Despite the media-led fanfare over the recent visit by the commander-in-chief of Britain’s armed forces, Elizabeth Windsor, socialist republicans from across Cork were to the fore in opposing the presence of the figurehead of British imperialism.
Hundreds of posters and stickers were erected throughout the city centre and over 3,000 leaflets were distributed to households in areas such as Gurranabraher, Knocknaheeny, Mayfield and Togher.
However, in a repeat of the harassment of local activists during the May Day march by political police in the city, éirígí activists were subjected to a sustained campaign of surveillance, detention, stop-and-searches and the theft of legitimate political materials such as leaflets and banners.
Perhaps the most serious incident in this campaign of harassment took place on May 19, when éirígí members were again detained soon after erecting a banner stating Fund Communities not Royal Visits.
The activists were held in a petrol station forecourt for almost an hour by no less than 18 Gardaí, including members of the Armed Response Unit and a plethora of Special Branch secret police.
During this detention, personal items such as mobile phones and cameras were seized and private contents such as text messages and photographs were read and recorded.
The vehicle in which the activists were travelling was also subject to an invasive search, while banners and other materials were confiscated by a detective, who preposterously cited “incitement to hatred” legislation.
The fact that the Special Branch view a call to fund deprived communities in Cork ahead of fêting a foreign monarch as “incitement to hatred” speaks volumes about the mentality of this particular police force.
However, éirígí in Cork City will continue to promote the politics of socialist republicanism and the party’s activists will not be deterred in their efforts by petty attempts at bullying or harassment by the political police.
Smash the NAMA Republic!
Different Name, Same Aim
Campaign for British withdrawal
We Only Want the Earth!
No British Royal Visits!
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