Further riots in Belfast

Following a series of searches and arrests earlier today, and arrests during the disruption to traffic from road blocks, further rioting has broken out in north Belfast tonight. Although seemingly not on the scale of previous nights, there is one line, in particular, I want to highlight in the BBC report, and it was part of the report before the rioting started

Police cleared many protests off main roads, but were told they faced paramilitary attack if they tried to move women and children protesters.

The featured interview in today’s Belfast Telegraph, although anonymous, is an even more interesting read when those threats are taken into consideration.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Incredible – paramilitaries ordering the police to do nothing. This place is getting worse and worse.

    I think we should stick it up to the paramilitaries. Let’s back the police up with the army, and have them move the protestors off the road and see exactly what it is they plan. Anything that allows them to be incriminated and then quickly tried and jailed has got to be a risk worth taking.

  • looking in

    mmmmm…. and the OO wanted to call people out onto streets for legitimate protest, excuse my cynicism but methinks there has been a few wee words in the background to the heavies.

    Or is it that the old men of the OO are now hiding behind women and children….

    It is so depressing that I don’t know which is worse…..

    p.s. perhaps this is the ideal opportunity for the peaceful-protest advocating DUP/UU politicians to come out strong in condemnation of this gangsterism. I’m off to betfair to see if I can get better than 10,000-1 on Jeffery & Peter headlining Good Morning Ulster tomorrow.

  • VICTOR1

    Police cleared many protests off main roads, but were told they faced paramilitary attack if they tried to move women and children protesters.

    And so they heeded the warning and done nothing, incredible!

  • harry

    The first steps towards loyalist no-go areas.

    The uvf seem to be drawing the boundries

  • no-hope-here

    The interesting issue here is the Old RUC and young PSNI were more proactive against community revolt, especially when it was usually the nationalist community they were up against.

    Does anyone believe that if 30-40 IRA men invaded an estate that the PSNI would sit and watch?

    The current policy of the PSNI is to contain, especially in loyalist areas. This is relatively simple to understand. Many RUC/PSNI are members of, or sympathise with, the OO. They therefore show greater restraint when dealing with them.

    this was never more transparent than in Portadown, when RUC senior staff complained to the then Chief constable, Hugh annesley, that if push came to shove, the RUC officers on the ground might not hold the line, by choice. We then heard the Chief Constable make the most alarming explanation of his decision, the orangemen had a digger. The RUC then tore into the nationalist protesters with a vengeance, something they had singularly failed to do for the previous 5 days with their brethren on the hill at Drumcree.

    Nothing much has changed.

  • Mario el Argentino

    If they shoot real rounds at them, they should shoot real rounds back at the attackers. If they threaten them with guns they should show up with a tank. Why cant they just call declare the riots illegal and arrest people? Those that remain with guns should just be shot. People need to move on. All this for a stupid parade route?

  • peteb

    no-hoper

    The containment reference in the Belfast Telegraph article refers to the Ardoyne riot on the 12th July.

    And I would also suggest you read this post

  • Dave

    Its an interesting exercise from a republican perspective to compare the actions of the PSNI this past couple of days with those of the Police in the city in 1969.

    Despite the recent statements, there’s no real need for an IRA now is there?

  • Alan2

    “The first steps towards loyalist no-go areas.”

    That is of course what has been promoted all along is it not? Keep to your own areas. Parade in you own areas!……meaning in couched language approval for segragation and containment.

  • fair_deal

    CS

    “Incredible – paramilitaries ordering the police to do nothing. This place is getting worse and worse.”

    This is nothing new for loyalist areas and has been the pattern since the beginnings of the peace process.

  • PaddyCanuck

    PeteB.

    Do’nt be so smug.

    The RUC, PSNI, British and Stormont administrations have for the most part sought to contain and nurture (see adair, nelson and co.) the loyalist community, and to confront and attack republicans and nationalists.

    Hence internment – target Nationalists
    Hence shoot to kill policies and coverup’s – main target nationalists
    Riot control – hugely disproportionate use of baton rounds and live rounds against nationalists
    Collusion – colluded with loyalists to target nationalists
    Watch towers, barracks and army presence almost exclusively in nationalist areas.

    And remember the people of Ardoyne this 12th, were blockaded and hemmed into their community, again – how often has this been the case for loyalist communities.

    Containment was jutified in the Ardoyne, it worked, there was political leadership and trouble was isolated, the IRA announcement was forthcoming.

    However is loyalist containment warranted, sectarian campaigns across the north, drug dealing and rackets, bloody feuds and murder… and on the other hand, there is no prospect of leadership emerging, no offers of disarmament, or of the ending of criminality.

    Leave no hoper alone.

  • rod

    Armed paramilitaries seal off the Woodvale estate with burning vehicles every time the police try to arrest the blast bombers.

    It’s a bit like the Garnerville situation only they are on opposing sides, this time.

  • peteb

    With all appropriate respect, PCanuck.. my comment was strictly factual.

    ..and, once again, the reference to containment in the Belfast Telegraph article was to the Ardoyne riot

  • Comrade Stalin

    PaddyCanuck :

    “The RUC, PSNI, British and Stormont administrations have for the most part sought to contain and nurture (see adair, nelson and co.) the loyalist community,”

    Oh so that’s why the PSNI fought tooth and nail to try to keep Adair in jail .. ?

    You got any constructive ideas on how to deal with loyalists ? Your objection seems to be the police doing anything at all. Any plans to come down from the fence ?

  • PaddyCanuck

    His reference to containment was not soley in relation to the Ardoyne riot:

    “One of these days something terrible could happen. A trapped policeman in a fierce riot situation, where “containment” is no longer an option and his life is clearly in danger ? opening fire could well be the only avenue open.”

    Apart from the above statement, in the context of the article, containment was also being employed in garnerville and other situations, so with the greatest of respect(I will not be as snide as others), your comment was not strictly factual, it was inaccurate.

  • peteb

    Not solely. Indeed.

    Inaccurate? No. Try elsewhere.

  • PaddyCanuck

    Comrade,

    I would look to the leaders of unionim to provide leadership. I would also hope that people could emerge from the loyalist heartlands and provide real leadership where the above leaders have failed.

    I would also look to create jobs, hope, and development in all deprived areas, I would look to provide an effective community based policing service. I would have no tolerance for drug peddlars, and the hoods that run he UDA and UVF.

    I would also like to end sectarianism.

    But hey, there is some chance of that happening.

    Why do you think I moved to canada.

  • Moderate Unionist

    Comrade Stalin
    With you 100% of the way (10:11 post). The problem of course is that Westminster just wants containment of the problem and so your plan of action will not happen.

  • PaddyCanuck

    By insisting twice that:

    “the reference to containment in the Belfast Telegraph article was to the Ardoyne riot”

    and by smugly berating no hoper for referring to containment in loyalist areas you were clearly trying to suggest that the sole reference to containment in the article was to Ardoyne.

    In that you are clearly inaccurate.

  • Shellenski

    Comrade Stalin, why do you call yourself Comrade Stalin? Just curious.

  • Appalled

    I am ‘legally qualified’ – I’ll put it no higher then that. In the last ten years I have acted in seven different ‘road-blocking trials’. Six involved Republican/Nationalist protesters, one involved Orangemen. Each of the Republican cases involved men, women and children ‘peacefully’ blocking roads in Belfast. In those cases police gave two verbal warnings over a loudspeaker and the protesters were then forcibly removed from the carriageway and batoned if they resisted. The Orangemens case involved men cutting down trees and threatening any individuals who attempted to pass their roadblock.They were allowed to block the road for an entire twenty four hour period and were then identified and prosecuted on the basis of video evidence.

    Duncan McCausland’s latest pronouncements on this subject are bewildering and deeply depressing. Women and children blocking roads are (i) breaking the law, (ii) draining the commercial lifeblood of Belfast and (iii) deeply souring community relations.

    Saying to the public that police are prepared to tolerate this because “paramilitaries might get involved if we try to move them” is little short of outrageous. These people should be warned and then arrested/removed. Any paramilitary ‘response’ should be met with a proportionate police response. Otherwise the PSNI might as well shut up shop and go home.

  • Comrade Stalin

    “I would also look to create jobs, hope, and development in all deprived areas, I would look to provide an effective community based policing service. I would have no tolerance for drug peddlars, and the hoods that run he UDA and UVF.”

    This is your solution to 100 people on the street running at you with bricks and petrol bombs ? Wishy-washy crap like this is going to get us precisely nowhere.

  • Henry94

    It is reasonable for nationalists to point out that the level of secuity response has been far more intense in situations where the trouble was in nationalist areas. We need also remember that we thought such a response was mistaken and did no goood.

    The last thing we need here is an Orange Bloody Sunday. Because these protests are a sign of political failure. We can certainly argue where the political failure lies but it lies somewhere.

    The PNSI need to manage the situation so that nobody gets killed while we’re waiting for people to cop themselves on.

  • What hope

    At the same time, the police are supposed to protect society from paramilitaries. When the police cave to paramilitary threats of violence, it does not inspire confidence! If the police are afraid of the paramilitaries, what hope the rest of us?

  • fair_deal

    This is what it is like with nearly 70% of Patten implemented. Be careful what you wish for……

  • Henry94

    What hope

    If the police are afraid of the paramilitaries, what hope the rest of us?

    I don’t think they are. I think they are managing the situation and I’m impressed so far. They are containing the trouble and following up with raids and arrests.

    Unionist voters who oppose the riots should let their leaders know.

  • Gum

    The Police ARE scared to go up the paramilitaries. Why? They dont have political backing from the DUP and UUP. Think about it. This last week has seen astonishing levels of hypocrasy from both DUP politicians and Empey (who has proven to be a woeful leader). If they stood behing the police and fully condemned those rioters and paramilitaries who fired on the police to the same extent that they condemned the rioters in Ardoyne (where live rounds were not fired) the police may be able to act.

  • Gum

    I know this will be bitterly challenged, but I think it needs to be said. This week’s events have called into question the committment of the DUP and UUP to non-violence. If, as many Catholics fear, this weeks violence is a flexing of muscles as a warning to the British govt not to advance any united Ireland ideas, then where would the DUP and UUP stand on violence in the hypothetical situation of a united Ireland being announced by Downing Street, to come into effect the year after?

    I think this weeks violence suggests that in such a case the mask would not only slip but disappear completely and the ugly links between those 2 parties, the Orange Order and unionist paramilitaries would be clear.

    I am not an idealogue or extremist. I have no time for bigots or rioters on either side of the divide. I just cant stand hypocrasy, and to be honest, am very scared at the sheer power that these paramilitaries are able to wield and will be yet another person to leave NI should it happen again. How are they able to disrupt life so completely in some areas? Until I hear their response, I think the answer lies somewhere near the DUP and UUP.

  • Henry94

    Gum

    I agree with you very much about Empey. He has suceeded where the Nobel Committee, Bono and many other have failed. He has made David Trimble look like a statesman.

  • Alex

    Hell, prosecuting on video evidence is good enough for me – it worked in Bradford. Film them all, and when they get tired, go round and lift the lot. Then send’em down.

    Or, alternatively, do what our Soviet pal suggests. There’s too much tolerance of this bullshit.

  • Henry94
  • Alan McDonald

    Henry,

    Thanks for the link to Newt’s piece on Empey. It is a must read.

  • Henry94

    Alan

    He gets better and better.

    (Newt that is not Reg)

  • Dessertspoon

    Emerson has made some very good points there. Old Empey Head really has shown that he really does have an empty head – devoid of ideas or imagination, determined to keep ploughing the same furrow and cultivate nothing just like the ones who went before him.

  • Belfastwhite

    Good article Henry sums the Unionist positions up exactly. Paisley is a master at starting a fight and watching on with Pontius Pilot hands in the air.

  • pacart

    So we will soon have no-go loyalist areas as well as no-go Republican areas. At least we’ll know exactly where to go for the cheap fags and drugs. Would I be a cynic to suggest that this is what’s behind the rioting, rather than all these daft “loyalist angst” theories?