Whatabout… Voltaire for instance

Well at least some of the marchers got through to the gates of Leinster House, so I guess that was a moral victory of sorts. The Dublin riots are certainly not the end of history. Riots are scary and unpredictable. And hell to get caught up in. Enraged individuals take leave of their senses and become capable of things they�d never contemplate in ordinary life. But, as one of our commenters pointed out, this was small beer compared the riots around the British Embassy in 1981.The Minister of Justice is expected to confirm this morning that this was a fringe group and as such not representative of wider opinion in the Republic. The truth is that most Dubliners had treated the prospect of northern protestants, Orangemen and otherwise, marching on their streets with something between indifference and bemusement.

Indeed there is some evidence to suggest that after eighty plus years of partition, there is some resentment of the intolerance and illiberality of Northern Irish society in general. What Saturday showed was that with few resources, minimal organisation and some brute determination, a small group can appear to act on behalf of the nation.

In Northern Ireland we�ve seen a tendency to conflate the actions of individuals with the attitudes of the wider community. You can see the pattern more mundanely, for instance, when the DUP�s reluctance to speak directly with Sinn Fein is regularly pitched as a clear instance of them �not wanting a Catholic about the place�.

However, Saturday still poses some important challenges.

In a city which is justly proud of its recent fulsome embrace of liberal values, of gay rights for instance, there are still some (within the wider public) who feel that Unionists have no right to walk the streets of the Irish Capital: that indeed they brought the riots down upon their own heads by daring to walk O’Connell Street. Indymedia (even have entitled labelled a video file of the events Orange Riots (see comments below).

Even on Slugger we’ve seen an avalanche of anti Unionist invective about why these particular Unionists should never have been allowed to walk in the city. Yet one of the most startling details of the day was that of the two men who cornered Charlie Bird and called him an Orange bastard. That was hardly likely to have been uttered by the so called bigots of Love Ulster. Despite the fact that the main action of the day was carried out not by the marchers, but by the counter marchers, claims of the peaceful intent of the marchers have been continually and summarily dismissed.

The real problem here is the degree to which ad hominem arguments (or rather non arguments) have got into the system:

An Ad Hominem is a general category of fallacies in which a claim or argument is rejected on the basis of some irrelevant fact about the author of or the person presenting the claim or argument. Typically, this fallacy involves two steps.

First, an attack against the character of person making the claim, her circumstances, or her actions is made (or the character, circumstances, or actions of the person reporting the claim).

Second, this attack is taken to be evidence against the claim or argument the person in question is making (or presenting). This type of “argument” has the following form:

1. Person A makes claim X.
2. Person B makes an attack on person A.
3. Therefore A’s claim is false.

The reason why an Ad Hominem (of any kind) is a fallacy is that the character, circumstances, or actions of a person do not (in most cases) have a bearing on the truth or falsity of the claim being made (or the quality of the argument being made).

To that extent, Saturday’s events have been both a triumph of Internet based citizen journalism, and a profound demonstration of its limitations.

  • Martin

    Ad Hominem arguments are especially rampant in the Blogosphere and this site, despite it admirable “play the ball rule” is no exception. I have a real interest in the politics of Northern Ireland but, for obvious reasons, being English I never post on any topic here because most posters can’t, or won’t, distinguish between the personal views of an individual, his wider community and (especially in the case of UK posters) his government.

    Even where I venture posts on Sport and History every so often the responses indicate that they consider any one poster incapable of independent thought beyond some stereotypical and hypothetical groupthink based upon the responder’s own prejudices. It’s perhaps understandable, given the historical circumstances in which any political debate on this site is framed, but still sad. Valid opinions are not confined to any one community and expressing such an opinion is not the same as trying to dictate anyone’s internal affairs.

  • fair_deal

    On another thread I challenged republicans to produce evidence to back up the various claims about the bands symbols and badges etc. No one responded to that challenge.

    I note this photograph shows no paramilitary symbols on display by the band above neither did the television footage on BBC last night.

  • missfitz

    fair deal
    I suspect that any claims of symbols etc, were probably knee jerk comments, and ones you should not be losing sleep over. There is a wide misunderstanding of the meaning and use of unionsist parade symbols, one that is understandable. Try to educate, not challemge, and see where you get from there.

  • fair_deal

    “were probably knee jerk comments,”

    I agree they probably were but challenging them educates some on the foolishness of knee jerk comments especially those trying to justify riots and looting by individuals who never got close enough to see anything the victims groups had with them.

    “Try to educate, not challemge, and see where you get from there.”

    1. A interesting point.
    2. Challenge can be part of the ecucation process especially to less open minds
    3. How can I educate someone about a symbol if they invent their display?

  • Mick Fealty

    I have to agree with Martin and FD.

    One obvious absence on Slugger of late has been any significant numbers of Unionist commenters. Partly I imagine it’s because most of the news has been dominated by Nationalist stories. But conversations on the Dublin riots, both here and elsewhere, demonstrate the extent to which people have become intolerant to viewpoints with which they disagree.

    Even to the extent of transfering blame from perpetrators to victims.

    Most thinking individuals (whatever their politics or background) may simply make the judgement that it’s not worth talking to people who serially dismiss your viewpoint because of who you are whilst refusing to listen to what you say.

    As Voltaire once said: “I am very fond of truth, but not at all of martyrdom”.

  • seedot

    Mick – the Indymedia video is entitled anti-Orange riots, not Orange riots. and tbh most of the coverage on that site, at least the coverage that was promoted by the editors, was an attempt to move beyond what you are speaking about here.

    I’m not so sure that it would serve unionists well to attempt to educate the south about the reasons for ‘paraphernalia’ and the signicance of the marching culture in the context of the Loveulster march. I think it may be perceived as an attempt to say why the march should not be attacked with petrol bombs and bricks. The reason it should not be attacked in this way is not because it is not as offensive as it may seem to many southerners – but because we have better wasy of dealing with disagreements. This education is definitely needed – but possibly at a different time.

  • fair_deal

    seedot

    Mick was referring to the name of the download file not the title page of the video which talks of the anti-Orange riots

    “&91;Indymedia&93;_(2006-02-27)_OrangeRiot_Xvid[1]”

  • Mick Fealty

    My apologies if that’s the case to all at Indymedia, but it just came up as Orangeriots on my browser when I tried to play it earlier. I’ve noted elsewhere some of their sterling coverage on the day itself.

  • Some commentary on the citizen journalism aspect orf the coverage and the flashmob aspect to the riot

    Filenames are not titles – anyonbe who saw the pretty incredible indymedia video would have seen the title screen with full title.

  • seedot

    fair enough, I hadn’t noticed the file name.

    And while there may be “intolerance and resentment of the illiberality of Northern Irish society” down here in the South – the tabloids and bulletin boards have not been exactly a model of tolerance and liberalism in analysing this either.

    Did you see the ‘smart mobs’ article on Indy – gives slugger a big up, but also looks at the use of flash mob techniques both to ‘organise’ and to cover the event.

  • missfitz

    FD
    I take your point, and indeed if the challenge is going to spread a little light, then it should be done.

    As a mature student of Irish history, I am totally amazed at how seriously one-sided it was taught “in my day”. On the other hand, my fellow students from the unionist tradition share that feeling, and we are all constantly amazed at how little each others side of history is shared. It can be a case of “wow, I never knew that about your lot” and vice versa.

    Perceptions of Irishness have changed significantly over the years, and one should never despair of reaching out and creating common ground. It would be very mature to try and create something positive from the mayhem of last weekend, and explore a little more of our shared heritage.

  • susan

    Mick
    from susan
    As someone from a protestant background but not unionist voting I have stopped contributing to any threads other than non-partisan threads because I find it very predicatable and depressing. I admire the protestant community commentators who continue to contribute in the face of abuse. Like a lot of moderate protestants I used to think the majority of blinkered sctarianism came from the loyalist side. Depressingly I realise that isn’t true. I did try to make the point that pipe band music has a long tradition in scottish and protestant culture and bands such as the Field Marshall Montgomery have played with the Chieftains. I also have an old family friend who is an ex GrandMaster of the Orange Lodge. I once talked to him about why he belonged to the Orange Lodge. He explained that it wasn’t because he was anti-catholic and I know this to be true, but because he was proud to be protestant. There is a difference. He also said he joined because the Orange Hall served a cheap pint. A lot of Protestants join pipe bands for social reasons or their local Orange lodge because the drink is cheap. By demonising an entire community and refusing to accept that their entire culture is not based on hatred but exists independently and is not only a reaction to the only valid culture in this island, partition is reinforced.
    I have no problem with a united Ireland but if it is as a second class citizen I would need some persuading.

  • ID Lottery

    Ultonian Scottis American said…

    Mick Fealty wrote:

    “The reason why an Ad Hominem (of any kind) is a fallacy is that the character, circumstances, or actions of a person do not (in most cases) have a bearing on the truth or falsity of the claim being made (or the quality of the argument being made).”

    Please define or describe the cases were an ad hominem does “have a bearing on the truth or falsity of the claim being made (or the quality of the argument being made).”

    BTW, in court, the character of witnesses is constantly being called into question, whether as factual, or expert witnesses (who express their opinions).

  • Martin

    From Martin –

    USA – one of the only times that a Ad Hominem argument may have weight is from a political figure. The integrity of elected officials and those who are elected to represent us, or seek to, can be valid in assessing the weight of their argument.

    It is suggesting, for example, that the opinion of Joe Bloggs from the streets of London is less validt in discussing, say, the foreign policy of the Irish Republic than Sean Bloggs from the streets of Dublin that is facile.

    Although it is absolutely true to say that Sean’s views, assuming he is an Irish Citizen, should carry more WEIGHT than Joe’s (as it is ultimately his nation and Irish Citizens should be free to make their own mistakes or otherwise) it is not true to say, however, say he is any more informed or correct. For all we know Joe may be a Marxist with an MA in International Relations from Trinity and Sean a closet Thatcherite who has never read a newspaper. We can’t know that and so our responses must be based soley on the objective validity of their respective arguments. If Joe wanted to impose his views on Sean, that is different, but assuming he is not, his contribution to debate should be as welcome as anyone elses.

    Sure the character of witnesses in court is consistently brought into question but those circumstances are quite different from a debate which should be an exchange of views aimed at reaching a consensus.

  • eyesopen

    No sound with the pic ?

    They played a nice rendition of the sash during their short procession, the route however wasn’t long enough for them to build up to the billy boys.

    Shame.

  • spartacus

    susan

    you raise an interesting and important point. i have no doubt that many who join orange marching bands do so for social rather than sectarian reasons, and i would like to think that in a new context, where these marches positively disentangle themselves from a history of sectarian trumphalism, they could be celebrated as an important part of the common culture of this place. i was very happy to see that the rally for the postal workers several weeks was led off by two posties laying into lambeg drums, and in that context the ritual did not carry the slightest sectarian overtones, and so far as i could tell was celebrated by all those on the march. larkin organised something similar during the 1907 dockers stike in belfast, an anti-sectarian and working-class marching band. pity the unionist employers wouldn’t tolerate it.

    who knows, perhaps into the distant future we might someday see mixed marching bands that carry on much of the technical end of the tradition, in a non-exlusionary and anti-sectarian spirit. but that is for another day, one which gfa doesn’t seem at all capable of delivering, and which prominent elements in the unionist community seem dead set against allowing.

    i have serious objections to seeing a march organised for ‘protestant victims’ of the troubles, as it suggests a hierarchy of victimhood which seeems flagrantly sectarian. when you add to that the fact that the march is led off with plaques for ruc ‘victims’–who are among the only ‘victims’ who do, actually receive official recognition and whose families stand a chance of getting state compensation–at the same time that frazier and others not only defend state murder but also ‘cannot guarantee’ that photos of one ‘victim’ implicated in the largest single atrocity in the history of the troubles (dublin/monaghan) will not be carried on the march, then i think it is difficult for any but the willfully blind to view the march as anything more than a sectarian provocation.

    in my humble opinion, it is up to those anti-sectarian groups and individuals who love and want to preserve the marching tradition to draw a very clear line between their pasttime and the sectarian legacy that it is burdened with. lundies and ‘rotten prods’ might be the only ones capable of preserving something worth hanging onto, and i wish them well.

  • spartacus

    on the 1907 strike, in fairness i need to add that it was not only unionist employers, but a deeply conservative catholic hierarchy that feared what might become of the ‘cross-community work’ that the dockers were up to.

  • spartacus

    last two posts mine. i am spartacus.

    [no, i’m spartacus!]

  • TAFKABO

    i have serious objections to seeing a march organised for ‘protestant victims’ of the troubles, as it suggests a hierarchy of victimhood which seeems flagrantly sectarian.

    Presumably you object to Hunger striker memeorial parades and the bloody Sunday enquiry for the same reasons?

    ~~ContinuityTAFKABO~~

  • spartacus

    tafkabo:

    well, for one when i think of those assassinated during the hunger strikes they would include protestant like ronnie bunting and noel lyttle, and i would strongly suspect that among those who died on hunger strike some were non- or anti-religious. if any of the handful of protestants who marched on the bloody sunday demonstration had been killed, i would commemorate them exactly as i would any of the others. i would certainly not hesitate to be involved in commemorations of the us civil rights movement, or of those who died in the fight against apartheid, many of whom would have been protestants of strong conviction, albeit of a very different political bent than the sectarians of the dup.

    spartacus.

  • ID Lottery

    Ultonian Scottis American said…

    Martin:

    TY for your opinion. But unless you actual run Slugger, it doesn’t mean very much. Mick Fealty or some other Slugger boss needs to clarify.

  • Mick Fealty

    From Mick:

    Martin has the right of it USA. Ad Hominem arguments have always been deemed undesireable on Slugger: hence the play the ball not the man rule.

    The reasoning is partly to try to keep people on the substance of argument. But it is also a recognition that it is fairly pointless indulging in what is an uneven playing field: ie, if everyone here was forced to publicly disclose their real identities then maybe man playing would make more sense.

    However it is not intended to be a restrictive rule, but rather to promote competitive dialogue. Them’s the rules. In the end, if people don’t like it they don’t have to post here.

  • ID Lottery

    Ultonian Scottis American said…

    TY, Mick. I have no problem conforming to rules. You did state that there were cases where ad hominems were appropriate. These have still not been enumerated. But, in the event, ad hominems are forbidden, even when appropriate: is that correct?

    Your rules do seem to be unevenly applied sometimes, but maybe that’s due to a post being overlooked. I do hope that it’s not because some posters are favored over others.

    Another moderator informed me that referring to other blogs is verboten. Is that rule only for non-Slugger staff posters?

    I was also told to keep On Topic. This thread seems to have at least three topics.

    I was also told to review the rules for posting. Nowhere were the aforementioned rules spelled out. Is there another link here that I have missed that does spell out all the rules?

  • Mick Fealty

    From Mick:

    Top right of this page – hit the link “Commenting Policy”. The application of the rules is largely left up to the contributors. We tend only to step in when necessary. Which may give the impression of uneven application.

    I’m very well aware of what that moderator said and why it was said. It related to a particular circumstance.

    Re the exceptions to the ad hominem rule, that was a quotation from another site. The general guidance from us is to avoid it completely, because it generally leads to a deterioration in discussion quality – for the aforementioned reasons!

  • spartacus

    from Mick:

    ‘…there are still some (within the wider public) who feel that Unionists have no right to walk the streets of the Irish Capital: that indeed they brought the riots down upon their own heads by daring to walk O’Connell Street.’

    This is too convenient a way to write off opposition to the march, Mick. Suzanne Breen’s otherwise sensationalist piece on the rioting did note that there was widespread public opposition to the march among many who went nowhere near the rioting.

    As I’ve argued elsewhere on Slugger, a march to commemorate victims of the Truobles is one thing. A march for Protestant victims exclusively has the ring of sectarianism to it. and when you add to this Willie F’s refusal to disallow photographs of a loyalist paramiltary and British security agent responsible for the largest single atrocity of the war, its difficult to see how any right-minded person could see this as anything other than a sectarian provocation.

    That still leaves plenty of good reasons not to engage in rioting, but my take on the events is that an early counterprotest by anti-agreement republicans was transformed into a pitched battle between the gards and working-class Dublin youth who hate them with a passion, and who end up, it seems, too oftne on the receiving end of police brutality. See the front page article in DI today, the material in Indymedia on this.

    The logic behind your suggestion that the bands’ success in marching in place at Leinster House represents some kind of ‘moral victory’ eludes me.

  • ID Lottery

    Ultonian Scottis American said…

    Mick Fealty:

    TY for your patience and indulgence.

  • fair_deal

    “widespread public opposition to the march among many who went nowhere near the rioting. ”

    Majority opinion rules ok on how the laws are interpreted and implemented? Was this not the criticism of Stormont rule 1921-1972?
    Is this not the double standard of the nationalist approach? When they are in the minority they seek the rights and protections of such (fair enough) but when they are in a majority they try to ignore such things invoking their majority status as their justification?

  • spartacus

    you miss the point, fd, which was to counter the notion being peddled in the press that opposition to a proposed sectarian march was isolated to the dozens who turned up on a counterprotest, or the bigger crowd that was drawn to rioting aginst the gards.

    otherwise your analogy is predictably overblown: grievances over the treatment of a minority whose numbers ranged anywhere from a third to nearly fifty percent of the northern state’s population had to do with many things, but the ‘right to march’ figured barely, if at all, in disaffection from the orange state. i don’t recall even anyone demanding ‘minority rights.’ early on it was for equal treatment; when that was denied it was for an end to the sectarianism enshrined in partition.

    i am not a fan of the ‘two traditions’ approach. i don’t think it could have worked in south africa and i don’t think it can work here (and yes, i’m aware that’s a stretched analogy as well). i hope that we will live eventually in a society that moves beyond both the dominant traditions someday, but in the meantime horse-trading and elaborate backroom deals with the most sectarian elements in this society (the dup, to my mind, without question) are off the table.

  • Harry Flashman

    Spartacus, you need to help me out here, I’ve asked Brian Boru the same question but have yet failed to get a reply. What was your objection to the march? That it was protestant only? That they had bands? That they shouldn’t be allowed in O’Connell Street? That some of the participants may have some links/sympathies for terrorists?

    Because if it is because of the above reasons then surely all Irish Republican parades must be banned from cities like London, Manchester, Birmingham heck even Belfast city centre. I am sure you wouldn’t agree to that so why is sauce for the goose not sauce for the gander?

  • DK

    Harry – The reason is that FAIR are apparently anti-IRA and anti-Sinn Fein and against a United Ireland and apparently pro Loyalist paramilitaries, pro DUP and for the Union.

    This means that their March in a designated nationalist area is on a par with any other march through nationalist areas in NI – to be demonised and opposed by whatever means are available and most likely to work. A precedence cannot be set because “look we can march in Dublin – why not down the Garvaghy Road” has to be avoided.

    In the case of Dublin, legally blocking the march didn’t work. So illegaly blocking it was required. Problem is that Sinn Fein cannot be involved in violence any more, so instead they put their resources into demonising the marchers in the media (not hard, as FAIR are hardly lilly-white) and behind the scenes. Lo and behold, the spin has the desired effect and Sinn Fein can distance themselves from it. Result.

  • Mick Fealty

    From Mick Fealty:

    I take the point made above that there was some concentrated onjection to the march in Dublin. I was simply voicing a view that in general, most Dubliners do not really care one way or the other.

    Indeed Killian Ford was very good on Delevan’s podcast last weekend (well towards the end) on how the march may have made it more difficult to pursuade southerners to accept Northern Ireland should the north ever decide on unification.

    “…their March in a designated nationalist area”

    I’m puzzled by this. Designated? Designated by whom?

  • Reader

    DK: This means that their March in a designated nationalist area
    (A separate point from Mick’s)
    Well, not just any nationalist area – this is the main street of the would-be capital of a would-be United Ireland. Treating the street as just a republican shrine or a tribal stronghold is rather tacky.

  • DK

    Reader/Mick: “this is the main street of the would-be capital of a would-be United Ireland. Treating the street as just a republican shrine or a tribal stronghold is rather tacky”

    I dont think that aesthetic concerns went through the protesters minds. It was simply ‘Dublin is ours. Them is bad. Must protest’. I wonder if at least the first 2 sentences there are going through the minds of most Dubliners, even if only a few could be bother to get to the “Must protest” part. Certainly, I believe that there has been a concerted attempt to reinforce the perception that “Them is bad”.

    I said this on another thread on slugger, but in all the commentry about the march and the riots I have not seen a single comment about FAIR’s reason for marching – i.e. state collusion with paramilitaries.

    Instead we have a lot of stuff about “orange march” and “paramilitaries being displayed provocatively” and “offensive symbols” etc. Looking back, the march had no chance with the hysteria whipped up about it – and I think it would have been the same if it was even only the most moderate of parades.

  • To be honest, one of the problems that I perceive with the comments on slugger is that there always appears to be only 2 sides to every story and you get a back and forth between two largely predictable points of view – which is I suppose a reflection of politricks in the wee north, but it does make them a little tiring.

    The indymedia coverage tried to incorporate both sides points of view (hard enough since there aren’t many unionists in the south) but also various other positions such as the class lines of the riot.

    Personally, I think that all involved did their best to ensure that the dublin march would cause the predictable sectarian battle. As far as I can see Love Ulster tried as hard as possible to offend nationalist sentiments (as far as they were allowed to anyway) while RSF predictably did everything possible to ensure that it would be met with a riot – and exceeded their wildest dreams I’m sure.

    Not that I’m saying the march shouldn’t have been allowed to go ahead, as offensive and provocative as it might have been to nationalists – I’m all for allowing anybody to march, with whatever bands they want and so on, but at the same time I can’t for the life of me imagine why anybody would want to march through north inner city dublin with a band playing the sash – most dubs find it a scary enough place to walk through on a saturday night, never mind doing so while doing your best to offend the natives.

    In terms of building bridges on the island, I really think that finding ways that don’t involve references to either of the dominant nationalisms would make a hell of a lot more sense than pretending that the Dublin working class are ever going to be happy to hear sectarian songs in their midst or that the Shankill is going to dance jigs on Paddy’s day.

    Something like a festival of throwing rotten fruit at Michael Flatley or an all-ireland football team playing england every week would do the trick.

  • spartacus

    swp statement on riots:

    The riots on O Connell St reveal the deep-seated social tensions at the heart of the
    Celtic Tiger

    About 500 mainly young working class men stopped an Orange parade and then mainly turned
    their anger on the Irish Gardai and commercial property.

    The media and the political establishment have responded with a blatant class prejudice.
    Commentators like Gerry Ryan use the national airwaves to refer to the rioters as
    ‘scumbags’ and mimic Dublin working class accents. The rioters are supposed to have ‘low
    intelligence’ and are branded as ‘thugs’. But behind the class prejudice is a deep-seated fear
    in bourgeois circles about where Irish society is going.

    The Orange march through Dublin was a provocation. Contrary to some commentators, the
    Orange Order does not ‘represent’ the Protestant community or express ‘Protestant culture’.
    It is a reactionary institution that over decades fought to displace the most progressive
    sentiments of Irish Protestants in favour of a supremacist ideology. It projects a false
    communal unity around the idea that Catholics should take second place. Fortunately, the
    Orange Order has entered a periods of decline and is unable to muster large numbers for
    its supremacist parades through areas like the Garvaghy Road. Its only answer is to stage
    sectarian stunts to revive its communal grip.

    The Southern ruling class have their own problems. Largely unreported by the media there
    has been the rise of a huge protest movement that, although still fragmented, shows
    significant signs of generalisation. Once expression of this movement – and it is only one- is
    the rise of Sinn Fein in the polls.

    The discontent is creating greater divisions within the elite. One wing of the
    establishment around FF and Mary McAleese wants to counter Sinn Fein by wrapping the green flag
    ever tighter around themselves and reclaiming republicanism for Southern state. Hence the
    military style parade to commemorate 1916.

    The other wing led most vociferously by McDowell wants provocations to discredit Sinn
    Fein and other ‘subversives’. There is no doubt that they openly connived at the bringing
    the loyalist march to Dublin to stage such a provocation. On various occasions McDowell
    indicated support for this march – and was even mooted at as possible speaker.

    His claim that the Gardai knew nothing about the scale of the opposition is entirely
    bogus.

    Republican Sinn Fein made no secret of their intentions to organise a counter-protest –
    and their military associates are in any case heavily infiltrated by the police.

    McDowell wanted a provocation to present republicanism as ‘thuggish’ and also to create
    the ground for police repression. Watch out for some late additions to his Criminal
    Justice Bill.

    Socialists do not join in the condemnation of young working class people who riot against
    the police – especially given this wider context.

    Some of the actions of the rioters were mistaken – like attacking the journalist Charlie
    Bird as a symbol of the political establishment; or presenting the Orange Order as people
    ‘who belong up there’. Singing Fields of Athenry or waving tricolours does nothing to
    widen the breach between the Orange Order and the Protestant workers who joined their
    Catholic brothers and sisters on a magnificent postal strike some days before hand.

    However, every riot contains contradictory elements precisely because it is a
    spontaneous. Like the French riots recently they emerge suddenly – often when the organised left
    least expect it. But overall they are part of a revolt against an arrogant elite who live a
    life of privilege and disdain for the poor.

    The riots show why it is more urgent than ever why a new left needs to make a mark on
    Irish society. The new left needs to give voice to that anger and connect it with struggles
    that can shake the system.

    The history of this state means that many may look to republicanism. But the Adams wing
    has already started the long, slow march into the political establishment and while the
    RSF harks back to the armed struggle even though it has neither the capacity or support to
    wage one.

    Only a new left which challenges both imperialism and the rule of Irish capital offers a
    viable way forward.

  • Bobby

    The march was doomed from the begining… i heard about it 3 months ago and everybody i talked to said that there would be trouble… There were about 300 republican protesters but the rest were there to throw things at the garda…. There are also rumors that there will be another parade (I Hope Their Ready).. Letting a loyalist parade down O’Connell st is Like letting a republican parade down the Shankill… It’s Just crazy..

    On another mater, I was watching the news last night and there was a man who was a community rep talking about how the PSNI would’nt raid a nationalist pub like the tiger bar…. My answer to this.. they would’nt do it because nationalist don’t do “Shows Of Strenght” they are more civilalised than that …….