Sinister agenda seen behind Belfast evacuation order
Securocrats have been strongly criticised for a ham-fisted attempt to evacuate over a hundred homes in west Belfast last week -- before declaring that a claimed rocket attack on a PSNI police landrover, which prompted the evacuations, had been a hoax.
Residents of the Glen Road area in west Belfast refused to follow PSNI orders to move to evacuation centres, forcing the PSNI to back down.
Most just refused to leave. And hours later, the cordon was lifted and those residents who left were allowed to return.
A gun attack by a breakaway IRA group using the name ‘Oglaigh na hEireann’ was mounted on the PSNI in the strongly republican area two weeks ago. Almost a week later, a claim was made to a Belfast newspaper that the group had simultaneously launched a rocket attack.
Still images of a video of the alleged attack were published, although the video recording itself never emerged into the public domain.
Over a day after the report came out, there were surprising and conflicting statements from the PSNI, who announced the evacuation of a giant area at the top of the Glen Road. Hundreds of residents were shocked to find they had been ordered to take refuge in a community shelter for three days.
The evacuation was ostensibly ordered to allow an inch-by-inch search for the unexploded rocket -- but it was almost immediately followed by a police announcement that no rocket attack had in fact taken place.
The evacuation was reminiscent of previous episodes of community punishment on nationalist areas in the aftermath of IRA attacks.
Thankfully, most local people refused to pay heed to the PSNI’s dire warnings.
Workmen at a building site near the scene of the security operation, which included a bomb disposal robot, continued as normal, as did a nearby summer scheme.
Residents could be seen out and about walking dogs and chatting with neighbours. Some householders, living just 200 yards from where police were centring their operation, just sat outside their homes.
There was a widespread suspicion that a British security agenda, not public safety, was responsible for the evacuation order.
One resident, who did not want to be named, criticised the police and their request for householders to vacate homes for three days.
“They can’t force us to go. I don’t think there’s any reason for it,” she said.
Some recalled the British ‘psy ops’ (psychological operations) and other bizarre actions of British military intelligence which were common at the height of the conflict.
Another resident, who also did not want to be identified, said she was refusing to leave the home she shares with her father, who has dementia, disabled brother and two dogs.
The woman, who described the PSNI’s handling of the situation as “diabolical”, said they planned to keep her pets “in a van for three days’.
She and her family said: “If they were that worried, why didn’t they do something about it yesterday and not this morning, all of a sudden?”