éirígí in Newry have criticised a series of raids and arrests that took place across the city early on Monday morning [November 05].
Several families were targeted during the dawn raids and homes were left ransacked as well as a number of residents being arrested and taken to Antrim holding centre during the state force operation.
Criticising the raids, éirígí’s Newry spokesperson Stephen Murney said, “This is an all too familiar pattern. Here we have several homes ransacked and a number of people arrested and taken from their families. Unsurprisingly, those arrested were later released without charge within a matter of hours and with nothing untoward found during the searches.
“The PSNI’s strong-arm tactics left a number of children terrified and families were left to pick up the pieces. These raids were a particularly frightening for young children.
“The PSNI operation lasted for several hours and a large force of PSNI personnel in countless armoured landrovers saturated a number of working class areas. At the same time, a PSNI helicopter hovered over the city, keeping the local population under surveillance. These communities have endured this type of treatment many times in the past and today’s actions are clear proof of the unchanged nature of policing.”
Murney continued, “I met and spoke with some of the families targeted in these raids and they were left distressed, worried and seething with anger at the actions of the state forces. During the raids the PSNI confiscated mobile phones, ipods, family cars and even children’s computer games. Those who had their cars confiscated now have to find alternative transport to get them to work.”
Stephen concluded, “While constitutional nationalist parties tell us that this type of RUC style policing is a thing of the past, for republicans it’s clearly very much part of the present.”
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