Friday, July 17, 2015

A PCG Writer Posts Mural of Northern Irish Terrorist Group

Found this on a social media account of one of PCG's junior writers who shall remain nameless in this post. This is what the PCG writer in question wrote when posting the photo below.
Traveling tip: Northern Irish don't accept euros only pounds. Even currency factors into being patriotic to Britain!

I find myself baffled as to why anyone uninvolved in that terrible and most painful conflict would ever want to put a photo like this on a social media account.

Perhaps the PCG writer did not think things through when posting this photo. Perhaps the PCG writer did not properly understand what may be seen here.

Let's use this posting by this PCG writer as an opportunity to educate ourselves about what lies behind this mural.

It is a mural promoting the "Ulster Defense Association" and its armed wing the "Ulster Freedom Fighters". It is a loyalist paramilitary organization that was founded in 1971 among the Protestants of Northern Ireland to fight the Catholics during the Troubles.

The US State Department regards it as a terrorist organization. On December 31, 2001 the US State Department listed this group as being subject to Executive Order 13224 thus "authorizing the U.S. government to designate and block the assets of foreign individuals and entities that commit, or pose a significant risk of committing, acts of terrorism." And that includes the group depicted in the mural above.

The mural contains the following paean glorifying them.
For as long as one hundred of us remain alive we shall never in anyway consent to submit to the Irish for it's not for glory, honour or riches we fight but for freedom alone which no man loses but with his life.
[Signed:] U.D.A./U.F.F.
And what did they do in their "fight ... for freedom"?

From Wikipedia:
According to the Sutton database of deaths at the University of Ulster's CAIN project the UDA/UFF was responsible for 259 killings during the Troubles. 208 of its victims were civilians (predominantly Catholics), 12 were civilian political activists (mainly members of Sinn Fein), 37 were other loyalist paramilitaries (including 30 of its own members), three were members of the security forces and 11 were republican paramilitaries.
From the BBC:
The UDA's stated aims were to protect unionist communities from attacks by republican paramilitaries but in reality it was little more than a criminal and sectarian gang. 
It killed hundreds of people during the Troubles in Northern Ireland. 
It often claimed responsibility for sectarian murders by using the cover name, the Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF).

Notorious UFF attacks included the shooting dead of five Catholics at a Belfast bookmakers shop in 1992 and the Greysteel massacre the following year, when gunmen entered a rural pub in County Londonderry and opened fire, leaving eight people dead.
No wonder the US State Department regards it as a terrorist organization and the US government has the authority to disrupt this group's finances.

From the US State Department:
The UDA/UFF has evolved into a criminal organization deeply involved in drug trafficking and other moneymaking criminal activities through six largely independent “brigades.” It has also been involved in murder, shootings, arson, and assaults. (Source, p. 37.)
Wikipedia has a Timeline of Ulster Defence Association actions. Here is the first of many killings listed in that article.
20 April [1972]: UDA members walked into a taxi depot on Clifton Street in Belfast and asked for a taxi to Ardoyne. From the location of the depot and the stated destination, they could be sure their driver was a Catholic. They forced him to stop in Harrybrook Street and shot him in the head.
And one of PCG's writers thought putting a photo of a mural that glorifies a group that did things like this was a good idea?

Let us use this as a lesson for ourselves in being careful to understand the implications of doing something that can seem of little consequence at the time but can be quite painful to others.

It is so good that violence has now stopped in Northern Ireland. May such frightful things never again blight Northern Ireland.

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