Archive for Anger

GRENFELL TOWER FIRE by Grenfell Action Group

Posted in Anti-Austerity, campaigns, Censorship, Collusion, Criminal, Grenfell Tower, Human Rights, LSL Property services, Polarisation of the classes, Proletariat, Solidarity with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 15, 2017 by The Plough & The Stars

Source: Re-blog from Grenfell Action Group

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  Source: Grenfell action Group

 GRENFELL TOWER FIRE 

Watching breaking news about the Grenfell Tower fire catastrophe. Too soon (5am) to even guess at numbers of casualties and fatalities. Our heartfelt and sincere condolences to all who have perished, to the injured, to those who are bereaved or are still searching for missing loved ones.

Regular readers of this blog will know that we have posted numerous warnings in recent years about the very poor fire safety standards at Grenfell Tower and elsewhere in RBKC.

ALL OUR WARNINGS FELL ON DEAF EARS and we predicted that a catastrophe like this was inevitable and just a matter of time. Below is a list of links to previous blogs we posted on this site trying to warn the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, who own this property, and the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation who supposedly manage all social housing in RBKC on the Council’s behalf:

https://grenfellactiongroup.wordpress.com/2013/01/28/fire-safety-scandal-at-lancaster-west/

https://grenfellactiongroup.wordpress.com/2016/11/20/kctmo-playing-with-fire/

https://grenfellactiongroup.wordpress.com/2013/01/30/more-on-fire-safety/

https://grenfellactiongroup.wordpress.com/2013/02/21/another-fire-safety-scandal/

https://grenfellactiongroup.wordpress.com/2017/03/14/kctmo-feeling-the-heat/

https://grenfellactiongroup.wordpress.com/2013/06/10/why-are-we-waiting/

https://grenfellactiongroup.wordpress.com/2013/05/29/grenfell-tower-from-bad-to-worse/

https://grenfellactiongroup.wordpress.com/2013/05/28/more-trouble-at-grenfell-tower/

https://grenfellactiongroup.wordpress.com/2013/08/04/the-disempowered-of-grenfell-tower/

https://grenfellactiongroup.wordpress.com/2013/03/05/tmo-still-asleep-at-the-wheel

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KCC – Clear And Present Danger

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Back in April 2016 the Grenfell Action Group published a blog highlighting our concerns regarding the long term future of Wornington College. We provided a link to a RBKC Cabinet Key Decision report (KD04801R) that revealed that the Wornington College building had been secretly sold to the Council for demolition, after which the site would be privately redeveloped as housing.

The report was markedly vague on specifics, presenting instead a mish mash of options that ranged from selling the entire site (planning permission included) to a private developer or alternatively entering into a partnership with a Private Rented Sector (PRS) developer. The plans appear to have been conditional on retention of some unquantified educational component, provision of some ‘affordable housing’ by the developer, and possibly an option for the Council to to repossess  part of the finished development for use as decant housing for council tenants displaced from redevelopment elsewhere. Under this mish mash of half baked ‘planning’ many, perhaps most, Wornington students would presumably have to travel to Hortensia Road in Chelsea if they wished to access education.

https://grenfellactiongroup.wordpress.com/2016/06/12/wornington-college-threat-confirmed/

Rather than deal with the concerns raised by our blog, and by supporters of the Save Wornington College Campaign, the management at Kensington and Chelsea College attempted to demonise those trying to protect this much loved educational institute. Members of the KCC management team abused their power by attempting to intimidate our supporters, and shamelessly spread rumours that the Save Wornington College campaign was responsible for declining student enrolment numbers at Wornington and for endangering the future of adult education in North Kensington. When Interim Principal Michelle Sutton was invited to provide credible evidence that the Save Wornington Campaign was responsible for these negative effects she failed to do so.

Instead of working in partnership with the North Kensington community, acknowledging the management and financial problems at KCC, and the threat to the long term future of Wornington College following the departure of Principal Mark Brickley, the College opted instead for a disingenuous propoganda campaign. Using similar tactics to those employed by the neo-Cons at RBKC, when they sold off the North Kensington Library to their friends at Notting Hill Prep School, the KCC management claimed, in a Press Release in April 2017, that the Wornington building was no longer fit for purpose, was too large and could not meet the needs of those students and staff with disabilities. The KCC Press Release also sought to negate and dismiss the fears and concerns of the existing College’s supporters by stating that KCC remained committed to expanding its presence in North Kensington, claiming that it planned to replace the Wornington facilities on-site or nearby with modern state-of-the-art facilities for both school-leavers and adults, creating space for increased student numbers and potentially more courses.

http://www.kcc.ac.uk/news/big-plans-north-kensington/

We now understand that despite these promises the future of Wornington College and the provision of adult education in North Kensington is still very much under threat. Instead of securing the long term future of Wornington the KCC Board appears to have begun making existing staff redundant, pending a merger deal in which they will become the subserviant partner to a rival adult education college and in which they are unlikely to have any say in whether adult education will survive in any form in North Kensington.

In a serious and troubling development, it has come to our attention that members of the Wornington College teaching and auxillary staff have been issued with voluntary redundancy notices. These have been distributed to staff recently and cast doubt on KCC’s previous claim that staff numbers will be protected by virtue of an increase in student numbers and an expansion in the number of courses that the College will be offering.

It is our understanding that members of staff who might be tempted to accept offers of voluntary redundancy will not have their length of service or seniority taken into consideration as part of any financial settlement and will simply receive a statutory redundancy pay out. Any member of staff who accepts voluntary redudancy and is below retirement age will not be able to apply for social security payments such as unemployment benefit, housing benefit, etc if they fail to find replacement jobs, as they will be deemed to have made themselves intentionally unemployed.

It is also our understanding that the KCC Board were preparing to make a vitally important decision concerning the future of the College at a Corporaton meeting last Tuesday 6th June. We applied for permission to attend this meeting but were refused, ostensibly due to the sensitivity of the issues scheduled for discussion. It is a matter of record that major changes in adult education have been encouraged at a national and regional level following major cuts to government funding and a recent government review of further education which recommended that local colleges (such as Wornington) should merge with neighbouring colleges in order to protect their longer term prospects.

In line with this recommendation KCC and City Lit have conducted merger negotiations on two occasions since 2012. Both of these attempts failed, the most recent, earlier this year, because KCC failed a due diligence test performed by City Lit, apparently because of poor financial viability and poor Osted inspection results over the past three years. We have made a Freedom of Information request to City lit seeking access to the due dilignce report. We will publish this when and if we acquire it as it may shine some light on the management failings at KCC under former Principal Mark Brickley. The failure of KCC to satisfy this due diligence test has left KCC in an invidious position and vulnerable to a hostile take-over from either Ealing, Hammersmith and West London College or the recently merged North West London/City of Westminster College.

Ideally we would all prefer that KCC remain a fully independent college serving the specific needs of the local RBKC communities but we acknowledge that, in the present austere financial climate, a merger appears to be a necessary evil. With this in mind, we feel that it is a great shame that the proposed merger between KCC and City Lit failed. The benefits of a merger with City Lit have been explained in the minutes of previous confidential discussions by the Governors of KCC who stated that:

KCC students have good reason to fear the consequences of the failure of the City Lit merger. It has left KCC extremely vulnerable to a hostile take-over by either Ealing, Hammersmith and West London College or the North West London/City of Westminster College and we believe that such an outcome will greatly disempower and reduce the quality of our local education provision. There are concerns also that if either of the two aforementioned colleges are successful in a take-over of KCC the provision of adult education at the Wornington Centre, and in North Kensington generally, may cease altogether and adult educational courses may be halved at the Hortensia Centre.

These concerns are based on hard evidence obtained through Freedom of Information requests and access to supposedly confidential minutes of the KCC Corporation. We also have a copy of an email sent to RBKC councillors by Tony Redpath, a member of the KCC Board of Governors and a senior Officer at KCC in January 2017, that refers to Kensington and Chelsea College as some kind of tempting carcass that other ‘suitors‘, including Ealing Hammersmith and West London College and North West London/City of Westminster College ‘are already circling’ and waiting to devour. Redpath goes on to identify the predatory nature of such a take-over in that ‘KCC’s problem, put baldly, is that it’s attraction to other College’s is based on it’s assets rather than it’s activities’ and that following any take-over ‘a longer than anticipated period of change and uncertainty for the College beckons’. We believe that this statement from Tony Redpath unequivocably highlights the clear and present danger that faces the future of adult education in RBKC.

https://grenfellactiongroup.files.wordpress.com/2017/04/redpath-confidential-email-kcc-ofsted-result-etc.pdf

Redpath’s analysis is entirely consistent with minutes already quoted of a KCC Board meeting in 2012 when a hostile take-over by Ealing, Hammermith and West London College was characterised as an unwelcome but distinctly possible outcome. Confidential minutes from that Board of Governors meeting state the following:

www.kcc.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/KCC-BOC-minutes-111212.pdf

We have little doubt, based on the evidence above, that the kind of take-over that now seems inevitable will be extremely detrimental to the future of adult educational provision in RBKC generally, and North Kensington in particular. We believe that the failure of the proposed merger with City Lit has left KCC at the mercy of more powerful and predatory organisations that are primarily concerned with KCC’s financial assests and property portfolio rather than with providing the adult educational services our communities need.

The KCC Board of Governors and senior management team need to be held fully and properly accountable for their failure to secure a more propitious merger with City Lit. This failure has left KCC open to a hostile take-over by either Ealing, Hammersmith and West london College or City of Westminster/College of North West London. Both of these outcomes could best be described as worst case scenarios but have somehow become the most likely outcome we can expect. The KCC Board should be held accountable for this!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , ,

KCC resignations – was there a cover-up?

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The Grenfell action Group have recently been contacted by the Information Commissioners Office regarding our appeal against the refusal of Kensington and Chelsea College to provide us with information we requested explaining the departure of former Principal, Mark Brickley, and his former sidekick Deputy Principal Fiona Ross. The correspondence between the Information Commissioners Office and the Grenfell Action Group must remain confidential for now as we do not want to preempt the appeals process which we hope will lead to disclosure of the information we are seeking. However, we can confirm that we have lodged a formal complaint with the Information Commissioner in an attempt to obtain a full explanation from KCC of the departures of Mark Brickley and Fiona Ross from the College in such haste and in such opaque circumstances.

Following the sudden departure of Mr Brickley, at the end of October 2017, the College claimed that he had resigned for ‘personal reasons’, although the circumstances of his departure  have never been fully explained and were not recorded in the minutes of the relevant Board of Governors meeting. Following Brickley’s departure there have been persistent rumours, in College circles and in the local community, that the departure of the former Principal had less to do with ‘personal reasons’ and may have had much more to do with some form of serious misconduct in office.

It has become evident to the Grenfell Action Group that the interim Principal, Michelle Sutton is well aware of some of the allegations made against the former Principal and other  members of the College’s senior management team that surfaced through responses to a recent staff survey at the College. These concerns were recorded in the mintues from the KCC Governors Meeting held on 5th December 2016 and paint an alarming picture of low staff morale and poor leadership at this much loved educational establishment.Members of the Grenfell Action Group can only guess at the contents of the alleged ‘unprofessional responses’ made by staff members against various members of the senior management team but it hasn’t escaped our notice that the Interim Principal, Michelle Sutton, seems to have done her best to intimidate complainants into silence by strongly implying that their most serious allegations were ‘defamatory or libellous comments’.

Anyone who reads this blog on a regular basis will know that the Grenfell Action Group do not normally publish content based only on rumour or hearsay and that all of our postings are backed up with authoritative corroborating evidence. For this reason we have not yet detailed the nature of the rumours that accompanied the sudden departure of Principal Mark Brickley and Deputy Principal Fiona Ross from KCC.  However, we have not shyed away from our efforts to reveal the truth behind the circumstances surrounding Mark Brickley’s departure from the College and we are now in a position to publish, with some confidence, further information that we have received in relation to this matter.

At a recent “Let’s Clear Some Air” community event organised by Rap23 at the Acklam Village a member of the Grenfell Action Group spoke with our local MP, Victoria Borwick, and a local Tory Councillor, Robert Freeman, who were both attending the event. We took this opportunity to speak to our elected representatives about the situation at KCC and asked Cllr Freeman to explain why the freehold for the College building had been purchased by the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Council and why the College appeared to be in crisis and facing such an uncertain future.

Cllr Freeman chose to answer these questions by stating that the College building was too large for it’s current student intake and that most of the students that now attend the College come from other London Boroughs and are no longer local. This response was then challenged by our representative who pointed out that the College is still vital to the educational well being of the North Kensington community and that the dire situation that the College finds itself in might be partly attributed to the behaviour of the ex Principal Mark Brickley. It was at this point that our MP, Victoria Borwick turned to Cllr Freeman and asked what was meant by this latter statement. Cllr Freeman responded thus; “Mark Brickley was the unfortunate man who put up those compromising photos”.

The Grenfell Action Group would not wish to overinterpret the statement above made by Cllr Freeman to our local Member of Parliament, and witnessed by others present at the event, but we would suggest that these words certainly hint that there might be more to the departure of Mark Brickley than has so far been revealed by the College.

We have been informed by KCC that Brickley resigned his position for ‘personal reasons’ but we strongly suspect that these ‘personal reasons’ may be related to the actions so tantalisingly referred to by Cllr Freeman at the Rap23 event. If we are correct, and KCC are attempting to cover-up serious professional misconduct by either Brickley or Ross, or even both, then we can be confident that the Information Commissioner will order KCC to release the documents that we have requested, and which they have so far witheld.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , ,

A 17 Year Old Girl Who Fought Off A Rapist Is Now The One Getting Charged!

Posted in Uncategorized, Womens' Rights with tags , , , , , , , , on June 11, 2016 by The Plough & The Stars

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Source: Counter Current News

A 17-year-old girl is being charged with a crime after fighting off a would-be rapist.

The incident occurred in the center of the small town of Sonderborg in southern Denmark at approximately 10 p.m. local time last Wednesday.

The girl explained to police that an English-speaking man had knocked her to the ground. He then tried to unbutton her pants and undress her.

That’s when she decided she had no choice but to fight.

The girl pulled out pepper spray and used it against the man, who escaped the scene and hasn’t been charged.

Police say that the girl is facing a fine.

“It is illegal to possess and use pepper spray, so she will likely be charged for that,” local police spokesman Knud Kirsten said, as explained by TV Syd.

The Local reports that the fine the young girl faces could be about 500 kroner, which while only about $72 in U.S. dollars, is an insult. That potential fine has sparked outrage on social media.

Readers of the story on TV Syd’s website said they were ready to pay the girl’s fine.

“It is so completely and terribly wrong with the Danish system… Self-defense is a human right,” wrote one user, while another ironically added: “Perhaps the offender must seek compensation…Have we become mad in Denmark?”  

In the meantime, local police spokesperson Helle Lundberg told reports that officers found neither “the attacker, nor any witnesses.”

“We do not know who he is, and we do not know if he might be an asylum seeker. The girl has described him as English-speaking. That is all we know,” she explained further the spokesperson added.

Sonderborg, along with other Danish cities, recently appeared in the news in connection with sexual assaults against women by migrants.

“We must say that a large number of the male guests who come from the local asylum center have a very hard time respecting the opposite sex.

“In my eyes, it is harassment when one or more men continue to touch a young woman after she has said ‘stop,’” Glenn Hollender, from the Sonderborg club Den Flyvende Hollænder, said in an interview with TV Syd earlier in January.

Source: Counter Current News

 

The Plough and The Stars Editor’s opinion

This brave girl deserves a medal not criminal charges!  Just a pity that she had nothing more lethal to hand than pepper spray.  Like most decent people I despise predators and those who prey on weaker people.  I am quite sure that this travesty of justice has made people very angry and rightfully so.  Personally, I’m livid.  This girl could be your daughter, your partner, your wife, your mother….

Please share

Alex Mcguigan

 

 

Exclusive Interview with American Filmmaker and Screenwriter David Dinning

Posted in 'The Troubles, Alex McGuigan, Anti Fascism, Ardoyne, Belfast, Human Rights, Internationalism, Racism, RUC/PSNI, Sectarianism, Supremacist Parades, UVF with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 15, 2015 by The Plough & The Stars

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Today this site  has the pleasure of  featuring an interview with Chicago-based Filmmaker, Screenwriter and published author, David Dinning.  David has been a frequent visitor to Ireland, has an in depth knowledge of it’s history and the contemporary political situation.  His forthcoming documentary, with the working title ‘The North’, focuses significantly on the supremacism of the Loyal Orders, their historical role as a bulwark against working-class solidarity and Ireland’s struggle for independence.  David’s forthcoming documentary also examines the Loyal Orders’ contemporary role in forcing their militaristic marches through Irish Catholic areas, where they cause maximum offence to residents, such as in Ardoyne, where their supremacist parading has been accompanied by serious violence in many previous years.  ‘The North’ furthermore examines the Northern Irelands Civil Rights Association’s mild demands for universal franchise and an end to Gerrymandering in the late 1960’s/early 1970’s, ideologically based on the non-violent doctrine of Dr Martin Luther King Junior’s campaign for equality for Black people in the USA, yet they were met with police riots and eventually the Bloody Sunday Massacre in 1972 that saw 14 peaceful protesters murdered in cold blood, with scores seriously injured by the British Parachute Regiment using live rounds.

the north 01

Alex:  Just starting from scratch, can you introduce yourself telling readers where you are from, a little about yourself and explaining your mode of journalism/writing/production/directing?

David: My name is David Dinning. I live in Chicago. I started writing late in life. I use the three act structure whether it’s a book or screenplay. Documentary modes can be broken down into six types, seven if you use a mix of modes. The six are; Poetic, Expository, Observational, Participatory, Reflexive, and Performance. I use a mix mode of story telling. To me documentary film is an important way of depicting things as they are, exposing a great lie or an injustice, to look behind the curtain. They can and do have a point of view.

 Alex:  You are obviously extremely well acquainted with Irish History and contemporary Irish politics, can you tell our readers where this knowledge and interest originated and was nurtured from?

 David:  As a kid I spent my summers on my grandfather’s farm in Kentucky. The small town nearby was settled by Scots Irish families from Derry in the 18th century. One year at a family funeral I learned from my cousin that my great great … grandfather was the Grand Sheriff of Derry between 1699-1701. She gave me a book on the Siege of Derry. I started to read more. I wanted to know more. I went back to the death of Queen Elizabeth, then forward in time. I spent a lot of time on the Siege of Derry and that time period, then went forward through the 1798 rebellion and beyond. I became hooked. I read everything I could get my hands on. It also tied into a screenplay I was writing at the time. I’ve made eight trips to Ireland since 2009. It was then after my first stay in Derry that I decided to make the Documentary.

 Alex:  The last time we met was two years ago on the 12th of July, when we had a cup of coffee before you travelled to Ardoyne to cover the Orange supremacist violence, following the Parades  Commission ruling that the Orange Order could not march via Ardoyne on their return journey on the ’12th’. Can you describe the violence that you witnessed, did it originate from the Orange Order, their bands and supporters?

 David:  I have never felt hate like that in my life. I arrived in Ardoyne early that morning on the 12th. At eight in the morning the Loyalists were foaming at the mouth. It was unbelievable. After they passed on by I followed then for a while then went to St. Patrick’s Church and watched and filmed. It was clear to me, and I’m sure anyone else who has followed the Marches that the Loyalists get a extra boost, an energy charge when they approach or pass by Catholic neighborhoods. There is this need to get a shot in, whether it’s playing the famine song, or other sectarian songs, to revealing sectarian banners, to having their followers look for a reason to attack anyone who gets in their way.  Later that day I made my way back to Ardoyne. The residents of Ardoyne gathered in force to protect their neighborhood from the drunken hoards. Gerry Kelly did a great job of reassuring the residents that the police would keep the Loyalists from their neighborhood. All of the violence that I witnessed came from the Loyalists. What followed was several nights of violence. I walked back to the bus station that night for Derry, and that image of Belfast as a ghost town still resonates in my mind: trash everywhere, everything closed up. This is no way for people to live. Everything stops for the Orange Order version of THE HUNGER GAMES.

 Alex:  Can you, as a North American, see the supremacist linkage between the likes of the ‘Loyal Orders’ and for instance, supremacist groups like the Ku Klux Klan?

 David:  Yes, that’s a fair comparison. The difference being that in America groups like the KKK are shunned by the rest of society. In Northern Ireland they are not. The 30,000 members of the Orange Order have a hold on Northern Ireland. Power and wealth accumulated over time, the not so hidden hand.

Alex:  Many political commentators view allowing Loyalist supremacist parades to march through Catholic/Nationalist/Republican areas as the equivalent in the USA of, for instance, permitting White supremacist groups to march through the likes of the Rampart area (MacArthur Park, Echo Park etc) of Los Angeles or the Watts area of south LA. Would the federal government ever consider permitting such provocative parades?

David:  I don’t think there would be a police force or army in world that could protect the KKK if they tried to march in Watts or the South Side of Chicago. In 1977 the National Socialist Party of America tried to march through Skokie, Illinois. In the predominately Jewish community, one in six residents was a Holocaust survivor. The NSPA march was be to held on June 25, 1978 though the march never materialized. About 20 or so Nazis congregated for only ten minutes, and throngs of Jewish and other groups drowning out their voices. Parades in America don’t incite riots. If they did, that group would never be allowed to do so again, and the cost of the liability insurance alone would make it unattainable.

 Alex:  Could you explain to our readers how important the conflicting European power blocks of the 17th Century played in forming the today’s sectarian divisions, identities and how in reality the Williamite campaign was contrary to the Ireland/religious-centred potted-histories that many within Orangeism hold dear? I’m sure that you have heard of the painting that once hung in the old Stormont parliament showing the Pope blessing the Williamite forces, that was quickly ‘archived’ once the Unionist ruling junta finally figured out it’s significance?

 David:  First and foremost, William of Orange was concerned with one thing – saving the Dutch Republic from France. When the Immortal Seven invited William to take the throne he knew with England’s support he could defeat France. William landed in England to find that James had run away. James while at the head of a 25,000 man army, was afflicted with serious nose bleeding. He saw it as a bad omen and left the field of battle for London, then France. That was the Glorious Revolution. Only the English can turn a man running away and turn that into a Glorious Revolution. There was nothing glorious about it and it wasn’t a revolution. Later James would be forced to Ireland to do battle with William while the Sun King set out for the prize – the Dutch Republic and the Spanish Nederlands. James would leave every battle he was at and would flee Ireland for the comforts of France. I suppose that is glorious too. William of Orange, the Pope and Catholic Spain would go on to defeat France. After William of Orange’s death Queen Ann took the throne and with her the 1704 test act. Prohibiting Presbyterians and other protestant religions from worshipping freely, it also banned them from public and civil office. Hundreds of thousands of Presbyterians would flee Ireland for a new land where religious freedom would become the corner stone of its constitution.  What Loyalist call the Glorious Revolution had shown its true colors: Anglican Domination. For the next hundred years after the Siege of Derry and the war in Ireland there would be no parades, no marching bands, no Orange Order. It’s wasn’t until after the 1798 rebellion that the Orange Order turned William of Orange into the man that saved the Protestant Religion from the Pope and used that to fuel sectarian hatred. One other important fact: James II never tried to install Catholicism in the three Kingdoms. What he tired to do was introduce religious freedom in England. But that does little to fan the flames of sectarianism. That is why the painting ‘Tea at Trianon’ was damaged when the boys in Orange found out about it. It is a painting of the Pope blessing William of Orange and was hanging in the Belfast Parliament Building. In 1933 Unionist MP John Nixon led a gang of Loyalist into the building where they slashed the painting with a knife and threw crimson paint over the image of the Pope. The painting was taken down and sent away for restoration. It wasn’t seen again until 2007. The rosary beads were taken out. Keeping the myth alive is important to the Orange Order and the sectarian cause. The first part of that question would take volumes.

Alex:  Unfortunately I missed seeing you around the ’12th’ this year as I was on holiday and then suffered a bereavement, but do you think that the relatively peaceful end in 2014 to the return journey of the Orange Order preventing them from trampling through Ardoyne due to it’s second prohibition by the Parades Commission, will become the norm, something similar to the token protests that now are a constant on the Garvaghy Road in Portadown?

 David:  Last year did surprise me. I don’t think the peaceful end will continue; it’s not in their nature. I hope I’m wrong. The Orange Order is not use to being told “no”. There is a rise in race hate crimes in Northern Ireland – a by product of the Order’s Hunger Games. That will continue, and they have now set their sights on the Gay and Lesbian community with their conscience clause to equality legislation. At some point in time one would think it’s time to move on and leave a three hundred year old war in the past. Stop looking for reasons to hate. But that circle of hate keeps growing.

 Alex:  I’m sure that you have heard of the so-called Twaddell ‘Peace-camp’ which has been a permanent fixture close to the Ardoyne interface, that has been perhaps more aptly described by Ardoyne residents as a ‘hate-camp’ manned by Loyalists belonging to various organisations. Do you think the fact that apparently it costs multiple thousands of pounds in policing costs per week alone to monitor the Twaddell camp, is in any way a strong hand, to use the poker analogy, in persuading the Parades Commission in 2015 to renege on it’s past two year’s prohibition of the Orange Order returning from the ’12th’ via Ardoyne?

 David:  No, that should have nothing do with any Parades Commission decision. With this new Stormont House Agreement, they may not be around anymore. I’ve read that more that a few times. I talk about that in the documentary. At some point you would think that the police would end it, or maybe just ignore them until they go away is the right thing. It all boils down to one thing: the Orange Order’s refusal to allow democracy to dictate anything to them. They are above the law. They are the Ascendancy.

 Alex:  I know that you had been producing a documentary on the North of Ireland, at what stage is it’s production at and was it aimed at a North American audience? I’ve seen rough-cuts and it would definitely be a solid educational resource.

David:  It’s just about done, just music rights is left and a little fine tuning. It’s called THE NORTH. It is aimed at an American audience – to let Americans know what is going on in Northern Ireland and to do that you have to know where it’s been.

 Alex:  Finally, David, it has been a pleasure interviewing you and I hope to meet up again soon, you are certainly a counter to the propaganda emanating from certain quarters that North Americans have little understanding of the complexities of Ireland’s history and politics. As a parting shot (forgive the pun) from your experience do you think that any real lasting peace has been established?

David:  I don’t know. I would hope so. The Good Friday Agreement stopped the killing but stagnation has set in; there is no movement forward on the ideas of that agreement. That seems to be by design. Stagnation can lead to friction and friction can lead to violence.

Alex:  Go raibh mile maith agat, David, mo chara!  No doubt we will meet again soon..

lol kkk

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