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Dozens Join Free Stephen Murney Protest in Short Strand

04/03/13

Saturday [March 2] saw in excess of eighty people join a ‘Free Stephen Murney’ protest in Belfast’s Short Strand. The white-line picket was the first such event to be held in the republican enclave since Murney’s imprisonment in late November 2012. The starry plough flags that many protesters held added a welcome splash of colour to a cold March day.

The level of support from passing motorists and pedestrians was even higher than had been expected, as the people of this most exposed of communities showed, once again, that they are willing to take a stand against injustice. Dozens of local residents also took the opportunity to engage with an éirígí information stall that accompanied the protest.

Free Stephen Murney

Speaking from the protest, éirígí spokesperson John McCusker said, “The turnout at today’s protest is particularly welcome as it is taking place in a very different environment to previous protests in west Belfast, Newry and Dublin.

“That so many people have joined us in the Short Strand, at a time of increased threat arising from the so-called flag protests, is a testament to the people of the area. Despite being so isolated this community is still willing and able to stand in solidarity with others who face injustice, such as Stephen Murney.”

Free Stephen Murney

John continued, “This is the second large protest in support of Stephen that has taken place in Belfast in recent weeks. And more will follow in this city and other parts of the country until Stephen is released.

“éirígí will continue to highlight Stephen’s case at every opportunity because we believe that his case is an example of political policing of the worst kind. Stephen has been systematically targeted by the paramilitary PSNI over a lengthy period of time prior to his imprisonment. The British state seems to be intent on using Stephen as both an example and a legal test case. Republicans need to ensure that they fail on both counts.”

 

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