On Thursday 12th July, the Ardoyne community in north Belfast was subject to much familiarity, frustrating and encouraging in equal measure. Once again, frustratingly, sectarian Orange marches, facilitated by a PSNI siege, were forced through it despite the objections of over 99 percent of its residents. Encouragingly, however, the residents, under the banner of the Greater Ardoyne Residents Collective (GARC), organised a dignified, peaceful and collective response to this state sponsored sectarianism.
Whilst a full report of the GARC response can – and should – be read here, it will suffice to note that a planned, notified and disciplined residents’ march, through their own area, was obstructed, diverted and ultimately attacked by strangers to it.
In the aftermath, the PSNI launched a series of vindictive raids in which a number of homes were ruined and families separated. Ironically, in at least one such raid, Alan Lundy, a leading member of GARC and a calming presence as a steward on the aforementioned march, was arrested and later remanded on a number of spurious charges.
What follows is a statement from Alan’s family:
Lundy Family Statement
Today our father, son and brother Alan Lundy was unjustly remanded in custody on two dubious charges of riotous assembly. The first of these charges relates to an incident that occurred seven years ago in 2005, and with the length of time between this incident and Alan being charged means we are very sceptical about the strength of the case against him. The second charge relates to Alan allegedly throwing a missile while stewarding a Residents’ parade against unwanted sectarian marches through his home district of Ardoyne on 12th July 2012. This second charge is even more dubious, based on just one PSNI officer’s testimony, an officer who was tasked with videoing events on the day, but somehow failed to film this incident. That is because it is our view, and the view of the 2000 people that were present, that no such missile throwing took place. At that parade, along with all the other stewards and GARC representatives, Alan was responsible for calming the situation and ensuring the safety of his people as they came under attack from a Loyalist mob while the PSNI looked on.
It is our family’s belief that Alan is simply a victim of Political Policing. Alan is an unrepentant Republican, and does not hide his perfectly legitimate beliefs from anyone. He is involved in numerous Republican projects such as commemorations and Prisoner Welfare, and also takes part in community initiatives including anti-drug projects and opposing sectarian parades. The two charges that Alan is facing have been brought in order to remove him from the streets, no other reason. Not because he has committed any offence, but purely to imprison him in a foolish attempt to break his belief in the Republican struggle. This is but a further example of the harassment that Alan has faced from the PSNI, the RUC before them and the British Army since his teens. He has been the subject of numerous Stop and Searches under draconian legislation over the years, and has had his home raided on a number of occasions. However all of this only served to strengthen his resolve and determination to achieve positive change in our country, and the response of the State has been to intern him by remand to try and end the valuable work he does in our community.
Unfortunately this is not the first time our family has suffered from Political Policing, Alan’s father, also named Alan, was a Republican Activist, Sinn Fein member and ex POW. In 1993 he was murdered after working in the home of his friend, Sinn Fein’s Alex Maskey. An RUC jeep had been present in the street for most of the day, and shortly after leaving, a UFF death squad (including state agents) opened fire on the Maskey home, killing our husband, father and grandfather in a clear case of State sponsored murder and Collusion. Now almost twenty years on, Britain is trying to criminalise Alan Jr and remove him from his family, including his three children. The “new dispensation” that politicians keep speaking of with regards to policing in the Six Counties is a falsehood, certainly in terms of their dealings with our family. We see absolutely no difference between the RUC that helped to facilitate the murder of our husband, father and grandfather, and the PSNI who harass our family on an almost daily basis and have imprisoned Alan Jr.
We demand an end to the harassment of Alan, his immediate release from custody and the dropping of these nonsensical charges against him. We want him back with his loving family and his Ardoyne community, where he deserves to be.
FREE ALAN LUNDY NOW!
Commenting on the arrest and remand of Alan Lundy, éirígí representative John McCusker condemned the vindictive nature of the entire operation.
“In the face of yet another sectarian marching season, where overtly provocative processions pass through Ardoyne, not through mutual consent but rather through the draconian might of British state forces, the residents of Ardoyne organised a dignified opposition.
“When the call went out for solidarity and practical support to be shown for an entirely peaceful march, it went out from people like Alan Lundy. I was one of many éirígí activists to answer that call. When I arrived in Ardoyne I joined a march, which flooded the streets with Ardoyne residents. It was marshalled by people like Alan Lundy. When that march was obstructed, diverted and ultimately attacked, it was protected by people like Alan Lundy.
“Frustrated by a disciplined community response, various agencies of the British state – the PSNI, the courts and the prison system – went after Alan Lundy. How long before they go after more people like him?”
McCusker concluded, “I would encourage people to support the family and friends of Alan Lundy in demanding his immediate release from prison and an end to attacks on his community.”
“If you strike at, imprison, or kill us, out of our prisons or graves we will still evoke a spirit that will thwart you, and perhaps, raise a force that will destroy you! We defy you! Do your worst!”
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