Irish Republican News · August 27, 2010
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Group vows action over Royal Black parade

A nationalist residents group is planning to block the Crumlin Road in north Belfast if yet another sectarian march due to take place this weekend is not rerouted.

The Greater Ardoyne Residents Collective (GARC) has vowed to make a “radical effort” to stop Saturday’s Royal Black Institution feeder parade, which is due to pass the Ardoyne interface on Saturday morning.

The Royal Black Institution is an elite form of the Protestant Orange Order and shares the same anti-Catholic motivations and aims. Their parade is due to pass through Ardoyne at around 7.3Oam en route to a main loyalist gathering in Carrickfergus, County Antrim.

Members of GARC held a sit-down protest on the Crumlin Road on the Twelfth of July. Three days of rioting ensued after the protest was violently removed by the PSNI from the route of the Orange Order parade.

The Parades Commission, the body which rules on the routes of contentious marches, claimed it had “considered the needs of the community and the rights of the individual” in deciding on Saturday’s march.

It imposed a number of minor restrictions on the organisers, band and supporters.

But it had “again failed to determine that local residents do not want sectarian parades through the area,” said GARC spokesman Mairtin Og Meehan.

“Instead it has permitted the Black Preceptory No 210 Redcross, another exclusively Protestant and anti-Catholic, -Nationalist and -Republican organisation to march through a predominately Catholic, Nationalist and Republican community.

Despite repeated pleas from residents, clergy and politicians this sectarian society is ‘allowed’ to ‘parade’ through Greater Ardoyne. Local people do not welcome nor want bigots in our area.”

Early morning parades typically see smaller protests, but GARC said the local community was fed up with the coat-trailing behaviour of loyalists as well as their ‘kick-the-pope’ bands, some of which celebrate their links to paramilitary death squads.

“Residents of the Greater Ardoyne area do not deserve to be hemmed into their homes by huge numbers of heavily-armed and riot-clad PSNI members to permit sectarian societies and UVF-linked bands who insist on parading through their community,” he said.

“They have had enough of Parade Commissioners refusing to take into account their legitimate views.

“We urge the Black Preceptory No 210 Redcross branch and the Pride of Ardoyne Flute Band to reroute its march in the interests of everyone and leave local people in peace. If not, the Greater Ardoyne Residents Collective declare that we will make a determined, peaceful but radical effort to block the Crumlin Road and prevent this parade through our community.”

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