Last night on the eve of their 20th anniversary, the PSNI sought out the nationalist youth of West Belfast and deliberately provoked them into rioting, a totally unnecessary and reckless action.
Earlier this week loyalists called for a protest to take place at the interface of Lanark Way and Springfield Road. While claiming to be an anti NI protocol event it takes little thought to see the actual reasoning behind the location of the protest, to stir up sectarian tensions and divert the spotlight away from Monday morning’s public bus burning in Newtownards, another apparent act of protest against the protocol which has been ridiculed across the board.
From late afternoon British crown forces goaded nationalist youths around the Springfield Road trying to get a reaction. After a few hours of the kids not biting things took a more sinister turn when PSNI riot squads arrived with armoured jeeps fitted with telescopic cameras. These crown forces decided it was right to have a standoff with the youths on the Springfield Road eventually forcing them down into Beechmount and Clonard.
The PSNI then sent armoured jeeps almost a mile away to the international wall on the Falls Road where they proceeded to antagonise young people standing on the corner, naturally drawing the attention of others in the area. Before long the sirens were blaring and the jeeps began driving towards the kids in a threatening manner pushing them right down into Albert Street. The youth being provoked in such a fashion proceeded to attack the crown forces with whatever came to hand, eventually forcing them out of the area. The jeeps then did a quick U-turn before speeding down the Falls Road and out of sight.
These may seem like small, insignificant skirmishes but the totally unnecessary actions of the PSNI must be highlighted for what they were, a coordinated and politically motivated stunt to either give the impression that the NI Protocol is impacting and causing trouble to flare on both sides of the divide, as is evidenced from the statement they released last night, or was this the PSNI making a point that 20 years after their rebranding they remain as sectarian and politically motivated as ever, that behind the veiled name of the PSNI they are still the RUC.
Anyone still giving this armed wing of the British government political cover and support need to have a serious look at themselves and what they are creating in their own areas. The PSNI is no different from the RUC or the RIC before them, it remains the same sectarian force whose sole aim is to uphold and defend British rule in these occupied counties.
Reject British policing in Ireland, disband the PSNI now.