IRPWA Activists Assaulted By The PSNI
On Tuesday 10th February two IRPWA members, Alan Lundy from Belfast and Kevin Murphy from Tyrone, were travelling in a car in St James’s off the Falls Road.
Without warning, four unmarked cars surrounded the two activists and a number of men in balaclavas pounced from the vehicles with weapons (including automatic rifles) drawn. They proceeded to smash a number of windows in the car with rifle butts and batons, without indicating who they were. At no time during this ordeal did they state why Alan and Kevin were stopped or indicate which draconian legislation was in use, as they proceeded to assault them and trail them from the car. They continued their assault on the ground, cable tying their wrists together with a number of guns in their faces. Threats to kill were also made.
Both IRPWA activists were left on the ground for over an hour after being assaulted and searched, during which time they were verbally abused by the PSNI officers present. The car, which had already had windows smashed, was also further damaged during the prolonged invasion of privacy. As is the norm with Stop and Searches under the repressive legislation employed by the State, nothing was found and both were released without an arrest being made. Despite no evidence of any “wrongdoing” being found, the PSNI seized both men’s phones and other property.
This episode adds credence to the Republican position that the PSNI remains a vital part of the repressive state apparatus that Britain employs in Ireland. They are unreformed and irreformable, rejected by Republican Communities across the Six Counties.
At the same time, it is a reflection of the positive work that the IRPWA is engaged in – ensuring the welfare of Republican Political Prisoners and offering a positive outlet for those willing to campaign on their behalf. Recent weeks have seen an upsurge in public support for Republican Prisoners, due to the brutalisation in Maghaberry. This has been ably demonstrated by continuing IRPWA protest activity across Ireland.
These assaults on two Republican activists are the State’s response. They think that through violence and intimidation they will silence the IRPWA. They will fail. We remain committed to the cause of our Republican Political Prisoners, and take inspiration from them. Like the Prisoners, their comrades on the outside will not be bullied into submission by the State and remain committed to a campaign of Resistance.