GARC Announce Mass Community Mobilisation Against British Political Policing In Ardoyne And Marrowbone

GARC is organising a community protest in North Belfast.

Mass Community Mobilisation Against British Political Policing In Ardoyne And Marrowbone: Wednesday 14th October 7.30PM @ Bottom of Ardoyne Avenue

As local residents are fully aware, GARC released the findings of a Freedom of Information request relating to the PSNI's human rights abuses against the people of Ardoyne using supposed "anti terror" legislation. Key revelations were that in Ardoyne during the period of Jan 2009- Jan 2015 were:

- 4597 Stop and Searches

- 262 House Raids/Invasions

- 144 Arrests

- 23 Charges

- Only 2 Convictions

Any of the above that occurred outside Ardoyne, e.g. a Stop and Search of an Ardoyne resident on the Falls Road, was excluded from these figures, meaning the true extent of harassment is far greater than that disclosed.

In response, GARC wrote to a number of local funded community organisations requesting a meeting to discuss these findings and ascertain their position regarding the PSNI. Only the Ardoyne Fleadh, to their credit, responded and did so to assert that they do not endorse, support or promote the PSNI.

The State has then embarked on a strategy of intensifying levels of harassment and intimidation, increasing the deployment of low flying helicopters, armoured patrols, armed response foot patrols and abusing residents and children at Stop and Searches, including on local school property. The despicable antics of the PSNI were best illustrated by the shameful intimidation and harassment of mourners attending the recent wake and funeral of local Republican and community activist Henry McErlean.

The PSNI was assisted by the silent complicity of local paid workers. They were also assisted by a demonisation campaign led by Sinn Fein members that don't live in our area, with the local Church Rector publicly stating that residents had no right to an opinion on the issue of political policing.

GARC are a fully constituted community resource organisation. Our committee is elected at an open and transparent annual general meeting. We were established in order to stand up for the rights of residents, and we refuse to be silenced or intimidated by the age old combination of State Forces, Church and Political Establishment.

In order to highlight the level of opposition to British Political Policing, GARC have decided to call a Community Mobilisation and will assemble at the bottom of Ardoyne Avenue on Wednesday 14th October at 7.30pm. We will then march through the area in a demonstration of opposition to harassment, intimidation and violence against residents by the MI5-directed PSNI. Speakers will include local victims of State Harassment and their families.

We ask all residents to attend this demonstration, and also those from around Ireland who wish to show solidarity with the Greater Ardoyne community. We hereby also invite all political groupings that wish to support the march, and GARC ask that any posters, banners and literature is relevant to Political Policing.

On 14th October stand with the People of Ardoyne against British Political Policing!

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