Sinister PSNI activities opposed
Sinister PSNI activities opposed


More groups have been speaking out against the use of schools and community centres by the Crown Forces of to promote a colonial agenda in nationalist areas.

Lasair Dhearg spokesperson Pádraic Mac Coitir said the PSNI attended three community spaces –– Saints Youth Club in Twinbrook, Colin Youth Development Centre in Poleglass and Horn Drive Community Centre –– as part of their ‘normalisation offensive’ over the last number of days.

“We reiterate our call to keep community and youth spaces neutral and safe spaces. The presence of armed PSNI personnel is totally unacceptable and doesn’t reflect wider sentiment in the area,” he said.

“The overwhelming majority of people in these areas completely reject the PSNI and it is disappointing that a small minority working in these centres are being used to assist the PSNI with their normalisation agenda.

“The PSNI organise these events which are effectively Public Relations exercises as part of a publicly disseminated ‘hearts and minds’ strategy to win over our community. While at the same time they have forcibly stopped and searched hundreds of thousands of people in the last ten years; the equivalent of one fifth of the population of the Six Counties, which have led to very little arrests.”

Mr Mac Coitir said they would be reaching out to the management of these facilities to raise their concerns.

“The PSNI refuse to record the community background of those that they publicly humiliate with these searches because they know that it would clearly show that their use of draconian stop and search legislation is used almost exclusively against one community; ours.”

“Friendly faces in our youth spaces stands in stark contrast to the fact that they have forcibly strip searched more than 27 children, some as young as just 12 years old, in 2021 alone, a pointless endeavour when nothing was found in the extreme majority of cases. More worrying is that an appropriate adult was not present in 26 of those 27 instances.”

Meanwhile, the 32 County Sovereignty Movement have also hit out at what they described as a widespread normalisation campaign “geared specifically towards children”.

In a statement, Derry 32CSM highlighted the issue of Crown Forces entering schools and community centres to engage with children on a “friendly” basis while their colleagues, with the aid of the British army and British intelligence services, “disrupted” children’s home lives with house raids and illegal stop and searches.

They also highlighted the fact that MI5 and Special Branch were endangering children by trying to turn them into child informers.

In Belfast, the Wolfe Tone/McCracken cumann voiced concern at the PSNI attending multiple community “fun days” in the city. In north Belfast, armed police along with dogs were seen stopping children at Girdwood Hub and Alexandra Park to offer them stickers with the words ‘I met the police today’.

Some children “were noticeably frightened and distressed at this” as the only interaction they have had with these people has been when they had their toys taken away, houses raided and parents/siblings taken away in the back of an armoured car or jeep, they said.

The PSNI’s attendance at St Louise’s secondary school for girls in west Belfast was also noted. A stall had been set up in the school offering “career advice” to school leavers taking part in a job fair.

“These ‘community relation’ tactics are nothing new but they have to be highlighted for the facade they are,” they said.

“What should also be highlighted is the role of elected representatives of Britain’s Stormont assembly in bringing crown forces into contact with our children at every opportunity available and giving a false impression of the continued British occupation.

“One of the main tactics of Thatcher was normalisation along with Ulsterisation and criminalisation. The Good Friday Agreement was a continuation of these three tactics but 25 years on, as with the time of Thatcher, the Good Friday Agreement has failed, the PSNI are not a normal police service and this failed statelet of 6 counties in Ulster is still not accepted as legitimate by the vast majority of the Irish people.”

Urgent Appeal

Despite increasing support for Irish freedom and unity, we need your help to overcome British and unionist intransigence. We can end the denial of our rights in relation to Brexit, the Irish language, a border poll and legacy issues, with your support.

Please support IRN now to help us continue reporting and campaigning for our national rights. Even one pound a month can make a big difference for us.

Your contribution can be made with a credit or debit card by clicking below. A continuing monthly donation of £2 or more will give you full access to this site. Thank you. Go raibh míle maith agat.

© 2023 Irish Republican News