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Armed extremists 'were shooting to kill' (N. Ireland)
The Scotsman ^ | 9/12/2005 | GETHIN CHAMBERLAIN

Posted on 09/11/2005 10:15:00 PM PDT by kingu

HUNDREDS of rioters returned to the streets of Belfast last night, hijacking cars, blocking roads and attacking police lines with petrol bombs, bottles and stones.

A blast bomb was thrown at a police station in West Belfast, but nobody was injured in that explosion.

As attacks at the New Barnsley police station grew worse, a car and van were crashed into the gates. Wheelie bins and gas cylinders were also set alight.

Elsewhere, ten people were arrested and police fired baton rounds after being targeted. One officer was injured.

The renewed violence came after the chief constable of Northern Ireland accused Protestant extremists of trying to kill his police officers.

The rioting - the worst to hit the province in a decade - began on Saturday night after a decision to restrict an Orange Order parade. Police said surveillance footage of that violence showed paramilitaries armed with automatic weapons and explosive devices and members of the Orange Order attacking police and orchestrating the violence.

More than 50 live rounds were fired at police and soldiers, who returned fire with plastic bullets. A bomb-making factory and seven firearms were seized in follow-up raids yesterday.

Water cannons were deployed, but they proved ineffective in clearing the streets. Police said 32 officers were injured, but with rioters avoiding hospitals for fear of arrest, only two civilian casualties - one with gunshot wounds, another with blast injuries - were reported.

Chief Constable Hugh Orde said it was clear that the gunmen had been firing at the security forces, and he blamed two major outlawed Protestant groups - the Ulster Defence Association and the Ulster Volunteer Force - for orchestrating what he called "completely organised" attacks. "Officers were shot at last night. We are very lucky we do not have dead officers this morning," he said yesterday.

Trouble flared after the Parades Commission decided to re-route the Whiterock Parade away from a Catholic area of west Belfast.

Police and soldiers fired at least 430 baton rounds and seven live rounds at the rioters as they tried to fend off mobs of Protestant men and teenagers in several parts of Belfast and in seven other predominantly Protestant towns and villages. Catholics were also involved, throwing stones and other objects into police lines and the Protestant crowds beyond. Cranes had to be brought in yesterday to remove burned-out cars from Belfast's streets. Caches of petrol and pipe bombs were seized and a number of live devices were defused.

More than 1,000 police officers and 1,000 soldiers were drafted in as crowds attacked them. In the most intense exchanges, masked Protestant men and youths hurled homemade grenades and petrol bombs and fired automatic guns at police and army positions about half a mile from the spot where Orangemen had been prevented from marching past a Catholic section of the Springfield Road.

Mr Orde said the Orange Order had to take the blame for much of the trouble because it had encouraged the rioters by organising sit-down protests on major roads and junctions.

"They publicly called people on to the streets. I think if you do that, you cannot then abdicate responsibility."

But the Orange Order rejected his remarks as "intemperate, inflammatory and inaccurate". It described police operations as "policing at its worst".

Calm was eventually restored to most parts of Belfast yesterday morning. But a 700-strong group of rioters returned to the streets last night after police raided homes looking for rioters. In one blatant sign of outlawed groups' involvement, masked and armed men stopped cars and checked people's licences at a checkpoint in north Belfast, a stronghold of the Ulster Volunteer Force, in a show of strength designed to mock police authority.

Two men also hijacked a bus full of passengers in Bangor, Co Down, police said. The vehicle was driven from Belfast Road to Clandeboye Road where those on board had personal belongings stolen from them before being ordered off. The bus was then driven on to Green Road, Conlig, where it was set alight.

Peter Hain, the Northern Ireland Secretary, said: "Attempted murder cannot in any way be justified. There can be no ambiguity or excuse for breaking the law."

Mr Hain, who is to meet Mr Orde today, said he expected everyone, including the Orange Order, to condemn the violence.

Sinn Fein claimed Catholics had been dragged from their cars by rioters.

Gerry Adams, the Sinn Fein president, said: "There is a concerted attempt under way to draw young nationalists and republicans into conflict at interface areas across Belfast."

Alasdair McDonnell, the deputy leader of the moderate nationalist Social Democrat and Labour Party, warned that the violence had seriously damaged the political process. "The irony of the situation is that the Orange Order and loyalist paramilitaries have further damaged and seriously discredited themselves with people in Britain and, as a result, the very Union they adhere to has been weakened," he said.

But Ian Paisley, the leader of the Democratic Unionist Party, accused the Parades Commission of treating marchers shamefully. "The commission treated elected representatives with contempt by its refusal to even call us to put our case. We were refused the opportunity to give greater detail," he said. "At this time, I appeal to all law-abiding people to remain calm."

Reg Empey, the leader of the Ulster Unionist Party, also criticised police tactics. "I have personally witnessed women, who had been trying to prevent stoning, being pushed to the ground for no justifiable reason," he said.


TOPICS: Extended News; Foreign Affairs; United Kingdom
KEYWORDS: belfast; ireland; northernireland; riots


This is just plain insane. Police standing there while people throw gasoline bombs? Replying with water cannons and plastic bullets?

The reports coming out of N. Ireland remind me of the insanity of when I was growing up.
1 posted on 09/11/2005 10:15:01 PM PDT by kingu
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To: kingu

Dammit, I thought we had shoot to kill now.


2 posted on 09/11/2005 10:16:31 PM PDT by English Nationalist
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To: kingu
Sir Hugh Orde, Northern Ireland's chief constable, said the clashes posed "one of the most dangerous riot situations in the history of policing in the United Kingdom," especially because Protestant paramilitary groups attacked the police with automatic weapons. One policeman was shot in the eye and partly blinded.

"It is unique to Northern Ireland for officers to come under live fire in what was a public order situation," Sir Hugh said.

In Bangor, rioters hijacked a bus, robbed and ejected its passengers, drove it to Belfast and set it on fire; in another town, they used a stolen backhoe to knock down streetlights and tear an A.T.M. from a wall. In Belfast, they rammed a police station's gates with a stolen car. The police arrested at least 10 people.


From NY Times.
3 posted on 09/11/2005 10:17:35 PM PDT by kingu (Draft Fmr Senator Fred Thompson for '08.)
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To: kingu
More than 50 live rounds were fired at police and soldiers, who returned fire with plastic bullets.

Hmmmm, I think I see the problem here.....

4 posted on 09/11/2005 10:18:44 PM PDT by konaice
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To: kingu
"It is unique to Northern Ireland for officers to come under live fire in what was a public order situation,"

So sir, it isn't. You might take a clue what was done in New Orleans.

5 posted on 09/11/2005 10:20:35 PM PDT by konaice
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To: kingu

I feel like 99% of the time I hear about violence it's the Irish republican side that's doing it. In fact this is the first incident I've heard of "Orange" violence. Am I correct or is that a misperception?


6 posted on 09/11/2005 10:22:45 PM PDT by Betaille ("And if the stars burn out there's only fire to blame" -Duran Duran)
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To: Betaille

Misperception. There's plenty of attacks on Catholics by Protestants. It's true, however, that the majority of attacks on security forces are by Catholics, and the IRA murdered far more people than any of the loyalists ever did.


7 posted on 09/11/2005 10:27:29 PM PDT by English Nationalist
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To: Betaille
This source... might give us a clue here...

The UDA and UVF are both supposed to be observing cease-fires and disarming in support of Northern Ireland's 1998 peace accord, just like the outlawed Irish Republican Army rooted in militant Catholic areas.

But while the IRA has built a major base of support through its Sinn Fein party and has grown central to ongoing negotiations on Northern Ireland's future, the Protestant paramilitary groups have dismally failed to win electoral support and barely register in political talks. Instead they wield power through criminal graft backed by occasional intimidating shows of force.


Apparently this is their method of being heard? Geeze, not all that long after the London bombings and on the anniversary of 9/11..
8 posted on 09/11/2005 10:30:19 PM PDT by kingu (Draft Fmr Senator Fred Thompson for '08.)
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To: kingu

Sure doesn't sound like the cease fire that has been espoused lately in the news.


9 posted on 09/11/2005 10:51:30 PM PDT by taxesareforever (Government is running amuck)
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To: kingu

Tne rioters were their own kind.


10 posted on 09/11/2005 11:04:40 PM PDT by Ursus arctos horribilis ("It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees!" Emiliano Zapata 1879-1919)
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To: Betaille

The police have always sided with the Orange against the Catholic population, now they are having to battle their own.


11 posted on 09/11/2005 11:07:17 PM PDT by Ursus arctos horribilis ("It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees!" Emiliano Zapata 1879-1919)
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To: English Nationalist

Could this be a reaction to Blair's (and predecessors'since Thatcher) continual appeasement of Adams & co, ignited by a parade dispute or am I attributing "depth" to something more basic ?


12 posted on 09/11/2005 11:20:23 PM PDT by 1066AD
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To: kingu

The IRA is not lily white, it has morphed into a highly successful criminal enterprise but it's not "PC" to say that it's still tied to good ol' peaceful Sinn Fein, cuddly Gerry et al.


13 posted on 09/11/2005 11:24:42 PM PDT by 1066AD
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To: kingu

The British should leave Ireland, all of it, resettling their Crown's pawns in Dover for instance, if only as partial payment for their genocide policy during The Famine.


14 posted on 09/11/2005 11:33:17 PM PDT by SevenDaysInMay (Federal judges and justices serve for periods of good behavior, not life. Article III sec. 1)
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To: kingu
This can't be true. I wouldn't believe it without separate conformation.

Everybody knows the guns were all taken up in England!(/sarcasm)

15 posted on 09/11/2005 11:45:23 PM PDT by chuckles
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To: English Nationalist

"the IRA murdered far more people than any of the loyalists ever did"

I guess that's what we would expect to hear from a English Nationalist....


16 posted on 09/11/2005 11:59:44 PM PDT by babygene (Viable after 87 trimesters)
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To: 1066AD
With a few exceptions, the fenians have been appeased and treated with kid gloves since the late 60s. If this is a reaction to that, they've left it a bit late. While I'm no expert on the area, I think anger over the disbanding of the regiments may be playing a part.

BTW, why Hastings?
17 posted on 09/12/2005 12:01:49 AM PDT by English Nationalist
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To: babygene
I don't recall the UVF or Orange Order ever conducting a bombing campaign in Ireland or attempting to kill Irish politicians

I do recall the IRA and Sinn Fein's abject refusal to consider a plebiscite in the 6 counties.

While the English are far from saints, and the Orangemen have a fair amount of blood on their hands, both are considerably cleaner than the terrorists of the IRA.
18 posted on 09/12/2005 12:22:47 AM PDT by Starwolf
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To: babygene

http://www.wesleyjohnston.com/users/ireland/past/troubles/troubles_stats.html

Bottom chart.


19 posted on 09/12/2005 12:22:59 AM PDT by English Nationalist
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To: chuckles

Thanks for this spectacularly ignorant remark! Try reading some background information before posting in future.


20 posted on 09/12/2005 1:32:58 AM PDT by ukman
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To: kingu

I think this is part of the "Endgame" situation that seems to exist now in Northern Ireland. These are the actions of marginalised extremists. They are present on both sides of what is/was the divide. Belfast is a great city again, with much being contributed by all sides to its new found prosperity. I’m sure the people of Northern Ireland will not allow this to become their daily way of life again.


21 posted on 09/12/2005 2:04:05 AM PDT by Forceful1 ((under consideration))
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To: Starwolf
I don't recall the UVF or Orange Order ever conducting a bombing campaign in Ireland

Well, so long as you disregard the single largest atrocity of the troubles:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dublin_and_Monaghan_Bombings

Although you are right about who was responsible for the most deaths:

"The bare facts are that of the 3, 285 deaths in the conflict from July 1969 to December 1993, Republicans have killed 1,928, Loyalists 911, British forces 357, Irish Republic forces have killed 3 and "others" [deaths impossible to link to a military group] 86. Of these, 3,059 occurred in N. Ireland, 91 in the South, 118 in Britain and 17 in continental Europe."

From http://www.inac.org/irishhistory/deaths

22 posted on 09/12/2005 3:16:03 AM PDT by Killing Time
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To: SevenDaysInMay

If you want to turn the clock back to the 17th century then I suppose its only fair that the Indians get to have America back "if only as partial payment for their genocide policy".

I'm sure we would be more than happy to accomodate the Ammirican Irish community, whether in Dover or on the Shankill Road.


23 posted on 09/12/2005 3:21:00 AM PDT by Killing Time
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To: kingu

Just like the good old days.


24 posted on 09/12/2005 4:22:38 AM PDT by arthurus (Better to fight them over THERE than over HERE.)
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To: Killing Time
....If you want to turn the clock back to the 17th century then I suppose its only fair that the Indians get to have America back "if only as partial payment for their genocide policy.....".

The Indians have their own nations, self governing bodies on the reserved lands of their ancestors. Why can't the Irish be one nation again in Eire? Why must Ireland remain a colony of Britain? This is just an ancient vestige of British colonialism whose time has come. End the farce and reunite Ireland.
25 posted on 09/12/2005 5:42:44 AM PDT by irish_links
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To: ukman

No, thank you for pointing out how ignorant you are! You don't understand sarcasm? What an idjit! I usually get jumped on for mispelled words, like "idgit", from the FR police.


26 posted on 09/12/2005 6:16:26 AM PDT by chuckles
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To: irish_links

Unfortunately it would appear that most people in the Republic don't want the 6 Counties.

Would you after last night?


27 posted on 09/12/2005 6:34:43 AM PDT by Killing Time
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To: Killing Time

"I'm sure we would be more than happy to accomodate the Ammirican Irish community, whether in Dover or on the Shankill Road."

No thanks. I would not look good in a running suit and soccer is not a good wagering sport.


28 posted on 09/12/2005 9:15:16 AM PDT by Airborne1986 (Well, you can do what you want to us. But we're not going to sit here while you badmouth the U.S.A.)
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To: Airborne1986

But the balaclava helmet might be fetching ;)


29 posted on 09/12/2005 9:28:41 AM PDT by Killing Time
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To: kingu
Unionist leaders 'shirked blame'

Many unionist leaders have "abdicated responsibility" for weekend violence, President George Bush's special envoy to Northern Ireland has said.

Mitchell Reiss said leadership was needed but "in the last few days we haven't seen very much of it".

DUP leader Ian Paisley denied prompting riots by saying the parade re-routing "could be the spark which kindles a fire there would be no putting out".

Mr Paisley condemned the violence but said his prediction had come true.

"I was telling the truth, I said I was very very worried," he said on Monday.

"At that time I was in the midst of trying to get a way whereby this would not happen. And it has happened - my words have been proved to be right."

Two nights of violence began on Saturday when a controversial Protestant Orange Order march was re-routed away from the mainly Catholic Springfield Road area of west Belfast.

After a request by unionists on Friday, the Parades Commission reviewed its ruling on the route, but decided not to change it.

In a BBC interview, Mr Reiss said there was "absolutely no excuse" for the trouble.

What you really need is leadership, and unfortunately in the last few days, we haven't seen very much of it
Mitchell Reiss
US special envoy to NI

"I think all of us are pretty disappointed with the abdication of responsibility by many unionist political leaders," he said.

"No political party, and certainly no responsible political leadership, deserves to serve in a government unless it cooperates and supports fully and unconditionally the police, and calls on its supporters to do so.

"It's true for unionism, it's true for all political parties, and I think that this was not the finest moment for politics in Northern Ireland over the weekend."

The US Envoy said problems needed to be tackled by sustained hard work in communities.

"What you really need is leadership, and unfortunately in the last few days, we haven't seen very much of it," he said.

However, he singled out Ulster Unionist Belfast councillor Fred Cobain for praise for the work he had done over the weekend and in the past weeks.

"When people do stand up and take a courageous stand and exert leadership, they deserve to be recognised," he said.

30 posted on 09/12/2005 9:37:45 AM PDT by scouse
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To: scouse

Absolutely agree. When there are terrorist incidents committed by Muslims we demand that the Muslim community speak out against it, it is equally appropriate for the Orange Order and the Unionist community to condemn and identify those responsible for these terrorist incidents.


31 posted on 09/12/2005 9:48:28 AM PDT by Canard
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To: Killing Time
I am of Nordic-Celtic-Anglo-Saxon stock - not-Catholic. The jackbooted Brits with Einsatzgruppen stocked the north corner of Ireland to create this lasting problem. The Brits should stiffen their lip and buy out the Northern Ireland beachfront and go Dunkirk for keeps. This is not really about religion as it once was with the foreign King's House of Orange.

My family left the Troubles over 200 years ago.

32 posted on 09/12/2005 12:35:58 PM PDT by SevenDaysInMay (Federal judges and justices serve for periods of good behavior, not life. Article III sec. 1)
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To: irish_links

OK, firstly NI is not a colony of the UK- it is an integral part the country with it's own MPs in Westminster just as Ireland was before it became the Free State. Indeed, it is actually better represented then us poor buggers in England as the province has it's own devolved assembly which is more then we can claim.

"The Indians have their own nations, self governing bodies on the reserved lands of their ancestors."

By the same token, it could be said the Irish have the Republic. Now of course you could argue, as you do, that all Ireland should be Irish, despite the fact that the majority of the population of the North would prefer to remain within the UK- but then in that case would you agree that the Indian tribes should recieve the full lands their ancestors once owned?

At the end of the day, the British government's position since 1949 is that Northern Ireland will remain part of the UK unless this status is rejected by the majority of the population. The last time there was a vote on the issue (1973) it was heavily defeated, partly because of the fact that the nationalists boycotted the vote, something I've always regarded as pointlessly delf-defeating unless they knew they couldn't win. Do you honestly think our government would hold on to Northern Ireland if the vast majority of the population wanted to be part of the Republic, and voted accordingly? Frankly, I imagine many would love to be shot of the place, and many more in Eire proper would be shaking their heads at the poisoned chalice they'd been handed.

Personally, I don't give a toss about the place- if the people of NI want to remain part of the UK then bully for them, and if not then they can join the Republic or go it along or anything else they fancy, as long as they don't come crying to us afterwards.


33 posted on 09/12/2005 1:37:48 PM PDT by Ed Thomas
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To: Ed Thomas
Frankly, I imagine many would love to be shot of the place, and many more in Eire proper would be shaking their heads at the poisoned chalice they'd been handed.

You have hit the nail on the head. The Irish government is more than happy to let the UK deal with the raving nutters in NI and most people in the Republic don't give a toss about the place either. Both the Irish and British governments, along with most of their constituents, would love to see NI towed out to the middle of the Atlantic and sunk. Good luck convincing the Irish Americans of that though. Why they think that the nutters will suddenly decide to get along with each other if the Tricolour is flying over Belfast City Hall instead of the Union Jack mystifies me.

34 posted on 09/12/2005 8:16:51 PM PDT by slane
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To: Ed Thomas
....At the end of the day, the British government's position since 1949 is that Northern Ireland will remain part of the UK unless this status is rejected by the majority of the population....

I have no fundamental disagreement with your position save for the above referenced. I see no reason why the segregated population of Ulster should alone have a veto against unification. The decision should be made by all properly franchised Irish citizens.

As noted several times on this thread, the citizens of the Republic may be pleased as punch with the current arrangement. They may be perfectly happy to abandon the Irish-heritage communities of Ulster to the barricades manned by armed thugs (or RUC in disguise?), bombings, carjackings and terroristic threats of the Orangemen. Or, perhaps not. Let's have a vote of all the Irish to see how they want to proceed politically. That will settle the matter.
35 posted on 09/13/2005 10:16:47 AM PDT by irish_links
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To: irish_links

I'll tell you what, how about this as a compromise- The referrendum on the status of NI should be made by everyone involved- the population of the province, the Irish people, and the British. That way us on the mainland can vote for a united Ireland and lump Eire with the godforsaken place whether they like it or not! ;)

Seriously though, my objection to that idea is that is that many in NI don't consider themselves Irish, per se- they consider themselves British. A referrendum in the Republic as well would in the eyes of many concede the status of the north before the vote even began. I wouldn't be wholly surprised if a vote ever takes place that the population of Eire vote on whether to accept Ulster- and that would be an interesting referrendum.


36 posted on 09/13/2005 10:42:41 AM PDT by Ed Thomas
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