EXCLUSIVE: FORMER RUC and UDR officers are ready to take to the streets in uniform to protect Union flag protestors from “PSNI brutality’’.
We can reveal that up to 15 meetings have taken place across Northern Ireland by former security force members, including anti-terrorist and covert officers.
This week the Belfast Daily met the leadership of the group at a secret locataion.
The group has a Belfast-based leadership with a commander being appointed for each of the six counties to co-ordinate regional units.
One security source described it as a coming together of ‘The Brotherhood’.
“The basic motive behind former RUC and UDR personnel coming together is the protection of the people,’’ said the security source.
“This is not about armed action or some sort of militia. These are people who are prepared to put their uniform back on again to stop PSNI brutality.’’
The secret group has been split into two departments: one overt which will stand on the roads and streets with protestors; the second, and covert, will monitor and carry out intelligence gathering operations on current PSNI activities.
“No weapons and no violence will be used. These officers have come together because of calls from the people who are looking for leadership.
“They feel very alone and feel that PSNI is too close to Sinn Fein.
“These men have declared that their role must be seen as dignified and not to dishonour the RUC or UDR name.
“The main aim is to prevent Ulster falling back into civil war. And that is the real fear in Protestant, unionist and loyalist communities that we are sliding back into sectarian civil war.
“What has concerned members of this group is the level of violence being used by the PSNI on protestors and the violation of their human rights.’’
The source said the group is currently in consultation with “human rights lawyers’’ about taking action against PSNI Chief Constable Matt Baggott.
They have been monitoring the actions of his men on the ground over the past number of weeks.
“These guys are ready to mobilise right across the province. As well as having former RUC and UDR uniforms, they have a supplier ready in the UK to provide more uniforms as numbers grow,’’ added the source.
“It will have no truck with any political party. It doesn’t trust them or the Unionist Forum.
“In recent days, there appears to be a hardening of the PSNI towards the protestors.
“There is a lot of anger about the first person going to prison this week for protesting.
“The feeling of Protestant people is that the PSNI is not to be trusted and we should no longer work with them or tolerate them.’’