Friday, 22 October 2010

Smoke, Mirrors and Accountability?

Ranks of British Police in Ardoyne, 2010

After the July riots in Ardoyne which were sparked by the insistance of the sectarian Orange Order to march an unwelcome parade through this community. Many senior Politicans, Clergymen, Journalists and the PSNI  blamed 'outsiders' and the 'young residents' for causing the trouble.

An Orange March Forced through Ardoyne in 1970

These 'experts' failed to mention over forty years of resistance to unwanted Loyal Orders being forced through the Ardoyne community. Instead of laying the blame at the Orange Order for their bigotry and the thousands of riot-clad and baton-welding RUC/PSNI members for provoking trouble. Some Politicans as well as, the Parish Priest focused their untrue statements and anger on 'rioters from outside the area bussed in'. Again they forgot to tell the wider community about the well-paid  BCRC members coming to Ardoyne to undermine residents protests.

Some senior members of Sinn Fein even broadcast lies about G.A.R.C. Activists allegedly had 'ordered' the riots. While its elected Representatives issued shameful statements to the Media saying they would report families to the Social Services and Housing Executive for  involvement in the unrest. As we said back in July, Greater Ardoyne residents remember well S/F Leaders sending our youth out to take on the Crown Forces and Loyalist bigots in street battles on many occasions when it suited that Party's agenda!

Soon after a sectarian march was forced through Ardoyne in 2001

Prominent DUP figure, Maurice Morrow told Stormont last week; "I have received figures from the PSNI, which clearly indicate the bulk of those involved in the rioting were from the locale in question". The Chairperson of  the Assembly's Justice Committee also challenged Sinn Fein over their assertion that those involved in the 12th riots where outsiders from North Belfast.

According to the details given to Morrow, 63 people have been arrested to date. Of those, 53 have been charged and only 9 of these reside outside North Belfast. That's less than 17%.  In light of the figures, will those above who were irresponsibly outspoken in July. Now clarify their positions or will they continue to use smoke, mirrors and untruths to further their own agendas?

Ardoyne Residents Block the Crumlin Road in 2005

The Greater Ardoyne Residents Collective (G.A.R.C.) accept that we will have a long wait, because, we have posed a number of questions over the past year and have still have no answers? It seems clear that accountability begins and ends at Stormont.