11/01/2014 Leave a comment
Interesting reading this week from the Liverpool Echo newspaper when it ran several pages on plans to commemorate World War 1 in Liverpool from this year onwards. Most people focussed on the return of the giant puppets which proved such a success for the city the last time they were here. However, what caught my eye was the decision of Liverpool City Council (LCC) to work in partnership during the planned celebrations with a variety of community groups which included the Liverpool Kings Regiment Association (The Kingo’s) and Liverpool Pals Memorial Fund.
On the face of it It would seem reasonable for LCC to be working in partnership with an ex-servicemans group (Kingo’s) and a group set up to commemorate Liverpool soldiers of WW1 via a permanent artistic display (Liverpool Pals). However, my concern here is that individuals associated with both organisations have been involved in the systematic targetting of Irish community parades in Liverpool for the past two years and have been seen to be openly co-operating with both Loyalist and far right groups in the city.
This blog has documented the relationships between both loyalist and fascist groups in Liverpool for the past two years starting with their attack on the Sean Phelan Commemoration in Liverpool during February 2012. It was at this event which was organised by Cairde na hEireann Liverpool, that first attracted a disperate group of ex servicemen, loyalists, fascists when they prevented a parade entering Liverpool city centre from the Scotland Rd area of Liverpool. Sean Phelan was being commemorated due to the fact that he was Irish and born in Liverpool, but instead of joining Britain’s army he chose to fight for Irish freedom by joining the IRA and fighting in the Irish War of Independence. He was subsequently killed in an ambush by British soldiers at Upton in Co. Cork in 1921. In a very real sense, Sean Phelan represented all that was good within the Irish community in Liverpool. By choosing to fight British imperialism and fight for the freedom of small nations Sean Phelan represented the radical face of Liverpool Irishness since seen in likes of John Lennon etc.
Since that time other posts from this blog have noted the growing relationships between local nazi’s, loyalists and even ex-servicemen who are members of the ex-Kingo’s and the Liverpool Pals Memorial Fund, all with aim of confronting and attacking Irish community marches in Liverpool. Take for instance, Roy Mitchell below.
Mitchell is a former soldier of the Kings Regiment. At present he is a long standing committee member of the Liverpool Kings Regiment Association, involved with the Independent Kings Regiment Association based in the loyalist Derry Club in Everton and also a trustee of the Liverpool Pals Memorial Fund (below).
Since the Sean Phelan march of February 2012 Mitchell’s relationships with both loyalist and far right groups such as Combined ex-Forces and the North West Infidels has grown to the extent that before the July 2013 James Larkin March to remember the 100th Anniversary of the 1913 Dublin Lockout, he was part of a ‘delegation’ that met with Merseyside Police at police headquarters in an attempt to stop the ‘IRA’ marching in Liverpool. Below is a photo of Mitchell along with other known fascists such a Paul James of CXF (2nd from right) inside Police Headquarters before their meeting.
In response to the increasing threats in the run up to the James Larkin march, Merseyside Police issued public order notices to known individuals who had threatened the march in previous years. The public order notices ordered these individuals to protest in a designated area and not approach the march at any other point along its route. However, this didn’t prevent Mitchell turning up at the assembly point of the march on Park Road, gesticulsting and shouting abuse toward the assembled marchers and then finding himself being detained by police and issued with a Section 14 Public Order notice to leave the area. There were subsequently 5 individuals convicted for not adhereing to the public order notices but Mitchell wasnt one of them Irish community group welcomes convictions.
Mitchell is one of a growing number of individuals that straddle both fascist and loyalist circles. Facebook gives one a real glimpse into the murky world of these hate groups by looking at who is friends with who. One facebook page continually called for attacks on Irish parades in Liverpool and as you can see it is littered with the comments of ex-kingo’s, loyalists and fascists kingos against the IRA
As i said earlier, LCC’s decision to work closely with the above groups appears appropriate. But when the mask slips there are real life individuals who are haters, racists, sectarian bigots, fascists and right wing torys who will be involved in Liverpool’s commemorations of a world war that was literally no more than a human meat grinder for Europe’s working classes.