Unionist support for flag protests has dwindled: time for a new strategy?

Ruth Patterson’s newly appointed campaign manager for the next Assembly election is Jamie Bryson. Here on Slugger he argues that the time is over for protest and that a new strategy must be found to raise concerns of working class loyalists. There has been much discussion and debate in recent days about a planned Union flag protest to be held on St Patrick’s day. The protest is billed as a 12 hour vigil.  Protest is a powerful tool to articulate your … Read more

Elections: a good time to bury controversial news?

Over the last few days whilst we have all been engrossed in all things electoral a couple of somewhat controversial announcements have occurred with relatively little notice. On Wednesday just before the polls opened the PPS announced it was dropping all charges against flag protest leader Willie Frazer some 15 months after his initial arrest. Meanwhile on Thursday OFMDFM announced that John Larkin had been reappointed as attorney general. Elections: a good time to bury controversial if not necessarily bad … Read more

Does social media have much influence or use in NI politics or protests? #nisocialpol

Researchers Orna Young and Jonny Byrne hosted a panel discussion in the University of Ulster this morning on Transformative Networks – Social Media, Politics and Protests. A panel gave their thoughts and afterwards there was a discussion. In the first part you’ll hear Orna Young introduce the event, followed by Alan Meban and Dave Magee. listen to ‘Part 1 of panel on Social Media, Politics & Protests #nisocialpol @alaninbelfast, @dgmagee ’ on Audioboo The second part covers Harriet Long, Brian … Read more

Loyalist terrorists and this summer’s mayhem

Summer in Northern Ireland has for a very long time been associated with heightening of sectarian problems and criminality. This year has been as bad as many for some time. Throughout this summer the media and others have held a number of organisations and individuals to account over this. Whether someone agrees or disagrees with this holding to account tends to depend on one’s social / political / sectarian position. So far we have had Ruth Patterson repeatedly criticised for … Read more

Thoughts on the Flag protests

The flag protests have now been going on for a month. During that time we have heard assorted apportioning of blame, descriptions of the events as marking a disintegration in loyalism (and by extension then unionism), calls on various people to display “leadership” and much merriment and contempt directed at the flag protest leadership: often vitriolic here on slugger. The protests are at core a political issue. The riots are clearly criminality and some of those attacking the police may … Read more