From: "Stasi" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
Subject: [Peoples War] Saoirse: Defence of nationalist north Belfast
SAOIRSE (Republican Sinn Fein)
Defence of nationalist north Belfast continues
Wednesday, January 9, 2002 (continued)
As the battle between the nationalist street fighters and the combined
forces of occupation and loyalism went on fighting took place at very close
quarters, against armoured RUC Land Rovers and Brit armoured cars.
The nationalist street fighters by now had forced the occupation forces out
of the area and back to the Crumlin Road. Fighters had also taken to the
roofs of the Ardoyne shops, attacking occupation forces and causing a number
of injuries to the RUC who had to be pulled out of the danger zone.
A number of Land Rovers were hit by petrol bombs and were forced to pull
Hundreds of street fighters were now on the streets. A number of cars and
vans were burning across the top of Brompton Park and across Crumlin Road.
A Republican Sinn Féin member was badly injured after being shot in the
stomach by a plastic bullet fired by the RUC.
ON Wednesday, January 9 the nationalist people of north Belfast in Ardoyne
were under an unprecedented attack from Brit/RUC occupation forces. RSF
members were on the streets of Ardoyne standing side by side and shoulder to
shoulder with our people in defence of the nationalist people and community.
At around 11pm the hated loyalist paramilitary RUC forced their way into the
top of Brompton Park and down Balhome Drive in armoured Land Rovers.
The defending nationalist street fighters stood their ground. One very brave
action was carried out by a youth who, using a can of petrol, poured petrol
over one RUC Land Rover which was set on fire by another youth with a petrol
Petrol bombs rained against the armoured Land Rovers which were moving at
60mph, mounting the footpaths as they tried to knock people down.
Three Land Rovers were now on fire. The one hit a burning barricade and
jamming itself at Brompton Park.
The Land Rover was surrounded by around 500 or more nationalist street
fighters trying to make escape impossible. Again more Land Rovers flooded
into Brompton Park and Balhome Drive. Fighting was very heavy.
It was at this stage that a member of north Belfast Republican Sinn Féin was
shot in the stomach by an RUC plastic bullet. The bullet struck the RSF man
inches below the heart. Knowing what these weapons can do, it doesn't take
much thought on it to know how close to death the RSF man had come.
The RSF man was taken out of the area and received first aid locally, but
outside the danger zone.
The RUC were at the Mater Hospital on the Crumlin Road arresting injured
nationalists. It is for this reason, the fear of arrest, that there can
never be a true list of wounded or injured. The fact is, many, many people,
men, women and children were injured in this combined Brit/RUC/loyalist
assault against the nationalist community.
The fighting went on into the early hours of the morning, subsiding around
Thursday, January 10, 2002. Holy Cross School stayed closed because of the
fear of attack on the primary school children.
Tension was at an all time high in north Belfast. People were very unsure of
what the day may bring to the streets of north Belfast.
It wasn't long before the loyalists would let the nationalist community
Just before 11am at Our Lady of Mercy school, which is about a mile away
from Holy Cross primary in the loyalist Ballysillan, petrified school
children were witness to two cars full of loyalists coming into their school
grounds and wreck up to 18 cars belonging to teachers as two gun men, one
with a rifle, the other with a hand gun, gave cover.
As news of the attack got to the parents of the children, of whom the writer
of this report is one, we made our way to the school. Our only concern was
for our children. We had been worried that Our Lady of Mercy School would be
a target. The school has been a constant target for loyalists.
When we got to the school and witnessed the damage caused by the loyalists
and then were told about the gunmen, our only thought was to get the
children and to take them home. As the children came out to us they were
very upset and just wanted to get home.
There was a terrible uncanny feeling. It was very much in our minds that we
were in the middle of Ballysillan, a loyalist area, two miles from
Only a short time before a number of loyalists were standing right where we
now were, at least two of them armed. The thought that these gunmen could
still be in the area was uppermost in many of the parents minds. The need
was to make sure all the children were safe and to get them all out of the
area. Many taxi drivers from nationalist areas helped to make sure of this.
The morning went on and tension stayed high.
About 2pm loyalists once again came out of Hesketh Road and made towards
Mercy Primary School on the Crumlin Road where parents were picking up their
children. A number of cars were surrounded by loyalists as the RUC stood by,
no surprise there.
Once again nationalists took to the streets and headed for the Crumlin Road.
By 2.30pm a few hundred nationalists were making their way up towards the
school with many, many more still heading to the area.
The loyalists moved back to Hesketh Road.
The parents and children of Mercy school were then able to get down the road
At this stage hundreds of loyalists came out of Twaddell Ave to attack
people at Ardoyne shops.
Here a running battle took place with sticks, bricks, bottles, stones and
anything else at hand.
As the nationalist street fighters got the better of the loyalist mobs the
RUC moved in again, driving up footpaths to try and knock nationalists down.
They then blocked off part of the Crumlin Road, facing the nationalists as
loyalist mobs carried on their attack from behind the RUC lines.
As fighting subsided here loyalists now attacked nationalist homes at
Ardoyne Road and Alliance Ave.
It was now 3.30pm and heavy fighting was going on between nationalist street
fighters and loyalist rioters. Nationalist fighters also attacked RUC and
Brit army lines.
When this happened, known Provisionals shouted at the nationalists not to
target the RUC or Brits, they were only to target the loyalists. Needless to
say, nationalists carried on their attack against the occupation forces.
At one stage when it looked like the loyalists were going to overrun a
number of nationalist homes in the Alliance Ave a nationalist gunman opened
fire. At least three shots were heard.
The loyalists ended their attack and fighting subsided once more with
tension so high that it was only a matter of time before trouble would break
Fighting broke out once more on the Crumlin Road as loyalist mobs in
Twaddell once more carried out attacks at the Ardoyne shops. Nationalists
now replied to these attacks.
At 6.15pm nationalists hijacked a bus on the Old Park Road and drove it to
the Crumlin Road. Another was taken at Brompton Park. The buses were to be
used by nationalists to block the occupations forces from breaking into the
top of nationalist Ardoyne. Before the buses could be put in place, Brit
Crown Forces moved in and took them back.
By nightfall up to 500 nationalist street fighters were now at Brompton
Park, Balhome Drive and Crumlin Road. A number of burning vans and cars were
used to block the Crumlin Road at Brompton Park and Estoral Park.
Loyalists were out at Twaddell Ave once more and for a time tried to attack
nationalists at the Ardoyne shops.
Petrol bomb factories were once again set up. The fighting was very heavy
and at close hand. The RUC fired plastic bullets. They claim to have fired
only eight but the number of nationalists injured by this weapon makes a lie
of these claims.
Brit minister for securing the occupation of the Six Counties, Jane Kennedy
found out for herself what the people of north Belfast feel about her forces
of occupation when nationalist street fighters took to the roofs of the
Ardoyne shops and ambushed the Land Rover she was in, setting it on fire,
forcing the Brit ministers Land Rover to retreat.
As the battle went on nationalists now used acid bombs, blast bombs and a
number of homemade hand grenades. A number of occupation forces were
At one stage the true blue loyalists of Twaddell and Woodvale Road attacked
Brit/RUC occupation forces, loyalism once again showing they aren't as loyal
to the Crown as they claim to be.
Around 8pm gunfire was heard in the area, around the top of Ardoyne,
believed to be from Brompton Park.
Nationalist homes were now under attack at Whitewell. Loyalists threw a
number of petrol bombs from the White City area over the so-called peace
line. Damage was done to a number of homes.
Nationalists now took to the streets and fighting took place, running
battles from street to street. The fighting went on to the early hours of
Friday morning subsiding as occupation forces flooded the area.
Tension was high in the area.
At Ardoyne the fighting also went on into the early hours of Friday morning.
When nationalist street fighters were no longer on the streets Brit/RUC
occupation forces moved into the Ardoyne in force.
Out of 11 people lifted on Thursday night, only one was a loyalist.
P.O. Box 66
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