user preferences

New Events

Ireland / Britain

no event posted in the last week

Belfast flag riots: Class Unity not Sectarian Diversions

category ireland / britain | miscellaneous | opinion / analysis author Saturday December 22, 2012 13:30author by WSM - Workers Solidarity Movement Report this post to the editors

nce again violence has flared across Belfast and other parts of the north as protests continue around the flags issue. The latest disturbances come as Stormont Assembly leaders, Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness meet to discuss another wave of street protests, and their concerns about the damaging effect it is having on the economy leading up to the busiest shopping period of the calendar. But as each issued a separate statement calling for protests to come to an end, loyalist gangs flexed their muscles, blocking off streets and hijacking cars.

Once again violence has flared across Belfast and other parts of the north as protests continue around the flags issue. The latest disturbances come as Stormont Assembly leaders, Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness meet to discuss another wave of street protests, and their concerns about the damaging effect it is having on the economy leading up to the busiest shopping period of the calendar. But as each issued a separate statement calling for protests to come to an end, loyalist gangs flexed their muscles, blocking off streets and hijacking cars.

This recent wave of trouble kicked off several weeks ago following a vote taken by Belfast City Council to fly the union flag outside city hall on designated days only, instead of 365 days of the year. This was supposedly as a result of an earlier 'equality impact assessment' carried out on Belfast City Council. Minutes after the motion was passed, loyalist reaction to the decision was one of anger. As tension spilled out on to the streets several hundred union flag waving protesters laid siege to the building in scenes not witnessed here since the 1980's. As crowds were later dispersed, nearby nationalist homes and a catholic church bore the brunt of the mob's anger.

In the days that followed it's believed that loyalist paramilitaries from both the UVF and UDA influenced events on the ground further by hijacking and burning cars, hospitalising 30 PSNI members, issuing death threats to politicians, and attacking and burning a number of their homes and offices. All this happened as international 'guardian of peace' Hillary Clinton dropped into Stormont for tea with Peter and Martin - presumably for her final update on how the 'peace process' was coming along as part of a host of 'final engagements'.

Weeks prior the initial flag vote taking place, the scene was set as 40,000 leaflets were distributed across South and East Belfast deepening an already fraught situation further. The leaflets themselves were part of a joint operation, said to have been carried out by Democratic Unionist Party and Ulster Unionist Party activists, castigating the local Alliance party whose representatives hold the balance of power within Belfast City Council, not to mention electoral seats in east Belfast.

Ever happy to beat the sectarian war drums, unionist politicians claimed that the flags motion at City Hall represented the tip of the iceberg of yet another attack on their Britishness and cultural identity by republicans. Surprisingly enough, in successive interviews not one unionist politician could remember who agreed to issue such a leaflet that ratcheted up sectarian tensions even further. Amongst all the usual tit-for-tat allegations that took place, former first minister David Trimble accused the DUP of “cynically” stoking up tensions. However that in itself speaks more of the crisis within Ulster unionism at present.

So is this simply down to the issue of flags and identity or is it something happening much deeper than that?

When examining the issues from within working class loyalist communities many will reveal that they have for years 'been sold a pup'. Used as foot soldiers, canon-fodder, pulled on to the streets at the beat of a drum every time their politicians claim that the sky was falling. Loyalists and the organisations they represent will imply that their communities feel abandoned by the politicians they voted for, effectively isolated and left to the ravages of capitalism as can clearly be seen. But the answers to the problems they continue to face - from high levels of social deprivation, lack of job and educational opportunities to housing - won't be found within loyalism whose only answer is drawing up even more sectarian battle lines.

As the violence plays out on the streets our class must be mindful of the fact that sectarianism is used in the six counties like a water tap. Used to divide and rule, as and when those in power see fit to unleash it, from the halls of Westminster to the halls of Stormont. Capitalism has used it time and time again, just as those who represent it have used fascism, racism and repression to assist and prop up their positions of power, dominance and control.

For anarchists, it's our belief that the events played out in Belfast City Hall back on December 3rd and on the streets ever since, is yet another sectarian diversionary tactic by the politicians. Their beating of the war drums over flags in the middle of an ever deepening economic crisis, just as working class communities across the north are being crushed under the weight of it, shows us just where their true interests lie. In the continuation and protection of their own sectarian positions and privileges up in Stormont. It is therefore vital that we continue to demand working class unity in the streets and in the workplace. Our class must not allow those in Stormont to deflect us from the struggle at hand. Creating a unified fight across the sectarian divide against the cuts in jobs and welfare, in health and education as the crisis of capitalism continues is the task that faces us.

http://www.wsm.ie/loyalism

author by Martinpublication date Sat Jan 05, 2013 23:14Report this post to the editors

I'm a catholic man born in Northern Ireland. If I'm ever asked who I am I always say I'm Irish because it was the island I was born on but I am and always have been grateful to British rule economically because it has always in my living memory been better for us. I'm sick sore and tired of the sectarian violence from BOTH sides over throughout history and I'm absolutely disgusted that its kicking off again. Republicans attacking the PSNI and loyalists rioting I the streets claiming their losing their English heritage. I'm sorry but England passed the buck long ago when devolution first took place and we started making decisions for ourselves. Loyalist dissidents are using this as an opportunity to kick start the violence all over again but hiding their intentions over the decision to remove the flag. I'm sorry but if republican scum want to piss and moan and use violence to achieve absolutely nothing then that's their prerogative but don't hide behind a democratic decision to remove the flag as a means to loot and hold ILLEGAL protests. The economy is already bad enough and now Belfast in particular has lost millions over Christmas due to the recent outburst. Grow up!!!!!! Start working towards something we can all benefit and take pride from and that's working together to create stable economic growth and an end to petty differences. It's in the past let it fuckig stay there!!!!!!

 
This page can be viewed in
English Italiano Deutsch
E

Ireland / Britain | Miscellaneous | en

Fri 01 Aug, 21:52

browse text browse image

iar5frontcover.jpg imageIrish Anarchist Review 5 - Summer 2012 16:46 Fri 15 Jun by Workers Solidarity Movement 0 comments

Welcome to Irish Anarchist Review issue 5, produced by the Workers Solidarity Movement. In this magazine we look to explore theories, thoughts and ideas about political struggle. We set out to analyse where we are aiming for as a revolutionary movement and explore how we might get there. The purpose of ‘Irish Anarchist Review’ is to act as forum for a sharing of ideas about revolutionary struggle. Building a successful revolution demands genuine discussion, debate and sharing of ideas. We hope that the articles in here will help to stimulate discussion and provoke debate and perhaps even motivate some of our readers to respond with articles of your own.

interviewedriot.jpg imageEyewitness to the London riots - it's all about class 16:52 Mon 15 Aug by Alex 0 comments

Workers Solidarity interviewed Hackney local and education worker, Alex Carver, about the roots of the London riots. Alex is a long standing activist in the IWW union, housing struggles in the East End, and the big left events since the start of the recession, most recently the M26 Militant Workers Block and the J30 Strike project. He was a direct witness to the rioting on Monday. Here he tells Workers Solidarity why he thinks that the riots are best understood by loooking at class rather than race.

third_118481s.jpg imageReport from the frontlines of the Ardoyne anti-Orange Order riot 19:19 Fri 15 Jul by Jack White 0 comments

Rioting erupted in ‘nationalist areas’ across the North on Tuesday after the annual Orange Order parades. The worst of the trouble was in Ardoyne in North Belfast which left 16 police officers injured and with over 60 lethal plastic bullets fired leaving many people injured. WSM member 'John Creagh' reports from the Ardoyne on the disturbances and what they tell us.

textWSM twitter live during Ardoyne Orange Order July 12th parade 08:57 Tue 12 Jul by Jack White 0 comments

It is this time of year again when the spectre of sectarianism and division comes to the fore in the north of Ireland. It is a time when communities, kerbstones and poles are marked and carved into territory. There are those who will be living in fear and silenced from speaking out while the rest of us are told to turn the other check in the interests of peace and stability. It is unfortunate, if perhaps somewhat inevitable, that the now annual battles around the ‘marching season’ fall along religious lines. The Orange parades are being used to test the supposed 'neutrality' of the northern regime and the PSNI in particular. The losing side in this dangerous game however is likely to be the working class, as the confrontations and the sectarian attacks that occur around the Orange marches drive people further into ‘their own’ communities.

textN. Ireland: Politicians continue to ‘sponge’ off the system 21:54 Thu 23 Apr by Sean Matthews 0 comments

If truth be told, should we be surprised by revelations in recent weeks concerning the expenses of ‘our’ politicians?

http://photos-g.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc1/hs034.snc1/2663_72220551702_567316702_2265238_1318805_n.jpg imagevideoPutting People First – Militantly 20:06 Wed 15 Apr by David O'Connell 1 comments

By Keith Hallack, published on April 4th, 2009

At our national conference L&S decided to endorse the Militant Workers Block on the basis of its callout (see appendix). We were happy that the loose group of London libertarians the callout came from, and that some of us are part of, hand met our request to make the language broad enough to include all people in favour of workers’ direct action against the crisis – specifically the IWW. Once the rest of our union had also endorsed the event we set about making sure we had the best possible impact on the day itself.

ws106covernortherntn.jpg imageThat's Capitalism! 21:52 Tue 02 Dec by WS 0 comments

The toys of the rich, Beacon Hospitals group, King Mawati III, Michael Fingleton, confidence in public health, Bank benefits

1.jpg imageSolidarity from Ireland with the popular and indigenous struggle in Colombia!!! 05:58 Wed 22 Oct by Grupo Raíces 0 comments

Around 30 people met last Thursday 16th of October at the very heart of Dublin, the GPO, to stage a demo in solidarity with the Colombian popular and indigenous organisations in struggle for various demands, who have been met with full force by the repressive and dictatorial regime of Álvaro Uribe Vélez.

textLaunch of Campaign for a Decent Public Health Service 22:58 Thu 14 Feb by Alan M. 0 comments

Roughly 300 people turned up to the launch of the 'Campaign for a Decent Public Health Service' on the evening of the 11th February in Liberty Hall. The public meeting was organised by the Dublin Council of Trade Unions and the campaign hopes to bring together health workers and their trade unions, patient groups, hospital campaigners, the trade union movement in general and the general public to demand a civilised health service.

textKilkenny Woman Sentenced to Death 22:44 Mon 03 Dec by Workers Solidarity 0 comments

In Ireland we like to think that we’ve long ago abolished the death penalty; that we’ve progressed beyond such primitive practices, that we’re too civilized for that. But Irish people are still being sentenced to death, and not even for crimes they have committed but for the crimes of our murderous health system.

more >>

imageThe most successful G8 in Northern Ireland ever? Jun 21 by Sean Matthews 0 comments

At the post G8 press conference, PSNI Chief Constable Matt Baggot claimed the G8 summit in Enniskillen was the "most peaceful and stable" in its history. The G8 gangsters may have left dazzled and wined by our local political class but beneath the media spin and smokescreen lies the ugly reality of a new Northern Ireland of one rule for the rich and powerful while the rest of us must accept our place in the ladder, or face the consequences. We only need to look no further than the selective internment of Marion Price and others.

imageOppose the G8: Dealers of Austerity May 28 by Sean Matthews 0 comments

The media charm offensive has began as our local corrupt political class roll out the the red carpet to the notorious gang of eight, dealers of austerity, state terror and imperialism. The beautiful, tranquil lakes of Fermanagh will be turned into a "ring of steel" with security fencing extending for miles, protected by an army of professional thugs and watchtowers to keep the rest of us plebs at bay.

imageDublin Anarchist Bookfair recorded events (links) May 31 by Costas A. 0 comments

Old Media In the Age of The Internet - Why Bother With Radical and Underground Publishing-My Life in Politics: Women Speak-WSM & SP MEP Paul Murphy debate fiscal treaty & what the left should say

image"They'll just ignore our vote anyway" - Press Statement: May 22 by Costas 1 comments

Anarchist organisation, Workers Solidarity Movement (WSM), has claimed that voting in the Fiscal Compact Treaty referendum “will not make one whit of difference”.

imageFor the love of Limerick and Feta... May 20 by Costas A. 0 comments

Standing with one foot in Ireland and the other foot in Greece and having an interest and a natural curiosity for all "things", I listen, watch and follow events that take place in both countries regarding all aspects of human life, social-political-economical and not only.

more >>
Sorry, no press releases matched your search, maybe try again with different settings.
© 2005-2014 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 ]