The Woodvale area of north Belfast has erupted in violence again. The scary part – as if the car bombs and violence that has wracked Belfast and NI in general isn’t frightening enough on its own – is that this is violence among loyalist paramilitaries (“protestants” though this is not at all about religion, and hasn’t been for a very long time) over neighborhood territory. Following in the wake of the IRA making real steps to disarm, and the British Army making a plan to withdraw it’s troops and watchtowers this really bolsters the conclusion that the so-called political clubs are just gangs. They certainly are behaving this way, and MP Ian Paisley had the political guts to say so:
“Those involved need to realise that it is their own community that they are harming by their actions,” Mr Paisley said.
“They are doing damage to properties and disrupting the lives of people within their own area. I would call upon those involved to step back and ensure that there are no repeats.”
The whole Ireland Online article is here.
I’ve seen so much good in the people of Belfast, and they truly are in need of hope, a revival of faith that doesn’t involve political associations but transforms hearts, and real – lasting – peace. Pray.
Update: Some more information available here.