Slugger O'Toole

Conversation, politics and stray insights

If we are going to put an end to this mindless cycle of violence every summer…

Sun 14 July 2013, 2:06pm

Regular Journal.ie columnist David McCann has written this piece for Slugger:

Well here we go again; another 12th July is marred by scenes of sectarian violence as PSNI officers are wheeled off to A&E injured. What were the police officers doing to provoke such an angry response I hear you ask? Well, quite simply they were enforcing a ruling by the Parades Commission that banned marchers from passing a controversial flash point in North Belfast.

For many Loyalists the decision to re-route the parade is just another step in the culture wars being waged by Sinn Fein to erode their British identity. Stemming from the decision to remove the Union flag from Belfast City Hall a siege mentality has gripped many institutions like the Orange Order as they adopt a ‘no surrender’ attitude by issuing much more forceful criticism of the Parades Commission.

This drive to undermine what are legally binding decisions has seen certain bands who take part in parades in areas of North Belfast do reckless things such as playing the Sash outside St Patricks Church which not only was in violation of the commission’s ruling but also a source of great annoyance to the nationalist residents of that area. How on earth do those marching ever expect to get gain wider community confidence or respect for events like the twelfth if they show such blatant disrespect for other communities in the city. They could do well to remember that respect is something that you earn; it’s not an automatic entitlement.

Then we have the wider leadership within the Orange Order and Unionism. The decision to encourage people to engage in protests over this issue was the height of irresponsibility. Calling for peaceful protests as the Orange Order did in a relatively benign political environment is on its own fine. But to call for un- coordinated demonstrations simply allow those who are committed to violence a free pass to hijack them. Even though the Order did quickly condemn the violence that had taken place, the real problem was that they were trying to bolt that stable door after the horse was gone.

However this tragic failure of leadership extends beyond the Orange Order as politicians within the DUP also failed to show strong leadership over this issue. Since the Parades Commission decision we have seen from Peter Robinson right through to Sammy Wilson little more than vacillation from one plan to the next. The calling of protests ‘justified’ in tandem with accusations from Nigel Dodds that the Secretary of State, Theresa Villiers, was engaging in deception over the Commission’s ruling does little to calm tensions ahead of these parades.

The Assembly is due to be recalled this week to discuss this issue. Will we see the solidarity of condemnation among MLAs and a possible solution to the current parades impasse? The likely answer is no. What we are likely to be treated too is the same blame game politics of ‘your side started it’ that has come to characterise the assembly lately. It really will be a case of all politics and no government.

In various other pieces I have written on Northern politics I have constantly spoken of the need for republicanism and unionism to reconcile with one another if this province is ever to properly function. I still believe in that goal despite the events of the last few days. But what I’m becoming increasingly unsure about is the ability of many politicians and institutions like the Orange Order to properly engage with this process.

Instead of remembering an example of cross-community co-operation like that which took place in Derry what will be a stain on an otherwise peaceful twelfth celebration is the violence in North Belfast. Sadly people across the world are not hearing about the long traditions of Ulster Unionism as they see clips of bricks being hurled at police. For many people the only traditions that are being remembered are a growing number of PSNI officers spending the night at A&E.

If we are going to put an end to this mindless cycle of violence every summer then we need the key stakeholders in this process to climb down off of grand visions and start addressing some real concerns. The Orange Order needs to get past this siege mentality and address these concerns, otherwise, the summer marching season will always be the thing that people put up with rather than embrace as an important part of our national calendar.

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Comments (35)

  1. Pasty (profile) says:

    Peter Robinson and the other leaders of Unionism need to answer the question do they believe that the rioting in previous years was also inevitable due to the decisions of the Parades Commission? or do they think this way only when the decision goes against the Orange Order?

    “For many Loyalists the decision to re-route the parade is just another step in the culture wars being waged by Sinn Fein to erode their British identity”. This line has been pushed many times by the OO and Unionist Leaders however this is due to their perception that a shared environment is one with only British Symbols and culture.

    On many occasions Nationalists have called for symbols and flags from both communities to have the same prominence and this they have rejected. They have no problem trying to destroy and stop Nationalist traditions and symbols and people need to remember that the Unionists made it illegal for anyone to fly the Irish Tricolour.

    There is a respect issue, but that is with the Unionists lack of respect for other traditions. Belfast has a Nationalist Majority and the numbers for the North as a whole it is very close to the 50-50 and Unionists were given the opportunity to accept Nationalist symbols with the Irish Flag being flown alongside the Union Flag to reflect the two traditions, Unionists refused that so the neutral policy was then pushed and to ensure that compromise Nationalists voted for the Union Flag on designated days.

    If Unionists believed in a shared environment they would accept Nationalists and their culture – unfortunately they don’t and they can’t even accept Neutral environments.

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  2. michael-mcivor (profile) black spot says:

    We have the template on how to stop the violence every july- the Drumcee march was stopped on its return leg and there is peace there now-the return leg was stopped at Ardoyne and we have had a relatively peace-full night last night-the worst should be behind us-

    Stop all the orange marches where they are not wanted next year so we can all live in peace-its a pity that the police never stood up to the orange order in 1968/69 like they are doing now-it could have saved a lot of bother-

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  3. cynic2 (profile) says:

    “How on earth do those marching ever expect to get gain wider community confidence or respect for events like the twelfth if they show such blatant disrespect for other communities in the city. ”

    They don’t care about those things – at least in Belfast. there is a different culture ion rural areas and in Derry where there is more sense of shared community

    They also only focus on the next days parade and getting past it. At the end of August they go into hibernation and refuse to discuss anything until the next spring. Thats actually not a bad stratgey if you don’t want to change

    ” They could do well to remember that respect is something that you earn; it’s not an automatic entitlement.”

    The brighter ones would say that cuts two ways. The majority don’t give a damn. In their world a Fenian is a Fenian no matter what. They don’t want their respect – it is valueless

    Then we have the wider leadership within the Orange Order and Unionism.

    I question the use of leadership in the context of ANY discussion on the OO

    “The decision to encourage people to engage in protests over this issue was the height of irresponsibility. ”

    Not necessarily – but doing it with no plan, no sense of direction and no attempt to prevent violence was beyond irresponsibility. They didn’t even tell the membership what they wanted them to do

    “Calling for peaceful protests as the Orange Order did in a relatively benign political environment is on its own fine.

    But to call for un-coordinated demonstrations simply allows those who are committed to violence a free pass to high jack them. Even though the Order did quickly condemn the violence that had taken place, the real problem was that they were trying to bolt that sable door after the horse was gone.

    However this tragic failure of leadership extends beyond the Orange Order as politicians within the DUP also failed to show strong leadership over this issue. ”

    Yes – they re not only a rabble they are a organised rabble

    “Since the Parades Commission decision we have seen from Peter Robinson right through to Sammy Wilson little more than vacillation from one plan to the next. ”

    Oh come on – they rely on these scum for votes. That’s like asking SF not to turn up at court to support organised criminals who have been caught out by PSNI. Its a Pavlovian electoral response

    “The calling of protests ‘justified’ in tandem with accusations from Nigel Dodds that the Secretary of State, Theresa Villiers, was engaging in deception over the Commissions ruling does little to clam tensions ahead of these parades.”

    Dont confuse legitimate politics with what happens on the street. They have a legitimate right to feel aggrieved at the PC decision. It is nonsensical form many viewpoints. If the OO / Loyalism is denied street protests and politics where do you want it to go (apart from away which is unlikely)

    “the Assembly is due to be recalled this week to discuss this issue. Will we see solidarity of condemnation among MLAs and a possible solution to the current parades impasse? The likely answer is no. What we are likely to be treated too is the same blame game politics of ‘your side started it’ that has come to characterise the assembly lately. It really will be a case of all politics and no government.”

    Yes – but we elect these clowns. Its also all posturing for the electorate as Spratts uncharacteristic slip about ‘nutters’ revealed . Many DUP MLAs regard these people with as much contempt as any sane person does – but there are votes to be had so they play the game.

    “In various other pieces I have written on Northern politics I have constantly spoke of the need for republicanism and unionism to reconcile with one another if this province is ever to properly function. I still believe in that goal despite the events of the last few days. ”

    Agree

    “But what I’m becoming increasingly unsure about is the ability of many politicians and institutions like the Orange Order to properly engage with this process.”

    The OO cannot even engage with itself. At the weekend we had one speaker boasting that he was PROUD to want to expel any OO members who attended a wedding or funeral in a Chapel. he was proud to be a nutter. That is the culture of some of these people. Now they have the right to be sectarian raving mad racists bigots (just like some of the dissers) – but not to inflict that on the rest of us.

    ” Instead of remembering an example of cross-community co-operation like that which took place in Derry what will be a stain on an otherwise peaceful twelfth celebration is the violence in North Belfast. Sadly people across the world are not hearing about the long traditions of Ulster Unionism as they see clips of bricks being hurled at police. For many people the only traditions that are being remembered are a growing number of PSNI officers spending the night at A&E.

    If we are going to put an end to this mindless cycle of violence every summer then we need the key stake holders in this process to climb down off of grand visions and start addressing some realistic concerns. The Orange Order need to get past this siege mentality and address these concerns, otherwise, the summer marching season will always be the thing that people put up with rather than embrace as an important part of our national calendar.”

    Well we could start with locking up a large number of them on exemplary sentences – say 5 years for riot and affray might cool the heels. We would then bring in new laws to make them pay part of the costs of policing parades or at least cut that cost from the NI block grant every year. We could also cut off all flows of Government cash to the OO and generally make life very difficult for them.

    But none of that will happen because they are just another beelin pimple on our body politic and Unionist politicians will protect them in the hope they can glean a few votes while the rest of the Unionist community stand on the sidelines and just stop voting

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  4. Alias (profile) says:

    A so-called ‘siege mentality’ is a completely rational reaction for an organisation that is under siege.

    Unfortunately for the OO, the particular murder gang that formerly opposed British rule but assists in its internal administration has deemed it expedient to revise its history to portray its former murderous activity as having the purpose of opposing Orange rule rather than British rule. In this new narrative, the great villain isn’t the State which pays the murder gang members’ generous salaries: it is the OO. And since the other new narrative is that the murder gang is simply pursuing its former objectives by alternative means (rather than abandoned those national rights and constitutional claims in their entirety), the new war is fought internally by political means against whatever is seem as ‘of the Orange.’

    Apart from the murder gang, the sponsors of it (the British state) have revised Irish nationalism so that the parity of esteem symbolised in the Irish flag is no longer between the Orange and the Green (two traditions but one nation) but between the Irish and the British (two separate nations). Again, unfortunately for the OO, the British state has ‘made like a cuckoo’ and positioned itself into the Orange nest, with the Irish state encouraged to share sovereignty, parity of esteem, better relations, etc, with the British state as its form of new ‘nationalism’ and not with the OO.

    The ‘guarantees’ incorporated into the British state authored GFA (Irish, British or both) make no reference at all to the Orange. Instead the British state has constitutionally consolidated is position in Ireland by constitutionally consolidating the British nation.

    From the perspective of NI’s Catholics, attacking the position of the Orange in society is seen as improving their lot under British rule since that organisation is held up by the murder gang they vote for as The Great Satan.

    It’s quite sad really to hear senior Orangemen try to remind the Irish of what is symbolised in their national flag without grasping that the symbolism is wholly redundant and that that third of the flag would more properly portray the new British devised order by incorporating the Union Jack.

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  5. cynic2 (profile) says:

    The best thing the OO could have done to thwart their enemies was embrace them t its bosom – even make them honorary members in recognition of their capitulation and commitment to British Rule

    How damaging that would have been for poor Gerry’s plan – and how incompetent and insular the OO are to have missed the chance

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  6. JoeBryce (profile) says:

    This is a serious suggestion – ban the sale of alcohol across NI for 72 hours beginning midnight on 11th July and ending midnight 13th July.

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  7. tmitch57 (profile) says:

    In a 1986 book, “Children of Wrath: Political Violence in Northern Ireland,” Michael MacDonald wrote that historically loyalists had provoked violence in Ulster in an effort to be able to demonstrate their “loyalty” to the British ruling class in London. This was because their loyalty was their one strategic asset that they could bank upon. Unlike South Africa, Ulster is not full of strategic or precious minerals or oil. This combined with economic competition from recently arrived Irish Catholic workers in the industries of Belfast to produce sectarian discrimination and riots. So this anarchic and anachronistic behavior continues long after the British on the mainland have lost all interest in or appreciation for the loyalty of the unionists.

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  8. michael-mcivor (profile) black spot says:

    JoeBryce-

    ” ban the sale of alcohol across NI for 72 hours ”

    The horde would only gather up their alcohol for weeks before the 11th along with the bonfire material-they could
    bring others around to show off who as got the biggest pile of booze-

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  9. David Crookes (profile) says:

    Bravo, Joe. And ban the drinking of alcohol in public during the same period. Or would that be another attack on Orange ‘culture’?

    Unionist leaders who keep silent while their voters wallow in the mire are no better than the patriarchal cretins who lead the OO.

    Here’s an idea for next year. Require the OO to impignorate seven of their halls as a guarantee of good behaviour. If any Orangemen take part in rioting, flatten those halls, and turn their sites into little parks.

    No more impunity. Cutting the block grant is a good enough idea, but why should you and I be punished because some of our fellow-countrymen are fascist thugs?

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  10. ayeYerMa (profile) says:

    Get real cynic2 and stop coming out with such facetious nonsense. The OO don’t simply stand for being British, and everything the unashamed and unrepentent Provos represent should be completely abhorrent to the core conservative and christian social values that they claim to represent.

    Alias is the only one here to have semi- hit the nail on the head here. Unionism and Republicanism by definition are mutually incompatible on the same territory so the talk of them “reconciling” is absolute nonsense, and one of the single greatest flaws in the rhetoric of recent years. When one of your main raison d’êtres is for freedom of expression, then it is foolish to be engaging with those who have no shame in stating that they wish to eradicate your existence as well as all the heritage and freedoms that you wish to protect. The NO SURRENDER attitude is exactly the correct approach when it comes to the very real threat posed by so-called “Republicans” and their so-called “residents groups”.

    A better approach from the OO IMO would be to bypass the rabble “residents groups” entirely and instead engage with the RC church leaders in such local areas instead. Apart from sending out an image that counters many of the slurs against them and distances them from hangers on, Ithere is more common cause between the OO and RCC these days than between the OO and many elements of the British state, including the Provos.

    One element within the British state which has a great deal of power is also a greater threat in many ways than the Provos — this is the elite who describe themselves as being “progressive liberals”. The “liberal progressive” elite are some of the most tyrannous, totalitarian, and anti-freedom-of-expression bunch around if you aren’t in their favour — no doubt many find the Parades Commission right up their alley. IMO the OO (as well as Protestant denominations) should find a common ally in the RCC to fight this greater threat. With stats now revealing that the UK is soon to become a majority bastard nation, and family values going down the pan in favour of “progressive liberal” adult selfishness, perhaps the OO could have a much greater future purpose in being able to serve as a vehicle to act as a counter-propaganda movement throughout the British Isles to counteract much of the dominant indoctrination from “progressive liberals” that is all around us.

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  11. ayeYerMa (profile) says:

    “Here’s an idea for next year. Require the OO to impignorate seven of their halls as a guarantee of good behaviour. If any Orangemen take part in rioting, flatten those halls, and turn their sites into little parks.”

    Another facetious and rather extremist comment. Many of the comments here, and in much of the media, year after year, seem to place excessive blame on the order as a whole, and let this tiny minority of incidents deflect from the respectful and decent behaviour from the vast vast majority. The vast majority involved in rioting don’t even appear to be part of the order, and those few individuals who are are hardly likely to be in leadership positions, yet you want to punish the many for the acts of the few. This is despite the fact that those individuals are on camera and will learn the lesson of personal responsibility the hard way after their new criminal record.

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  12. David Crookes (profile) says:

    All right, ayeYerMa, I was a bit sunstruck when I made that over-the-top suggestion. Sorry. Still think the notion of an alcohol ban is sound, mind you.

    I dislike the progressive anti-family liberal tyranny as much as you do. Your idea about the OO finding some common ground with the RCC is a seriously good one.

    All the news was not bad this year. The fact that someone stopped an image being burned on a bonfire should gladden every sane person on both sides of the fence.

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  13. PaddyReilly (profile) says:

    The best thing the OO could have done to thwart their enemies was embrace them to its bosom – even make them honorary members in recognition of their capitulation and commitment to British Rule

    Category error here: the OO is not a pro-British movement but a pro-Protestant one, and therefore anti-Catholic. King James and his army (whose defeat is celebrated at this time of year) fought under the flag of the Union.

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  14. Comrade Stalin (profile) says:

    Despite the fact that the OO seem to be desperately trying to persuade everyone to hate them, there is no need for punitive measures, bans, destruction of halls (that comment is particularly shameful) or anything else.

    All that is necessary is for the OO to talk to local residents and elected representatives to agree a way forward; and to accept that sometimes, perhaps 0.1% of the time, they might not get their way.

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  15. Coll Ciotach (profile) says:

    If the OO came out of the 19C and engaged with Catholicism to through back the continuing tide of secularism I for one would vote for a border.

    However they cannot do that and survive as their existence is founded on supremacy not equality and relies on maintaining at least the appearance of it. Which is why they cannot debate whether they can march or not.

    The real problem for the OO is that it is now of no further use to the British interest. The function of the planter was always to impliment British policy. They are now in the way of British policy. They are finished unless they become relevant again.

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  16. oneill (profile) says:

    “Sadly people across the world are not hearing about the long traditions of Ulster Unionism as they see clips of bricks being hurled at police.”

    The problem is that a whole or quite possibly the entire range of *stakeholders* couldn’t give a fiddlers about the image Unionism or Protestantism or loyalism or the OO have in the rest of the world. Start from that point.

    So… the only thing which might knock them out of their complacency, and it’s still a long shot, is if those who live on the frontline point out, in the most forceful terms possible, the shite that they face in terms of dealing with the inevitable counter-reaction (in the form of golf balls petrol bombs etc as opposed to outraged leftist editorials in Milan journals or upset senators in the US).

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  17. New Yorker (profile) says:

    Is it true that the OO receive funding from the UK, the RoI and the EU? If so, should such funding be reconsidered in light of the last few days?

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  18. Morpheus (profile) says:

    New Yorker

    “The Orange Order is getting almost £4m to develop two interpretative centres in Belfast and County Armagh. Nearly £3m is coming Europe’s Peace Three programme with £1m jointly coming from the Dublin government and the Stormont Executive.”

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  19. Comrade Stalin (profile) says:

    Counter-attacking the Orange Order is not the solution, not at this juncture. The approach must be carrot, as well as stick. Nobody wants to hound them out of existence. The message to them must be that their current behaviour cannot stand – but if they behave in a civilized fashion and their place in society will be respected and protected.

    The Irish government’s role in providing funding to the Orange Order, and their support for setting up the heritage centre at the Boyne site etc, is a crucial part of the confidence-building measures in the peace process. It is in the Orange Order’s interest that this relationship continues.

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  20. wild turkey (profile) says:

    ‘“The decision to encourage people to engage in protests over this issue was the height of irresponsibility. ”

    Not necessarily – but doing it with no plan, no sense of direction and no attempt to prevent violence was beyond irresponsibility. They didn’t even tell the membership what they wanted them to do’

    Cynic deux. happy bastille day. Regards the ‘leadership’ of the OO. Stonewall Jackson would have these guys court-martialed and hung. i am a new england yankee boy, but i respect genius and leadership… which has been farcial, if unintentionally honest, here with the OO

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  21. Michael (profile) says:

    Aye Yer Ma

    try this for starters – rather than think of the two sides being irreconcilable as being the start point of a conversation – can one side acknowledge the other sides existence as of today, can they then acknowledge the other side’s right to hold a different viewpoint and outlook than their own?, if so can one side ask the other to reciprocate? Great now we are getting somewhere.

    Pause there and then start to talk with each other about the economy – does one side wish for jobs for their people? Great, do they think it would be a good idea for people in the other side to also have employment? Super.

    You see how it goes and with a basic walk through you can see that common ground is a natural place to be. You actually have to work really hard at keeping up a pretence of grievance and reaction at every act and idea of the other. I don’t know where this lot get the energy from to keep this shite up decade after decade.

    As for your wild notion of the OO and the RCC getting together to make something beautiful happen – well Orcs spring to mind – an unholy alliance that would speak more to the world of what it is like to live in Northern Ireland than any act of rioting. Saying that – loads of conservative Catholics have a deep regard for Paisley and love the DUP’s “moral” stance on social issues.

    I can say one thing for it – it would be the accelerator pedal for left right politics that this place needs and would free many stranded Catholic “Social Democratic” prisoners to be the centre- or far-right “Christian Democrats” they would love to be.

    Who would the proddy socialists be represented by?

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  22. Nevin (profile) says:

    “For many Loyalists the decision to re-route the parade is just another step in the culture wars being waged by Sinn Fein to erode their British identity.”

    Perhaps David and the ‘Loyalists’ should read the Dick Spring briefing and explore the nature of the Athboy conspiracy.

    Nationalists seek a UI and some obviously view the OO as an obstacle to that objective. The Secretary of State hides behind the Chief Constable and the Chief Constable hides behind the Parades Commission. As events in Ardoyne during the past few years illustrate, the Parades Commission is blowing in the wind and the ‘reaching out’ lingo of the OFMDFM leaders, Peter and Martin, is so much hot air as (even) more extreme voices participate in the power-play in the exceedingly narrow ground of Ardoyne.

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  23. DC (profile) says:

    The orange order isn’t what it used to be in terms of its members being church goers and abiding by religious principles and tolerance – and the associated kick the pope bands aren’t helpful in terms of shedding the sectarian image to the wider public and of course nationalist residents. wider, more moderate public opinion isn’t really into to all that kind of stuff, so it only de-legitimises unionism and indeed loyalism even more so when it all backfires and violence breaks out when approaching police lines. Basically a lot of people and parties involved can lose a lot of credibility in the court of public opinion i.e. Belfast Telegraph types.

    That said the parades commission ruled that just 12 Orange Order members without crowds or bands could walk home last year before 4pm, why if it is ok last year to do this is it not ok this year?

    Arguably the kick the pope bands and stuff like that are seen to be by some the most offensive at times, but as like last year if it is just 12 orange order members walking up a big enough street then what is the problem – it is an orange walk but it is ridiculously regulated to the point of being almost completely sanitised.

    In flashpoint areas you can’t say the orange order hasn’t jumped through hoops.

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  24. Alias (profile) says:

    “When one of your main raison d’êtres is for freedom of expression, then it is foolish to be engaging with those who have no shame in stating that they wish to eradicate your existence as well as all the heritage and freedoms that you wish to protect.”

    That’s about the state of it. It’s no harm to emphasise that freedom of expression is being suppressed but the OO isn’t the one suppressing it. The neither is the OO attempting to prevent any march or deny any right to public assembly. The oppressive agency here is the one saying “You’re not welcome in this territory because it belongs to our tribe.” That, of course, is the diametric opposite of a shared future. It is the Catholic tribe dividing shared public spaces into private tribal territories. The concept that tribes own the reservation might work in America but it isn’t one that the PC should be promoting in the UK.

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  25. Pasty (profile) says:

    No Doubt the Orange Order will be out tomorrow saying that the reports of Rioting by Protestants is nothing more than propaganda by Republicans as Loyal Unionist Protestants do not riot at all and if they did they certainly wouldn’t on a SUNDAY…!!!!!!! No Surrender…..and all that.

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  26. tmitch57 (profile) says:

    @David Crookes,

    “Require the OO to impignorate seven of their halls as a guarantee of good behaviour.”

    I have no idea what this means. Just in case in was a word that never made it into American English I looked it up on Longmans English Dictionary Online and was asked if I didn’t mean impregnate. Please clarify.

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  27. I checked it on my on-line dictionary; it means to pledge or pawn.

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  28. Is the future of the OO in N.I. predicted by their history in Canada? Up until the 1950s their 12th July parade was the biggest demonstration in Toronto. Major streets were closed for the parade. Today they are reduced to a few hundreds old guys at most, marching along an insignificant side street and they are lucky to get a couple of inches column space in the local newspapers.

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  29. redstar2011 (profile) says:

    If the Haas talks are only going to include the main parties they are somewhat doomed before they start.

    Dup cannot deliver UPF fleg types whilst SF cannot deliver Garc or especially Garvaghy. Apart from that discussions based on exclusion havent exactly been a roaring success

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  30. PeterBrown (profile) says:

    A better approach from the OO IMO would be to bypass the rabble “residents groups” entirely and instead engage with the RC church leaders in such local areas instead.

    AYM according to Sunday Sequence on Sunday this was requested and Fr Tim Bartlett had a hard time trying to explain to William Crawley why it hadn’t been taken up…

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  31. redstar2011 (profile) says:

    What a daft suggestion. The residents groups are protesting so bypass those protesting and talk to someone else!!!! Funny season!!!

    Meanwhile back in the real world both sides are very happy with the Derry arrangements- why not have that in Belfast. The deal is basically that the marchers have more or less free run of the main city centre in exchange for no controversial feeder parades.

    Why is that acceptable in Derry but not Belfast

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  32. michael-mcivor (profile) black spot says:

    A quiet enough night- tonight should be more peaceful-maybe those English police can get back home to their familys now and enjoy the summer-

    The unionists/loyalists are being weaned of violence as their alcohol levels go down and the courts fill up-

    No march back home through Ardoyne yet the orange order still made it back to their homes-once again it has been proved that violence does not work these days-

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  33. redstar2011 (profile) says:

    Exactly Michael.

    Loyalists will just have to get back to normal and allow their representatives to continue working happily away in the big house helping the Shinners with the “Shrine……!”

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  34. PeterBrown (profile) says:

    Redstar

    genuine question – what controversial feeder parades did the OO give up to get the “more or less free run of the main city centre”?

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  35. redstar2011 (profile) says:

    Peter I am not going to lie and waffle that I am an expert about the fine details of the Derry march but the gist was that no provocation gained freedom to march.

    All i am asking is if the brethren in Derry can work in with their catholic neighbours why cant the Belfast lot do too.

    Ps I am not a Shinner by any stretch of the imagination

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