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House raids, riots and harassment in Newry

22/04/11

Once again nationalist areas in Newry are being targeted by the British police as yet more harassment along with house raids and riot situations are directed towards residents.

The latest in a long line of incidents occurred last Thursday [April 14] when a large convoy of armoured PSNI land rovers descended on the Carnagat/Parkhead areas of Newry.

The PSNI proceeded to raid a number of homes and damaged property over a period of over 6 hours, they were backed up with a helicopter that kept the local population under close surveillance. During this time local people going to the local shop were stopped and searched by these thugs in uniform.

A number of concerned residents approached local éirígí activists who quickly made their way to the scene. One of these residents described the scene as being “like Beirut”.

éirígí’s Stephen Murney was one of the activists at the scene: “We were approached by a number of residents who were concerned at the harassment of ordinary people going about their everyday business, as well as the actions of the PSNI who were in the process of tearing republicans houses apart. When we arrived we seen there was a large PSNI presence many of whom were heavily armed and dressed in heavy armour.

“At one stage I witnessed roughly eight riot-clad PSNI thugs running down the grass bank towards a group of youngsters standing by the Camlough Road bus shelters at the Derrybeg estate, some of them had their batons drawn and a number of them were carrying assault rifles. This then provoked a riot situation during which a number of armoured land rovers entered the Derrybeg estate in an attempt to draw the youngsters into confrontation. The PSNI had no reason to be anywhere near Derrybeg considering their repressive operation was talking place in another area.”

Stephen continued: “This is nothing new to the people of the Carnagat, Parkhead and Derrybeg areas. Numerous times over the past few months these areas have been saturated and subjected to house raids, harassment, and riot situations provoked by the actions of the British forces. The good people in these areas won’t be fooled by the attempts to portray our society and the occupying forces as normal, it is far from normal, they are seeing the same things that they seen in these areas during the 70s, 80s and 90s. Indeed, as éirígí highlighted, just a few weeks ago the British army saturated this very same area, something which the establishment parties have remained strangely silent about.

“We have also been approached by many people who are on the receiving end of harassment in the form of stop and searches. One thing we have noticed is that the PSNI are now asking the victims to remove their shoes and make them stand in the street in their socks. This is a clear attempt to degrade and humiliate people and reminds them who’s in charge.”

Murney finished by saying that: “These recent incidents are only making people more determined to resist and oppose the British police and the status quo. As usual éirígí continues to take a stand and support the oppressed communities whilst others remain silent.”

 

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