user preferences

New Events

Ireland / Britain

no event posted in the last week

Sectarian violence on the streets of East Belfast

category ireland / britain | migration / racism | opinion / analysis author Wednesday June 22, 2011 19:15author by Sean Matthews - Workers Solidarity Movement Report this post to the editors

PSNI armored jeep from Ted Drake flickr The cracks beneath the surface in the peace process were once again exposed on the streets of East Belfast last night in the second night of serious sectarian rioting. A UVF led mob numbering in the 100's has been engaged in attacks on catholic homes at the edge of the Short Strand. This is the reality of a peace dividend which has failed to deliver to working-class communities and stands in stark contrast to suburbia only 5 miles away which produced golf champion Rory McElroy.

Is there any surprise that we still continue to have serious outbreaks of sectarian rioting, with communities living in fear, when we have a sectarian carve up in the Stormont assembly fighting over the scraps from Westminster? This from the same regime that is imposing a vicious wave of attacks on workers rights and conditions in the form of cut-backs and privatisation. Until we begin to collectively tackle the causes of division at a grassroots level, and the psychological and physical scars which continue to haunt working people, last nights violence will only recreate it.

All the avaliable evidence suggests that last nights violence did not occur in a vacuum. While there have been ongoing anti-social sectarian attacks from elements within both communities, yesterday was the result of tensions within loyalism, leading to an organised and vicious assault by the Loyalist UVF on the ‘nationalist’ enclave of Short Strand. This invasion was rightly resisted by the youth of the area who where defending their homes and families as the PSNI stepped aside. Everyone should be allowed to live free from sectarian harrassment and intimidation. We must also reject the cul-da-sac of armed republicanism who seeks to capitalise and replace the vaccuum of policing as the new defenders of the catholic working-class.

In recent week’s, the true colours of loyalism have re-emerged with the re-painting of murals with loyalist gunmen in response to an alleged cut in funding. This is reflecting a wider frustration and a feeling of alienation within the protestant working class that is not new. It is the nature of the peace-process and Good Friday Agreement which entrenches and thrives on legitimising sectarianism for its very survival which is the problem.

We see this in the concept of a providing a 'parity of esteem' where organisations such as the Orange Order which entrench sectaranism and division are awarded funding for cosmetic exercises such as the Orangefest festival. This agenda at the heart of the peace process does nothing to address the causes of the conflict but rather provides a smokescreen where class antagonisms and grievances are mediated and replaced by either a Irish or British identity.

The future is bleak in the North until we begin to seriously tackle the forces of sectarianism and the dead end politics of nationalism and unionism which pervades every section of northern society. We need to channel our anger not against each other but against the rich and powerful within our society who benefit from our division.

The left and wider workers movement needs to step up to the mark, instead of sitting on the fence afraid of offending one side of the other. Anarchists need to be on the forefront of opposing sectarianism and state oppression by providing a strategy which mobilises workers to defend their interests and work towards a libertarian communist society. The choice is clear!

This page can be viewed in
English Italiano Deutsch
¿Què està passant a Catalunya?

Front page

Hands off the anarchist movement ! Solidarity with the FAG and the anarchists in Brazil !

URGENTE! Contra A Criminalização, Rodear De Solidariedade Aos Que Lutam!

¡Santiago Maldonado Vive!

Catalunya como oportunidad (para el resto del estado)

La sangre de Llorente, Tumaco: masacre e infamia

Triem Lluitar, El 3 D’octubre Totes I Tots A La Vaga General

¿Què està passant a Catalunya?

Loi travail 2017 : Tout le pouvoir aux patrons !

En Allemagne et ailleurs, la répression ne nous fera pas taire !

El acuerdo en preparacion entre la Union Europea y Libia es un crimen de lesa humanidad

Mourn the Dead, Fight Like Hell for the Living

SAFTU: The tragedy and (hopefully not) the farce

Anarchism, Ethics and Justice: The Michael Schmidt Case

Land, law and decades of devastating douchebaggery

Democracia direta já! Barrar as reformas nas ruas e construir o Poder Popular!

Reseña del libro de José Luis Carretero Miramar “Eduardo Barriobero: Las Luchas de un Jabalí” (Queimada Ediciones, 2017)

Análise da crise política do início da queda do governo Temer

Dès maintenant, passons de la défiance à la résistance sociale !

17 maggio, giornata internazionale contro l’omofobia.

Los Mártires de Chicago: historia de un crimen de clase en la tierra de la “democracia y la libertad”

Strike in Cachoeirinha

(Bielorrusia) ¡Libertad inmediata a nuestro compañero Mikola Dziadok!

DAF’ın Referandum Üzerine Birinci Bildirisi:

Cajamarca, Tolima: consulta popular y disputa por el territorio

© 2005-2017 Anarkismo.net. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by Anarkismo.net. [ Disclaimer | Privacy ]