Slugger O'Toole

Conversation, politics and stray insights

Why does it flare up at Short Strand every time?

Tue 15 January 2013, 3:23pm

There was a heated exchange between, well, let’s just say Alex Maskey seemed to get heated up at the thought of what was, yet again, happening at Short Strand/Pitt Park interface last night. To the consternation of many he expressed the thought that if he lived in Short Strand he’d be throwing back some of the stones that came in too.

Short Strand

There are many interfaces around the city, but few have as torrid a time as this one over the years. And whatever the story of the day, by and large, it’s usually two way traffic. What’s common is the desparation in the voices of those whose homes are attacked over and over, year after year.

It’s still not a 100% clear what went wrong with the police operation, other than someone amongst the protesters had the bright idea that it would be great for people from other parts of the city to come east and show their solidarity. The PSNI having left the Albert Bridge open, the protesters streamed that way.

The result was a low level street fight that wound up with the inevitable broken windows.

Families at the lower end of the Albertbridge Road have lived with such instability for generations, although I’d venture a guess that the heavy landscaping and rebuilding programme in the 70s and 80s have taken a lot of the daily sting out of the full bore conflict.

Most of what goes on down there is low level, attritional and minor skirmishes amongst kids. What rather glibly gets called ‘recreational rioting’ at times of heightened media attention, has become an uncontested part of the cultural life of area, especially for those facing the roads or walls.

Perhaps it is that the area sits at a sort of bottleneck on several major arterial roads into the city centre. Tackling the problem perennially faced by local residents in the longer term, will take a great more than just tamping down enraged political tempers of flag protesters this time.

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Comments (99)

  1. redstar2011 (profile) says:

    I wish to god someone, anyone would tell me what this inequality in the loyalist community referred to by the Pup man is. Inequality in what????

    Anyone???

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  2. Ulick (profile) says:

    Why does it flare up? It’s a tiny nationalist enclave in a hostile environment and as such it’s an easy target. The fact that it’s on an arterial route is nothing more than convenience for the thugs who want to vent their venom every-time they go marching behind Orange banners or whatever excuse they have to go that direction. Maskey is spot-on. You and the media might want to portray this as a two-way thing but the simple fact is that community has been under siege for decades and although you might get the occasional misguided “retaliation”, logically it makes no sense for the mouse to be instigating attacks on the elephant.

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  3. carl marks (profile) says:

    redstar2011
    You’re not the only one that would like to know that.

    Mick in answer to your question the short strand is the nearest area that the beast from the east can bring his troops when he wants to attack a taig or two (standard loyalist response to any situation attack the taigs) of course if it suits your agenda blame it on Maskey forget about the mob attacking the short strand and forget the incompetence of the police in not holding them back.

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  4. 6crealist (profile) says:

    What redstar said.

    Let’s see some fact-based evidence to stand up these increasingly desperate claims of ‘inequality’.

    Put up or shut up.

    Better still, the people of ‘loyalist’ east Belfast could get off their arses and take Matthews’ boot off their collective neck.

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  5. carl marks (profile) says:

    So the PUP representative doesn’t deserve your wrath despite the fact that the group organising these riots is part of his organisation.
    Come on Mick you can do better than that, I know you have problems with SF (you’re not alone in that) but really this is the second thread having a go at the short strand and in a roundabout way trying to blame it on Nationalists, I would have thought the Mealy mouthed response from unionist politicians would be more worthy of your ire, perhaps something about Sammy’s blaming the whole thing on the elected councillors because they didn’t take the UVFs feelings into consideration might be more apt!

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  6. Mick Fealty (profile) says:

    I’m asking a question carl. If I’m giving Alex a break on the rhetorical basis that this community can and does need to defend itself periodically, I’m not getting hot and heavy on John Kyle either.

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  7. stewart1 (profile) says:

    The fact that several hundred loyalist protesters refused to go home via a route that would avoid most of the short strand tell’s it’s own story. As far as i know, this is the same route travelled many times a year by orange order returning parades.

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  8. Mick Fealty (profile) says:

    (I’m fuzzy about the detail Stewart so I did not want to put in the main post, but I think the cops blocked the larger numbers at Queens bridge and left the gate open at Albert Bridge)…

    Truth is though, worse than this happened in the troubles (kids were regularly shot at playing football during the seventies)… The problem is a chronic one visited with acute episodes like we’ve seen in the last few days…

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  9. stewart1 (profile) says:

    Mick, going by the PSNI version of events, the return route was via QE2 bridge thus avoiding most of the short strand and onto the Newtownards Road.

    The vast majority of protesters broke away and headed first to the edge of the Markets area at the end of Oxford St, before donning their balaclavas and masks and bolting towards the short strand, arming as they went with missiles and ripped out tree posts.

    The rest was inevitable, but should have been avoided had the police had a decent operation in place.

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  10. Mick Fealty (profile) says:

    I think that was the plan Stew. But I’ve yet to put together a reliable version of events. In this age of mobiles, I can only guess that the ‘ragged defence’ of the Strand was a rapidly improvised response to those events… (all the official defensive screening etc being on the other side)..

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  11. carl marks (profile) says:

    Mick Fealty
    I’m asking a question carl. If I’m giving Alex a break on the rhetorical basis that this community can and does need to defend itself periodically, I’m not getting hot and heavy on John Kyle either.

    come on Mick, John Kyles ”community” is the one doing the attacking why should you give him a break.
    You cannot treat the aggressor the same as the victim, the UVF (the group Kyle speaks for) is behind this they organise the protests instruct the foot soldiers on where and when to attack, if this was a dissident attack on a unionist area would you be so charitable to their political spokesman, i know that myself and most nationalist posters on this site would not be so naive

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  12. tacapall (profile) says:

    The reason why it always flares up at the Short Strand interface is simply because its the easiest interface area to blood young teenagers into a perceived way of thinking using hatred as a catalyst and at the same time use the excuse of retaliation to justify that indoctrination, everyone has an excuse for being where they are. The recent violence and attacks on Short Strand is an advertising, a bringing into the limelight by loyalists that these nationalists are hostages, who’s lives and livelihoods or way of life is up for negotiation, they are being used as a bargaining chip by loyalists paramilitaries who have resorted back to violence to achieve their political goals. We all know those loyalist paramilitary spokesmen who publicly claim they do not support the violence are the only ones who really can either turn it off or put a stop to it.

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  13. There are in perhaps four dozen “authorised” ways of escaping linear Oxford Street, between Bond Street and Tottenham Court Road tube stations. Yet the Met Police have shown they can “bottle” the area very effectively.

    Time to buy in some training, lads?

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  14. tacapall (profile) says:

    Why not just use the same secret intelligence Malcolm, that obviously Matt Baggott has that individual members of the UVF are directing the violence, to bring them before a court of law and put them where they belong, behind bars in Maghaberry.prison.

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  15. Reader (profile) says:

    tacapall: Why not just use the same secret intelligence Malcolm, that obviously Matt Baggott has that individual members of the UVF are directing the violence, to bring them before a court of law and put them where they belong, behind bars in Maghaberry.prison.
    You can’t convict people solely on evidence from informers these days. There’s a load of human-rights lawyers to be thanked for getting us into this position.

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  16. tacapall (profile) says:

    Reader try telling that to Martin Corey or Marion Price.

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  17. I dont want to get bogged down in the specifics of one riot or series of riots over the past six weeks. I think within “Catholic Belfast” the Short Strand is a place apart.
    Mick Fealty has drawn attention to the landscaping which makes rioting more difficult but also worth mentioning that Sirocco, with a notoriously unbalanced wrk fore is no longr there and as I recall there as a single “Catholic” street on the other side of the Newtownards Road…was it called Anderson Street which is no longer there.
    Growing up Catholic in Belfas (and possibly too growing up Protestant) meant a growing understanding of the sectarian map and to this day I just dont know East Belfast and have rarely been in Short Strand.
    Indee the first time was about 1967/68 when I left a girl home from a Church tea dance (I wasabout 15 and 16) and she told me that she lived over the Bridge…which I stupidly thought was a much closer bridge than THAT bridge.
    But even circa 1969 when I was doing an O level at Rupert Stanley a few streets beyond Short Strand, lttle really registered except that my parents had worries because of 1920s 1930s reputation.
    Certainly the Strand is iconic as Catholic resistance as the Fountain probably is in Derry….and an irritant to those around the Strand or the Fountain.
    In 1970 I went for a walk around Short Strand as I felt I should know it better as it had been on the news over a particular incident and made the same wal around a very differet Short Strandabout three years ago.
    Curiously there are other more vulnerable Catholics in East Belfast. Arguably the BallyhackamoreCatholics are more middle class but a priest there ws shot in the head and seriously injured in the 1970s but perhaps more oddly there is or at least WAS a small enclave of “Willowfield” streets which were Catholic. Perhaps they were never perceived as a threat but ertainly a friend who lived in Willowfield claimed that his family never had any bother.
    So I think Short Strand has an iconic status. The “Defence” as bombastically realled in a rebel song is of course a fairly aggressive defence.

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  18. Ruarai (profile) says:

    Mick, you’ve ommitted some important details here.

    I don’t recall ever reading anything about the Short Strand before that didn’t state the key characteristic of its geography: a small nationalist community surrounded by hostile neighbours. (That’s not to suggest that all neighbours are hostile, just that its surrounded by many who are.)

    It’s appropriate to make this point as a bearings-setting premise when discussing this area.

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  19. babyface finlayson (profile) says:

    The police are in a difficult position on this. And their policy seems to be to manage the situation on the ground and make the arrests after.
    On this occasion the protesters clearly wanted to go back by the Albertbridge Rd (shame on them) and the police failed to prevent that.
    On facebook the talk seems to be of insisting on the Albertbridge Rd again on Saturday. Lets hope the PSNI are better organised this time.

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  20. iluvni (profile) says:

    so, is Maskey giving the Sinn Fein go-ahead for the residents of Short Strand to up their attacks now…all in the name of protecting their houses?

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  21. Mick Fealty (profile) says:

    It was a hypothetical defence of those he says were only defending their own homes/streets etc.. Completely illegal of course, but… I think we we get into this reductive wheel we are never going to talk about the question in hand…

    Try and cut the gaming folks…

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  22. Why does it flare up at Short Strand every time?

    Because, like Ibrox, that’s where the regular fixtures are held?

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  23. Ruarai (profile) says:

    Malcolm, you know that’s a trite contribution. A community being regularly and even casually attacked is serious.

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  24. tacapall (profile) says:

    Brass neck or what ?

    http://www.mydup.com/news/article/weir-asks-standards-commissioner-to-investigate-maskey-comments

    Weir asks Standards Commissioner to Investigate Maskey comments Commenting Mr Weir said,

    “Elected representatives have a duty to give leadership and promote good relations by upholding the rule of law”

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  25. 6crealist (profile) says:

    Of course, when celebrated homophobe Edwin Poots starts spraying shots with a shotgun, allegedly in self-defence, that’s a laughing matter for the Sammy Wilson and the DUP:

    “In a reference to Health Minister Edwin Poots’ decision to fire a shotgun out of his farmhouse window at a late-night intruder, he added: “[John O'Dowd] The kind of boy that you’d love to send to Edwin Poots’ farmyard for a walk about 12 o’clock at night.”

    Newsletter, 24 November 2012.

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  26. Alias (profile) says:

    The Short Strand has always been a hotbed of PIRA activity and support, with that murder gang’s so-called “3rd Battalion” being based there. This is the same community that ostracised the sisters of Robert McCartney and protected his murderers, so they’re hardly the community of wee, non-sectarian innocents they pretend to be at times like this.

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  27. Ruarai @t 6:16 pm:

    Read it your way, and I’ve offended your sensibilities: so apologies.

    On the other hand, I was hoping to make a point, trite or not, about the mind-sets which make these things happen. My recall suggests one didn’t have to venture too far from Short Strand to find “Blue Nose Bars”: the Great Eastern? the Cock and Hen?

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  28. tacapall (profile) says:

    Alias thats a less than gentlemanly comment to assume about all the residents of Short Strand but hey coming from someone who doesn’t know the difference between the Markets area and Short Strand im not surprised.

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  29. Sp12 (profile) says:

    “Alias thats a less than gentlemanly comment to assume about all the residents of Short Strand but hey coming from someone who doesn’t know the difference between the Markets area and Short Strand im not surprised.”

    Ahh sure they’re all the same when seen through your own petty little prejudices.

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  30. Mick Fealty (profile) says:

    Okay, let us try another tack? You’re tasked with solving the interface problem at the Strand: policy suggestions first: list of personal vendetti only afterwards please?

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  31. The people most concerned should have the biggest say.
    It would be patronising to suggest I know better.
    Very balanced report on UTV tonight. an elderly Catholic man and a young Protestant single mum….the latters solution being that her house should be bulldozed and replaced with waste ground.
    A counsel of despair obviously but grandiose talk about bringing down the walls is not really what people seem to want.
    Good hedges make good neighbours.
    We need a lot of space between people.

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  32. otto (profile) says:

    I had a continental colleague across and as I drove him down the Newtownards Road he pointed to the Short Strand and asked what it was. I explained that it’s a gated community for catholic people and I couldn’t say whether it got that way by choice or duress. He said “but that’s a ghetto!”. He was German and he didn’t seem to like the idea.

    You mentioned landscaping Mick. Are you looking for “policy” or more specifically town planning answers? From outside the Short Strand looks a bit like a fort. What fun! What’s a 10 foot fence for if not to hoof stuff over? Even better when you earn excited shouts from the mysterious voices on other side.

    That said I’ve only ever had my car attacked in broad daylight (actually ever) once and that was by a wee fecker on Mountpottinger throwing a water balloon onto the roof. Nearly stopped my heart. Maybe he thought he lived in a fort too and my german car was an baddie trespasser.

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  33. Ulster Press Centre (profile) black spot says:

    Those playing the ‘innocent,oppressed enclave’ card should check out the CNN coverage of last Saturday’s events.

    Pity some of our own journalists haven’t got the balls to challenge Sinn Fein lies and propaganda – we have to rely on American and RTE hacks to do it…

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  34. keano10 (profile) says:

    From an informed point of view, the reason is actual very simple. Short Strand’s location makes it much more easily accesible (in every sense) and so for many decades it has been the easiest Nationalist area to attack within the city of Belfast.

    Short Strand sits at the very gateway to the overwhelmingly loyalist East Belfast. It is wide open in every sense. Both main bridges Queens Bridge and Albert Bridge lead all passers by to the either end of the district. It is effectively surrounded all sides by densely populated loyalist housing estates – Newtownards Road, Templemore Avenue, Albertbridge Road, Castlereagh Street.

    The area has suffered a large number of deaths most of them of innocent civilians during the troubles. This includes the 6 civilians blown up by the UVF in The Strand Bar bombing in 1975.

    There is a perception that Short Strand has always been an area which gave most support to the Provisional Republican movement but this is not true. For most of the past few decades the main organisation within the area was an organisation set up in the 1970′s to defend Nationalist areas. The C.D. (Catholic Defence) were the main military organisation within the area. There was also considerable support throughout the 70′s and early 80′s for the Official IRA/Workers Party.

    Despite the political differences of all of these groupings there was always an unusual bond which brought them together unlike in other Nationalist areas of the city. That bond was the constant and ongoing attacks on both the Catholic Church and its citizens which continued abated throughout the troubles. Stories still abound if selfless acts of bravery by many parishoners in the very worst of times.

    The SDLP has never once made any attempt to organise within the area, instead parachuting in complete strangers at election times to the amusement of many locals. As a result Sinn Fein has become overwhelmingly the largest party and the election of a Lord Mayor from Short Strand is probably the area’s finest moment.

    Many will have been surprised by Alex Maskey’s comments last night but the truth is that the broader Republican movement in Belfast has always been particulary protective of Short Strand. A promise was once made that Short Strand would never be abandoned or allowed to be over-run and that still stands.

    The truth is that Short Strand’s location and it’s Catholic population have simply irked East Belfast loyalists for decades simply by their very existence. They refuse to be walked over, they refuse to bow to intimidation and they reserve the right to exist.

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  35. Bangordub (profile) says:

    Mick,
    As I predicted here a few days ago, loyalist infighting invariably results in an attack upon an obvious nationalist target. hence the events of the past two days. Simple as that.

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  36. changeisneeded (profile) black spot says:

    Once again on slugger we have deflection from who are the real trouble makers.
    Change the record mick

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  37. changeisneeded (profile) black spot says:

    Oh yeah and a solution for policing this sorry mess. Arrest anyone breaking the law and if that takes jailing 100 people well so be it.
    And what the hell are MI5 doing with all their collective intelligence? Seems all their efforts are spent chasing the bad criminals not the good ones huh….

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  38. Mick Fealty (profile) says:

    otto,

    I think it is already pretty well landscaped. Madrid Street was open at the top end in 69 and it pretty scary at the time. There a battery of pensioner homes lining the outside below St Matthews which was waste ground in the early 70s. Facing them is a small estate at Ballymacarrett.

    There’s a huge piece of open ground between St Patricks and just below St Matthews..

    On the other side, there’s again some pensioner homes on the Protestant side of the Albertbridge Road, but that whole intersection between the Ravenhill and the Woodstock has all been carefully engineered away from Short Strand.

    As FJH points out the Scirocco Works site is derelict (and presumably likely to remain so until one, an opportunity comes up or the problem of shared living is dealt with in inner east)…

    Here’s the paradox though. In other parts of East Belfast which have been traditionally almost 100% Protestant there’s been a gradual infilling of Catholics in private housing that’s slowly changing the character of wider East.

    It wasn’t safe in the old days to live outside enclaves like Ballyhack (it often wasn’t terribly safe actually living there either). But the place is changing. Naomi Long took nearly 13k votes out of an electorate of 34k. Her Catholic voters are no longer anchored in the same enclaves.

    I suspect there’s a completely different climate in inner east. In part it’s effect of the mere presence of the Short Strand projects that creates instability in the surrounding areas. Stories from the Protestant community which remains closest and most vulnerable to attack and counterattack can have an enervating effect on local emotions.

    Ambitious policy initiatives are problematic in febrile territory like this. You need longer term stability before people will take liberties with their own safety (if you are talking about building sustainable bridges with local Protestant residents).

    But honestly, I’m open anything that’s constructive…

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  39. Ulster Press Centre (profile) black spot says:

    The only way to reduce the violence at Bryson Street and Mountpottinger Road is to block them off and build new peace walls.

    Madrid Street was wide open for Nationalist attacks on protestant homes until a few years ago – a once proud and thriving community turned into rows of derelict and vacant homes. Once Madrid Street was permanently closed off and Nationalists were unable to ‘get at’ their protestant neighbours, people began returning to the area and the district is full of families once again.

    Block off Mountpottinger Road and Bryson Street permanently and interface violence around the Short Strand will reduce even further. Though it doesn’t fit in with the ‘new Northern Ireland’ narrative, I suppose…

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  40. Mick Fealty (profile) says:

    That CNN piece is pretty good btw… I’ve embedded it in the comment so people don’t miss the chance of watching it.

    But it seems pretty obvious from the footage that cops stopped the protesters taking the agreed route over the Queens Bridge (presumably because of the increased numbers)… and they then made their way back to the Markets and over the Albertbridge…

    Short Strand kids seem to have been there and ready to meet them since there were no cops to stop them coming over the second bridge…

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  41. DC (profile) says:

    Though it doesn’t fit in with the ‘new Northern Ireland’ narrative, I suppose…

    What new Northern Ireland sure the flag had to come down because of intolerance to it, which would suggest that nothing has changed and attitudes remain unchanged.

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  42. ArdoyneUnionist (profile) says:

    All this talk of Short Strand and how that community must be protected form the other side is 5 years too late for the former Unionist Loyalist residents of Torrents.

    Never a word said in defence of that now eradicated Unionist Loyalist community from the shinners and republicanism.

    But nice new homes for republicans.

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  43. tacapall (profile) says:

    Like other interface areas Mick there are community workers who attempt to bridge the divide to try and build relationships and encourage dialogue rather than confrontation, im sure we’re all aware of the backgrounds of most of them and in the majority of cases they keep a relative calm between unruly teenagers intent on recreational rioting, but this recent violence directed at Short Strand residents is controlled and directed by paramilitaries who have a different agenda other than squabbles about who done what first. The choice those paramilitaries are giving society is reverse the flag decision or this continues, we all know the influence those paramilitaries have in their respective communities so its beyond belief that people like Billy Hutchinson and Jackie McDonald, can on the one hand claim they do not support the violence but support and encourage the illegal protests and at the same time give the illusion or impression they can do nothing to stop the violence being directed by, in the case of the PUP, people who they politically represent.

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  44. Neil (profile) says:

    And what do you make of the fact they were masked up before they got as far as central station? Regarding this:

    I’m fuzzy about the detail Stewart so I did not want to put in the main post, but I think the cops blocked the larger numbers at Queens bridge and left the gate open at Albert Bridge

    I assume you have seen this:

    http://www.psni.police.uk/directory/news-archive/news-2013/january-2013/pr_eastbelfastdisorder12113.htm

    Marshalls were engaging with police at the police line on Queen’s Bridge when the vast majority of the crowd broke away and ran down Oxford Street splitting at Lanyon Place. Some individuals ran along the Laganbank Road while others ran along East Bridge Street. At this stage many put on masks and covered their faces.

    The police came under attack from bricks, stones and missiles. As the protestors approached the Short Strand, there was violence across the interface with missiles being thrown by rival factions, which resulted in a number of properties being damaged in the Short Strand.

    Now maybe those folks in the Short Strand did attack first, maybe when they saw the crowd of masked men approaching they thought “hey ho, either it’s the Royal’s burns unit beano or we’re about to get attacked.”

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  45. Neil (profile) says:

    All this talk of Short Strand and how that community must be protected form the other side is 5 years too late for the former Unionist Loyalist residents of Torrents.

    Maybe true. Seems to be some debate around the issue though:

    It is difficult to find anyone in north Belfast whom you might regard as neutral.

    The few I spoke to, said there was definitely fault on both sides.

    There is no going back for this family, like many others
    But as in most fights, the smallest always comes off worst.

    In this case it was the Protestants who left, but in other parts of the city, where Catholics have been in the minority they have been squeezed out.

    And the problem is not unique to Belfast. Catholics have been made to feel unwelcome in places like Carrickfergus, Larne and Bushmills.

    Protestants on the west bank of Londonderry have been complaining for years about a violent chill-factor in what is a predominantly nationalist city.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/3602290.stm

    Either way, two (dozen) wrongs do not make a right.

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  46. Ulster Press Centre @ 8:54 pm:

    Sure: then give your edifice a name. A previous attempt was the Antifaschistischer Schutzwall. Long term, it didn’t work.

    I don’t know about the ‘new Northern Ireland’ narrative, but inability to live in decency (I don’t hope for harmony) with one’s neighbours offends human dignity.

    I’d suggest:

    1. Closing a few pubs and clubs, particularly the ones — see my previous flippant comments — where football and politics seem too close for comfort. Remember the Belvoir? Nor need there to be excessive “evidence”: a “disorderly house” is one where a public nuisance exists. Renewals of licences — including off-licences — can be opposed.

    2. Zero tolerance. “Are you aware, sir, this vehicle is unsafe?” In Tottenham, certain undesirables have reason to complain they’re nicked on a weekly basis.

    3. A far looser interpretation of “offensive weapon” and “drunk in charge of a golf-ball”.

    4. “In need of care and guidance” means parents may have to collect offspring from a distant police-station.

    5. An absolute assurance from all parties that no more hand-outs in the name of “community relations” are going to be made. No more “consultations” or chances for grand-standing. On the contrary: “You’ve made your bed. So lie in it.” No more heart-to-hearts between Miller and DUP top brass.

    6. Name and shame. At first it might, like an ASBO, be a mark of street cred. Then it becomes a mark of inconvenience, lack of credit, and unemployability.

    7. Meanwhile create some employment prospects, some training opportunities. Carrot and stick.

    8. A period of extended silence from many vocal commentators (present company not excepted) would be greatly appreciated. NI must have the must closely-observed officialdom on the planet.

    9. Throw even more resources at inhibiting the extra-curricular activities and revenues of the Matthews gang.

    10. Baggott is competent (despite what is said here). Let him do his job. Villiers isn’t, so should be ‘promoted’ out of it — she got the post because she was required for gender balance, she didn’t fit anywhere else and (on this pains me) her immediate predecessor seemed to have his fingers on the pulse — if not some jugulars.

    [Passing thought: did Villiers also get the job because A.N.Other(s) refused? If Osborne and others wanted IDS out of Work and Pensions before the whole of welfare reforms runs aground on the UK's inability to implement Big IT, where would he have been shuffled? The common view is Justice — was there a further fall-back?]

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  47. anne warren (profile) says:

    @ Ulster press Centre
    Perhaps you should read this paper “Partition in Entrenched European Conflicts” by an academic at Hamburg University to get an idea of the social, economic, psychological disadvantages that are linked to “peace walls” and interface areas in Belfast.
    Once you have read it I don’t think you will advocate them as any sort of solution

    http://turin.sgir.eu/uploads/Bown-bown-paper.pdf

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  48. Sp12 (profile) says:

    https://www.facebook.com/LoyalistsAgainstShorthStrand

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  49. Alias (profile) says:

    “Alias thats a less than gentlemanly comment to assume about all the residents of Short Strand but hey coming from someone who doesn’t know the difference between the Markets area and Short Strand im not surprised.” – tacapall

    What part of it is inaccurate?

    The McCartney sister did live in Short Strand and they were driven out of the area by the locals acting to protect the interests of PIRA murderers:

    “The McCartney family had lived in the Short Strand area of Belfast for five generations. However some local people in the Short Strand area, which is a largely Nationalist area, did not welcome their dispute with the IRA. A campaign of intimidation by Republicans drove members of the family and Robert’s former fiancée, to relocate and has also caused one member to close her business in the city centre. Intimidation was continuing as of 2008. The last McCartney sister to leave the area (Paula) departed Short Strand on 26 October 2005.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_Robert_McCartney

    He may have been murdered close to the Markets district but who said anything about where he was murdered? The claim about Short Strand was:

    “This is the same community that ostracised the sisters of Robert McCartney and protected his murderers, so they’re hardly the community of wee, non-sectarian innocents they pretend to be at times like this.”

    Not only were his sisters Short Strand residents, so was Robert. Yet the locals chose to protect the interests of the local sectarian murder gang ahead of its local victim. There is something deeply rotten in the minds of such folk.

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  50. Neil (profile) says:

    Well well. Mispelled Short Strand too. Ingenious.

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  51. Sp12 (profile) says:

    “Well well. Mispelled Short Strand too. Ingenious.”

    I would erdge you not to judge them too harshly.

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  52. Neil (profile) says:

    Lol true. I misspelled ‘mispelled’. Ooops…

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  53. Sp12 (profile) says:

    hehe, when you get to this level, start worrying.

    “ino this has already been posted by of the page but the no balls nolan show the mara night at 7! id erdge as many people as possible to attend if possible and to please spread the word people wee need to show the bbc were British citizens not irish and we DO protest peacefully and that its the scum of the strand who start the trouble in the East not the Protestant people NS”

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  54. carl marks (profile) says:

    ArdoyneUnionist (profile)
    15 January 2013 at 9:03 pm

    All this talk of Short Strand and how that community must be protected form the other side is 5 years too late for the former Unionist Loyalist residents of Torrents.

    Never a word said in defence of that now eradicated Unionist Loyalist community from the shinners and republicanism.

    But nice new homes for republicans.

    Strange thing about torrents was after the local loyalists drove the Catholics out of the area, the empty houses became rat infested wrecks where drugies hung out, the whole place became a self inflicted pigsty, them to everybody’s surprise (including the police who had no reports of trouble in the area and don’t forget they had a station in the area so they had a presence there) the locals claimed without offering any evidence that they were being attacked every night, happily there where houses just renovated(Lucky coincidence what) in the Hesketh area which the locals squatted in, I suppose after wrecking their own area they had to make something up to justify squatting in those nice clean houses that the HE sorted for them.

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  55. Ulster Press Centre (profile) black spot says:

    The people of Short Strand also seem to forget that the ‘politicians’ they vote for every election were responsible for the deaths of more Irish catholics in the Short Strand than the big, bad Loyalist bogeymen who live nearby…

    Anyone remember 28th May 1972?

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  56. babyface finlayson (profile) says:

    I don’t know what the long term solution is, but surely for these protests it should be possible to block off the Albert Bridge to prevent a return by that route. That at least would take away that option and they could then be shepherded towards the lower N’ards Rd.
    That is surely the best idea,it just wasn’t executed very well last time.
    It’s not as if they submitted a route to the parades commission.

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  57. forthman (profile) says:

    From that CNN report it is obvious were Nic Robertson’s loyalties lie. It was poor. That wee hood from the strand should be arrested. His teen-aged com-padres who numbered about 8-10, were ranged against scores of hate filled mobsters intent on trouble(many of them old enough to know better). Even without that young hood throwing bottles, its obvious that hate mob were going to attack the Strand. No question whatsoever!
    So the question is what can be done? That question should be asked to the UVF. Community workers have been working for years to ease tensions in that area. It exposes just how ‘sincere’ ‘community workers’ associated with the UVF have been over the years; but then again can you blame them when the sneaky fenians of the Short Strand have been trying to ethnically cleanse the decent, upright, God-fearing unionists of east Belfast for years!
    Laughable!

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  58. Neil (profile) says:

    Ulster Press Centre,

    whataboutery.

    that aside, can you back up your claim that Sinn Fein (rather than the IRA obviously) killed more Short Strand people than Loyalists (beyond the 4 civilians killed on the date you mention)?

    I would submit that the likes of Niall (a child not long ago) has killed no one. And anyway, no we can’t remember that as we’re too busy laughing at your fellow travelers for their dyslexic facebook page. What’s the answer? Education, clearly.

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  59. ArdoyneUnionist (profile) says:

    Thanks Carl, for another attack on the previous Protestant Unionist Loyalist community of Torrents, and what you think of the that rat and drug infersted former Protestant Unionist Loyalist Community.

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  60. BluesJazz (profile) black spot says:

    “too busy laughing at your fellow travelers for their dyslexic facebook page.”
    Neil, I think that should be ‘travellers’.

    What school did you attend? Clearly not a grammar school.

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  61. Neil (profile) says:

    Inst. actually. Sorry American spell checker.

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  62. Ulster Press Centre (profile) black spot says:

    forthman (profile) 15 January 2013 at 10:44 pm

    From that CNN report it is obvious were Nic Robertson’s loyalties lie. It was poor. That wee hood from the strand should be arrested. His teen-aged com-padres who numbered about 8-10, were ranged against scores of hate filled mobsters intent on trouble(many of them old enough to know better). Even without that young hood throwing bottles, its obvious that hate mob were going to attack the Strand. No question whatsoever!

    Your mysterious, supernatural ability to predict the future is wasted on here.

    Surely there are more important issues around the world which require your unique super powers???

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  63. BluesJazz (profile) black spot says:

    Inst. That explains some things. All boys schools with a pseudo- Eton outlook tend to produce a ‘plebs’ attitude toward the great unwashed..
    Especially with Belfast Met next door (then).

    Bet you wished (dreamed) of going to Methody.

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  64. tacapall (profile) says:

    Alias regardless of what happened that made the McCartney family to move, im absolutely 100% certain that every resident from the Short Strand was not involved in either their intimidation or the protection of their brothers killers who came from a different area. Im sure you would agree that every protestant from East Belfast is not responsible for the violence being directed at the PSNI by flag protestors and if you want to get into whataboutery were we could judge all residents for the actions of some then we could be here all night.

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  65. Ulster Press Centre (profile) black spot says:

    Neil (profile) 15 January 2013 at 10:48 pm

    Can you back up your claim that Sinn Fein (rather than the IRA obviously) killed more Short Strand people than Loyalists (beyond the 4 civilians killed on the date you mention)?

    What’s the difference?

    Former MLA Billy Leonard confirmed that the party is still controlled by members of the IRA Army Council.

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  66. Neil (profile) says:

    All boys schools with a pseudo- Eton outlook tend to produce a ‘plebs’ attitude toward the great unwashed..

    Try again. Live in West Belfast, work in IT. Most of my neighbours are HE tenants. Now, so far we’re wrong on the didn’t go to a grammar, and on the great unwashed. Any other ideas on my background, or any further insults to depart?

    What school did you attend BJ? Where do you live? Former squaddie or RUC? Saying as you’re giving the best guess and being unremittingly incorrect I think I’ll just ask instead of guessing wrong as you have done.

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  67. tacapall (profile) says:

    “Former MLA Billy Leonard confirmed that the party is still controlled by members of the IRA Army Council.”

    And ?

    Is there still former members of the RUC in the PSNI, you know those RUC officers who colluded in the murder of innocent people by arming loyalists paramilitaries like the UDA or by directing loyalist paramilitaries like the UVF.

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  68. BluesJazz (profile) black spot says:

    Easy on there Neil
    I went to a mixed state grammar in South Down. Some of the Catholic * pupils were from Ballykinler Army camp.

    Were most of my assumptions about RBAI wrong? (Apart from the Methody girls bit- though we tended to have that as well.)).
    The guys I knew from Inst tended to have a slightly pompous public schoolboy outlook (similar to Campbell).

    *Catholic, as in nominal background, very few of us in the school had only sceptical views on all religions.

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  69. BluesJazz (profile) black spot says:

    *very few* – most

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  70. Ulster Press Centre (profile) black spot says:

    tacapall (profile) 15 January 2013 at 11:26 pm
    Is there still former members of the RUC in the PSNI, you know those RUC officers who colluded in the murder of innocent people by arming loyalists paramilitaries like the UDA or by directing loyalist paramilitaries like the UVF.

    Not sure what that has to do with Sinn Fein members being responsible for the deaths of Short Strand catholics over the past 40+ years???

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  71. tacapall (profile) says:

    UPC and I dont see what Billy Leonards comments about Sinn Fein has to do with the recent violence in the Short Strand area.

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  72. Mick Fealty (profile) says:

    BJ, please drop the personal stuff and try for once to pick to up and comment on the point in hand… [You too Neil?]

    Louis MacNeice, Autumn Journal:

    “And one read black where the other read white, his hope
    The other man’s damnation:
    Up the Rebels, To hell with the Pope,”

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  73. Mick Fealty (profile) says:

    Today’s debate at Stormont, with a complaint against Alex Maskey from the DUP:

    Tracey Magee points out that there’s a sense that politics isn’t working…

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  74. Sp12 (profile) says:

    Who exactly are the DUP trying to impress with the complaint?
    Unionists who are embarrassed by the whole fiasco and will take one look at the offending DUP flyer that kicked this all off, before thinking the garden centre is more deserving of their money on election day than the DUP are of their vote?
    Or those that are out on street from 6PM and spend the rest of their time on facebook decrying them as Lundies?

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  75. Ulster Press Centre (profile) black spot says:

    Maybe they just think elected politicians shouldn’t be encouraging sectarian violence against protestant homes???

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  76. Sp12 (profile) says:

    Yeah, cause that’s what he was doing.
    No offense, quit the oppressed veneer, after 40 days of violence and intimidation against everyone from old men on the way to hospital, Alliance councillors and now the Short Strand, no-one’s buying it.

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  77. Ulster Press Centre (profile) black spot says:

    CNN seem to be buying it.

    And RTE.

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  78. Sp12 (profile) says:

    Maybe they’ll stand in for those down at the garden centre next election time?
    What do you think the chances are?

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  79. Ulster Press Centre (profile) black spot says:

    Yes, I predict the garden centres will be quiet next time round. Have witnessed groups of people handing out hundreds of electoral roll forms at protests across Belfast in the past few weeks to get people registered. Apparently the PUP are working on a new campaign to increase registration and turnout in Unionist areas too.

    Looks like 35% turnout in Loyalist areas is going to be a thing of the past….

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  80. ‘Looks like 35% turnout in Loyalist areas is going to be a thing of the past….’

    Who will they be voting for then? I suspect it will be an even lower turnout from these even more ‘disaffected’ areas, watch.

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  81. carl marks (profile) says:

    ArdoyneUnionist (profile)
    15 January 2013 at 10:50 pm

    Thanks Carl, for another attack on the previous Protestant Unionist Loyalist community of Torrents, and what you think of the that rat and drug infersted former Protestant Unionist Loyalist Community.
    Your welcome, people should know the truth about these things so they can make up their minds.
    When you first started posting on this site every second sentence was about the “isolated loyalist enclave of Hesketh, I had to correct your geography then and point out the various loyalist areas that connected to Hesketh and am only too happy to correct you when you get your facts wrong on other things in north Belfast.

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  82. carl marks (profile) says:

    Ulster Press Centre (profile)
    16 January 2013 at 1:04 am

    Yes, I predict the garden centres will be quiet next time round. Have witnessed groups of people handing out hundreds of electoral roll forms.

    You have to admit that’s funny, the average loyalist drugged up rioting chav spends a lot of time in garden centres. Next we will be hearing about electoral reg forms making the rounds at coffee mornings or gymkhanas.

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  83. stewart1 (profile) says:

    It’s hardly a coincidence that when there are no flag protests at the interface area in east Belfast (as seems to have been the case last night), there is no trouble.

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  84. Ulster Press Centre (profile) black spot says:

    stewart1:
    It’s hardly a coincidence that when there are no flag protests at the interface area in east Belfast (as seems to have been the case last night), there is no trouble.

    Nope. Golf balls coming over yesterday afternoon while UTV were filming at protestant homes. Those poor wee Short Strand catholics defending themselves again…

    http://www.u.tv/News/Rioters-must-pull-back-from-the-brink/4272bd21-5a76-45bb-955d-e6239e992c01

    Maybe it was Alex Maskey?

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  85. stewart1 (profile) says:

    Not sure how you would equate 40 petrol bombs with a golf ball, but obviously all throwing is wrong.

    I think it’s fairly clear that the recent comments regarding the leadership of the UVF being heavily involved in the drugs trade, led to the latest muscle flexing by the UVF in east Belfast, same as last year & previous years. And strange that so many north Belfast UVF faces were at short strand during the trouble lat saturday.

    Looks to me that the PUP are trying take back control of the protests from Willie Frazer & it would appear that Mr Frazer has been warned to stay out of east Belfast.

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  86. carl marks (profile) says:

    ArdoyneUnionist
    “Thanks Carl, for another attack on the previous Protestant Unionist Loyalist community of Torrents”
    I meant to ask, you say “another attack” I believe this is the first time i have mentioned Torrents. More inaccurate mopery really if your are going to make these statements at least have a venneer of facts, that the basis of all good propaganda.

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  87. Paulk (profile) says:

    *Pedant alert* the area is also called Torrens as opposed to Torrents, sorry its been annoying me since i read it!!

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  88. carl marks (profile) says:

    Paulk
    thank you point taken.

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  89. Gopher (profile) says:

    I was fortunate enough to be invited to the South Down land reform society dinner where Simon Schama delivered the lecture “How wars end. Brest-Litovsk, Versailles and the Lower Newtownards Road. As one knows the South Down branch has never been regarded as a talking shop and readily took up the challenge to find a solution after the lecture.

    Thinking outside the box and dynamic as ever, the members soon had a blueprint for peace ready to be tested to destruction in computer simulators and various black swan scenarios. Given the 2011 census it was felt that we had enough of a population with no interest and more valuable still no understanding of the conflict to form a buffer zone between the Short Strand and Surrounding areas. This would effectively be done by creating Poland and the Baltic states from immigrants from the region and realigning Belfast as a free city under Assembly control. The Albertbridge Road was subsequently called the Polish Corridor and the Short Strand became East Prussia.

    To simulate our model we needed an ineffectual insincere talking shop to take on the role of the League of Nations and since the assembly is as ineffective as the League at settling disputes it was nominated. We tested the validity of this and in all simulated scenarios we ran the Assembly performance matched that of the League of Nations to within a micrometer so that we found that this arrangement was optimum.

    Social media an important component of interface violence was not overlooked, You Tube for the purposes of our test became Leni Riefenstahl and message boards became beer halls, this was also tested to make sure we were not making wild assumptions but was found to hold up to every stress test we threw at it. Old school media outlets like BBC and UTV became Pathe News for the duration of our test, and Steven Nolan became Time Magazine.

    No stone was left unturned in our quest to get an accurate model as possible and the Alliance party members graciously offered to become the Weimar Republic whilst a quick show of hands designated the UUP land reformers to simulate the collapsing Hapsburg Empire and fragmenting nature of the Balkans. Our solitary TUV member became the sick man of Europe.

    What our tests concluded was provided our two ideologically differing nations that surround Poland don’t sign a non aggression pact Poland and the Baltic states will be quite safe suffering only minor border clashes from each of its neighbours and would adequately hold the Balance of power unless one side or other could actually get the wider population to give a f***. Lack of Sudeten Germans in the 2011 census means nobody is likely to be silly enough to claim peace in our time at the George Best Airport unless they are leaving on a fortnights holiday.

    Next months meeting is “Cross community voting and the Irish Confederate wars” all welcome.

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  90. Comrade Stalin (profile) says:

    Gentlemen, why exactly are we arguing about different events in history and who started them ? Displacement of communities has happened on both sides. Trouble at the Short Strand interface has on different occasions been started by either side. Where are we going with this conversation ?

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  91. Dixie Elliott (profile) says:

    Amazing hypocrisy….The British Secretary of State welcomes the fact that Loyalist paramilitaries called for an end to the violence…

    Surely some politician with guts should have pointed out that according to Matt Baggot, it was those same paramilitaries who were orchestrating the violence, therefore they were calling upon themselves to end it.

    Secondly why have the British accepted the continued existence of these paramilitary groups even welcoming absurd statements from them when they are supposed, we are told, to have disbanded – therefore no longer paramilitary / no longer involved in violence.

    It seems that all of the above; coupled with drug dealing, extortion etc, matters little as long as those involved see themselves as British.

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  92. Comrade Stalin (profile) says:

    It’s a bit of a tangled web, Dixie. The UVF may well not be a single organization any longer. I doubt the South Antrim brigade of the UDA is on board either given what we saw at Cloughfern Corner last week.

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  93. Dixie Elliott (profile) says:

    So where do they know to leave the ‘community funding’ Comrade?

    Behind some bar?

    A bit like those leaflets. I saw them handing the leaflets out in a bar tonight on the news. There’s the wee lads peggin’ away at the peelers in all their union fleggery and the boyos are handing out leaflets in a bar full of ole lads gargling.

    “Here, stick this behind the bar where the kids’ll see it and give us a pint while yur at it.”

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  94. carl marks (profile) says:

    Gentlemen, why exactly are we arguing about different events in history and who started them ?
    AU, has a habit of engaging in mope laden propaganda. I am fully aware that sectarian evictions took place on both sides of the community in north Belfast, indeed to my shame I have seen it happen in my own street.
    However to attempt to suggest that the people of Torrens where somehow victims is ludicrous,
    I had friends who were driven out of their homes in the area(all Catholics approx 20% of the residents were evicted) the empty houses where bricked up and the area soon became notorious for drug dealing within a few years the place became rat infested, then suddenly to the surprise of the police, Journalists and local residents the local UVF announced that they were under nightly attack, this came as a shock to those who lived beside the area, this claim coincided with the Housing executive having just finished renovating houses in the Hesketh area and in one night the whole population was moved by the UVF from the area that their sectarianism had turned into a slum and squatted in the newly finished houses.
    Then we have AU claiming that their move was caused by nationalist attacks you will have to excuse me but I believe that such untruths should be challenged and corrected.

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  95. GEF (profile) says:

    Protest passes short strand for the first time without trouble.

    http://news.google.co.uk/news/url?sa=t&ct2=uk%2F0_0_s_0_0_t&usg=AFQjCNEWZgyO3TJqjRPGjrAllhT_LH7nBw&did=2246b8e9a1d44b6d&cid=52778067679899&ei=Cu76UIjwO42S8gPguAE&rt=STORY&vm=STANDARD&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.bbc.co.uk%2Fnews%2Fuk-northern-ireland-21097527

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  96. Ulster Press Centre (profile) black spot says:

    Can we expect Matt Baggott to publicly thank the UVF & RHC for placing hundreds of men on Newtownards Road to prevent trouble today?

    He’s quick to condemn them when he thinks they’ve misbehaved – lets see if he can dish out some praise when they give his officers an easy day’s work.

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  97. Jack2 (profile) says:

    UPC – what do you think?

    Mayor of Chicago “I’d like to thank the Crips drug dealing gang for putting so many members on the streets today that the Bloods were unable to assault anyone today”.

    Stop spouting complete and utter nonsense.

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  98. GEF (profile) says:

    I agree with UPC that Matt Baggott should thank those he had earlier accused of orchestrating the riots. Likewise he should likewise thank some members of SF who were also marshals in the area to prevent teenagers from Short Strand throwing stones & bricks at the passing loyalist protesters.

    What do you think?
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  99. Hopping The Border (profile) says:

    GEF,

    Sinn Fein is a political party. The UVF and RHC are proscribed organisations and, depending on your viewpoint, criminals and/or terrorists.

    Thanking either organisation is a ludicrous suggestion.

    I often wonder however, why the existence of both is tolerated when there was such steadfast refusal on the part of many unionist politicians to deal with Sinn Fein and other nationalist representatives whilst the IRA et al were in existence.

    Perhaps there is some truth in what John Taylor said, even today.

    What do you think?
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