these tactics evidently fail, they persevere.

“But when we speak of perseverance and those who are unrelenting, we should take a look at ourselves and those we are stood shoulder to shoulder with today.”

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