In recent days there has been an MI5-directed militarisation of Sailortown, Carrick Hill and parts of the New Lodge with heavy raids of family homes by the British Army and Crown Constabulary.
These raids targetted a number of young families, the elderly parents and siblings of local Republican activists Eamonn Hutchinson and Matt Johnston. Both have been victim of countless stop and searches, as well as numerous raids in recent years.
In Eamonn’s case his young family yet again were the victims of a late night raid, resulting in his six children being trailed from their beds by heavily armed and masked men – a traumatic event for any child. In effect this is child abuse carried out by State Agencies supported by Sinn Féin and the SDLP.
In an attempt to excuse their actions, the Crown Forces also evacuated a number of local residents from their homes, using a supposed “suspect device” as justification for inconveniencing the neighbours and friends of both men. No such “device” was found or displayed because no “device” existed.
Matt and Eamonn were subsequently charged with vague alleged activities, simply in order to remove them from their family, comrades and communities.
When leaving court after both men were subsequently remanded, armed Peelers, including those involved in child abuse in recent days, vindictively laughed and mocked the Hutchinson and Johnston families saying “they won’t be home for Christmas”. Matt and Eamonn are now imprisoned in Maghaberry Gaol, the most recent victims of Britain’s Internment by Remand policy.
All of this is the direct outworkings of public appeals by prominent Sinn Fèin figures, including Gerry Kelly, for Crown Forces to increase their targetting of Republicans. During and after the raids that psychologically abused children, Sinn Féin members from Newington and the New Lodge took to social media to welcome the joint British Army/RUC operation.
Regardless of the opinions of well paid local lackeys and absentee representatives, the reponse of local people in Sailortown, Carrick Hill and the New Lodge has been to overwhelmingly condemn the actions of British Crown Forces. Saoradh wish to commend local residents for their resilience in the face of this aggression.
As a Revolutionary Republican organisation, Saoradh demand the release of our imprisoned comrades and call for support for Matt Johnston, Eamonn Hutchinson and their families. Saoradh, along with our comrades in the Irish Republican Prisoners’ Welfare Association (IRPWA) will do all we can to highlight their ordeal and empower local people to play their part in opposing this injustice.