INLA on Loyalist Attacks

Danielle Ni Dhighe nidhighe at irsm.org
Wed Aug 21 21:55:47 MDT 2002


Derry Journal
20 August 2002

"We Will Use Any Means Necessary" - INLA on Loyalist Attacks

The INLA in Derry has warned that it will use "any means necessary"
to defend the city's "working class Catholics" from sectarian attack.

The warning, issued after a string of loyalist attacks on Catholics
over the past fortnight, was delivered by the IRSP at the annual Ard
Comhairle Hunger Strike Commemoration in Derry on Sunday.

Speaking at the event, John Murtagh, IRSP Ard Comhairle said: "The
INLA have assured us that they will use any means necessary to defend
working class homes from attack and we support them in that stance.

"Our comrades and members live in these so called interface areas and
are active on the ground in defending working class homes from
sectarian attack.

"Our fight, our struggle, our battlefield is here in Ireland. Our
comrades, our members, our fighters are every day involved in the
struggles of the Irish working class. They are there in defence of
the nationalist working class areas."

Despite the warning however, the group said that they remain
committed to encouraging dialogue between communities living along
interfaces in both the Cityside and the Waterside.

"We are neither war mongers nor sectarian bigots. We do not want to
see working class communities attacking neighbouring working class
areas," Mr. Murtagh said.

"This may suit some people but as Republican Socialists we take no
pleasure in watching working class communities at each other's
throats while the middle classes tut tut in the plush homes along the
Culmore Road at the antics of the lower classes."

The IRSP have now proposed that a non-aggression pact be adopted to
encourage dialogue between areas such as the Fountain and the Bogside.

"We appeal to community workers, activists, and trade unionists
particularly within Unionist areas, but also within nationalist
areas, to shake off the grip of those manipulators who would deny you
the right to control your own lives.

"It is about neighbours reaching agreement between themselves without
the fear of manipulation by armed groups. It is the beginning of
working class communities taking control of their lives and the
ending of their manipulation by thugs, bullyboys and political
opportunists."

The IRSP has said that the Good Friday Agreement had brought nothing
but further sectarian hatred and called on Sinn Fein to pull the plug
on Stormont by walking out.

Mr. Murtagh however stressed that the group believed an armed
struggle was no longer viable.

"Over the past six years the IRSP and INLA have been re-evaluating,
re-examining and renewing, in the light of current realities, our
policies and principles.

"Other republicans believe that the continuation of armed struggle
will bring about a Republic; that by clinging to absolutes they can
by the purity of their principles convince 'the people' to back them.
We think they should reconsider and reflect on the dividends of the
30 years of armed struggle.

"The Celtic Tiger is fading and we will soon be back to unemployment,
poverty, poor housing, and a cap in hand attitude to the imperialist
power of the USA."


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