On Trial for Opposing Sectarianism

Dee Fennell of GARC has issued a statement in advance of tomorrow's court hearing where members and supporters of the Ardoyne community will stand trial effectively accused of opposing sectarianism. 

On Tuesday 14th January 2014, 19 Ardoyne Residents and Supporters will go on trial for "Illegally Protesting" against a sectarian Apprentice Boys march through Ardoyne in December 2012.

For this sectarian parade, GARC did not file for a protest with the Parades Commission for a number of reasons. However, as is the case with other marches with no protest filed, GARC members, other residents and supporters were present on the Ardoyne Road. This was to monitor and observe the Apprentice Boys for any breaches in the Parades Commission determination, as well as to monitor and note the militarisation of the area that takes place for all sectarian marches through Ardoyne. Others were present on the road as they went about their everyday business or to make their way to the City Centre on a Saturday morning via public transport.

Despite being on an open and unrestricted public footpath, at a functioning bus stop or outside shops open for business as usual, 19 people are now on trial for "Illegally protesting". This in spite of the fact that prior to, during or after the Apprentice Boys march none of those charged;

- Held, displayed or erected any banners
- Held or displayed any banners or clothing opposing the march
- Made any noise such as whistle, jeers or other comments towards the march
- Made any hand gestures to marchers
- Made any attempt to access the road
- Made any attempt to impede or disrupt the march.

Effectively the PSNI and PPS are placing Ardoyne Residents under curfew by using the threat of scurrilous charges to make people fearful of leaving their homes during sectarian marches through their area. They will fail.

The people of Ardoyne are quite rightly angry as they contrast this with the treatment of armed and masked loyalists who have been involved in a sectarian hate siege of Ardoyne, Mountainview and the Dales since July 2013. This has involved illegal parades, illegal camps, illegal banners, paramilitary displays, detrimental impact on local businesses and ongoing physical/verbal attacks on local residents. Little, if any, arrests have been made in relation to any of these activities, for fear of upsetting the UVF. Most charges that have been brought have either been quietly dropped or resulted in acquittal.

This attack on the human right of Ardoyne Residents to freedom of movement is yet another indicator of the corrupt nature of policing and justice in the Six Counties. In addition, the silence of our elected representatives (some of whom claim to be the successors to the 1960s Civil Rights Movement) is not only a disgrace but also an acknowledgement of their continued support for the ongoing persecution of Ardoyne residents.

GARC call on the people of Ardoyne to support the 19 defendants facing these farcical charges, as well as all those who say they support human rights in 2014 Ireland. This is attempted criminalisation of victims of sectarian harassment and intimidation by the PSNI and PPS, on behalf of Stormont and the British Government and should be opposed by all those with concern for human rights and civil liberties.


  1. It's a pity that some did not follow the Sinn Fein way which paved the way for the Orange marchers being stopped and less nationalists / Republicans getting arrested-

    Bit late in the day for the complainers feeling sorry for themselves now-

  2. Mh, the reason there is no return march is because the residents of Ardoyne went there own way as they had enough of the sf way. The residents are up in court tomorrow for allegedly protesting against an unwelcome morning march on this occasion. SF (spike murray/gerry kelly west belfast) have told the Uvf and OO they are ok with morning marches without asking the residents who in a survey in 2010 made in clear that the are oppposed to all sectarian/racist marches through there community.

  3. Michael Henry,
    It was Sinn Fein who caused the division of residents in Ardoyne.
    No one except Sinn Fein seems to know what their policy is on Orange marches.
    On the Springfield Road each year it's a manufactured protest i.e. window dressing.

  4. michalelhenry you’re talking complete sinn fein bollocks (again)

    Dee Fennell quote

    "This attack on the human right of Ardoyne Residents to freedom of movement is yet another indicator of the corrupt nature of policing and justice in the Six Counties. In addition, the silence of our elected representatives (some of whom claim to be the successors to the 1960s Civil Rights Movement) is not only a disgrace but also an acknowledgement of their continued support for the ongoing persecution of Ardoyne residents."

    You will not be surprised to hear the same thing has been happening in Derry in recent years were Sinn Fein have conveniently (for them) ceased objecting at the disruption caused by the annual in flux of Loyal Order feet that descend on the town each year.
    It’s true to say Sinn Fein in Derry no longer give a flying fuck how my orange feet parade around the town nor do they bat an eye lid at the hundreds of extra heavily armed PSNI drafted in to protect these right wing queen loving paddy bashers which is causing widespread traffic congestion to local residence.
    But then again, why would the shinners want to object whenever they’re content sitting in Stormont necking strong tay while discussing how they’re going to spend and distribute their British payoffs.

    What was the old two worded quote which we all swore by and which we all frequently saw on Sinn Fein posters throughout the 1970s & 80s? Oh yea that‘s right it went something like this.............SMASH STORMONT!!!

    Here’s one for the shinners to reflect on.

    As they’re well aware, there are may many brave souls now resting in cemeteries throughout the north who gave their lives for something completely different to what they sold out for and the above Sinn Fein poster is possibly the last they ever saw, think about one.

  5. Mickey,

    I see you are making more friends again!

    What is the SF way? And why would following the SF way only reduce the number of republicans being arrested and not eliminate arrest altogether you seem to point out a need for the cops to make arrests.
    If SF was doing their job then these disputes would have been settled but every year tells the same story and the people of Ardoyne are forced to do the work SF fail to do.

    Contentious parades have nothing to do with rights and culture they are based in pure blatant sectarian dominance could you explain why the vast majority of parades pass respectfully without incident and here you are supporting the Loyalists right to trample over Ardoyne.
    Is that the SF way if so is it any wonder people take to the streets and protest and what right do you have to tell them they are wrong to resist the siege mentality placed on their daily life.

    You make those people charged guilty but even more so ( if that is possible) guilty as they don’t subscribe to the SF “way” your line of though hardly speaks of a fair hearing.
    If SF were effective Mickey then the people of Ardoyne wouldn’t have to face these problems.

  6. The ruc/psni will make sure the hammer comes down on GARC, we all know its a foregone conclusion. maybe a little bit of light will shine through and they all get off.

    MH, what orange marchers were stopped?, SF has had No oranges marches stopped going through Ardoyne.

    This must be one of MH script writers, and I would say he is a top SFr living in Ardoyne, spike and Gerry are nothing but arse hole lickers who just forget were they came from, they are now on a bandwagon to no were, people of Ardoyne have had enough of them in suites doing nothing but yes sir no sir three bags full sir. a fucking disgrace to the Ardoyne Community.

  7. Michaelhenry, it is unfortunate that you did not follow the SF way in respect of people experiencing suicidal tendencies.

    You seem to have followed the SF way only in refusing to stand over your actions and in denying yourself.

    You once defended yourself by telling us you would stand over what you say. But you have not. And if you are not willing to defend yourself don't expect anybody else to.

    I concur with Sean Bres on the approach to take toward future comments from you ... whatever

  8. Very many of us would have watched Eamonn Mallies interview with pappa doc Paisley last night, that bastard with the help of a few other bigoted bastards created the firestorm which today finds nationalists/republicans paying the price for, by his own admission democracy did not know the name of norn iorn and that those who followed him on his hateful campaign of sectarianism (,which as we now know was just his strategy to get his hands on the illusory helm of power) from the Glenanne gang to the third force and Ulster resistance this bastard has been like all politicians more than happy to lay down peoples lives for the love of HIS country,loyalists in large numbers now regret having ever heard the name of Paisley, and as Dee says we are to witness people dragged before the courts because they have the temerity to be ask or demanded to be allowed to live and go about their business without having to endure those bigoted displays of triumphalism that if it hadnt been for Paisley would have been just a distant memory by now,but no the architect of the "troubles " was feted and honoured like a statesman by the two governments him and his equally bigoted cunt of a wife were rewarded with peerages, and quisling $inn £eind grovel at his and his successors knees without any sign of growing any balls and demanding that these unnecessary hateful displays be restricted only to areas where they are acceptable their feeble cries for equality go unheeded and their inaction makes them look all the more ridiculous , I am old enough to remember the Divis St riots again instigated by Paisley and where Nationalists had to endure the blunt end of his bigotry beaten of their own street by thugs in uniform, I know a lad who was handed down six months for giving the cops a two finger salute,the issue over hate filled demonstrations will never be resolved by merely beating those opposed to such things of the streets or locking them up , like the root cause of the troubles here it needs to be addressed in an open and honest manner , as for Paisley as that bigoted bastard stares into the abys in a remorseful kind of way maybe hoping that some greater being will forgive him I hope as an atheist that all he finds is a whole full of maggots ,the lives he has destroyed will never be fully counted and we still witness his legacy today with nationalists paying the price for appeasement to bigotry,

  9. Mickey,

    The issue is very much cut and dry and you repeatedly mouth off that SF solves problems. They do a great deal of solving by selective ignoring issues and only take onboard issues that they feel enhance their agenda.

    Why are they afraid to strongly and publically condemn the annual siege instead they cop out with the for the media panic button” by insisting that the militants are behind all the problems and under that pathetic excuse wash their grimy hands of the real problem.
    Instead of helping the problem they prefer to pander to the OO and continue with their usual sad symphony of understanding the outrageous claims of it is their right to march and to oppose them is to be part and partial of the people of Ardoyne and their secret agenda of cultural genocide.

    I don’t understand why you hold a clear bias against the people of Ardoyne who have a legitimate reason for protesting they are the victims’ of geographical circumstance one the OO take advantage of by insisting they have the right to hold the people of Ardoyne under siege and fear just so they can claim a victory for sectarianism by marching the disputed few hundred yards.

    This is and has been rightfully objected to as it has nothing to do with the loyalists rights being denied but their OO superiority has been insulted by the very Government of the Queen they serve and their once powerful sway is now being reduced to facing off with the law they admired so much in the past.

    The people of Ardoyne have the right to object to the sectarian march passing by their district they have no interest nor should they be forced to accommodate the kick the pope parade and why should their rights be denied and forced into the siege mentality as they certainly cannot go about their daily routine under those conditions the OO insist on imposing.

    I don’t see any reason why people would not show support for the activists and people or why they would not show disgust at what is looking like a show trail.
    It is not a case of breaking the law but a case of making examples in the hope it will quell future protests you seem to have no objection to that.

    Mickey when SF speaks it is usually as powerful as a mouse farting. When will they show some gumption and actually side with the people their built in excuse “militants are involved” is just a polite way of telling the residents they don’t care about the ordinary poor and working class people.

    With the usual excuses “our peace process” what peace do the residents get each year?
    Then after ignoring genuine concerns of the residents they will be happy to remind people we careless for your problems but vote SF at the next election as “our way” works, that is works for the self-serving-party.

    Is there anyone apart from your SF party that you won’t insult?

    Just a moot point Mickey but the OO parades continue SF didn’t stop them so you make no sense and side with them on this issue as you hold a hatred towards the Irish people who do not agree with your party.

    If SF did have their way they would simply accommodate the contentious parades which does prove there is an need for activists and the people to unite under this issue and continue to oppose the blatant sectarian agenda of trampling over the rights of one community so the OO can claim victory in this ridiculous waste of tax-payers money need to march a few hundred yards.

  10. So in a nutshell, Dee Fennell and several others casually stand at 'The Top Shop' or further down where 'Big Pat Delaney's' shop was and casually watch the world go past (bit like trainspotters or air planes spotters do on a daily basis) and get arrested?

    Yet they didn't stop anyone going about their normal buisness..cause any type of obstruction..

    @Michael McIvor/Henry..When was the last time you were in Ardoyne if ever?

    Personally I grew up in the murky streets of Ardoyne..

  11. I have come to the conclusion that in my opinion Michael Henry is simply a provocateur.

    As some one else recently stated - he says things to derail conversations and interjects stupidity and the ridiculous into otherwise intelligent dialogue.

    There is a tactic that I utilize when working with children who seek attention (positive or negative doesn't matter it's just the attention they crave).
    It's called "planned ignoring" (most parents are familiar i'm sure).

  12. A word to the wise Dee...you are standing soon in local elections. If i was you i'd delete comments like these as soon as they appear. Guilty by association spings to mind and SF will use it against you...

    While people may think the Belfast Media is a SF rag etc..It's the same target audience who you hope to pick votes up from. Ask people who post on your FB wall to think again before the post on it....Post about the problems in Ardoyne/North belfast but allowing someone to post about a cop should have had his throat slashed isn't doing anyone any favours least of all yourself...

  13. Glad to see all those up on the trumped up charges are now free of that charge.

    Marty. Great post, it underlines the reasons why there is a need for groups like GARC. I agree with you that SF would facilitate loyalist sectarian marches through Ardoyne. Thankfully the people of Ardoyne realised this a long time ago.

  14. Important victory for civil liberties over political policing in Belfast court