The latest from the éirígí Newry blog
With the all-Ireland fast approaching hundreds of Down fans have been busy erecting flags and bunting on lampposts, streets, houses and cars across the county to show support for the boys in red & black as this historical sporting event draws near.
The Down GAA flags seem to have annoyed the British paramilitary police, known as the PSNI, because recently they stopped a number of Down from fans erecting these flags and threatened to arrest them for “criminal damage”.
The ironic thing about this is that this happened on the Newry by-pass close to where Unionists have erected sectarian flags unhindered. The PSNI seem to have a policy of one rule for some.
The Orange state is very much still alive and well, and nationalist Newry is bearing the brunt of it. Unionists erecting provocative sectarian flags, thousands of unionist bigots marching through nationalist areas against residents wishes, nationalists being unable to purchase GAA equipment in Lidl stores across occupied Ireland and now the PSNI threatening GAA fans for showing support for their team whilst unionists are able to plaster the place with intimidating sectarian flags.
Will the PSNI now be stopping all GAA fans and arrest them for "criminal damage" for erecting sporting flags?
There has been a noticeable increase in PSNI harassment directed at nationalists, and it’s clear that it’s not just political activists being targeted but also GAA activists and fans.
While constitutional nationalist politicians might try to claim that there has been a sea-change in policing in the Six Counties, the reality of ongoing repressive policing tactics on the ground belies the harsh truth that little has changed and people in working-class communities across the North are only too aware of that fact.