Keep the PSNI recruiters away from the schools


Plans by the PSNI to visit catholic schools as part of a recruitment drive is a cynical cosmetic exercise designed to a camouflage a paramilitary police that has abandoned working class communities and continues to aggressively intimidate and criminalise any dissenters from the status-quo.

In recent months the PSNI has been meeting representatives from the Council for Catholic Maintained Schools(CCMS) to arrange a programme targeting schools in North and West Belfast, parts of Fermanagh and Tyrone. CCMS chief executive Jim Clarke described the visits as "a future-focussed initiative…policing is part of the normalisation of society and what we have got to do in Northern Ireland is make the so-called abnormal, normal for us and this initiative is part of that.’

There is nothing normal or acceptability about a police force that is armed to the teeth with lethal weapons of repression from plastic bullets to the aggressive use of the latest anti-terror legislation aimed at crushing any dissent, to the use of child informers and agent provocateurs.

There may have been a change in the name, badge and composition but the reality on the ground is in stark contrast to the media spin and propaganda offensive waged by the RUC/PSNI. Only a few weeks ago the PSNI hit a PR disaster with the arrest of Republican for Network Unity Member Ciaran Cunningham and family members including his mother a lay magistrate on alleged kidnapping charges.  This was the outcome of a campaign of intimidation waged against Ciaran and anyone who associates with him including family and friends. These charges were later dropped and all released without conditions. Furthermore a 15 year old boy and 17 year old girl in Derry were arrested a week before in connection to ‘dissident republican’ activity and later released without charge.

These examples mentioned are part of a pattern that should be exposed and opposed whenever necessary. All our schools and colleges should be open and neutral places of learning, free from the blight of militarism and the various armed bodies of the state which represent a threat to us all.