Another member of éirígí has been arrested and detained by the PSNI before being transferred to Maghaberry prison.
Pádraic Mac Coitir, who previously stood as an election candidate for the party, was arrested in West Belfast on Saturday afternoon. His detention follows the arrest earlier this week of Rab Jackson, the party’s national vice-chairperson.
Both men had been arrested in 2010 for participating in a peaceful sit-down protest in Ardoyne aimed at highlighting opposition to provocative and unwanted sectarian parades. A number of others, including Ardoyne residents’ spokesperson Dee Fennell, have also been arrested and imprisoned for participating in the same 2010 protest.
Both Mac Coitir and Jackson had previously stated that neither was prepared to pay fines imposed on them by a court in relation to that peaceful protest.
As previously reported (Another éirígí activist imprisoned for legitimate protest action), these arrests are latest in a wave of co-ordinated harassment directed against éirígí activists in both the Six and Twenty Six counties.
In the Six Counties in particular, the PSNI’s pro-active campaign against Republicans stands in stark contrast to that same force’s inaction against ongoing unionist protests.
In the case of those sectarian-motivated demonstrations, senior PSNI officers have publicly stated that they will ‘facilitate’ those demonstrating – which many republicans and nationalists see as having familiar shades of the RUC’s sympathetic ambivalence to widespread unionist street protests and violence which marred the Six Counties at the time of the Drumcree/Garvaghy Road situation in the mid- and late 1990s.
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