Harassment in Hulme

EARLIER this month Simon McGurk, a supporter of the Troops Out Movement, was stopped near his workplace in Hulme, Manchester by two people who identified themselves as Special Branch officers.

They asked him for his views on the Irish ceasefire, because, after all, “We are all interested in maintaining the peace process”. Simon replied that he was not prepared to discuss the question with them and in any case, as they appeared to know so much about him, he was sure that they would be fully aware of his views from having tapped his phone.

The two agents then pressed him for information about other Irish solidarity activists. “They said they would make it worth my while,” Simon told me. “They offered me cash in hand and a phone number to ring, but I told them what they could do with both”.

The incident shows that the state is intent on intimidating anybody who might be viewed as having the slightest opposition to British imperialism’s continuing domination of the Six Counties. Simon has no connection with any Irish group opposing the ceasefire.

Roger Harper, Communist Party candidate for Hulme in next month’s local elections, commented:

“Harassment of the large Irish community in this area of Manchester has increased in recent months. The state obviously thinks that the poverty and deprivation in Hulme will throw up people ready to take their dirty money”.

Peter Manson