St. Andrews led to the full restoration of the Stormont Assembly in May, 2007. Almost immediately, Sinn Fein, SDLP, Catholic Church and Community Workers across the North. Began a massive charm offensive to convince their followers that the RUC/PSNI were the 'New Beginning to Policing'. Like the Good Friday Agreement. After generations of Political, Sectarian and Partial Policing, Nationalists desired a Civil Police Service that would uphold their religious, cultural and political rights endorsed by the GFA. In the rush to find such a service, many accepted what Politicians, Clergy, Community Workers and the GAA were propagating about the renamed RUC.
In the past five years, Nationalist Politicians, Catholic Clergy, Community Workers and the GAA across the North have been heavily engaged in a charm offensives To a certain degree, the illusion of a new Police Service has worked. Despite the optics of a new name, badge and uniform there is a growing realisation within Working-Class Republican areas. That the new beginning to Policing has not taken place. There are now more Republicans highlighting this and many more associated issues in the mainstream and social medias. There are now a number of active Republican Groups and Parties articulating core values and principles. Including the Irish Republican Socialist Party (IRSP), Republican Sinn Fein (RSF), 32 County Sovereignty Movement (32CSM), Eirigi, Republican Network for Unity (RNU) and the 1916 Societies. Although, I'm an RNU member, I respect the right of each of the above Groups and Parties to exist and organise. In spite of huge Media Distortions, Political Smears and Demonisation. They all actively oppose British Policing in Ireland and highlight the ongoing and increased repression of Republican Activists.
Instead of getting a new Civil Police Service in the North, we got an unreformed RUC. That still retains a Special Branch, albeit under a different name. Although it still directs Political Policing in the Six Counties. Under the management of the British Secret Service, MI5. To target, intimidate, arrest and imprison citizens, Groups and Parties unhappy with the Status Quo. The unjust Laws used against people for generations are still used with gusto by the renamed RUC and Court System to Intern Republicans by Remand. Where a citizen can remain behind bars for over three years before facing 'Trial' in a Non-Jury (Diplock) Court. Bail is often refused by British Judges until a prisoners is forced to accept, living under restrictive measures outside and far away from their families. Former Political Prisoners like Marian Price and Martin Corey can again be incarcerated at the stroke of a British Minister's pen. The RUC/PSNI also retain and use lethal Plastic Bullets, now called Baton Rounds.
The above human right abuses are accepted by the same advocates of the RUC/PSNI. Who in the past actively opposed these unjust and anti-democratic practises. It is they who need to explain to the Nationalist/Republican community, for their reasons. The Community Report into the murder of Whitewell resident, Gerard Lawlor and CAJ Paper on Policing. Alongside the lack of arrests and active facilitation of illegal demonstrations over the five weeks during Loyalist Flag Protests have again proved the unchanged nature of Policing in the Six Counties.
In Ardoyne, over a dozen residents have been 'cautioned' and files sent to the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) by the RUC/PSNI for observing another unwelcome Apprentice Boys' march through the local community in early December. Some ten Greater Ardoyne Residents Collective (GARC) Activists have also been imprisoned for their refusal to pay fines imposed on them by a Belfast Court for a peaceful protest against an Orange Order Parade in July, 2010. Even though DUP Leader, Peter Robinson claimed five weeks ago that; 'everyone had a right to peaceful protest'. Three other residents will face trial in Belfast this March for alleged 'Disorderly Behaviour' in August, 2011.
It is quite clear to Ardoyne people that the Stormont/British Regimes, MI5, RUC/PSNI and Courts are intent on stopping GARC asserting the Civil Rights of our community. The question must be asked, what are the positions of the Social Democratic & Labour Party (SDLP), Sinn Fein, Catholic Clergy and other supporters of the rebranded RUC regarding this campaign of attrition against GARC?