Open letter to 32 County Sovereignty Movement

Sir - May I ask the 32 CSM through the medium of your paper a number of important questions that the majority of nationalists in Derry would like an answer to -

With what mandate do you feel you have to carry on an armed struggle? By what mandate have you to act as judge, jury and executioner? Who, in fact, do you represent? Who are you to determine what the national sovereignty of Ireland is? What gives you the right to try and involve our young people in your unwanted campaign?

Through your press releases and statements you talk is if you have the majority of Nationalist/Republican support. You do not and have no mandate to do so. You are a cult of deeply flawed individuals that can offer no contribution, political ,or otherwise, to any solution in Ireland. The so-called Real Irish Republican Army is a militia unwanted by the people and has very little support, if any, within the Nationalist community.

To all so-called dissident republicans - the majority of people in the city and on this island do not want you acting in any way in their name. It does not take a hero to act in masks in the dead of night prowling around this city carrying out your criminal acts. Get off the backs of the people. Stand up like men and put yourself forward for election. You will soon know of how little, if any, support you have on the ground. You carry on as the Godfathers of Crime that the people do not want. In plain terms, it’s simple, ‘The War is Long Over’.

We will eventually have a true United 32 County Ireland. This will be achieved by the people through the ballot box. The people have voted for this approach and are willing to wait until such a time comes to reality. In the meantime, will all the Republican Cults please leave the stage and take with you your failed ideology. The so-called armed struggle has failed and has contributed nothing except death, injury and destruction in this country. The people do not want you to act in their name or carry out your criminal acts using their name. We have had enough of thugs and their acts of futile and senseless criminal behaviour.

There are many social and economic problems within our community that need addressed. Dissident republicans offer no solution other than more of the same of the last 40 years. We have a city awash with drugs, our young people’s lives being ruined by drug barons who make money out of the misery they peddle. We have a police service, which, to be honest, isn’t perfect, but it is what the majority of people have voted for, so give the information to this police service to rid our community of the criminals who are destroying the very soul of our community.

To the police service in this city I say - you cannot police this city without the consent of the majority of the people in the city. We all agree we need a police service. I say to the command at Strand Road - drop the harassment of our young people, the stop-and-search for no other purpose than that of showing unnecessary authority, abusing your position of authority. The people of this city need a police service they can trust, depend on, have confidence in. Let us see your police officers respect the community it polices.

The young people in this city need to feel they can have confidence in a police service they can go to and give information about the drug barons. They need a police service that is open and accountable, that acts as a public service, not as oppressors or instruments of harassment. It is by your misbehaviour that gives support to the thugs within the dissident organisations. Let’s see real respect from the police in this city shown to the people in this city. Then and only then will they gain real respect back, and support and co-operation. There are still a number of bad apples within the organisation that discredit the service and puts backs up against the wall.

For better or worse, we, the people, have spoken through the ballot box; we the people will see a United Ireland through the ballot box. In the meantime, let’s address our concerns and issues through the ballot box; let all so-called dissident republican cults get off the backs of the people; and let’s have a police service that respects and does not abuse the people it polices.

I know I speak for the majority of the people in this city.

S.P. McLAUGHLIN

(Address supplied)