Over the past number of weeks nationalist communities across the north have faced a barrage of sectarian hatred. Orange arches have been erected in many places they never were before, huge bonfires close to homes donning flags, effigies and other symbols of Irish national and religious culture, loyalist paramilitary flags erected en masse and huge parades taking place, many going through nationalist areas, with British police barricading residents in their own streets, the perfect example being Short Strand in East Belfast were a 500 metre
steel wall was erected around the area.
It’s worth noting the language currently being used by the PSNI when distinguishing between both communities, being more favourable towards the loyalist community. Also their and the British justice system’s recent handling of a case involving north Belfast UVF leader Winkie Irvine. A few weeks back he was filmed by the PSNI receiving a bag containing guns and ammunition and then arrested in possession of that bag. What raises questions is that he was released on bail with little to no conditions and received a good character reference from a British MP and a former policing board chairman. This is a stark contrast to the treatment of Republicans who are regularly arrested on the flimsiest of charges and held in remand for long periods of time, sometimes years, and if in the slim chance they get bail there is a long list of draconian conditions imposed.
That being said, the orange marching season is still ongoing and loyalists are still intent on raising tensions. Recent speeches made at rallies by UVF and UDA mouthpieces, along with unionist politicians, shows the path loyalism is on and anyone with an ounce of sense can see the tensions and reaction these events are designed to draw out.
Sinn fein and the other British political parties at Stormont, would have us believe that politics in occupied Ireland is somehow different today but the recent actions of loyalists, the British government and British crown forces tells us that politics here is actually regressing. With sectarianism rife and at a level not seen in many years the charade of Britain’s normalisation policy is becoming more apparent as the mask slips further. It remains the view of the 32 County Sovereignty Movement that the pacification and rollout of this sectarian culture must cease and that can only happen with the ending of partition and British rule in Ireland, thus restoring the sovereignty of the Irish people in all 32 Counties.