Loyalists [Unionists/Protestants] take the knee poster “incitement to hatred”

Posted By: June 17, 2020

 This is the extreme right-wing, fascist, racist/sectarian and anti-Catholic pathology that England ‘ carefully fostered’ in Ireland for centuries, and upon which England created Northern Ireland by its 1920 Government of Ireland Act. Collusion. Collusion. Collusion.”—Fr. Sean McManus


Loyalists’ take the knee poster ‘incitement to hatred’
By Michael McGlade. Ulster Herald. Monday, June 15, 2020



LOYALISTS in Dungannon have reacted to the global anti-racism movement triggered by the killing of George Floyd in the US, by erecting a number of posters, one of which defends their right ‘to protect their own community’.

In a clear response to the symbolic ‘take the knee’ gesture a prominent feature of demonstrations around the world, one of the posters in the Moygashel area depicts a soldier kneeling down and taking aim with a rifle. The image is accompanied with the words: ‘How real men take a knee’ and ‘British and proud’.

A second poster with a map of Ulster bedecked with orange lilies declares: ‘It is not racist to protect your own community’.

The posters – images of which have been shared on the social media page ‘Loyalist Moygashel/Dungannon’ – come after a number of racist attacks on homes in the Moygashel area over recent years, as well as threatening graffiti. In December last year, a young couple with a baby and a toddler, were forced to flee from their home in the Jacksonville  Road area of Moygashel after a terrifying racially-motivated arson attack destroyed a shed and an oil tank.

Bernadette [Devlin]-McAliskey who heads up the STEP organization in Dungannon, which offers help and support to the large ethnic minority communities across south Tyrone, described these signs as an incitement to hatred.

“The latest racist posters to pollute the village of Moygashel must be removed. I believe that people in this village are decent people being silenced by fear,” she said.

“This ‘take the knee’ poster is an incitement to violence; to hatred and therefore unlawful. The PSNI and council must ensure its immediate removal and the perpetrators need to be identified and prosecuted for incitement to hatred with the urgency and speed demonstrated in fining and charging those peacefully and safely protesting against racism last weekend.”

 Mrs McAliskey said her organization wanted to help those residents in Moygashel opposed to the posters. “We would urge those who object to this being done in their name to contact us by sending an email to info@stepni.org.”

Mid Ulster MLA Linda Dillon voiced her condemnation saying the displays were “extremely offensive”.

“At a time during the Covid-19 pandemic when all in our community are coming together to support each other you would have to wonder at the mindset of anyone who would erect racist and intimidating posters,” she said. “All who live in our towns and villages across Mid Ulster no matter what their race or creed are welcome, this type of hate filled anti-social behaviour is not.”

She added, “Look after each other and call out discrimination wherever you see it because if you don’t you’re part of the problem.”

In the week after the death of George Floyd, Mid Ulster District Council opened a Book of Condolences, while several local councilors joined dozens of people in a ‘take the knee’ demonstration in Dungannon.

 Earlier this year, it emerged that there is – on average – one racially-motivated hate crime reported to the PSNI in Mid Ulster every week. 

In January, a senior PSNI officer in Mid Ulster told the Tyrone Herald that hate crime was also a legacy of the Troubles, where some people “were reticent to let outsiders into their community”.