Sunday, February 26, 2006
Wonderful the way a seemingly otherwise "enlightened" forum like thumped can suddenly completely lose track of itself and pour scorn on the "scum" of Irish society. It really is interesting the sort of langauge some of a lot of them are using in their discussions of the riots in Dublin today. I'm not coming to this from some fluffy PC angle on this at all, it just reeks of a real fear of social tension, of what happens when working class youths come into the city centre for a political protest that doesn't carry the same cudos as some spectacle of an "anti-capitalist" event. The distinction being drawn up between the "real" and , I suppose, "fake" protesters is equally laughable. Where exactly does one check the authenticity of their political reasoning in attending a protest? That people engage in "violent" action is thrown up usually to denote "fake" protesters - so I suppose those suburban kids involved in car burning in Paris were disengenious as well?
Political action takes many forms, some of that involves burning, looting etc. I think Sean O'Casey quiped that the real revolutionaries weren't in the GPO in 1916, they were across the road looting Clerys. Its interesting that BMW's were burnt out, and that symbols of wealth like banks/McDonalds were done on, even the PDs windows were smashed. Republicanism is without doubt the most entrenched and organic radical political movement in the country, what anarchism is to Barcelona - republicanism is to Ireland. Its not a surprise at all that the republican tradtion is then what working class youths latch onto as an expression of their opposition to state authority and power, it is the closest formulae to hand.
It is the slogans of that movement that are scrawled on estate walls, school desks and so on. Of course all of this is changing as other political movements become more pronounced, albeit amidst a general sharp decline of the organised left. What happened today was a total fuck up, its exactly what the Orange Order wanted to happen. But it should be looked at as an opportunity for a ruckus with the police being taken and used. It happens every few years, and in minor ways all the time. Its where a particular protest like today moves towards a social protest - attacks on the authorities that wreck petty bullying all over disadvantaged communities and shit all over working class youth/ "scum." It happened in Edinburgh during the G8, youths orchastrated a rout of the cops in Cherry Orchard a few years back in and every anti-capitalism demo I've been on in this city has had some element of this "scum" among the participants, usually the most vocal and militant as on Mayday. Who are we to delineate the barriers of who can take political action?
Its intolerable this liberal multicultural bullshit of "oh can't we all live together?" No - the Orange Order are an organised expression of sectarianism, they were set up to sow division in the North after the 1798 Rebellion and the success of the United Irishmen in eroding religious difference, their traditions are recent and artificial - given accelerated growth after the setting up of the Northern statelet and accentuated by the troubles. This sort of muticulturalism is completely stupid, its the sort of stuff that blindly skips over all sorts of abuses from the oppression of Muslin women within the west to patronisingly taking racialist views of minorities. In this case it assumes the Orange Order is an expression of the traditions of all protestants.
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