Inside the Ardoyne riot…

THIS is my footage of the beginning of the Ardoyne riots on July 13, filmed entirely – by chance rather than planning – from the republican side. In this respect, it gives some insight into the atmosphere behind the republican lines, the dynamics of the crowd, the tactics employed by both sides and the vicious intensity of the hatred towards the PSNI and loyalists. But best of all, it shows me getting splatted by a water cannon near the end. Anyway, here it is in all its crapness, and I’ve added the second and final part of my blog on this year’s Twelfth below the fold.The decision to walk from Shaftesbury Square to Ardoyne on Monday is not one I can readily explain. It was done on a whim. I was fed up with the rain that had delayed the return of the Orange parade from their Field, and had got chatting to a monitor for the Parades Commission, who was pessimistic about the situation in north Belfast.

There had been talk of a republican protest of some kind, and speculation over whether this would escalate into something more. But any escalation in the current situation would, I thought, not amount to much – a sit-down protest being removed by police perhaps, or a prolonged stand-off. I didn’t anticipate much serious trouble. So off I set.

Walking up towards Carlisle Circus, I spotted a group of people involved in some kind of alteration with the PSNI at Stanhope Street (pictured), just off Clifton Street. It didn’t seem very serious, so onwards. A few hundred metres more, and there’s trouble at Cambrai Street, though again, it was more a case of handbags at 10 paces in the time I watched. Riot police formed a line and Land Rovers piled up at the junction, but it didn’t appear to have much violent potential. I did think I might have been stopped by the police, but no, not a word.

And so, with more and more PSNI Land Rovers blaring their sirens on the way uphill towards Ardoyne, a chopper now overhead, and police turning civilian traffic away from the area, I carried on. At the bottom of the Crumlin Road, there had been hundreds of bandsmen and Orangemen milling about and getting on coaches, but from Cambrai Street until Ardoyne, I don’t think there was another solitary pedestrian.

Arriving up near the junction with Twaddell Avenue at about 7.30pm, the road ahead had been blocked by a line of police. A crowd was gathered in front of it, but people were keeping their distance and certainly not involved in any hostilities. Perhaps they were the residents or Sinn Fein supporters who had protested earlier with placards against the parade. I don’t know; perhaps a reader can help. They didn’t look too happy about the predicament they found themelves in, but at that time there was none of the violence that had already started around the corner, beside the famous Ardoyne shops. These businesses might get free global advertising, but they must have a hell of a time cashing in on it.

With the road ahead blocked, a woman was kind enough to direct me down Balholme Drive to where the main crowd had gathered in Estoril Park. You can wander around the ‘battleground’ at Google Street View here.


View Larger Map

Having reported on numerous riots in the past, thanks to Drumcree and Harryville, I had at least a rough idea of what to expect. But I also remembered how one BBC journalist had been badly injured in the back by a republican blast bomb the last time there was serious trouble in Ardoyne, and it occurred to me that this was the first time I would be observing events entirely from the point of view of the crowd attacking the police.

I think it’s fair to say that in most news reports on riots between state forces and crowds of angry civilians, the journalists, cameramen and photographers are mostly situated behind or close to the police lines. There is a risk, but it is as controlled a risk as possible, although another journalist was hit in the face by a ricocheting rock this time around. It doesn’t mean siding with the police, but it does give a certain perspective on events. The most obvious example I suppose is that rioters on TV throw stuff towards the camera, not away from it.

This time for me, the perspective was reversed – recording from the midst of those attacking the police. My video is entirely one-sided (though if you visit Youtube, search for Ardoyne and sort by ‘Newest first’ you can see other TV footage). It was not a conscious decision, happening more by accident than design, but there would definitely be no Land Rover to take cover behind this time should anything fly in my general direction. And once the trouble had started, I didn’t feel it was safe to cross over to the police lines.

I didn’t know any of the crowd (apart from one bloke, which was kinda weird) and didn’t know how they would react to a stranger with a camcorder. Like republican blogger Mark McGregor at the Twelfth, I was out of my comfort zone and unsure of the rules. Later, I filmed a rather brave (or foolhardy) cameramen for either BBC NI or UTV getting hassled and I think he left that side of the road shortly after. Yet the rioters and their supporters said as much to me about my presence as the PSNI officers did – absolutely nothing.

Most of the rioters were teenagers or men in their twenties, with a few older ones. Not many women. I’ve no idea who was local and who wasn’t, and I didn’t see anyone I recognised from Sinn Fein while I was there. If there was an internal republican battle for control of the Ardoyne agenda on the Twelfth, Sinn Fein lost big time.

Many of the stone-throwers were masked and hooded to prevent them being identified by the police video cameras. I was surprised that no-one challenged me, but grateful at the same time for the freedom to record. Perhaps there were too many ‘outsiders’ to know who was who. It certainly wouldn’t surprise me if Sinn Fein or the police had people reporting back from inside the crowd.

The stone-throwers obtained some of their ammunition by smashing up the corner of a wall on which a new mural – seen clear near the start of my video – had been painted. The mural, intended to promote Ardoyne as “a confident, colourful, creative community” according to the artist, had been only recently been unveiled by Irish president Mary McAleese. Someone shouted: “Yous are only wrecking your own community.” They were ignored. The sledgehammering of the wall might have been a practical necessity for rioters in need of more bricks to throw, but the symbolism of the ‘positive’ mural being trashed wasn’t lost on me. You can see the new mural in the video, and the old one here. You can view the new hole in the wall in Mal McCann’s photo here; the damage is on the left, above the woman’s head.

The Youtube video will tell you the story of the next couple of hours, compressed into less than 10 minutes. What the edited highlights don’t reveal are the periods of time where much less happened; where the PSNI’s water cannon fired aimlessly or the stone-throwers had no visible target. It seemed almost ritualistic; the ebb and flow of one side gaining a few yards, only for it to be taken back afterwards. There was almost a pattern to it – but the routines could lead to a false sense of security before they changed dramatically. And when they changed, it was with a bang – a blast bomb perhaps, fireworks or a petrol bomb.

Nor does the video capture the more serious events that occurred later that night – the handgun being fired at the PSNI, or the plastic bullets being fired at the rioters. It does show how the rioters used a hijacked Northern Ireland Water van – with their motto ‘Water is Precious’ emblazoned on the doors in a delicious irony – to try and block the path of the police water cannon. Sadly, the camcorder battery ran out before it was set ablaze, but there are some photos of it burning at the end of the video taken on my phone. Taking the close-up was a bit hairy, with one of the rioters shouting to get back in case it exploded. Think he’s seen too many Hollywood movies.

It was then I wondered why, after the parade had passed, the police were still present. If they had withdrawn after the Orangemen had left, surely there would no longer have been any target for the rioters? Maybe they had their reasons. In the time I was there, after the Orange parade had been shepherded through, the police were acting as a sponge, soaking up attack after attack without striking back seriously. I say ‘seriously’ because I can personally verfiy that the water cannon wasn’t on high pressure. Of course, later that night both police and rioters exchanged water for plastic bullets and fireworks for petrol bombs.

Once the battery had dried up on my rather wet mobile at about 9pm, it was time for home. With no phone and no way for a car to get to me, it meant walking back into the town centre, drenched. When I pulled a muscle trying to find an alternative way to the Crumlin Road through Ardoyne’s back streets, I wondered if someone up there had it in for me for the way I’d spent my Twelfth.

And that was it. Over the course of 11 hours, I’d witnessed Orangeism in its element and the dark underbelly of republicanism. There was evidence that in some areas the Orange Order is trying to move forward, though there is clearly much work to be done to rid the Twelfth of its more overt sectarianism in Belfast. And in Ardoyne, the story that unfolded was that there are some republicans still prepared to employ the tactics of the past, involving extreme violence against the police and loyalist marches.

It was a day I won’t forget in a hurry.

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  • Water, water, everywhere

    Why can’t the police charge when they’re using the water cannon?, its the perfect tool to use for charging as the rioters are subdued.

  • slug

    The rioters obviously love it.

  • Puzzled

    How did you manage to film in Ardoyne without being outed?

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Puzzled

    Outed as what? Anyway, you need to read the post first.

  • Puzzled

    Belfast Gonzo, you must be part of them to have such confidence to shoot video of them. You’re like McGregor on ‘forces day’ he filmed their antics.

  • Comrade Stalin

    A few conclusions to be taken from that footage.

    The police were obviously mainly concerned with containing the “riot”, not attempting to actively pursue the people engaged in it. The water cannon was not effective in doing anything except making the kids a bit damp. Noting, though, the comment that it wasn’t on high pressure mode (why?).

    The rioters were mostly children, and along with that, mostly stupid. Is that a guy trying to take down a steel lamppost with a wooden bat ?

    The police could have done a lot more. I wonder why they’re so unconcerned about actually lifting people. These wee fuckers need to spend a few years in borstal.

    BTW, Sinn Fein lost control of Ardoyne a long time ago.

  • Puzzled

    Belfast Gonzo

    “Outed as what? Anyway, you need to read the post first.”

    why do I need to read the post?, I’ve just seen the video and its told more than any post.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Puzzled

    You need to read it because you are puzzled, and the answer to your question is in the post.

  • Puzzled

    “[i]the answer to your question is in the post.”[/i]

    could you provide it to us?

  • Pat the baker

    [i]Noting, though, the comment that it wasn’t on high pressure mode (why?).[/i]

    Maybe they’re afraid of injury claims, human rights legislation? The water really didn’t seem to bother the stone throwers that much, although I’ve no idea whether it would have deterred them further had it been pumped at a higher pressure.

    [i]I wonder why they’re so unconcerned about actually lifting people.[/i]

    They’d have left themselves wide open to potentially fatal attacks had they ventured in closer at the time, I’d suggest. After all, they had correct intelligence that guns had been moved into the area.

    [i]Sinn Fein lost control of Ardoyne a long time ago. [/i]

    Yes, as with parts of Lurgan, Craigavon, Strabane and, seemingly, the Fermanagh/Monaghan-Cavan border. And they’re beginning to lose control of parts of Derry.

  • Puzzled

    Gonzo, how can you video violence within Ardoyne without being outed?

  • Secret Squirrel

    Gonzo,
    Surely these blame the messenger attacks aimed at yourself should be like water of a ducks back ? :o)
    Fair play to you for sharing the vid.

  • Mark McGregor

    Good stuff, Gonzo. Next year you have to join in ;0)

  • oldruss

    I’m a Yank, so forgive my obvious ignorance.

    Second, my computer is really old, and it won’t play the video, so I only have the written text with which to try and understand the Ardoyne Riot of 2009.

    What seemed most significant in the written text was this passage: “It was then I wondered why, after the parade had passed, the police were still present. If they had withdrawn after the Orangemen had left, surely there would no longer have been any target for the rioters? Maybe they had their reasons.”

    That the rock-throwing teenagers would probably have disbursed and gone on their way if the target of their rock-throwing, the PSNI, were no longer present, seems to be a reasonable assumption.

    I also inferred from the written text that the Orange Parade itself had already passed through the Ardoyne shops area, before the rock-throwing that Belfast Gonzo reported about took place. What I don’t know is if the Orange Parade had also come under attack from the rock-throwing teenagers.

    It is unfortunate that either the Orange marchers or the PSNI would come under attack, but the Orange Lodge that sponsored this march past the Ardoyne shops must be well aware of the history of this area, and why the Orange Lodge would not find some alternate-less-contentious route should be explored with as much vigor as will the motivations of the rock-throwers.

    Finally, from the map that was linked to the story, it looks to me that Estoril Park is quite near Glenbryn Park, Glenbryn Parade and Glenbryn Gardens, and I was wondering if this is the same area where the Holy Cross school girls came under attack for weeks on end some years back?

  • Reminds me of the water canons at Waterworld, Portrush. Though, it wasn’t the pressure of the water that messed you up, it was the amount of pee and chlorine in it! maybe they should add a special mix to their hoses. might be more effective than soaking a few tracksuits.

  • sj1

    Its a good vid gonzo,with the accompanying text this is the best coverage of the event on slugger this twelfth of july ..!

  • RepublicanStones

    Water cannon….more like artificial rain. Im suprised Mrs O’Brien wasn’t out runnin about with her begonias trying to get them watered !

  • Driftwood

    How do you tell if the rioters are Loyalist/Nationalist/Unionist/Republican, or even Alliance youth? looked like Coco’s in Newcastle.
    Should have had the addendum ‘No spides were hurt in the making of this video’.

    I take it Primark are doing a special offer in stripey hoodies at present.

  • the future;s bright, the future’s orange

    i believe the cannon is used at 60-70% capacity/power.

  • RepublicanStones

    ‘Should have had the addendum ‘No spides were hurt in the making of this video’.’

    Indeed Drift, but i’d say there is one or two in there who now don’t need their weekly bath.

  • Bruno Spiro

    The police stayed because prods had gathered at Twaddell Avenue. Perhaps it would have been better to have piggy-in-the-middle go away and let the two tribes fight it out, hmmm perhaps not.

    The police don’t police riots they stand around like Aunt Sallys and get whacked. No arrests as usual, and masked yoofs will not be ‘captured’ on camera.

    As to the water cannon, during Euro 2000 the Belgian police could knock over men and push them down the road with their cannon’s water jets. The PSNI seem happy to just sprinkle thugs chucking rocks/petrol bombs.

    Perhaps it’s all down to a typo in PSNI HQ; Patten called for ‘community policing’ but its been recorded as ‘comedy policing’.

    PSNI – Pretty Standard Non- Interference (with law breakers).

  • Comrade Stalin

    Maybe they’re afraid of injury claims, human rights legislation?

    There’s something badly wrong if human rights legislation means that people are allowed to riot without there being any consequences. I don’t accept this. I think the PSNI are just afraid to do any police work because someone will bitch about it.

    The water really didn’t seem to bother the stone throwers that much, although I’ve no idea whether it would have deterred them further had it been pumped at a higher pressure.

    It would if the water was strong enough to knock them off their feet. Allows them to be pushed away and towards the next set of police lines. But that wasn’t in the PSNI plan.

    oldruss:

    I’m a Yank, so forgive my obvious ignorance.

    Surely you’re not so ignorant to believe that removing the police from the equation would have cause this group of children, holding missiles and looking for something to throw them at, would have dispersed ?

  • [i]There’s something badly wrong if human rights legislation means that people are allowed to riot without there being any consequences. I don’t accept this. I think the PSNI are just afraid to do any police work because someone will bitch about it.[/i]

    The bitching would go along the lines of “aye, but the PSNIA has breached young Mr. Spides’s right to X under Article X of the European Convention.”

    [i]It would if the water was strong enough to knock them off their feet. Allows them to be pushed away and towards the next set of police lines. But that wasn’t in the PSNI plan.[/i]

    What do you think would have happened if one of the youngest people attacking the police in Ardoyne, and judging by Gonzo’s video a minority of them didn’t even look old enough to be teenagers, had have been knocked off their feet by the water at maximum pressure, banged their head off the ground and died? It wouldn’t have done much to quell the unrest, would it?

  • Driftwood

    Indeed Drift, but i’d say there is one or two in there who now don’t need their weekly bath.

    RS, they still need mummy (daddy is well gone) to see to their personal well being. Bath, WKD, Mayfair ciggies, primark tracksuit. (Also applies to ‘loyalist’ counterparts. Spides are spides)
    Luckily they don’t yet need to shave. But then they have the world ambassador for West belfast for an icon.

  • RepublicanStones

    ‘The water should have a dye in it that isn’t washable.’

    Unwashable dye? Surely thats a bit more toxic than food colouring. I can’t see that being a runner unless you’re gonna get the peelers to issue goggles to the rioters pre-bunfight. But if you do, i’d say it’ll limit the numbers because Nike Air Max do not grow on trees !

    (P.S Snapper are you the ‘aul one who rang Talkback last week and suggested that?)

  • Jim

    Pat the Baker

    Is there any proof that SF have lost these areas? I look at elections and in 2007 these groups gained just over 1percent of the vote. In the 2009 election the Sinn Fein vote was stable. This is just a small number of people who do not belive in the Sinn fein line on the peace agreement. They are then allowing UTHs to destroy their own neighbouhoods.

    The OO leadership have a lot to answer for. In allowing a UVF band who i would have no doubt some members were invovled in the child abuse of children going to school to parade past Ardoyne is really a red rag to a bull. Why not a silver/Accordian band? Why on the worst interface but a blood and thunder UVF band? Why do the parade commission not stop this? Please note for this point i am talking about the bands and not the OO.

  • NCM

    Well, I give these kids an “A” for effort but a “C” overall for execution, although the nitwit who spent his time attacking a steel street sign gets an “F.”

  • Scaramoosh

    The soundtrack to the video – Bored Teenagers – The Adverts (for that is what they are);

  • Secret Squirrel

    Sorry for the off topic post folks:
    oldruss : my computer is really old, and it won’t play the video

    What happens when you try to play it ?

  • oldruss

    Secret Squirrel, about my puter, it doesn’t play the vid, and I get an error message something like Microsoft Explorer has performed an illegal function and will shut down, which it does when I click on the “OKAY” button.

    Comrad Stalin: Not to be contentious, but the idea that the “spides” would have gone home if the PSNI had done likewise WAS part of Belfast Gonzo’s original text (which is where I probably got the idea).

    “It was then I wondered why, after the parade had passed, the police were still present. If they had withdrawn after the Orangemen had left, surely there would no longer have been any target for the rioters? Maybe they had their reasons. In the time I was there, after the Orange parade had been shepherded through, the police were acting as a sponge, soaking up attack after attack without striking back seriously.” – Belfast Gonzo

    It is also possible that they’d have hunted out a Prod, and beaten him to death like Kevin McDaid in Coleraine. Who’s to know?

    Anyone care to opine on the wisdom of the Orange Lodge marching up and down the Ardoyne in the first place? It seems to this Yank at least, that some of the Lodges go out of their way to aggrevate the situation, (UDA banners, UVF bands, etc.) or am I misreading Orangefest?

  • Secret Squirrel

    I get an error message something like Microsoft Explorer
    Internet Explorer maybe ?
    Have you tried installing another browser that isn’t prone to breaking all the time ?
    Firefox should do the job.

  • ricky

    Child abuse of children going to a school in Ardoyne Jim?
    You must mean a few years back when IRA degenerates “taking their kids to school” , attacked Protestant houses and then when the Prods dared to complain and protest they were accused of “abuse”. I would proffer that the real abusers were the fathers who dragged their children , kicking and screaming, “to school” so they could cry wolf if a Prod scared their child that they were useing as a shield, while they were bricking the Loyalists houses.
    Republicans used their own children as pawns for propaganda. How low can you go?

  • Jim

    Ricky

    That a very interesting take on the Holy-Cross debacle. The reality however was that grown men and women threw balloons of urine, spat, showed porno pictures, wore scary masks and threw a blast-bomb at a group of 4-11 year old girls along with their parents.That interface was one of the quieter ones during the troubles. This all changed when the UDA (New kids on the block) arrived in the area after being put of the shankill. Even members of the Glenbryn reidents knew it had got out of control. During that time 80 percent of attacks were coming from Glenbryne into Ardoyne. (RUC STATS)

    Why no protest after the Shankill bombing in 1993 when the two bombers came from Ardoyne? The reason Holy Cross occured was because of these UDA families. It is a basic human right to have your child educated and that was all the parents were doing. They had been walking up that road all through the Troubles. Ricky i have no axe to grind with WC Loyalists as you can see on another thread. However the people invovled in attacking those children went beyond the pale. They succeeded it putting 4 year olds on Valium as the local GP said. By blaming the parents in this and not the child-abusers you have shown how low you can go.

  • ricky

    Jim, they walked up that road all through the Troubles without interference from Loyalists until the parents of the children started attacking the Loyalist peoples houses, with their children in tow and this inevitably provoked a response.There was no proof that the baloons contained urine. The blast bomb was thrown at the police and the vile pictures thay you allege were showed to the chidren is news to me. If it happened it was indeed shameful and the bomb is of course was an outrage regardless of who it was aimed it. Nevertheless I feel Republicans were far from blameless in this whole sorry episode and I believe they cynically used children to further their own ends at the Holy Cross.

  • Jim

    Ricky I would dispute that the parents were attacking houses in the Glenbryne. The incident that sparked the protest was a loyalist on a lampost who alleges that a car tried to knock him down. Regarding the balloons parents, Troy and teachers all said that urine was in the balloons. Again Ricky its who you believe in this case. The scary masks and porno pictures have been photographed. During that time there was much sectarian violence mostly coming from UDA areas in North Belfast. Holy Cross was part of a UDA plan to ramp up tensions. You could argue the parents could have gone a longer route through the Crumlin Road. However why should a child be denied a right to education because some UDA families are put of the Shankill?

    In any case the school has now closed and the area is much calmer. However the bitterness is still there as the 12th showed. That why i said why ramp it up with a para band. Why would the oo not use a silver/Accordian band. They are still walking past the shops and they would still have a band in front of them. When you get to march past contested routes why go out of the way to insult the local reidents with a UVF band? Small steps but i think it could help reduce tensions in the area. Regarding Eirigi activists they have nothing to offer Ardoyne and in the coming months the links between them and dissident Republicans will become obvious. A smart policy by the PSNI i feel will deal with these people. The worst is to turn them into hero’s by heavy handed policing and make them seem as defenders of the community

  • DaithiO

    Sorry Gonzo, that video show nothing except youths recreationally rioting, I won’t condone it of course but there is no evidence that it was co-ordinated in any way, nor did it appear to be attended or supported by the local community like say in 2004. Then the locals protested en masse and any riotous behaviour happened spontanneously, when the parade was forced through by the PSNI in contravention of a Parades Commission directive, whilst senior Sinn Féin members appealed with them to not attack anyone.

    What you and most commentators never mention is that the Orange Lodge members leave the city centre in buses, get off the buses just below Ardoyne, and walk the few hundred yards to just past it and then get on the buses again to finish their journey. Why else would they do that if not to intimidate and get a reaction?

    The youngsters rioting meant that any moral high ground gained by the nationalist side in the parades debate was pissed away and that’s sad. They do not represent their community, they only let them down.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    I think my query about why the police didn’t withdraw has been pretty much answered. The presence of a group of loyalists (which I couldn’t see) nearby means that the situation could have actually have escalated further had the PSNI left.

    DaithiO – You seem to be disagreeing with something I’m not sure I said. I don’t believe I made a call on whether it was “co-ordinated” (however you interpret that) or not. Nor did I say I knew who was local or not – in fact, I said the opposite.

  • Comrade Stalin

    ricky:

    You must mean a few years back when IRA degenerates “taking their kids to school” , attacked Protestant houses and then when the Prods dared to complain and protest they were accused of “abuse”.

    You guys don’t know when to stop, do you ?

  • Comrade Stalin

    Anyone care to opine on the wisdom of the Orange Lodge marching up and down the Ardoyne in the first place?

    Something to do with free speech and assembly.

  • PMcM

    “Something to do with free speech and assembly”

    Ahhh so that explains Daithi O’s point regarding getting off buses to walk a few hundred feet past Ardoyne and then getting back on the buses when they’ve finished?

  • oldruss

    Comrade Stalin: “Something to do with free speech and assembly.”

    As a Yank I’m familiar with the First Amendment to the U. S. Constitution, which does contain those two protections, among others. However, even in the States, those rights are not unlimited.

    In the six counties, the government has established a Parades Commission, which strictly regulates where and when the Orange Orders, inter alia, may conduct their marches, and while the Orange Lodge which marched past the Ardoyne shops again this year may have had approval of the Parades Commission, that is missing the point.

    The Orange Lodge knew full well that tying up traffic in front of the Ardoyne Road shops again this year would be just a contentious as it has always been. Nonetheless, the marchers were driven by bus to the area, off loaded, marched through, and re-loaded onto the buses. A distance of a few blocks perhaps. (See, DaithiO’s post above, 18 July, 09:12 P.M.).

    And what has been gained by the Orange Lodge?

    Perhaps the Orange Lodges need to take a good look in the mirror, and ask themselves whether or not all 2500 annual marches are necessary or not?

    The head of the Grand Orange Lodge of Scotland did ask that very question, some years ago, as reported by The Scotsman at the time. The response from the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland: all the marches are necessary, thank you, and none will be eliminated.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Ahhh so that explains Daithi O’s point regarding getting off buses to walk a few hundred feet past Ardoyne and then getting back on the buses when they’ve finished?

    I don’t know, but the last time I checked, being an asshole isn’t against the law.

    oldruss, people can talk all day about the parades commission, the police, the law and all the rest. My view is that there’s supposed to be a right of free speech and free assembly. That right applies whether or not someone happens to think that such assembly or speech is not necessary. The idea that people should be prevented from invoking these rights because someone may be offended is, quite frankly, dangerous. Where do you draw the line ? Is it right to stop the gay pride march in Belfast because people are offended by homosexuality ?

    I might add, of course, that the Orange Order and their supporters do not support free speech or assembly for anyone other than themselves.

  • PMcM

    “I don’t know, but the last time I checked, being an asshole isn’t against the law”

    Correct Coerade it isn’t but it kinda picks a hole in the whole free speech & assembly thing does it not?

  • PMcM

    No it’s not right to ban the Pride parade in Belfast City Centre but, I believe it would be justifiable in modifying the Pride parade if they wanted to get on buses, go to the Ravenhill Rd, march past the Martyrs Free Pres church and then get on buses to go to the city centre again.

  • Ranger1640

    Seems violence is a family business for Sinn Fein’s Gerry Kelly!

    Why did Gerry not name his Brother-in-law as the prime suspect in orchestrating the Ardoyne rioting?

    http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/sunday-life/killer-im-no-terror-boss-14417467.html

    A former killer last night denied claims he was the Real IRA mastermind behind the riot mayhem in north Belfast. Tony ‘TC’ Catney — who served a 16-year sentence for a sectarian murder — dismissed claims he leads the Real IRA terror gang in Belfast or that he orchestrated the destruction in Ardoyne on Monday in which a shot was fired at police.

    The republican, who is a brother-in-law of Sinn Fein MLA Gerry Kelly, claims he is the victim of a smear campaign by the party.

    On Monday the Real IRA opened fire on police during serious rioting in Ardoyne after an Orange Order parade.

  • oldruss

    Comrade Stalin: I understand the slippery slope argument. Ban one parade and before you realize it, all parades are banned, or at least all those staged by those with whom the “state” disagrees.

    But aren’t the six counties past the part where you’re arguing over whether or not the “state” should or should not ban particular parades, because they may well lead to civil unrest and are particularly offensive?

    The American Nazi Party storm troopers goose-stepped through Skokie, Illinois, a heavily Jewish neighborhood outside of Chicago a few years ago. The First Amendment protected the Nazis’ constitutional right to march, and with the proper parade permits, off they went.

    That does not make it morally right that the Nazis deliberately chose Skokie as the one place in the whole country where they wanted to march.

    Neither does it make it morally right for the Orange Lodge to choose to march up and down in front of the Ardoyne Road shops, just to stick it to the nationalists in the area. The Orange Orders conduct over 2500 marches every year. Giving in on this one in the Ardoyne, and giving in on the Garvaghy Road one, and on the Lower Ormeau Road, isn’t going to diminish the high standing in which the Orange Order is held, is it?

  • DaithiO

    Fair enough Gonzo. (Tried posting this earlier)

    Also rightly or wrongly there is always a crowd at the junction with Twaddell on the 12th and very often it will be interspersed with loyalist paramilitary leaders. This doesn’t excuse anti-social behaviour but it’s all circumstantial and added together gives a truer representation.

    I’d still like someone to explain why so little is made of the fact that the Orangemen get off a bus below Ardoyne and only march the few hundred yards past the shops. If the general public (ie those who believe that the nationalists are solely in the wrong here) were aware of this then they might understand why some things happen.

  • Skokie-expert

    Oldruss

    “The American Nazi Party storm troopers goose-stepped through Skokie, Illinois, a heavily Jewish neighborhood outside of Chicago”

    It was the Klan, and Skokie is a city, not a neighborhood. And it isn’t particularly Jewish.

    I think a better comparison would be if the Klan marched through Harlem. And the NYPD fired plastic bullets at the local residents for protesting. Perhaps we’ll be seing klanfest soon in the US, following the Irish lead.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    oldruss: “As a Yank I’m familiar with the First Amendment to the U. S. Constitution, which does contain those two protections, among others. However, even in the States, those rights are not unlimited.”

    They were, however, broad enough to permit Neo-Nazis to have the right to march through Skokie, Illinois, oldruss — National Socialist Party of America v. Village of Skokie, 432 U.S. 43 (1977). Given that the marchers aren’t Neo-nazis and the locals aren’t concentration camp survivors, I think you would find that the First Amendment would be more than sufficient to permit the OO to march where they would.

    oldruss: “The American Nazi Party storm troopers goose-stepped through Skokie, Illinois, a heavily Jewish neighborhood outside of Chicago a few years ago. The First Amendment protected the Nazis’ constitutional right to march, and with the proper parade permits, off they went.”

    Actually, they didn’t — they held three rallies that summer, none of which occurred in Skokie.

    oldruss: “Neither does it make it morally right for the Orange Lodge to choose to march up and down in front of the Ardoyne Road shops, just to stick it to the nationalists in the area. The Orange Orders conduct over 2500 marches every year. Giving in on this one in the Ardoyne, and giving in on the Garvaghy Road one, and on the Lower Ormeau Road, isn’t going to diminish the high standing in which the Orange Order is held, is it? ”

    You’re muddying the waters, oldruss, trying to replace what is the OO’s right with what you *think* is morally (not legally) proper for the OO to behave. You’re free to want all you want, but, if you spit in want hand and want in the other, I can tell you which one fills up first.

    Funny, you should talk about the OO’s morals, not the rioters…

    Skokie Expert: “It was the Klan, and Skokie is a city, not a neighborhood. And it isn’t particularly Jewish.”

    In the 1977 Supreme Court case (citation above) it was the US Nazi Party, Skokie was a village and was, at the time, largely Jewish.

  • Gertntfe

    It is incorrect to suggest that the orange march that walks past Ardoyne (and yes that is ‘past’ not ‘through’ as some are won’t to state) does so after getting off a bus. The marchers walk from Carlisle Circus via the Woodvale and onwards to the upper Crumlin Road.

    Following the trouble in previous years march supporters are not permitted to walk past the flashpoint at Ardoyne shops with the parade and they are taken through by bus as a compromise.

    It seems that there are still many who are content to hype and inflame the situation by making it appear that walking past Ardoyne is the prime purpose of the exercise for the OO.

    Of course should the OO propose to get off a bus short of Ardoyne, walk past it and then get onto a bus they would require to submit the walking part to the Parades Commission; as it would be deemed to be a parade in itself. They would have no hope in getting permission in such circumstances.

    The orange only get permission to walk past Ardoyne, subject to provisos such as no music, only because that 400 yard section forms part of a much longer processional route.

  • caoimhin

    I’m in no way trying to make excuses for the thugery seen here, but how to you expect people to react to being walked over. Orange marches are about power. Do you really expect anything else. Ardoyne is a strong and proud district. The GFA hasn’t brought respect and tolerence there, at least on the twelth.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    caoimhin: “I’m in no way trying to make excuses for the thugery seen here,”

    Sorta like when someone says “it isn’t about the money.” The fact that you have to say this pretty much means that you’re about to make excuses for the thugery (sic) seen in the video.

    caoimhin: “but how to you expect people to react to being walked over. Orange marches are about power.”

    And what do you think the riot was for? Oh, I see you answered that below…

    caoimhin: “Ardoyne is a strong and proud district.”

    There you go, from your own keyboard — it was an attempt at a show of strength

    caoimhin: “The GFA hasn’t brought respect and tolerence there, at least on the twelth.”

    Ain’t it funny how respect and tolerance is a one-way street to some? Civil Rights for some, but not others.

  • Comrade Stalin

    PMcM:

    Correct Coerade it isn’t but it kinda picks a hole in the whole free speech & assembly thing does it not?

    No, it doesn’t. As Americans will (quite rightly) tell you, the rights concerning free speech and assembly aren’t there to protect speech and assembly which is popular. They’re there to protect that which is unpopular.

    To it’s not right to ban the Pride parade in Belfast City Centre but, I believe it would be justifiable in modifying the Pride parade if they wanted to get on buses, go to the Ravenhill Rd, march past the Martyrs Free Pres church and then get on buses to go to the city centre again.

    Then what you essentially believe in is apartheid, you want a legal system where people can dictate who may move through which geographical neighbourhoods based on who they are or the beliefs they express. What if I said that I found Christians offensive, would I be able to have them stopped from walking up my street on the way to church ? Can I get a ban on people with spots, big noses, or muffin-tops ?

    You need to stop and think about the implications of what you are saying.

    oldruss, I think we agree about more than we disagree. The OO should catch up with the times and at least talk to residents, and it should voluntarily re-route marches. And of course, it’s a fundamental truth that rights come with responsibilities and just because you have a right does not mean you should insist upon exercising it at all costs. But my real point is not about the fact that the Orange Order act like twats, it’s about what rights they should or should not have. The statement that “people should not march through an area where they are not wanted” amounts to apartheid.

    caoimhin: “but how to you expect people to react to being walked over. Orange marches are about power.”

    I expect people to be aware of their rights and the rights of others. The riots in Ardoyne were nothing to do with marching, or politics, or anything else. It was a bunch of children engaging in recreational rioting. They weren’t representing the views of the adults who live there.

    But I have to admit, sometimes it feels like a waste of time talking about the Orange Order’s rights, and the law, when that organization shows no respect for other people’s rights or law and order itself. Action on pro-paramilitary bands would be a good start. This doesn’t give their opponents the right to riot or block their marches, but the law needs to be seen to apply across the board.

    I think the Orange Order will die out within a generation and these issues about marching and traditional routes will fade away.

  • oldruss

    Skokie-expert:

    The American Nazi Party won the right to march through Skokie, Illinois in 1978. Skokie is identified in the New York Times article as, “a predominantly Jewish Chicago suburb.”

    “SPRINGFIELD, Ill., Jan. 27–The Illinois Supreme Court ruled here today that Nazi party members have a constitutional right to display swastikas at public demonstrations in Skokie, a predominantly Jewish Chicago suburb.” The New York Times, January 28, 1978, http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F70D11FE355A13728DDDA10A94D9405B888BF1D3, retrieved, July 20, 2009.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Comrade Stalin: “But I have to admit, sometimes it feels like a waste of time talking about the Orange Order’s rights, and the law, when that organization shows no respect for other people’s rights or law and order itself. Action on pro-paramilitary bands would be a good start. This doesn’t give their opponents the right to riot or block their marches, but the law needs to be seen to apply across the board.”

    Alas and alack, there is no right not to be offended. The right to free speech means they have the right to be schmucks once a year, provided they complete the necessary paperwork and meet the bureaucratic requirements for their parade.

    I would think that, if the state and PSNI weaned off of their “three good monkeys” level of enforcement of OO parades, a lot of this would go away — enforce the ban on proscribed organizations, mayhap with a fine on organizing group, in this instance, the OO.

  • oldruss

    Dread Cthulhu: “You’re muddying the waters, oldruss, trying to replace what is the OO’s right with what you *think* is morally (not legally) proper for the OO to behave.”

    I would take issue with your implicit assumption that the Orange Orders have the absolute, unfettered right to march whenever and wherever they choose to do so. The Parades Commission has limited the Orange Orders’ right (“constitutional”, legal) to march in some areas and has placed conditions on some marches. It seems settled, as a matter of law, that the “state” may regulate parades (assembly) and/or speech, when a prevailing public need for civil order may be in jeopardy if a particular march is pushed through or past a given area.

    To the extent that the Parades Commission has allowed a march by the Orange Order to go past the Ardoyne Road shops, it is upholding the Orders’ right to march, but is placing appropriate (as viewed by the Parades Commission) limits on that right.

    That does not resolve the issue, however. There should be some moral compass by which the Orange Order is guided. If there were, the “few contentious” parades among the 2500 annual parades that the Orange Orders conduct, would be eliminated or re-routed voluntarily by the Orange Order. Even if the demands of the nationalist community that a particular parade be re-routed are unreasonable, aren’t the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland and the myriad local Lodges sufficiently grounded so they could be magnanimous rather than petty?

  • Dread Cthulhu

    oldruss: “I would take issue with your implicit assumption that the Orange Orders have the absolute, unfettered right to march whenever and wherever they choose to do so.”

    Ah, but that is where you are wholly wrong. I don’t think that they have an absolute right. What I think is that they have the same right to march whenever and wherever they choose to do so as everyone else. They must meet the same bureaucratic and legal requirements as anyone else. That is to say, they have the same right to the road as the Hibernians, the Shriners and the Girl Scouts.

    oldruss: “That does not resolve the issue, however. There should be some moral compass by which the Orange Order is guided.”

    IOW, sod all with their wants, desires and rights, you have a preferred dog in the fight.

    oldruss: “If there were, the “few contentious” parades among the 2500 annual parades that the Orange Orders conduct, would be eliminated or re-routed voluntarily by the Orange Order.”

    IOW, you think that the OO should simply roll-over and accede to the demands of others, regardless of their rights. Couple of problems with that. There are those who think that *any* OO parades are too many OO parades, so any concession that wasn’t closely negotiated would simply encourage some to make more parades contentious, by bussing in rent-a-mobs and other astro-turf tactics. Secondly, I do find it amusing that you wax eloquent about the OO’s moral laxities, whilst ignoring the rioters with a hand-wave.

    oldruss: “Even if the demands of the nationalist community that a particular parade be re-routed are unreasonable, aren’t the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland and the myriad local Lodges sufficiently grounded so they could be magnanimous rather than petty? ”

    Why? So they can piously be told they should capitulate to the next round of un-reasonable demands, which would follow such a gesture are sure as night follows day?

    You contribution to this thread has been largely whataboutery, shepherding the conversation away from the rioters to the paraders. Your “solution” is, essentially, that the paraders waive their rights and give into any half-arsed demand from whatever group happens to have a kvetch and you probably wonder why its a non-starter. A compromise has to go *both* ways, oldruss, or else it is simply capitulation to demands.

  • Drumlins Rock

    Old Russ, have a wee look at the map Gonzo has posted, will give you an idea of the area, remember the main belfast parade starts and ends at the bottom of the Crumlin Road, the 3 lodges and bands involved are towards the top end of the same road, they have always just paraded down to join the main parade, no buses or cars as far i know, only a short section of the route is bordered by the Ardoyne area to the north, the parade does not pass this section anymore and has rerouted down Cumbrai st and the woodvale road, but has no other option (check the map) but to rejoin the Crumlin road at the Ardoyne shops junction, on past the shops it is not contentious either, therefore it is only that short section of commercial street that is at issue (appox same lenght as Balhome dr on the map but faces onto Crumlin road) for less than 10 min. if the bands and lodges adhere to the parades commission rulings can you see the problem?http://www.paradescommission.org/fs/files/det-for-ballysillan-13-07-2009.doc

  • Comrade Stalin “ The police were obviously mainly concerned with containing the “riot”, not attempting to actively pursue the people engaged in it. The water cannon was not effective in doing anything except making the kids a bit damp. Noting, though, the comment that it wasn’t on high pressure mode (why?)….”

    Probably to avoid photos likes the following (Firefighters turn their hoses full force on civil rights demonstrators July 15, 1963 in Birmingham, Alabama: http://yfrog.com/ejbhamfirehosep ) and the subsequent links from Bull Connor to the PSNI. (No, this doesn’t imply I follow that line of reasoning but that doesn’t means there wouldn’t be a link)

    Comrade Stalin “ ….The rioters were mostly children, and…”

    Belfast Gonzo doesn’t seem to think so and he was there…(see parg 12)” Most of the rioters were teenagers or men in their twenties, with a few older ones.”

    Comrade Stalin “….. I wonder why they’re so unconcerned about actually lifting people. These wee fuckers need to spend a few years in borstal. “

    No comment.

    Meandering Snapper “ The water should have a dye in it that isn’t washable…..”

    That would be kinda hypocritical of HMG since they complained about the sappers doing it: In 1997, pink dye was reportedly added to the water used by Indonesian police to disperse a riot. The implication is that they might use this mark to make it easier to arrest rioters later. The United Kingdom, who sold the water cannons to Indonesia, condemned this practice, (although the Royal Ulster Constabulary had used a water cannon with purple dye during The Troubles in Northern Ireland) but later approved the sale of more water cannons to them.”
    http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/ASA21/039/1997

  • oldruss

    Dread Cthulhu and Drumlins Rock:

    As I said above, the issue of whether or not the “state” may regulate parades, irrespective of the organization sponsoring them, seems settled. The Parades Commission allows most all of the 2500 Orange Orders’ parades every year, without limitation. There are perhaps three parades, Garvaghy Road, Lower Ormeau Road and Ardoyne Road, which have been regulated by the Parades Commission. Assuming that I am correct in that understanding, three parades out of two-thousand five hundred do not seem to be an excessive number to have limited in one fashion or another.

    Dread Cthulhu: “You contribution to this thread has been largely whataboutery, shepherding the conversation away from the rioters to the paraders.”

    Yes, I do think that the Orange Order has a responsibility in all this. IF the Orange Order did not insist on marching past this particular area, knowing that it IS contentious, then the PSNI would not have to be out in force, and perhaps the “spides” would not then engage in “recreational rioting”. That does not justify the “recreational rioting” whatsoever; just as displaying a Tricolour up in Coleraine did not justify murdering Kevin McDaid.

    Drumlins Rock, yes, you probably know the geography of the area far better than do I. That goes without saying. But I find it quite hard to believe that SOME alternate route cannot be found.

    IF the Orange Orders would try and make accomodations by eliminating or re-routing these three parades out of 2500, are they REALLY capitulating to the “evil” nationalists, or are they just being the better for their willingness to find some comity with the “other” community?

  • Comrade Stalin

    Yes, I do think that the Orange Order has a responsibility in all this. IF the Orange Order did not insist on marching past this particular area, knowing that it IS contentious, then the PSNI would not have to be out in force, and perhaps the “spides” would not then engage in “recreational rioting”.

    Rubbish. You can’t blame other people for someone’s decision to riot.

  • Comrade Stalin

    By the way, oldruss, you should be aware that there is trouble (at a somewhat lower level) in this neck of the woods year round, and it isn’t always connected to marches.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    oldruss: “As I said above, the issue of whether or not the “state” may regulate parades, irrespective of the organization sponsoring them, seems settled.”

    But they may not regulate one differently from another.

    oldruss: “Yes, I do think that the Orange Order has a responsibility in all this. IF the Orange Order did not insist on marching past this particular area, knowing that it IS contentious, then the PSNI would not have to be out in force, and perhaps the “spides” would not then engage in “recreational rioting”.”

    What a load of fetid dingoes kidneys. The rioters are to blame as are their apologists, such as yourself, who make excuses for them.

  • DaithiO

    Let’s not split hairs.

    The Orange Order’s right to march in celebration of their culture and traditions, they just need to do so in a non-confrontational way. Conversely republican commemorations, parades, marches etc. should be kept out of eye/earshot of those who would take offence.

    Surely that’s a matter of mutual repect or more simply common sense.

  • DaithiO, similar to the following conciliatory move which happened over seven years ago…

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2002/jul/20/northernireland.rosiecowan

  • Drumlins Rock

    there are a few more than 3 contentious parades, and in many areas the Orange has ammended their routes, including on the Crumlin road, if you check out how far they detour to avoid the Ardoyne, it is a very short section that is left that they must pass to get back, look at the map again,
    It is on a Main Route in Belfast,
    It is only about 100yrds contentious
    And for that section it is past shops that have already closed for the day
    there is usually no-one there to be offended
    and at that if they parade sticks to the rules there is notihng to offend
    so far as i can see there is no other way round!

    the Orange Order does not have 2000 parades or whatever, my lodge has two, the neighbouring lodge has one, the one beside that has two, the districts may have 2 or 3, then you have the bands, your not asking the Orange Order to drop just 3 of their parades, your asking the 3 local lodges there to drop possibly their one and only parade in the year, and others to drop 20 or 30% of thier parades, believe me if the Orange put pressure on the local lodges to give up those 3 parades, (which as democratic organisation would be virtually impossible to do) next year it would be 6 new places.

  • Along similar lines about which I wrote earlier, I found a good photo over on Politics.ie…
    ….to avoid photos likes the following (The Apartheid regime in SA: http://yfrog.com/9fpurpcoverj ) and the subsequent links from Apartheid police to the PSNI. (No, this doesn’t imply I follow that line of reasoning but that doesn’t means there wouldn’t be a link)

  • Ms Wiz

    The OO with a UVF band in tow march past Ardoyne and a riot ensues. What exactly is everyone surprised about?

    In Suzanne Breen’s article in the Trinume yesterday, a 17 year old youth said:

    “The Orangemen aren’t wanted here. If we tried to march past the Shankill, we’d be shot dead.”

    Quite.

    http://www.tribune.ie/news/home-news/article/2009/jul/19/the-fresh-face-of-rioting-is-nothing-new-in-ardoyn/

  • Drumlins Rock

    3 local lodges walk past their local shops on the very edge of Ardoyne, takes less than 10 min to pass, nothing paramilitary related on display, that time of night usually not a soul in sight, local spides go ape and wreck thier own area once again, just because thier da and granda use to,
    young men dragged into all the hate just so republicans can play wee power games.

  • oldruss

    Comrade Stalin, Dread Cthulhu.

    Both of you have responded to my earlier posts in a similar fashion, and so to be brief, I’ll try and respond to you both together.

    I’m not blaming the Orange Lodge for the riot, per se, only trying to sort out what may have precipitated it. I really don’t think the “spides” would have gathered on the Ardoyne Road and thrown rocks into the street, if the PSNI hadn’t been there, and the PSNI wouldn’t have been there but to protect the Orange Lodge’s parade and bandsmen.

    Funny how the DUP councillor (MLA possibly) for Coleraine was quick to suggest that Kevin McDaid’s murder was the result of nationalists in his neighborhood having the “brass balls” to display a Tricolour.

    Displaying a Tricolour is not justification for murdering anyone; nor was there justification for the “RIOT” in the Ardoyne on the 13th.

    That said, one thing did follow the other, and the end result was what it was. Murder versus rock throwing, however, doesn’t seem to be on quite the same plain.

    And, Drumlins Rock, the number of 2500 annual parades by the Orange Orders is the figure the head of the Grand Orange Lodge of Scotland used a couple of years ago, when he suggested (according to an article in The Scotsman) that his brethern in Ireland had too many “parades”, and that the sheer number of which had, in and of itself, become contentious.

    In any event, I still would respectfully suggest, as did the head of the Grand Orange Lodge of Scotland, that there are some parades which the Irish Orange Lodges could combine, or, gasp, eliminate.

    In the alternative, I guess the AOH and similar Catholic organizations have an equal right to ramp up the number of their parades, and demand equality with the Orange Orders to walk the Queen’s highway, whenever and wherever they damn well please. Let’s see, the Shankill, Holywood, Sandy Row, the Village, Coleraine city center, and the Waterside (Derry) could all be prime candidates for an AOH parade next St. Patrick’s Day.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    oldruss: “I’m not blaming the Orange Lodge for the riot, per se, only trying to sort out what may have precipitated it. I really don’t think the “spides” would have gathered on the Ardoyne Road and thrown rocks into the street, if the PSNI hadn’t been there, and the PSNI wouldn’t have been there but to protect the Orange Lodge’s parade and bandsmen.”

    An analysis that conveniently ignores that the only reason PSNI had to protect the parade because of the spides in the first place. The spides are free to exercise their free speech rights, but, strangely, prefer criminality and what you soft-peddle as “recreational rioting”, hence the need for the police.

    oldruss: “Funny how the DUP councillor (MLA possibly) for Coleraine was quick to suggest that Kevin McDaid’s murder was the result of nationalists in his neighborhood having the “brass balls” to display a Tricolour.”

    Whataboutery that has nothing to do with the subject at hand. One has naught to do with the other, save in some sad effort to say one side’s bastards are worse than the others.

    oldruss: “Displaying a Tricolour is not justification for murdering anyone; nor was there justification for the “RIOT” in the Ardoyne on the 13th.”

    Then why are you working so hard to pin the blame on the OO for exercising their legitimate free speech rights?

    oldruss: “I still would respectfully suggest, as did the head of the Grand Orange Lodge of Scotland, that there are some parades which the Irish Orange Lodges could combine, or, gasp, eliminate.”

    And what would that accomplish? The spides would find another reason to run riot and the folks who answer to every policy question is “ban the parades” would be encouraged. Rights do not exist to protect the things we like, oldruss. They exist to protect the unpopular things in life. Funny how Republicans and nationalists are keen where their own rights are concerned and casual where the rights of others are concerned.

    oldruss: “In the alternative, I guess the AOH and similar Catholic organizations have an equal right to ramp up the number of their parades, and demand equality with the Orange Orders to walk the Queen’s highway, whenever and wherever they damn well please.”

    Subject to the bureaucratic requirements of the various levels of governmental bureaucracy, they already have that right, so what’s your point?

  • Drumlins Rock

    Oldruss, I have watched the AOH parade in my local town (its prob 50/50) Shankill and Sandy Row mite be pushing it, unless they have a local AOH to host it, but as i tried to point out to you, but you dont seem to get the Ardoyne parade does not even go through a Catholic area, just very briefly skirts the edge of it at one junction after taking a long diversion to avoid it.
    As for the number of Parades, would you like us to cancel ours? im sure the cows will be pleased we arent disturbing them, I’m not sure what context the Scotish GM was speaking (and i think he later withdrew the statment), but the parading tradition in Scotland is very different from here, it is much more urban based over there whereas the vast majority of parades here are rural and villages, look up http://www.paradescommission.org you will see the full list and how many/few are anyway contensious, plus you will also see probably half of the parades are whats called feeder parades on the big days, just the local bands and lodges in their own area, only difference is they dont have gang of young thugs and gangsters waiting to attack.

  • oldruss

    Dread Cthulhu, “…so what’s your point?”

    The point is, as it always has been, that the playing field isn’t level, and the Orange Order does precious little by way of making any kind of accomodation. To the contrary, it seems as if the O.O. prefers to exacerbate the situation. (Drumcree comes to mind.)

    And the matter of the murder in Coleraine is both relevant and material. Nothing happens in a vaccuum, especially in the six counties. To properly put the “recreational rioting” (I didn’t invent this phrase, it was used by someone else before I took it) into perspective, one needs to acknowledge what has occured in the recent past when there were other celebratory occasions. (The football match between Celtic and the Rangers being the kick-off of the celebration in Coleraine that lead to the murder of Kevin McDaid.) Those celebrating the Rangers’ victory found the display of the Tricolour in a nearby neighborhood to be offensive, (just how close the Heights are to where the Rangers’ celebration was taking place I don’t know), but in any event, the mob left the pub where they were celebrating, and went to that neighborhood, attacked and killed Kevin McDaid, beat his wife, and nearly killed another man.

    The “spides” threw rocks at the PSNI, who were in their neighborhood, right there in front of them on the Ardoyne Road.

    What reception will the AOH receive on the Shankill, or in the Village, or on Sandy Row next St. Patrick’s Day if they similarly have parades in those neighborhoods enroute to Belfast city center? Maybe one up by the Glenbryn Estate, near where the old Holy Cross school used to be?

  • oldruss

    Drumlins Rock, the parades in the rural areas of the six counties do seem to be less contentious; although the one at Drumcree seems quite contentious from this side of the pond. Perhaps, the church at Drumcree isn’t rural, but it certainly doesn’t seem to qualify as an urban center like Belfast and environs.

    I’m in no position to suggest any particular parade be cancelled, but it does seem appropriate if the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland would make some kind of accomodations with respect to this one that goes down the Ardoyne Road, and the other two which I have mentioned, the Lower Ormeau and the one at Drumcree. Out of 2500 annual parades, if 3 or 30 had to be dispensed with, would that be such an awfully lot to ask of the Grand Organd Lodge of Ireland?

  • Dread Cthulhu

    oldruss: “The point is, as it always has been, that the playing field isn’t level, and the Orange Order does precious little by way of making any kind of accomodation. To the contrary, it seems as if the O.O. prefers to exacerbate the situation.”

    Sure… the OO avoids the Catholic areas of Ardoyne, briefly brushing it as the parade passes the shops an’ you see “no accomodation.” The blame for the riot belongs squarely with the spides, something you don’t want to acknowledge.

    oldruss: “And the matter of the murder in Coleraine is both relevant and material. Nothing happens in a vaccuum, especially in the six counties. To properly put the “recreational rioting” (I didn’t invent this phrase, it was used by someone else before I took it) into perspective, one needs to acknowledge what has occured in the recent past when there were other celebratory occasions.”

    The are related, at best, in the chaos theory analysis that would have you believe that a butterfly beating its wings in China steers hurricanes. The two events are separated by time and place by a not inconsiderable amount of distance and no amount of boot-strapping and what-abouting is going to change that these were two very independent events.

    oldruss: “The “spides” threw rocks at the PSNI, who were in their neighborhood, right there in front of them on the Ardoyne Road.”

    Which has *nothing* to do with events in Coleraine — all parties were going to be present in Ardoyne regardless of what did or didn’t happen in Coleraine. The spides were going to be there, the PSNI were going to be there and the parade was going to be there. Oh, and you forgot the fire-bottles and the bullet fired at the police. Like I said, you’re soft-peddling events… or don’t fire-bombs and bullets carry weight in your mind??

    What you’re indulging in is boot-strap levitation. You’re scrabbling for any event to try and lessen the culpability of the spides in their own malfeasance.

  • Brian MacAodh

    ‘I think a better comparison would be if the Klan marched through Harlem.’

    Now THAT would be somehting to see. I don’t think any Klan members would make it out alive

  • Brian MacAodh

    Has anyone ever participated in a riot like this when they were kids? If so, describe the experience in terms of how you felt.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Ms Wiz:

    The OO with a UVF band in tow march past Ardoyne and a riot ensues. What exactly is everyone surprised about?

    Who is surprised ?

    In Suzanne Breen’s article in the Trinume yesterday, a 17 year old youth said:

    “The Orangemen aren’t wanted here. If we tried to march past the Shankill, we’d be shot dead.”

    Quite.

    Loyalists don’t understand free speech, democracy and freedom of assembly. Are you planning on adding anything we don’t know ?

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Brian MacAodh: “Now THAT would be somehting to see. I don’t think any Klan members would make it out alive.”

    And would that say more about the Klansmen or the denizens of Harlem?

    Brian MacAodh: “Has anyone ever participated in a riot like this when they were kids? If so, describe the experience in terms of how you felt. ”

    Feeling like you missed out on the great adventure? Wanting to live vicariously through others?

  • Comrade Stalin

    I’m reminded of events in Carnmoney cemetery in Newtownabbey a few years ago.

    A Catholic priest held a ceremony in the cemetery at the Catholic section of the graveyard. A group of knuckle-dragging drunken loyalists protested, and subsequently rioted. They didn’t try to blame any set of complex political or traditional circumstances, they came right out and said it, that the presence of a Catholic ceremony in the graveyard was offensive. The graveyard, BTW, is owned by the council, so it’s not officially or religiously “Protestant”.

    Unionist councillors in Newtownabbey came along, as they usually do, to say that the riots were provoked by the actions of the Catholic priest who brought it on. The implication clearly being that the priest was to blame, and the riots would stop if the blessing ceremonies stopped.

    My point ? If you create a setup where rioters get let off the hook because someone is deemed to have offended them, you create a culture where bigotry, thuggery and intolerance are legitimized.

  • Drumlins Rock

    And im reminded of the numerous times .. bla bla bla

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Drumlins Rock: “And im reminded of the numerous times .. bla bla bla ”

    IOW, when its your co-religionists and political fellow-travelers, it isn’t a big deal…

  • oldruss

    Dread Cthulhu: “What you’re indulging in is boot-strap levitation. You’re scrabbling for any event to try and lessen the culpability of the spides in their own malfeasance.”

    I’ve not been clear in my earlier posts, it seems.

    I’m not interested in excusing the “spides” for their actions. What I am saying is that their actions need to be kept in perspective, and that the events at Coleraine, which took Kevin McDaid’s life, which almost took the life of another man, and which resulted in Kevin McDaid’s wife being beaten by the revelers celebrating the Rangers’ victory over Celtic, do just that.

    I also have said, and will say again, the Orange Orders do little to lessen tensions. Having two thousand five hundred marches every year, year after year, in and of itself creates an atmosphere which is less than conducive to a harmonious co-existence with the rest of the people who live in the six counties.

    Does the Orange Order’s boorishness justify the “spides” actions on the 13th? Of course it does not. It gave them an excuse, however, to act out in an anti-social manner, as adolescents are prone to do.

    In contrast, the display of a Tricolour in the Heights section of Coleraine cannot excuse the murder of Kevin McDaid by the men celebrating the Rangers’ victory over Celtic. That brutal murder does, however, serve to put the actions of those youths on the Ardoyne Road into perspective.

    And one final point. What message is being sent by the Orange Orders which do allow for paramilitary bands and banners to be on display during their marches? If such paramilitary trappings are proscribed, and yet, the Orange Orders, with a wink and a nod from the PSNI and Unionist leaders, openly flaunt legal authority, are the Orders and their enablers not responsible to one degree or another for whatever happens?

  • Dread Cthulhu

    oldruss: “I’m not interested in excusing the “spides” for their actions. ”

    They why go to such trouble to blame the paraders for the spides behavior?

    oldruss: “In contrast, the display of a Tricolour in the Heights section of Coleraine cannot excuse the murder of Kevin McDaid by the men celebrating the Rangers’ victory over Celtic. That brutal murder does, however, serve to put the actions of those youths on the Ardoyne Road into perspective.”

    Only two problems — firstly, no one is excusing the Loyalist spides by blaming the victim in the fashion that you’re trying to diminish the Republican spides by blaming the parade and, secondly, these are two independent events that you’re trying to join together with the logical equivalent of spit and flour paste.

    Frankly, I suspect were the two events reversed in chronological order, you’d be working just as hard to claim they weren’t related — that the Republican riot gave rise to the Loyalist violence — as you are when the order of events works to your convenience.

    oldruss: “What message is being sent by the Orange Orders which do allow for paramilitary bands and banners to be on display during their marches? If such paramilitary trappings are proscribed, and yet, the Orange Orders, with a wink and a nod from the PSNI and Unionist leaders, openly flaunt legal authority, are the Orders and their enablers not responsible to one degree or another for whatever happens? ”

    Technically, it would be PSNI who are enabling the OO behave badly, since that is where the power rests and, through the PSNI, to the state itself. The state, Republican and Unionist alike, do little to enforce these political correct statutes, frankly, because they’re well nigh unenforcable — win or lose, the PSNI gets gifted with a riot… the only question remains which sides spides are going to riot.

    But then, when Republican spides riot, its only “recreational” in nature, never mind the bullets or the petrol bombs, since you’ve seenfit to overlook them, oldruss.

  • oldruss

    Dread Cthulhu:

    We seem to be going in circles, round and round the mulberry bush, as it were.

    You do seem to have missed my point, and I guess that’s my fault for not having been more clear.

    The murder in Coleraine didn’t trigger the “recreational rioting” on the Ardoyne, and I’ve never suggested that it did.

    All that I’m saying is that before we give the “spides”, who were engaged in the “recreational rioting”, (again, a term which I did not coin, but have only borrowed) twenty lashes with a cat-o-nine-tails, we need to keep their adolescent anti-social acting out in perspective; and also recognize the mitigating circumstances which the presence of the Orange Orders’ march with paramilitary band in tow created.

    As for the PSNI being scapegoated for the paramilitary bands, hogwash! The Orange Orders sponsor the marches, in the first instance, and if the Grand Master made clear that paramilitary bands were not to be hired or otherwise allowed to march with the Orangemen, it wouldn’t happen. That the PSNI do allow it, seems more a reflection of what the Orange Orders want than some independent decision. Nonetheless, it would be nice if the PSNI did do their sworn duty to uphold the law. Too many “spides” get the wrong ideas, when the law is ignored so cavalierly by those who are supposed to be in authority.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    oldruss: “The murder in Coleraine didn’t trigger the “recreational rioting” on the Ardoyne, and I’ve never suggested that it did.”

    Then why do you seek to use it to excuse the “recreational rioters,” oldruss?

    oldruss: “All that I’m saying is that before we give the “spides”, who were engaged in the “recreational rioting”, (again, a term which I did not coin, but have only borrowed) twenty lashes with a cat-o-nine-tails, we need to keep their adolescent anti-social acting out in perspective;”

    Oh, so there is now a “perspective” to brick-heaving, petrol-bombing and the odd bullet. You’ve an interesting concept of what constitutes “recreation.”

    oldruss: ” and also recognize the mitigating circumstances which the presence of the Orange Orders’ march with paramilitary band in tow created.”

    No mitigation exists. The violence didn’t occur nor was it focused on the parade or the band — in that instance there would have been at least the fig-leaf of provocation. This event was focused on the police after the parade had passed and was focused on the police who had remained in the area and, as such, was little different than any Loyalist “show of strength.”

    As for your last, the PSNI and the state are the gate-keepers, oldruss — they have the power to grant or deny permits, to cancel parades, etc. If the PSNI wink at the law and abrogate their sworn duty, how is it the OO fault?

    You’re still scrabbling at something to lessen the spides responsibility for their own behavior. You’re soft-peddling the deeds done and boot-strapping their motives — this was not a spontaneous event in response to provocation. This was calculated behavior after the provocation had left.

    Likewise, if free speech is to exist, then the spides and their enablers have to learn why rights exist and how to live in a civil society. With freedom comes responsibilities and it would seem that some in the nationalist community (in this instance) and the Loyalist community (in others) aren’t holding up their end of the bargain. The sooner they learn the price of their failures, unalloyed by the excuses and rationalizations of their apologists, the sooner N. I. can try to get on with the business of civilization.

  • In regard to a hypothetical KKK march in Harlem (analogous to the OO marching in areas where they aren’t wanted by that community) we had the following reply by Dread Cthulhu : “

    Brian MacAodh: “Now THAT would be somehting to see. I don’t think any Klan members would make it out alive.”
    And would that say more about the Klansmen or the denizens of Harlem?”

    Be-the-hokey Dreadlocks, but you seem to be siding with the Good Ol’ Boys of the KKK or is it just a dislike of the Brothers of Harlem ?

    Veil slipping is it ?

  • Roman E Lowse

    “Brian MacAodh: “Has anyone ever participated in a riot like this when they were kids? If so, describe the experience in terms of how you felt.”

    Recreational rioting has been going on since the (brick a ) squaddies first went in.

    I wonder will this evidence be used the same way the evidence was used against those poor IRA volunteers who stiffed the two SAS men after the Gibralter funerals.

    Also, could someone definitively answer this? I see a UVF hack is up for a few old murders.http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/8161428.stm Who decides and why which old cases are to be resurrected and which sleeping dogs should be let lie?

    I see an Antrim goat is to be crowned king of Puck. God bless cross border cooperation. But who decides which old killers get jailed and which get the easy road?

  • Dread Cthulhu

    My Tuppence Worth: “Be-the-hokey Dreadlocks, but you seem to be siding with the Good Ol’ Boys of the KKK or is it just a dislike of the Brothers of Harlem ?

    Veil slipping is it ? ”

    Neither. I was simply playing the ball where it law, as the scenario was presented — that the KKK manages to go through all the permitting processes to hold a non-violent march through Harlem and are assaulted by the residents for the “crime” of exercising their First Amendment rights. Who does that say more about — the law-abiding members of the KKK who are assaulted for the “crime” of exercising free speech or the violent thugs who assault them for doing so?

    It isn’t *that* complicated a concept, Tuppence — there is no right, human or civil, to go through life without hearing something offensive. In fact, rights exists to protect the right to promulgate unpleasant beliefs — by definition, popular beliefs generally don’t require such protections.

    Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent. I would add, sophomoric insinuations of racism rate a close second.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Drumlin’s Rock,

    Do you have a point to make ?

  • The fiction writer Isaac Asimov did write that about violence but Pastor Martin Niemöller lived thro the violence of Nazi Germany and wrote….

    “In Germany, they came first for the Communists, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist;
    And then they came for the trade unionists, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist;
    And then they came for the Jews, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew;
    And then… they came for me… And by that time there was no one left to speak up.”

    Speaking up and protesting is often the correct counter to the bigotry in NI which allows OO goose-stomps and, of course against the bigoted demonstrations themselves.

    The following (from you) “….scenario was presented—that the KKK manages to go through all the permitting processes to hold….” would never happen. Your KKK wouldn’t be allowed ‘exercise’ their right of free speech as it’d be against the greater good…..

    According to the Freedom Forum Organization, legal systems, and society at large, recognize limits on the freedom of speech, particularly when freedom of speech conflicts with other values or rights. Limitations to freedom of speech may follow the “harm principle” or the “offense principle”, for example in the case of pornography or “hate speech [and actions such as OO marches]“. Limitations to freedom of speech may occur through legal sanction and/or social disapprobation.

    http://www.seop.leeds.ac.uk/entries/freedom-speech/#HarPriFreSpe

    3.3 Hate Speech and the Offense Principle

    Hate speech causes profound and personal offense. The discomfort that is caused to those who are the object of such attacks cannot easily be shrugged off. As in the case of violent pornography, the offense that is caused by the march through [Ardoyne] cannot be avoided simply by staying off the streets because the offense is taken over the bare knowledge that the march is taking place. …… If we examine some of the other factors regarding offensive speech mentioned above, Feinberg suggests that the march through [Ardoyne] does not do very well: the social value of the speech seems to be marginal, the number of people offended will be large, and it is difficult to see how it is in the interests of the community. These reasons also hold for violent pornography.
    A key difference, however, is in the intensity of the offense; it is particularly acute with hate speech because it is aimed at a relatively small and specific audience. The motivations of the speakers in [the Orange Demonstration] seemed to be to incite fear and hatred and to directly insult the members of the community with ….. symbols. Nor, according to Feinberg, was there any political content to the speech. The distinction between violent pornography and this specific example of hate speech is that a particular group of people were targeted and the message of hate was paraded in such a way that it could not be easily avoided.It is for these reasons that Feinberg suggests hate speech can be limited.
    He also claims that when fighting words are used to provoke people who are prevented by law from using a fighting response, the offense is profound enough to allow for prohibition. If pornographers engaged in the same behavior, parading through neighborhoods where they were likely to meet great resistance and cause profound offense, they too should be prevented from doing so. It is clear, therefore, that the crucial component of the offense principle is the avoidability of the offensive material. For the argument to be consistent, it must follow that many forms of hate speech should still be allowed if the offense is easily avoidable. Nazis can still meet in private places [such as Orange Halls] , or even in public ones that are easily bypassed. Advertisements for such meetings can be edited (because they are less easy to avoid) but should not be banned.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Tuppence: “The following (from you) “….scenario was presented—that the KKK manages to go through all the permitting processes to hold….” would never happen. Your KKK wouldn’t be allowed ‘exercise’ their right of free speech as it’d be against the greater good.”

    Actually, rallies and marches by the KKK and similar groups have not only been permitted, but have been permitted by the courts and received legal support from the American Civil Liberties Union, Tuppence. Look up “National Socialist Party v. Skokie, 432 U.S. 43 (1977)”

    I guess civil liberties are a radical new concept to some…

  • Frankie say

    When two tribes go to war a point is all you score
    (repeat ad nauseum)

  • Greagoir Mac Cam Beul

    “No, it doesn’t. As Americans will (quite rightly) tell you, the rights concerning free speech and assembly aren’t there to protect speech and assembly which is popular. They’re there to protect that which is unpopular.?”

    I, for one, fully support republicans rights to walk up the Shankhill.

  • Sir Kew Ordee

    “Rubbish. You can’t blame other people for someone’s decision to riot. ”

    Exactly. The Poles were not responsible for the best fans in the world causing trouble outside Windsor.

    The Hungarians and Roma were not responsible for being attacked.

  • Dread Cthulhu
    well done and congratulations on the award for the Poster Who Refuses to Read Others Postings

    My posting was based on the Skokie march. My quotes were from the judges deliberations. My link to Leeds is from the text books about Skokie.

    I’ve substituted Ardoyne for Skokie.
    I’ve substituted OO demostrations for Nazi marches
    I’ve substituted OO Halls for Nazi private places.
    I highlighted all my substitutions in bold.

    The OO marches in Ardoyne are a mirror image of the Nazi cultural celebrations in Skokie.

    Try reading what’s posted instead of what you would like to think is posted.(shaking my head in despair but with a wry smile)

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Tuppence: “The OO marches in Ardoyne are a mirror image of the Nazi cultural celebrations in Skokie.”

    They might if (and only if) the OO was legitimately comparable to Nazis (which they aren’t) and if there was *actually* a Nazi celebration in Skokie, which there wasn’t.

    Tuppence, you’re making things up as you go.

    Brian suggested that a KKK march through Harlem would have no survivors, implying that the residents of Harlem would do physical harm to the marchers.

    I pointed out that would have more to say about the residents of Harlem (who would be commiting manslaughter in Brian’s scenario) as opposed to the KluKKers on parade (who would only be exercising their Free Speech rights in the same scenario).

    You decided this was an opportunity to imply that I was a racist, saying “Be-the-hokey Dreadlocks, but you seem to be siding with the Good Ol’ Boys of the KKK or is it just a dislike of the Brothers of Harlem ?”

    To which the answer is neither — the subject just would appear to have gone over your head.

    At this point, you play mad-libs, arbitrarily conflating the OO with the Nazi party, which might not break Godwin’s law, but you can see it from there. As a matter of fact, Tuppence, I never comment on your mad-lib, since it has no bearing on reality.

    You said the KKK wouldn’t be permitted to march through Harlem, which is specious on its face — the Nazis were judged to have the right to march through Skokie, meaning an equivalent right exists. Your madlib treatment has no weight. Philosophy is nice, but a Supreme Court decision carries a lot more weight where a body’s civil rights are concerned.

    All you’ve done is demonstrate you can cut and paste and misapply another persons writings in an attempt to bootstrap a weak arguments. Nice try, tho.

    Remember, the right to speech exists to protect unpopular speech. Popular speech doesn’t require such protections.

  • DC: ”They might if (and only if) the OO was legitimately comparable to Nazis (which they aren’t) and…”

    in my opinion they are, because OO like the Nazis are supremist, violent thugs. Examples of which are the incitment to violence which led to the burning of the three Quinn boys at the time of the Drumcree civil disorder.

    My opinion is supported by a large number of the population of NI (let’s assume nearly half).

    The learned have written disparagingly about the OO eg Benedict Keily in “Counties of Contention” about the OO in Tyrone.

    The Stormont Govts has seen fit to ban OO marches wholesale (Civil Authorities (Special Powers) Act (Northern Ireland) 1922). This was general bans on marches in NI but there were so few Nationalist one to be negligable.

    a quick wikipedia gives the following…

    NSPA Controversy

    In 1977 and 1978, Illinois Nazis of the National Socialist Party of America (derived from the American Nazi Party) attempted to demonstrate their political existence with a march in Skokie — at the City’s north western border — far from their south side headquarters. Originally, the NSPA had planned a political rally in Marquette Park, in the south side of Chicago, to which the City reacted against, first, by requiring the NSPA post an onerous public-safety-insurance bond, then, by banning all political demonstrations in Marquette Park.

    Seeking another free-speech political venue, the NSPA chose to march on Skokie. Given the many Holocaust survivors living in Skokie, the Village’s Government thought the Nazi march would be politically provocative and socially disruptive, and refused the NSPA its permission. In the event, the American Civil Liberties Union interceded in behalf of the NSPA, in the case of the National Socialist Party of America v. Village of Skokie, wherein an Illinois appeals court raised the injunction issued by a Cook County Circuit Court judge, ruling that the presence of the swastika, the Nazi emblem, would constitute deliberate provocation of the people of Skokie. However, the Court also ruled that Skokie’s attorneys had failed to prove that either the Nazi uniform or their printed materials, which it was alleged that the Nazis intended to distribute, would incite violence.

    Moreover, because Chicago subsequently lifted its Marquette Park political demonstration ban, the NSPA ultimately held its rally in Chicago. In 1981, the attempted Illinois Nazi march on Skokie was dramatised in the television movie, Skokie.

    DC: “Remember, the right to speech exists to protect unpopular speech. ”

    agreed and there is nothing more unpopular than OO goose-stomps in nationalist areas. Therefore, like in Chicago & Skokie, the restrictions which should be placed on the OO should be so prohibative to become impossible for them to march.

  • Ardyone lad

    Gonzo, how can you video violence within Ardoyne without being outed?

    Do you want to know why you wern’t outed because no one cared about you, they were there for the riot not too make some randomer shite himself lol.

    “The water should have a dye in it that isn’t washable”

    How would the PSNI be able to keep filling the water cannons up with water and die, they used water from the sewers and kept refilling every time the water ran out, seeing the riot lasted for a few hours.

    And also your video and posts dont tell the people what the PSNI were doing not even an hour after the van was burnt out. As the rioters moved down Estoriel Park and then into Balhome Drive PSNI landrovers done laps of the aera to provoke the people they mounted footpathes and Fired random plastic bullets into the crowd, Where were you Gonzo when all this was happing did you not witness this first hand seeing as you were in the midst of it all.

    And o yea about the wee man you were talking about that told you to watch out of the way incase the van exploded maybe if ya had have kept your eyes open you would have seen the gas canisters being thrown into the back of the van, now wouldent it be just a wee bit stupid for you to suggest standing beside a van thats on fire with gas canisters inside of it.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    OK, taking your first point, no, I don’t want to know – some other commenter did. So it’s his question you’re answering, not mine.

    2) I’m glad no-one cared about what I was filming, because someone clearly did care about that BBC cameraman. So they gave him aggro. You can never really be sure how people will react in these situations.

    3) I never mentioned dye.

    4) None of the later stuff was filmed because, as already explained, my batteries had run out. So, as already explained, I fucked off home. Next time I’ll bring a charger and crystal ball. I only went on the spur of the moment, not to make a documentary.

    5) I had my eyes open, but the spray made it pretty hard to see much. But whatever went in the back of the van wasn’t that big. Incendiary yeah, but there was no real blast.