Thursday 21 April 2011

GARC To Hold White-Line Picket in Opposition To Unwelcome Loyal Order March

The Greater Ardoyne Residents Collective (GARC) will be holding a White-Line Picket this Saturday 23rd April @ 12 O'Clock (Noon) on the Crumlin Road to demonstrate our opposition to Easter Monday's unwanted Loyal Order Parade through Ardoyne. We ask those opposed to this parade to join us in support.

We refer to our 2009 residents survey which was endorsed by over 11,000 greater Ardoyne residents who stated clearly that Loyal Order marches were not welcome!

Contary to the perception of GARC's objectives within the Protestant/Unionist/Loyalist community. Our Collective wish to make it clear that we do not want to infringe upon their culture and heritage. However, these parades through our community only cause tensions, trouble and violence and as such are not wanted.

Wednesday 20 April 2011

GARC Are A Non-Party Political Residents Collective

As the above title state; The Greater Ardoyne Residents Collective (GARC) are a non-Party Political Residents Collective. 

We consist of residents from the Greater Ardoyne area and are solely loyal to that particular community. Whilst some individuals within our Collective may well be aligned to various political organisations. GARC is simply, representative of the Ardoyne community and speak on behalf of local residents concerning unwelcome Loyal Order parades through our area. 

GARC hope the above will suffice in outlining any political position our Collective are perceived as having!

Wednesday 30 March 2011

GARC Respond To CARA and North/West Belfast Parades Forum Talks


Regardless of how many meetings C.A.R.A. and the North/West Belfast Parades Forum have now and in the future. They are meaningless without the consent and approval of the greater number of Ardoyne residents. As C.A.R.A. do not represent the majority of residents in this community.

A substantive survey was conducted by the Greater Ardoyne Residents Collective (GARC) towards the end of 2009, in which the majority of local residents clearly stated that Loyal Order Parades were not welcome through our community. The findings of this survey has been ignored by C.A.R.A., the North/West Parades Forum and a number of political Parties because of political agendas.

Without taking our survey into account and addressing the concerns of ALL residents in the Greater Ardoyne community. C.A.R.A. do not have the right to reach an accomadation with those who insist on marching where they are not welcome!

As part of those serious concerns, GARC will continue to peacefully oppose unwelcome sectarian marches through Ardoyne.

Friday 25 February 2011

Ardoyne Protesters Charged Over Peaceful Protest

Contrary to recent comments made by senior members of Sinn Fein and its friends in CARA, the Greater Ardoyne Residents Collective are still active and planning for the forthcoming Loyalist marching season. Which will undoubtably negatively impact on Ardoyne and surrounding communities, as it has for decades. Unlike some, our Collective is solely interested in challenging the insistance of the Loyal Orders to march through the Greater Ardoyne community. GARC has no interest in accomodating or facilitating secterian organisations who impose their unwelcome parades through our community. 

In recent weeks, upwards of 40 protesters who peacefully blocked the Crumlin Road on July 12th, 2010 have been summonsed to appear at Belfast Magistrate's Court to 'answer' various charges relating to the above protest. GARC stand firmly behind those men and women, most of who are Ardoyne residents and send our solidarity and support to them and their families. We intend mounting peaceful protests against these politically-sponsored charges and ask all political parties and groups to attend and express their disgust!

These charges are a political response by the British State and Stormont Administration to criminalise peaceful protests. It is clear to the Greater Ardoyne community that nothing has changed and those defenders of civil rights continue to be intimidated, arrested and charged. Despite these charges Greater Ardoyne residents will continue to oppose unwelcome secterian marches!
Will the PSNI and PPS be charging the scores of Unionists who regularly block the Upper Crumlin /Hesketh Road and the dozens who also block the Woodvale/Twaddell junctions. Each and every time one of these unwanted parades trample the Ardoyne community? Maybe, they will also issues a summons to every Loyalist protester who prevented workers and customers entry to ASDA's Shore Road complex for four days, last July?

GARC haven't gone away you know........

Saturday 15 January 2011

Political Policing For Nationalists and Republicans Remain

Since the creation of the Orange State in 1922, the Nationalist and Republican community in the Six Counties has suffered from political and secterian policing. The onset of the peace process promised an end to Unionist control over the RUC and an equal society for all? Elected representatives also promised that a new name and uniform would herald a more civil Police service.

Unfortunately, the following dispute the above empty promises for the greater Ardoyne community. With only one person charged in connection with rioting in Rathcoole last October compared to 71 charged over July's Orange march through Ardoyne. 

Following two nights of rioting in the Unionist area in October, which forced the closure of main roads, the cessation of public transport services and saw two bus drivers assaulted, only one person had been charged.

The 'reformed' RUC attempted to defend the huge disparity between that figure and the 71 people charged over July’s Ardoyne riots saying the Rathcoole riots were "spontaneous" and therefore it was unfair to compare the two. The individual youth charged was one of six people arrested after the violence, but no charges have been brought against the other five.

A bus driver sustained a broken nose, female bus driver was dragged from her vehicle , cars and buses were burned out and police attacked in the two night spree which erupted after a series of raids as part of Operation Stafford which looks into the activities of the UVF in North Belfast.

In comparison 87 people were arrested in connection with the Ardoyne riots following the forcing through of an Orange Order march through the area on July 12 last year. Of these 71 have been charged, 11 released pending a report, three bailed pending enquiries and two released unconditionally.

Following the Ardoyne march, the RUC/PSNI released images of mostly young men and a few underage schoolboys they wanted to speak to about the riots but as in the past, have not released images from the Rathcoole riots.

Stormont Minister, Gerry Kelly said he will be speaking to the PSNI at a senior level to ask them to explain the differences between the two arrest and charges rates. "The essence of good policing is community policing. This must be conducted on an even handed basis regardless of class or creed," he said.

"The huge disparity in arrests and charges being brought in the Rathcoole and Ardoyne cases is alarming. I will be 'challenging them' at a senior level to explain these latest figures. "The community's confidence in the police must be earned. This can only be achieved by them demonstrating by example a balanced approach to investigations such as this."

An RUC/PSNI spokeswoman claimed they are treating the two riot with "the utmost seriousness" with teams of detectives working to bring those involved to 'justice'.

"However, the reality is that these were different public order situations and it would be unfair and unbalanced to make direct comparisons between the two," she said.

"The Rathcoole incidents were of a spontaneous nature and followed a number of searches related to a police investigation into serious crime. The disorder was in a very limited geographic location and was made up of, for the most part, vehicles being set alight by a small group of people within a larger crowd in the area.

"There were no injuries to police. This is not to minimise what happened - as the local community clearly suffered from the disorder and disruption - but to put it in context."

The spokeswoman said it couldn't be compared to the riots in Ardoyne. On the other hand, Ardoyne was a large-scale planned police operation, including a very large evidence-gathering operation. Given the history of the situation, large-scale public order was anticipated and prepared for," she said. "In the event, officers faced a very large number of people involved in serious disorder in the shape of sustained violence over four days. One officer, who had a breeze blocked dropped onto her head, was seriously injured. Over 80 officers in total were injured."


Monday 20 December 2010

GARC Respond to New Parades Commissioners


The Greater Ardoyne Residents Collective (GARC) believe the new Parades Commissioners appointed by the British government will not give the greater number of Ardoyne residents any faith in properly addressing unwelcome sectarian marches through our community.

Residents and NOT a discredited Commission or Politicians should decide what is right. Local people have been misled for years, thinking engagement with a discredited Commission will bring positive results.

For the record, GARC ask everyone truly concerned in finding a constructive resolution to years of tensions to support our alternative route. That was endorsed by over 1100 households in the greater Ardoyne area.

Wednesday 8 December 2010

We haven't Gone Away - GARC

GARC Protesters Confronting the PSNI, July 12, 2010

Greater Ardoyne Residents Collective (GARC) spokesperson; Martin Óg Meehan has expressed amazement at the recent statement from Gerry Adams M.P. regarding the opening talks with the North & West Parades and Cultural Forum concerning sectarian marches through the greater Ardoyne community.

Mr. Meehan said; “Neither Adams nor Sinn Fein/CARA represent the totality of Ardoyne residents. So how dare he label our community the hosts of such unwelcome acts of sectarian bigotry, inevitable violence and disgraceful amounts of money spent by the PSNI to force them through. Money that should be spent on youth facilities and programmes in both communities rather than dragging young people through Courts whose futures will be destroyed by criminal records.

Greater Ardoyne Residents Collective would like to know if Mr. Adams is elected as a T.D for County Louth. Will he promote bigoted parades through Dundalk, we think not!

If Mr. Winkie Irvine of the North/West Belfast Parades Forum is serious in moving society forward, he should the precious time between now and the start of the marching season, not for talks with S.F/CARA but prepare the alternative route that exists.

The North/West Parades Forum are wasting their time negotiating shady deals, as all future marches will be resisted. Godspeed to the rerouting of these marches away from greater Ardoyne. To quote Gerry’s own words; We haven’t gone away you know”!.