On Friday RSYM activists along with a local artist in Derry City painted a mural expressing solidarity with working class communities in the US who are revolting against the racist murder of George Floyd.
While working on the mural, activists noticed that PSNI operated Surveillance CCTV cameras in the area had turned to monitor their work.
Undeterred the mural was completed and brilliantly received by people in Derry and across the world.
However while driving home the artist was stopped and arrested by the PSNI, who also confiscated all his painting materials.
They had received no complaints or reports regarding the painting. This was confirmed when the owner of the wall, where the mural was painted on contacted them to say that the artists had been given their permission to use it.
The irony is clear to see. The people of Derry know only too well what African American communities are facing now in the US. They are no strangers to the oppression and brutality of a heavily armed state ‘police force’.
The PSNI clearly took offence to criticism of their counterparts in America; their RUC predecessors wrote the rule book on state violence, hatred & bigotry.
Their actions have exposed them for they are. Hired goons working to maintain a system that criminalises young people in socially deprived areas in order to maintain wealth of the ruling class.
Their eagerness to oppress young republican socialists has failed again and will continue to do so.
In the words of Fred Hampton,
“We don’t think you fight fire with fire best ; we think you fight fire with water best. We’re going to fight racism not with racism, but we’re going to fight with solidarity. We say we’re not going to fight capitalism with black capitalism, but we’re going to fight it with socialism.”
Thankfully despite their attempts and to the dismay and anger of the PSNI officers involved, the attempt to charge the activist with ‘criminal damage’ failed.