Slugger O'Toole

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Loyalists seek to ratchet up sectarian ante as Unionist MLAs protest outside Long’s office 24 hrs after murder bid

Tue 11 December 2012, 10:27pm

As the loyalists protests continue to garner small numbers, it would appear that loyalists are resorting to the age old tactic of seeking to provoke conflict with their catholic neighbours in order to sustain the road blocking campaign. In Armagh last night, loyalists attacked a catholic-owned bar whilst a number of road blocking protests continue to be organised at interface areas across Belfast, including at the Broadway roundabout and Hesketh Road/ Crumlin Road junction in North Belfast, where loyalists erected new flags outside Mercy Primary school for girls (that’ll show them wee girls who’s boss!) A protest is planned for Carlisle Circus at 5pm on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the loyalist facebook page where the illegal road blocking protests are posted has stated tonight that unionist politicians led a protest outside Naomi Long’s constituency office just 24 hours after loyalists attempted to kill PSNI officers protecting the office.

From the site:

Right folks as im sure you can appreciate there was a lot of anger and a lot of back and forth arguing. The basic outcome was that the people no longer recognise the current representation and that its time they took some responsibility for the spiltting of votes. They were told unequivocally that the only acceptable outcome is the flag flying in its rightful place 365 days a year. It was also the

overwhelming feeling that we feel unrepresented and that we want a single joint voice in unionism. They agreed to take this back to their parties. Obviously politicians are about as trustworthy as mcdonalds with a cow. Which is why we demanded they, in a show of solidarity led us united im peaceful protest to the alliance office. Long enough Allowing news to get wind of it to report which means now they have to support all peaceful protests. Plus, the difference in police action was monumentally different. As soon as they realised polotical representitves were there they backed right off after orogionally sending a small army of police in. I hope others using the page were there and csn report on sny point i may have missed as I hope ypu csn u understand it was very difficult to take everything in whilst also trying to speak and put questions forth myself.
There will be another meeting at the same time next week as they come back to us!!
Amd I would say this to you. Anyone who disagrees with whats being said to politicians, turn up at the next one rather than just come on here and rant
As another result of the meeting monday has neen collected for mpre flags. And also talk of a mass raleigh into town. Hopefully this will be further explored next week. Last thing is the ladies doing an amazing job of protesting daily at the east belfast alliance office habe decided to keep it going everyday at 3.30. So please show your support and come along to support them. No Surrender!! NN

Interestingly, a number of commenters have used the site to complain about the poor turnouts:

Colin McCrory
Needing support & numbers for blocking Hillview / crumlin rd. where is everyone?

not a great turnout for ballysillan but we did what we set out to do for an hour

Joanne Warren Disgusted at the poor attendance.strongly worded but true
And on the intimidatory practice of flag erection:
ennyleigh McKinley fair play to the lads who put them up on joanmount…got grief from residents and police and just carried on…well done

 

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Comments (38)

  1. Mick Fealty (profile) says:

    The worrying thing is that that bar was well into a traditional Republican area of the city. Someone is working at trying escalate this thing. Also had an unconfirmed report that six protesters were hit by car that pushed through their lines.

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  2. To clarify (I hope) the Armagh incident.
    I got the impression from interview with William Irwin (DUP) Newry-Armagh…..TV interview tonight..that the driver of the car panicked and he (Irwin) had spoken to the driver and his family.
    So I dont think that it was deliberate.

    But it does beg the question of what to do when you see an illegal roadblock. Presumably it depends on how hostile they appear to be. And whether or not you are in the “wrong” place.

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  3. Mick Fealty (profile) says:

    Quite Fitzy. These guys are testing the line and the nerve of all concerned.

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  4. Chris Donnelly (profile) says:

    And on those unionist MLAs who thought it appropriate to lead a loyalist protest to Naomi Long’s office one day after loyalists attempted to kill PSNI officers there?

    That suggests, once again, that political unionism can’t bring itself to ‘lead’ but rather ‘follow’ the loudest, angriest and narrowest amongst their tribe…..

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  5. John Ó Néill (profile) says:

    Cameron is to make a statement on de Silva’s Finucane report tomorrow, which will further add to the atmosphere.

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  6. Billy Pilgrim (profile) says:

    Mick

    ‘The worrying thing is that that bar was well into a traditional Republican area of the city.’

    Not so. The bar is on Thomas Street, which is one of the main shopping streets in the city centre. It’s not in a ‘traditional republican area.’ There’s a dozen Protestant-owned businesses within yards of the place.

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  7. Sp12 (profile) says:

    The incident just off Sandy Row last summer, the driver was in the ‘right’ place (to the best of my knowledge) but panicked all the same.
    The footage of the van driver just off Shaftsbury Sq a few days ago reinforces the point. If you’re driving along on what on the surface is a ‘regular city’ in Western Europe and you find yourself surrounded by angry youths with their faces masked banging on your windows, panic is a perfectly natural reaction.

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  8. Robinson was crowing just a few short weeks ago that unionism was triumphant and nationalism was in crisis. Does he have anything useful to say now, having had his party start this shameful behaviour? Which “side” is in crisis?

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  9. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SqvGIhWu1aE&feature=youtube_gdata_player

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  10. ayeYerMa (profile) says:

    You know rightly that protests are going to continue for months outside every Alliance office in Northern Ireland. Every post of Donnelly-brand aggression will encourage people to protest even more, but of course that is what Donnelly wants.

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  11. Sp12 (profile) says:

    “Every post of Donnelly-brand aggression will encourage people to protest even more, but of course that is what Donnelly wants.”

    Oh ffs, loyalism needs to man up and take some responsibility for it’s own actions, instead of blaming everyone else when it goes mental for the nth time.

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  12. derrydave (profile) says:

    Driving home when confronted with a loyalist union-flag infested roadblock – what to do ? I know i wouldn’t be for stopping – must have been a very scary situation for a 17 year-old to land himself in, and underlines exactly why the PSNI should be all over this shit before someone is killed or seriously hurt.
    Ayeyerma – wise up will ye – as if people are deciding to go out and protest due to Chris’s musings on Slugger ?! Do you even read your scribblings before you post them ??

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  13. David Crookes (profile) says:

    Thanks a lot for your posting, Chris. When people say that they ‘no longer recognise the current representation’, democracy is in danger. There is no point in trying to palliate hate-filled breakers of the law. If democracy is to survive, the thugs who have terrorized us all for the last week must be crushed. The only thing that thugs respect is force.

    What should happen to elected persons who act at the behest of unelected persons? They should never be elected again.

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  14. Kevsterino (profile) says:

    aYM, I didn’t realize Mssr Donnelly had such powers of mind control, or that such power was available to a poster on a discussion board.

    It is Chris Donnelly’s aggression that causes people to act like mad freaks and that is what he wants. If only he would not point out that these mad freaks are acting like mad freaks, they would cease and desist their mad freakishness.

    That’s freaky.

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  15. ayeYerMa (profile) says:

    sp12, I think you’ll find that there have been plenty of calls for peaceful actions across the loyalist board. Republican games laying them on too are going to have the opposite effect.

    It seems that you all seem to have the same tyrant-like disrespect for freedom to protest as David Ford (who I don’t see “manning up” and admitting Alliance were stupid). The more you try to suggest and bully people shouldn’t be protesting (as the Republican Alliance are doing), the more likely you are dissuading those more likely to be peaceful not to protest, and drive more into more aggressive forms of protest as they feel they are being left with no other choice.

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  16. ayeYerMa (profile) says:

    If Chris Donnelly doesn’t think he has any form of influence whatsoever, then why is he posting? You can substitute Chris Donnelly for any Provo drone speaking in the media as the cult seems to speak from the same hymn-sheet.

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  17. Sp12 (profile) says:

    I hate to be the one to break this to you AYM (actually I don’t) but smashing up a young family’s home or trying to burn a woman alive in a police car isn’t ‘protesting’, and there isn’t a sane person alive that thinks pointing that fact out is being tyrannical.

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  18. tacapall (profile) says:

    “They were told unequivocally that the only acceptable outcome is the flag flying in its rightful place 365 days a year. It was also the
    overwhelming feeling that we feel unrepresented and that we want a single joint voice in unionism. They agreed to take this back to their parties.”

    In other words “We want a re-run at Belfast City hall and Alliance politicians better do as they are told or else ! And we all, loyalists and Unionists speak from the one mouth on this.

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  19. Comrade Stalin (profile) says:

    Of course they “don’t recognize the current representation”. Is anyone surprised that they don’t recognize the people elected to represent unionism, never mind anyone else ?

    ayeYerMa, I don’t know .. . weren’t you the guy saying the leaflets the DUP distributed were nothing to do with the protests ? Now you are saying that a republican posting on an internet blog is responsible for stirring up dissent ? I mean can you get your story straight on a single opinion you contribute here ? Are you some sort of advanced artificial intelligence program designed to determine the limits of the Turing test ?

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  20. … the same hymn-sheet…

    Whereas “loyalists” have an ecumenical hymn book.

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  21. ayeYerMa (profile) says:

    Yes Sp12, and those actions have also been condemned by many protesters. Your problem is that you are grouping all protesters together as one homogeneous group, when a very large mass of people from many backgrounds have been deeply angered by the endless appeasement and have every right to express their discontent.

    Telling people not to protest is not going to make the situation any better.

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  22. Yellowford (profile) says:

    ayeYerMa. Are you for real? I’d like to know what your idea of a shared future is. Did you endorse the GFA or the St. Andrews Agreement? Do you agree will Nesbitt et al and feel that your Britishness is being eroded? In this new era of ‘Our time, our place’, where does Irishness fit in and how would you like it to be represented?

    British emblems are everywhere you look in NI. Irish emblems are not. I find it insane that unionists feel they are getting hard done by.
    Can you imagine if republicans came down and burned the union flag outside city hall? Can you imagine the PUL outrage and backlash?

    What was lying behind the ‘shared future’ rhetoric has been exposed for all to see.
    Gone are the days of PUL domination. It’s time to share. I personally hold the unionist politicians very much responsible. Since 1998, it’ been their job to explain to the PUL community that the days of the unionist dominated state are over. I feel they have let their people down and on this fundamental duty.

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  23. SK (profile) says:

    AyeYerMa,

    There is no point in appealing to your sense of fairness by pointing out that nationalists call Belfast home too, and are entitled to feel like the cities symbols include them too.

    There is no point in appealing to your sense of civic duty, by pointing out that the riots hurt everyone in that town, your own community included.

    So all that is left to say is that you’ve lost. Happy Christmas.

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  24. ayeYerMa (profile) says:

    Comrade Stalin,

    Leaflets from a Unionist party saying what virtually all would already have already been thinking, after such a provocative kick-in-the-teeth decision after an already very long line of appeasement, are not going to have made much difference. If you think otherwise it only shows how completely out-of-touch Alliance are.

    The difference here is in the fact when we are discussing the Provos and their supporters, we aren’t discussing just some normal political party. We are discussing those who directly got to where they are through the bomb and the gun, and the very direct enemies of Northern Ireland gloating away and preaching in a manner of sickening hypocrisy.

    We are also now talking about the likes of Ford shaking his head at something considered such a fundamental right as freedom of speech and protest.

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  25. ayeYerMa (profile) says:

    Comrade Stalin,

    Leaflets from a Unionist party saying what virtually all would already have already been thinking, after such a provocative kick-in-the-teeth decision after an already very long line of appeasement, are not going to have made much difference. If you think otherwise it only shows how completely out-of-touch Alliance are.

    The difference here is in the fact when we are discussing the Provos and their supporters, we aren’t discussing just some normal political party. We are discussing those who directly got to where they are through the bomb and the gun, and the very direct enemies of Northern Ireland gloating away and preaching in a manner of sickening hypocrisy.

    We are also now talking about the likes of Ford shaking his head at something considered such a fundamental right as freedom of speech and protest. That is new fuel to the fire.

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  26. Kevsterino (profile) says:

    The rights of speech and protest do not extend to incendiaries in police cars and paint bombs thrown into homes of young families.

    There are important responsibilities that come with freely speaking and protesting. One of them is that my rights stop at your nose. When protesters deny the right of others to their safety, their right to protest must be curtailed accordingly.

    Basic stuff.

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  27. ayeYerMa (profile) says:

    Yellow ford,

    I’m not one to be regurgitating this meaningless undefined “shared future” phrase, but the only pragmatic future for harmony and stability is both Catholic and Protestant living together under the framework of the United Kingdom. Trying to hide British emblems is counter-productive to that from happening, as is obvious from recent events (of course Republicans don’t want this to happen).

    I find it a laugh that you try to claim Irish Emblems are not present. There are harps, shamrocks, red hands, Cetlic crosses etc. etc. galore within the current British set-up. Remember that an Irish identity is already a critical component of a British identity, not something separate as many Appeasement Process academics and media obsessives like to keep presenting. Your problem is that you don’t want Irish symbolism, rather you want Irish Nationalist and Irish Republican symbolism such as the Republican tricolour — not the same thing at all, and not compatible with any version of a “shared future” to me until you win a border poll with sizeable majority.

    “the days of the unionist dominated state are over”. The fact that we live in the Union, and that the Union is the only endorsed and realistic constitutional framework for our future, makes that comment rather contradictory. As I said on another thread, you can’t reduce sectarianism without the constitutional stability.

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  28. Pete Baker (profile) says:

    David Crookes

    “What should happen to elected persons who act at the behest of unelected persons? They should never be elected again.”

    If only…

    Of course, too many people think that is precisely the point of representative democracy.

    Particularly those representatives looking over their shoulders… at either their electorate, or their party polit-buro.

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  29. NOT NOW JOHN (profile) says:

    A brief glance at the ‘loyalist facebook page’ reveals a rather uncomfortable mix of the uneducated, the ignorant, the intolerant and the downright sectarian. If the overwhelming feeling really is that ‘we feel unrepresented’ then perhaps it is worth considering that the reason they are (and will likely remain) unrepresented is that (a) few elected representatives would ever risk publicly representing their Neanderthal brand of unionism and (b) few aspiring representatives running on such a ticket would ever get elected.

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  30. Kevsterino (profile) says:

    The “we feel unrepresented” bit I thought was perhaps reassuring to Northern Irish people who don’t wish to have mad freakishness in the government.

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  31. Lionel Hutz (profile) says:

    Thanks Ayeyerma,

    Ladies and Gentlemen we have our solution. Let’s get all the Shinners out to Belfast with megaphones to call on and encourage Loyalists to protest at Alliance offices. Get Gerry Adams to come up to egg on Loyalists to petrol bomb another unmarked policecar.
    And then just sit back and Billy Hutchinson’s head explode.

    Keep it a secret lads, don’t tell Billy Hutchinson. No wait, Ayeyerma, are YOU Billy Hutchinson.

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  32. Lionel Hutz (profile) says:

    Thanks Ayeyerma,

    Ladies and Gentlemen we have our solution. Let’s get all the Shinners out to Belfast with megaphones to call on and encourage Loyalists to protest at Alliance offices. Get Gerry Adams to come up to egg on Loyalists to petrol bomb another unmarked policecar.
    And then just sit back and watch Billy Hutchinson’s head explode.

    Keep it a secret lads, don’t tell Billy Hutchinson.

    No wait, Ayeyerma, are YOU Billy Hutchinson.

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  33. Mick Fealty (profile) says:

    Chris,

    For the record and the sake of accuracy: there were no MLAs outside the Alliance office. UTV (http://goo.gl/wNBrZ):

    “The group marched to the office following a meeting nearby where east Belfast DUP MLA Sammy Douglas and UUP MLA Michael Copeland were in attendance.”

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  34. Decspur (profile) says:

    Correct me if I am wrong but didn’t the census today reveal a catholic majority in Belfast today? Why is a minority trying to impose its flag on the majority?
    I live in London and there would be no one here cares weather the flag flies in Belfast or not. In fact although the rioting makes the news everyone just thinks its those mad foreigners playing up again. Why are loyalists so desperate to be british when the real Brits don’t even see them as British, that’s us of course except for the fascist groupings looking for easy support.

    Maybe a true compromise would be the Tricolour and union flag flying side by side, showing a true reflection of the population of the region. Could loyalist live with that? Nationalist have had to live with the union flag for 90 years or more.

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  35. Chris Donnelly (profile) says:

    Mick
    I’m afraid you’re wrong.

    If you’d actually have looked at the video clip (just seconds in) linked to the story from the quote you’ve pasted above, Paul Clark says this:

    “An MLA for the DUP and the Ulster Unionist Party took part in the peaceful demonstration.”

    So, from both the loyalist eyewitness account linked above, and the UTV story, it is clear that (at least) two unionist elected representatives took part in the protest, outside Long’s office, just 24 hours after the murder attempt.

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  36. Chris Donnelly (profile) says:

    The UTV video clip also references the presence of two MLAs at the protest, and actually has a clip of MLA Copeland amongst the crowd.

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  37. Mick Fealty (profile) says:

    well, okay. I’ve pinged you on Twitter. will.pull it back..

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  38. Billy Pilgrim (profile) says:

    Decspur

    ‘Maybe a true compromise would be the Tricolour and union flag flying side by side…’

    I think it may be time to suggest this very thing. (Well, maybe best to wait till after the current spasms of cognitive dissonance subside.)

    But I’d suggest that nationalist representatives proposing a dual flag policy should also advocate the principle that, where both flags would fly side-by-side, they should continue to do so even in the event of a united Ireland.

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