Monday, September 12, 2005

The dark days.

Are the dark days of the troubles coming back. With the IRA announcing there intention to decommission and the lack of any Drumcree stand off. It appeared that the worst was over and with the winning of the world cup qualifier over England it seemed that a time of new hope was beginning. However this seem to have been a veil covering over the deep unrest in the Loyalist camp. But what are the causes of this renewed violence. When I was in Belfast earlier this month all seemed well even though the Union Jacks were flying on the lampposts the atmosphere wasn’t contentious. The sun was shinning and sitting in the Botanic Gardens one would not think that this was a place where violence of the scale seen this weekend would occur. Friends of mine from the south were even telling me of going out to have a gander at the local orange parade on the Lisburn Road. However this was in middle class south Belfast and student land. With the entire conflict of the north the loyalist conflict has never been fought in the leafy suburbs of the Malone Road it has had its origins and derived its power from the shankil, sandy row and the other working class areas of Belfast. Yet again it is these areas that have descended into violence. The initial spark was the re-routing of the controversial Whiterock parade on Saturday. But is it solely due to this march that this trouble has started?. According to Slugger O'Toole people knew this was comming. Speaking on BBC Northern Ireland when questioning one of the leaders of the Orange Order a person off the street said that they should have let the march through and it would only last 10 minutes. The ruling
Having considered all the evidence, information and advice available to it, the Commission takes the view that it is necessary to curtail part of the parade’s notified route, and it has therefore placed conditions on the parade. This decision is set against the background of continuing local community tension. It recognises the real possibility of damaging community relations with a consequent effect on the likelihood of public disorder should the parade proceed along the entirety of its notified route. Whilst recognising the fundamental importance of the right to freedom of assembly, the Commission finds it necessary to exercise its powers under Section 8 of the Public Processions (Northern Ireland) Act 1998 to place restrictions on the parade.
So it was known by the parades commission that tension would be raised but there job is to asses which route outcome will create the least bad will between the communities and even though the violence in Belfast is the worst in years. It has remained only on one side. This situation must have been difficult to see. The question now is why has the loyalist people start fighting with the police. One thing that has been noted is the lack of condemnation for the unionist community. True the majority are condemning the violence but they come across as saying it is justified. as pointed out by Comrade Stalin on Slugger
I've just seen footage on the BBC of a guy on the Shankill who had his shop burnt out. He refused to blame the people who set it on fire, and instead pinned the responsibility on Hain and the Parades Commission. Clearly he felt that the destruction of his own livelihood was a price worth paying.
Why is this why are they insistent on blaming everyone except themselves. This is not just a Loyalist disease this appears on the Nationalist side as well. But the difference being no McCartney sisters have come out on the loyalist side. Secretary of State Peter Hain has come out and given out about the response of all the major political parties in the North and rightly so. Each party is trying to spin the violence to suit there own needs to further there own cause. The Unionist claiming that is due to dissatisfaction with the peace process. This will not bring peace this is only going to further increase the tensions in Belfast. But all this does not answer the question of why the rioting is occurring. Personnel I blame the parties. They use the people as pawns in there grand game of chess. How can the PSNI police these areas when the DUP undermines the state with statements such as Nigal Dodds today
The Secretary of State has disempowered unionism by his constant appeasement of Sinn Fein/IRA and his constant rejection of unionist political demands for fair treatment.
Trying to blame the government for the trouble and Sinn Fein's refusal to recognise the PSNI undermines the police in the nationalist community. This leads to fewer nationalists choosing the police as a career and why it is still predominantly protestant. Today Minister for Social Development visited Lower Oldpark one of the most deprived places in the North. This visit was to highlight the need for investment in the area. But not content with having some one see what has needed to be done. The Shankill DUP Councilor Diane Dodds stated
For years successive direct rule ministers have used these communities as pawns in the appeasement process of IRA/Sinn Fein. It is time they wakened up to the depth of alienation and deprivation within communities such as the Lower Oldpark. There can be no meaningful political process whilst this level of fury continues within unionist and protestant areas. It is now up to the Secretary of State and the Minister for Social Development to show real political leadership, stop the gravy train of concessions to the IRA and address the concerns of ordinary decent people within the unionist community.
She couldn’t make a point with out blaming IRA/Sinn Fein this kind of speech is what convinces people that they are in a battle of survival with the nationalist. This is telling them the reason you are poor is the government’s treatment of the IRA/Sinn Fein and by association the nationalist community. In every other country this kind of sentiment in would be represented by dislike of the wealth. Claiming about the tax breaks etc they get. But in the north the rich receive no ill wind from the poor it is your opposite number on the other side of the sectarian divide that you blame and thus we have the troubles where working class unionists fought working class Nationalists. Today’s conflict is just more examples of the political parties manipulation of the proletariat. technoarti Picture From

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