The recent BBC documentary 'Panorama: Britain's Secret Terror Force' may have once again put a spotlight on the extent of British state sponsored terrorism in the North and the activities of its various shadowy forces; but the level of orchestration, impunity, collusion and cover up is yet to be truly uncovered.
The documentary revealing the activities of the Military Reaction Force (MRF) was aired just a day after Northern Irish Attorney General John Larkin called for an amnesty on atrocities committed during the Irish troubles. He may be right to break this taboo, but was he lobbied by British soldiers and their friends who fear justice taking its course as this evidence comes to light?
This text was produced in 1969 and handed out at University College, Dublin and also at the anti-apartheid demonstration against the Springbok Rugby tour that year. It was produced by Phil Meyler then living in London and owed heavily to Vaneigen’s Revolution of Everyday Life. Phil was invited to visit the University President and his mother had a visit from the Special Branch who wanted to question him, neither of which happened.
On December 3rd Belfast City Council decided, by 29 votes to 21, to reduce the number of days the Union flag was flown above the city hall from 365 to 17 days a year. Within minutes of the vote a protest of over 1000 loyalists broke through the rear gates and into the grounds of the city hall. One security guard and a number of police were injured.
Over 8 weeks later (as we go to press) we have witnessed disruption as a result of protests and roadblocks. There have been riots against the PSNI and a number of sectarian clashes particularly around the Short Strand area, often as protesters returned home to east Belfast.
A Belfast comrade writes about the "Peace Gathering", called in response to Loyalist protests about the removal of the Union Flag from Belfast City Hall.
On 16th December 2012 about 1000 people gathered at Belfast City Hall in the wake of 2 weeks of demonstrations, some of them violent, by Loyalist protesters angered by the City Councils' decision to fly the Union Flag only on 'designated days' rather than the full 365 days a year as it has done up until now.
The continuing opposition by loyalists to the decision by Belfast city council to limit the flying of the Union Jack is a product of a deeply sectarian colonial settlement that smothers the importance of class.
The disturbances were pretty predicable in the context of summer riots over parading, intra unionist rivalry and rising anger in traditional protestant working class communities over shortage of jobs, housing and perceived gains made by the ‘nationalist’ community.
The findings of a review into the 1989 murder of Belfast human rights solicitor, Pat Finucane has been made public. The findings, whilst not exactly a surprise, are nevertheless shocking, and lay naked the lengths the British state will go to in order to silence people who get in its way.
Finucane was executed by loyalist gunmen in-front of his wife and children. The report concludes that the RUC ‘proposed’ that Finucane be murdered, and passed information onto his killers, failed to prevent the attack from taking place, and then deliberately sabotaged the subsequent murder investigation.
Whilst you may not share her politics, the internment without trial of the Irish Republican Marian Price, has profound implications for anyone involved in political activism.
Whilst I do not share the political beliefs of Marian Price - I believe that it is important to highlight her current circumstances – and reflect on the implications that those circumstances may have in the future for all individuals involved in radical politics, whatever particular political standpoint those individuals may have.
June-July issue of the Leveller, published by Organise! an anarcho-syndicalist group in Ireland. We have gone to 16 pages and are now full colour.
The Leveller is available for £1.50 from:
The Centre (aka Warzone/Giros), 11 Little Victoria Street, Belfast;
Na Chroisbhealai Cafe (aka Fresh Claim), King Street, Belfast;
Solidarity Books, 43 Douglas Street, Cork;
Seomra Spraoi, 10 Belvedere Court, Dublin 1;
The Cowley Club, 12 London Road, Brighton.