WSM member stop and searched under anti-terror legislation highlighting police harassment

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Last night a WSM member along with members of the pressure group 'Republican Network for Unity' was stopped and searched under the Justice & Security Act.  This happened while they were conducting an interview highlighting the growing problem of police harassment in a personal journalistic capacity.

After interviewing RNU member Ciaran Cunningham on the various anti-terror legislation being used to criminalise and intimidate not only political activits but also wider family and friends, we were pulled over by the PSNI and detained for nearly half an hour.  This is just one minor example of the campaign being unleashed across the six-counties against all forms of political opposition.

This week, the PSNI reached a new level when they stopped and searched Ciaran in the grounds of his children’s local school, much to the disgust of parents and teachers.

Despite the so-called new beginning to policing, there has been little change in our communities where dissenters from the status-quo face systematic and sustained police harassment and intimidation.

Despite the cosmetic changes in name, badge and recruitment practices the police’s first line of duty will always been to defend the status quo.  The  devolution of policing and justice powers to a local Stormont minister has merely provided a smokescreen for a heavily armed paramilitary police force, directed and controlled by security agencies such as MI5.  

 The police force is the state’s physical and intimidatory means of maintaining a desired status quo in society; one of socio-economic divisions and inequalities. Alexander Berkman stated that crime “is the result of economic conditions, of social inequality, of wrongs and evils of which government and monopoly are parents”.

On the one hand we have the state, politicians, bosses and capitalists, who thrive on vast amounts of money and power. Instances of white collar crime, fraud and embezzlement that are actually investigated and brought before the courts are rare (they make up a small percentile of overall economically motivated crime).

In the face of continuing police repression local proto-state policing bodies such as the District Policing Partnership Boards (DPPs) have proved to be not only powerlessness and talking shops with no legislative authority; but reinforce the status-quo serving to direct any disillusionment along harmless reformist channels rather than where real opposition needs to be built- in our communities and workplaces’.

We must demonstrate through our actions and methods that only by collectively organising, practicing solidarity where we live and work as a class can we begin to tackle and remove the scourge of ‘anti-social crime’ and the real crime of capitalism. In the meantime, police harassment needs to be challenged and opposed as part of organising a real fightback.

They were videoing the interview as this harrassment happened, you can watch the video

Read: Information for PSNI Stop & Search Procedures

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