Ardoyne Resistance to Secterian Marches
GREATER ARDOYNE RESIDENTS COLLECTIVE
To the Parades Commissioners; 11th June, 2010
We are writing to you on behalf of the Greater Ardoyne Residents Collective (G.A.R.C.). Our body is made up exclusively of local residents and has allegiance to no political parties or groups. We are residents NOT dissidents. Our aim is to ensure that the human rights of the people of greater Ardoyne are fully respected and that there is no repeat of the violence of recent years visited upon our community. It is our intention that the people of greater Ardoyne are left in peace and that existing Loyalist marches are re-routed away from our district forthwith.
In our opinion, you have in the past and will no doubt in the future continue to ignore and insult the entire greater Ardoyne community. By treating us as second-class citizens in the so-called island of equals. By allowing drunk and drug-fuelled, Loyalist paramilitary flag-waving thugs to pass our area, reminding us of not only their past deeds but what their future holds for us. The continued insult using the term, Ardoyne Shop-Fronts fed to and used by the media etc so as, to create a (What’s all the fuss about) illusion to the outside world. You and the powers that be, must stop the approach that our community is the lesser of two evils ie: Orange might will once again triumph over the rights of Catholics/Nationalists and Republicans.
Secondly, to clarify the violence of July 2009 it was inevitable given a number of factors, permitting a Loyalist parade through an area where it was clearly not welcome. The use of the PSNI to force the parade through created an atmosphere were violence ignited. According to a recent FOI request, the cost of policing this parade was over £650,000. The cost to our community was even higher with three days of violence, police raids, fear and restriction on resident’s movements etc.
Afterwards, GARC in consultation with external researchers carried out an extensive survey. The results were both significant and clear, some 99% of residents stated that the present arrangements were completely unacceptable and needed changed.
The key finding in this survey is that almost 90% of residents throughout greater Ardoyne find these contentious parades unacceptable in any form and want them re-routed. This survey was completed and signed by over 1100 individual households. This states clearly that we are not and will never be misunderstood as the host community.
We are eager to engage in dialogue with persons from any political or community background to highlight the findings of the survey and attempt to map a peaceful way forward. We call upon your commission and what comes after you in the form of the two-party SF/DUP undemocratic master-plan eleven person parading body to act now before someone is killed.
Finally, G.A.R.C. wishes to make this abundantly clear we respect the Protestant religion/heritage and culture. We support the right of all groups to parade in a peaceful and dignified manner. So long as they adhere to the human rights of others and march only where they are welcome. Our motto is clear; No Parades - No Violence. It is common sense that if both communities adopt this approach then gone is the problem for everyone on this contentious issue.
The Greater Ardoyne Residents Collective