The PSNI’s abuse of the stop and search powers comes as no surprise to the IRSP, or any other republican in Strabane. In a 12 week period from April to June the PSNI used their stop and search powers 756 times in the town turning the district into a mini police state.
This local statistic is only a small portion of the overall harassment of republicans opposed to the sectarian puppet executive sitting at Stormont.
The criminalisation of republicanism is well established and these stop and search tactics are only a small part in the over all strategy. In a week when the Stormont parties decided to drop the word “republican” from the term “dissident republican” it is very worrying to see these statistics released for Strabane.
Policing in the North of Ireland is far from normal, the PSNI remain a heavily armed occupation force. British intelligence services roam the North with impunity covertly causing division, confusion and gathering intelligence. The stop and search powers are only another weapon in the PSNI’s ever growing arsenal of oppression.
The PSNI’s community charm offensive is fooling no one. Our so-called reformed police force has to be properly placed within the capitalist hierarchy it exists to preserve. Their ultimate purpose is upholding the status-quo; there will never be community control over the PSNI. There can of course be nice people who happen to be members of the PSNI, but be under no illusion, these same people, when called upon, will smash the head of a worker on a picket line or lie under oath in a British court.
Criminalising republicanism has never and will never defeat it, it only solidifies our efforts to expose the treacherous hypocritical stance of those who pay lip service to the cause and those who would attempt to oppress us.