In recent years the State have utilised new tools in their attempts to harass and intimidate people in futile attempts to stop their legitimate political activism and/or support for Republican organisations. Saoradh members and supporters of Republican Prisoners and their families have borne the brunt of these tactics.
While the old tactics of political policing, draconian legislation, internment by remand, felon setting and malicious prosecutions have continued unabated, these new tools have been directed at activists and their families to literally starve them into submission and psychologically abuse and traumatise their children.
If we begin with the Department of Communities, now headed by unelected Sinn Féin micro-minister Deirdre Hargey, numerous Republicans and their families have had their benefits and welfare payments stopped without warning, reason or justification.
Often these actions are taken at the behest of the MI5-directed PSNI or the unaccountable British NCA. The usual appeal procedures have also been refused and/or circumvented. Due to the removal of housing benefit some family homes are in the process of being seized by the Housing Executive. At a time of austerity and increasing poverty, the complete removal of the total income of any household based on the perceived political opinion of the resident(s) by Ms Hargey’s department is a damning indictment of her and her party.
Likewise, many Republicans and their families have faced malicious allegations being levelled against them to Social Services. This is being carried out under the stewardship of Ulster Unionist Party micro-minister Robin Swann. That these allegations are made by bona fide child abusers in the form of the PSNI is as ironic as it is disgusting.
The recent utterances of Crown Force leader Simon Byrne that he was going to “take our kids” was not an idle threat. Each and every single complaint of this nature, again centred around the perceived political allegiances or opinions of parents, has been adequately investigated and subsequently exonerated parents of any wrongdoing.
Social Workers assigned to investigate these malicious “referrals” from the PSNI are trained, profesionally qualified practitioners that often have years of experience. Not only have they communicated their feelings of embarrassment when dealing with politically motivated “referrals”, they are also frustrated and angry that their time, energy and expertise are being wasted at a time when they are already under immense pressure.
These PSNI tactics are strategic and directed. The toothless tiger Policing Boards and Policing and Community Safety Partnership Board’s are well aware of them, as is the Alliance Party micro-minister Naomi Long who is now the resident British Justice Minister.
State agencies are well aware that these tactics, like all those used in the past, are futile and pointless if they seek to break the Republican Struggle. The ministers responsible for the agencies involved, including one former Republican, are also well aware of this.
Should these grotesque actions continue then those overseeing the targeting of Republican families and their children, namely the aforementioned micro-ministers, should not be surprised when Republican activists directly confront them in a radical way to highlight their connivance and complicity.