Posted By: March 31, 2016

Scottish loyalists to ‘man’ Twaddell camp

Connla Young. Irish News (Belfast). Thursdaym March 31, 2016

A SCOTTISH loyalist group is set to ‘man’ the Twaddell Avenue protest camp in north Belfast in a show of solidarity with protesters.

In a statement the Regimental Blues said it will “take over manning duties” at the loyalist camp off the Crumlin Road for a week from tomorrow to show protesters they “do not stand alone”.

The camp – which has cost millions of pounds to police – was set up in 2013 after the Parades Commission banned Orangemen from marching past nationalist homes in the Ardoyne area as they made their home from the main July 12 demonstration.

Since then loyalists have held almost daily protests in the area, which sits at an interface.

The development comes as loyalists plan to hold a parade in the area next week to mark 1,000 days of protest at the site.

Two bands and up to 500 people are expected to take part in the parade which will start at Carlisle Circus before making its way to Twaddell Avenue.

Bands have been ordered not to play music between Twaddell Avenue and Woodvale Drive and Twaddell Avenue and Crumlin Road.

On its website the Regimental Blues says it provides “street activists” who take part in efforts to “promote, impede, pressurize (sic), disrupt, destabilize (sic) or direct social, political or community change”.

“We use various forms of activism and use many different methods such as boycotts, rallies, street marches, static demonstrations, leafleting and much more,” the group says.

The group said it will man the camp, which will be open “24/7” for seven days, starting tomorrow.

Regimental Blues chairman Kris McGurk said: “There seems to be a standoff at the moment with no party willing to move, for me this has been a huge contributing reason for putting together this campaign. Loyalists in Belfast do not stand alone.”

The Scottish loyalist group came to prominence last year when it said it would actively oppose the flying of a tricolour at council buildings in the North Lanarkshire Council area to mark the Easter Rising centenary.