PSNI ask protestors to allow GP through, don’t intervene when ‘permission’ denied

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The PSNI performance throughout the illegal and violent loyalist protests has come under much scrutiny. Whilst officers have been commended for braving numerous attempted murder bids and vicious assaults by loyalists, the service continues to come in for legitimate criticism for the unwillingness to remove illegal road blockers.

Friday night’s appalling incident, recorded by the BBC’s Kevin Sharkey, has now been compounded by the revelation that PSNI officers refused to remove illegal loyalist road blockers in Finaghy to enable a GP to attend to a cancer-suffering patient. The story, featuring in today’s Sunday Mirror (not online), reveals that PSNI officers ‘asked’ the protesters if the GP could pass but, upon being told the loyalists would not yield, refused to enforce the law.

These incidents come as the loyalist riot baton was passed back from East Antrim to East Belfast, where the PSNI statement issued last night clearly indicates a co-ordinated attempt on behalf of loyalists to ratchet up sectarian tensions and provoke sectarian violence had its intended effect as the umpteenth illegal loyalist parade along the Short Strand interface witnessed numerous homes being damaged in the catholic enclave as clashes broke out.

Getting harder and harder for some to avoid seeing and hearing the rampaging elephant eh…..

 

  • babyface finlayson

    Many of the protesters seem to be saying the PSNI directed them past the Short Strand which contradicts the police statement here.
    Presumably there is footage somewhere showing what happened at Queen’s Bridge?

  • keano10

    Seems to be much more intense pressure being brought to bear on The DUP and UUP by business owners and shopkeepers within the Unionist community. They have clearly had enough of this and it has reached crisis point for many of them.

    It’s reaching crunch time for Robinson and Nesbitt. If this continues for even another week, they may have to decide to cast the protestors adrift if they fail to compromise in any way.

    Big decisions are looming…

  • USA

    They attacked Belfast City Hall, they attacked the Alliance party, they attacked the PSNI, it was only matter of time before these BNP / EDL / Loyalist thugs started attacking Catholics.

    The road blocks and marches are illegal. PSNI should act accordingly. This whole situation was contrived by the DUP + followed by the UUP for political gain in East Belfast. It has devolved into violence and sectarianism, they are a disgrace.

    Claiming loyalist areas suffer disproportionately in areas of unemployment, crime, education is simply wrong. Over the last 7 years the NI Statistical office data shows the opposite. In fact, if memory serves me correctly, 8 out of 10 of the most socially and economically deprived areas in Belfast are in fact “Catholic” areas.

    They blame the Alliance, they blame Sinn Fein, they blame the PSNI, they blame the media….I guess now it’s the Short Strands turn? Pathetic. I would like to say what I think of Robinson and Nesbitt in all of this, but I have such a low opinion of them it might get me a red card from Mick. Enough said.

  • David Crookes

    From subplebeian to subhuman. The unBritish ‘union’ in which these people believe is dying from its own hateful absurdity.

    Nellie the Elephant wrecked her town, and said goodbye to the union.

  • SK

    Scum. Pure and simple.

    Scum.

  • USA

    BTW, it’s not about the chipping away of “Loyalist Culture” either. Burning the Irish flag, dancing outside Catholic churches, and getting drunk at bonfires is not culture, it’s anti-social behavior.

    The naked sectarianism of these thugs has no place in the new dispensation. The DUP and UUP failed to explain the GFA to the loyalists, having said that I remain to be convinced that the DUP and UUP even understand what they are now part of.

  • tacapall

    As always British controlled forces of law and order facilitate loyalism in breaking the law. I understand Sinn Fein’s position regarding the policing boards but like many nationalists believe the time is now upon them to pull out and demand that law and order is restored on the streets. If a new and just society is to be built then the cosy relationship between the revamped RUC and loyalist paramilitaries must be ended for good. No-one from the nationalist community is foolish or stupid enough to believe if the shoe was on the other foot and it was nationalists who were causing the daily violence and illegal road blocking that the PSNI would be as facilitating or as placid in their approach to enforcing the law. The unbelievable silence from unionist politicians like Jim Allister and Gregory Campbell or Jeffery Donaldson is a far cry from the outrage the same people would fill the airwaves with if it was nationalists blocking the route to Orange Order parades.

  • northbelfastview

    Seen a clip of the alleged incident on Friday night at Whiteabbey hospital, and it contradicts what Chris Donnelly put up here “the moment when a pensioner on his way to hospital to visit his terminally ill wife confronted loyalist protesters blocking his path”.

    The description of the incident above by Chris Donnelly is by no means what happened in the clip or in the bbc reports. Maybe that is why the local bbc news last night, said they were not going to show the incident just play the audio. All I can say is the video clip puts a complete new perspective on the alleged incident and is not anywhere near Chris Donnelly’s statement or description above.

    In fact the eye witness accounts I posted on here are the facts of the account, certainly not what Chris put up here or in the bbc report. Fact he was not stopped, and no one was “blocked his path”.

    But why let the facts get in the way of some republican propaganda.

    The guy was on foot and on the footpath at the junction of the Station/Dough road, walking away from the hospital entrance. He then started to shout at the protesters. At this point they had their backs to him in the middle of the roundabout some meters away. It was not until he started shouting at them did they turn around and interact with him. I doubt very much if the protesters knew where he was going to or coming from? And he went on his way unhindered and unharmed.

    The bbc must be working out of Connolly house again???

  • galloglaigh

    Before reading the comments, a thought came to me. Why is there no dye in the water cannon? Surely that would be a step forward? Common sense and the PSNI seems to be an oxymoron.

  • David Crookes

    Yes, tacapall, the silence from those politicians is indeed unbelievable.

  • tacapall

    “Why is there no dye in the water cannon? Surely that would be a step forward”

    Or what is that newly built MI5 headquarters in Hollywood really for other than to protect the and ensure the constitutional status quo. Its not as if they dont have agent provocateurs in loyalist paramilitaries and its very unlikely they dont already know who is directing the violence so really, who is pulling whos strings.

  • northbelfastview

    I here Adams and a shinner council of war are holding a meeting at the Short Strand. The same Short Strand area were the attacks on the protesters returning home were instigated from.

  • galloglaigh

    NBV

    Your twisting this story, but no one’s listening. Obviously the illegal protesters were between the guy (a real unionist) and the hospital entrance. You’ve stated that yourself. It’s obvious, that when the illegal protesters were blocking his path to the hospital, he shouted at them, and they turned around to face him. After some stick, he then turned back to get into his car. While the report doesn’t show his car, why would we believe people involved in terrorism and illegality, over others who witnessed this disgusting and illegal act?

    Explain to us why we should believe terrorists involved in illegality, over observers who were not.

    Your mope is in-line with this entire terrorist led mope-fest and flagellation. You’ll blame everybody but those who are involved in illegal terrorist activity.

    Catch yourself on!

  • redstar2011

    Tacapall you are 101% correct re the PSNI and SF

    I again ask any Shinners on here to explain to me why Republicans should support this force which patently has not changed when it comes to dealing with loyalists blocking roads

    Lets fast forward to Ardoyne later this year and will we see the Ardoyne residents being allowed to block orange parades whilst the Psni tell the loyalists, sorry you can’t go by?

    I reckon we will be in for more of the nauseating spectacle of Gerry Kelly standing shoulder to shoulder with his new Psni friends whilst they beat the protestors off the road as per every previous time.

  • tacapall

    northbelfastview yeah I nearly choked on my dinner watching the news when a loyalist community worker had the brass neck to complain about people throwing stones at the East Belfast flag protestors.

  • galloglaigh

    Adding to my comment regarding the PSNI not using dye in the water cannons, why have they not used taser guns? All these questions need to be put to them by Sinn Fein and the SDLP. But why are they failing us – the Nationalist community?

  • David Crookes

    Thanks, galloglaigh. In the mid-1960s I was shown an insurance claim on which someone had written, ‘I was reversed into by a stationary car.’

    The fact that people are choosing to dehumanize themselves has nothing to do with the exercise of a democratic right.

  • NOT NOW JOHN

    Redstar2011 – I am somewhat confused by your post. Is it your position that:

    a) the PSNI should remove protesters blocking roads using reasonable force if necessary and that you would support them in doing so: or

    b) the PSNI should not remove protesters blocking roads and that you would support them in not doing so.

  • NOT NOW JOHN

    galloglaigh

    For clarification – do you support the use of taser guns by the PSNI on protesters who engage in attacks on the police?

  • galloglaigh

    Tac

    The sectarian songs of being ‘up to their necks in Fenian blood’ etc., are regular drinking songs in East Belfast. Why should those Fenian bastards in the Strand be offended? And it’s wrong of them to attack sectarianism, when the PSNI can’t defend them. They should be grateful for sectarianism dressed up as Britishness, because we have the NHS blah blah blah…

    Loyalism; the gift that keeps on giving.

    MI5; the organisation who keeps on feeding them :)

  • Pia_Lugum

    “The DUP and UUP failed to explain the GFA to the loyalists, having said that I remain to be convinced that the DUP and UUP even understand what they are now part of.”

    USA – I think you have hit the nail squarely on the head on all counts. These parties were both very irresponsible at GFA time in that they both told the wrong stories to their supporters. Trimble’s people rushed it through against internal party advice while Paisley’s people sang hymns at Stormont’s gates!
    The lure of salaries, peerages and medals, not forgetting jobs for the family dynastys on the assembly gravy train was much stronger than principled and sensible (albeit slower) political progress. The simple fact that the canteen at Castle Buildings was closed on that particular Good Friday and that the unionist ‘Talks Team’ had nothing except an automatic coffee dispenser for nourishment (all day) should not be overlooked either!
    The St Andrew’s Agreement is still shrouded in mystery with various versions being bandied about. Many suspect that there too the so-called unionist politicians sold out for a pretty weak deal that they did not quite comprehend but which nevertheless secured their individual personal political futures.
    I still live in the hope that I am eventually proved wrong!

  • tacapall

    Chris being an ex party member could you explain to a fellow republican just what is the role MI5 plays from its base in Hollywood in the security of the six counties. Would you agree these protests and the ensuing violence is slowly being pushed in the direction of interface areas to entice nationalist youths into the violence. The charge of directing terrorism is surely still in place and the Chief Constable of the PSNI has publicly stated individual UVF members are directing the violence, just why are Sinn Fein standing back and allowing republicans to be arrested indefinitely without due process while loyalist paramilitaries can openly flout the law and attempt to bring this place back to a pre ceasefire situation.

  • David Crookes

    Thanks, Pia_Lugum. Yes, Trimble ‘rushed it through’. When he disobligingly managed to get elected again, he and his wife were jeered and jostled by an angry crowd.

    Now that angry crowd is represented at the highest levels of the NI Assembly.

  • galloglaigh

    David

    Loyalism has bought a pig in a poke; now they want their money back!

  • redstar2011

    Not now John

    Obviously a term you aren’t familiar with but. Equality and consistency of approach is what I request from Psni.

    Perhaps you can explain why Republicans are beat off the road at Ardoyne whilst at these road blocks the Psni actually facilitate and assist these nazis by allowing them to block the roads whilst they turn traffic back for them

    Get real

  • David Crookes

    Loyalism worries me, galloglaigh (take that from a man who was once a armbanded steward at an Ulster Loyalist Association rally!), mostly because of its equivocal attitude to the keeping of the law.

    It is quite ungovernable, because its only loyalty is to itself.

    When HM the Queen behaved decorously in Dublin, she was indecorously criticized for doing so on the TUV website.

    You may know the old story about a Belfast mother who went to see her son taking part in a BB parade. ‘Look at them,’ she said. ‘Two hundred boys marchin’, an’ all o’ them out o’ step except our wee Johnny!’

  • Hopping The Border

    NBV

    “Seen a clip of the alleged incident on Friday night at Whiteabbey hospital, and it contradicts what Chris Donnelly put up here”

    Perhaps you would be so kind as to post a link here then?

    I still have yet to hear your explanation for the audio though, was it a total fabrication?

    In 2009 when those pesky students in the Holyland were rioting the PSNI had no trouble introducing dogs and swinging batons. Why are these rioters (they aren’t protestors) not afforded the same courtesy?

    As far as I am aware at least one well known belfast business has stated it will be refusing rates payments for the duration of the protests, why don’t many others follow suit, until the roads are cleared?

    If the PSNI are afraid to knock heads, then economic necessity should force businessmen to knock the politicians’ heads together.

  • http://thoughts-in-exile.blogspot.com/ al

    Babyface this shows the protest losing structure when the police refused to let them back over the Queens Bridge.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GbMQ2CxeNHU&ytsession=0Tv_MOpuBZN9saZ6MQwLxwfDGGntLif2AOg0eCKl3BaBH8OCmeVDJ8Ml0rczGU2gww1XlxiobppxHq_VqkIilNOKPUgIidJ8IytP2Ti8-SHIxKFcqY-XkoghBlEXBKvKJ9FibHzBs2TxAhcbu8n6YmQ9C0DiSfOcg_tGGTb8jvkqrwoJe36-bRpMsQHUtP0jZkix12QKgJ4lYDWb2eWsYPDmrFfnVV7bwhKVwLnK0BEN4EcMj3dX2wvyP_IdMqTAkBplUoFOgq2la0NRCtymXDtdo529CD8jHmsZkV44zpA

    It also shows what the CNN reporter claims is the start of the disturbances at the Short Strand.

    Then again Gerry Adams claims the Short Strand residents were not wearing hoods and balaclavas and attacking police and Loyalists. I’m more inclined to take the word of an independent news reporter who was at the Short Strand yesterday than Gerry Adams TD.

  • forthman

    Like all nationalists I thought the protests were hilarious. The ‘no-surrender’ woman on you-tube etc…and an international light being shone on unionist stupidity with willie back in the saddle.

    Over the last few weeks my attitude has turned full circle. Watching the citizens of the short strand last night, having to exercise their fundamental human rights to protect their own homes and property against a lawless, hate-filled rabble, made my blood boil!

    Tacapall is totally correct. Where are those bastions of British civilization, Mr Campbell and Mr Allister? Their silence in the face of these displays of un-democratic thuggery is deafening. Come Gregory and Jim…lets hear what you have to say!

    Also the protestant churches must shoulder some of the blame. Their mealy-mouthed excuses for this is shameful.

    As is ‘pastor’ Madden on channel4 news last night, justifying this violence by comparing it to ‘the last thirty years, blah blah…violence worked for SF…blah blah’ crap. Now I don’t know what church if any he belongs to, but he most certainly does not understand, or chooses not to understand , the teachings of the bible. Christians tell us that the bible preaches love, but all he preaches is hate. He should be absolutely ashamed of himself.

  • Bishops Finger

    USA (profile) 13 January 2013 at 2:50 pm
    The DUP and UUP failed to explain the GFA to the loyalists, having said that I remain to be convinced that the DUP and UUP even understand what they are now part of.
    ==============

    They knew full well what it was about, but when it was put to their constituency by Blair that it was a vote for peace, who then could vote agin it without losing every vestige of credibility in the eyes of the civilized world?

  • forthman

    Just watched that you-tube footage. That little shit from the strand, should be arrested. As well as Nic Robertson for his total turning a story on its head and showing where his true loyalties lie!

  • BluesJazz

    Has the Sunday Mirror ‘story’ (not online) been independently verified?

    If the version posted by Chris Donnelly is correct, then some PSNI officers need strong disciplinary action taken against them.
    If it’s shown to be incorrect then the Sunday Mirror needs to be reported throughout the media as full of sh*t.

    I haven’t seen any other reporting of this incident, if it occurred, anywhere else.

  • BluesJazz

    Of course the GP could have been an MI5 operative conducting a low intensity false flag (no pun intended) black op.
    Gordon Kerr may have flown back from Bejing to conduct this and is being facilitated by senior ex RUC Special branch……cont p94 An Phoblact

  • NOT NOW JOHN

    redstar2011

    Steady there. Please don’t direct your frustrations at me. I merely asked you what your position was. Concluding from my question that I have an issue with equality and consistency of approach and telling me to ‘get real’ when I haven’t expressed any position on the matter indicates to me that you are responding a tad too emotionally. I have experienced similar with loyalist protest supporters who seem to be able to take offence even at the most inoffensive of comments. FWIW I am quite familiar with the term ‘equality and consistency of approach’.

    I am tending to find that many of the people who want the loyalist protesters beat off the roads are the same people who don’t want the republican protesters beat off the roads and that many of the people who think the PSNI should go lightly on the loyalist protesters are the same people who want a heavy handed approach to keeping the roads open for unwanted Orange Parades. The PSNI seem to be damned if they do and damned if they don’t. Of course some people are also careful not to respond at all lest the inconsistency of their position is exposed.

    Just to clarify – is it your position that you have no position on the blocking of roads so long as a consistent approach is taken? And consequently that you are quite content for the PSNI to ‘assist these nazis by allowing them to block the roads’ (your words) providing the same policy is adopted in relation to Republicans blocking roads in Ardoyne?

  • David Crookes

    Agree with a lot of that, forthman. If some new political movement begins to manifest itself in the loyalist areas of Belfast, I’d prefer to see clergy kept out of it, and I’m a part-time preacher.

    A few years ago, in a loyalist area of Belfast, young nurses from the Philippines were being spat at and having unspeakable matter pushed through their letter-boxes. When a local minister was invited to condemn these atrocities, he hummed and hawed and said that people were worried about losing their Britishness.

    Let me salute the many ministers who have worked selflessly to create harmony. The best ones tend to eschew any publicity for themselves.

    Many good ministers are realists. They know that quoting the Bible to rioters is as much use as Mrs Clinton saying her magic word UNACCEPTABLE.

    Nonetheless a press release should be agreed and put out by all the churches in East Belfast, to the effect that the conduct of the rioters is anti-Christian as well as anti-democratic and anti-British.

    You’re 100% right about the C & A high priests of rectitude. An unspecific ritual condemnation of ‘violence’ will fool no one. I smell weakness and fear. Thanks for your posting.

  • redstar2011

    Not now John

    You predictably dodged my point so I will ask you straight

    Is the Psni policy of standing alongside loyalist protestors and facilitating them blocking roads consistent with the approach they adopt with Republicans at Ardoyne?

  • SK

    Blues Jazz,

    It is not just the mirror reporting it.

    From the Irish Times:

    http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2013/0113/breaking4.html

  • carnmoney.guy

    Looks like a right balls up, two bridges to cross the Lagan, both roads running past Short Strand – block one way and hey presto the protestors go the other.
    That leaves them with no loyalist marshals going past the lightly policed end, few cops, no shinner marshals – trouble
    The wee hood from the Short Strand has used up his ma’s recycling for the week, but where did the loyalists get a railway sleeper from? Must say that’s a new one on me.

    Few words here on the bus, hijacked on the Doagh Road everyone put off, burnt out in Rathfern.

    Reading the Facebook page
    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Keep-the-Union-Flag-flying-over-Belfast-City-Hall/524171340927645?ref=stream

    The sectarian muck coming from people is a disgrace, from their own open Facebook accounts, full name, photos, where they work etc
    This place is mad

  • galloglaigh

    David

    While I’m no fan of the Catholic Church, I have to say that they come out strongly against republican violence. Nationalist elected representatives do likewise.

    On the other hand though unionist leaders, be they Church, political, terrorist, or community, show sever insecurity and immaturity.

    Why does unionism in Belfast allow their community to be lead like this?

    Basil McCrea has also been generally silent the last few days.

  • NOT NOW JOHN

    Redstar

    I have no difficulty whatsoever giving my position on that. My intent was not to dodge your question but to first seek clarification on the point I put to you first.

    I don’t beliive the PSNI position is consistent at all. Indeed I believe the PSNI (or whoever is determining PSNI policy) is storing up trouble for itself in the future and it is those on the front line who will have to reap the rather unpleasant harvest of the decisions of their political and operational masters.

    Of course it would be helpful of the leaders of both communities could be pressed on what their views are as to how the PSNI should deal with unlawful protests which involve the blocking of roads and thus impede citizens going about their lawful business …. irrespective of the political viewpoints of those engaged in the blocking of roads.

    I trust I have answered the question satisfactorily. Now is your opportunity to clarify your position

  • redstar2011

    As someone who is anti violence I do not wish to see loyalists, police or Republicans injured

    Nor do I wish to see sectarian thugs stopping decent people go about their business nor sectarian marches go where they are not wanted.

    All I ask for is consistency and its abundantly clear from their actions dealing with loyalists blocking roads as compared to their tactics when Republicans have did the same, that this police force is not even handed whatsoever.

    I again address my remarks to any SF supporters- please explain to me the actions of your new ” acceptable” police force

  • babyface finlayson

    al
    Thanks for the link.
    It certainly appears that the protesters did not want to go the way they were being directed.
    Why do that unless they were looking for confrontation?

  • http://WindowsIDHotmail danielsmoran

    tapacall [2.57] I agree with these points entirely although sadly, I don’t find Campbell, Allister’s or Jeffrey’s silence as shocking at all, it’s exactly what I would expect from that trio. I think this last month could be hazardous to Robinson’s remaining as FM next time, as if demographics and apathy weren’t already a handicap for him. He is now a much reduced figure in politics here as he’s revealed too much of his attitude to the rule of law and who he sees as being exempt from it.

  • NOT NOW JOHN

    Redstar I don’t think that I really disagree with much of what you say. It seems your position is that you would be quite happy of protesters blocking roads both in East Belfast and in the Ardoyne were be removed by the PSNI using reasonable force if necessary irrespective of what the protest is about providing it is a consistent approach. I certainly don’t disagree with that.

    However I would point out that the PSNI is not Sinn Fein’s police force and they do not have operational control over it (as far as I am aware anyway). It is designed to be a police service for all of us here and therefore if it is operating in a manner which we believe is unfair or biased in favour of one community or the other we should indeed point this out. It is intersting to note that I witnessed some loyalist fleg protesters referring to the PSNI as Sinn Fein’s police force so perhaps you have more in common with the loyalist protesters than you think. I hope not.

  • Alias

    In the manner of a misfortunate American tourist navigating rural Irish back roads, Ulster has taken 45 years to arrive back at the same crossroads.

    The interesting difference being that, this time around, the ‘law and order’ voices are mainly heard from the other tribe.

  • David Crookes

    Thanks, galloglaigh. There is a sacral-state notion in Ulster Protestantism which goes back to the Scottish Covenanters. Put at its crudest, that notion is that they own the place.

    Here was the form thirty years ago — I don’t know if it still is. A Protestant graduate who has been brought up on tales of the ‘priest-ridden Free State’ applies for a teaching post, and is interviewed by a school board whose chairman is a CoI, Presbyterian, or Methodist minister.

    At the back of their minds some Presbyterian folk cherish the Calvinist ‘sacral state’, and in the depths of their being some CoI folk hold on to the oul regs of ascendancy.

    Many Protestant churches still hold Orange services, and employ clergymen who are members of the Orange Order. In my youth a few Protestant churches held annual Masonic services. I don’t know if any churches still do.

    Preotestantism, even evangelical Protestantism, has a lot of baggage. Don’t be embarrassed if I tell you a brief anecdote. Not all that long ago a girl from the RoI who had moved up here came to accept the Christian faith. What put her off for a good while was the idea that she would have to become a Protestant and a unionist as well!

  • redstar2011

    Not now John

    I ask my question directly to SF supporters because it was SF who lied to this community that this was a changed force who would no longer act in such a one sided fashion when it comes to such matters

    SF said categorically this was now an even handed police force that lit should be supported- so much for that as I have yet to see or hear of them removing one single roadblock even when some consist of a handful of teenagers.

    Compare that to them beating protestors off the road at Ardoyne in minutes

    When I add that to their asking these thugs permission for a doctor to pass an illegal blockade their performance has been shameful and I wait SF telling us this is still an even handed police force.

  • NOT NOW JOHN

    redstar- I am aware that Sinn Fein has previously been opposed to the police removing people from the roads forceably so perhaps they are being clever in not being too critical given that the chicken will come home to roost someday soon? What do you think? Do you think that Sinn Fein calling loudly and categorically for people blocking roads to be forceably removed by the PSNI would be a wise thing politically come July?

  • redstar2011

    But my point is come July when Republicans are forcibly removed where does that leave SFs claim this is an even handed police force that should be supported?

    Many of us knew they hadn’t changed at all when it comes to even handedness.

    I simply ask SF and their supporters is this the new police force you told us to support?

  • galloglaigh

    It’s more a question of stomach for the PSNI on the ground imho. While Willy et al. pronounces that the PSNI is full of fenians, the PSNI are led by unionist leaning senior officers on the ground, and elsewhere.

    Is that having any affect on police tactics?

  • redstar2011

    You are correct galloglaigh and this further underlines SFs lie that the leopard had changed its spots

    Lets face it this current violence is the Psnis first opportunity to show that they have changed and will be even handed.

    They have failed miserably.

    Over to you Shinners- do you still support them as an impartial force?

  • babyface finlayson

    galloglaigh
    That is just your interpretation of events. It may be that rightly or wrongly, the PSNI are taking the approach they feel will minimise risk to the public and to themselves.
    Do you have any actual evidence of the unionist leanings of senior officers on the ground? Name names.

  • Johnny Boy

    Once the police start forcibly removing protesters, and I think it will happen eventually, it will more than likely herald a further deterioration of the situation. Also, it essentially makes every one of the many protests a violent confrontation, now the police have scores of riots on their hands rather than one or two. So I’m not surprised they are trying to manage them up to now.

  • galloglaigh

    Couldn’t agree with you more redstar.

    Were we also sold a pup? I think for the shinners though, it’s more about the Policing Board, and holding them to account, rather than giving them support, they are giving a critical analysis on them. But does that work? When was the last meeting in East Belfast for example?

    From a personal point of view though, it is important for us to stay below the radar. We need to support the policing structures, and the law, while at the same time hold the police to account ourselves. If our elected representatives don’t do an adequate job, then it’s up to us as citizens to keep a watchful eye, and take action where necessary. I’ve taken a sergeant to the Ombudsman. And it was very satisfying as a citizen.

  • galloglaigh

    babyface

    Ask your neighbour’s dog – I’m sure he knows the craic!

  • galloglaigh

    Good point Johnny.

    A dozen orchestrated riots could bring the East to a standstill. Last week’s attempt was thuggery organised by thugs. That’s why they largely failed.

  • babyface finlayson

    galloglaigh
    “Ask your neighbour’s dog – I’m sure he knows the craic!”
    Thanks for the considered reply.
    I can only assume you have no proof to back up your claims.

  • DC

    Here is one to be chased up as well by the PSNI:

    http://i46.tinypic.com/4pwcoo.jpg

  • FranklynDenaloMonkey

    I read every word that people had taken the time to contribute.

    The more I think about it the more I believe that THIS is the moment.

    There had to be a tipping-point in the change in the balance of power in Northern Ireland.

    I think it happened and we all missed it in the 40 days of violence.

    There had to be a point in time when the PUL community realised the game was up. Over nearly one hundred years of the state, where at the start they had the trump hand, which with time turned to a bluff, which has now ultimately been called.

    I am sure it is painful for many and we see the outpourings of that on the streets. More painful than necessary perhaps because big-house Unionism didn’t condescend to tell their electorate that change was imminent and inevitable.

    I think at this time nationalists should be introvert and reflective. Questions like how do we include these people in our collective future should be at the front of our minds.

    Is the police response less than it should be? Yes it is. However maybe somebody with a bit of wit within the police is saying “lets let this wake pass in comparative quiet and let the dead be buried”.

  • galloglaigh

    Of course I can’t, but we all know it’s true. If you want proof, compare and contrast these events to those last Summer.

    Maybe even recall the apology given by senior PSNI to loyalist terrorists, after some presumed fenian officers took union flags down from outside a Catholic church.

    The and buns time soon!

  • mr x

    @galloglaigh

    Who was it killed the PSNI rugby player, the Catholic? Not a Protestant from East Belfast, that we do know.

  • galloglaigh

    mr x

    The same sort of asshole from East Belfast who tried to burn a police woman to death in a petrol bomb attack.

    You’ll have to try harder than that!

  • Neil

    Well I think I know what would have happened had these riots occurred in a Nationalist area. 6 AEPS? LMFAO. Nope, not in Ardoyne folks, more like 60.

    And when you compare the outcomes of the two ‘protests’ (read riots) it’s all the more ridiculous. The gleeful violence meted out by the PSNI in Ardoyne had the net result of ensuring the Orangemen got to traverse a small section of road. The PSNI’s failure to do the same in East Belfast has cost the city business, jobs and well over 20 million pounds.

    It’ll be a long time before I ever give the Shinners my vote again. People before Profit all the way from now one.

  • FranklynDenaloMonkey

    Great post mr x.

    You must be the intellectual on the barricades.

    Remind me what was the name of first police officer killed in the troubles and who killed him?

    I read your post and a word and a phrase came to mind, they were a) tangential and b)what about (whataboutery).

    I know I did a bit of playing the man, rather than the ball AND torpedoed your point with a bit of the whataboutery there myself, for which in a Catholic way I will flagellate myself to a ridiculous level for. Mea culpa. I think Mick F. will probably sharpen the barbs of the whip for me.

    However how do you actually think your comment helps move the conversation forward?

    I am pregnant to know how not allowing a GP through a barricade to administer care actually moves the PUL case of “we-are-so-hard-done-by-those-nasty-republicans-get-everything-cant-even-put-up-the-flag-rangers-are-in-division-three-Cliftonville-are-going-to-win-the-league” forward?

    Pregnant I tell you.

    [to mods. terribly sorry for playing man and ball, and indulging in whataboutery. thats 10 ecumenical hail Marys tonight as pennance].

  • Neil

    Northbelfastview,

    you’ll be wanting to contact the Telegraph, It seems they too witnessed the elderly gentleman being abused by his countrymen and have related the story using language that strongly suggests they witnessed it themselves:

    “If your wife was dying, what would you be doing?” he shouted. “Protestants? You don’t own us. Take yourselves home – show a bit of respect for people.”
    They took no notice. Well, they laughed. “We’re not in the hospital,” one of them told him. Then the crowd started cheering. “Here we are, here we are, here we are,” they chanted.
    Not long afterwards, the bricks, the bottles and the petrol bombs started to come over, smashing on the paint-splotched Tarmac at our feet.

    Maybe all those people who denied it happened over on Facebook (many of whom doing so before they even knew where it happened at) may be lying. And remember commenting on FB is not the same as giving evidence to an inquiry.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/northernireland/9797970/Rising-middle-class-in-no-mans-land-as-battle-rages-for-the-soul-of-Belfast.html

  • MALCOLMX

    Redstar2011,

    There is no doubt that there is a clear difference in how loyalist protests have been handled by the PSNI recently and the protests at Ardoyne, which i have to add is mostly filled with anti-social and criminals elements who start the trouble so i have no sympathy for them, much like their counterparts in east belfast at the minute.

    From a Sinn Fein perspective, engaging with policing was not the end of the process but the begining. I have never once heard SF say that the PSNI are perfect or that they are impartial. So much needs done to policing here but the accountability mechanisms set up are a start alongside engagement on the ground but only a fool would believe that policing here would change overnight.

    Sinn Fein support good civic policing and will praise that when and where it happens and likewise will condemn impartial, political policing where it happens, thats the way it been happening and not always will it bring the desire results but when things get tough to deal with there is no point running away from policing.

    SF has stated clearly that the police have questions to answer over their handling of both the last 6 weeks of protests, the facilitation of illegal sectarian marches past the Short Strand and the attacks on the homes on Short Strand yesterday. Couldn’t be any clearer if you ask me.

  • redstar2011

    Malcolm whilst I do not agree with you I do appreciate your response. Thanks

  • MALCOLMX

    Redstar,

    Waht parts do you not agree with?

  • redstar2011

    I do not agree with your description of protestors at Ardoyne- short memories there

    I genuinely find it hard to take watching Mr Kelly side with British security forces against Republicans at protests there

    I also do not see how you can support a police force which is not impartial- period

  • FranklynDenaloMonkey

    @ redstar2011

    “I also do not see how you can support a police force which is not impartial- period”

    I don’t think anyone with a straight face can argue with you that the PSNI’s handling of the protests would have been the same if it was the CNR community on the streets.

    I agree with you that they would probably have hired some JCB’s and cleared them off the streets wholesale.

    I think at this point we would also be looking at some of the demonstrators being killed.

    I do however consider that raising the stakes in this street stand-off would have played into the hands of the protestors. I think the directing minds of the rioters actually wanted some martyrs to turn this from a revolultion “with a small R”, as Billy Hutchison keeps calling it, to a full-scale revolt.

    The police have not accommodated them and I think the UVF and Billy are scratching their heads about what to do to build this to the crescendo they want.

    The protests are fizziling out. More importantly Unionisms ability to “shut the country down” is now seemingly not working anymore AND more importantly is SHOWN not to work anymore.

    The police approach is predictable from a CNR perspective. However in this case it actually is the best course of action.

  • MALCOLMX

    Well having spent many years in Ardoyne at the protests i know for a fact that many of them are criminal and anti-social scum who spend the other 364 days of the year terrorising their own communities whether in ardoyne, andytown or the new lodge and thats a fact and because they decide to confront a sectarian orange march where it is not wanted 1 or 2 days per year does not absolve them of their involvment in crimes against their own communties.

    Its not about supporting the PSNI full stop and thats it, its about being involved in a process of change, which will take time, possibly a long time.

    What are you ideas on policing if you say you cannot support them – ‘period’.

    The days of Republicans standing outside looking in and hoping somebody will come along and make the change we want are long gone, Republicans are confident and determined to bring about the changes to this island, particularly in policing but do it in a constructive way and not to say ‘we arent playing with the police cause they arent playing fair’, thats just nonsense.

  • tacapall

    I really don’t think redstar is talking about rioters Malcolm the scenes of peaceful protestors being beaten off the road contrasts sharply with the approach they have taken these past 40 days.

  • MALCOLMX

    Tacapall,

    Maybe i took him up wrong so ok, i agreed that there definately is a difference even though i dont agree politically with many of those who stage the sit down protest in ardoyne the treatment they recieved compared to the treatment these illegal loyalist protests have recieved isnt right.

    However that aside and we could speculate about PSNI tactics, motivations and the various cricumstances and nuances that make up these two different types of protests, i would rather be involved in a process of change, abeit at times slow than to be standing outside, doing nothing and hoping things change.

  • redstar2011

    I will never support British security forces whilst they occupy here- remember when Shinners said the same?

    No point trying to dress the Psni
    up as there ostensively to bring old ladies across the road- Baggott boasts that they gather info for and work and in hand with Mi5 etc so let’s not pretend they’re anything but British security forces

    Of course we need a decent, accountable, even handed and non political police force- Psni do not fit that bill and I expect you know that. Lets be honest various enquiries have found they like their predecessor s are still in hoc with loyalist paramilitaries so how in gods name SF find them in any way acceptable is way beyond me

    I remember the- no return to stormont and disband the ruc demands which were not honoured- name change and places on the performing poodle police boards is hardly disbandment.

    Even on plastic bullets SF were soon told they had no control or input whatsoever re policing when Psni said they were keeping them and that was that

    Malcolm I am not an anti SF nutter- whilst never a member I was a gofer for them for years helping with election stuff etc and genuinely thought they would deliver.

    Changed times watching them stand literally shoulder to shoulder with British security chiefs castigating other republicans and falling over themselves to meet British royalty etc- that was never part of the script

    I like many friends no longer vote for them- indeed as you know whilst their percentage share has stayed up here in WBelfast the actual numbers have well dropped.

    For me and others they lost their way and that they are part if the establishment here it’s very changed times from national question to their actually conservative economy ideas- fight cuts south, accept cuts north, which in itself shows that stormont is a nonsense rubber stamp office for Westminster

    Could go on but I am sure you get the message that I am an ex and now very disillusioned ex Shinners.

    I do hope things pick up soon as one thing I do agree with is no more war

  • tacapall

    “However that aside and we could speculate about PSNI tactics, motivations and the various cricumstances and nuances that make up these two different types of protests, i would rather be involved in a process of change, abeit at times slow than to be standing outside, doing nothing and hoping things change.”

    I hear you brother, but the fundamental principle of any society is that the rule of law should apply equally to all citizens that is plainly not the case here.

  • BluesJazz

    “shows that stormont is a nonsense rubber stamp office for Westminster”

    And how long ago did you actually realise this?

    I don’t know anyone who didn’t realise it even 15 years ago.

    Just one bit of advice redstar, stay away from poker games.

  • MALCOLMX

    Redstar,

    There is a lot i dont agree with there however i respect your right to have your own take on things.

    Just because SF had a certain position in the past doesn’t mean it can’t change, take absentionism in the south so saying something in 1985 or 1990 i would expect SF to have developed on from there.

    Some of the stuff you raise i.e plastic bullets i agree on but its a process of change, some they will change and some not for a variety of reasons so once again for me not a good enough reason not to engage with them.

    Lots of stuff werent part of the script but by condemning criminals who sully the names of republicans or meeting a foreign head of state brings us closer to a united Ireland then so be it. I’m sure you would agree that to sit in the old ways of the 70′ or 80′s would get republicans no where so we have to develop and adapt to the political environment.

    All the things you raise just prove my point that this process of change isnt finished, its just starting and will take a long time and while not perfect they by far outweigh any alternative i have heard from anyone.

  • redstar2011

    Blues jazz don’t see the point of being insulting. I was only stating my views to Malcolm who asked for them

  • MALCOLMX

    Tacapall,

    Your right it should apply to everyone equally and these cases show it doesn’t, the challenge to republicans is to work towards making that the case no matter how long that takes.

  • redstar2011

    Fair play to you Malcolm, we won’t agree but I do appreciate you answering my points re SF.

    Ps A hero of mine was a local SF councillor who died young. He was a true socialist in his dealings with people and he and I remained mates but had our argy bargies when as he put it ” I left the flock” but know there are many like him in SF.

    I just don’t buy into their way forward

  • MALCOLMX

    Redstar,

    Listen respect to yourself with your views while i dont agree fully although i suspect we probably agree on more than disagree.

    Had we been loyalists we would have by this stage in our discussion set up various forums, left them and joined a political party.

  • redstar2011

    Lol

    Just one last quickie

    Do you think SF will back down – in a magnanimous- gesture-re the flag as is being suggested on another forum?

  • MALCOLMX

    Redstar,

    Not going to happen. I cant see anyway that it could be done after working on this for over 10 years and defending the right to the democratic decision taking place.

    I think Gerry Adams put it into context today while in the Short Strand – ‘Equality or Neutrality’ in relation to flags so i think that sums their policy up.

    Plus if they did that many of their supporters would be raging and it would suggest to everyone that the decision was wrong in the first place or that anti-democratic illegal BNP/EDL/NF/UVF protests were justifed and are a justified way of overturn a democratic decision

  • tacapall

    The rule of law will apply redstar even if they (the British) have to invent it, no-one is going to come out a winner at the end of this but all the evidence points to a backward step for republicanism.

  • NOT NOW JOHN

    “I just don’t buy into their way forward”

    redstar … what is YOUR proposal for a better way forward then? Or, like the loyalist protesters, do you simply not have one?

  • BluesJazz

    NI is ruled from Westminster.

    There is a placebo assembly at Stormont , which largely exists to pay off the native village elders. It has no other function. SF and the DUP know this.

    The trick is to pretend (in the tribal terrirories) that we’re not ruled by England. That the local alpha gorillas are in charge. This fantasy was given to us in the hope we would stop fighting and be less of an expense to our parents in Westminster.

    Let’s see how our parents at Westminster reward us next block grant. Hopefully a massive reduction to teach us to behave.
    it’ll hurt but that’s what we need.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Guys,

    It’s a bit of a tricky thing comparing the PSNI’s handling of these protests to those in Ardoyne. Ardoyne is one place, one day, and one riot. These loyalist protests are all over the place, it is not clear which of them will descend into riots and which will not, and above all the PSNI – in possibly their major failing – are afraid to get tough on the roadblocking while leading politicians are putting out statements saying they support legal protests.

    I am not sure I agree with the characterisation that the PSNI came down much harder in Ardoyne that it has done recently. Over the past couple of years in Ardoyne all I’ve seen is police sitting there with the water cannon and spraying stone-throwing youths. Are there any sources or reports illustrating that the police fired many baton rounds there ? (I know back on Garvaghy Road in the 90s the RUC fired thousands of such rounds at the nationalists but things have changed since then).

    I do agree that the tactics have to change and the roadblocks have to be removed. And I’d say a lot of frontline cops would tell you the same thing.

  • tacapall

    Well Comrade regarding Ardoyne obviously your talking about rioters while whats being talked about here is the forcible removal of peaceful protestors off the Crumlin road to allow the Orange Order and its followers like the UVF pass by.

  • Fitzy2012

    Complete double standards from the PSNI, I really dont understand how these “peaceful protestors,” can see ANY legitamacy in anything they are doing or hope to do. Its been right in our faces and their faces that they cant hope to achieve anything apart from wanton destruction and violence. They attack the very police force they’ve looked up to as heroes for so long, shows how little actual LOYALISM they show. Police need to start cracking down, too many examples of the trouble theyve caused over the past 4-6 weeks shows theres no talking to the majority of them, if most even know what they are protesting about I would be surprised.

  • derrydave

    I think over the past number of weeks we’ve heard pretty much every opinion out there from both the PUL and RN communities.
    One opinion we seem to be missing is the opinions of the average cop on the street – many people have alluded to how they think the cops are thinking, what they would like to do etc, but it’s all guessing games really. What would add to this blog massively would be the honest opinion of a PSNI officer, both on this issue and on the many other law and order issues which arise in this little dot on the map. Obviously this person would have to be anonymous, however it really would be fascinating to receive opinions and thoughts from within the PSNI – anybody out there got a relative who wouldn’t mind contributing anonymously ????????

  • David Crookes

    Having read over the thread, I’ve come to believe that historians will one day seize on what FDM said on 13 January as a lucid perception of new reality. Maybe FDM willl allow me to quote part of what he said.

    “The more I think about it the more I believe that THIS is the moment.

    “There had to be a tipping-point in the change in the balance of power in Northern Ireland.

    “I think it happened and we all missed it in the 40 days of violence.

    “There had to be a point in time when the PUL community realised the game was up. Over nearly one hundred years of the state, where at the start they had the trump hand, which with time turned to a bluff, which has now ultimately been called.

    “I am sure it is painful for many and we see the outpourings of that on the streets. More painful than necessary perhaps because big-house Unionism didn’t condescend to tell their electorate that change was imminent and inevitable.”

    One to print off and keep for reference…..