What if the rioters were Catholic?

I don’t have a subscription to the Independent, but the initial slug piece from Bruce Anderson’s essay asks an interesting question, which might be worth asking here: if the rioters were Catholic, would the world take more time to understand their motivation?

  • Henry94

    If the rioters were Catholic would Bruce Arnold be asking such a stupid question?

  • Henry94

    Or even Bruce Anderson

  • Biffo

    If the rioters were Catholic would they have been able to get so close to the water cannon that they were able to pull the hoses off?

  • Mick Fealty

    Ask a stupid question…

  • circles

    Simple answer – no (to both Andersons question and Henry’s counter-question).
    Some would would see it as further proof of oppression (without trying to understand whats really going on).
    Some would see it as further prooof that they’re a traitorous bunch of ungrateful rogues (without trying to understand whats really going on).
    And a minority would try and understand it no matter who is behind it.
    What would interest me a lot more would be a comparison of the PSNIs approach. Are there any comparable figures out yet (nr. of injured officers, nr. of arrests, nr. of plastics, litres of water used in the cannons etc.)? Are riots being delat with in the same manner no matter what side of the fence they occur?

  • Feismother

    Don’t know how to [of if I can] make a link but Newton has a piece in the new-look G2 Guardian, page 3 – The Question: What are the Unionists cross about this time?

  • Jo

    Time has moved on and while the rioting of 1969 was seen by the standards of the time as symptomatic as a failure of the State, rioting in 2005 is seen as the antics of troublemakers and enemies of stability.

    Loyalists are slow learners indeed, in so many ways. The largely pro-Catholic disapora around the world could have been matched by appealing to the descendants of so many Ulster Protestants in the US and elsewhere, but no Unionist leader had either the charisma or the gumption to match the touchy feely diplomacy of Hume et al. The rejection of a Nobel prize winner, in favour of a party led by a criminal, just about says it all.

  • Donnie
  • francesco

    if the rioters were catholics we would have had plastic bullets galore for the whole community just back in the days.
    but the real question to me is what are the unionist so called leaders doing to stop the rioting?

  • fair_deal

    Circles

    Stats on the use of impact rounds by the PSNI

    On 12th July 2005 the PSNI came under sustained attack from republicans with bricks, petrol bombs and pipe bombs. They fired 22 “impact” rounds after refusing there use 8 times and for a period of 40 minutes. 100 officers were injured 2 required hospital treatment.

    On Saturday the PSNI and army came under sustained attack by loyalists with bricks, petrol bombs, pipe bombs and live fire, about 450 “impact rounds” and 6 live rounds were fired. If I remember correctly 32 officers were injured 1 requiring hospital treatment. Since Saturday about a further 18 officers have been injured and 50 more impact rounds fired.

  • fair_deal

    50 more impact rounds fired including one that just missed me on Sunday night as I was leaving my home.

  • Baluba

    Are you serious fair deal? I think if you dig a bit deeper, you’ll find it’s quite the opposite, consistently.

    Example, the Clegg riots or the Drumcree riots. Off hand, during the Drumcree riots, there were 5,000 odd more plastics fired at Nationalist than Loyalists.

    Ban the damn things. Just arrest the rioters.

    Don’t even try the argument that police are being heavy-handed. They couldn’t even remove a few women with prams from the Springfield and from Dunmurry. It’s simply bullshit. Everyone knows that if they were nationalist rioters there’d have been blue bloody murder from the peelers.
    (Apart from the fact that there was a significant difference in scale between the two incidents you quote).

    Take your fuckin’ blinkers off man.

  • Biffo

    Thanks for the stats fair_deal.

    Any stats on the number of petrol bombs, blast bombs, live rounds, fired by OO supporters and members and loyalist paramilitaries?

  • Rick

    I honestly don’t like indulging in retrospective hypotheticals and what ifs, purely because the ensuing discourse relies almost solely on the imagination, and then anything can be conjured up.

  • slug

    What is a ‘slug piece’?

  • Jo

    Baluba
    Given your view of how roughly the RUC treated Nationalists, what is your view of the 70 yo being truncheoned and the allegations of the PSNI calling rioters “orange bastards”?

  • fair_deal

    Baluba

    “Are you serious fair deal? I think if you dig a bit deeper, you’ll find it’s quite the opposite, consistently.”

    Serious about what? These stats are what are in the public domain about the use of impact rounds this summer by the PSNI. Like it or lump it those are the stats, if the stats don’t fit with your personal narrative or preconceived notions of the PSNI then maybe you have to look at changing your narrative and notions.

    “Don’t even try the argument that police are being heavy-handed.”

    Where did I make claims of heavy handed? Circles asked for information I provided it.

    Biffo

    I haven’t read specific figures from the police on the violence. I’ll expect they’ll have those produced for the next Policing Board. Orde has talked about dozens and hundreds of live rounds fired.

  • Elmo

    the fact is the people involved in the recent riots are nothing but thugs and criminals! ordering elderly people off a bus and robbing them before setting fire to the bus! I think its disgusting that of the hundreds of rioters only 6 were arrested and 2 then released, in what other civilised country would this happen?!

  • Dessertspoon

    Yes Elmo in all of those other civilised countries you speak of a hell of a lot of the rioters would be dead and so would a significant number of police officers.

    I am as frustrated as you that so few were arrested but over the next few months more and more will be identified from the videos and arrested and charged – it’s just that it won’t be such big news so you might not hear about it.

  • fair_deal

    Elmo

    19 were arrested last night in Woodvale area. The PSNI approach is to make rioters amenable to the courts is through video footage. Considering the large amount of it they will have it will take time to go through and no doubt they will have an appeal to identify people they do not know as they did after the trouble at Ardoyne and Woodvale earlier in the summer.

    I’d heard the PSNI had scooped a few rubber neckers so that may explain the 2 released.

  • VICTOR1

    50 more impact rounds fired including one that just missed me on Sunday night as I was leaving my home.

    Posted by: fair_deal

    Were you on your way for a pint of milk ? The number of baton rounds fired cannot be compared, the rioting in Ardoyne was totally restricted to that area, Loyalist rioting was widespread and therefore under the orders of different police officers!

  • Macswiney

    If the rioters were Catholic, I guarantee that at least ONE of the 450 plastic bullets (or whatever their new guise is) would have hit an intended target. Particularly when up to 50 live rounds were piercing individual armoured vehicles.

  • circles

    Jo:
    Who made the claims that the PSNI called the rioters “Orange Bastards”? I am honestly taken aback by that one!! But at least Patten ahs lead to an even handed dishing out of childish insults across the whole community (in the training book it must now say: “Dependent on circumstances, in situations of public unrest, officers are now authorised to use the terms “fenian/orange bastards” – replacing the more commonly used “fenian bastards”

    Thanks for the info fair_deal. Not a nice feeling to have one of those plastic jobbies whistle by – but I’m sure a lot better than getting one in the bake.
    Of course what is interesting to have along with these stats in onfo on how heavy the rioting is (three plastics at a crowd drinking a carry-out isn’t the same as three plastics at a mob firing live rounds – I’m not making any claims with this, just saying that we’ll need both sides of the story before we can even consider the PSNIs respnse to these riots).

  • fair_deal

    Victor1

    No I was going to Carrick to get my girlfriend safely home. I must admit there use did come at a strange time while crowds were still milling about there had been no rioting for over half an hour (ie no stones or petrol bombs thrown etc) and then the PSNI fired six impact rounds.

    “the rioting in Ardoyne was totally restricted to that area, Loyalist rioting was widespread and therefore under the orders of different police officers!”

    I could be mistaken about this but the strong impression I got from the PSNI press conference was that the 450 on the Saturday were largely used in the Highfield/West circular road area so my impression is they were largely used in a restricted area.

    Macswiney

    “would have hit an intended target”

    They did hit rioters but if used at a distance and/or as the new round is less powerful it does less damage hence those injured are less likely to seek proper medical attention.

  • VICTOR1

    I could be mistaken about this but the strong impression I got from the PSNI press conference was that the 450 on the Saturday were largely used in the Highfield/West circular road area so my impression is they were largely used in a restricted area.

    That being the case then the use of baton rounds in the rest of the areas where rioting was taking place was disproportionate or maybe dare I say convieniently lenient!

  • fair_deal

    Elmo

    “Sixty-three people have been arrested following the rioting over the past three days” 60 for rioting and 3 for terrorist offences (source BBC NI website)

    Victor1

    “disproportionate or maybe dare I say convieniently lenient!”

    Please make up your mind. First you say because it was spread it was proportionate when pointed out it may well have been concentrated you try and jump horses and say elesewhere it was too few. They used at least 50 elsewhere. There has also been extensive use of the watercannon.

    Circles

    “one of those plastic jobbies whistle by”

    Regrettably not the first time but hopefully the last. It wasn’t the only time at the weekend either. I was in the second part of the parade on Saturday (the PSNI closed the Mackie gates cutting the parade in two) so by the time I reached the West Circular road our section of the parade ended up between the first and second lines of PSNI so when the loyalists opened fire we were dodging the missed rounds and ricochets.

    Do you think I should take it personally? 😉 The joys of living and working in Loyalist Belfast – take me home country roads to the place I belong….

  • woodkerne

    For the ammount of property destroyed, disruption caused to decent people andlive rounds fired directly at the cops I would have to say that the rioters got off pretty lightly. It is sad though that all you seem to hear is of the peelers being heavy handed and all this us’uns and them’uns bullshit.

    P.S.
    What is wrong with the OO. Can they not accept BRITISH law? What exactly is the problem with marching where your supporters live. Its easier for everyone that way.

  • circles

    I was thinking of getting a T-shirt printed with “Loyalists are the new republicans” – until I realised they’re not. Their political awareness is about 30 years behind republicans.
    Fair_deal – I actually think you should take it personally. The RUC nearly wiped me out once for having the gall to walk along the foot path while a riot raged at the bottom of Lenadoon, and I was mighty pissed. Its not the kind of thing you can just swallow. The question is though, whats the best way to vent your spleen – political engagement or turning your neighbourhood into a crater.

  • VICTOR1

    fair_deal
    Read back through my posts,you’ll find no reference to proportionality so no jumping off horses on my behalf, thanks.

  • fair_deal

    Circles

    http://www.tshirthell.com/store/product.php?productid=325

    My sister thinks this Tshirt would suit me best 😉

    Personally I think this one is more suitable ;P

    http://www.tshirthell.com/store/product.php?productid=182

  • fair_deal

    Victor1

    My bad apologies

  • fair_deal

    actually you did make reference to proportionality in your 1.45pm

    “where rioting was taking place was disproportionate or maybe dare I say convieniently lenient!”

    But I still implied a meaning to your previous post that wasn’t in it.

  • VICTOR1

    Now your being silly, and you as much as admit it at the end of the above post.

  • Betty Boo

    Every little bit helps, Fair Deal

  • brighid mcbride

    What if it had been Catholics rioting?

    Kevin Myers, Ed Baloney and Mouth McDowell would have thought they had died and gone to heaven…

  • Niall

    *…”no Unionist leader had either the charisma or the gumption to match the touchy feely diplomacy of Hume et al.

    The rejection of a Nobel prize winner, in favour of a party led by a criminal, just about says it all.

    Posted by: Jo at September 13, 2005 10:55 AM *

    I thought that the US opinion was that no unionist leader, or unionism as a whole, is able to get away from the description of the OO as being a British KKK.

    Trimble is remembered for his dark glasses in the Vangard period, his skipping down Garvaghy hand in hand with a fundamentalist rabble rouser of the Iranian Ayatollah mode (see the contempory riots he inspired). Unless the unionists reject this criminal, as you describe, no amount of charisma or gumption will help the unionist cause shake international view that they are simply bigots.

    Trimble only received a Nobel as a sop to unionists when Hume had done all the work (Hume Adams talks which at the time were condemned by UU and DUPes). Indeed it’s often highlighted that Hume donated his Nobel financial benefits to charity while Trimble seems to be investing until he moves to London for the Conservatives or house of lords.

    “..touchy feely diplomacy of Hume et al” it’s known as political nous something which is seriously lacking among the unionist opponents of Hume and the old sdlp (also lacking in the new sdlp).

    Give Dawson Baillie his own TV show and the issue of the Sick Counties would become moot.

  • Jo

    circles

    its alleged in Alex Benjamin’s thread elsewhere here in Slugger.

  • Brian Boru

    If the rioters are Catholic I expect more would have been done to stop the rioting, including plastic-bullets etc. But because they are Protestant little is done e.g. I heard on RTE Radio 1 on Liveline about this person whose car was attacked and the police were nowhere to be seen.

  • Paul

    If the rioters had been Catholic, SF would have done a far better whitewash and PR damage limitation job than the Unionists have managed.

  • willowfield

    Some of the comments on this thread are unbelievable. People (who probably complained about the use of baton rounds against nationalist rioters) now complaining that more weren’t used against loyalist rioters. Then when the stats show that more were used against loyalist rioters, they say – oh, but there were other riots where fewer rounds were used against loyalists. And if the recent riots (not confined to one area) had been by nationalists then the police would definitely have been more “heavy-handed” than they were.

    The police were viciously assaulted and fired on with live rounds, and some people’s reaction is to complain about the police!

    This sectarian one-sidedness is sickening. Stop looking at things through a sectarian prism. It has to stop.

  • Katie

    One post mentions the Clegg Riot, I am a furrinner so’s I am pretty naiive, but wasn’t that about unarmed teenagers being murdered by the PSNI and then the subsequest fun and insulting sculpture being made in thier expense?

    And aren’t these latest riots in response to a parade being moved?

    Is that too sectarian a way to look at it?

  • Henry94

    willowfield makes a good point. Plastic bullets are either acceptable or they are not. Prehaps unionists will now be open to having them banned as they can no longer be sure that they will only be used against nationalists.

    In that event then we would have to have a serious debate about policing and the range of acceptable responses to riots.

    As the police service becomes more balanced we don’t may see a situation where it has the support of neither community.