This chapter explores the convergence between the nascent loyalist paramilitaries, most notably the Red Hand Commando and Young Citizen Volunteers, with the Tartan gangs which had been so prominent throughout 1971. The ‘backlash’ which had been mentioned so often in the press began to become a reality as the loyalist assassination campaign began in earnest and a forceful and frightening subculture gained momentum. A large number of militant loyalists took to the streets and were given the approval of politicians such as William Craig, the former Stormont Minister of Home Affairs.
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