Police were attacked in short-lived disturbances in the North Queen Street area last night in what was the second consecutive night of trouble sparked by the erection of a Twelfth bonfire at the Duncairn Gardens peace line.
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Nationalist youths threw petrol bombs at police who were deployed in the area late last night and remained in the district into the early morning.
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Local councillor JJ Magee, who was on the scene, said the streets were quiet again by 12:45am. “It was minor stuff and ended pretty quickly,” said the Sinn Féin man. “Sadly, we predicted that building a bonfire at Adam Street, right on the Duncairn Gardens peace line, for the first time in nine years, would raise tensions and it did. For the past two months, we have been appealing to the police to ensure the removal of the bonfire and asking unionist politicians to intervene but our pleas fell on deaf ears.”
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“A handful” of youths from the nationalist New Lodge were involved in the rioting, said Cllr Magee who was pelted with eggs when he told the youth to disperse.
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Cllr Magee called the fire brigade when he feared a nearby chemist would be damaged by the bonfire flames. “They fire service came out and doused down the premises to prevent damage,” he said. “It’s my hope that efforts can be made now to rebuild good relations between the New Lodge and Tigers Bay which have been disrupted by a small minority who want to stoke tensions.”
Department for Communities Minister Carál Ní Chuilín took a judicial review of the PSNI decision not to have the bonfire removed with the case being heard yesterday (Saturday) in the High Court.
SDLP North Belfast councillor Paul McCusker called on parents to ensure their children were not involved in disturbances at the North Queen Street interface. Speaking after Friday night’s trouble, he condemned “aggressors from both sides of the community”.
“My plea to parents is to make sure that your son or daughter does not go near any interfaces as we need help to reassure residents and relieve tensions,” he said. “If it continues, young people face the risk of a criminal record and a future where they may not be able to travel or access jobs of their choice, for being involved in something that no one supports and will achieve absolutely nothing. Please stop this nonsense.”
Sectarian and racist banners and placards were placed on bonfires across the North with Sinn Féin elected representatives reporting many to the PSNI as hate crimes. There was particular anger over an East Belfast placard referring to republican leader Bobby Storey who died last month.
West Belfast MP Paul Maskey called on unionist politicians to speak out against “a series of blatant and unacceptable displays of sectarian hatred on bonfires yet again”.
He said “it is absolutely disgraceful” that the grief of Mr Storey’s family is being “compounded by sectarian thugs”.
In Lisburn, Cllr Gary McCleave of Sinn Féin appealed — unsuccessfully — to unionist leaders to ensure Union flags erected in mixed estates were removed. “Hate-filled displays,” he Tweeted “creates division between our communities”.
With many thanks to the: Andersonstown News for the original story
LISBURN town council has voted that it “stands with Black Lives Matter”, but only after a UUP (Ulster Unionist Party) amended removed mention of the Black Lives Matter movement.
This is a triumph of the peace politics – higher standards will require a fundamental rethink. Among DUP objections to the original motion, proposed by the Alliance Party, were that Black Lives Matter is “anti-family” and “far left”. Abortion was also mentioned. Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Council had a debate along similar lines. A half-forgotten but suddenly pertinent detail of recent history is that ‘identity politics’, for want of a better term, was imported into the North of Ireland from the early 1980s by unionist thinkers, for want of a better term. Their intention was to modernise our politics along American lines, with themselves as the religious right, or at least the conservative right. The notion continues tripping unionists up to this day, including those barely aware they subscribe to it.
With many thanks to: The Irish News and Newton Emerson for his opinion on ‘Black Lives Matter’ for the original posting.
Follow these links to find out more: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Racism
This letter appeared in The Irish News today Thursday June 25th 2020
THE killing of George Floyd is tearing apart the farcical myth of ‘land of the free”, of the land ‘of tolerance’ built supposedly by free, loving and equal migrants.
Despite the restrictions people locally and around the world taking to the streets have every right to be angry. This is not about George Floyd. It is about more than 200 years of oppression and savagery. Those who demand that protest remains “civic” and harmless, deploring “vandalism” in far more strident terms than they deplore racism, are nothing but hypocritical defenders of the status quo. The real vandals are those who think that carrying a blue uniform gives them a right to maim and torture at will. The system is the problem, not this or that police officer, not this or that president, not this or that party.
It requires deep transformation of the political institutions which are the product of legacy and brutality, segregation, exclusion, war, militarism, invasion and imperialism. The people on the streets today have the answers, while our ruling elites don’t even know the questions.
With many thanks to: The Irish News and Sean Matthews, Crumlin, Co Antrim for the original story
PASTOR Barrie Halliday has been charged with intimidation of a witness, the Sunday World has learned.
The controversial cleric was arrested by police at his homeoutside Bessbrook in South Armagh last Friday. Halliday, who is a pastor at the Five Mile Hill Pentecostal Church, was taken to the RUC/PSNI custody suite in Lurgan and questioned about the alleged intimidation of a witness and the misuse of electronic media before being charged. It is understood the alleged new offences relate to a second social media post on June 17th and it follows Halliday’s previous arrest last week when he was also charged.
Halliday – a one-time pal of IRA victims campaigner Willie Frazer – is facing a string of charges after he allegedly made racist remarks on social media. Now he’s been hit with further charges after he posted a second item last Saturday 13th June. The two social media items – which has since been removed from the internet – were posted on a Facebook page once operated by Willie Frazer.
Last night, Halliday confirmed he had been arrested and charged, but he declined to go into any detail. The Pastor also revealed he had declined to any detail. The Pastor also revealed he had been ordered to refrain from using social media or electronic communication. Yesterday Saturday 20th of June the RUC/PSNI said: “A man has been charged with the improper use of public communications and intimidation of a witness. “The 52-year-old man is scheduled to appear before Newry Magistrates Court on July 8th.”
With many to the: Sunday World and Hugh Jordan for the original story
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The pastor, from Bessbrook in Co Armagh, is due to appear at Newry Magistrates Court on July 8th.
Police confirmed a 52-year-old man was arrested on Thursday evening.
The video first appeared on Pastor Halliday’s Facebook page on Tuesday.
In the video, which was recorded in a Church Hall, Pastor Halliday said those involved in the protests should be “sent home in a boat”.
He was highly criticised following the post, which attracted over 30,000 views before being taken down.
In the video Pastor Halliday vehemently denied he was a racist, but said those attacking statues of political leaders are “on the road to nothing”.
“It may have been boats that brought you here three or four hundred years ago and you were brought under duress and against your will, but there’s boats sitting there empty at the minute doing nothing,” he said.
“You are welcome to get back on them and go back home if you think we’re so bad.”
Pastor Halliday posted another video on his Facebook page on Friday afternoon confirming his arrest.
He said that he had made it clear he has “no interest or tolerance for racism whatsoever”.
“I simply wanted everyone to settle down and hysteria to stop,” he said.
Pastor Halliday said he would appear in court on July 8 but that he believed “100% that I didn’t ignorantly or intentionally say anything that was out of place”.
“I made the statement, I put up the post, I will have to see where it goes from there,” he said.
“Court it’ll be and we’ll just have to see what happens after that.”
A PSNI spokesperson said that a 52-year-old man had been charged with improper use of a public electronic communications network.
“He is due to appear at Newry Magistrates’ Court on July 8th,” the spokesperson said.
“As is usual procedure all charges will be reviewed by the Public Prosecution Service.”
With many thanks to the: Belfast Telegraph and Gareth cross for the original story
A number of candidates for Belfast City Council have criticised the content of independent unionist councillor Jolene Bunting’s election posters.
Posters from Ms Bunting have been erected in the Court Ward in west Belfast and include slogan’s like “veterans before immigrants” and “local homes for local people”.
Sinn Fein councillor Ciaran Beattie accused Ms Bunting of attempting to introduce “politics of hate” ahead of the local government elections on May 2.
He said that Ms Bunting was “plumbing the depths in her campaign”.
“This is a blatant and disgraceful attempt to inject the politics of hate into this election, something which has been typical of Jolene Bunting’s time on Belfast City Council,” Councillor Beattie said.
“This must be opposed by all right-minded citizens. There can be no place for discrimination and intolerance of any kind within our political system.”
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Ms Bunting was given an interim suspension from Belfast City Council last September for failing to comply with the Local Government code of conduct after 14 complaints against her were received.
She was suspended pending the outcome of a standards watchdog investigation.
Complaints against her included appearing at a rally with leaders of Britain First and a meme posted on social media which was described by other councillors as “racist and offensive”.
Last week a judge ruled that Councillor Bunting’s four month interim suspension from council should be upheld due to her attendance at events where anti-Islamic speeches were made.
Responding to Mr Beattie’s comments Ms Bunting said her policies were about “putting local people first” and that she was standing behind them.
“I believe that we should put natives first and that’s what they have an issue with, that I want to put people who were born in this country ahead of visitors to the country,” she said.
“It’s absolutely ridiculous to say that it’s racism, I just feel that we should put veterans before people coming into our country.”
Alliance Party candidate Micky Murray said that Ms Bunting’s posters were “blatant, everyday racism”.
“Disgusting behaviour from an elected representative,” he said.
His party colleague Councillor Kate Nicholl said that Ms Bunting’s “hateful words have very real consequences to people who are marginalised as it is”.
With many thanks to the: Belfast Telegraph and Gareth Cross for the original story
The DUP says a leaflet produced by a councillor for the upcoming elections that cites “local homes for local people” was not sanctioned by the party.
Graham Craig is a DUP councillor in the Botanic area.
BBC News NI has tried to contact Mr Craig for comment but has yet to receive a response.
The leaflet also says Mr Craig will focus on “taking back control of immigration”.
But DUP councillor Lee Reynolds said housing and immigration were matters that should be handled sensitively.
In a statement on Twitter, Mr Reynolds also said the matter had been referred to party officers.
Lee Reynolds is the DUP’s Belfast city council group leader.
Image Copyright @CllrMichaelLong@CLLRMICHAELLONG
“An instruction that it should not be distributed has been given to councillor Craig,” added Mr Reynolds.
‘Dog whistle racism’
The leaflet has been criticised by the Alliance Party leader Naomi Long.
She said there was no place for “this kind of dog whistle racism and sectarianism in our community and all parties need to stand together on that”.
Mrs Long said she welcomed the DUP’s response and looked forward to action being taken regarding Mr Craig’s actions.
With many thanks to: BBCNI for the original story
Follow this link to find out more about who is in power with the Tory government and their racist ways: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-45560092