As British loyalists threaten peace, police arrest Irish republicans

Woman being arrested in the Creggan Derry and a PSNI landrover
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As The Canary reported, loyalist terrorist organisations have withdrawn their support for the Belfast peace agreement. This withdrawal was to protest the EU and UK Brexit protocol which started on 1 January 2021.

However, despite this threat to peace from British loyalists, it’s Irish republican communities who are predominantly under the police microscope. And republican activists also allege MI5 involvement targeting ordinary family homes.

A double standard?

On 2 February, there was an Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) “show of strength” in east Belfast. A group of masked people assembled. One media report said the gathering is “linked to internal tensions over drugs”.

Gatherings of more than six people aren’t allowed in the north under coronavirus (Covid-19) lockdown regulations. But despite the size of this gathering, police didn’t appear to intervene. In fact, Sinn Féin’s Gerry Kelly said the police “made minimal efforts to intervene”. Kelly added:

the PSNI [police] merely shepherded the gang out of the area.

Just three days later, a group met to commemorate the 1992 loyalist killing of five people in the Irish republican community. On this occasion, police arrested Mark Sykes after attempting to break up the gathering. Sykes was one of the survivors of the 1992 attack.

Monitoring republicans

On 22 February, the “Revolutionary Republican Party” Saoradh, claimed it found “a high tech and advanced military grade listening device” in a working class housing estate in Derry. Saoradh believes this device:

Read on...

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was deliberately constructed and planted by British Military Intelligence with the sole purpose of eavesdropping and recording potentially months of audio/sound. They then collect the device to charge and extract the collated data and return it to a spot of their choice.

Then on 8 March, Saoradh claimed it came across:

armed members of the British Crown Forces who were protecting MI5 agents in civilian clothing, who themselves were installing a new camera onto the mast.

Arrest of republicans

Writing in junge Welt on 20 March, Dieter Reinisch said the PSNI and secret service have intensified their activities against Irish republicans. Reinisch notes there’s been a continuous stream of arrests and house searches in early March.

In fact, on 4 March, the PSNI arrested a 35-year-old woman as part of Operation Arbacia. This operation is part of the PSNI’s investigation into the activities of the New IRA.

Then, on 18 March, the PSNI raided a family home in a working class republican estate in Derry city’s Creggan area. Saoradh said:

members of the British Crown Forces were on the streets of Creggan yesterday [18 March], where they invaded a family home, assaulted the occupants, stole property, terrorised children, damaged the house and ransacked it from top to bottom.

They assaulted children and caused public disorder for almost 12 hours in a heavily built up area, disrupting the lives of residents including the elderly, putting them at risk of injury or worse.

PSNI response

Chief superintendent Darrin Jones of the PSNI claims:

The vast majority of the public welcome the action we are taking against those who are causing serious harm to the community.

The PSNI told The Canary:

The operation was led by detectives from the Police Service of Northern Ireland Terrorism Investigation Unit (TIU) with assistance from District Policing colleagues and Operational Support Department.

The operation, called Ledging, is a discrete, stand-alone strand of Operation Arbacia, looking specifically at the New IRA’s bomb making activities as well as the group’s storage of explosive devices and equipment.

Threat to peace?

The Canary recently reported on British loyalists “blood-soaked” contribution to the 30-year conflict in Ireland. Loyalists called a ceasefire at the end of that conflict, but The Canary article also highlighted how loyalists breached their ceasefire since they signed the peace agreement.

Now that they’ve officially withdrawn from the agreement, it’s telling that the PSNI is failing to hold loyalists to account. It’s preoccupied with targeting republicans instead.

Featured image via YouTube – lockdown maddnessCommons Media – This Particular Greg

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  • Show Comments
    1. This goes all the way back to Geoffrey Cox’s speech to parliament on Theresa May’s deal as it was. He referenced the Northern Ireland ‘border in the sea’ issue and stated that were this deal implemented it could be set aside if there were any ‘civil unrest’ in an obvious nod to their terrorist cohorts in the DUP.

      It is then no surprise that with the express permission of the DUP, the loyalist paramilitaries have withdrawn from GFA – this effectively reactivates ‘The Troubles’ again. So far all they have done is make the announcement, daub some graffiti and make threats to local civil servants (now withdrawn from their jobs by authorities) It has been clear since Ian Paisley Sr died that the younger generation of unionists did not support the GFA, they had no personal investment in it. Their campaign for Brexit was a thinly veiled attempt to get a hard border back to overcome the major part of the deal. Now that it’s apparent that won’t happen they are looking to overturn the deal on a technicality. Whatever they do now they have ‘lost the war’ although they will inevitably cause problems for an extremely protracted period and good governance (such as it is) of NI will continue to suffer.

      Meanwhile the IRA have been fairly inactive for a long time. A few small incidents which the authorities want to stamp all over whilst wilfully looking the other way from the unionist terrorists. They were literally on the street in front of them and they chose to ignore them. They actually gave a press release!

      But police bias, prejudice and violence isn’t confined to NI. Look at how the police treated the massive gathering of Rangers fans who took a long time to gather and then, not socially distanced nor masked – let off fireworks from the middle of crowded public areas throughout Scotland. Compare that to the treatment meted out to a peaceful group of mostly women trying to hold a vigil for a murder victim.

      The DUP has made its own problem, the vast majority of their OWN VOTERS don’t agree with them, most voted to Remain in the EU (for the obvious reasons that the comparative peace of the last few years has been much better) But then they’re not really interested in democracy, are they?

    2. Its quite clear that Northen Island is a military occupation by England and nothing more,and has been for centuries.
      Witness the colonial fantasy parliament buildings in NI and with the robbed Greek statues to bring lustre to the idea.
      One day they might like to try democracy. without Big Brother’s Guns holding sway.
      I doubt if they have the courage to walk alone, these Paramilitary fighters and vote for a way out of this debasement by the English upon their culture.

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