Interesting companions

While downtown in Belfast City centre this afternoon there was a parade taking place. Among the parade were five bands. One brass, one flute, two accordion and one jazz. The brass, flute and accordion bands participate in Orange Order parades. Nothing surprising there. What was interesting was who were walking with the bands? Trade Union members, socialists and a number of prominent republicans.

Pictures here (hat tip to Garibaldy) Update One was brass not flute (d’oh my unlce and two cousins will not forgive me for that oversight).

  • Rory

    Dear me! Seems a bit multi-cultural, possibly even something to do with international respect for human rights, dignity and appreciation and respect for all. A wee bit outside the Ulster Unionist canon of ideology I suppose. Is that why you need the photos? Identify any “weak sisters” (a la Chandler?)

  • fair_deal

    Rory

    “A wee bit outside the Ulster Unionist canon of ideology I suppose. Is that why you need the photos? Identify any “weak sisters” (a la Chandler?)”

    No.

  • TAFKABO

    I’m afraid that I now consider Slugger a lost cause, with the first post in this thread a prime example of why.

    Will the last resonable person to leave please turn out the lights and leave the bigots in the dark (where they seem most comfortable).

  • yerman

    FD
    Which bands were they?

  • Rory

    Oh dear. Don’t know what it is I can have said to frighten the poor fellow off. He didn’t seem like someone of a delicate disposition in some of his earlier responses as I remember. Still, one can’t tell. Sometimes the strain just gets to a fellow.

    Anyway, do take care, TAFKABO, sorry I frightened you off. No intention on my part, really.

  • fair_deal

    Ballycoan Flute, Ballmacarett Defenders, Harbour Acc (Donaghadee) and George Dummigan memorial Acc

  • Don’t forget the Belfast Gay and Lesbian society.. they were marching too.

    Who would have thought water rates would be the one thing that would unite all the people of Northern Ireland.

  • yerman

    Fair play to them… Some very good bands there too. Will have done a few people plenty of good to hear bands like Ballycoan and Ballymacarrett – they wouldnt be most people’s usual perception of Orange bands.

  • fakin kant

    I read that one of the marches in support of the Post Office Workers strike a few months ago went up the Falls and the Shankill. That makes it two issues that have brought the two communities together. wow, we’ll soon need one of those wee tickers like in the Lynx advert!

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Jimmy Porter: “Who would have thought water rates would be the one thing that would unite all the people of Northern Ireland. ”

    Hey, politics is politics, but money is money. I may disagree with your politics, but if your rates and my rates are going up, there lies common cause.

  • Rory

    Oh good. Water rates. My favourite cause. Why the hell it should be permitted to make profit from the supply of water while all are agreed that a clean, plentiful supply to ALL is required for ALL to live without disease (never mind rancour).

    Connolly will yet touch the hearts and minds of all. Capital will always extract a share of blood along with its pound of flesh and this all men will see to be wrong and in that unity of clear sightedness it will be difficult to create division.

  • fakin kant

    DC:

    tis the one church that unites us all, amen.

  • missfitz

    Has anyone seen a leaflet from Belfast City council, it apparently is describing the Parading season as “Orange Fest- a multi cultural event with fun for all the family”

    I was told about it, but havent seen the leaflet in question

  • Shore Road Resident

    This proves that the Orange Order should definitely wise up – because there is nothing it could possibly do that upset republican throwbacks like Rory more.

  • james

    If only the orange order used bands who were not aligned to loyalist paramilitary organisations.

    The marching season might be seen as a bit more than a hate fest.

  • fair_deal

    missfitz

    Don’t know about a leaflet or the City Council but Orangefest is to run a programme of events around the twelfth and at other parts of the year. The events around and on the Twelfth are to make the event more family friendly.

  • Garibaldy

    There are millions of photos on indymedia

  • Reader

    Rory: Why the hell it should be permitted to make profit from the supply of water while all are agreed that a clean, plentiful supply to ALL is required for ALL to live without disease (never mind rancour).
    It doesn’t matter whether there’s a profit made – it’s a matter of how much it costs, and then how it is paid for. The real objections to water rates are that the massive prices represent decades of underinvestment, followed by a big bang upgrade, and presumably huge public sector inefficiencies. I think most people would rather pay £200 per year to FatCat Watercorp, than £201 per year to Gordon Brown.

  • Rubicon

    Fatcat Corp. will be cheaper? Sure! Just like NIE and Phoenix.

    I’ve no objection to paying for a public service – to a public organisation or to a private one. But – when private organiations operate without competition their record is worse.

  • missfitz

    Fair deal
    Dont get me wrong, I wasnt being critical, I have a genuine interest in this area. One of my friends who knows of my interest told me about Orange Fest, and as far as I knew it was a recent development.

    I have long maintained that bringing a more open family element to the 12th was going to be the only way forward. It might mitigate the drink issue which is still overwhelming. I was at the parades in town on Friday night, and it is remarkable in the extreme to see the level of alcohol publicly consumed by youth of questionable legality age wise.

    That is one way Belfast differs so significantly from the rural events where that would not be tolerated. I was at a couple of fields last year, and there is an entirely different set of values at work.

    It would be great work to bring this sense of respectability back to Befast parades, and demonstrate that if these parades are a mark of tradition and culture, thy should be managed in a dignified way

  • fair_deal

    missfitz

    “I wasnt being critical,”

    I didn’t think you were and sorry if my reply gave that impression.

    The OO is trying to tackle the drink issue on the Twelfth by emphasising the family nature and complimentary events. A key difficulty it has been facing on the drink issue is non-co-operation of the police. The closure of pubs and off licences along the route has been raised to restrict access to alcohol as has enforcing the existing band on the sections of the route the byelaw exists but the PSNI won’t budge.

    On teenagers and parades, drinking is what a lot of these teenagers do on a Friday or Saturday night. Parades often just move the geography of the problem of teenage alcohol abuse.

    There is a general point about how “problems with the Twelfth” are more “problems with the Belfast Twelfth” that an equal problem across NI.

  • missfitz

    Well, FD, in my experience the problem stems from the 11th night, not so much the availability on the 12th day.

    By 7.30 in the morning when I turn up for parades, most of the youths are stocious drunk and hobbling about with their blue wkd or buckfast.

    I engaged with some residents of a contentious Belfast interface a couple of years back and tried to bring the conversation around to common issues for us as mothers and females in general. I was doing really well for a long time, exploring issues and laying common ground when one of them turns and looks at me coldly. She took a long drag of her cigarette and said “Aye, thats alright but yer still a fenian”.

    It doesnt do any of us any good to have disorder and alcohol at parades, but I suppose the answer there is parenting and leadership more than anything else.

    I share your frustration with the policing attitude on parade routes, but their take on it is that they would create public disorder by taking away alcohol. The emphasis then rests much more so on the stewards and marshals for overt drunkeness, but I dont really know where we go from here.

    Totally agree on the Belfast v. country scenario, it really is two different worlds! And as for Derry, its great fun and a real spectacle up there.

  • Bemused

    “The events around and on the Twelfth are to make the event more family friendly.”

    MORE family friendly? Like it’s in any way family fucking friendly as is? Have you lost your fucking mind?

    My wife’s from the South – she (funnily enough) has a southern accent. Are you telling us that if MY family (i.e. me, my wife and two kids) were to toddle along to one of your ‘family friendly’ ‘parades’ that all would be ‘friendly’ and enjoyable? You must be fucking joking. I had the misfortune to encounter a ‘parade’ on the Ormeau Road a few weeks ago. Quite astonishing – rafts of drunken spides, people pissing on the street, at least three ‘fuck the pope’ t-shirts and quite the most menacing atmosphere imaginable. Family friendly my arse. Until the ‘Order’ hoses away the foul untermensch element from it’s ‘parades’, the only family that will continue to attend with relish is the Addams’.

  • missfitz

    Bemused
    I challenge your assertions.

    I was at all of the parades thus far on the Ormeau, and I can state categorically that there was no evidence of the t-shirts in question. As to public urination, this is not a big problem in this area.

    I suggest that if you are unfamiliar with such gatherings there is the potential to be intimidated, rather like getting caught up in Portlaoise or any other Irish town late on a Friday night.

    There is a serious point here about enlarging the context of these parades and finding a solution to our problems through finding some commonality in our identity.

    Yeah Yeah, its easy to say ban them, that gets us nowhere. Parades were banned in 1837 and it was impossible to enforce the rules. It created a worse situation than had previously existed and they were re-instated some years later. Thousands used to turn up to “funerals” or other legal processions.

    There is no point in talking about how bad it all is, we need to work together to change it. I brought my family (kicking and screaming) to the field in Rathfriland, and once they had gotten over their shock and fright, they settled and we had a good time. Now, I’m not saying they would go every year, but it de-mystified the process for them and they have a little better understanding. One small step I guess you could call it!

  • Bemused

    “I was at all of the parades thus far on the Ormeau, and I can state categorically that there was no evidence of the t-shirts in question.”

    Well I can state categorically that there WAS evidence of the t-shirts in question. How? Because I saw them with my own two fucking eyes!

    “As to public urination, this is not a big problem in this area.”

    Not a BIG problem in this area? What the fuck does that mean? People ARE pissing on the street but there aren’t very many of them or the residents don’t mind or there isn’t a lot of piss…..

    “I suggest that if you are unfamiliar with such gatherings there is the potential to be intimidated, rather like getting caught up in Portlaoise or any other Irish town late on a Friday night.”

    Huh?

    Are you serious?

    I’m frankly not sure what you even mean by getting ‘caught up’ in an Irish town late on a Friday night. No doubt it’s some sort of window into your own twisted bigotry that simply being in an Irish town means that you are somehow ‘caught up’ in something. Christ.

    “Yeah Yeah, its easy to say ban them, that gets us nowhere”. If you’d actaully READ my post you would find that I hadn’t at any point said that parades should be banned. All I’m asking for is that parades be properly policed and that drunks, bigots, paramilitaries and the disorderly are made utterly unwelcome.

  • missfitz

    Bemused
    Would you kindly tell me which twisted bigotry of mine you are referring to? You see, I am confused.

    I am a middle aged catholic woman who spent most of her childhood in the Midlands of Ireland. I assume any bigotry I should inherently have would be anti-unionist.

    Does it upset you that catholics can see both sides of the story, or worse, have some insight into unionism?

    While I cannot further challenge your claims, I was on the Ormeau and if nothing else your claims must stand contested.

    As to late nights in Irish towns, that is my personal experience. Gardai and local councils will tell you that large sized towns like Portlaoise are becoming lawless places at night, where you venture out at risk of your safety.

    I’m aware that your particular post didnt mention banning parades, however, I was pre-empting the larger concensus that normally comes back with that silliness

  • Chris Donnelly

    FD

    I was one of those republicans marching along with fellow trade unionists on what was a very successful day. And I might add that I thoroughly enjoyed some of the tunes being played by the bands in question- quite a good rendition of ‘The Minstrel Boy’ went up along Royal Avenue- though I have to say that, with apologies to the bands in question, the elderly group of four gentlemen who played Swing music to the marchers and onlookers from their UNISON-sponsored bus stole the day for me.

    All in all, a successful day, and I congratulate all who participated and organised the event.

  • Garibaldy

    Given all the stuff about the 25th anniversaries of the hunger strikers, maybe I should point out that it is also 25 years since the provos burnt out the ICTU offices due to differences of opinions. Perhaps those of their supporters who marched in the trade union-organised parade on Saturday might be able to explain why this occurred.

  • fair_deal

    Missfitz

    “their take on it is that they would create public disorder by taking away alcohol. ”

    They don’t take that attitude on 12th August in Londonderry with a drink ban reasonably well enforced on the Cityside and it doesn’t cause public disorder.

    CD

    “I thoroughly enjoyed some of the tunes being played by the bands in question”

    Glad to hear it. I hopes it gives you an insight into why a large section of Ulster protestants enjoy the Twelfth.

  • Chris Donnelly

    Glad to hear it. I hopes it gives you an insight into why a large section of Ulster protestants enjoy the Twelfth.

    FD

    And you regarding nationalists enjoying republican commemmorations, FD.

    I have no doubt that many people enjoy the twelfth of July- nor do I have a problem with them doing so. Rather, it is the manner in which SOME of those participants and spectators do so that causes particular problems.

    Those participating in yesterday’s parade were showing soliarity with the trade union movement today in a relaxed and non-threatening manner.

    Even you should be able to work out the difference between that scenario and one in which known UDA/ UVF leaders march- or ‘spectate’- along with loyalist bands in Orange parades, complete with unionist regalia, through nationaist areas.

    If you can’t, then surely there is little hope left….

    btw, were you on the march yesterday yourself?

  • fair_deal

    CD

    “relaxed and non-threatening manner”

    Walking on a main road is not a threat. Threat is a perception.

    “nationalists enjoying republican commemmorations,”

    Yes. If this is a reference to my thread. I didn’t object to what they did just showed what they expect of others was not followed.

    “complete with unionist regalia”

    What do expect Unionists to display other than Unionist regalia?

    “through nationaist areas.”

    If you can’t see defining ownership of territory is a step back not a step forward…

    “which SOME of those participants and spectators do so that causes particular problems.”

    The Loyal Orders are trying to address this but the legal and human rights constraints marshals operate under with spectators means it is far from easy. The PSNI are also little help either want to do nothing or batter people.

    “one in which known UDA/ UVF leaders march”

    Ardoyne 2004 again. We have been over this ground before.

    “btw, were you on the march yesterday yourself?”

    Nope didn’t know about it (my branch didnt tell me about it) down buying a birthday present and bumped into it.