Orange anger at authorities….

ORANGE Order Grand Master Robert Saulters has been formally cautioned by police over his involvement in an allegedly illegal parade, according to the News Letter. Relations between the authorities and the Order are poor, particularly after recent legislation making the Orange Order responsible for its supporters was passed. The Government doesn’t seem to see any need to further review the Parades Commission either, to the Orangemen’s dismay.

  • fair_deal

    The News Letter actually has gotten this story wrong. He has not received a caution, he was interviewed under caution with a view to prosecution.

  • George

    Nothing like making organisers responsible for the actions of demonstrators to get a well stewarded march.

    One has to ask why the Orange Order are fighting this tooth and nail. Only those who are ambivalent about violence at demonstrations would have an issue about somebody actually taking responsiblility.

    The idea of registering a demonstration and having somebody take responsibility is common practise in democracies.

    Those who call out the mob should pay the price.

  • Bored

    Well said George. Until the twelfth ‘celebrations’ become other than an excuse for:-

    (a) Gangs of feral, slack-jawed, dull-eyed scum hanging around town centres, pissing on streets, eating ten varieties of deep-fried excrement followed by umpteen tins of McEwans,

    (b) the time of year when loyalist murder gangs decide to start ratcheting up their year-round low-level campaigns of intimidation, arson and thuggery in order to herald the upcoming ‘celebrations’,

    (c) an occasion when troupes of orangutanesque, balaclava-sporting scum strut around ‘bonefires’ (sic) of carcinogen-spewing tyres, sofas and other assorted toxic shite before delivering some sort of barely coherent, grammar-mangling dirge against Ireland, Catholics, ‘themmuns’ etc.etc.etc.,

    (d) the time of year when EVERYONE possessing even a modicum of breeding, intelligence, taste or sense gets the hell out of glorious wee ‘norn iron’,

    then the ‘celebrations’ will continue to be what they have been for years – the odious public incarnation of all that is foul within loyalism.

  • spirit-level

    fair-deal do you think Saulters might get an ASBO slapped on him? Would you agree?

  • tra g

    The loyalist commission should be meeting soon to draw up the war plan.

    1.Don’t give seven days notice.
    2.Try to proceed with the march
    3.Get the uda or uvf to confront the cops
    4.Bring out the guns
    5.Attack the taigs (its all their fault anyway)

  • Colonel_Grim

    What a bunch of bigots you are!

    You just hate something which you find different and which you dont understand. The Orange Celebrations are part of Western Europes largest cultural festivals yet all you can see is your own petty little prejidices!

    Dont comment on something which you know absolutely nothing about!

  • TAFKABO

    Bored.

    How would you react if someone used language likening members of the catholic or nationalist community to animals and monkeys?

    Try to keep in mind that some of us here come from the communities you demonise, and find these types of comments extremely offensive.
    I am tired of the people who lecture me about sectarianism, thinking that using the pretext of Orange parades or bonfire celebrations makes it OK to indulge in the most brazen and naked displays of hate.

  • Colonel_Grim

    Oh you mean like the doctrines of the AOH which talks about killing all Protestants and driving them back into the sea in rivers of blood! Whats sauce for the goose my friend!

  • Bored

    The AOH are an equally preposterous bunch of prats – your assumption that I somehow support them merely betrays your own risible prejudices Colonel Grim. As for my post being sectarian – do me a favour…

  • scipio

    If you bring thousands on to the streets why should you not be answerable for the ‘camp folowers’ – whether AoH or Orange.

    Football clubs have to answer for their followers so why should other institutions (loyal or otherwise) be able do otherwise.

    Also whether its the Hibernians with the Provos on parade – boys in berrets and sunglasses – or yet another ‘Oh this is the 1917 UVF – not the modern ones “Honest”‘ a little less of the paramilitary trappings would do both sides a power of good and maybe take some unnecessary heat out of parades.

  • Bored

    TAFKABO – sorry about comparing the loyalist paramilitaries who gather at bonfires for ‘shows of strength'(sic) to orangutans – if I had realised that you were a member of such a group I wouldn’t have been so quick to have offended you.

  • George

    “What a bunch of bigots you are!”

    Care to explain to me Colonel what is bigotted about expecting the Orange Order to follow the norms of a peaceful, democratic society?

    The idea of registering a demonstration and having somebody take responsibility is common practise in democracies.

    Why are the Orange Order against this? Care to address this?

    If they are unable to guarantee that the people they call onto the streets are going to respect the laws of the land or else pay the price then it is the job of democrats to ensure that mob rule doesn’t prevail.

    “The Orange Celebrations are part of Western Europes largest cultural festivals yet all you can see is your own petty little prejidices!”

    Can you name me one cultural festival in Western Europe which isn’t registered with the local authorities and where there isn’t a person named as being legally responsible? Well Colonel?

    If it’s a cultural festival then what’s the problem with giving a name? Do they not understand the meaning of civic responsibility?

    The fact the Orange Order don’t want to give a name indicates that they are either incapable of stopping this cultural gathering from being ruled by the mob or they want it ruled by the mob.

    If either is the case and the Orange Order won’t do it themselves then democrats must defeat the mob.

  • Colonel_Grim

    firstly since when has it been safe in Northern Ireland for anyone to put a name and address on a piece of papper that could make its way into any ones hands?

    Secondly, The medieval festival in Sigishoara, Romania which hold host to around 100,000 visitors a year has no official registered organisers.

    Bigoted and sectarian because you neither do nor wish to understand anything about Orange culture yet you dispise and hate it anyway.

    I hate it when people try to play the victim when actually they are attempting to hide their own venemous hatreds.

  • tra g

    The orange order and ‘community reps’ met in the east belfast head quarters of the OO on the Albertbridge road this evening.

    Seems that the planning for the battle has begun.

    No doubt the uvf will be to the fore in all aspects of the planning.

  • martin

    These problems they are having with the P.S.N.I, I bet they wish they were back in the old days when they had the King Rat with his slurry tanker of petrol backing them up

  • crow

    I think everybody knows the reality with a lot of these parades.It is an excuse for the baseball cap brigade to have a lot of drink and drugs and start trouble with people of the opposite religion.A lot of it also boils down to a show of strength as well.Thats what i reckon anyway.

  • crow

    I also think that bully boys on either side of the religious divide look forward to this time of year.It kind of gives them a sense of importance amongst their own community.

  • fair_deal

    Spirit-level

    I don’t think an ASBO will be imposed – its use is more for patterns of behaviour were charges are difficult or cannot be brought. The lodge and parade participants engaged in an act of civil disobedience as they wish to test a Parades Commission procedure at law – the court will determine who has the better legal advice.

    The last person to legally challlenge the Parades Commission was last year for the Crumlin Road parade and they won with the Parades Commission admitted it had exceeded its powers (despite some terrible media reporting at the time that the person lost burying the story that a public body had been found abusing its powers)

    Bored

    “my post being sectarian – do me a favour”

    The usual republican denial of sectarianism – who me no never it’s everyone else.

    George

    “If they are unable to guarantee that the people they call onto the streets are going to respect the laws of the land”

    Are Orangemen not allowed to engage in civil disobedience?

    ” common practise in democracies.”

    LMAO. The Parades Commission is without precedent in any democracy. The democratic standard for dealing with parades, marches and demonstrations was fully researched during the transition in South Africa by the Goldstone/Goldsmith commission (apologies on the name can never remember it) and the Parades Commission is nowhere near those standards.

    For example the latest legislation makes a march organiser responsible for a ‘supporter’ (the legal defintion of whcih is disastrously drafted) not only at the event but going to and from it (the PSNI or Garda couldn’t even police such a scenario so how is a voluntary organisation?). This despite the fact that under human rights and public order legislation if you turned up at a parade and were doing something unacceptable all I can do is ask you to cease. I have no legal authority over you WHATSOEVER and if I physically touch you I can be arrested for assault.

    More and more legal obligations are heaped on parade organisers while they have no authority to ensure compliance.

    Martin

    “his slurry tanker of petrol backing them up”

    I know that story has gained immense currency but on a point of accuracy it was actually filled with slurry.

  • George

    Colonel,
    “Bigoted and sectarian because you neither do nor wish to understand anything about Orange culture yet you dispise and hate it anyway.”

    I never said I despised or hated Orange Culture. In fact, you saying I do makes you a prejudiced because you are assuming things about me base and judging me.

    Also, since when is Romania considered Western Europe. Care to name a Western European festival where there are no legal obligations or are Romanian standards good enough for Northern Ireland in your view?

    Fair_Deal,
    “Are Orangemen not allowed to engage in civil disobedience?”

    Yes but they should not allowed carry out acts of violence and terror on innocent third parties. You can be disobedient without being a thug. They can have a peaceful sit-down protest, get clubbed on the head, be dragged away, briefly imprisoned, fined and given a criminal record like all the other people who practise civil disobedience without terror.

    If they act like thugs, they should be treated exactly like other people who are willing to use violence to force through their agenda.

  • fair_deal

    George

    The case presently under discussion, the Grand Master’s interview regarding the East belfast parade, there was no ‘thuggery’ involved.

  • George

    Fair_deal,
    I’m talking about the part of the post on the legislation looking for a name.

    If there is going to be no thuggery, then there is no problem with the Orange Order giving a name.

    On Saulters, surely as he broke the law, he should be punished or why should the Orange Order be exempt from civic responsibility?

    Or do you think any group should be allowed assemble wherever they want, whenever they want?

    Working class people get tagged and confined to the slum if they are in groups larger than three but the Orange Order can call who they like onto the street.

  • fair_deal

    George

    I think you are ill-informed. In the east belfast case the Lodge organising the parade (LOL 721)provided a couple of dozen names (all the members of the Lodge which is a risk in in itself as it is ex-servicemen and Parades commission documents have been found in the possession of the IRA). It was not avoidance of responsibility all the members were taking responsibility for the parade.

    Among the ‘serious’ issues that the Parades Commission have raised as breaches of determinations and potentially subject to legal proceedings against organisers once included the gem that “a band was 38 seconds late” and that a parade participants phone rang and his ringtone was the sash.

    “On Saulters, surely as he broke the law, he should be punished or why should the Orange Order be exempt from civic responsibility?”

    This is the question did he break the law? The Parades Commission has adopted a particular procedure. This case will test their procedures. If the procedure is deemed lawful then charges and conviction are likely. It is the risk you take when you engage in civil disobedience (some you win some you lose).

    “Or do you think any group should be allowed assemble wherever they want, whenever they want?”

    No I want a system for managing parades that is fiting with common democratic standards. A test the Parades Commission fails.

  • George

    Fair_deal,
    my understanding of demonstrations in most western democracies is that you need to have somebody legally responsible, who officially applies for the right to demonstrate.

    They are the conduit to the police, the person responsible on the insurance front, for saying what numbers will turn up etc.

    It is irrelevant if the cops are given a handful of names, they can get those names off the people when they arrest them, the only name worth anything is the name of the person registering the demonstration.

    It’s a bit like the law needing a name on the poster rather than arresting the guy who puts it up. Legally watertight.

    On the point of risk, putting your name down for any demonstration is a risk. Depending on what you are demonstrating against, you can get visits from Nazis, homophobes, Youth Defence types or the secret service.

    On determinations, I’ve seen people violently smashed in the head and arrested by police for nothing more than wearing sunglasses and therefore disguising their identity.

    Why should the Orange Order be exempt from what the rest of us who practise civil disobedience have to endure?

  • fair_deal

    George

    In western democracies permission is not sought for a public demonstration but information provided to the appropriate authorities, who only on clear satisfaction of strict legal limitations can withhold permission.

    You are also being selective in demanding the OO do one thing that occurs in other democracies while the entire system for dealing with parades isn’t.
    Is a contact name given? Yes and the Orange Lodge is perfectly prepared to provide names for the liaison with the police.
    Is that contact name subject to severe legal penalties for those he/she has no legal authority over in other democracies? No.

    Democratic standards can’t be cherry-picked.

  • George

    Fair_Deal,

    What is undemocratic about the Parades process and how is it more undemocratic than the process around the G8 demonstration for example?

    Do you not agree that people lose the right to assembly in a certain area if this assembly will lead to a serious breakdown in public order, leading to serious injury and perhaps death?

    It’s a bit like saying it the democratic right of G8 demonstrators to stand next to George Bush and to hell with his personal safety and the safety of those police trying to protect him rather than affording people the right to demonstrate at a safe distance, where there is not a threat of violence.

    Why should the Orange Order not follow the same rules as the rest of us? It is not always for them to decide where they want to demonstrate. In a democracy you sometimes you have to think of the greater good.

    Do you not agree that if the police deem a march illegal, it is illegal and those who participate are committing a crime?

  • fair_deal

    “Do you not agree that people lose the right to assembly in a certain area if this assembly will lead to a serious breakdown in public order, leading to serious injury and perhaps death?”

    Serious public disorder is one of the grounds permission can be withheld. I repeat I want the normal democratic standards. However, both the Goldstone/Smith Commission and European Court decisions stress that the possibility of any public disorder is not grounds for the automatic withholding of permission as to do so sets dangerous precedents that peaceful groups will be denied fundamental rights of assembly and expression by violent elements or opponents.

    In a democratic society the standards are simple, you must provide reasonable notice to the authorities, you must liaise with them in advance to ensure the smooth running of the event, you have the responsibility to conduct your event in a peaceful manner, those who disagree with you have a right to protest and they have the same responsibility to do so peacefully. The Orange Order is willing to comply with all these standards.

    “Why should the Orange Order not follow the same rules as the rest of us? It is not always for them to decide where they want to demonstrate. In a democracy you sometimes you have to think of the greater good.”

    Parades in Northern Ireland are NOT subject to “the same rules as the rest of us”.

  • George

    fair_deal,
    I agree fully with your last post except for the Orange Order complying piece.

    The Orange Order didn’t comply just two weeks ago with Grand Master Saulters participating in an illegal parade.

    Comply means to abide by the rules set down by the authorities not to decide to decide which rules apply to you.

    Those who try and make it to Bush’s hotel will be arrested as illegal demonstrators, those OO members who try to make it down a road they are not allowed will also be arrested as illegal demonstrators.

    You also appear to be confusing I fully accept you must be careful about withholding of permission with witholding of desired location.

    The Orange Order can freely demonstrate, as evidenced by the thousands of marches they have, it is just the areas where public safety are endangered where restrictions are put in place.

    For example, in most country’s there is an exclusion area for demonstrators around parliaments.

  • George

    Should read: You also appear to be confusing withholding of permission with witholding of desired location.

  • fair_deal

    George

    I think we are having two conversations here. one is what are the normal democratic standards and the other the legislation for parades in Northern Ireland.

    As i said the Orange Order is happy to comply with a system of normal democratic standards. It will not acquiesce in the Parades Commission and its procedures as it is not a system of normal democratic standards.

    “where public safety are endangered where restrictions are put in place.”

    The issue of public safety is a value judgement in the process and hence sometimes it will be correct sometimes it will not. However, the Goldstone/smith and Euro court rulings make it clear that if it is the opponents of a demonstration who are the threat to public safety then the onus is firstly upon the authorities to try and prevent that threat rather than withholding permission.

    “For example, in most country’s there is an exclusion area for demonstrators around parliaments.”

    Such measures are to protect the legislative process not about public safety. I know they have just introduced such legislation for Westminster recently but I must admit I am personally uneasy about it. If people are able to show that they can demonstrate peacefully then they should be allowed to do so.

  • George

    Fair_deal,
    “It will not acquiesce in the Parades Commission and its procedures as it is not a system of normal democratic standards.”

    it is not for the Orange Order to decide which authority it acquiesces to and which one it doesn’t. That is the attitude of a group which thinks it is above the law.

    Also I asked why it isn’t a democratic system and have yet to get a reply.

    It was set up by the democratically elected British government and allows over 90% of Orange Order demonstrations and only wants to reroute not ban a few. Where is the democratic deficit?

    “if it is the opponents of a demonstration who are the threat to public safety”

    Indeed, as evidenced in many countries by anti-fascist counterdemonstrations being banned and fascist ones going ahead.

    But this has nothing to do with if the authorities rule that an OO march is illegal.

  • martin

    fairdeal,

    no I believe he made the threat as if it was filled with petrol–when you threaten with something it does not matter if the implement or tool is as you say it is or not—If I walk into a bank with an imitation firearm pretending that it is real –the threat is the same as if it were real.

    People being exposed to raw sewrage or slurry on their persons for any significant length of time would suffer severe nose bleeds,ear bleading-teeth falling out,blindness—It doesnt trivialise what he threatened to do,

    There is also a story that has gained currency with the passage of time-that it was actually an armoured plated digger.

    However, had it only been an empty slurry tanker–driving such a vehicle at full throttle at a dense and compact crowd would still have led to several deaths as a result of impact and also the probable stampede out of the way.

  • fair_deal

    George

    “it is not for the Orange Order to decide which authority it acquiesces to and which one it doesn’t. That is the attitude of a group which thinks it is above the law.

    The Orange Order like any group or individuals can chose to recognise and co-operate with whatever public bodies it choses, else we live in a dictatorship – in other countries the authorities are usually the police and local council – one a public accountable body the other a democratically accountable body – the OC is neither. The OO does not think it is above the law simply that it can challenge punitive laws, through civil disobedience and testing them in court.

    “why it isn’t a democratic system and have yet to get a reply.”

    Sorry for not replying sooner I must have overlooked it.

    It is not democratic system when compared with the norm of other democratic states. The responsibilities and legal consequences placed on parade organisers are far beyond those of elsewhere and the powers granted to the Parades Commission over marches are far in excess of those granted to those authorities who deal with marches in other democracies. Hence it is not democratic standards.

    “It was set up by the democratically elected British government and allows over 90% of Orange Order demonstrations and only wants to reroute not ban a few.”

    Democratic structures can abuse their powers. This is why we have recourse to the law, human rights and the courts as protection from such abuses. Also the number of determinations by the Parades Commission is growing so it is no longer the few.

  • fair_deal

    George

    “it is not for the Orange Order to decide which authority it acquiesces to and which one it doesn’t. That is the attitude of a group which thinks it is above the law.

    The Orange Order like any group or individuals can chose to recognise and co-operate with whatever public bodies it choses, else we live in a dictatorship – in other countries the authorities are usually the police and local council – one a public accountable body the other a democratically accountable body – the OC is neither. The OO does not think it is above the law simply that it can challenge punitive laws, through civil disobedience and testing them in court.

    “why it isn’t a democratic system and have yet to get a reply.”

    Sorry for not replying sooner I must have overlooked it.

    It is not democratic system when compared with the norm of other democratic states. The responsibilities and legal consequences placed on parade organisers are far beyond those of elsewhere and the powers granted to the Parades Commission over marches are far in excess of those granted to those authorities who deal with marches in other democracies. Hence it is not democratic standards.

    “It was set up by the democratically elected British government and allows over 90% of Orange Order demonstrations and only wants to reroute not ban a few.”

    Democratic structures can abuse their powers. This is why we have recourse to the law, human rights and the courts as protection from such abuses. Also the number of determinations by the Parades Commission is growing so it is no longer the few.

  • fair_deal

    Martin

    Again on accuracy, there was both a slurry tanker and a digger brought to Drumcree. The digger was brought to Drumcree after the PSNI and Army had built a reinforced barricade. It then had metal plates welded to it because the Army brought in snipers.

  • martin

    Fair-deal,

    You agree with me though,that whatever tools or machinery the late Mr Wright had in Drumcree he was making no idle threat and that he meant buisness.

  • martin

    Colonel Grim,

    The A. O. H do not have as a doctrine massacre the Protestants and drive them into the sea–what they do have as a motto since 1641 is

    faith and fatherland , true christian fellowship and charity.

    the reference to fatherland pertains to Ireland and not Germany-

  • fair_deal

    Martin

    “You agree with me though”

    Neither agree or disagree. I honestly don’t know what was in his mind – how much was bluff and how much was genuine.

    Also if I remember correctly Billy Wright was not the source of the claim it was filled with petrol. Someone close to David Trimble believed he wasn’t doing enough to get the situation resolved so he told DT that it was filled with petrol to encourage him. The story goes that DT went his customary bright purple and duely redoubled his efforts repeating the petrol claim to all who would listen.