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Saturday, July 7, 2012

Olympic Riots London 2012




London riots already started ahead of Olympics in British Occupied Ireland.


Youths  in London are  warming-up with a 100 metres swagger that includes throwing a brick through a window and grabbing the biggest flat-screen TV. 

Ablaze: Riots have raged over the last few days in London




Times of India : ' Will London be safe enough to stage the Games? Fresh violence in Hackney, close to the main Olympic stadium in East London, seemed ominous.' 

The People's Daily in China : 'With insufficient manpower and financial resources the police will inevitably be overwhelmed with problems in maintaining social order.' 


Hands up: A riot officer stands in front of a burning car in Hackney

A burning car in Hackney beside the Olympic stadium.

Of course, there will be security firms scanning and searching  with their eyes peeled and the secret services monitoring for an expected attack, while many believe riots that have already erupted in British Occupied Ireland will spread to the London Olympics, while over-stretched police are busy waving Royalty and their VIP entourage along their Olympic lane. 
.
London Olympic stiff upper lips have curled a little already, with a beach volleyball test event called off, because of rioting in nearby Hackney, while a cycling pre-Olympic road race is in doubt. There is concern that the IOC  may  even at this late stage, be forced to call the event off, due to public safety concerns. The issue was raised already by the chairman of the IOC's co-ordination commission, with other nations sneering at the British.

Because London is an old imperialist city, with a very bloody background of ethnic cleansing in Ireland and colonies all over the world, safety questions are being asked of it, because of its ongoing human rights abuses in Ireland and worldwide. There are also echos of the same fears expressed about South Africa  but with far more shootings and stabbings happening in London. 


Destruction: The riots have spread from London across the UK

Irish Republican News MARCHING INTO THE PAST







 IRISH REPUBLICAN NEWS
    http://republican-news.org

    Friday-Thursday, 29 June-5 July, 2012


1.  MARCHING INTO THE PAST
2.  McGeough's challenge to imprisonment rejected
3.  Councillor quits Sinn Fein over queen decision
4.  Family forced out of Magherafelt home
5.  O'Hagan family 'left in limbo'
6.  Ulster Bank chief 'must accept blame'
7.  Feature: Ardoyne parades - a personal analysis
8.  Analysis: Orange Order's sinister ploy hidden behind the charm


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>>>>>> MARCHING INTO THE PAST


 A provocative sectarian parade by the anti-Catholic Orange Order has
 again been given permission to march past the nationalist Ardoyne shops
 area of north Belfast.

 The Parades Commission, which adjudicates on contentious parades in the
 North of Ireland, said marchers must make their return march by 4pm on
 July 12. It said the timing was brought forward to reduce public
 disorder.

 The shops on the Crumlin Road have long been a flashpoint for trouble
 during 'the Twelfth', the busiest of the Protestant marching season. The
 parade has been forced through the area for the past three years,
 resulting in riots.

 Dee Fennell, from the Greater Ardoyne Residents Collective (GARC), said
 they will be holding a protest parade in opposition.

 "Historically when the parade passes there's always a recipe for
 violence, violence that we would be opposed to. We're going to have to
 take our lead on the day and take stock over the next 24 hours and then
 issue a statement regarding our own parade," Mr Fennell added.

 A second local residents group, CARA, which is aligned with Sinn Fein,
 said the determination was "insane, defying all logic".

 "This decision means there will actually be three [parades] on the same
 day," it said.

 "Return parades are particularly problematic and the Parades Commission
 should have restricted this parade from processing along this area."

 CARA said it would also hold a smaller protest during the parade.

 On Saturday, the Orange Order's contentious Whiterock Parade in west
 Belfast passed off without incident.  But the week ahead is the height
 of the marching season and traditionally the most difficult week of the
 year in the north of Ireland.  Hundreds of sectarian coat-trailing
 parades will be taking place across the North.

 NEWRY

 In the county Armagh city of Newry, a "major demonstration" is being
 organised by the Orange Order on the 12th of July.

 Several thousand members and supporters of the order along with
 approximately 40 loyalist bands are expected to be bussed into the
 overwhelmingly nationalist town.

 eirigi's Newry spokesperson Stephen Murney said, "It's a case of another
 summer and another lock-down for the people of Newry. Local residents
 will no doubt be either hemmed into or reluctant to leave their homes
 because of unionists indulging in a show of sectarian strength in a
 predominately nationalist area."

 In previous years the people of Newry have had to endure drunken
 bandsmen openly urinating and drinking in the street, Mr Murney said.

 "If that's not bad enough many of these bands will be displaying the
 flags and symbols of unionist death squads who murdered and killed
 innocent people and who colluded with British state forces in the
 process," he added.

 NEWTOWNBUTLER

 In County Fermanagh, nationalists in Newtownbutler are opposing an
 Orange Order march through the village today [Friday]. A protest has
 been organised against the parade which will involve 20 bands.

 John Connolly, the protest organiser, said the parade had raised
 tensions and he urged people to join their demonstration.

 "It is clear that the residents of Newtownbutler are completely opposed
 to these marches through the village, a village which has an
 overwhelming majority of a 98 per cent nationalist population," Mr
 Connolly said.

 "The bandsmen do not live in the village.

 "They are coming from outside Newtownbutler in an attempt to further
 highlight their views that their nationalist neighbours do not deserve
 to be treated in a respectful manner."

 CRUMLIN

 In the nationalist County Antrim village of Crumlin, an Orange Order
 parade has been given the go-ahead with very minor restrictions on the
 return leg of the journey.

 County Antrim Orangemen are to muster 50 bands and more than 4,000
 participants to march through the village on the 12th of July. A
 'Twelfth' parade of that size last went through the village in 1998.
 Since then there has been a sizeable demographic change in the village
 which is now 80 per cent nationalist.

 DUBLIN?

 And earlier this week, the Orange Order said it would like to extend its
 marching season -- with a parade through Dublin.

 In what was described as a "historic" address, the the Orange Order
 Grand Secretary Drew Nelson, told Irish senators that his organisation
 wanted a "normalisation of relationships within these islands".

 Mr Nelson was the first Orangeman ever to address the Seanad, the upper
 chamber of the 26-County parliament.

 In 2006, a previous attempt to organise a loyalist parade through
 Dublin, the 'Love Ulster' parade, resulted in intense rioting and civil
 disorder.

 Seanad chairperson Paddy Burke described the visit as a "milestone" and
 a "mark of progress".

 However, there was criticism among nationalists that the openly
 sectarian organisation had been allowed such a platform. eirigi's
 Breandan Mac Cionnaith said the Orange Order was "not only discredited
 in Ireland but in Scotland as well".

 Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams said Mr Nelson's address was
 "significant" but said "it is where we go from here that is important".

 "There are a small number of areas in the north where parades are
 contentious," he said.

 "In those areas the Orange Order must talk to communities and community
 leaders."


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>>>>>> McGeough's challenge to imprisonment rejected


 The Court of Appeal in Belfast has rejected political prisoner Gerry
 McGeough's attempt to secure his release on the grounds of
 discrimination in the issuance of pardons.

 On Tuesday, judges dismissed the County Tyrone man's attempt to be
 granted a Royal Prerogative of Mercy (RPM) because he served his prison
 sentences in Germany and the US, rather than in a British or Irish
 prison.

 McGeough, who was jailed last year in connection with an IRA attack June
 1981, said he has suffered inequality based on political considerations
 after he stood as an independent republican candidate in the 2007
 Assembly elections.

 The former Sinn Fein Ard Chomhairle member was jailed for 20 years after
 a judge refused to compare him with other IRA prisoners who were
 released under the pardon scheme.

 Mr McGeough brought his legal challenge on the basis that it was
 unlawful to treat him differently, and that the only justification
 presented for doing so was based on the geography of his previous
 incarceration.

 But Justice Anthony Hart, sitting with Chief Justice Morgan and Justice
 Gillen, insisted that McGeough was in a different category to those who
 had been released.

 Rejecting the appeal, Hart said the 1998 Good Friday Agreement was an
 agreement signed by the Dublin and London governments and it was
 "entirely understandable for the respondent [the British Direct Ruler]
 to take the view that only those who had served two years imprisonment
 in either of those countries, or whose circumstances were very closely
 analogous thereto" should benefit from a release pardon.

 "This cannot be said to be the position so far as Mr McGeough is
 concerned...and we can see no inequality or unfairness in the way his
 case was treated by the respondent."

 He also said there was "no evidence" to support claims by Mr McGeough's
 legal team that political considerations were involved in bringing about
 his effective internment.

 McGeough is now to seek to challenge the ruling to the Supreme Court in
 London, his lawyer confirmed.

 "There are a number of points we wish to consider carefully and we have
 firm instructions to proceed with an appeal," said Paul Pierce, of Kevin
 Winters and Co.

 Mr McGeough's reaction to the ruling could not be immediately obtained.

 A spokesperson for the 'Free Gerry McGeough' campaign said the
 republican veteran was in good spirits despite the "political decision"
 which is "a massive gesture of contempt towards the Irish nation".

 His supporters have complained that prison authorities have intercepted
 mail and otherwise worked to suppress statements by Mr McGeough emerging
 into the public domain.

 However, a statement has now been brought out of the jail and is to be
 delivered on the prisoner's behalf at the national convention of the
 Ancient Order of Hibernians in upstate New York tomorrow [Saturday].


----------------------------------------------------------------------


>>>>>> Councillor quits Sinn Fein over queen decision


 One of Sinn Fein's most senior councillors has quit the party in protest
 at Martin McGuinness's meeting with English queen Elizabeth Windsor.

 Angela Nelson, a member of the party for 42 years, said no welcome
 should be given to the monarchy in Ireland until Britain announces a
 complete withdrawal of its political and military presence in Ireland.

 She said there had been no internal consultation in the party and she
 first heard that the Sinn Fein Deputy First Minister was to meet the
 British monarch through the media.

 In a statement, Ms Nelson said she had been "confident that no meeting
 with the queen would occur as no open debate was taking place within the
 party".

 And she added: "I have always been able to hold my head up as a
 republican. I have met and maintained contact with many relatives of
 dead Volunteers and those murdered through collusion and British state
 violence.

 "I could not set all those to one side through acceptance of the party
 leadership's most recent 'symbolic' 'significant gesture'."

 Ms Nelson was interned in Armagh women's prison in 1973 at the age 17.
 From the St James's area of west Belfast, she has been a Lisburn
 councillor since 2005 serving the areas of Twinbrook and Poleglass in
 the party's traditional heartland.

 A member of Sinn Fein for more than 40 years and an elected councillor
 since 2005, Ms Nelson represented the party on several committees on
 Lisburn City Council as well as a number of influential outside bodies
 up until her resignation.

 The 54-year-old said that despite her resignation from the party she
 will retain her seat on Lisburn council as an independent.

 "Last year republicans correctly decided not to greet Britain's head of
 state or acknowledge her claim of sovereignty over part of our country,"
 Ms Nelson said in a statement.

 She claimed that while a format for the meeting was being agreed by the
 leadership, party members were left in the dark, with all information
 coming "via the media".

 "On June 21 a text message informed me of a meeting for Belfast and
 Lisburn councillors in [Belfast] City Hall for a 'briefing'.

 "I instinctively knew it related to the visit. Past experience with
 these types of briefings indicated a deal was already done."

 Ms Nelson said she refused to attend the briefing but over the next two
 days expressed opposition to any meeting with the British monarch to
 party colleagues.

 "On the second day, while in a party office, the media confirmed Martin
 McGuinness would meet the queen," she said.

 Since then Ms Nelson said she attended a protest organised in opposition
 to the queen's visit.

 Among those who addressed the protest was Eamon Cairns, whose two sons
 Gerard and Rory were murdered by loyalists in their County Armagh home
 in 1993. He finished with the sentence: "It makes it very difficult for
 me to see how Martin McGuinness can go behind doors and shake the hand
 dripping with the blood of my children."

 Mrs Nelson said his words reflected the views of many both inside and
 outside Sinn Fein.

 She said she was not opposed to peace or 'unionist outreach' and had
 worked to oppose sectarianism in her community, but that she made no
 apologies for being a republican.

 "As republicans, we oppose monarchy in all its forms. As republicans, we
 have no need to meet a British monarch, the commander-in-chief of
 Britain's armed forces, while our country remains partitioned and many
 people are denied truth or justice about the deaths of their relatives
 by that same monarch's government responsible for those murders.

 "Reluctantly, I have no option but to resign from Sinn Fein, a party I
 first joined 42 years ago.

 "I will remain as an independent councillor and continue to represent my
 community as I have done for the past seven years. I wish to reassure
 those people who elected me that I will represent their interests and
 will endeavour to carryout my duties to all my constituents to the best
 of my ability."

 The Sinn Fein leader on Lisburn council, Arder Carson, insisted the
 party had held meetings about the queen's visit, but that Councillor
 Nelson had not attended.

 He said Ms Nelson had "done much good work in the Dunmurry Cross area
 and has made a valuable contribution".

 "I was disappointed to learn in the media this morning that Angela had
 decided to resign from the party," he said.

 "As a party we will continue to move forward representing people locally
 on Lisburn council and nationally driving forward our united Ireland
 agenda."


----------------------------------------------------------------------


>>>>>> Family forced out of Magherafelt home


 A Catholic mother-of-five says she has been forced out of her County
 Derry home after a five-year campaign of sectarian abuse.

 Pauline Clynch took her family from the house in a predominantly
 loyalist area of Magherafelt after a brick was thrown through the living
 room window in the latest attack. She said she took the decision in fear
 for the lives of her children, aged from two to 15.

 "We've just had enough. You don't know what it might be next time. It
 could be a petrol bomb or something."

 Mrs Clynch, whose husband Eddie is a Protestant, said they have been
 targeted "because we are Catholic and the children go to Catholic
 schools".

 The couple, who have lived in the same street for 13 years, were woken
 during the early hours of last Wednesday by a loud bang.

 "'We knew what it was straight away," Mrs Clynch said.

 "My husband went downstairs and found the window had been put in by a
 big lump of a brick."

 The rear windscreen of the family car was also smashed.

 Mrs Clynch said the family had been the target of abuse for five years
 and were afraid to leave the house.

 "The children can't even go out. They are prisoners in their own home.
 They get shouted at and called Fenians," she said.

 "We built a wall and put up a gate to keep the child ren in but even
 then there were kids coming over and shouting at them.

 "They used to come into the garden and break and steal the children's
 toys.

 "We can't even go out for a walk. We went out to the new Tesco when it
 opened last year but were called Fenians in the street and spat at.

 "The only time the children go outside the house is to sit in the car
 and play.

 "If I want to take them out, we have to drive somewhere."

 The family's home has suffered several smashed windows in the past. A
 front window was damaged three years ago and again last year.

 "We had our window smashed on July 10 last year and then the car was
 smashed on July 12," Mrs Clynch said.

 "We are tormented all year round. We own the house and have tried to
 sell it -and with a mortgage to pay. That is why we haven't moved out.

 "But we just want out now and that's it. It's no way to live.

 The family are now living with relatives, with some of the children
 forced to sleep on the living room floor while they wait to be rehoused.

 Sinn Fein councillor Sean McPeake, who has been working with the family,
 said "they are in a very bad way".

 "l thought this sort of activity was a thing of the past but it is being
 resurrected in Magherafelt," he said.

 "It's down to some loyalists being unwilling to live with nationalist
 neighbours."


----------------------------------------------------------------------


>>>>>> O'Hagan family 'left in limbo'


 SDLP deputy leader Dolores Kelly has called on the Six-County justice
 minister to probe the investigation into the murder of journalist Martin
 O'Hagan, describing the lack of action as "unacceptable".

 The Sunday World journalist was shot dead in Lurgan, County Armagh, in
 front of his wife in September 2001 as he walked home from a night out.
 There have been allegations of collusion in the murder.

 The Upper Bann Assembly member said that there were serious concerns
 about the case after the only man ever to be convicted in relation to
 the killing, Neil Hyde, was released from jail.  Hyde was taken from
 jail to begin a new life in England after completing half of a reduced
 sentenced.

 Hyde was given just three years after pleading guilty to 48 offences
 including withholding information in relation to the 2001 murder.

 Hyde agreed to become an "assisting offender" in 2009 in return for a
 reduced jail term and a new life for both him and his family in the
 witness protection scheme. However, three years later there have still
 been no charges brought in relation to information provided by the
 Lurgan loyalist.

 Hyde was transferred from isolation in Maghaberry Prison last week for a
 new life in England.

 The killed journalist's sister Joanne Tobin said the family had been
 "left in limbo with no answers and no justice".

 Mrs Kelly said that there were serious concerns in her constituency
 about the case as she called on David Ford to investigate.

 "There is a wider justice issue here that impacts not just the O'Hagen
 family but on many other victims as well," she said.

 "The delays in this case are unacceptable and the family have had their
 hopes raised on several occasions, coupled with the fact that the dogs
 in the street know who was responsible.

 "There have always been concerns in Lurgan about the number of police
 informers within that particular nest of vipers.

 "It is right that this matter be raised with the justice minister," Mrs
 Kelly said.


----------------------------------------------------------------------


>>>>>> Ulster Bank chief 'must accept blame'


 There have been calls for the head of Ulster Bank to resign after the
 bank was unable to process routine financial transactions or release
 funds for a third week.

 A failure of bank's computers has caused severe disruption to the lives
 of up to half a million of its customers, in both the Six and 26
 Counties.

 It has also caused disruption to customers of other banks and to the
 general public.

 Salary payments, mortgage payments, social welfare and children's
 allowance payments all continue to be affected by the delays, and some
 customers have experienced hardship as a result.

 Customers' credit ratings have also been affected as a result of the
 payment backlog.

 Queues of people were visible throughout the week at some branches,
 which were kept open on Saturday and Sunday to deal with worried
 customers.

 Sinn Fein's Pearse Doherty called on CEO John Brown, "to accept
 responsibility for the failure in the Bank, to accept that the buck
 stops with him and when the mess is cleared up to consider his position
 and resign".

 The Donegal South West deputy said he found it "unbelievable and
 unacceptable" that the backlog caused by the system failure will not be
 cleared for another two weeks is both unbelievable and unacceptable.

 He was speaking at a meeting of the Finance Committee of the 26-County
 parliament in Dublin, where Brown was summoned to explain the systemic
 collapse of the bank's operations.

 "While Mr Brown accepted responsibility for what went on at Ulster Bank
 it was far from clear that he was accepting responsibility for the
 ongoing chaos. It is also completely unacceptable that he refused to
 rule out accepting a bonus this year."


----------------------------------------------------------------------


>>>>>> Feature: Ardoyne parades - a personal analysis


 By Ardoyne Republican


 Every July, young people from Ardoyne are criminalised and demonised by
 the mainstream Media in the Six Counties and beyond because of violence
 associated with unwelcome sectarian marches that are forced through our
 small community. Before, during and after the recent Conflict there has
 been a violent reaction to these parades, when the RUC, British Army and
 PSNI hem local residents into their homes with massive military-style
 Operations including, Curfews. Over the years, many local people have
 been badly injured with live, Rubber, Plastic Bullets and beatings etc.
 At the same time, many members of the Crown Forces have also been
 injured during these clashes.

 SECTARIANISM

 Sectarianism has been evident in Irish history, since the Plantation of
 Ulster. When thousands of Scottish and English Settlers where permitted
 to seize and populate Irish lands by a Decree of English Queen,
 Elizabeth I. Since then, there has been numerous Battles and Wars in
 Ireland. The Native population have been treated as second-class and
 their Laws, Religion, Politics and Culture banned. As a result,
 resistance to these injustices has been intermittent and mostly violent.
 The creation of 'A Protestant State For A Protestant People' in the Six
 Counties in 1921, caused Nationalists in the North a terrible legacy.

 In recent years, the violence associated with parades in Ardoyne has
 diminished a lot. However, there is always that particular undercurrent
 and atmosphere present during the Orange Marching season. The promise by
 Nationalist Politicians and Church Leaders that the PSNI would no longer
 be Political like the RUC has not been witnessed by people in Ardoyne.
 As, a large force of Riot-Clad Peelers, Water-Cannons, serious
 provocation and Plastic Bullets are still used to force unwelcome
 parades through Greater Ardoyne.

 Like most Ardoyne residents, I'd love to see an end to triumphalist
 marches through the area by Loyalist Flute Bands and sectarian
 organisations like the Orange Order, Black Perceptory and Apprentice
 Boys. Organisations which exist to re-enforce the second-class
 citizenship of the Catholic/Nationalist and Republican communities in
 the British Occupied Six County State. I don't wish to ban these parades
 or organisations in anyway, but strongly believe that their marches
 should be re-routed and confined to Protestant/Unionist and Loyalist
 areas, where they are welcome. Even though, I don't agree with their
 politics Loyalist Flute Bands and the Loyal Orders have a right to exist
 and to mobilise in support and celebration of their rich culture and
 heritage. As such, they should be allowed to express it in a positive
 manner. However, marching in areas where it creates problems, negativity
 and of course violence is certainly NOT positive.

 DEMOGRAPHICS

 As with most areas, North Belfast has experienced huge changes in
 demographics which have seen Protestant/Unionist and Loyalist residents,
 as well as Catholic/Nationalist and Republicans moving from one area to
 another. Mostly due to the number of killings, attempted shootings and
 forced evacuation of countless families that occurred throughout the
 Conflict. No one community has been untouched by these changes and they
 have caused massive territorial, social and economic problems for all
 concerned.

 It seems the Protestant/Unionist/Loyalist community and the Loyal Orders
 fail to recognise these population changes. A failure to deal with this
 particular issue by the above people have left a dearth of
 responsibility, when applying for regular parades. If the Bands and
 Orders took into account the change in demographics around Ardoyne and
 the wishes of local Catholic/Nationalist and Republican residents. They
 would re-examine these marches in the interests of everyone.

 Most residents who now live on the Crumlin Road and the Streets around
 it between Abbeydale and Mountainview are from the Catholic/Nationalist
 and Republican community. For the last ten years and more, these
 residents have expressed the opinion that they don't want to have an
 Anti-Catholic /Nationalist and Republican march through their area.
 There have been a number of small and large peaceful demonstrations with
 Pickets, White-Line Pickets, Sit-Down Protests and Counter-Marches to
 show our opposition.

 VIOLENCE

 During one march up the Crumlin Road in the early Seventies, a group of
 Loyalists attacked Ardoyne homes. The attack resulted in a bad riot that
 seen three Unionists shot-dead by the Provisional IRA. Loyalists
 returned fire and a number of local residents were injured. That
 particular part of the Crumlin Road was from then on ruled out of bounds
 for Orangemen. The killing of three Unionists was an extreme action that
 left a number of families from the Protestant community devastated and
 should never have happened. Although, it must be taken in the context of
 the early-days of what is commonly referred to as, 'The Troubles'.
 Thankfully, those terrible days are now behind us but it proves just how
 volatile these marches can become.

 Sadly, whenever a Loyal Order march is permitted to march along the
 Upper part of the Crumlin Road. Scores of young people congregate close
 by hoping to create, witness and engage in rioting with Loyalists and
 the Riot-Clad RUC/PSNI Personnel protecting the marchers. The riots are
 wrong for a number of reasons, not least they take the focus away from
 the unwelcome parades but they portray young people from Ardoyne as
 sectarian thugs who only want to cause trouble. For the majority of
 local Teenagers are sound kids, who positively contribute to family and
 community life.

 Community, Political and Youth Leaders from Ardoyne have tried to
 arrange Sporting and Community events away from the Upper Crumlin Road
 every Twelfth to ensure that young people attend them and not become
 involved in the riots that follow these parades. However, their efforts
 are not helped by the continued insistence of Loyalist Bands and the
 Loyal Orders to march where they are clearly not welcome. An associated
 issue is that too many young people have already become involved in
 riots in the past and have been through the Courts and Prison system.
 Hopefully this year, there will be no rioting and Ardoyne and
 surrounding areas can return to normal and not have to experience all
 the suffering and sectarianism that comes with the Twelfth.

 AN ALTERNATIVE WAY

 What is a feasible alternative to Loyal Orders using the Upper Crumlin
 Road for six marches every year? Seemingly there is no other route in
 which Bandsmen and Unionists can walk to their regular demonstrations.
 Therefore, the Protestant/Unionist and Loyalist community in North
 Belfast insist on parading through the Greater Ardoyne area.

 I cannot imagine that those marching along the Crumlin Road like to be
 surrounded by dozens of Armoured Land-Rovers, Helicopters, Hundreds of
 Riot-Clad RUC/PSNI members and also experiencing hostile protests from
 Ardoyne residents. I'm sure they would much prefer, a more peaceful,
 welcoming enviroment where they can enjoy and celebrate their culture
 and heritage. For much of the past century, Nationalists and Republicans
 march within their own areas and do not cause any concern or controversy
 to the Protestant/Unionst and Loyalist community.

 As an Irish Republican Activist and an Ardoyne resident, I've no desire
 to stop Unionists from expressing and/or practising their religious,
 cultural and political ideology. I'm not sectarian and don't have an
 issue with them having equality of treatment. Although, rather than
 march where it does cause increased tensions between the two
 communities, I'd much prefer if these marches took place in areas and
 with residents who do welcome them. Residents in Greater Ardoyne want
 Loyal Order marches to take place elsewhere.

 One realistic proposal for a solution does not involve banning,
 restricting Loyal Order marches or for that matter causing offence to
 the Greater Ardoyne community. Both communities could be enhanced by the
 proper development of the [alternative route proposed by GARC] into a
 Grade A thoroughfare. Everyone including, the Irish, British Governments
 and the Parades Commission are aware of the proposal. If adopted, the
 project could be financed by the billions of taxpayers money used in
 past and future Policing operations which facilitate sectarian marches
 through Ardoyne. If the project was adopted by local residents groups,
 the North/West Belfast Parades Forum and the Loyal Orders, it would
 greatly benefit the working class in both communities. The thoroughfare
 links two Loyalist/Unionist areas at Harmony Bridge, where the Loyal
 Orders could parade in excess of normal parading dates without any
 objections from the Catholic/Nationalist and Republican community.


----------------------------------------------------------------------


>>>>>> Analysis: Orange Order's sinister ploy hidden behind the charm


 By Breandan MacCionnaith (eirigi Runai Ginearalta)


 This week saw the latest charm offensive launched by the Orange Order.

 It remains to be seen if this latest PR mission will end up in a mess
 similar to the annual Orangefest and blue-bag display or even that which
 surrounded by Orange Order's plagiarism of a well-known cartoon
 character back in 2008 in a previous PR failure. The latter was quietly
 dropped by the Order, unlike their contentious parades.

 On Tuesday of this week, Drew Nelson, Grand Secretary of the Grand
 Orange Lodge of Ireland, addressed members of the 26-County Seanad in
 Dublin.

 As expected, Nelson's speech glossed over the inherent sectarian nature
 of the organisation and its role in fomenting sectarian violence,
 murder, intimidation and division or in advocating and implementing
 religious and political discrimination during the two centuries-old
 history of the Order.

 Anyone naive enough to have expected that Nelson was prepared to don the
 sackcloth and ashes would have been sorely disappointed.

 Nelson used the occasion to point the finger of blame for the Orange
 Order's woes at others, namely various British military and political
 figures who, at different times, "used" the Order. He conveniently
 forgot to mention the evidence which shows that the Order very actively
 lobbied those same military and political figures urging them to make
 "use" of those loyal subjects within the Order's ranks.

 Unsurprisingly, according to Nelson, contention over Orange parades was
 a dastardly plot thought up in the late 1980s by republicans to
 discredit the Order. Once again, Nelson chose to ignore demonstrable
 historical evidence, including several damning inquiries by his beloved
 Westminster parliament into the activities of the Orange Order.

 He also forgot to mention a legal case taken by former British NIO
 minister, Adam Ingram, against George Galloway in 2004. Ingram, a member
 of the Orange Order in his youth, had objected to a passage in
 Galloway's book, entitled I'm Not The Only One, which described the
 former Stormont minister as, in his youth, playing the flute in a
 "sectarian, anti-Catholic, Protestant-supremacist Orange Order band".

 But the Court of Session in Edinburgh rejected the motion for an
 injunction which would have halted publication of the book. A judge at
 the Court of Session ruled that the adjectives applied by Mr Galloway,
 such as "anti-Catholic" and "protestant-supremacist", were fair comment.

 Nelson also urged the Twenty-Six County state to consider re-joining the
 British Commonwealth - music, no doubt, to ears of some among his
 audience.

 And, of course, there was his appeal to have an Orange parade
 facilitated though Dublin city streets.

 This was the clever and sinister ploy hidden behind the smokescreen of
 charm.

 Nelson knows that were such a parade through a commercial part of Dublin
 city centre to be successfully held, then the Order would openly demand
 that Twenty-Six County politicians use their influence to neutralise
 opposition to sectarian parades in the Six Counties, much in the same
 way that the so-called "Derry model" was once used by some to try and
 facilitate Orange marches through other nationalist communities in
 Belfast, Portadown and elsewhere.

 A march though a commercial area of any city is not comparable to one
 which deliberately and provocatively goes through a working-class
 nationalist residential area while ignoring other less contentious and
 non-controversial alternative routes.

 It would be both foolhardy and wrong for anyone to suggest otherwise.

 But that is exactly the outcome the Order hopes will eventually emerge
 from their Dublin visit.

 Now that the Orange Order's voice has been heard within the Seanad, the
 onus is clearly on those who invited Drew Nelson and his colleagues to
 ensure those who are most affected by the Orange Order's annual
 "cultural expressions" also have their voices heard within those same
 confines.

 Nelson's audience in the Seanad may wish to consider comments, also made
 this week, by the Reverend Sally Foster-Fulton, convenor of the Church
 of Scotland's Church and Society Council. She had responded on Scottish
 Television to a public attack by the Orange Order upon that Church's
 decision to maintain a neutral stance on the forthcoming referendum
 there.

 Foster-Fulton stated: "The Orange Order has shown itself again and again
 to be out of date and out of time. The Church of Scotland is proud of
 what our faith has given and continues to give our nation. 21st Century
 Scotland is a multi-cultural nation where faith, faithfulness and belief
 takes many forms. By celebrating difference we show confidence in who we
 are. It is those who demand that their voice be heard above others who
 have lost the moral high ground.

 "Our concern in the referendum debate is to argue, whatever the outcome,
 for fairness in our economic system, support for the silenced and the
 dispossessed, care for creation, rehabilitation in our justice system
 and other core values of our faith. Our role in the referendum debate
 will be active and will be clear. We shall provide spaces where people
 of differing views can listen to each other in respect and in dignity.
 We shall support real dialogue between all the people who make up this
 nation as it is they, and not one institution or organisation, who shall
 determine our nation's future."

 That alternative view of the Orange Order is one which those within
 Leinster House would do well to promote rather than engage in PR
 makeovers for an organisation not only discredited in Ireland but in
 Scotland as well.





Ardoyne parades - a personal analysis

ardoynegraffiti.jpgBy Ardoyne Republican
Every July, young people from Ardoyne are criminalised and demonised by the mainstream media in the Six Counties and beyond because of violence associated with unwelcome sectarian marches that are forced through our small community.
Before, during and after the recent Conflict there has been a violent reaction to these parades, when the RUC, British Army and PSNI hem local residents into their homes with massive military-style Operations including, Curfews. Over the years, many local people have been badly injured with live, Rubber, Plastic Bullets and beatings etc. At the same time, many members of the Crown Forces have also been injured during these clashes.
SECTARIANISMSectarianism has been evident in Irish history, since the Plantation of Ulster. When thousands of Scottish and English Settlers where permitted to seize and populate Irish lands by a Decree of English Queen, Elizabeth I. Since then, there has been numerous Battles and Wars in Ireland. The Native population have been treated as second-class and their Laws, Religion, Politics and Culture banned. As a result, resistance to these injustices has been intermittent and mostly violent. The creation of ‘A Protestant State For A Protestant People’ in the Six Counties in 1921, caused Nationalists in the North a terrible legacy.
In recent years, the violence associated with parades in Ardoyne has diminished a lot. However, there is always that particular undercurrent and atmosphere present during the Orange Marching season. The promise by Nationalist Politicians and Church Leaders that the PSNI would no longer be Political like the RUC has not been witnessed by people in Ardoyne. As, a large force of Riot-Clad Peelers, Water-Cannons, serious provocation and Plastic Bullets are still used to force unwelcome parades through Greater Ardoyne.
Like most Ardoyne residents, I’d love to see an end to triumphalist marches through the area by Loyalist Flute Bands and sectarian organisations like the Orange Order, Black Perceptory and Apprentice Boys. Organisations which exist to re-enforce the second-class citizenship of the Catholic/Nationalist and Republican communities in the British Occupied Six County State. I don’t wish to ban these parades or organisations in anyway, but strongly believe that their marches should be re-routed and confined to Protestant/Unionist and Loyalist areas, where they are welcome. Even though, I don’t agree with their politics Loyalist Flute Bands and the Loyal Orders have a right to exist and to mobilise in support and celebration of their rich culture and heritage. As such, they should be allowed to express it in a positive manner. However, marching in areas where it creates problems, negativity and of course violence is certainly NOT positive.
DEMOGRAPHICSAs with most areas, North Belfast has experienced huge changes in demographics which have seen Protestant/Unionist and Loyalist residents, as well as Catholic/Nationalist and Republicans moving from one area to another. Mostly due to the number of killings, attempted shootings and forced evacuation of countless families that occurred throughout the Conflict. No one community has been untouched by these changes and they have caused massive territorial, social and economic problems for all concerned.
It seems the Protestant/Unionist/Loyalist community and the Loyal Orders fail to recognise these population changes. A failure to deal with this particular issue by the above people have left a dearth of responsibility, when applying for regular parades. If the Bands and Orders took into account the change in demographics around Ardoyne and the wishes of local Catholic/Nationalist and Republican residents. They would re-examine these marches in the interests of everyone.
Most residents who now live on the Crumlin Road and the Streets around it between Abbeydale and Mountainview are from the Catholic/Nationalist and Republican community. For the last ten years and more, these residents have expressed the opinion that they don’t want to have an Anti-Catholic /Nationalist and Republican march through their area. There have been a number of small and large peaceful demonstrations with Pickets, White-Line Pickets, Sit-Down Protests and Counter-Marches to show our opposition.
VIOLENCEDuring one march up the Crumlin Road in the early Seventies, a group of Loyalists attacked Ardoyne homes. The attack resulted in a bad riot that seen three Unionists shot-dead by the Provisional IRA. Loyalists returned fire and a number of local residents were injured. That particular part of the Crumlin Road was from then on ruled out of bounds for Orangemen. The killing of three Unionists was an extreme action that left a number of families from the Protestant community devastated and should never have happened. Although, it must be taken in the context of the early-days of what is commonly referred to as, ‘The Troubles’. Thankfully, those terrible days are now behind us but it proves just how volatile these marches can become.
Sadly, whenever a Loyal Order march is permitted to march along the Upper part of the Crumlin Road. Scores of young people congregate close by hoping to create, witness and engage in rioting with Loyalists and the Riot-Clad RUC/PSNI Personnel protecting the marchers. The riots are wrong for a number of reasons, not least they take the focus away from the unwelcome parades but they portray young people from Ardoyne as sectarian thugs who only want to cause trouble. For the majority of local Teenagers are sound kids, who positively contribute to family and community life.
Community, Political and Youth Leaders from Ardoyne have tried to arrange Sporting and Community events away from the Upper Crumlin Road every Twelfth to ensure that young people attend them and not become involved in the riots that follow these parades. However, their efforts are not helped by the continued insistence of Loyalist Bands and the Loyal Orders to march where they are clearly not welcome. An associated issue is that too many young people have already become involved in riots in the past and have been through the Courts and Prison system. Hopefully this year, there will be no rioting and Ardoyne and surrounding areas can return to normal and not have to experience all the suffering and sectarianism that comes with the Twelfth.
AN ALTERNATIVE WAYWhat is a feasible alternative to Loyal Orders using the Upper Crumlin Road for six marches every year? Seemingly there is no other route in which Bandsmen and Unionists can walk to their regular demonstrations. Therefore, the Protestant/Unionist and Loyalist community in North Belfast insist on parading through the Greater Ardoyne area.
I cannot imagine that those marching along the Crumlin Road like to be surrounded by dozens of Armoured Land-Rovers, Helicopters, Hundreds of Riot-Clad RUC/PSNI members and also experiencing hostile protests from Ardoyne residents. I’m sure they would much prefer, a more peaceful, welcoming enviroment where they can enjoy and celebrate their culture and heritage. For much of the past century, Nationalists and Republicans march within their own areas and do not cause any concern or controversy to the Protestant/Unionst and Loyalist community.
As an Irish Republican Activist and an Ardoyne resident, I’ve no desire to stop Unionists from expressing and/or practising their religious, cultural and political ideology. I’m not sectarian and don’t have an issue with them having equality of treatment. Although, rather than march where it does cause increased tensions between the two communities, I’d much prefer if these marches took place in areas and with residents who do welcome them. Residents in Greater Ardoyne want Loyal Order marches to take place elsewhere.
One realistic proposal for a solution does not involve banning, restricting Loyal Order marches or for that matter causing offence to the Greater Ardoyne community. Both communities could be enhanced by the proper development of the [alternative route proposed by GARC] into a Grade A thoroughfare. Everyone including, the Irish, British Governments and the Parades Commission are aware of the proposal. If adopted, the project could be financed by the billions of taxpayers money used in past and future Policing operations which facilitate sectarian marches through Ardoyne. If the project was adopted by local residents groups, the North/West Belfast Parades Forum and the Loyal Orders, it would greatly benefit the working class in both communities. The thoroughfare links two Loyalist/Unionist areas at Harmony Bridge, where the Loyal Orders could parade in excess of normal parading dates without any objections from the Catholic/Nationalist and Republican community.