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actions & protests | imperialism & war

New riots in Northern Ireland

With peace talks between various government groups in and around Northern Ireland happening seemingly all of the time, it can be easy to forget that things are still rough there, and that some of the Irish are still fighting for a real republic...
For the past few days riots have been erupting in the North of Ireland, in and around Belfast. It would appear that the Nationalist (Irish republican/catholic) rioting started in response to this year's march of the Orange order (crown loyalists/protestants), a regular event that commemorates a war that happened in the area very long ago.
The rioting has been fairly severe, with numerous police officers seriously injured. A masked gunman even wounded police officers with shotgun pellets. Nationalists have been using molotovs extensively, as well as some pipe bombs. Youth constructed barricades throughout the streets of some towns, and enthusiastically attacked armored Police riot vehicles.
The corporate media backlash is as extreme as it is predictable, all of the usual words have been brought out, "thugs," "hooligans," etc. Sinn Fein (one-time republican political party) blamed the rioting on "small, dissident republican factions" and British parliament members praised the local police forces for "acting bravely and in a restrained manner."
Obviously no corporate media dared mention that this is just a continuation of the same war for independence and against British/protestant colonization that has been raging for over 600 years.
Of course the underlying message of the riots is clear enough: some of the Irish still want a dignified, true independence. Some of them are even still willing to fight for it.

Video of the rioting can be found on the BBC website and on youtube.

Sick 17.Jul.2010 19:01

and sad

Being happy about sectarian violence is sick. It takes a real sicko to cheer on OTHER people beating each other and innocent bystanders up. I don't care what you want Ireland to look like -- The Irish people have rejected your crap times and again.

oh yes 18.Jul.2010 20:30

I forgot

Yes we can all see how much better Ireland is doing now because of the "free state," and how much good all of the negotiating has done. Yes indeed, problem solved, no more change needed.

response to "sick and sad" 19.Jul.2010 14:01

heathen

Look I'm not saying that I'm happy about the sectarian violence. The pervasive racism and prejudice that exists in Ireland and England and makes progress seem so impossible most of the time makes me sick, no doubt about that. And it's not like I'm glad to hear that people are getting hurt, I agree that in a perfect world such violence wouldn't be necessary.
All I was getting at with this article is that corporate media would like to portray this as just mindless criminal activity without any serious underlying issue. It seeks to suck the significance out of this activity. It destroys historical realities and presupposes that things aren't "that bad," meaning that the rioters can't possibly have any legitimate grievances.
As far as tactics go, I think that riots are messy and not nearly enough too the point. There is often too much collateral damage, too much random violence. But constant surveillance means that organizing anything more coherent and effective is rendered nearly impossible: people are left with no alternative but to act spontaneously. At the same time the British would never have come to a point where they would negotiate seriously with the Irish without a war, and the ongoing threat of violence. If there was no threat of violence coming from the oppressed, then the British would do WHATEVER they want, without any regard whatsoever for the wants or needs of the Irish people. If reform-type progress has been made, it's been made with the help of war or the threat of it, not from the simple good will of the British.