Jan 24 2013

Belfast – “the carnival of reaction” continues

James Fearon has sent the following article to Socialist Democracy (Ireland). We are reposting it here as a follow- up to our other articles covering the Belfast flag riots. These riots have exposed the continuing sectarian nature of the Northern Ireland statelet, and the UK state’s role in maintaining Loyalism as a back-up defence for British rule.

Happier days for Loyalists - Union Jack flies over Belfast City Chambers

Happier days for Loyalists – Union Jack flies over Belfast City Chambers

While northern middle class Nationalism stamps its feet in chagrin at the unwillingness of their Unionist counterparts to call Loyalist protests to heel it is forced to ignore an increasing body of evidence that contradicts its view of Unionism. Widespread among the chattering classes is the view that the issue of the Irish relationship with British imperialism has been put on a stable footing.

In this perspective the North of Ireland, despite some anomalies, is now a place in which the Catholic middle class, increasingly happy with a ‘Northern Irish’ identity, has a considerable stake, and the relationship with comfortable middle class Unionism, based on ‘parity of esteem’, is at the beginning of a long period of steady, prosperous evolution.

What a shock the flag issue has been for them. Nationalist spokespeople react with genuine surprise and abhorrence at the destabilising effects of the protests but it is not so much the display of plebeian bigotry that upsets them but the fact that that bigotry, and more especially the reaction to it, represents the reality of the Northern state, a reality that the Catholic middle class felt that they had the capacity to move beyond.

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Nov 21 2012

MI5 – THEY HAVEN’T GONE AWAY YOU KNOW!

Below we publish two recent articles from the Irish republican socialist organisation, eirigi, which deal with the continued activities of MI5 in the ‘Six Counties’.

SHINING A LIGHT ON THE SHADOWS

MI5 – another repressive institution sanctioned under the Crown Powers

The Conway Mill on Belfast’s Fall Road was the setting for a very well-attended public meeting on Thursday [November 8] at which éirígí launched its latest ‘Know Your Rights’ leaflet.

As concern grows in communities across the Six Counties about the increasing activities of Britain’s MI5, the party has produced a four-page information and advice leaflet setting out the steps people should take if they find themselves approached by the secretive spying organisation.

The meeting, chaired by Belfast éirígí activist Máire Drumm, began with a fifteen minute video presentation detailing some of MI5’s methods of operation.

She then introduced the first of two speakers at the meeting, éirígí’s rúnaí ginearálta, Breandán Mac Cionnaith.

Mac Cionnaith explained that the party had seen an upsurge in people coming forward to report approaches made to them by MI5, approaches which often occurring with the co-operation of the Six County police force.

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Oct 16 2012

SECTARIANISM HARDWIRED UNDER THE ‘PEACE PROCESS’

COVENANT MARCHES PROMISE ENDLESS SECTARIANISM

The  period  following  September’s  mass  Orange  demonstration  in  Belfast  commemorating the signing of the Ulster  Covenant  the  event  leading  to  Ireland’s Nakba, the partition of the country and generations of violence, colonial rule and sectarian division was followed by widespread expressions of relief and hope for the future.

There had been no violence. The Orange Order had said they were sorry for  the hurt feelings of nationalists. They had even spoken to a priest. By and large they had obeyed  the determination of  the Parades Commission and, aside from the usual demonstrations of sectarian hatred outside two churches and one bandsman urinating on a church, things had gone well.

But things were bound to go well. The determination that the Orange Order “obeyed” was written by themselves. The sequence of events was as follows. The Loyalists had a clear run on the 12th July demonstrations. Parade Commission determinations were minimal and  Sinn Fein mobilized  across the  North to police any protests. One Loyalist band went viral on the internet doing a  war dance outside a Catholic church and singing the sectarian “famine  song”.  All this is perfectly routine,  other than exposure on the internet.

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