Belfast I.R.S.P. condems the heavy-handed arrests by the PSNI/RUC of young people from the Short Strand area, the trumped-up charges and the ultr-severe bail conditions placed upon many of them, which have effectively exiled many from their homes. The PSNI/RUC very publicly accepted, on the basis of irrefutable evidence, that the Short Strand came under serious and orchestrated attack by hundreds of masked UVF members. The international media were at hand to record sustained attemps by droves of masked men, under the direction of a notorious UVF death-squad leader, to cause death and serious injury to Short Strand residents and to cause serious damage to property in Stort Strand, including, ST Mathews church.

It is widely accepted that without the assistance of young working-class people, who in many instances fought hand-to-hand with hundreds of UVF attackers, ST Mathews chaple would very probley have been seriously damaged and the community overrun.

Belfast I.R.S.P. calls on the Short Strand community to stand united with local party activists against the arbitrary raids and arrests of young people who defended the area from attack and to join peaceful, dignified protests when these draconian PSNI/RUC action are taking place. IRSP representives from the Short Strand have also cauntioned young people not to get sucked into unecessary interface confrontations , inspite of the habitual sectarian provocations, in the run up to the height of the Orange marching season.
Belfast I.R.S.P urges residents in Short Strand and all ‘interface’ areas to exercercise vigalance in the forthcoming weeks in light of recent well orchrestated sectarian attacks on nationalists working-class areas and the cranking up of sectarian tentions by the most reactionary elemants within loyalism.