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The Shooting of a Police Officer in North Belfast

Part of Matter of the Day – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 12:15 pm on 23rd January 2017.

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Photo of Gerry Carroll Gerry Carroll People Before Profit Alliance 12:15 pm, 23rd January 2017

The futility of yesterday's shooting on the Crumlin Road should be clear to everybody. Nothing can be achieved from carrying out such attacks. People Before Profit is calling for an immediate cessation of all paramilitary actions. No amount of rhetoric can hide the fact that armed struggle is a dead end. We urge those who are involved in these reckless attacks to ask themselves a simple question: what has been achieved? Decades of armed struggle by the Provisional IRA did not end in victory. A much smaller campaign that is carried out today is even less likely to achieve anything. Needless suffering and the imprisonment of another generation of people is all that will result.

Politicians from the establishment parties will queue to take turns to condemn this attack — and they should do, of course — but their words will ring hollow given the millions of pounds that they are funnelling to paramilitary-linked organisations, particularly within loyalism; so, too, will the calls from senior PSNI officials to challenge the scourge of paramilitarism. Was it not only a few months ago that the BBC aired a damning documentary that showed that a cosy relationship between the PSNI and paramilitaries is still alive and well in the new Northern Ireland? There is plenty of condemnation but little consistency from the establishment.

People Before Profit, on the other hand, is consistent in its approach. We want to see an end to all paramilitarism. Attacks like the one on the Crumlin Road will only reinforce division and distract from the pressing need for a united movement that will challenge the corruption and austerity of the establishment.