Systematic Campaign of Police Harassment

Tonight The Pensive Quill runs a transcript of Derry republican Gary Donnelly being interviewed on Radio Free Éireann  WBAI 99.5 FM Pacifica Radio New York City USA Saturday 9th June 2012. The interviewers are  John McDonagh (JM) and Sandy Boyer (SB).

JM:  And now we head over to Derry.  There was a certain segment of Derry that made the world-wide news there during the week.  The Olympic torch, which is going around the world and is heading to London, made its way through Derry/Londonderry during the week and there were people protesting or trying to highlight what exactly is going on in The Six Counties. And Gary, maybe you could explain.  What happened and why was there a protest about the running of the Olympic torch?

GD:  Hello, how are you doing?  Basically, over the last number of weeks there has been a systematic campaign launched by the British police in Derry.  There were a large number of what I would describe as “punishment raids” where dozens of armoured Land Rovers (and) heavily armed British police officers seal off areas and kick in doors, searching properties and abusing whoever happens to be in that home. Things were brought to a head last weekend and local women decided that they would hold a protest.  So they done a bit of a text around on mobile phones and within two hours, maybe two hundred people turned up on the streets of Creggan.  There was a lot of anger, a lot of frustration. So it was suggested that rather than protesting in neighbourhoods where you wouldn't get a lot of publicity that the Olympic torch was due to travel through the city the next day so it was suggested that there would be a peaceful protest, mainly by women and children, to highlight the on-going raids by the British police. 

JM:  And then what happened?

GD: What happened was there was an area put aside for the peaceful protest which was acceptable to the women organising it.  This was done by a private security firm who were shepherding people out along the route.  The agreement was that there would be a dignified, peaceful protest.  However, as the torch approached, members of the TSG, which is Tactical Support Group, which is an elite unit within the police force, basically surrounded the protesters and started shoving and jostling them. They then stopped the traffic, which included double-decker buses, which effectively (was) so no one could see the protest.  As a result of that people started moving out and things just gradually got worse when a unit of I think the Metropolitan Police dressed as joggers attacked a number of the protesters, including children. Then that was the green light for the members of TSG to attack men, women and children who were effectively holding a peaceful protest. 

JM:  And did you block the torch from going around?  I read one account  they had to re-route the torch.

GD:  No.  Initially the protest was not about the Olympic torch. The Olympic torch was to be used to highlight, the event of the Olympic torch being carried was to highlight, but in the attack by the British police the torch was re-routed a short distance and went another route.

JM:  And Gary, another thing that's going on in Derry: they had an event here in New York City during the week and it was touting about how Londonderry is the Cultural Capital of the United Kingdom.  And this is all part of this “normalisation” that The Six Counties are now more than official, they are part of the United Kingdom.  And this is a wonderful event that's going on, being that your the Culture Capital of the United Kingdom and using the term “Londonderry”!

GD: That's correct.  Martin McGuinness has used it a number of times quite publicly.  That's of no surprise to people in this city.  It's all about normalisation.  The reality is, is that we in this city and other parts of The Six Counties, basically live in a police state.   That the right to peaceful protest ... people will remember previous Olympics where the Tibetans protested along the route of the Olympic torch when China was holding it.  They were basically cheered by people throughout the world for having that right.  But after the protesters were attacked in this city the politicians came out and condemned (it)...put the blame on women and children who were in fact having a peaceful protest.So they can't portray this city as a cultural city.  The reality is that we live in a police state. And just this week they've announced new measures.   Because the British police aren't getting the support from the community that they have announced new measures which (say) basically, if a police officer has the opinion that you don't support the British police that they can remove your taxi licence or if you happen to be a Door Supervisor, like a bouncer, that they can now remove that. So this is further erosion of people's human and civil rights

A friend of mine was arrested only this week.  And when he was being arrested and interrogated, one of the items that they took from him, that they had removed from his home, was a John Pilger DVD.  It was placed in an evidence bag and he was questioned by the police as (to) why he was watching a John Pilger DVDs.  Now this isn't propaganda.  This is reality.  This was done in the presence of his lawyer.  And it was also videoed and audio recorded.  This is the type of thing that's happening here in Derry.  And at the same time, they're portraying to the world that we are the UK City of Culture.

SB:  And Gary, this is Sandy Boyer.  Things are so “normal” there that you still have political prisoners interned and tortured.  

GD:  That's correct.  I've just returned from a protest in Armagh City there where they're trying to highlight the fact that Republican prisoners in Maghaberry are engaged at the minute in a “dirty” protest.  The same protest that effectively led to the Hunger Strikes in the 1980's.

SB:   So Marian Price is interned and....

GD:  Marian Price is interned without trial on evidence on a secret intelligence.... whether it exists or not that they may believe she has done something or other. 

SB:  And her health is so bad that the week before last the UN Special Rapporteur on Health sent two doctors for an official investigation to report back and the Hydebank Prison, where she's being held, said they couldn't give them access.

GD:  That's right.  That all just fits into the whole human rights/civil rights erosion that's happening in The Six Counties.  These people will stop at nothing to stamp out any alternative opinion; that if you don't agree with this state then that's why Marian Price is put up there to say:  if we can do this to a fifty-eight year old woman we will do it to anybody. And the unfortunate thing about this is this is all coming from Stormont which Nationalist politicians, including Sinn Féin, have all signed up for. They told us this would be a new beginning for police officers; we've all seen the advertisements for police officers on bicycles were riding through the neighbourhood.  The reality on the ground in areas like Creggan and Derry is completely different.  You are talking maybe a hundred RUC officers with automatic assault weapons and armoured Land Rovers. That's the reality of policing in this part of the country. 

JM:  But Gary, how does Provisional Sinn Féin get away with this? Like they'll go out and demand for Nationalists inform to the police to have Republicans arrested.  Republicans then go into to gaol.  And then they'll come out and say: “We're against the torture and what's going on in the prison.”  I mean, it's ridiculous!  They tell them:  “Lock 'em up” and then they say “Well, don't protest against that”.

GD:  That's right.  It's the case of them trying to ride two horses. And during the recent raids in this city too, none of them were to be found.  They never seem to show up. And don't forget that The Creggan has always been the backbone of The Provisional Movement.  It's my sincere belief that people now are seeing through this and people are starting to come on the streets and it's having a big effect.  None of these Sinn Féin people, they're nowhere to be found when these raids are happening because they can't condone them, they can't explain them. You know, they have the check to travel around the world and say: “Look what we've done in Ireland”.  And yet in areas like The Creggan, they're effectively hiding when these raids are happening. There's also a campaign by the media of censorship which will keep all this stuff hidden from the outside world.  And it's only when you turn up The Olympic flame and it had to be re-routed maybe fifty or a hundred yards, do you get your message out beyond that censorship.  

JM:  Well, Gary, I'm gonna wrap up here.  I wanna know what's the odds at the bookies about your fair citizen there from Londonderry, Martin McGuinness, who has an office over in London, about him meeting the Queen?  When will it happen?  We know it's going to happen.  When is it going happen?

GD: It's as sure as getting into Heaven as Martin McGuinness will meet his boss.  There's talk there that it could happen at the end of this month.  But only he knows that.

JM:  But Gary, what's the big deal about him meeting her?  He takes her paycheck.  He might as well shake her hand and thank her for it, no? 

GD:  It won't be a sad day for me or for a lot of other Republicans when McGuinness meets Lizzie Windsor. Because why shouldn't he? He's her loyal subject.  So why not?

JM:  O, ye will bend the knee you rebel dog and boy ... will he be bending it, Gary! 

GD:  No problem. 

JM:  Alright Gary.  Thanks for coming on.  


  1. Gary is correct, Is not Derry’s Sinn Fein mayor Kevin Campbell's House raid on the 12th Night not a wake up call for everyone concerned, And Kevin was defending those same RUC/PSNI Prior to the raid He stated, "They are only doing their job", He thinks differently now, "I HOPE", All Nationalist's are now being targeted by the British Police force , RUC/PSNI, Call them what you want, they are still under the british crown and flag ,Accepted by PSF, Yes, the same PSF who stated on live television , for people to inform to the RUC/PSNI if they know anything or anyone who is a "dissident" , Anti is the proper word which should be used, lets get the facts right.

  2. From Helen McClafferty:

    Please send the letter below to the following:

    President Obama
    The White House
    1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
    Washington, DC 20500

    Secretary of State
    Hillary Rodham Clinton
    U. S. Department of State
    2201 C. Street NW
    Washington, DC 20520

    Mr. William J. Clinton
    55 West 125th Street
    14th Floor
    New York, New York 10027

    An Taoiseach Enda Kenny

    Tony Blair

    British Secretary of State Owen Paterson

    Minister for Foreign Affairs & Trade
    Eamon Gilmore

    (Please include your return address on your letter as well as your envelope)

    See next comment

  3. From Helen McClafferty (Continued)


    The refusal by the British Government to apply the wording of Strand 3, Prisoners, paragraph 1 of the Belfast Agreement (1998) to the case of Gerry McGeough and credit Mr McGeough with time served in Germany and the USA prior to 1998 is a direct violation of an international agreement.

    Strand 3, Prisoners, paragraph 1 states:

    1. Both Governments will put in place mechanisms to provide for an accelerated programme for the release of prisoners, including transferred prisoners, convicted of scheduled offences in Northern Ireland or, in the case of those sentenced outside Northern Ireland, similar offences (referred to hereafter as qualifying prisoners). Any such arrangement will protect the rights of individual prisoners under national and international law.

    Gerry McGeough was imprisoned prior to 1998 in both Germany and the USA for a total of seven and a half years under qualifying IRA offences.

    The decision taken by the British Government not to legislate for paragraph 20 of the Weston Park Accord (2001) under the wording agreed by the British and Irish Governments in 2001 is a unilateral abrogation of an International Agreement.

    Paragraph 20 of the Weston Park Accord 2001 states:

    "supporters of organisations now on cease-fire against whom there are outstanding proceedings, and in some cases extradition proceedings, for offences committed before 10th April 1998 would if convicted, stand to benefit from the early release scheme. The Governments accept that it would be a natural development of the scheme for such prosecutions not to be pursued and will as soon as possible, and in any event before the end of the year, take such steps as are necessary in their jurisdictions to resolve this difficulty so that those concerned are no longer pursued".

    See next Comment

  4. From Helen McClafferty (continued):

    I call on the British Government to adhere to the wording of Strand 3, Prisoners, paragraph 1 of the Belfast Agreement (1998) and for paragraph 20 of the Weston Park Accord to be legislated for and implemented in full, as it was originally agreed by the British and Irish Governments in 2001 and for the immediate release of Gerry McGeough.

    The imprisonment of Martin Corey without charge since April 2010 on the basis of undisclosed evidence is a form of internment without trial. It is a denial of Martin Corey’s right to be presented with evidence of the allegations against him. It is a denial of Martin Corey’s right to defend himself against those allegations. It is a denial of Martin Corey’s right to a fair trial.

    The interference by the British Secretary of State Owen Paterson in arbitrarily overturning and refusing to implement the decision by Mr Justice Treacey on Monday 9th July 2012 to release Martin Corey on unconditional bail is an abuse of power by Owen Paterson and an abuse of the justice system.

    I call for all evidence of the allegations made against Martin Corey to be presented publicly before a court and for Martin Corey to be given a fair trial. Otherwise, Martin Corey should be released immediately.

    Marian Price has been held in solitary confinement for over 400 days and as a direct result of this, her physical and mental health has deteriorated rapidly. Adequate healthcare has consistently been denied to Marian Price. The original charges against Marian Price following her arrest in May 2011 have been dismissed by a court. Marian was granted bail by a court but was immediately re-arrested on the signed order of the British Secretary of State Owen Paterson. The British Secretary of State Owen Paterson has also declared that the Royal Perogative of Mercy granted to Marian Price in 1980 has been lost or shredded.

    I call for Article 7 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to be upheld by the British Government.

    Article 7 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states:

    “All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.”

    Undemocratic actions such as these by the unelected and incumbent British Secretary of State Owen Paterson and his predecessors Shaun Woodward and Peter Hain are not in the interests of peace and justice.

    Sign your name and address

    Thank you.

    The Free Gerry McGeough Campaign

  5. From Helen McClafferty:

    Statement From Gerry McGeough Read Out at the AOH National Convention 2012 in New York by National President Seamus Boyle.

    A chairde,

    Warmest fraternal greetings to one and all on this auspicious occasion for our Hibernian Brotherhood. Needless to say, nothing would give me greater pleasure than to be with you in person during this Convention, but alas British injustice in Ireland does not allow for such expressions of solidarity.

    May I nonetheless take this opportunity to thank you from the bottom of my heart for your tremendous support and loyalty, which has been a source of great consolation and inspiration for my family and I at this difficult time in our lives.

    Due to my relative isolation and the fact that practically every word I say or write is closely monitored by British Intelligence functionaries, you will appreciate that there is much that I cannot say at present. In time, however, I will be in a position to tell my story and the truth of it will make a mockery of the British propaganda spin that democracy has been established in the six-counties.

    Democracies do not railroad people into jail in corrupt Diplock courts simply because they stand in an election and dare to voice a peaceful Patriotic, Catholic viewpoint at odds with that of the local Vichéy Régime.

    Throughout this ordeal, my family and I have learned who our friends are and we can honestly say, thank God for the Ancient Order of Hibernians in the U.S.

    To have the prayers and support of such a formidable Irish Catholic organisatioon behind us is reassuring beyond words. Please continue to speak out for freedom and against injustice in all its’ forms.

    Others may betray the Irish Nation and abandon the Truths of our Catholic Faith, but while the A.O.H. remains steadfast, you are a beacon of hope for our people. May God Bless you and Our Lady protect you.

    In Our Grand Motto: Beannacht Dé oraibh.

    Brother Gerry McGeough.

  6. itsjustmacker
    maybe someone took SF advice and touted on Campbell...somewhat poetic methinks.

  7. Larry.

    maybe someone took SF advice and touted on Campbell...somewhat poetic methinks.


    Its possible, knowing the depth's PSF have fallen to.

  8. That was a nice statement from Brother Gerry Mcgeough which was read out at the AOH national convention in new york- Martin McGuinness who was the main invited guest speaker give the nod for it to be read out- lets hope that next year Gerry Mcgeough can be the main invited guest-