IRSP Lower Falls spokesperson Michael Kelly has said that the party has in recent days received numerous complaints from furious parents in the Clonard area, expressing concern at the decision of a local primary school to permit the PSNI/RUC to enter and ingratiate themselves with children during school hours. Despite children being allowed to handle dangerous equipment, (including riot gear), none of the parents concerned were consulted by the school.
This afternoon Kelly said ‘The IRSP understand and share the concern of these parents at the unauthorised exploitation of their children, which is frankly, offensive, unjustifiable and wrong, particularly given the wave of documented harassment operations which have been mounted against republican families in the streets around the school in recent times’. Accordingly we intend to seek a meeting with school authorities.
TARGETTED HARASSMENT OF CHILDREN BY THE PSNI
The PSNI have in recent times embarked upon a deliberate policy of stalking local school runs both in the morning and afternoon, with a view to harassing, searching, and isolating republican families from their neighbours.The homes of local children have also been stormed by heavily armed and aggressive PSNI swat teams leaving children traumatised and psychologically damaged. School authorities will be aware of these incidents as they have been well documented in the press. They should also be aware therefore that to allow the same armed thugs access to what should be a safe space for children, risks retraumatising the victims of politically motivated abuse and aggression.
SCHOOLS ARE FOR LEARNING, NOT BRITISH PROPAGANDA
The PSNI are engaged in an intense political propaganda offensive with a view to isolating the families and children of local Republican activists, this involves countering images of their armed oppression with imagery purporting to show concern for child welfare. This amounts to no less than the exploitation of local children for political ends. The IRSP opposes such despicable practices and asks the school authorities to reconsider the practice of granting such people access to children.