Many people have very valid reasons for opposing the 32 County Sovereignty Movement (32CSM), reasons so numerous it would seem unnecessary to invent additional ones. However that appears to be exactly what Sinn Féin has done in recent days.

Last week the Derry Journal reported on a letter writing campaign that the 32CSM was about to embark on aimed at businesses and schools dealing with the PSNI. They further reported “if their request for businesses to shun members of the PSNI is ignored, they will stage pickets and “name and shame” shops”.

Adds: The Derry Journal asked ‘Would you join a 32CSM protest outside a shop that serves PSNI officers?’ – Result was 55% yes.This was subsequently reported across the media as a direct threat to picket schools with Martina Anderson comparing it to Holy Cross

“How dare they issue such a bullying statement to the teachers, to the traders and to the children in our city and tell them they are going to picket outside school and our children will have to walk past pickets,” Sinn Fein’s Foyle MLA Martina Anderson told UTV.

“We all saw the scenes at Holy Cross and we will not allow these people to visit that upon our children.”

A theme that was taken up by Mark Durkan without the claim schools were to be subject to pickets.

“We saw loyalists intimidating schools back with the Holy Cross dispute and we know how appalling and wrong that was. No-one should bring any issue of politics, any difficulty they have with any authority, into the running of a school. Schools should be allowed to do the very important job that they do free from any intimidation whatsoever.”

A group called Bishop Street Peace and Reconciliation Group essentially parroted Anderson’s claim and ‘urged hardline republicans to enter talks with the businesses and schools they are threatening to picket’

The 32CSM have challenged the narrative that there was ever an intention to picket schools:

There have been deliberate attempts to misrepresent our position by vote seeking politicians and others who are pursuing an anti-republican agenda. At no stage was the picketing of schools ever contemplated as this would be contrary to our stated position of keeping schools politically neutral. This was made unambiguously clear in the only press release from the 32CSM regarding this issue (Derry Journal 12th Feb 2010). In this article a spokesperson for the 32CSM insists that the letter ‘is not a threat’. The spokesperson goes on to say ‘We are not trying to bully schools but we want to highlight the fact that children are being searched on their way to school. This is not a threat and will be done in an above board way. The letters will contain a contact number that people can call if they want more information’. This article is in the Derry Journal archives and can be viewed by anyone who is interested in verifying our stance.

  • Ulick

    The Derry Journal asks “do you believe in Father Christmas?”. Result: 78% “Of course”.

  • The problem appears to have been caused – at least in part – by the Derry Journal asking a daft question.

    On issues like this, if you ask that question, a minority with heavy preferences tend to answer while a larger group with mild opposing preferences don’t.

    If the Derry Journal wanted to conduct a proper weighted poll using a respected group of researchers talkng to its readers – or more appropriately, people within a particular area – I suspect that it would get a different result.

    But then that wouldn’t be much news would it?

  • Mark McGregor

    Guys, I aware of the limitations of the poll. The only reason I was aware of it was I saw it linked on an IRSP forum – so clearly the result will be distorted.

    Apart from that there is the bulk of my entry on the manipulation of the media through distortion that ended up creating a completely inaccurate news agenda.

  • RobertNoonan

    32 County a bunch of thugs informing on each other now there is progress

  • Ulick

    Manipulation of the media? From here it looks like Anderson didn’t read the full text of the press release, but then again I doubt she was on their mailing list.

  • granni trixie

    “shunning” – an old Republican wheeze in their armory – surprizingly effective but not as effective in intimidation as the bomb and the bullet. Is this the new Ireland they want to achieve – by coercion and violence?
    Whatever happened to arguing your corner?

  • Dixie Elliott

    Is it just me or isn’t Martina beginning to look and rant like Maggie Thatcher?

    Thats politics for you, sure the shinners did the same thing themselves before the old political werewolf bite them in the arses.

  • J Kelly

    Mark I think you should have a read at two article on this site, http://www.derry32csm.com/. The third article down warns shops about serving PSNI officers or ekse they will name and shame or even picket. Then it goes onto state that it may send these letters to shools but insists that they are not attempting to bully schools and the letters are not threats. A quick question, If someone warns you would you consider it a threat? At no point do they state that schools will not recieve the same treatment as shops if they do no desist from working with the PSNI the just leave it hanging. What would you take out of it.

    The first and most recent article on the site attemopts to clarify the position, goes to great length to explain that they were not going to picket schools and its everyone else who made the mistake, the Derry Journal, Martina Anderson, RaymondMc Cartney, locl priest Fr Canny, Mark Durkan, Jim Roddy of the City Centre Initiative and even their sometimes friend, not now t seems, Eamon McCann. It looks to me that the clarification statemnt is an attempt to pull off this hair brain initiative. The phrase stop dogging comes to mind.

    Mark I thought you had more sense than this, your views and blogs are usually quite good, not that I agree with a lot of your views, but on this one you are backing the wrong horse. You must realise yourself that the 32s in Derry are nothing but a bunch of headbangers who love war stories while holding up the bar in the 720. Politics and building popular support wouldn’t be high on their agenda.

  • J Kelly

    sorry about the all typos, but you get my point.

  • Skintown Lad

    a bunch of nobodies threatening to do much less than they’ve been doing before. non-story.

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    You looked at an IRSP forum. I can see already how you went wrong.

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    Its just you.