Saturday, September 19, 2009
Click Link Here, for Brendan Behan's Island
Why the Republican Network for Unity Oppose The PSNI
Anybody willing to open their eyes wil recognise that working class communities in the north including those with long histories and legacies of resistance to British / loyalist repression are being reduced to a shadow of their former selves by criminal and anti-social elements.
Random assaults, drug epidemics and anti-social crimes such as creeper burglaries and death driving have made once proud communities a place of real fear for many (including republicans) who grew up in streets once bound together by strong ties of solidarity and neighbourly responsibility.
There are many arguable causes for the boom in anti-social crime; economic deprivation, generational conflict related stress, neglect and despair all may well hold the key to understanding why so many of our young choose to attack their own communities.
However in the run up to politically driven deadlines on parties here 'signing up to policing arrangments' anti-social activities in areas like west Belfast and Derry city reached unparalelled proportions with stabbings, beatings, murders and a whole host of anti-social crimes leaping into the headlines. It appeared that communities were facing a crises, they were.
Appearing alongside endless editorials about impending social crises were suggestions from constitutional nationalist politicians that engagement with British policing here was the only answer to our problems, the concept of Policing partnership was being sold to us while we were in a state of fear.
From the outset Republican Network for Unity (then ex-POWs against the PSNI) recognised the gaping hole in this argument. We knew the cause of the problems facing us and of the complete inability of a British directed anti-republican police force to solve them either with us or for us.
We believed that Sinn Fein recognised this hole also, but constitutional nationalists including former comrades signed up to the policing arrangments not because they wanted to but because they had to, a British imposed political dead line lead them down that road.
There is no evidence that republican engagment with the PSNI is or will in the future provide a significant solution to our communities difficulties, there is ample evidence however to suggest that it is damaging our districts further. Many of the worst anti-social hoods are in the direct pay of the PSNI who in return for low level intelligence on republicans and others are given a licence to wreck, torture rob and ruin. Indeed republicans have every right to suggest that the social crises which faced working class nationalist areas in the run up to deadlines for acceptance of policing arrangments were created by the PSNI, with anti-social criminals being directed by handlers to create havoc and a sense of hopelessness in their areas in the hope of painting the DPPs as the only answer.
Sinn Fein’s endorsement of the RUC/PSNI is of course also an acceptance of the British occupation of Ireland, given that nationalists and republicans are being encouraged to work in a proactive way with a police force unwilling to even negotiate its accountabilty regarding 'security issues' nor the tactics it uses to maintain the security of the British state here, a police force it is important to add, which celebrates the framing and wrongful imprisonment of republicans as well as openly advocating a policy of targeting vulnerable young people for use as informants.
Publically engaging with such a force and in our own communities gives their activities and their ultimate responsibility (security of the British state in Ireland) a venere of respectabillity and gives credence to their assertion that 'they are the solution'.
Such a 'solution' to our very real problems can never be proposed by principled revolutionaty republicans as a substitute for community solidarity in the face of an upsurge in anti-social crime.
We fear that this "tactic" (engagment with the PSNI) will cement and advance pro British interests as well as further demoralise and disempower an already vulnerable grassroots republican base . As such we cannot contemplate actively supporting such a force or its cosmetic civilian bodies in the form of Policing boards or D.P.Ps.
To do so would contribute to the upholding of the status quo in occupied Ireland.
Republican Network for Unity is in the process of approaching other like minded groupings with a view to encouraging communities to formulate a real and effective alternative to acceptence of British policing.
MI5 agents have moved into their new 'Northern Ireland headquarters' situated at Hollywood just outside Belfast, the multi-million pound building is being developed as the PSNI and Security Services put the finishing touches on detailed agreements about intelligence sharing. When those agreements are finished, MI5 will take over the lead responsibility for national security in 'Northern Ireland' from the PSNI.
The spy station houses the agency's Ireland operations but will also serve as a back-up headquarters in case MI5's London base, Thames House, becomes damaged or cut off by a terrorist attack.
Much can be drawn from Britains decision to house MI5 just outside Belfast, as designers of subtle psychological warfare themselves they may well be sending a message to the same republicans who they allowed to believe could significantly fowrard their aims using constitutional means that they have in fact shafted them and that they may as well get used to it, MI5 are here for the long run the effort and expense put into the building alone tells us that much.
As for what exactly goes on in that building outside Hollywood? for now it is a matter of speculation, but recent recruitment drives for 'Northern Ireland' operatives stressed duties such as '24 hour electronic data interception' so one can only assume that all and any Irish persons of negative interest to unnacountable British military elements (who tapped every phone call made between Ireland and Britain in the 1990s) are coming under world class up to date scrutiny.
Those present at Junes anti-Bush demo at stormont may well have noticed the slim London brogued men milling around the crowd and video recording any soft looking left wingers face to face, in all probability it will be home to these overtly arrogant moles and any bought off sources they manage to capture.
Experience from the past tells us how other British intelligence officers such as failed ballad singer Robert Nairaic operated from within autonomous quarters inside British army bases (in Nairaics case Bessbrook) leaving to embark on undercover surveillence operations when and where required. We can assume that all this and more will go on at 5s new home in Hollywood.
Republicans and revolutionaries of all traditions should not fail to read the glaring message that Britain has sent to us all by situating MI5s new headquarters in our midst, it is simple -- 'we dominate you, we have demoralised many of your fellow countrymen to the point of them not caring, as for the rest of you we will be breathing down your necks using the most dispicible methods'.
Those of us who have been sceptical about recent constitutional nationalist initiatives at Stormont, have been vindicated by MI5s setting up its headquarters in our midst, it is concrete proof that we were right, not to jump for joy at their udertakings, when they signed the good Friday agreement.
We know we have a tough hard road ahead of us, but if you take a look accross Belfast lock on a reasonably clear day at the dark windowed red brick building and consider who is staring back at you, you will also get the feeling that you are right, MI5 and the British state are here for the long run.
Any information on MI5s antics could be posted on their public forum or perhaps a blog you might like to link to here.