East Belfast Riots Spotlight


East Belfast Riots

Investigating stories affecting life in Northern Ireland. A look at the reasons why violence flared in East Belfast recently.


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Transcript


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Hello and welcome to the programme. Just one week after violence

:00:23.:00:27.

erupted on the streets of East Belfast, the Irish President

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visited the area today. She said the trouble had broken heart, but

:00:32.:00:42.
:00:42.:00:44.

could not break the local community. We will be discussing the

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repercussions of the violence were political and church leaders later.

:00:49.:00:59.
:00:59.:00:59.

But first, a look at precisely what happened and why.

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And aerial view of some of the worst rioting in East Belfast in

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many years. These exclusive pictures not seen until now were

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taken from a police helicopter as the violence unfolded. But exactly

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what happened and how did this mayhem start? We have pieced

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together a detailed breakdown of two consecutive nights of trouble

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to understand what went on on the streets of Belfast just over a week

:01:28.:01:38.
:01:38.:01:47.

ago. East Belfast is predominantly Unionist, but also home to Short

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Strand. There is an interface. The first sign of violence came at 6

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o'clock when a republican received a phone call from a Republican

:02:00.:02:05.

intermediary warning tensions were high. UVF men were being brought

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into the area and when gathering at local bars. Around 8:45pm, groups

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of UVF men appeared from here. They converged on this road and were

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dressed in black, wearing gloves and masks. They were ready to

:02:24.:02:32.

attack. A police patrol spotted 8,100 strong crowd and called for

:02:32.:02:42.
:02:42.:02:47.

back-up. There was some significant disorder. The first attacks were

:02:47.:02:56.

launched at these homes. At exactly the same time, another group

:02:56.:03:05.

attacked the area from a different street. Police were able to bring

:03:05.:03:12.

some of the trouble under control by 10 o'clock, but it escalated in

:03:12.:03:22.
:03:22.:03:26.

other areas. Homes in this pub has done area were attacked. There were

:03:26.:03:34.

500 people on each side of the divide. For the next 3.5 hours, the

:03:34.:03:43.

Briot raged. Five shots were fired from the loyalist side, some

:03:43.:03:49.

ricochet in of police Land Rovers. After midnight fire also came from

:03:49.:03:55.

Short Strand. A man was shot on the loyalist side and a short time

:03:55.:04:00.

later a 16-year-old was hit as well. But police managed to hold the line

:04:00.:04:06.

and the crowd dispersed at 2:30am. One of the worst nights of rioting

:04:06.:04:13.

in recent years had ended. The next day, police were asked to clear-up

:04:13.:04:21.

some of the confusion. They could not have been more categorical. The

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UVF started an orchestrated the violence. The police say they did a

:04:26.:04:33.

see it coming. Tensions were high in that area and we had extra

:04:33.:04:40.

patrols, but we did not know it was coming to this scale. The first we

:04:40.:04:50.
:04:50.:04:53.

knew of it was mast and bluffed men -- men up wearing masks and gloves

:04:53.:05:00.

gathering on the street corner. This man says they used to be

:05:00.:05:07.

communication with Belfast UVF, but it has broken down. East Belfast

:05:07.:05:17.
:05:17.:05:23.

was exemplary in terms of to make a name for themselves.

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there is evidence the UVF has been making their presence felt on the

:05:29.:05:34.

streets of east Belfast. We have had murals painted sending out a

:05:34.:05:40.

war message. There are a number of the UVF flags been displayed, and

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you have the leader of that organisation who sees himself as a

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law unto themselves. The second night of disorder, the UVF stepped

:05:52.:05:57.

back and watched as local youth carried on the violence they had

:05:57.:06:05.

started. It got beyond the reach and control of those who were

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potentially organising that. It was also clear there was no visible

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sign that night of more mature heads seeking to constrain the

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situation. I think the beginning of this was organised. After that it

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took a life of its own. violence led to republicans firing

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shots and brought rioters onto the streets in the middle of the margin

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season. The repercussions were potentially huge. Reluctant to

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leave the stage, reinforcements were bussed into Short Strand to

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defend the area by hand. Republicans had to go into Short

:06:57.:07:07.
:07:07.:07:14.

Strand to shore up the area. They wanted to give reassurance. People

:07:14.:07:22.

would use a situation like that as a pretext to enter the area. The

:07:22.:07:32.
:07:32.:07:33.

genie is out of the bottle. aerial footage has revealed crowds

:07:33.:07:42.

making petrol bombs. At one point let -- loyalists end a laser at the

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helicopter. They also climbed on rooftops to throw their missiles.

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On the second night of trouble, a press photographer was injured when

:07:53.:07:59.

shots were fired. Police say they came from dissidents. The situation

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was one of chaos. He at the centre for community mediation in north

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Belfast, of representatives of what was the IRA and what is the UPA,

:08:14.:08:24.
:08:24.:08:30.

and Red Hand Commando net. -- what is the UVF. I said, or we are where

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we are. We do we go from here? deal was done to end the violence.

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:08:48.:08:54.

People from both sides had work to restore calm. But why did it all

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start? Some loyalists feel that the peace process has passed them by.

:09:00.:09:10.
:09:10.:09:15.

There were riots eight months ago because there is believed that

:09:15.:09:21.

historical crime team is one-sided. -- that the historical crime team

:09:21.:09:31.
:09:31.:09:33.

is one-sided. There are genuine grievances out there. They need to

:09:33.:09:38.

be addressed. The with the tried to talk to the leader of the UVF in

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Belfast, but he did not want to talk to us. But they have been

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talking recently to this local clergyman. Has the UVF said to you

:09:51.:09:55.

why it has happened? It happened because they felt that their

:09:55.:10:01.

community is continually under attack. Some solutions could be

:10:02.:10:11.
:10:12.:10:15.

resolved. Unfortunately, they were not. Tensions at the interface had

:10:15.:10:20.

estimated at the weekend before the rioting. But whatever the exact

:10:20.:10:26.

reason, it East Belfast UVF decided to attack the Short Strand last

:10:26.:10:31.

week, and that was with beat backing of the UVF Shankill Road

:10:31.:10:40.

command. It is a coming together of the UVF in East Belfast and

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Shankill Road. In fact, last Tuesday, the East Belfast UVF

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leader was joined by the overall leader of the UVF, its so called

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Brigadier. But his appearance raises further questions about the

:11:01.:11:08.

UVF commitment to peace. It 2007, they have released a statement. The

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brigade staff talked about moving into a non military role.

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Everything that has happened in East Belfast speaks and axe in

:11:20.:11:30.
:11:30.:11:34.

But the violence may have suited the leadership. It was said that

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there may be some thinking within the UVF, if we caused some noise,

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if we caused a bit of violence, if we show we are still out there,

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some of these things will back off, the Supergrass trial will back off,

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that is what you get if you come after us. The UVF's politically --

:11:55.:11:58.

volatility has been a matter of concern. We have learned that pipe

:11:58.:12:02.

bomb attacks on two homes in republican west Belfast last

:12:02.:12:07.

November have also been blamed on a UVF unit. Leading Republicans have

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tackled the leadership about this. We gave them the benefit of the

:12:17.:12:20.

doubt and hope they will raise their mark and deal with those

:12:20.:12:28.

situations. They need to deal with it as soon as possible. The UVF's

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actions are a real concern for the Stormont executive to. Last

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Thursday, Peter Robinson met a UVF delegation including the East

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Belfast commander. The First Minister said last week's violence

:12:40.:12:43.

has bomb-maker -- damaged Northern Ireland's reputation

:12:43.:12:47.

internationally. His senior civil servant has been appointed to

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report back on the issues behind it. And the police, often in the middle

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of committee division, are also stressing the need for a local

:12:56.:13:02.

solution at the Short Strand interface itself. Policing the

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symptoms is a short-term fix, they have got to be a longer term,

:13:06.:13:10.

sustainable relationship between these communities. How we do that

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is principally with communities being supported by other agencies

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but it is in communities's hands as well. Switching the violence on is

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always easier than switching it off and with a precedent having been

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set last week, there is now fear of more trouble and other interfaces

:13:29.:13:36.

throughout the marching season. Sustained rioting for two nights,

:13:36.:13:40.

gunmen back on the streets, houses wrecked, thousands of pounds worth

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of damage caused and the police admit there was a gap in their

:13:43.:13:50.

intelligence -- intelligence. Mr Ford, they may have been a failure

:13:50.:13:53.

of police intelligence last week but there is no doubt on the police

:13:53.:13:59.

is part that the UVF was responsible for turning the tap on.

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Why can the authorities go into East Belfast and arrest the people

:14:03.:14:09.

responsible before they do it again? That is a job for the police,

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not the Department of Justice. The police have got to work with

:14:12.:14:16.

evidence and intelligence which enables them to take action. There

:14:16.:14:20.

was a build-up of tension with flag flying before we got to the stage.

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They have got to be questions as to how the agencies as a whole address

:14:24.:14:29.

problems like that. I'm concerned there was this intelligence gap?

:14:29.:14:34.

All this was happening. With the benefit of hindsight, we know what

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it led to. They say they did not expect 100 men to come up wearing

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masks and surgical gloves and do to get the intelligence to deal

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with this in advance. We have got to make sure the police have the

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best possible intelligence and one of the key is the community

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contacts they depend upon. depend on public confidence for

:14:58.:15:02.

police to work properly. Policing did not get to grips with what

:15:02.:15:06.

happened on Monday and Tuesday of last week. The individuals

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responsible, far from being arrested and held to account, some

:15:10.:15:15.

of them were correct -- invited to Stormont Castle to meet senior

:15:15.:15:21.

politicians. I recognise that in the past people have been persuaded

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away from violence because of cheerleaders or committee leaders.

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I think that is very different from people in Parliament. -- church

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leaders or community leaders. I think the real issues that need to

:15:36.:15:40.

be addressed are around committee confidence. There are issues around

:15:40.:15:46.

robust policing. I am going to take an awful lot of convincing that

:15:46.:15:49.

senior politicians speaking to those implementing violence is the

:15:49.:15:54.

way to go forward. Did those senior politicians who met with those UVF

:15:54.:15:59.

leaders from east Belfast make a miscalculation in your view?

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don't know who was at the meeting, I was no part of it. I took part in

:16:03.:16:06.

a more constructive meeting this afternoon looking at how we deal

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with difficulties around interface in arrears and other hard to reach

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areas, looking at constructive ways around engagement. That is what I

:16:15.:16:19.

think government should be doing. You are saying you are

:16:19.:16:22.

uncomfortable about it, the First Minister was at the meeting, it

:16:22.:16:26.

took place at Stormont Castle, which is the heart of Northern

:16:26.:16:30.

Ireland government. I took part in other things which are my

:16:30.:16:37.

responsibility to look at community safety issues last week to see how

:16:37.:16:41.

we address those community safety issues. Partially by physical

:16:41.:16:48.

structures but very much by committee action. The Minister of

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Justice has responsibility to support the justice agencies,

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particularly the police and see... Other people have got to take on

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their responsibilities because a large amount of the committee

:17:02.:17:09.

Richens issue is down to the First Minister. We do not have the IMC to

:17:09.:17:15.

monitor ceasefires. What is the status of the ceasefire? You heard

:17:15.:17:20.

what Allister thinly said. The firm belief that it was the East Belfast

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UDF started that off and the message has got to be clear. The

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message has got to be clear, the UVF claimed they were disbanding,

:17:30.:17:34.

the UVF has got to go away. There is role for individuals in

:17:34.:17:38.

community life, if they want to take part in a democratic process.

:17:38.:17:44.

There is no role for opposition's lack the UVF. At that you for

:17:44.:17:48.

coming to join us. What has it been like on the frontline of the

:17:48.:17:58.
:17:58.:18:01.

trouble? Mandy Macaulay has been talking to... She has been hearing

:18:01.:18:11.
:18:11.:18:25.

the human cost from people on both For years, residents on but the

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size of the East Belfast interface have lived with the threat of

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violence but days ago one woman, a Catholic resident of the Short

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Strand, too frightened to be identified, looked out of her

:18:35.:18:40.

window and was frozen with fear, horrified by what she saw. I looked

:18:40.:18:48.

out of the window and got Taoiseach of my life. What did you see?

:18:48.:18:54.

hundreds of men, Crone, older men, with balaclavas on, black

:18:54.:19:04.
:19:04.:19:04.

balaclavas, and black coats, and wearing surgical gloves. I actually

:19:04.:19:12.

crawled down the stairs to get to the phone to phone the police. I

:19:12.:19:17.

thought I was going to be killed. I thought I was going to be killed

:19:17.:19:27.
:19:27.:19:33.

for. And then, minutes later, I was Justin at a panic. It was just

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horrendous. -- just in utter panic. She was not the only one who was

:19:42.:19:47.

terrified. Earlier, this woman's children were playing outside the

:19:47.:19:53.

House when missiles started exploding around them. I'd just

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grab them up. I did not realise what was going on. They saw me

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panicking and then they were squealing. The older two were very

:20:02.:20:08.

nervous. They have not been out because they are afraid. Across the

:20:08.:20:12.

peace line, Protestant residents say last week's violence was a

:20:12.:20:16.

response to months of attacks on the committee by young nationalists,

:20:16.:20:20.

a tax which they claim have been ignored by police. One woman says

:20:20.:20:24.

her son who is in a wheelchair and a disabled friend were attacked on

:20:24.:20:31.

the other side of the divide on the Sunday before trouble broke out.

:20:31.:20:36.

There is not a week goes by, there are threats, there are metal bars,

:20:36.:20:40.

there are broken bottles, he has never been able to use his garden,

:20:40.:20:45.

and on Sunday there was the final straw. Him and his friend, he's in

:20:45.:20:49.

a wheelchair, his friend came up for a nice weekend in Belfast, and

:20:49.:20:54.

was walking to try to get into their home and they were hit with

:20:54.:20:58.

bricks. There is not a week has gone by when we have not phone the

:20:59.:21:03.

police and they are not taking any heed. But there are those who are

:21:03.:21:07.

convinced that the UVF has taken advantage of this discontent to

:21:07.:21:11.

stir up trouble for its own against. One of those believes it is his

:21:11.:21:15.

Christian duty to speak out about the orchestration of last week's

:21:15.:21:18.

violence who is a Church of Ireland minister who has worked in East

:21:18.:21:23.

Belfast for more than a decade. They did not physically track

:21:23.:21:27.

hundreds of men and women and young people onto the streets, but they

:21:27.:21:33.

created an environment that they knew, and everybody else knew,

:21:33.:21:39.

would result in hundreds of people going on to the streets. On the

:21:39.:21:47.

back of that, they attempted to be seen as part of the answer, a big

:21:47.:21:54.

part of the answer to the problem. And solving the problem. He is not

:21:54.:21:59.

alone in that belief. In the loyalist heartland, the UVF has a

:21:59.:22:05.

strong presence. Pastor Jack McKee is based there. He says it is now

:22:05.:22:09.

in the financial and political interests of some paramilitaries to

:22:09.:22:14.

open at sectarian divisions. There are people who were content to

:22:14.:22:22.

stare at tensions so that they will commend as the cavalry in order to

:22:22.:22:27.

bring a solution to the issue and be seen as the good guys. My

:22:27.:22:31.

interpretation of what happened in East Belfast were that there were

:22:31.:22:37.

those who were hell-bent on putting on a show. The presence of

:22:37.:22:41.

organised groups of adults working together in a disciplined fashion

:22:41.:22:46.

shows how orchestrated the arts -- orchestrated the violence was. You

:22:46.:22:52.

are saying on some level paramilitaries brought hundreds of

:22:52.:22:55.

young men on to the streets to terrorise people so that they could

:22:55.:23:00.

then be seen to be solving the problem? The paramilitaries

:23:00.:23:06.

certainly had a hand in creating the problem and encouraging the

:23:06.:23:12.

situation. Three days later, discussions have taken place, talks

:23:12.:23:16.

have happened, and the streets are clear tonight. There is nobody out

:23:16.:23:20.

on the streets of east Belfast this evening. Why couldn't those talks

:23:20.:23:28.

have happened a week ago? Or a fortnight ago? In order to prevent

:23:28.:23:35.

the situation. And yet loyalist community workers would say, we

:23:35.:23:38.

have been in meeting after meeting in recent days to try and solve

:23:38.:23:43.

this problem. I would have a question for them and it would go

:23:43.:23:46.

something like this, why didn't you attempt to solve this problem

:23:46.:23:52.

before it happened? He is not saying they were not genuine

:23:52.:23:56.

grievances but rather that there was a deliberate decision by

:23:56.:24:02.

paramilitaries to escalate the situation. A young man we were

:24:02.:24:06.

encouraging to come away from the riots, not to stay there any longer,

:24:06.:24:15.

and he whispered to myself and to another person, "I can't go here. I

:24:15.:24:19.

have got to stay. I will be in trouble, I can't leave, I have got

:24:19.:24:28.

to stay". Obviously, he was afraid. He was afraid to leave and felt he

:24:28.:24:33.

had to stay there. This Presbyterian minister was also on

:24:33.:24:37.

the streets on Tuesday night when adult men were replaced by

:24:37.:24:42.

teenagers on the front line. These are young people living in inner

:24:42.:24:46.

East Belfast who rightly or wrongly believe they are defending their

:24:46.:24:50.

location. They are young people who have become engaged in all the

:24:50.:24:53.

activities of these last couple of nights, brick throwing and chanting

:24:53.:24:58.

and all manner of things. Young people like to be in at the heart

:24:58.:25:01.

of everything. They like to say they have been there and some of

:25:01.:25:06.

them will have been bruised, battered or even shop are wearing

:25:06.:25:11.

those badges as on it. I have been on the front line, I have been

:25:11.:25:16.

engaged, without thinking what they have been doing. One reason why the

:25:16.:25:20.

UVF may have decided to escalate the violence is money. Some

:25:20.:25:24.

committee workers have told us that what they believe they UVF wants is

:25:24.:25:28.

a greater share of government funding, in particular, another �4

:25:28.:25:33.

million contested space programme. Part of this money remains to be

:25:33.:25:36.

distributed by the Office of the Deputy First Ministers and other

:25:36.:25:41.

bodies. Spotlight has been told that in last week's meeting between

:25:41.:25:45.

loyalists and Peter Robinson, money was not discussed, but elements of

:25:45.:25:49.

the voluntary sector remain deeply worried. Those we have spoken to

:25:49.:25:52.

fear that some of the money earmarked for the loyalist

:25:52.:25:56.

communities will end up in the hands of paramilitaries already

:25:56.:26:01.

trying to muscle in on government funding and jobs. They say that

:26:01.:26:04.

across Northern Ireland, paramilitaries are attempting to

:26:04.:26:07.

seize control of The areas in order to squeeze up community

:26:07.:26:11.

organisations who have been at the coalface of some of the most

:26:11.:26:16.

deprived loyalist areas for decades. Some have been intimidated. They

:26:16.:26:19.

say it would put themselves and their colleagues in danger if they

:26:19.:26:26.

appeared on camera. Solving the problem, they are putting

:26:26.:26:30.

themselves as the ones who are worthy of public funding and public

:26:30.:26:34.

support. Public funding is just trying up at the moment and public

:26:34.:26:41.

funding, which plots of organisations, not necessarily

:26:42.:26:48.

connected to any church, very good organisations, are being run by

:26:48.:26:55.

ordinary working-class women and men in East Belfast, will not have

:26:55.:27:05.
:27:05.:27:07.

access to is that world has access In March the Executive set out

:27:07.:27:15.

plans to tackle poverty with funding of �80 million. They are

:27:15.:27:22.

looking for what they feel are their just rewards and a slice of

:27:22.:27:31.

whatever funding is available from government. There is �80 million

:27:31.:27:37.

that should be divided between Unionist and nationalist

:27:37.:27:42.

communities. There are those who want to make sure they get their

:27:42.:27:49.

share of that particular pie. man believes that decisions being

:27:49.:27:59.
:27:59.:28:06.

made by government should be about protecting the peace process.

:28:06.:28:11.

should want the peace process to work, at any price. And what is

:28:11.:28:21.
:28:21.:28:22.

that price? If we can buy off pad - - paramilitaries. If that can be

:28:22.:28:29.

done, then the groups can be drawn into the centre. Whatever it costs

:28:29.:28:34.

to keep them there, is what it will cost. The reality is it is not

:28:34.:28:43.

working. Within local communities, paramilitaries still control those

:28:43.:28:47.

communities. Back in East Belfast, those on the peace line are still

:28:47.:28:55.

coming to terms with the events of last week. We have this trouble

:28:55.:29:00.

every couple of months. Those men who came out the other night, they

:29:00.:29:06.

protected the ones in the area, children are getting involved now.

:29:06.:29:13.

The we are just surviving at the moment. We are not living, we are

:29:13.:29:20.

existing. -- we are just surviving at the moment. We just sit there.

:29:20.:29:26.

You cannot relax. You cannot even read the paper because you have no

:29:26.:29:33.

concentration. We have no life at the minute, no life what the

:29:33.:29:43.
:29:43.:29:48.

weather. Joining me now in the studio Sammy Douglas, Mr Kelly and

:29:48.:29:58.
:29:58.:29:59.

Drove run Gibson and restaurant McCrea. -- Reverend Gibson and

:29:59.:30:09.
:30:09.:30:09.

reverent McCrea. Deer it except the claim in that film that the

:30:09.:30:14.

violence was switched on by the UVF in Belfast on Monday? I do not.

:30:14.:30:19.

There has been a build up over many months of this more attacks. They

:30:19.:30:28.

have been managed for years. Someone took their eye off the ball

:30:28.:30:38.

and nothing justified what happened on Monday. So at 100 men -- so, 100

:30:38.:30:48.
:30:48.:30:57.

men wearing masks and rioting. Sadly, everyone took their eye off

:30:57.:31:05.

the ball. Is there a much simpler explanation than the one you put

:31:05.:31:11.

forward? Obviously there was a leader. It did not happen in a

:31:11.:31:17.

vacuum. It is clear that the UVF and the paramilitaries were in the

:31:17.:31:23.

middle of the rioting that was taking place. Young people were

:31:23.:31:29.

afraid to come away from the riots. Some did, but others were afraid to

:31:29.:31:34.

be removed by youth workers who went down to try and encourage

:31:34.:31:39.

children away from the scene. you are clear that the tap was

:31:39.:31:44.

turned on and then off, in both cases by UVF leaders in East

:31:44.:31:54.
:31:54.:31:55.

Belfast? I am clear about ordinary people in East Belfast who are

:31:55.:32:00.

hesitant to speak out against the paramilitary world. The taxi man

:32:00.:32:10.

who drove me here this evening asked what might take on it was? He

:32:10.:32:14.

said that he would not want those people coming to his door. Earlier

:32:14.:32:19.

this evening, a man who works and the communities said to me, David,

:32:19.:32:24.

watch yourself. They will not like what you are saying. So what do you

:32:24.:32:29.

say to Mervyn Gibson about his understanding of the situation? Do

:32:29.:32:37.

you think he is ignoring the elephant in the brain? Do you think

:32:37.:32:42.

the paramilitaries want to move into areas like East Belfast to

:32:42.:32:47.

access of funding? Do you say he is not accepting it, or he is not

:32:47.:32:56.

aware of it? I am not disagreeing with Mervyn that there was not a

:32:56.:33:06.
:33:06.:33:10.

build up to miss -- this. What I am saying is East Belfast has a strong

:33:10.:33:14.

paramilitary Belfast. The majority of people, certainly in East

:33:15.:33:19.

Belfast and the people I connect with on a day-to-day basis do not

:33:19.:33:29.
:33:29.:33:30.

want to be hold their community in fear. Who has the power to take

:33:30.:33:36.

kids out on the streets like that for their own ends? I was at a

:33:36.:33:42.

community meeting and it was said that it is all about funding.

:33:42.:33:47.

you saying you don't hear that at all? I am not. I do hear people say

:33:47.:33:53.

that. All I can do is talk to the local people and see what they

:33:53.:34:03.
:34:03.:34:04.

believe. It depends on who you listen to. Paramilitaries are part

:34:04.:34:11.

of our communities. Same with Republican key amenities. Does that

:34:11.:34:16.

mean assisting them to access public funds to become community

:34:16.:34:22.

workers, what does it mean standing up and saying, go away. You're part

:34:22.:34:32.

of the problem and not the solution. I don't see it as them and us.

:34:32.:34:42.
:34:42.:34:44.

Paramilitaries are part of the community. Well, paramilitary

:34:44.:34:54.
:34:54.:35:02.

backgrounds are different from paramilitary presence. If I saw

:35:02.:35:06.

anyone trying to muscle in, I would be the first one to cry out against

:35:06.:35:12.

it. There is a new ones between the ministers regarding their take on

:35:12.:35:16.

what is happening. Is there anything positive about what is

:35:16.:35:26.

going on in East Belfast? Then need to go away and they need the help.

:35:26.:35:33.

I was at the meeting at Stormont Castle. The paramilitaries said

:35:33.:35:42.

they were under pressure from local communities, and the PSNI will tell

:35:42.:35:52.
:35:52.:35:52.

you there have been attacks on both communities. There has been a

:35:52.:35:57.

build-up to this over the past few months. But at those meetings it

:35:57.:36:03.

was clear as a bell. They said, it is not about money. They said it

:36:03.:36:10.

was about safety. What were they promise that the meeting to turn

:36:10.:36:18.

the violence off? We said we would speak to the police and other

:36:18.:36:22.

agencies to ensure that people's houses would be fixed up. The PSNI

:36:22.:36:27.

would have a presence on the ground and we would work together to

:36:27.:36:30.

ensure that violence didn't happen. They is an irony in that. Those

:36:30.:36:37.

people who wanted safety and were promised safety at that meeting

:36:37.:36:41.

were responsible, at least in a fairly significant way, for the

:36:41.:36:46.

violence that happened on Monday and Tuesday night. Their people's

:36:46.:36:51.

on the ground were throwing fireworks, petrol bombs and firing

:36:51.:37:01.
:37:01.:37:05.

guns. The UVF were involved. Houses on both sides were attacked and

:37:05.:37:12.

there was violence from both sides. The balance out of control. As

:37:12.:37:21.

Shaun Murray said, none of us envisaged what happened. It took us

:37:21.:37:26.

all by shock, to be honest. heard from Shaun Murray in that

:37:26.:37:32.

film saying that republicans were quick to bring guns out as well. He

:37:32.:37:36.

spoke about a vacuum. If the situation goes unchecked there will

:37:37.:37:43.

be a vacuum and the danger is it will be filled by dissident

:37:43.:37:52.

republicans. How concerned a you about that? On the one hand they

:37:52.:38:02.
:38:02.:38:07.

are saying the reasons behind this riot is money. There have been

:38:07.:38:12.

attacks on both sides leading up to with though. There has been a

:38:12.:38:22.
:38:22.:38:34.

change in East Belfast. The palate news 3 -- the pan and -- the

:38:34.:38:38.

paramilitary murals were taken away and the UVF have started putting

:38:38.:38:48.
:38:48.:38:59.

them back up again. They have had an influence, particularly in the

:38:59.:39:07.

marching season. Do you think it is about a group of paramilitary

:39:07.:39:17.
:39:17.:39:19.

leaders wanting at cut off the money -- a cut of the money? I'd do

:39:19.:39:29.

not think they should get any money. -- I do not think they should get

:39:29.:39:39.
:39:39.:39:42.

any money. I it would be very worried, and let me make this clear,

:39:43.:39:50.

at the worst possible times I have argued there should be talks with

:39:50.:39:57.

people, but it the talk instalment is to give money to UVF, it is not

:39:58.:40:04.

the way to go. Are you concerned that too many people are too quick

:40:04.:40:12.

to understand and be empathetic with the people who rioted last

:40:12.:40:22.

week? I want the paramilitary world to move away from their past.

:40:22.:40:32.
:40:32.:40:36.

say they won that as well. -- they want that as well. Well, they will

:40:36.:40:40.

not move away from their past if they hold their communities in fear.

:40:40.:40:47.

It will not win the admiration and respect of the local community.

:40:48.:40:55.

They put up flags, murals. Do you think paramilitary leaders are

:40:55.:41:05.

Bernie Friday voices -- bona fide voices for the communities they

:41:05.:41:09.

claim to represent? Not if they hold their communities in fear. If

:41:09.:41:16.

they are going to be community workers, do exactly that. Stop

:41:16.:41:22.

holding people in fear. You cannot have both. You cannot be a

:41:22.:41:30.

paramilitary and a community representative. People need to

:41:30.:41:40.
:41:40.:41:41.

Spotlight reports on the violence which engulfed an East Belfast interface - the worst rioting there in many years - and investigates why it happened.


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