Editorial - Sheer thuggery

The disgraceful attacks on three vans from a local building maintenance firm at the weekend highlights the distance that some in our community have yet to travel.

It smacks of sheer thuggery of the type that would not be out of place at the loyalist flag disturbances which have taken place across the North in recent weeks.

Trying to control a community through fear, intimidation and the use of force is not acceptable.

While no group has said it was responsible, the attacks were undoubtedly the work of one of the tiny dissident republican factions.

Far from acting in the defence of, or in the interests of the community, such deplorable attacks only serve to create an atmosphere of fear an oppression.

If the only thing these unrepresentative groups can offer is hollow slogans daubed on walls and attacks on the vehicles of local workers in the dead of night then it is clear that they have no place in the creation of a new society on this island.

Targeting a locally owned firm which has created and sustained many jobs in the city will not advance any ideology or cause.

It is an attack on the working class and on those who improve our communities by removing graffiti which turns communities into ghettos.

Even the myopic malcontents behind these attacks must realise that they cannot hope to win public support through such actions.