Independent Media Centre Ireland

PSNI Riot Squad Remove the Right to Protest!

category antrim | rights, freedoms and repression | news report author Saturday June 27, 2009 20:56author by éirígí PRO - éirígí

Members of the PSNI riot squad, backed by armoured jeeps and dogs, today blocked éirígí protesters from even reaching protest assembly point in Belfast city centre.

The unchanged nature of policing in the Six Counties was again exposed today when the PSNI riot squad blocked Belfast's Castle Street for close to an hour. Those looking on could have been forgiven for thinking that some form of major public order incident was unfolding, as dozens of masked and heavily armoured paramilitaries decamped from their armoured jeeps, only to start pushing and shoving people back up the street.

So what was it that triggered such a show of force? Rioting protesters? Marauding football hooligans? Drunken yobs?

No. Today the PSNI riot squad, complete with attack dogs, was deployed to stop people attending a peaceful picket outside of City Hall.

While draconian British legislation grants the PSNI the power to prevent what they deem to be 'illegal processions' those stopped today were not marching or part of any procession. Instead they were walking on the footpath to the assembly point of the picket - which had been called in opposition to the raising of Britain's so-called 'Armed Forces Flag' on City Hall.

So as a flag celebrating one arm of Britain’s occupation forces was raised over Belfast, another wing of those same occupation forces were busy suppressing any sign of opposition.

From the events today it is clear that Belfast city centre remains a cold house for republicans.

Moving Towards City Centre
Moving Towards City Centre

Cops Moving In
Cops Moving In

Cops pushing
Cops pushing

Cops pushing
Cops pushing

Comments (20 of 20)

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author by éirígí PRO - éirígípublication date Sat Jun 27, 2009 21:06author address author phone

More Photos

Britain Out of Ireland
Britain Out of Ireland

Names of Victims of British Violence Read Out
Names of Victims of British Violence Read Out

Road Blocked
Road Blocked

'Normality' in Belfast
'Normality' in Belfast

Do you understand?
Do you understand?

Related Link:
author by éirígí PROpublication date Sat Jun 27, 2009 21:18author address author phone

More Photos





author by Kev - variouspublication date Sat Jun 27, 2009 21:24author address author phone

There's a short video on the UTV site:

author by Le Chéile Saorpublication date Sat Jun 27, 2009 23:16author address author phone

Fair play to Eirigi,you do great work.Where did you get yeer posters printed?

author by siochainpublication date Sun Jun 28, 2009 07:58author address author phone

Well done to all those who took part in the protest - I'm across the water is the USA at the minute and would have loved to have been at the protest !!

Disgraceful antics by the RUC to close down the city centre of Belfast to enable those who have participated in many unjust battles and unjust wars to celebrate - Let's remember all those who have been victims of Britain's Colonisation policies - At both home and abroad.

Keep strong my brothers and sisters at home - Justice will be ours one day - hopefully not too far in the future.

" Come you masters of war
You that build the big guns
You that build the death planes
You that build all the bombs
You that hide behind walls
You that hide behind desks
I just don't want you to know
I can see through your masks

You that never done nothin'
But build to destroy
You play with my world
Like it's your little toy
You put a gun in my hand
And you hide from my eyes
And you turn and run farther
When the fast bullets fly

Like Judas of old
You lie and deceive
A world war can be won
You want me to believe
But I see through your eyes
And I see through your brain
Like I see through the water
That runs down my drain

You fasten all the triggers
For the others to fire
Then you set back and watch
While the death count gets higher
Then you hide in your mansion
While the young people's blood
Flows out of their bodies
And is buried in the mud

You've thrown the worst fear
That can ever be hurled
Fear to bring children
Into the world
For threatening my baby
Unborn and unnamed
You ain't worth the blood
That runs in your veins

How much do I know
To talk out of turn
You might say that I'm young
You might say I'm unlearned
But there's one thing I know
Though I'm younger than you
Even Jesus would never
Forgive what you do

Let me ask you one question
Is your money that good
Will it buy you forgiveness
Do you think that it could
I think you will find
When your death takes its toll
All the money you made
Will never buy back your soul

And I hope that you die
And your death'll come soon
I will follow your casket
In the pale afternoon
And I'll watch while you're lowered
Down to your deathbed
And I'll stand o'er your grave
'Til I'm sure that you're dead"

author by Paul o toolepublication date Sun Jun 28, 2009 10:40author address author phone

Brutality, murder, mayhem...all in the name of justice.
The British military are on a campaign to rehabilitate their image. Their new recruits numbers are down, and they are suffering from a Huge defeat after withdrawing from BAsra 'under the cover of night' , in what was called a 'bloodless withdrawl'. More like a cowardly retreat in the face of an unbeatable enemy. 8,000 of her majestys best running back to the airport in the night. Their entrance was nothing short of a bloodbath, but we wont hear them speak of this, or the fact that it was illegal.

Tony Blairs war is going to be investigated but we already know the results....its purely a play to the gallery.

The 'Millies', a first in tv land 'honouring our brave men and women' who so gallantly give their lives to defend the crown. What a horrible display of pomp and sick disturbing soldiers collecting awards for killing innocent people, something along the lines of the 'Brit' awards or the Emmys. And it played out in the middle of 'Award Season'.

'Ross Kemp in Afghanistan's' attempt to soften the blow of the brutality and illegality of the Invasion of Afghanistan where the troop he went with lost three men, but left a trail of men women and childrens bodies 1,200 long and they still call it a war......not a massacre.

Prince Harry does his stint over there and is evact out cos of a security failure on his whereabouts, as they try to show him up close toi the front if there was one.

War crimes tribunal in the Falklands.....guess who is on trial....

Now....Armed Forces Day', what a joke. Trying to link the constant war machine to a historical context and give it validity by naming a day in the year to be called AFD........

If it wasnt all so sick it would be funny. Now in our own country they fly their new flag and supress dissenting opinion....the very thing they say they fight for in the first place....

Well done to all in Eirigi who took part, to keep a bit of sanity in the game....

author by Socialistpublication date Sun Jun 28, 2009 13:55author address author phone

Why 'kick the British out of Ireland'?

The protest represents an out dated, out modelled and archaic politics based upon national identity. If the choice was put to me: keep your free health care (NHS), keep your free prescription, maintain the high floor of social rights for those with disabilities, maintain the equality framework that guarantees a much better social existence than the 'Irish Republic', or 'kick the Brits' out because 'I am Irish', I would easily and without hesitation choose the social framework rather than the identity framework.

If Northern Ireland was inegrated into the republic there would be a social revolution. It would be a revolution to get out of a backward, regressive, conservative, catholic nationalist country. Northern Ireland citizens have a much better social existence in Northern Ireland and they would be mad to want to be governed under the Irish republic.

author by lulupublication date Sun Jun 28, 2009 13:56author address author phone

If the Iranian Government suppresses a peaceful demo, it's in the news for their 'resistance to democracy'. In the North of Ireland, it's just business as usual; same in the 'Republic', alas.....

author by nobopublication date Sun Jun 28, 2009 14:41author address author phone

Who said anything about nationalism.
All that #socialist said is true ...if you are from a certain sect of 'british society'. British society is always based on seperatism.
If you think that the republic is so bad do something about it or move. Irish 'peace ' with the UK is based on investment in the war industry. How about that for progress....kill other kids, we have jobs and 'education' and life is better here now that we stopped killing each other....we just kill other kids in other parts of the we are part of the problem- Not the solution.

author by Celia Spublication date Sun Jun 28, 2009 15:01author address author phone

This is merely another example of political policing in a political state.

Socialist. Your 'economism' and reactionary comments are very disheartening. Disheartening in the sense that you actually believe you are a socialist, and that the views you espouse are progressive. There is no one arguing here from a nationalist perspective. It is about the revolutionary transformation of both states. Do you reject Connolly's theses on national liberation and the struggle for socialism? The 'carnival of reaction' etc. Do you reject Lenin's acknowledgment of the right of national separation under conditions of colonialism? You strike me as being like the vast majority of the Irish 'left' - the further away the struggle, the more understanding and supportive you are - you are an anti-imperialist after all.

author by Celia Spublication date Sun Jun 28, 2009 15:06author address author phone

ps - Socialist.

Your stance is in itself reflective of a long tradition of right-wing British 'nationalist' Socialism when it comes to maters Irish-British (superior, more developed, even dare it be said 'civilised'). The history of Irish-British trade union tension is case enough in point in this regard

Snobbery/superiority/British nationalism masquerading as socialism is not socialism


author by lulupublication date Sun Jun 28, 2009 19:04author address author phone

The people need real socialism - proper healthcare, free at the point of service, and decent housing that doesn't leave them dependent on banks or with too little money to pay their other needs; are they going to care what colour flag can deliver this to their families? The Republic and the UK are both run by crooks, but people still migrate to the UK for opportunities that are scarce in Ireland.

author by I was there - eirigi supporterpublication date Mon Jun 29, 2009 01:25author address author phone

Nationalism is a distertion of socialism.Both Hitler and Moussilini began there political careers and parties as socialists.In Northern Ireland so called socialist parties represented Loyalist paramilitaries as they murdered their class counterparts from deemed Catholic communities for sectarian reasons while trying to elevate themselves as local community representatives of socialism.

The issue of Nationalism has nothing to do with the current project of eirigi to achieve self determination based on the socialist republican principles of Connolly.Socialist,you where the person that introduced the red herring of Nationalism,I think you target the charge at the wrong party.Maybe you should read more into eirigi issues,principles and campaigns before making such deregatory remarks.

I was there yesterday at Castle Street,where were you and the rest ?

I seen for first hand and not for the first time the reaction of the British controlled state of Northern Ireland to civil protest from Republicans.To meet civilians on there way to a democratic protest with riot police,armoured vehicles and dogs is an absolute disgrace and to attempt to diminish this act by denegrating a genuine protest as an act of Nationalism is to act as an apologist,is that what you are?

I was there Socialist and I was there holding close my principles of both socialism and republicanism and it sickens me to feel the need to explain myself.PSNI done the numbers on the expected protestors and out numbered them by 2 to 1.This was a deliberate move to either effectively beat them in a confrontation or cause the effect of concerning the organisers to retreat the protest for fear of the safety of protesters and the general public.Regardless the protest went ahead as far as was reasonable and safe.This was an act of democratic stifling.The protestors were pushed back up the Falls and then PSNI withdrew,it was a basic act of get back to where you belong and croppy/fenian lie down.What amazed me was the lack of support apart from the beeping of car horns from the people of West Belfast.

Normalisation has crept in like a silent disease.Our only hope is eirigi who has vowed to make Armed Forces Day a rally point for protest.

author by paul o toolepublication date Mon Jun 29, 2009 15:00author address author phone

The Armed Forces Day is a pathetic effort to shore up failing support for the military who rightfully, disillusioned into thinking they were killing for Queen and Country, are waking up.
It is a testament to modern military training how ignorant those recruits who only think for the first time that what they are doing is immoral, illegal, cowardly, and not the big thrill they were led to believe it was going to be.
The old warrior hero fighting for something good, is a shattered memory which British military imperialists cling on to for dear life in order to hold themselves in good stead within normal society.
How heroic is it when an Apachie helicopter releases a missile on a weding, or a cresch, or a shopping area full of people.?
How heroic is it when Iraq was 'blown back to the stone age' as Schwartzcopp boasted in 1991, disarmed twice by the UN, all its defence capabilities taken from them by questionable legal sanction and then two of the most technically advanced and heavily armed military in the world decends on the destroyed country and continnues to plunder and ravage.

Should rename it as Celebrate Genocide Day......

author by francis hughespublication date Mon Jun 29, 2009 20:02author address author phone

that troll who calls himself a socialist wanna go off and read a bit of connolly, or costello or somethin. brit imperialism and colonialism will always be linked with capitalism, ya cant banish one without the other. partition has always created a carnival of reaction north-east and south. anyway i shouldnt of even givin him the time of day, anyway well done to anyone who participated in the protest. it was well worth it and its somethin that all progressives can link up on.

author by Videopublication date Wed Jul 01, 2009 16:29author address author phone

here is a link to a video of the cops stopping people getting to city hall and the impromptu protest that followed. Some great footage of the robo-cops in action. Where else in Europe would a static picket trigger such a reaction?

author by éirígípublication date Wed Jul 01, 2009 21:18author address author phone

Video of PSNI preventing people entering Belfast city centre

PDF Document britain_out_of_ireland_placard_draft_9.pdf 1.01 Mb

Caption: PSNI Suppress Protest in Belfast

Sectarian Statelet
author by Cael Dubh - Sinn Féin Poblachtachpublication date Thu Jul 02, 2009 11:39author address author phone

As Gerry Adams had to admit last week, the six counties remains sectarian to the core, as do its state armed forces.

Related Link:
Is it hypocrisy
author by Hypocrite spotterpublication date Thu Jul 02, 2009 15:44author address author phone

I would think it is hypocritical of some republicans to complain about the PSNI stopping them from holding a sectarian protest in the centre of Belfast while similar republicans held a counter protest to stop the sectarian Love Ulster Parade from going through the streets of Dublin.

author by Celia Spublication date Thu Jul 02, 2009 17:20author address author phone

It is only hypocritical if you deem both protests to be 'sectarian'. As always, there will always be some who will, (ironically enough) for their own politically sectarian reasons, try and equate both Republicanism and Loyalism as being equally reactionary and 'sectarian' political ideologies. They of course usually in fact defer to Loyalism in their hatred of the notion of, at worst, republican resistance to colonialism/imperialism, and at best, revolutionary socialist republicanism. Messed up logic, innit mate?

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