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30 March 2000 Edition

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RIR soldier involved with Nazis

BY DEIRDRE FEEHAN

An RIR soldier charged with membership of the sectarian LVF has connections with the British Nazi group Combat 18, according to the anti-Fascist magazine Searchlight.

William Ian Thompson, who was charged on Thursday 16 March with possession of an Uzi sub-machine-gun and explosive substances as well as membership of the LVF, was questioned about the 1999 killing of Rosemary Nelson.

Thompson's links to Combat 18, the right wing Nazi group, were revealed when a Belfast-based Sunday paper this week printed a photograph of Thompson giving a Nazi salute.

The photo, which first appeared in the London-based anti-fascist magazine Searchlight, shows the former British soldier with three other loyalists and three English neo-Nazis at the Combat 18 rally in Wigan in 1998. They are all giving the Nazi salute in front of a loyalist flag.

According to the paper, Thompson was one of a group of loyalists who travelled to Wigan in Lancashire for a White Power gathering organised by the racist gangs, who are known to have links with the LVF and other loyalist groups.

Thompson is a fan of hardcore right-wing punk music from racist bands such as Warhammer, No Remorse and Razor's Edge. The bands are notorious for White Power anthems such as ``The Niggers Come Over'' and ``Barbecue in Rostock'', which glorifies a fatal arson attack on a Turkish workers' hostel in Germany. The three Combat 18 support bands held a concert in memory of dead LVF leader Billy Wright in July 1998.

 


UDA orchestrating attacks


Sinn Fein Assembly member for North Belfast Gerry Kelly has called for action from political and community leaders in the Tigers Bay area of North Belfast following a number of sectarian attacks on Catholics at the weekend.

Kelly accused the UDA in the Tiger's Bay area of involvement in an orchestrated campaign against Catholic families living in new houses at North Queen Street in the New Lodge area.

``The UDA has for some months now been involved in an orchestrated campaign of attacks on Catholic homes in Graymount and now on North Queen Street,'' said Kelly. ``The latest attacks took place over the weekend when a number of windows were broken in the new homes on North Queen Street.

``There is a chronic shortage of housing in nationalist areas of North Belfast, yet the UDA seem intent on ensuring that nationalist areas do not expand any further in North Belfast. They are orchestrating a campaign of intimidation across the North of the city.

``Community leaders in the Tiger's Bay area must stand up and work to end the attacks coming from within their community.''

Speaking to An Phoblacht, Mary Blakely, who lives on North Queen Street, said that residents are worried that the loyalists may launch more serious attacks on their homes.

Blakely said neighbours fear that the loyalists are getting a free hand from the RUC and may attack their homes with petrol or pipe bombs. She accused the RUC of ``ignoring the loyalists'' who gather across from North Queen Street before they carry out their attacks. She revealed that on Monday night, 27 March, a group of loyalist chased a Catholic coming from work along Brougham Street.

A neighbour called the RUC, who took more than ten minutes to come to the scene from their barracks, which is 500 yards away at the other end of North Queen Street.

The woman said that the attackers are ``grown men, not young people'', lending weight to the fear that the attacks are planned rather than spur of the moment ventures. x

 


Known loyalist terrorises school children



BY DEIRDRE FEEHAN

A well known South Belfast loyalist attacked a 14-year-old schoolboy while he waited for a bus in the Ballynafeigh area on Friday 24 March.

The loyalist, who is in his mid-20s, verbally abused two young girls wearing the uniform of St Joseph's before he attacked the young boy. The boy ran into a shop and although the loyalist followed him, the owner ensured that he could not attack the child further.

The young boy received cuts above the eye which required stitches. The RUC arrested the man but no charges have been brought against him.

South Belfast Sinn Féin Councillor Sean Hayes said: ``Community and political leaders in the Ballynafeigh area have a responsibility to act to ensure that this attack is the last.''

 


Youth escapes serious injury in knife attack



A 16-year-old youth who was stabbed in a sectarian attack in the car park of a Catholic Chapel in North Belfast was lucky to escape serious injury.

The teenager was attacked by three youths wielding a knife and bottles in the grounds of St Gerard's chapel on the Antrim Road. He was first struck on the head with a bottle and as he raised his hands to defend himself he was then slashed on the arm and hand with the knife.

The youth club worker was attending a weekly meeting at the chapel when the assault occurred. He was rushed to the Matter Hospital where his condition was described as ``very stable''.

Residents' spokesperson Paul McKernon, from the nearby Whitewell area, told An Phoblacht that this was not the first incident of this nature: ``Three months ago a similar incident took place when people coming out of mass were attacked by stone throwing loyalists. Two people were injured.''
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An Phoblacht
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