14 March 2006

Combined effort to end political policing

Daily Ireland

By Connla Young

Republicans in counties Derry and Antrim yesterday launched a campaign to highlight political policing in the North.
Relatives of nationalists and republicans killed as a result of loyalist collusion with the security forces gathered in Toomebridge, Co Antrim, yesterday to hear Mid-Ulster MP Martin McGuinness describe political policing as an attack on democracy.
The senior Sinn Féin man was joined by East Derry assembly member Francie Brolly, Antrim assembly member Philip McGuigan and Antrim borough councillor Henry Cushinan.
Speaking after the event, Mr McGuinness said political policing needed to be confronted: “This campaign is about confronting and ending political policing, which still continues within the PSNI across the six counties.
“We are launching this campaign today and rolling it out throughout the North. We are bringing it to the doorsteps of the British and Irish governments. We are going toe to toe with the securocrats and political detectives.
“Political policing is seen and recognised by the nationalist community because of our political experience within the six counties. It is also increasingly recognised by people from within the unionist community for the injustice and violence it has visited upon them also. Political policing is a threat to us all.
“Everyone should confront it. When political detectives within the PSNI can organise a coup d’état to collapse the power-sharing executive/assembly, endorsed by two million people, it is not merely an attack on Sinn Féin – it is an attack on democracy.”
North Antrim assembly member Philip McGuigan said the campaign against political policing would highlight collusion.
“South Derry and north and south Antrim have been particularly affected by political policing through shoot to kill and collusion.
“Magherafelt council has lost two elected representatives as a result of collusion with unionist paramilitaries and British security services and there are many other examples in this area.
“Political policing is still having an impact. Young nationalists are still being harassed in places like Ballymena, and sectarian parades are being pushed through Ballymena and Dunloy. These examples leave aside the political policing that was able to bring down the assembly and thwart democracy in the six counties,” he said.

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