“It seems the Bogside has become like the Wild West.”

That’s according to Declan McLaughlin, of the Bogside and Brandywell Initiative, as reported by the Derry Journal. He then goes on to claim “These people have no political mandate here..” – a by now familar, but flawed, argument. The “no popular support” argument is also being deployed in Londonderry by Sinn Féin Councillor Lynn Fleming, this time against an armed vigilante group calling itself CRAD (Concerned Residents Against Drugs) who have contacted the Derry Journal. Meanwhile, in Belfast, the Irish News reports that “A show of strength by armed and masked members of the INLA in north Belfast has been condemned by community workers as ‘defying logic’.” [added link] According to the report – A spokesperson for the INLA said the men had been “patrolling Ardoyne to defend [it] from loyalist attack”.

North Belfast interface worker Joe Marley branded the INLA members’ actions ‘crazy’. “People who had the best interest of the community at heart were standing at the interfaces on Friday and Saturday and a lot of work was done, both over the weekend [added link] and in the run-up to it, including diversionary work with young people,” he said.

“Their presence at the interface was a deterrent against any potential attack and was the mature and sensible approach. Masked-up men running around is just a crazy approach. These same people were also engaged in trying to stir up tensions at the interface on Saturday. Their energies would have been better spent working for the good of the community rather than harking back to this type of senseless behaviour.”

Adds It seems appropriate to link to this previous post.

  • Derry Republican

    sure it was grnad whenever the Shinners were organising the riots wasn’t it now all people are is a pack of hoods. Matbe the shinners should pull their heads out of the sand and see that people do not actually agree with Orange marches no matter how many secret meetings gerry may have with them and to show their disgust are using the same tool that the shinners taught them to use…..

  • Yrrab

    It really is pathetic – and hollow – when the poachers turn gamekeepers. Not so long ago the old “no mandate in this area” mantra was the cry of the SDLP against the IRA.. History repeating itself as now the gamekeepers are the British funded ‘community workers’ of Sinn Fein. While the ‘ghettos burn’, all the INTELLIGENSIA of Sinn Fein are safe in their Donegal bungalows….

  • LURIG

    Most of the senior Shinners & Provos don’t live in the ghettos so they don’t really give a stuff. They have bigger fish to fry with property, business and shares porfilios to manage. It really is George Orwell’s 1984 come true, ALL Republicans & Nationalists are equal BUT SOME are more equal than others. It’s the good decent people still stuck in these holes, for whatever reasons, who are suffering. The truth is that we lost the anti-social battle LONG AGO. Are we really surprised that many of these kids who grew up WITHOUT parental control and watched OTHERS using violence are now doing the same? We have reaped the younger generation that we have sown AND let’s also state some home truths. The reason why much of this goes on is because many of these out of control kids are related to OR are friends of certain Republicans. They are the untouchables but you won’t hear anyone in the shitty slum areas admit it openly.

  • DC

    Fascinating.

    The problem would really appear to be quite Derry-centric at the moment, okay North Belfast has an INLA rumble but Belfast is the winner here and the image of Derry will sink, at least in the regional NI ‘neighbourhood’. Also, when I saw the headline I was surprised that it also didn’t make mention of the recent stoning of Australian and American tourists who were being bussed through the Bogside, Brandywell area.

    As NI tries to compete with other regions for tourists we have in Sandy Row area Paddywagons being burnt out (carrying the same nationals i.e. Australians and Americans) and in Derry’s Bogside we have nationalist kids pelting away too.

    Did anyone such as the Mayor of Derry write to these tourists or offer anything to try and make amends for this? Sinn Fein had nice words but what about actions on the ground too, from what is a somewhat apparently more cultured part of the North!

    So, while the Germans may have the reputation of dull, boring and efficient, the Brazilians as beach party goers and soccer, Northern Ireland in the eyes of those influential tourists affected must be backward and xenophobic minded.

    The backlash from loosening the reigns of hate is all too apparent. And it goes back to those old indigenous roots that scupper credibilty and reputation, while times have indeed changed there are still similarities and obvious contradictions. Sinn Fein have tried conditioning and I wouldn’t personally draw direct similarities with Mick’s “do as I say not do as I do” approach.

    Even Mr Pragmatic Peter Robinson is trying to promote Orangeism in a ‘new’ culturally exchangeable way, but you need only see the ‘old’ response from the field at the 12th, they are really not into it at all, despite clear advances to reputation and image inside and out of NI.

    But here is the issue, it is hardly surprising whenever you have once used 20th century, or perhaps still use in a lesser form, ethno-national politics to rise to this modern day form of power-sharing; vanity and willing alone will not change the ways and means as to how you got there, let alone change the very people who endorsed it, especially from that not so distant ultra unionist style of politics (largely DUP). Action by SF especially if it is to maintain a sense of modernity is required otherwise other parties might beat them to it, same for DUP.

    The rush to the centre is throwing up problems for SF and DUP and the long conditioned vote base of hate and opposition is the reason, finesse and more finesse is going to take a while, time will help cloud it out obviously. Surely, new politics can overtake perhaps up the middle of where these two parties are trying to head, but of course from a different and more pliable vote base??

    As Tony Blair said once about Northern Ireland, that ‘the problem’ was a terribly old fashioned one, SF probably have a better chance to move forward than the DUP given the decade ahead they are with accepting the peace process to their political bosoms.

  • “The rush to the centre”

    I’m glad I wasn’t having a drink there, DC!!

  • Garibaldy

    Sophisticated and helpful contribution from the INLA as always.

  • Concerned Loyalist

    A spokesperson for the INLA said the men had been “patrolling Ardoyne to defend [it] from loyalist attack”……………………………

    Are they for real? Do these neanderthal thugs get extensive training in bare-faced lies? The attacks in the Crumlin Road area of North Belfast are being carried out by republicans from Ardoyne on the vulnerable Twaddel Avenue residents across the road. These attacks are unprovoked and are part of a campaign by republicans to intimidate the residents across the road from the Ardoyne shops, many of them elderly people, out of their homes so republicans can move in. Is there ever anything on the news about attacks emanating from Twaddel? It’s one-way traffic coming from the Ardoyne, that’s why…

  • Concerned Loyalist

    And before anyone starts their keyboard diarrhoea, I know I live 60 miles away from the Crumlin Road, in the Coleraine area, but I have friends in the Ballygomartin Road area of the Shankill that actually links up with Twaddell Avenue to the west, and friends up the Crumlin Road in Ballysillan, so I know what I’m talking about…

  • DC

    Don’t worry CL we are aware that Northern Ireland is sectarian and that it really does cut both ways, it is obvious.

  • steve

    DC

    The question is does concerned loyalist believe that it cuts both ways

    republicans accept this fact, loyalists still think their hands clean

  • Vince

    The INLA are a disgrace..slow witted thugs who haven’t the capacity to realise they delay the re-unification of Ireland by their criminality. They disgust the rest of Ireland..north and south!!!

  • KieranJ

    I see all the bums and the hangers on of British occupation who have made some money on the backs of the brutal occupation are having teir comfortable say on this website.

    Well, I’m an Irish American and I can tell you this. Do not become too relaxed in your easy explanation of matters north.

    Recall this. The cowards in Dublin spat upon Dev as he was being led through the streets of that fair city back in April 1916.

  • Marie

    Vince if the INLA are thugs in your book what would you call the PSFers who were out with the RUC over the weekend using their pepper spray on young people so that the RUC could then arrest them?

    I think we should start a petition against them asking them to ‘please go away’

    Its a disgrace that the PSF have sunk this low they’d rather protect the loyalists than their own people

  • Rory

    We’re not quite clear on your argument there, KieranJ. Would you care to “furnish us with further and better particulars”?

  • Briso

    Pete:
    “These people have no political mandate here..” – a by now familar, but flawed, argument. ”

    What’s flawed about it?

  • Comrade Stalin

    I have relatives living on Alliance Avenue. Concerned Loyalist is (for once) right. I am not sure whether the attacks on Twaddell have been orchestrated by any specific organizations or not. A couple of years ago it looked like they were, but now it looks like wee hoods causing trouble. It is notable that the loyalists in the area haven’t used the attacks as an excuse to “retaliate” in response. I hardly think the loyalists have much in the way of peaceful credentials, but that’s got to be progress of some kind.

    KieranJ, thanks for that contribution. It reminded me of 1987.

  • cynic

    Isnt it terrible. Decent people out there trying to keep things stable ‘in the interests of the community’ when there are thugs roaming with guns intent on promoting sectarian hatred and murder.

    Who would have thought we would see the day…….

    Something must be done………….

    Perhaps we could give INLA the Justice portfolio?

  • circles

    Ghettos burn, shitty slum areas – hold on a second now Lurig and Yrrab I mean get a grip on reality just one second will yiz! Its all very well to get emotional in your posts but its no excuse for talking pure shite. There is no real ghetto in the north, never mind slums – there are rough areas but as far as I know the people there all have access to electricity, operational sanitation, refuse collection, social housing, health care, education….. Dramatising these areas as some kind of Dhaka-esque squalor is absolutely ridiculous. When for example the kids can rake up the little green patch of grass on the quads the got for christmas we’re not talking about slums here.

  • “they don’t really give a stuff.”

    There might be a few in London and Dublin who do, Lurig, but the politics of the so called peace process demand that they bite their tongues.

    Don’t expect the mainstream media to say too much about this delegation of community control to London and Dublin’s ‘chosen’ paramilitary godfathers. As others will have noted, the virus is rampant and sometimes you’ll see examples of joint loyalist and republican action.

    I suspect the delegation of policing and justice powers to Stormont would make matters even worse.

  • Garibaldy

    Surely the wild west was more civilised than Derry on a Saturday night?

  • Pete Baker

    Briso

    There’s a linked post which accompanies that quote.

    You can assume I’m in broad agreement with what Mick says there.

  • Ulsters my homeland

    “It seems the Bogside has become like the Wild West.”

    lol, when did it cease?

  • Briso

    Pete: “There’s a linked post which accompanies that quote.

    You can assume I’m in broad agreement with what Mick says there.”

    I read it but I still don’t get why the argument is flawed. Humour me and spell it out for the simpleton I am.

  • Pete Baker

    Briso

    In addition to Mick’s post I’d add this point.

    All the parties in the Executive have significant political mandates.

    So they can operate in the same manner as those criticised in the Derry Journal reports.. can’t they?

  • proveit

    Marie, this is the second time I have seen this allegation of pepper spray/mace. can it be substantiated??

  • Dave

    Briso, just because you have enough thugs to form a mob doesn’t mean that mob rule has a mandate.

  • Dave

    And in case you still don’t get it: the KKK also had popular support in the areas where they operated. Does that ‘mandate’ mean that they were correct to lynch black people or that society was wrong to protest?

  • earnan

    Are their parts of Derry worth seeing for someone who has never been there?

  • Briso

    Pete, Dave,

    Straw man. I understand your point now. Having local support or even an elected mandate does not give one the right to break the law. That’s not what is being contended though, by anyone.

    What is being contended is that those who are claiming to act on behalf of the community are full of crap and that that the local people want them to piss off. I concur with this argument and support it’s advancement to those carrying out these actions as telling them that what they’re doing is against the law only gives them encouragement.

    Of course, if your point is that certain among those making this argument are hypocrites, make that argument as best you can, but I support this argument and the petition and I’m no hypocrite and nor are the vast majority of Derry people.

  • Pete Baker

    Briso

    It’s not being contended explicitly, but the implication is there.

    After all, their claim to authority is not the problem in itself. The problem is their actions.

    Except, we know that their claim to authority is a problem for some – As Eamonn McCann, and others, have pointed out.

  • Briso

    Pete

    You may be able to accuse Martin McGuinness of hypocrisy, but the ‘dissidents’ have no claim to any kind of legitimacy. The people of Ireland North and South voted for the agreement. The people of Derry want them to stop their disgraceful actions in Derry. The people of the Bogside want them to get lost. They have practically no support. The IRA have decommissioned and ended their activities and accepted they should pursue their aims peacefully and politically at the behest of the Irish people North and South. The contradiction between what some SF people were saying about the IRA’s actions over a decade ago and what they’re saying now are of only academic interest in the face of a current, ugly, murderous threat. You and Dave need to be careful you don’t make it sound like the dissidents are above criticism. I’m quite sure you’re not on their side in any way whatsoever so why try to undermine those trying to rid their communities of this cancer?!

  • Pete Baker

    Briso

    “You and Dave need to be careful you don’t make it sound like the dissidents are above criticism.”

    Now that’s a complete ‘straw man’.

  • Dave

    Briso, I’m sure that Pete shares my sense of unease at being lumped together on this issue when there are grave ideological differences beyond the commonality. I support the right of a people to use force to assert their right to self-determination in the absence of alternative means.

    However, this isn’t a case, despite the propaganda that supported the violence of the Shinners, that meets the criteria, since (a) Irish people already achieved their right to self-determination and exercised that right to oppose the violence of the Shinners (and other so-called ‘dissidents’ who were actually never republican to begin with since they did not accept the right of the people to self-determination or what was determined by it), and (b) there was alternative means available for those who were excluded from the Irish state but not from the Irish nation. That point is critical because the claim of groups like the INLA and PIRA to self-determination is based on being a part of the Irish nation rather than on being a different nation. Ergo, the principle of self-determination binds you uphold what is determined by it.

    In other words, if the people appoint their government and that government proscribes the INLA and PIRA and that ilk with the approval of the people, then that is what is determined by the principle of self-determination. It is their government alone that has the legitimate right to declare war on other states (not self-appointed murder gangs) and to formulate polices that promote the national interest. The principle of self-determination is a collective right and not the right of an individual. So it is completely bogus for those groups to cite the principle of self-determination as providing legitimacy for their actions when it, in point of fact, does the exact opposite.

    Beyond that, there is no general principle that asserts that something is justifiable if it has popular support. Indeed, that mob rules leads to the rule of the biggest mob wherein something is held to be more justifiable if it has more popular support, so you end up cancelling your own argument if you recognise that non-violence had more popular support than violence and that, ergo, your support for the Shinners was wrong according to their own flawed logic.

    There is no difference between what the Shinners supported and what the INLA support. Both of them are squalid sectarian murder gangs – the only difference in real time is that one is not a servant of Her Majesty’s Government and the other is a patsy of Her Majesty’s IS.

  • Dave

    Typo: “Both of them are squalid sectarian murder gangs – the only difference in real time is that one is [b]now[/b] a servant of Her Majesty’s Government and the other is a patsy of Her Majesty’s IS [Intelligence Services].”

  • earnan

    I hate how when people hear the word IRA they think of masked men and carbombs, instead of true freedom fighters like Tom Barry and Earnie O’Malley.

  • Briso

    Dave:
    “Beyond that, there is no general principle that asserts that something is justifiable if it has popular support.”

    Indeed, but there is a fair argument to point out to those claiming to be acting on behalf of the community that their actions have no popular support and indeed raise righteous outrage and terror among the citizenry. That is not a flawed argument in any way.

    “Indeed, that mob rules leads to the rule of the biggest mob wherein something is held to be more justifiable if it has more popular support, so you end up cancelling your own argument if you recognise that non-violence had more popular support than violence and that, ergo, your support for the Shinners was wrong according to their own flawed logic.”

    I assume when you say ‘you’ and ‘your’ in the above rant you don’t mean me. The above has nothing whatsoever to do with anything I’ve said.

    “There is no difference between what the Shinners supported and what the INLA support. Both of them are squalid sectarian murder gangs – the only difference in real time is that one is not a servant of Her Majesty’s Government and the other is a patsy of Her Majesty’s IS.”

    There is a difference between them. One is not running around Derry stirring up teenagers to violence and murder and the other is. They should piss off. They have no support. They are exploiting in the most wicked way possible the young people of my city. Your pathetic ‘mierenneuk’ing about self-determination is utterly irrelevant. Personally, if SF are starting to sound like the SDLP on this matter, I commend them, rather than condemn them for inconsistency like the so-called ‘true republicans’ do. And, off-topic, who says the INLA are not run by HMG’s IS?

  • Briso

    Posted by Pete Baker on Jul 17, 2008 @ 07:04 PM
    Briso

    “You and Dave need to be careful you don’t make it sound like the dissidents are above criticism.”

    Now that’s a complete ‘straw man’.

    It isn’t. Your first instinct in this series of posts is to call ‘hypocrite’. That’s the dissidents line too. Even leaving aside the fact that it’s a perfect example of ‘man not ball’ (do what I say, not do what I did, doesn’t mean that what I say is wrong), it also implies that Derry people can’t point out, among other things, that no-one supports these guys, because they have the original sin of support for the IRA on their souls. This is despite the fact that before the ceasefire SF were a tiny minority party in Derry and ten years after it are STILL a minority party. We can say what we want and we don’t need to justify history to you or anyone else. Do you see my (perhaps rather emotional 😉 ) point?

  • barnshee

    “There is a difference between them. One is not running around Derry stirring up teenagers to violence and murder and the other is. They should piss off. They have no support.”

    Er surely you mean
    “There is a difference between them. One used to run around Derry stirring up teenagers to violence and murder and the other is now doing it. ”

    It worked once– who says it will not work again surely somone else fancies a chauffeur and a ministerial box

  • marie

    proveit

    yes it can. Many people wirnessed it and the people who were sprayed know who sprayed them. Next thing the Shinners will be out with their plastic bullets shooting at us