Well, ladies and gentlemen, it’s the 12th weekend over here, so it traditionally an extended bank holiday (Monday & Tuesday off! Yay!) with a little assorted rioting. So, after work tonight, I decided to head to the family home rather than hang about in my house, because my house is right on march rountes, near bonfires, etc, and it’s all likley to be noisey and annoying.
So I get home, and what do I find? I’ll let you guess, but I don’t think you’ll get it… three guesses, then:
Britney Spears covered in baby oilno A winning lottery ticketno A fish called Wandano
Told you you wouldn’t get it.
No, I found a dozen uniform and a dozen MSU cops, with blues flashing, on the road from the main street to my house. Which was a suprise. A brief conversation ensued with one of the uniforms:
Cop: Where are you going?
Cop: Where’s that then?
Me: Down that road, see the grey house? Why?
Cop: Err, you can’t go down there…
Me: Why not? I really do live there, honest.
Cop: I didn’t say you didn’t. But the riot hasn’t really stopped, and there’s glass all over the road…
Me: Say what?
Cop: Riot, glass, not good, can’t drive down there.
Me: So what can I do then?
Cop: You can leave your car up the road by the station, and walk down, I suppose.
So I leave the car by the station, and walk the hundred yards back to the junction. Where uniform 2 stops me.
Cop2: Here, you can’t go down there.
Me: I’ve been through this, I’m not taking the car, I’m just walking home.
Cop2: Yeah, but no. You’re not walking down that road.
Me: Right. OK then. What I’m going to have to do is climb over a few gates, and a fence, to get home then.
Cop2: OK, do that then.
Me: I’ll set off security lights. Could you please take this as notice that I’m not breaking into anywhere, I’m just going home, yeah?
Cop2: Sure. Consider me notified.
Me: It’s not you I’m worried about, it’s yonder MSU boys…
Cop2: I’ll pass it on.
So I climb a gate, then a fence, then another gate, and I’m in my yard. I’ve set off three lights in doing so. And my progress is interrupted by an english fellow in full MSU gear, visor down, shield up, baton at the ready.
So it’s not going as well as it could.
Cop3: ‘ERE, WHERE D’YA THINK YOU’RE GOING?
Me: My house. There. The one occupying the bit of property you’re standing on.
Cop3: I don’t think so. Woman and a girl in there. No blokes. What’re you really doing.
Me: Except me. I’m on the electoral register at this address. I’m on the tax register here. I was at work, and I’m home now.
Cop3: And where did you come from?
Me: I was working in Belfast. I parked my car on the street because they wouldn’t let me drive it in here, and then came in through the yards there. I told your colleagues on the street what I was doing.
Cop3: Oh yeah? I’ll check that then.
*wanders off muttering into radio*
Cop3: Alright then, on your way. And can you shut this bloody gate behind me!
So, a couple of things:
- I missed a proper riot outside, with full land rover charges, baton usage, screams, bottle bins thrown at cops, the lot. 50 yards from my front door. Which is a Good Thing™, obviously.
- People actually say “on your way”? Christ, I was suprised.
I’ll post an update if there’s any proper news online about it, but I don’t think there will be. There’ll be enough footage of other things/riots/parades/two-headed-pigs to fill the news tomorrow without counting on local disturbances. Boo.
Meanwhile, police also came under attack at a bonfire site in County Antrim.
At the height of the trouble about 150 people were pelting police with bottles and stones in Neillsbrook Park, Randalstown.
The violence flared shortly after 0100 BST on Sunday.
There were no reports of any injuries.
Three men were arrested.
Police in the town have appealed for anyone with information to contact them.