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Dublin Riots: What Happened and Why (Analysis) + 13min Video Footage
summit mobilisations |
Monday February 27, 2006 00:32 by Indy Photographer & kevin - 1 of Indymedia Ireland Editorial Group
A political analysis of the Dublin riots and why nobody saw them coming
I, like almost everybody I know, didn't predict the events of Saturday. In fact the only person I know who did predict a major riot was a friend of mine who happens to hail from the wee North - in retrospect I should have realised that he had his finger on the pulse, for not only does he have much more experience of sectarian marches, but through his job he knows many of the people who were involved and has an unusual insight and sympathy for those people who most Dubliners write off as 'scumbags' and 'knackers'. This article is an analysis of what happened and why almost everybody got it so wrong. This article is a companion piece to the photo essay which I published yesterday.
A 13 minute video of the rioting in Dublin is now available on the global indymedia video site. You can download it by clicking here or by visiting the global indymedia website at video.indymedia.org. The file is made with the xvid codec and mp3 audio. It is approximately 100 MB in size, you will require a broadband connection to view it.
I have a lot of experience of protesting and policing, having attended many of the most hyped and heavily policed events that Dublin has seen in the last decade as well as some of the biggest and most volatile international protests that have occurred around the world, both as a participant and a cameraman. From this it is obvious to me that the police were similarly completely surprised by the events of Saturday February 25th in central Dublin.
I also know that the Gardai are more than capable of policing contentious and potentially volatile protests in what would be regarded as a way that is in line with international policing norms. I was there on the Navan road when 3,000 anti-capitalist protestors made the march to Farmleigh on Mayday 2004. On that day there were thousands of police deployed and although the protestors managed to get much closer to the location of the summit than the police would have liked, the state was never in any danger of losing control of the situation. They had deployed thousands of police in riot gear, backed up by water cannon and a massive deployment of surveillance technology and they successfully contained the protestors much as their international colleagues routinely do. Therefore, I do not think that it is conceivable that the complete under-preparedness of the gardai could possibly be a result of incompetence in terms of their ability to police events - they have proved very successful at containing much bigger protests in the past....
There have been some suggestions that our power-crazed minister for justice or other sinister forces within the 26 country state may have deliberately failed to prepare adequately to police this event in order to further some security or anti-republican agenda. While I'm sure the minister for justice would love to have the power to do this, I'm also certain that he doesn't and that this theory is entirely implausible. Gardai are generally not happy to be sent out under prepared to face rioters and if there had been any inkling that a riot was likely to ensue, the guards would have been extremely unwilling - to say the least - to be used as target practice in such a scheme, pawns in the minister's power game. As it is the gardai on the ground were extremely angry and remain so that they were sent out to police a situation without anything like the resources that they would have needed to contain the situation. Furthermore, I talked to the Superintendent who appeared to be in charge of operations on the day and several ordinary gardai and they all expressed the same opinion - that they had anticipated some 'trouble' but nothing like the rioting that happened and while it is a foolish person who believes anything just because the Gardai say it is so (I remember the stream of lies and smears that the Garda press office came out with in the run up to Mayday 2004) - these reactions seemed genuine and unscripted.
Therefore, I think it is clear that the guards were genuinely taken completely by surprise by the events of the day and I think that the reasons for them being surprised were exactly the same as the reasons that I and almost all of the other political activists whom I know were similarly taken by surprise.
Essentially, our mistake was to assume that political protests need to be organised by somebody. In general this is true and I don't know of any other event that has taken place in Dublin in the last 20 years which happened without being organised or planned by some organisation or other. The riots of central Dublin were an exception to this rule, no organisation planned them and almost nobody saw them coming.
The Garda intelligence reports in advance of the march would have told them that Sinn Fein were trying as hard as they could to keep their members away from the protest - I believe that they announced that anybody who was seen in the city centre on the day would be banned from their functions for 6 months and this largely worked, I only saw a single shinner in the city throughout the day and he was obviously there as a sanctioned observer and remained behind police lines (where I also inadvertently found myself). Similarly, the Gardai know that the 32CSM had called off their protest and were not interested in provoking a confrontation. While Republican Sinn Fein did organise a counter protest, the gardai pretty much know what their membership has for breakfast and are well aware that they are a tiny organisation based around a small number of traditional republican families who are completely incapable of mobilising more than a few dozen die-hards. The 4th significant Republican group, the IRSP, are virtually non-existant in the south and are incapable of organising anything. Besides the Gardai were well aware of the fact that the march was intended as a provocation, a trap for republicans to fall into and that the various republican groups were intelligent enough to recognise this and avoid falling into it.
The other political current that regularly causes the Gardai security worries in Dublin is the anarchists and the Gardai would have been well aware that the anarchist organisations were not at all interested in stoking the flames of sectarianism. The Gardai read indymedia for their intelligence like the rest of us and they would have been aware that the anarchists were not planning trouble for this march - being more interested in taking the piss out of the bigots than getting into a ruck with them. They knew that neither the WSM nor Organise! the two formal anarchist organisations in the country were simply not going to get involved in organising a protest that would be seen as nationalist and sectarian. Thus the Gardai came to the same assesment that I did - no political organisations who were capable of causing trouble were mobilising to oppose the loyalist march and they were right. From the long years that I have spent attending and covering protests I recognise a lot of faces from these various groups and they simply weren't involved in the confrontation - those whom I saw were bemusedly observing the whole thing from the sidelines. The people who are claiming that the events were orchestrated by this or that political group are simply liars who are pursuing various agendas and cynically using the riot to attack their political opponents. From the fantasist pathological liars of the Sunday Independent to the PDs, every reactionary in the country will use any such event as this to smear their opponents and they can be safely ignored by anybody who is seeking to understand these events.
So, if it wasn't organised by political groups, how did it happen?
The people who took part in the rioting were largely drawn from the urban poor, mostly disenfranchised young men from impoverished estates around Dublin, people who normally have no political voice whatsoever, people who rarely vote, who are disorganised, who live in communities that have been ravaged by poverty and drug and alcohol abuse, people who many of those who live lives of privilege and relative comfort write off as 'scumbags' or whom the Marxists describe as 'lumpen'. Although these people are generally seen as apolitical and disinterested in politics, this is not entirely true. Many of them have a deep and abiding sense of identity which is derived from their nationalism or patriotism. As my friend said to me, he is constantly amazed at the number of young men from impoverished communities who sport tricolour or pro-IRA tattoos, despite the fact that they have no political involvement in any of the Republican or Nationalist organizations.
This sense of identity is expressed in various ways in addition to the tattoos - from the houses and flats decked out in green bunting during the world cup, to the well known 'bar stool republicanism' and popularity of nationalist songs in the bars where the poor drink, to the widespread and passionate support for Glasgow Celtic Football Club among the poor and disenfranchised. An instinctive nationalism and a strong sense of identity for their own community is the real political expression of the urban poor in Dublin. The idea that the loyalist paramilitaries could come and march through their city, by the GPO - ground zero of Irish republicanism - was sufficiently provocative to enrage these people on a much deeper level than any of the habitual attacks on their living conditions or economic lives could possibly do. They are used to being at the bottom, to being shat upon by the rest of society, but their nationalism and sense of community identity is one thing that gives them pride in themselves - allowing the loyalists to march through their city and to disrespect their identity would be a full frontal assault on their pride and pride is all they have.
Therefore, despite the lack of mobilisation by any of the political groups and in some cases (as with Sinn Fein) the active efforts to stop their supporters attending, groups of youth from all over the city headed into town to oppose the loyalist march. Many of them obviously prepared themselves with projectiles and fireworks, presumably intending to hurl them at the loyalists. From my position behind the police lines I witnessed several golf balls and ball bearings (one of which struck me on the leg) being thrown over the lines of the riot police and bangers and rockets continuously exploded on the ranks of the riot police. Therefore, I think it is clear that a fair number of those who took part in the riots were prepared to throw projectiles at the loyalist march. However, it is also clear that none of this was coordinated, it didn't have to be. It doesn't take any coordination or organisation for a bunch of mates to head into town together with a few projectiles and since the anti-loyalist sentiment is widespread, it doesn't take any great leap of imagination to picture groups of youths from all over the city arriving at the idea independently and that's what happened.
I talked to several people from different areas of the city who reported groups of youth from impoverished areas of the city travelling into town on buses talking loudly about their plans to pelt the loyalists. It was probably the one political issue in Dublin which was certain to lead to such a decentralised mobilisation. Anybody who is familiar with the patterns of sectarian rioting in the North knows that although the rioting is normally controlled, to a greater or lesser extent, by paramilitary groups, the vast majority of the participants are local youths who are not members of any political organisation - exactly the same section of society as those who rioted in Dublin and indeed the same section of society who are almost always the ones to riot - from Paris to Argentina it is the impoverished youth on the margins of society who riot, having nothing to lose and little fear of authority.
How did the situation escalate?
However, what eventually occurred in central Dublin was much more than a few bunches of youths pelting the marchers with small projectiles and fireworks, it turned into a full scale riot. How did this come about?
The RSF counter demonstration provided a rallying point for all of these disenfranchised people who made their way into Dublin early on Saturday morning. By the time that the march was due to begin at 12.30, the handful of RSF supporters taking part in the demonstration had been joined by a few hundred of these unaffiliated anti-loyalist youth. The Gardai had corralled the RSF demonstration behind barriers in the middle of the road, but this was not a crowd that was going to accept the right of the Gardai to tell them where to stand. As I approached the Parnell monument from Parnell Square shortly after 12.30 with an indymedia videographer and saw the counter-demonstration, it was immediately clear to us that the loyalist march was not going to be able to leave Parnell Square at all. The protestors were utterly enraged. People were screaming at the guards "call yourself fucking Irish, you'll let them march and you won't let us march up to them", "orange bastards" and "free state scum" and other similar epithets.
There were also large numbers of working class youth amassing at the junction of Parnell Street and O'Connell Street and the crowd was growing all the time. O'Connell street is flanked on its East side by a large concentration of impoverished flat complexes and council houses - an area that has housed some of Dublin’s poorest communities for over a century. Many of the people who were arriving at the flash point were locals who may not even have known about the march, but when they learned that the Gardai were cordoning off their communities to allow a loyalist march through, they became similarly enraged and heaped abuse upon the Gardai 'traitors' who were holding back the crowds.
The crowd from the counter demonstration surged through the barriers into the road and the Gardai responded in the standard way that they do when a demonstration breaks through a barrier, they called up the riot squad who launched a baton charge into the crowd to clear the way for the loyalist march. However, they were not dealing with a normal political demonstration, they were dealing with the most disenfranchised sector of society, a group with very different characteristics from your normal political demonstrators, the anti-loyalist demonstration was immediately transformed into an anti-Garda riot that led to the forces of order completely losing control of central Dublin for the next few hours.
In general, people who attend political demonstrations are people who have some type of long-term goal that they are aiming towards. Their political acts are part of some strategy and crucially they have something to lose. Not so with this crowd. These are people whose communities are completely ignored by the Gardai and the state, whose only interactions with the Gardai are to receive beatings and general persecution from them. In this self same community, only a few hundred yards away from the flash-point, a local man by the name of Terrence Wheelock died in highly dubious circumstances while in custody and it is widely believed that he was beaten to death by the Gardai. Indeed beatings in custody have become so common for local youths that they are hardly remarked upon and almost accepted within 'polite society'. These are people who have little or nothing to lose, who take pride in the fact that they have no fear, who are accustomed to being powerless and trodden upon by the state and who have a deep rage about this state of affairs, a rage which is generally expressed in a self-destructive way. Many of them are known to the Gardai. For once they found a large number of people with a similar experience gathered together in the one spot and for once they massively outnumbered the Gardai.
Normally on a demonstration a single policeman can handle a dozen protestors or so since they have a huge arsenal of repressive measures at their disposal and demonstrators know it well and are afraid of the consequences of their actions. People who have nothing to lose are an entirely different proposition. Thus, as soon as the police charged the crowd to clear the way for the march, they were greeted with an avalanche of projectiles, bricks, rockets, crude home-made petrol bombs and so on. Intense fighting broke out around the junction of Parnell Street and O'Connell street. Lumps of masonry showered down all around. Many of the participants took no measures whatsoever to conceal their identities. In those cases where they did 'mask up', it seemed that they did so because that was how rioters were supposed to look rather than being an effective way to conceal their identities. These were the people who aren't afraid of the Gardai - who will fight back when they are arrested by a half dozen guards on a typical Saturday night, and for once they had the weight of numbers.
The Gardai were visibly shocked by the reaction to their attempt to clear the road. None of the yellow-jacketed guards had been issued with helmets and several went down with head injuries in the initial wave of fighting. Even the riot police looked shell shocked as a massive wave of projectiles beat down upon their shields. Fearless teenagers danced up to their lines taunting them and receiving batons across the head without seemingly caring for their own safety at all. This was an explosion of rage from the poorest and most marginalised in society and an explosion the likes of which had not been seen in Dublin for decades.
O'Connell street was a building site and bricks, paving stones, barricades and oil cans were neatly arranged all along it, almost like an ammunition dump for rioters. Combine that with the proximity of many of the poorest residential areas in the city where the Gardai are feared and hated and the reasonable number of destitute drug users who you will find around O'Connell street on an average Saturday and you had a ready supply of people and ammunition for a proper riot and that was what we saw. There were probably no more than 200 people who were involved in the initial onslaught, but hundreds more joined in as the fighting made its way down O'Connell Street. Local youths could be seen coming out of side streets phoning their mates and as the fighting progressed more and more people joined in. I'd estimate that over a thousand people took part in the events in one way or another. Every time that the riot squad managed to advance a few metres, they would have to leave a line of police to guard any of the side streets that they had passed as more and more locals came out to see what was happening. There were crowds massed all along the side streets and most of their sympathies appeared to lie with the rioters. At one stage some of the more political Republicans who had organised the counter-protest engaged in a sit down protest in front of the riot police advance. Presumably they had decided that they wanted to distance themselves from the rioters and mount a protest that was less liable to be associated with mindless violence. Predictably they were brutally beaten and promptly cleared from the road. Shortly afterwards, I witnessed a half dozen Gardai trying to arrest an individual who had become trapped behind police lines, a crowd of onlookers let out an enraged shout and started rushing over to intervene - causing the Gardai to relinquish their hold. The street was still thronged with shoppers and passers by many of whom seemed entirely nonplussed by the riot, simply standing towards the sides of the roads or wandering around behind police lines without taking part in the fighting, but clearly more sympathetic to the rioters than the Gardai.
The balance of forces and the fearlessness of the rioters left the Gardai in the impossible position of being unable to control the area. They only had a few dozen riot police and they were basically limited to keeping the rioters at bay as wave after wave of projectiles rained down upon them. On several occasions uniformed police tried to clear the area behind the line of riot police, but they failed completely as nobody was willing to cooperate. By the time the Gardai had driven the crowd back towards the junction of O'Connell Street and Abbey Street, the police operation had come to a complete standstill. Hundreds of people, many of them young teenagers, continued to fight the police and hurl missiles at them. There were only about 30 riot police thinly stretched across the road and barely able to keep the crowd at bay. All of the uniformed officers were tied up trying to prevent the crowds of onlookers from joining in from the side streets behind the front lines and many protestors and shoppers wandered around bemusedly behind the police lines, climbing on top of skips and building machinery to get a good look at the action.
Behind the lines of the rioters, looting broke out. Although I didn't observe it, witnesses report that several women from the inner city were seen filling bags full of shoes from the shops and engaging in a bit of 'discount shopping'. The police were not even nearly in a position to do anything about it. They had lost control of the city and were mostly just trying to protect themselves as the riot was now almost entirely an anti-police and anti-state affair. As they did their best to protect themselves, the looting continued and sections of the crowd also targeted various prominent symbols of capitalism - all the banks in the area had their windows broken as well as the nearby McDonalds.
As far as I could see there was virtually no presence among the rioters from anybody 'political' apart from a small number of the more youthful dissident Republican and anarchist sympathisers. The members of political parties that I recognised were generally behind police lines with attitudes that went from bewilderment to bemusement. This was a riot borne out of anger and disenfranchisement, an expression of rage that was almost without a political aim - the only common target was the state and the establishment, the loyalists were almost forgotten about by this stage.
At around this time, I observed a surge in the crowd and a man in a brown coat running towards the edges of the police lines. He was pursued by a dozen people or so who were raining down blows upon him. He reached the edge of the side street that runs along the South side of the GPO and a hail of bricks, bottles and stones rained down around his head. As he staggered through the police lines and into a side street a large metal poll - the type that typically supports a street sign - just missed his head and dealt him a side swipe. A foot or so to the right and it would have killed him. At the time I wondered what had led the crowd to turn their anger upon this individual and I guessed that he had been identified as a member of the police special branch.
It seems that this was in fact RTE's Charlie Bird who had been fingered by the crowd as an 'orange bastard' and set upon. This was most unfair to Charlie, who is most certainly not an orangeman and it seems that he was utterly confused about why this had happened. Although this is just my own speculation, I assume that what happened went something like the following. Somebody recognised him as Charlie Bird from RTE and thus a member of the establishment. RTE is generally felt by republicans to be anti-republican (with some justification) and thus whoever recognised him saw him as a representative of both the establishment and of RTE's anti-republican stance and called him an 'orange bastard'. In such a situation being fingered publicly as an infiltrator is only likely to lead to one thing. He was very lucky to get away with his life. Throughout the day several other journalists were similarly shocked to be targeted by rioters, few of them seemed to realise that this was a consequence of the rioters simply not 'giving a fuck' how they were represented in the media - they weren't making a political point, they were expressing the rage of the excluded. Even this indymedia photographer had a similar experience later in the day with an angry young man who told me that he didn't give a fuck what indy-fucking media I was working for and might have easily decided to take it further was it not for the fact that I was obviously known to the group of protestors around me.
After the standoff had been reached and the attendant constant barrage of debris had lasted for about an hour at the junction of O'Connell Street and Abbey Street, a large section of the crowd - those who had been most heavily engaged in the fighting - suddenly turned on their heels and took off south across O'Connell bridge at a run. I heard various theories that might have sparked this. Some said that a rumour had gone around that the loyalists had made their way around O'Connell Street and had arrived at the Dail, however, I think it is just as likely that the rioters realised that they had won control of the city centre and had decided to take the riot to the wealthy south side of the city. In any case, I remained trapped behind the line of riot police and was not able to follow them. Then, some 15 minutes later, myself and the indymedia videographer with me found our way out down a lane linking the side of the GPO to Abbey Street and followed the crowd towards the south side of the city. Bizzarelly, it appeared that there were no police around whatsoever. Traffic was still running south along Westmoreland Street directly into the riot on Lower O'Connell Street. As I reached College Green, the first police van tore by heading for Nassau Street, this being a full twenty minutes after the crowd had arrived. As I reached Nassau Street I witnessed an incredibly bizzare and disconcerting sight. On my left a mob was torching cars, on my right Grafton Street shopping continued very much like any ordinary Saturday afternoon. I wandered down towards the crowd to find a thin line of Gardai protecting the bottom of Kildare Street utterly powerless to intervene as the crowd smashed and burned expensive cars and broke shop windows. Most of this destruction appeared almost entirely aimless - there were even people throwing bottles back into the crowd, although there were some exceptions. A group set about thrashing the headquarters of the Progressive Democrats, which was surely the best choice of targets available and must have been explicitly chosen since its location is not obvious or well known.
Eventually more and more Gardai arrived and drove the crowd backwards towards College Green, prompting several panicked stampedes as people sought to escape their batons. At this stage I decided to call it a day. The rioters were breaking up and headed into Temple Bar and elsewhere in smaller groups. Small groups of riot police tried to contain them here and there, but they had yet to establish any sort of control over the city as groups of youths wandered around casually looting and destroying property without much distinction. This was over 3 hours after the riots had started and I was tired, so I walked back along O'Connell Street to view the destruction. One thing that struck me as odd was that there were a huge numbers of council workers deployed already to clean up the mess - almost as if the state had been expecting it. Now, as I said above, I don't think that this conspiratorial explanation is plausible, but it did seem to be most unusual that the state could be so ill prepared for policing this demonstration and so well prepared to tidy up after a riot.
Summary / Appraisal
Virtually all of the analysis that I have read about the Dublin riots in the short time since they happened has completely missed the point. Most commentators have focused on the apparent own-goal that the riots represent to Republicanism and the way that they have played into the hands of unionists. I don't think this is accurate at all. Anybody who thinks that a happy reception for a loyalist march in Dublin would bring unionist sentiment a centimetre closer to accepting unification of the island is blind to reality. The peace process has created an entrenched sectarian division of power in the wee north. Unionist parties compete with each other for protestant votes. Nationalist politicians compete with each other for catholic votes and there is no realistic prospect of this changing without a complete overhaul of the political system. Thus all the northern nationalists I have spoken to, mostly SDLP supporters, declare themselves very happy that the loyalists weren't allowed to get away with the travesty of marching by the GPO and are uniformly happy that the loyalists were sent back home on their buses without marching. I am far less acquainted with unionist opinion but I doubt that it makes much difference either way. If they had succeeded in marching it would presumably have bolstered the prestige of mr Frazer's paramilitary Love Ulster organisation and the fact that this didn't happen probably means little change to the balance of power within unionism. I also wonder if Love Ulster will be able to mobilise their supporters for a similar march in the future. Although the people who came to march have experienced far worse in terms of violence during the troubles (both as victims and perpetrators) they did not exude the normal triumphalism or defiance that one normally associates with loyalism, instead I got a sense of fear from them. It is one thing to be defiant in your own community, it is another thing to be dumped in the middle of a strange city where a large swathe of the population hates you and where you have no support amongst the working class and the experience of relying upon the security forces of the hated Republic to protect you from a lynching could not be a pleasant one.
In terms of the affects on southern politics, it is important to realise that the riots had almost nothing to do with republicanism. RSF are a fringe group with virtually no support and if any of them took part in the riots they were in an insignificant minority. The riots were an expression of the anger of the most marginalised sector of Dublin's urban poor, they had no real political point other than an expression of that rage. While those who are suspicious of Sinn Fein will use the riots as another weapon against them, they had zero involvement whatsoever. Their outright condemnation of the riots might even alienate some of their more disenfranchised support base and drive them towards the dissidents, but I doubt that this is likely to happen on any great scale.
Much more significantly, the riots represent the first time in living memory that the very poorest and most marginalised elements in Irish society expressed themselves politically, undirected as it may have been. The 'scumbags' will have experienced this as a great victory - they stopped the 'orange bastards' from marching, they took on the guards en masse and won - they controlled the city centre for several hours on a Saturday afternoon and many of them will have experienced this as an intensely empowering demonstration of their worth. In future the government may have to reckon with this sector as a political force - rioting is often empowering for the marginalised and can easily spread and the government will want to take great pains to discourage that. I think it is highly unlikely that the government will be at all keen to repeat the disaster of the loyalist march and risk providing a chance for this anger to express itself again. Unfortunately, however, it is very difficult to turn such destructive expressions of anger into constructive channels. While the most marginalised elements of the working class woke up on Sunday morning with a new appreciation of their collective power, they still lack any constructive way of expressing this and until that avenue presents itself, it is unlikely to lead to any political force that can lead towards lasting change.
All of the political groupings in the south bar some of the republican fringes and the anarchists will condemn these riots in the harshest terms. Indeed within hours, the state’s politicians were queuing up to express their outrage and ‘anger’ at the events. But what is the point of reacting to anger with anger? What use is anger against people who don’t give a fuck and who don’t have anything to lose? There is a French anarchist saying that goes “Qui sème la misère récolte la colère“ – “he who sows misery, harvests anger”. On Saturday February 25th 2006, we saw the first harvest of our Celtic Tiger and chances are that it won’t be the last.
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its unique compared to any other i've read, i confess I too only thought of the riot in terms of republicanism v unionism, and the blatant sectarian overtone to the whole riot. But this analysis and it's comparisions towards what happened in france is very intersting. And the fact it really spent more time attacking the gardai and it's own bourgeois city. Whether this "lumpen" force as you called could turn out to be progressive or reactionary is an open question. How it would react in a racial confrontation for example.
Question: Why weren't water cannon used as in Navan Road May 2004, and why was that garda operation more successful?
Answer: Riot police have got to be wary of a) large crowded boulevards with loads of feeder streets; and b) close-quarter situations amongst crowds.
1. No fish in a barrel this time:
May 04 they were trying to keep people out somewhere. The Navan
Road was a bottle-neck of marchers. This meant that water-cannon
didn't have to move about much.
2. O'Connell street bad site for riot-policing.
In contrast, with all the make-shift steel barriers and
building-sites at top of O'Connell Street + expected Orange marchers +
their own lads on the ground at close quarters; all combined to to
limit effects of water cannon. There was also the possibility of shoppers getting hit and it being on camera like in May 2002.
3. Bad planning.
Shops remained open till it was clear the riot was coming their
way, so confrontation may have been more spontaneous this time.
4. Feeder Streets need nunbers to police.
It was easy at any time on O'Connell Street to get from behind
police lines to behind the protersters'. The side-street options
weren't as numerous on the Navan Road. The whole garda force was very
exposed at all times on O'Connell Street - incompetent planning imo.
5. Loose formation.
A larger crowd would've swamped them. For instance. For the
hour's stand-off on O'Connell Street, the riot squad were at ful
stretch just to hold a line from Penney's to Clery's. Even in running
down, they all ran at different speds, some lagging way behind. It
was Keysonte Cops. One shouted at me to move on, but seeing that he
was way behind his mates, left it so and ran past me.
5. Impromptu strategy bad for uniforms.
At all times that they did hold the line, there were only a few guards on
O'Connell Street behind them - not enough to prevent a rear-guard
attack if the crowd had been bigger.
6. Bad training, hot-headedness and/or incompetence.
The RSF article transcribed onto one of the articles shos how chastened the riot police were. To fight at close quarters, they need to lose the shields. Even then, the batons
can be unwieldy when in amongst a crowd.
The reasons for their wading in with batons flailing should be made public. It was a bad decision and must be justified, bearing in mind the citizens' journalist video evidence to come.
For now it seems that the arrogance or impetuosity of the commanding sergeant has undid the fierceome hold which the "Public Order Unit" once had over protesters. The Emperor's New Clothes have been foiled. They are flesh-and-blood humans, not invincible robots (despite what they'd like to think).
7. Bad Planning.
Numbers for RSF/IRSP demo were underestimated and they seem to
have thought that they'd be easy to remove from the scene (film and
beat up at the same time).
They won't pose the same menace to civil disobedience for a long time
yet. They need numbers they haven't got to overcome a militant crowd
on O'Connell Street. Even a crowd of a hundred will soon be joined by
hundreds more from Summerhill, Sheriff Street, Pearse Street and
everywhere in between.
Conspiracies assume a certain amount of intelligence on the part of
the stealthy. Our ladshaven't gone much further than being
spontaneously corrupt and corruptable.
If anyone in their had any sense, thye'd re-word this, put it in a large volume, and publish it as internal garda report - but remember; our gardaí get paid for this stuff.
Excellent piece, as usual, if this is who I think it is. Well done.
definitely fits with the voxpops and citizen journalism more than any other analysis.
Of course it is capitalism to blame. If we lived in a socalist paradise we would all skip down the street. but alas we have herr mcdowell forcing young people to attack innocent people because they are marginalised.
the best piece of critical social analysis that i have read in a long time, a massive contribution to our shared struggle, much appreciated and indicative of the potential of indymedia.
good summary of the situation...I now live in australia so was unfamiliar with the riots. However can't have any sympathy for most of the vermin that rioted -
A very good anaysis with regard to the presence of the 'lumpenproletariat' of north inner city Dublin, but he's being a bit disingenuous when he states the anarchists were not involved. All analysts have pointed out three distinct groups of rioters; a) the inner city boys, "gurriers" or "knackers" as they are not so affectionately known in Dublin, b) the "Boys of the Oul' Brigade", the last ditchers, the RSF lads who undoubtedly provided the kernel of the original standoff at Parnell Sq and lastly c) the Anarchists, the middle class, studenty "crusties", perhaps the most contempible of all, several of whose black an red flags were clearly visible.
The evidence of the author supports this, while the inner city guys were getting stuck into the Londis front window booze display and their birds were helping themselves to trainers from Footlocker and Schuh, who dya think was smashing the windows of the banks and MacDonalds? If you think the Sherriff Street mob have a grievance against MacD's then you clearly haven't visited there recently! As for the PD's office, well he rightly points out that it is extremely unlikely that Darren and Deano are overly familiar with the locations of political party offices in south Dublin.
The author also lets slip a small error, earlier as evidence of the lack of Anarchists he states that he recognised no one at the demo, curious then that later after Charlie Bird got a hiding he was helped out by the guys present who knew who he was, what did they just suddenly show up?
Come on now anarchists, don't hide your light under a bushel, come out and be proud this was your victory too! You can tell all your mates about it in the Student Union on Monday. "It was loike mental man, we really trashed the pigs man! Hey Gavin, have you got the keys of Dad's Beemer I need to take moy little sister to ballet practice, yeah loike I know, bummer man, ciao".
Can you just confirm for me exactly what struggle it is that I share with you? I'm not sure that I'm aware of it.
I've just read through all 14 pages. i just wanna clear a few things up but im not going quoting everything i'm replying to so bear with me.
Pics like these CAN and WILL be used to bring charges against these scumbags if the photos can be brought to the atention of the garda.
Pierce street is dealing with all the damage and casualties of the riot so they could be a good place to turn in the pics/videos and i'm bringing this thread to the attention of some people tomorrow too so some of the evidence can be viewed. if any1 has the know how to gather all the pics and vids and put them on a dedicated web page would be a great help.
the "lack of garda" comment isnt exactly fair, every garda in dublin was there barr one or two for every station to keep them open.
The reason the garda didnt seem eegar to get physicle is because the government wont stand by the force in the aftermath as seen after maydand at the end of the day its risking their livleyhood.
I can asure you all that the scum that got arrested got a good "telling off" back at the stations after being arrested,
we cant have thins like water cannons because the government is inn the pocket of the rich libiral snobs and wont fund tools like that.
the reason garda dont all has bullet proof vests is because it will make the country look bad in that the garda have something to fear from the public which everyone knows they do.
the government wont even stand by their recruits as they are warned that they cannot strike anyone as they are not full garda members and dont have powers yet try getting a scumbag not to beat you up because your still only "in training". I would have begged to stand in that frontline with those garda but to my regret i couldnt. this had NOTHING WHAT SO EVER to do with politics or republicans or any of the other crap thats ive just heard on bbc news just now. its scum who will side with anyone over anything to get involved in a riot. and as for people having a right to march, political marches of any kind should not be allowed as the are inciting violence and people a fully aware of this.
It deserves as big an audience as possible - should be printed out and stuck up on lamposts all around Dublin.
An excellent piece indeed. Noel's idea above is good and should be considered. At the very least everyone should mail this piece around to those on their mailing lists. I am not surprised the riots happened. But it is scary stuff.
Hatred, Nationalism, Poverty & Inequality. A lethal concoction which are abundant in most if not all countries around the world. The world will not go will until these are eliminated.
Great article. A welcome antidote to some of the utter bilge being spouted in some of the forums leading up to the march.
The cops did not use water cannon because they don't have any.
The water cannon used on the Navan Road were borrowed from the PSNI.
The cops did not use water cannon because they don't have any.
The water cannon used on the Navan Road were borrowed from the PSNI.
Anarchists are being associated (by many malignant newbies to indy) in a frontline way with the riots through the references to the black flags up the front.
I noted these on several news reports and they were being held by celtic top wearing heads.
They are a reference to the hunger strike of the early 1980's.
When Raymond McCreesh died every telephone pole on every road leading to and from where I lived had a black flag on it. The cooley penninsula had not suddenly gone anarchist.
The analysis above is spot on. I scrabbled together a few thoughts of me own this morning and I see we have a lot in common!
“How can we tell the dancer from the dance” - WB Yeats
A short Krossie analysis of the Dublin riots
(Note absolutely a personal opinion have had no real sampling of the WSM debate yet)
Firstly there’s a highly predictable spin/analysis of this which I will address very briefly as in my view it’s far from the real and actual issue. It is, to some extent, a mistaking of form for content. This view is best stated (from a left/republican point of view) as “we” played into “their hands”. The orange men, Jeffery Donaldson etc etc – got “what they wanted”. In fact maybe to an extent beyond their wildest dreams!
On the level at which this argument is pitched I agree totally though I don’t think it’s the fundamental argument. This “Love Ulster” thing was mostly a march of loons (yeah of course I agree there were genuine victims of violence on it)– probably by now a minority within the Unionist Minority. I hate the Orange order and every thing it stands for (sectarianism, sexism, homophobia etc) but my own personal perspective would be that the “deprive them of the oxygen of publicity” argument had merits on this occassion. Either ignore them or use humour – maybe demand that a lesbian/gay/transs orange band be allowed to join or what ever. Before now I personally would have said leave it or subvert it humorously. That would be “my line” on that particular argument.
But the argument above all forms part of an analysis of a political spin “dance” at which every move is choreographed and predicable. The reaction to the march was unsurprising in type though no one anticipated the scale! Yes “we” played into their hands. But they knew that and set out to provoke this reaction. Its almost clock work. It’s no real explanation of a riot though.
Lets look at the actual character of the riot and the reaction especially the unmediated/non media reaction (from bloggs, texts etc). A lot of people tend to mistake form for content. The form was republican as was much of the content. So “the form” wears a celtic scarf sings “the fields of athenry” etc etc.
The more interesting fact as spotted by many but mentioned by few (the Sunday Tribune had a fairly good article on it) in the main stream press is that it was young, male, working class and massively Dublin based. The arrests so far as of Sunday from areas like Ballyfermot, Kilimainham, Finglas, etc.
The Gardi spoke of “a scumbag element from local pubs”
The “blogg sphere” based on a quick survey last night and from comments on indy media speaks of knackers, scumbags, scangers and the other endearing terms that the middle class bloggers have for people from certain parts of Dublin.
Bright young eye witnesses ringing newstalk and today fm again talk of “scum bags out for a fight” “These people aren’t “real republicans”” They have only gone out and ruined everything for the young celtic tiger pups. Our city has been disgraced – by the unfortunate people who actually have to live in it. The content of the riot sprung really from its class base. For once I concur with materialist Marxists!
From my limited observation kids in many specific areas of Dublin face a life time of petty harassment and hassle from the cops. They are excluded in every way from meaningful participation and interaction with society and indeed from the comments in some bloggs are hated in quite a deep and open way. “Society” only encounters them in the robbing of their cars and house. What the obvious outlet – if a chance arises? The simplest and nearest thing available is some form of republicanism. There is no doubt that small elements of republican Sinn Fein, the IRSP and other groups made some advance preparation and might have tried to “direct it” There were a handful of anarchists and politicos making the most of it and fair play to them in my view (Yeah the attack on the PD office was a fundamental attack on free speech but yeah it does do me heart good and anyone’s whose ever witnessed a forced deportation!)
But from what I’ve seen and heard of it and from the more unmediated reaction TO IT - it was, at the end of the day, working class kids and teenagers versus the guards. And for a short period of 2 hours they “won”. Was it a good thing? Well I can’t see the point of burning cars and motor bikes or beating up innocuous journalists myself. But even the most politically motivated and organised riot (which this wasn’t) is emergent and unpredictable. They always have a life of their own and the battles for “ownership” and “condemnation” come after! Also “the result” may be a long way down the line. It was a limited step onto the political stage by people who only were just finding out on the day where Leinster house was. Maybe they’ll continue and develop their political education and not just retreat of “the stage” and back into the flats. Maybe it’s been an education too for those of us who thought we knew something.
No harm to you but you have provided a grossly romaticised account of both the nature of what took place, and its main protagonists. These "disenfranchised youth" as someone else described them are subject to harassment as you describe it because they are scum. They are the people who make life intolerable for tens of thousands of working class Dubs. NOT the Gardai or McDowell or the PDs. Saturday was a brief glimpse into what working class estates around the city have to put up with every night of the week from scum who beleive that they are entitled to steal, burn, rape and batter as they please and they don't give two fks whether their victim is a cop or a defenceless single mother. It's time people like you copped on because if order ever does break down anarchists such as yourself (for whom I have respect in many ways) will be no more immune from the hyenas than any of the rest of us.
Just two quick points. One thing missing from the article, indeed from all analysis so far, is the lack of understanding of the role soccer supporter clubs played in this. There was a Celtic Fans Against Fascism banner present, a comrade with me identified a number of men as Bohs Casuals. In the week running up to the protest there was a welter of speculation and planning being discussed on Celtic fan websites. Just because they're football supporters doesn't make them disorganised.
Secondly, while it is accurate to say Sinn Féin was instructing members not to take part, indeed we had protests planned on the Joanne Delaney issue elsewhere at the same time, I don't think the party announced people would be banned from functions. If members are found to be involved the repercussions for them would be far more serious.
This article is top notch. I was observing some of the riots yesterday just to observe who took part and why, basically I have such a deep distrust for the sourcing and bias of mainstream news that I had to see in person what was happening.
The above piece is nothing short of excellent in its analysis and articulates why these riots took place and by whom. It is quiet laughable when you hear these riots where highly organized that is complete rubbish.
Nice to know so many bored trolls take up a keen interest with what i have to say, without their real names of course but intuitively it is obvious who they are, i am confused young man am I, well, thanks doctor, you must know me well. Shared Struggle: removing the distorted image of our 'lumpen' friends that so many on the left have a prejudice against because of their middle class upbringing, shared struggle: a world beyond capital, shared struggle: independent grassroots news coverage by indymedia activists, do i need to continue in order to appeae the imbeciles? if you read the article you will find it is not from a sectarian nationalist perspective, it states that the riots were a result of hidden societal tensions, thus it was an expression of out marginalised inner city youth celebrating the fact that they can spit venom in the face of middle class snobs and the establishment if they really want to, unfortunate perhaps that they identify under the banner of nationalism , but most of the irish left delude themselves when they think national idenity is some form of 'false consciousness' .
As usual people in country are getting their nickers ina twist over this. So what a bit of a riot. You'd swear a war broke out. It was expected so whats all the surprise about? The media love it as it gives them a platform to spout their usual biased opinions plus boost sales with exaggarated headlines and pictures. It was totally predictable but most poeple are so caught up in their little worlds to have noticed what was brewing.. As much as people have a right to protest, this event was always going to spark a response and hit a nerve with people. People didn't want it, are not ready for it and had heard alot of negetive reports about who was actually behind it, their past and links and what they stood for. It was forced on people and was an insult to people murdered by loyalists over the years especially on parnell st. This march has been discussed on this site alot by regulars but now its over loaded with peoples 'expert' views and great hindsight opinions coming out of the woodwork. Its a pity people don't pay more attention to what is happening in the country on a day to day basis instead of being caught up in their over me me me materialistic worlds.. Most who are annoyed and were caught up in it in town were more annoyed that a day shopping in rip off Ireland was ruined.. Ah Poor yous..
I wonder would you be so fond of the marginalised youth if you had to live alongside them? Doubt it somehow. As an actual working class person I can tell you that every struggle in this city over the past 100 years has had to contend with the likes of the scum who were out on Saturday, some of whom I know by name and who are no more republican or RSF or anarchist than McDowell. Up to recently the RA used to beat seven kinds of shit out of them. Just scum doing what scum do best: causing havoc and stealing.
From The Independent 11 July 1997: “Triumphalism: Ormeau Road 1992, an Orangeman holds up five fingers as a parade passes a spot where five Catholics were shot dead by loyalist terrorists.”
Picture info: FIVE nationalists were massacred in Grahams bookies shop on the Ormeau Road – it is one reason why the community rose up and determined that the Orange Order would not march down the Ormeau Road again, without the Orange order first agreeing to meet the residents of that road. The Orange Order has refused consistently to meet them, as they have also consistently refused to meet the spokespersons of the Garvaghy Road residents in Portadown. Taigs are non-persons whose views do not count, in death or in life.
Those who gave the Orangemen and their Michael McDowell type friends the gift of a directionless and purposeless riot on Saturday need to think again - unlikely as they did not think in the first place. A protest should be effective - what happened on Saturday was not.
CHECK OUT LINK BELOW for info on Willie Frazer and his mob.
From The Independent 11 July 1997: “Triumphalism: Ormeau Road 1992, an Orangeman holds up five fingers as a parade passes a spot where five Catholics were shot dead by loyalist terrorists.”
As a "Prod" from the North Though may I point out certainly NOT an Orangeman. I read your article with interest. There were many good points made which I could agree with. The writers obvious bias did show through sometimes which I think did take away from the piece's objectivity.
My own view would be the events will be exploited for all they are worth by the said "Orangemen" And whatever other spin or analysis is attempted on the situation the net result will look like an own goal for the Republic/Republicans.
As any indymedia regular knows almost 5 years of irish protesting history is recorded on this site.
As we look at the final 200 days of Mc Dowell as Justice Minister, we must recognise that he and he alone takes responsibility for policing in Dublin. Management of resources and intelligence leading up to Saturday's event was obviously and expensively negligent.
If the Irish state can deploy an armoured column to stop Irish citizens protesting for their neutrality and against war, then it seems most odd, that Mc Dowell could not instruct his Garda force to maintain order and properly appraise the threat to the security of the city by known radical elements.
It almost begs the question that Mc Dowell wanted this to happen. But it certainly should now be followed by cross party and cross community condemnation of his politics. Rather than "reclaiming the republic" as he has so often gurggled, he has allowed injuries to person, enflamation of sectarianism, and attacks on private and commercial property. The long term effects on our Tourism and ardous process of reconciliation on the island can not yet be calculated.
it was your gig. You have the web address indymedia and all the others. If we knew there would be a riot, and we can't tap phones or monitor communcations, then you should have known better.
Why didn't you do better Mr Mc Dowell?
watching all this from a distance, I too, wondered if McD wanted all this to happen - he may be a cynical jerk, but he is often not clueful when it comes to politics. I think he assumed the Referendum would mean advancement for his own party, and that was a flop.
But I think 'Indy Photographer' is probably right when s/he writes:
'Gardai are generally not happy to be sent out under prepared to face rioters and if there had been any inkling that a riot was likely to ensue, the guards would have been extremely unwilling - to say the least - to be used as target practice in such a scheme, pawns in the minister's power game. As it is the gardai on the ground were extremely angry and remain so that they were sent out to police a situation without anything like the resources that they would have needed to contain the situation.'
cynical politics is nothing new for McD, but I dont think the Pawns in his army would put up with it. The Gards will be around a lot longer than McD.
I reckon the things that are getting lost in the noise are as follows
1. Gardai are consistently very very heavy handed with the poor in the north inner city. This breeds hatred.
2. gardai are too used to middle class protesters who only want symbolic confrontation to produce communicative possibilities. See mayday feenix park.
3. They probably baton charged under verbal / pushing confrontation at the parnell street corner thinking that the crowd would melt away like at the RTS 2002 where people who were NOT seeking voilent confrontation on dame street moved to the pavement and howled 'where's your number' as their compatriots were visciously battered.
4. This was a different crowd with their backs to the street and area where there is a very strong folk memory of a compariatively recent civilian massacre. Lots of the pubs and specifically the welcome inn have photos on display or available for the curious of the aftermath of the bomb that went off there. It is a residential area. I lived there for 10 years.
5. This was the third baton charge that I can remember at any type of political event in years since indymedia began in ireland. Two resulted in absolute messes. Information about the third (burlington hotel) was suppressed with the connivance of the media. All were ordered from above.
6. The cynical confusion being introduced by the likes of Eoghan Harris who has blatant fullscale lies in his account of the day is despicable. His article states clearly that the protesters attacked the visitors from the wee six. That is a blatant lie. The establishment in this country is too fond of and tolerant of lies. The protesters were baton charged to make way for the march and fought back with a vengance gaiinst the police. They were never going to do anything else.
7. Michael mcDowell gleefully celebrated this provocation well in advance of the day. He thinks he leads the country. He's bound for a fall. The sin of pride.
For those interested in how Saturday's events are being perceived within the unionist community up here, you may like to have a look at the following discussions on pro-Union blogs:
"So much for Eire Nua" at Everything Ulster:
Can Dubliners bear to have a unionist about the place?" - Young Unionist Blog
To give a flavour of the YU blog post, which was posted by a Young Unionist who lived in Dublin for 4 years:
"Having lived in Dublin for four years, I was quite amazed to hear what had happened. I have watched gay pride parades, angry trade unionists and even American flags being burnt by people walking on the streets of the city and the above barely causing the average Dubliner to bat an eyelid but introduce an orange sash and some well known faces from the unionist community and all hell breaks loose to the shock of the Gardai, average citizen and southern politician.
From my experience as a unionist from Northern Ireland in Dublin, people are more fascinated than violent by unionist views being put forward. The reaction was more usually along the lines of “Wow, I’ve never met a real, live unionist before” than searching for the nearest sharp object to fling at me. I was generally welcomed with the exception of a couple of unfortunate episodes. I was even invited to the Presidents official residence at Aras An Uactarain or the Vice Regal Lodge as others call it one 12th July through my membership of the Reform Movement. I sincerely do not believe that this was representative of the views of Dubliners, most will be repulsed by such scenes on the main street of their capital city."
Spot on article, excellent piece of journalism. One trap which the author did see was admittedly not knowing all there is to know about Unionists/Protestants/Loyalists -
something which the BBc have done as well. If youre saying there is a difference between republicansand nationalists, surely unionists and loyalists differ - was this a loyalist march? Was it alligned to loyalist groups like the UVF, or was it more to do with the (within reason) saner voice of Ulster Unionists and the like? Is there not a difference between loyalists and unionists?
Its all within definition of course, but to point at one sick individual glorifying five deaths in that picture - and to say "cohorts, they are all like that" is simply lazy, unwilling to analyze, criticise other views along with ones own.
Thanks, very, very interesting article.
Just a question about the video, have downloaded and can only get sound. Followed the link to download the Xvid software. However, can't install it because I would need Administrator rights, which I don't have as I'm at work.
Anyway of watching it through regular RealPlayer or Media Player?
It's important that revoluntionaries recognise where nationalism comes from. I totally agree with Aidan that deprived people may look to nationalist ideas. I do think that revolutionaries (ie people with shared vision of future society such as anarchists and socialists) need to criticise nationalism. Nationalism should not be tolerated as it causes needless divisions in the workers' movement. Irish history is littered with examples of how nationalism has politically derailed movements. Aidan is a bit touchy about people with 'middle class upbringing'. To be honest I don't care what your upbringing is. Revolutionaries need to look more towards political ideas of a person and their actions and not what their father's occupation is on their birth certificate. A university graduate on a workers' picket line is far better than a working class person that's a scab/racist/bigot/sectarian.
Good Article, and it I agree with your interpretation of the premises to the riot. I would say however, that many of the "disenfranchised" were not there through anger at all. The anger only developed through the events of the riots, but the is no ideological drive behind it. How many people saw this simply as an opportunity to just "go mental", and they were aware that they could do what they wanted without repercussion.
For those who are having problems getting the video to work try downloading the Matroska Pack of codecs at
and then Bsplayer, a grand wee free player that plays most video formats better than Media Player...
Video works for me after doing the above.
First off thanks for all the positive feedback and constructive criticism. I'd like to respond to a few points.
harry flashman there were no red and black flags on show - or at least I didn't see any. There were several black flags which have traditionally been used by republicans to commemorate the hunger strikes. Due to this confusion, Irish anarchists rarely fly the black flag. Secondly, I have no idea who carried out the attack on the McDonalds or the PD headquarters, as I said above, I didn't see these incidents and so can't say who carried them out, but believe that they show evidence of an anti-capitalist element in the crowd. The "charlie bird moment" that occurred to me was on Nassau street by which stage the various political types who I knew were freely mingling with the rioters and bystanders and shoppers, so this says nothing about who was involved in the rioting. Furthermore, I have lived in the north inner city for years and know many more people who were involved than the political activists there. For good reasons I'm not going to mention exactly who I know that was involved in this protest. I did mention that I believe that there were a small number of youthful anarchist sympathisers on the protest but your characterisation of these people's socio-economic background is inaccurate. Far more anarchists from Dublin come from ordinary working class areas than come from wealthy backgrounds - especially the younger ones and I'd guess that any anarchists involved were from similar areas to many of the other protestors.
Jonah that is an interesting detail about the influence of soccer fans supporters clubs - however in the context of all the allegations that the riot was planned by political groups, I still think it is fair to say that this was a decentralised mobilisation based on groups of mates and locals from the north inner city. Football supporters clubs are much closer to groups of mates than they are to political organisations (although in the past many SF cummans probably resembled Celtic supporters clubs ;-).
Rogue I don't know where you see the bias - I'm not a nationalist or republican and I did my best to describe what happened and why. I did acknowledge that I am much more familiar with the thinking of northern nationalists than northern unionists / loyalists, but only because I know a good few nordie nationalists living in Dublin and there are far less nordie unionists here. Also, being from the south, I find it difficult to visit working class protestant areas in the north.
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If you dont have administrator rights on your work computer I'm afraid you may not be able to view it.
I accept your points, and my initial comments wasn't meant as a major criticism. You said it as you saw it so fair play to you.
lets sort this nonsense of anarchists wanting to praise themselves for their role on Saturday
arnachists were now where to be seen in Parnell sq on Sat morning
I arrive at Parnell statue after 10am
I was there to see how many people turned up to oppose Love Ulater parade
there were people from Republican Sinn Fein
I was there to oppose Love Ulster Rally in a peaceful way
I saw the branch take the names of people from R S F. cops standing around the ambassador
I was hoping that left activists would have turned up
none were to be seen
around 11.20 more republican activists began to emerge
with cops moving in aswell.
again where I was standing branch were keeping a eye on events.
things were calm, placards were handed out to people, with the names of people murdered by loyalists
I noticed a small number of people whom I knew who are hostile to republican activists from Dublin at the top of Parnell sq
I let Republicans be aware of this. this would have been around 11.30
at no stage were Republicans involved in voilence or encouraging.
I remember a person with a megaphone calling for a peaceful protest against Love Ulster parade
I saw cops putting barriers infront of us
my thinking was that the cops were going to bring love ulster down pass us
more missiles were thrown from behind wre I was standing. I could hear bangers been thrown.
I was speaking with a small number of left activists at this stage.
word had gone around that the Love Ulster rally had been cancelled that they were back on their buses
I left at this stage with two people with me
I did see barricades flying through the air. bottles and stones
I was content that the love ulster parade didn't take place
I would have no problem with the progressive democrats offices been attacked.
Listening to RTE news yesterday, Independent Senator David Norris said that if there were people from Inner city communitties involve in riots one has to ask why
one had to look at the socio political economoic, drugs. these people are living in
David Norris was told by a person on the protest that she was from Cumann Na Mbann
that he Norris should go back to his buggery
one has to ask was such sexual terminology language around in 1916, or gay sexual activity
as usal the right were wheeled out on radio to condem people Jim Cusack, Sam Smyth.
have we forgot the role that these pair played in the media against Frank Connolly, centre for independent inquiry
Having read the article properly again it is definitely one of the best I have read on Indymedia. Two quick questions:-
1. You basically answer this question towards the end of your piece - But do you see any way of politicizing in some format the obvious disenfranchment of these and other impoverished youths in Ireland? And/or has this ever been managed to do in any other country in the world?
2. Do you see any end in sight to this disenfrachment & impoverment?
I expected trouble, I've made that clear. I also expected several reactions, just like in tiddlywinks. If the casual reader wants to see the photos of the damage done to our capital city they need now go back 3 pages of the Gallery
If the want to read the slow and relentless ratcheting up of division and sectarian hate they need to search "love ulster" and "republican sinn fein" in the search engine on the left hand column.
If they do a density and frequency chart of comments and links since at least December 17th 2005 when Mc Dowell (whom I tell you ought be asked offer full explanation & disclosure and then resign) first played this parlour game, and then went on holidays when the commercial media turned on him.
*You will note that Mc Dowell is not available for comment today.
A decision was made a very high ranking Garda level which resulted in an escalation of violence and the non-dispersal of very angry people with bricks and stones and fire wood sitting there just next to them. In the immediate weeks before the groups on both side of the "obvious" conflict internationalised, posting articles and putting out their little feelers / tentacles. We do not see much "love ulster" commenting on indymedia ireland, but we do see the other lot, and wow! their pals are back on today's newswire and gallery. Its the pixies.
Resign Michael Mc Dowell. & take your party which nurses as many fascistic tendancies as either RSF or LU (& fellow travellers) with you. I have written many times you are not essential to the good governance of Ireland. You had yer day out too.
But first tell us how many green bottles they threw.
& how many there are yet to go sit on the wall.
& we'll do the class war thing.
When the people who have privilege are willing to share a good portion of that privilege, to ensure that all our people are more than adequately covered in terms of housing, food and accesss to resources, when they can see through their own petty self-interest, and realise that they have been conned by the education system that says we have to have different 'classes', 'grades', that there are gifted children, average children and dumb children (all of which are lies that eat at the heart of the community, and is at the heart of school-ground violence) and says that some people are better to 'rule' than others, you will begin to see and end to the anger of the poorest.
The Old Christian ethic of riches being the blessings of God, and Poverty the rewards of those who falter is deeply embedded, even still, in Irish Society. Perhaps the religion has gone, yet the greed and snobbery remains.
The middle classes need to get out of their ivory towers, their smart cars and realise that the community functions as a whole, and requires engaging as a whole. If one member is downtrodden, the whole community is weakened as a result. When you vote for self-interest, you turn your backs on the rest of your community. You really ouhgt to be voting for the community as a whole.
In reference to Cornelius' point above:-
"Perhaps the religion has gone, yet the greed and snobbery remains"
I think it is more a case of yes, religon is gone but greed and snobbery - or in a word, money, have REPLACED religon.
To the argument that poverty is the cause of a lot of the problems in Irish society today. I do not think that this is really true per se. I think a much bigger case is the disenfranchment of the poor (as pointed out in the above article) which the extreme division between the have's and the have not's that has been created in Ireland and which has been exacerbated by the advent of tv. One must remember that only a few decades ago most of the country was poor and yet there was not even near this level of anger, this level ot thuggery or as what society likes to label "scum". Not even near the level of violence that we witness today across all strata of society.
The rise of money and demise of religon/morality are key to what happened on Saturday and to the rise in all area's of crime in Ireland over the last few decades. Other Western countries have followed similar patterns.
It's nearly convinced me that there wasn't a deliberate "under policing" of the event. I suppose I don't really know where riot cops come from (storks initially?). Are they ordinary cops who are given some body armour and a stick and told to go out and have a good time bating the crusties? Or are they specially bred and trained and held in suspended animaton until they're activated for riot situations?
How many of them are there? Were there more available as reserves that someone decided not to bring in on the day? How long does it take to get them on the scene when it's decided that they're needed?
What's your estimate of the total number of cops (you mention 30 riot cops going down the street and "small" numbers of uniformed behind them) around on the day? What were the rest of the cops doing during that day.
Anyway, your analysis sounds very plausible and the other posters that say this is typical incompetence of the authorities when faced with any real life, developing situation is probably correct too. Pick nearly any disaster (Katrina, 911, Iraq) and the innate incompetence and inefficiency of a centralised bureaucracy is revealed.
In light of the sucess of the 'love Ulster' rally in dublin, as part of cross border co-operation, plans are afoot to hold a corresponding 'Love Dublin' rally on the Shankill rd, where copying loyalists, republicans will hold up pictures of relatives murdered by loyalists and the security forces, fly tricolours and bash out rebel songs to an accompanying rebel band, hopefully sparking an all out riot, and costing the british government millions of pounds to police, and in terms of damage to shops/buisness and community in the ensuing riot.
i must say this is one of the best pieces of journalism i have ever read on indymedia. Real report and analysis without falling into the reactionary and/or sectarian stuff we usually find.
Inequality, same old carp. So what? go and hand out free money down the flats in the hope they won't do it again? can't include them....can't kill them.
Once again today, I scanned through all the British newspapers on sale in greater London and the only reference to Saturday’s events was one photograph in the Guardian (page 10) with no story (see image below). I also communicated with several people in different UK regions to see if anything appeared? Nothing they reported! (I am open to correction on this due to different editions and regions) So, it appears one photograph for Sunday and Monday’s papers was the lot for British coverage. I found the same situation for radio and television.
After talking with dozens of people today, nobody had any knowledge of the events. Generally speaking, UK citizens are uninformed to what happened. Perhaps they just don’t care. I will let you draw your own conclusions.
Today's British Press Coverage = this photo
From all I can read the attempted loyalist march was only the trigger which set off the explosion in Dublin on saturday. The real reasons for what could be called a small uprising, are the consistent police brutality against the majority of the inner city poor and the poverty and hopelessness of their lives. This is made more acute when viewed against the fruits of the Celtic Tiger going to the minority at the top. Capitalism cannot give a decent life to Dublin's inner city poor so it has to smash them into submission and demonize them in the eyes of the rest of the country to get away with this. They are all just "scumbags" you see.
There has been a development around the country of meetings and actions against police brutality and corruption in the recent period. We have to see this when we look at the Dublin uprising. Is it not the case that a large part of the rage of the Dublin uprising originates at least partially from the same source. That is having had enough with the brutality and corruption of the cops. The garda treat the inner city people with the most foul attitude and the most brutal repression. Then the loyalist triumphalism arrives and the same garda attacks these local people to let them march. What did they think would happen.
Those on the left have questions to answer. How come they did not see this coming and how come they were not able to give it a more clear and anti capitalist expression. I would like to suggest that the various anti capitalist forces should organize in united front fashion to build on a permanent basis direct action committees in the neighborhoods to take up the day to day issues that flow from capitalism's offensive. In this case this would include organizing opposition to garda brutality and any follow up of repression to this uprising. Not a single charge should be allowed to stand against any participant. This position and these committees could link together with the anti police brutality and corruption movement throughhout the county and begin to show a way out to the inner city people of Dublin and the anti garda repression and corruption movement as a whole. A real movement could begin to be built throughout the country.
These bodies could also take up the struggle for the redistribution of the wealth of the so called Celtic Tiger, less BMW's and more health clinics, less multi millionaires and a living minimum wage, a program of public works which would provide a job and training for all, a job at a living wage as a guaranteed right for all, a good house for everybody at an affordable rent or mortgage. The building of such rank and file local based committees fighting on such a program and using direct action fight to win tactics is what is needed if the anger and energy that was seen in this uprising is to be harnessed into a movement that can bring about real change in the country.
This is the best and most reasoned analysis of the riots I have read- far more insightful than anything in the Sunday Independent, Irish Times, Irish Indepentent and Irish Examiner
John Throne I can't believe you were in Dublin looking at the same riot I saw. There was no mini uprising. A group of republican sectarians started a riot to stop another group of sectarians marching and then gangs of scumbags went on the rampage, burning working class peoples cars, looting beating up innocent bystanders and workers in shops and cafes. There was nothing political about them at all. And if you look at their addresses they don't come from the inner city and they haven't been victims of police brutality this was junkies, thieves and muggers, joyriders and the scum that terrorise working class communities and make people's lives a misery with anti-social behaviour, opportunistically taking advantage of the riot started by RSF.
Outside, of the authors need to downplay RSF, ( RSF/ genuine Republicanism is clearly marginalised and on the fringe, but it does have over 100 cumainn in Ireland and is in all 32 counties -as well as cummain in Scotland England and Wales- isn't the WSM just as on the fringe, or even more so?) I still agree with the authors conclusions. It was as s/he writes. It is by far the best article so far about what occured Saturday. I would like to ask people to read SAOL NUA . RSFs social and economic policy document. Its closer to anarchism than pre concieved prejudice and political sectarianism may have many believe.
SAOL NUA _ A new way of life.
May you by Bastilles ne'er appalled
See Nature's Right renewed
Nor longer unavenged be called
The Swinish Multitude !
And if you look at their addresses they don't come from the inner city and they haven't been victims of police brutality this was junkies, thieves and muggers, joyriders and the scum that terrorise working class communities and make people's lives a misery with anti-social behaviour, opportunistically taking advantage of the riot started by RSF."
Brid - if your facts were straight it might lend some credibility to your analysis - some may be from the suburbs but every few foxrock or killiney addresses either...
"Judge JP McDonnell remanded two in custody to appear on April 7th at Cloverhill and the rest were remanded on bail to appear at Dublin District Court tomorrow, Wednesday or Friday.
Dean Heapes (20) Clonronald Road, Donnycarney, Dublin, was charged with arson causing €20,000 worth of damage to two Mercedes cars in South Leinster Street and endangering public safety. He was refused bail and remanded in custody to Cloverhill on April 7th.
Joseph Conlon (19), Cherry Avenue, Swords, was charged with public-order offences at Aston Quay. He was also refused bail and remanded in custody until April 7th to Cloverhill.
Two Lithuanian men and two Irish women were charged with looting at the Schuh footwear shop in O'Connell Street.
One was a Lithuanian juvenile charged with theft and fraud, meaning looting, at the shop. Eduard Milebskij (19), Summer Street, North Circular Road, was charged with looting.
Also charged with the same offence were Veronica Ennis (18), Cremor Road, Ballyfermot, and Caitríona Goulding (27), Kilmainham Road, both Dublin.
The remainder were charged with public-order offences. They are Maurice Voelkin (30), Suir Road, Kilmainham, Dublin; Brendan Grennell (29), Crossker Hostel, Longford Lane, Dublin; John O'Reilly, Harcourt Street, Dublin; Neil Kennan (24), Eton Way, Rathcoole, Co Dublin; Fabio Adinolfi, an Italian national of no fixed abode. Patrick Roche (20), Mellows Road, Finglas, Dublin, and Andrew Kenny (18), Moretown House, Moretown, Dublin, were charged with a public-order offence of verbal abuse."
When asked by RTE why the Gardai were so unprepared:
Bertie Ahern, “ People said the Gardai should have all turned out in full riot gear. If they had of they would have been accused of being heavy handed, much like they were in the Mayday riot a few years ago and wrongly so in my view.”
RTE 9 O'Clock News 27th of February.
If anyone was not convinced about John Thone's lack of understanding of the Irish political situation they should have a read of his posting above. There was NO "uprising". It was a mini-ruck with the Gardaí followed by unpolitical distruction of property. The people involved were not left-wing. They were not political. Any politics that was there was sectarianism. Hardly the basis for launching united front local anti-capitalist committees. Do you want such an initiative to be based on disgusting sectarianism? I would have thought that coming from Ulster John Throne would have first hand experience of sectarianism and how it has to be oppose by socialists. I have no sympathy with Gardaí. The Gardaí are thugs and they have a bad reputation in working class areas. I couldn't care less about them. But I do not support the methods used by the rioters on Saturday. They organised to stop free speech and assembly (FAIR may be right-wing but they're not fascist). They also smashed up cars (belonging to working class people) and they looted (I shed no tears for looting or damaging banks etc but do oppose terrorising workers working there). Hardly political actions.
It is true that the Gardaí treat the people with contempt. Especially in the more working class areas. We saw that with the recent Collen pickets when the cops were brought out in force to smash picket lines and beat up trade unionists. But to describe the riots in the city centre as an 'uprising' is completely wrong and actually is quite disgusting.
What the riots were were a groups of approx 100 thugs that went on a rampage. They attacked innocent people. Ordinary Dubliners going about their business were beaten up. They smashed up shops and burned out peoples cars. I know of one person that was knifed in the face when coming out of Easons. Hardly the actions of 'freedom fighters'. The They are complete sectarians that see the protestant working class as the enemy not British imperialism or the Irish capitalists. They are reactionaries, to describe them as anything else is completely wrong and shows to everyone that Throne has completely lost all sense of reason.
If any grouping is positioned to capitalise on the potential power evident on Saturday afternoon it is dissident Republicans. This could be McDowell's most costly misjudgement to date. It was he who actively encouraged this Loyalist march. As far as I could see both the 32CSC and RSF were dead in the water.
Excellent piece above. Facinateing how the rest of the media have ignored the demographic of the protest , which were so evident to anybody seeing the crowds. Ignoring a phenomen which they can recognise from Paris and elsewhere but haveing absolutely no idea about how to respond.
anon garda wrote:
“Pics like these CAN and WILL be used to bring charges against these scumbags if the photos can be brought to the atention of the garda...i'm bringing this thread to the attention of some people tomorrow too so some of the evidence can be viewed. if any1 has the know how to gather all the pics and vids and put them on a dedicated web page would be a great help.”
Here, you may be endangering the lives of any civilian observer for whatever media - especially with rregard to any future public order situations. Highly irresponsible.
Dermot O’Donnell, President of the GRA (Garda Representative Association) mustn't trust an internal garda inquiry, because he has called for the HSA (Health and Safety Authority) to investigate the running of the whole operation on the basis that workers were operating in a dangerous environment with employer to blame.
Now, if the gardaí have no faith in the gardaí, how can you expect anyone else to take you seriously? The GRA itself isn’t short of itself having covered garda misdeeds up in the past (Second Morris Report, 2005).
"the "lack of garda" comment isnt exactly fair, every garda in dublin was there barr one or two for every station to keep them open."
Dermot O'Donnell, President of the GRA (Garda Representative Association), said today that there were nowhere near enough gardaí deployed for Saturday's march. As a result, he says, it's a miracle that lives weren't lost. Having been there, I’d actually go with the bould Dermot on this one. The blue line was very thin indeed.
"The reason the garda didnt seem eegar to get physicle is because the government wont stand by the force in the aftermath as seen after maydand at the end of the day its risking their livleyhood. I can asure you all that the scum that got arrested got a good "telling off" back at the stations after being arrested,"
This looks less like irresponsibility and more like police-state advocacy. It is illegal for you to mete out punishment, even if a person has been convicted of a crime, let alone before they’ve even been charged. The fourteen which have been charged are presumed innocent under Irish law – but maybe you’re admitting that you and other gardaí? don’t care for Irish law – wow! what does that say? Confirms suspiciions of many and knowledge of some.
“we cant have thins like water cannons because the government is inn the pocket of the rich libiral snobs and wont fund tools like that.”
I’d go with your analysis of the government here, but with the zeal gardaí show for making up the law on the spot and administering their own type of justice, there may be some awkward things called Human Rights to be considered: you know – the stuff that allows people to assemble and protest freely and allows freedom of sppech.
“the reason garda dont all has bullet proof vests is because it will make the country look bad in that the garda have something to fear from the public which everyone knows they do”.
Where’s the evidence. In the case of the north inner city, some chickens were coming home to roost, but generally speaking, the number of innocent civilians who’ve died at the hands of gardaí greatly exceeds the number of gardaí killed overall. If any type of violence is bought into the equation – well – cumoppence is a word that springs to mind.
“the government wont even stand by their recruits as they are warned that they cannot strike anyone as they are not full garda members and dont have powers yet try getting a scumbag not to beat you up because your still only "in training".
You sound very eager to strike. Law and order better watch out when you get your stripes. Who’s the scumbag again? In Brazil, the cops kill the homeless for sport.
“I would have begged to stand in that frontline with those garda but to my regret i couldn’t…and as for people having a right to march, political marches of any kind should not be allowed as the are inciting violence and people a fully aware of this.”
Goodbye Human Rights, hello police state.
I just logged on for the first time in a few days and caught this story-holy hell-seems like O'Connell Street roadworks took on a hole new meaning...
Being from Ulster myself I ahve to say that the cops seemed to underestimate the level of passion capable of being stirred up on both sides over these issues...
Not a smidgin of coverage over here in the U.S,not that thats any surprise but the lack of U.K coverage suprises me a little..
Report to come from the North American Anarchist conference...Stay tuned..
So the P.Ds got their office smashed up,what a pity1
It's interesting to look at this thread from the point of view of the Victorian division between 'deserving' and 'undeserving' poor which seems to be alive and well, only slightly tranlated to lamented (but in reality only used to illustrate a point) beaten mothers and 'scumbags' in many of the comments. This marks the seperation between 'us' and 'them', which is really the important part of most of the media coverage. The 'deserving' poor don't even seem to get much these days.
The mainstream seem content to rule it down to a 'hooligan, drunken element', without looking at any underlying reasons behind it - fair play to the authors here for the fuller analysis.
And 10 mil was lost by city centre businesses - imagine a break in the shopping...
While agreeing with the analysis generally, I think we on the left should be careful not to engage in wishful thinking. And to see the riot through red tinted glasses. The more I hear the actual participants being interviewed the more a generalised anti prodestant rather than anti unionist sentiment seems to creep out. Even amongst some of the opportunist rioters. Also the very stong idea that this street was "our" ie catholic territory and the "prods" or "jaffas" weren't welcome. While its true probably the majority of the later rioters were out to get the cops I would hate to think what would have happened if the rioters had actually reached the march, it wouldn't have been any form of uprising or the youth taking the city it would have been a sectarian bloodbath which almost certainly would have had serious reprucusions across the north, this shouldn't be forgotten or white washed over. I can see Johns point in that it was youth revolting against police, but it was based on attacking a parade. I think too the anti parade protest called by RSF can only be described as catholic nationalism rather than any form of eglatarian republicanism.
It does nothing to help matters to continually refer to lower class people with various problems as 'scumbags'. In fact, it is pure incitement - causing anger and retribution. Everything I read about problems in Dublin, the 'scumbag' name always pops up.
At the same time, people who are poor and disenfranchised, have no right to hit back at people who have made lives for themselves, whether handed down to them, or worked hard at it to get a respectable place in society. I am from a poor family in Dublin who emigrated to Canada a long time ago - well before the dawn of the Celtic Tiger.
I'm a northsider from the East Wall and life was tough back then. The streets could be rough, too, if you didn't watch your back, but we could always walk the streets at night without fear of being attacked. Nowadays, I hear that tourists must take cabs back to their hotels for fear of ambush.
The police must do their job. If an area is known for crime. They must do their job to protect the ordinary citizens. Not to bully them just for being poor, but to simply enforce the law. I hear there are areas where the Garda are afraid to go into. This is ridiculous.
Poor people who feel left out need help obviously, but the greatest help can come from themselves, to stop blaming the establishment and the government. What do poor people want - for businessmen just to come down to their area to hand over half they paycheques. Not going to happen. Would that cure the problem? No. Would building a community centre help? A little bit, but not much. The centre would be tarnished by name - a no go centre. Cut down the drinking, the drugs, get a simple job, packing vegetables or something, you will feel better for yourself. There are lots of good stories to be heard from people who rose above their lot. Turn a negative into a positive. You may come from a bad area, but the area I'm sure is loaded with colourful characters with great senses of humour and some great strong women who have to work hard to keep up with things.
It's up to people to pull themselves up. Rich and poor, alike. The recent riots on O'connell Street have highlighted this great divide. In crass stereotypes, one could muse that the well to do had nothing to do with the riots - and that the rioters were low life. Obviously the divide between rich and poor is miles different that when I grew up there. The Orange Parade past the GPO was a terrible government decision - in hindsight - a crazy liberal idea. I had even told my friends at work in Toronto that this was going to be trouble. An Orange march right through the middle of Dublin to commemorate victims of IRA terror. Would we go up to Shankhill Road to march? Doubt it. Would'nt be welcome, I suspect.
Dublin, the city of my birth and upbringing, is a very beautiful city, one that should be cherished. Most tourists love Dublin, its history, its colourful past, and its great literary tradition. It must be preserved. I'll be returning soon, and I will stay in a hotel on Northside - near the hostels and grunge I hear so much about now. I hope it's all blown out of proportion but I somehow doubt it. It is a sad Celtic Tiger I am hearing about, not one that goes about banging his chest but one who has his ear to his mobile oblivious to the inaudible cries of the underclass.
Regarding your comments above and in particular:-
“Poor people who feel left out need help obviously, but the greatest help can come from themselves, to stop blaming the establishment and the government. What do poor people want - for businessmen just to come down to their area to hand over half they paycheques. Not going to happen. Would that cure the problem? No. Would building a community centre help? A little bit, but not much……….t's up to people to pull themselves up. Rich and poor, alike”
What is needed is what (I am assuming) most people who come on this site are arguing and fighting for. That is a Just society. A society whose underpinning value is Equality. Economic equality, social equality, education equality, health equality, cultural equality etc.etc. A society whose central value is People and not money. Whether this be achieved through socialism or anarchism or some other form is essentially immaterial . What is material is that it Is achieved. In the absence of this you will always have situations like what happened on Saturday. You will always have poverty. You will always have a totally inadequate health service. You will always have crime. You will always have horrific situations of all sorts happening within society. You will always have injustice etc. etc. They are all like symptoms of an underlying problem. Refuse to solve the underlying problem and the symptoms will not just “go away”. The riots on Saturday most glaringly demonstrate how the State, the Church & the Media refuse to recognise the underlying problems in Irish Society.
I am not abdicating personal responsibility. Everyone is responsible for their own actions and I agree with you that everyone, rich and poor alike as you say, must do everything to better their own lives. But We as a collective society have an equal responsibility to make things better. Much better.
I have to take issue with Phil's claim above that RSF are "close to anarchism". I have read the "Saol Nua" document and I'm not convinced they are as close to anarchism as you claim. While they are happy in the abstract to throw about nice anarchist -friendly language like "equal opportunity" and "participatory democracy" its a different story when they begin to detail their program in more concrete terms.
Their National Sovereignty section would be extremely objectionable to any anarchist with its claim that "citizens" share an "allegiance to a common government and a willingness to finance that government's tax and income transfer system". No anarchist could possibly agree that this is a desirable goal. Then we have the "Sinn Féin Poblachtach will institute an education system". Great! Another state-run educational system, just what we need! Crucially, we have "We do not seek to abolish private property". Well that puts RSF a long distance from anarchism. Retaining private property, especially productive property, is unacceptable and would inevitably lead to wage slavery and all the other capitalist ill's. If you start from here, all the nice talk about socialism begins to sounds a bit like Bertie claiming he is "really" a socialist. "Promoting worker co-operatives" is fine but it will not lead to socialism, this is basic stuff, co-operatives cannot out-compete profit-seeking corporations in the marketplace, and we should not seek for them to do so. To do so would be to imply that the market has legitimacy in deciding how our economy should function. The market is an amoral system and does not have this legitimacy. The RSF will even "contest elections". Down this road I can only see one possibile future for the RSF, a social democratic party like Labour that pays lip service to socialism.
That is the best piece of jounalism and analysis I have read about saturdays events and one of the best I have ever read. Full marks to the author.
Again, well done to all the lads and lassies who participated in Saturday's protests! Unfortunate about the incidents involving looting etc but all in all agreat day for Ireland.
Tiocfaidh Ar La
The looting should serve as a warning to the commercial classes in this city not to support any other proposed loyalist marches. Frazer's links to ultra-right thugs is clear, and loyalists have clear links to groups like Combat 18 and the BNP. Working class Dublin people can not be expected to tolerate them and their supporters marching in our city.
I don't think you are correct when you say that there was a generalised "anti-protestant" feeling amongs the rioters. I simply don't think religious sectarianism exists to any real extent in Dublin. In all my years I have never come across anyone who seems to care much one way or the other what religion people practice. I'd say that the terms 'prods' and 'orangies' were used in such a way as to apply to unionists / loyalists and were not a generalised anti-protestant thing at all. As I say, I think nationalism rather than religion was the motivating factor which brought the crowds out. For example, Welsh rugby fans sporting jerseys (presumably protestants) wandered freely through the crowds without any bother - although I wonder what would have happened if England rather than Wales were playing that weekend.
I'm also pretty sure that the crowd had no interest in attacking the loyalist march. Throughout the riot there was a fairly large crowd of protestors who remained on Parnell Square East opposite where the march was assembled. There was, as far as I know, no attempt whatsoever by these protestors to reach the march. As the riot went on, I believe that many of the more political protestors left the fighting and joined this crowd on Parnell Square. During the standoff on O'Connell Street, I wandered up to have a look at it and got the impression that this crowd could easily have reached the loyalists if they had wanted - there were only a few dozen guards without riot gear to keep them at bay. Furthermore, as the video report above shows, it was pretty easy to wander from one side of the police lines to the other and many people did just that, moving from the riot into the 'viewing area' behind. If the crowd had wanted to get to Parnell Square, I have no doubt that they would have succeded - either by rushing the police lines, or by taking one of the many side-streets available. There were no such attempts. All my impressions were that the crowd was absolutely determined not to allow the police to clear them off the road for the march, but were not interested in attacking the march where it was assembled.
I also don't think that this is to see the world through 'red-tinted' glasses. An expression of the nationalism and rage of the disenfranchised is a long long way from the type of things that socialists would like to see - but that's what I saw.
I want to say something about the designation of "scumbag" etc
I think these descriptions of the working class youth are somewhat unhelpful and restricting. In particular, I find the method of simply stating the root causes (deprivation, poverty,etc) of the rioter behaviour and
just smugly leaving at that, unsatisfying. I also find the suggestion that the riot was some kind
of inchoate insurrection equally unsatisfying given the sectarianism and bigotry of many of the rioters (
like they were only beating the f*ck out of the ruling class, yeah right)
It ignores a few complex questions. For example:
Anybody who have been broughy up in a genuinely deprived area knows that certain people
inflict terrible suffering on those communities. to wit, some people are completely
happy to be "bad." To inflict suffering on the community; Unfortunately much more in fact, then on Foot Locker and the Ulster bank as was the case on saturday. Also such people are not always the most deprived or victimised people in those communities. Why does any analysis ignore this completely?
Why does any analysis also ignore the fact that a majority of more or equally deprived members of a community do not terrorise their communities?
Why does -usually middle class - analysis finger the conscious badness of the ruling class as a given (unexplained by material analysis) and ignore/explain
any conscious "badness" in the working class. What if certain elements of the working class are just determined
to ape the ruling class with bling, bigotry, prejudice etc? Are we patronising the fact that some people need to
be accountable to their own communities because they are "disefranchised" and therefore necessary components of (y)our political schemes?
The inert "working class" is claimed as an engine of change/example by various politcial groups who
keep ducking these questions as if the behaviour is just some capitalist brainwash that can be cured
by a political panacea.
This is what i mean. I love this. Who is this working class you are alluding to? Is is a single entity that just exists for you to use for your sectarian bilge?
"Working class Dublin people can not be expected to tolerate them and their supporters marching in our city."
as a member of the Love Ulster organisation in Dublin that Saturday may i express my fears over what happened. We were welcomed by many people as the buses arrived which for us was great, but ofcourse there are those with terrorism on their minds and it was them who decided we were not wanted there, which is a worrying thought. this has raised a question or two in the minds of myself and other middle of the road unionists...What happens if there is a united Ireland? Does this mean our Civil and Religious Liberties are taken from us and the farmyard animals are treated better? There are many more questions regarding What happens....etc, so i think alot of republicans need to open their eyes and start listening to the victims and the unionists as to what we want and enable us all to come to a compromise in some sort of form, one way or another......UNITED WE STAND
The events of saturday while over hyped and exaggarated, are a good reminder to the government that they cannot control peoples minds as they like to do and also let the corrupt irish media know that they are now legitimate targets cause of their biased one sided reporting.. It also posed the start of the end of the pathetic McDowell era.. And also political and media opinion does not reflect what average, normal people think. They are two completely different things...
does mean they'll be getting the digs for being jaffas as well?
"also let the corrupt irish media know that they are now legitimate targets cause of their biased one sided reporting"
just love all the evasion. Republicans scored not one but several own goals -gave willie and co just what they wanted - ger and marty and the big players in SF have disappeared and left poor old Catriona to ruane it. you could not make it up. a golden opportunity to poke big ian in eye and they missed ha ha
Bob is right this time. The media are a disgrace, Independent Newspapersand the Daily Mirror are calling on people to shop those whose photos they publish. This could have serious consequences for journalists and photoprghers. From now on they will be seen as an arm of the State. Is that what the NUJ wants?
The NUJ should \make an urgent statement dissociating itself from what some papers are doing.
OK, i see what your saying, but till recently it never crossed my mind that the word scumbag could be used as a class slur. I've never used it as such. If a working class person mugged me i'd call him/her a scumbag, but i would too if that person was middle class. A priest who buggers young boys is a scumbag regardless of class.
it never crossed my mind that the word scumbag could be used as a class slur
In D4 parlance, "scumbags" and "knackers" covers all of those who live outside of D4, D6 or further than a few miles from the 'rock road. Dublin 6 West is borderline and the whole Northside is stricly "knackeragua"
Another reason to be glad i dont live in d4 then
i dont think that anti protestantism was involved in saturdays protest. well maybe, in a small number of individuals. the woman who abused david norris as a bugger though would likely have done the same to me (if i hadnt been doing other things ;) ). shes the matriarch of the macmathuna family. the revolt was not led or inspired by RSF. it was largely spontaneous and the majority of those involved were ordinary working class dublin youths. those who looted the shops were only a tiny fraction of the crowd. but it should be noted that labour party members, SFers, republicans, socialists and anarchists were involved in the resistance.
regarding the use of the word jaffa, i am also guilty of this. in the heat of angry exchanges i used the expresion. afaiac jaffa just refers to a loyalist and i wouldnt countenance it being used against a protestant. but i have discussed this with stephen boyd and he has convinced me that it has sectarian connotations up north so i will refraion from using it in future.
remember saturdays march was not an OO march, it was a loyalist march which was going to commemorate 1 of the dublin monaghan bombers. it was a march by a group which is link ed to the UVF and British Fascists.
Good on Joe Duffy for getting this excellent analysis out to the wider public. And thanks Gay Geori for posting this information here.
Remember, as far as I know, the author and the people on this thread who agree with the analysis are not apologizing for the people who partook in the riots. Their behavior is obviously not acceptable or excusable. The behavior was vicious and abhorable. What I believe the author is trying to do here is to simply explain why this behavior took place. And that their behavior is not random. That it is not coincidental that they were predominantly young males from poor backgrounds. There is no point in calling them scumbags, in just locking them up, in just providing more policing the next time.
The root cause of why they did what they did in the first place must be eliminated. Otherwise it will not go away, nor will the hardship of the communities that these people predominantly come from.
As a Northern Protestant, I read this article in order to get a Southern perspective on the Dublin riots but gave up at the point where it was suggested that the parade was a Loyalist paramilitary march. Nothing could be further from the truth. It was a parade by very ordinary Northern Irish citizens who'd lost relatives and friends murdered by the IRA. They came to Dublin to seek explanations regarding the role the Irish Government played in the formation of the Provisional IRA and the subsequent 30 years of mayhem in Northern Ireland. Is that unreasonable? Wouldn't anyone in their position do exactly the same? I'm sure that the vast majority are Unionist voters; lets face it, having loved ones murdered by the IRA isn't a great sales pitch in convincing them that a United Ireland is a good idea! In my opinion the people who rioted should take a long hard look at their behaviour and their interpretation of Irish Republicanism. Maybe the Orange part of the Irish Republics flag should be removed to reflect reality!
Chekov is a little outdated in his views, and is no Eamon MacThomais. "Scumbag" is not widely used on the Southside or Dublin 4 (which includes Raytown, btw). It's more an inner-city term of abuse.
As for classist? Contrast:
Definition of scumbag: http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Scumbag
Definition of Lumpen: http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/lumpen
To bring yisserself up to date. The yoof of today are more in keeping with Ross O'Carroll-Kelly terms of disparagement, which definitely have a classist dimension:
CHV = Council House Version
* Common exclamations include "Ah Jaysus!", and "(Wat's de) Story, bud?" (which is taken to mean "How are you, my friend?").
* The 'th' sound becomes a 'd' sound: "Wudja looka dat young fella over dare" ("(Would you) Look at that young man over there").
* "The Herald" becomes "The Heddild", 'aren't' becomes 'arden't'.
* The word "but" is sent to the end of the sentence rather than the beginning: "Didn't he do a whole lot for the country, but."
* Working class people are sometimes referred to by Ross as "Howiyas" (based on the dublin accent rendering of "How are you?"), and the women as "Jacintas" (a name perceived to be common among working class Dublin women).
The "reporting" on the events of last Saturday on this site is rapidly degenerating. People are posting statements which they claim to be factual when in reality they are subjective observations of the events through their eyes.
On this thread some have said that they did not believe that their was an anti-protestant element to the protest. That is a subjective assessment that I would contend to be false. To justify this statement the poster states that Welsh people who are probably protestants were not attacked. This is a ludicrous thing to say. Sectarianism in Ireland between protestants and catholics is not about religion per se. It happens to make a difference that the protestant is from Northern Ireland and has a certain political view. I heard numerous people expressed anti-protestant statements and I would contend that "fucking orange bastards" is an anti-protestant sectarian statement. In the context of last Saturday and 99 times out of a 100 when people use the phrase orange bastard they mean Northern Protestants, not members of the Orange Order. And don't insult my intelligence by coming on here saying "Oh when I say orange bastard I mean a paid up member of the Orange Order" - because that is crap.
I heard many comments from rioters who wanted to attack the Love Ulster parade and I heard people say that if the gardai had tried to let the parade go ahead that they would have beat the "loyalists" off the streets.
I am shocked that numerous posters are trying to turn this sectarian riot into something else. In no manner, shape or form was this riot a positive political expression by the working class. Chekov, I don't know if you are being serious with your comments about the term "scumbags", but what the middle classes of D4 think is irrelevant in this discussion. The term scumbag is used by the working class. It is not used as a term of class abuse, it is used to described the bastards who terrorise working class communities and make people's lives a misery because of anti-social behavior. And the majority of people I met on Saturday used the terms scum or scumbags to describe the youth who ran amok. The majority of these young people were not from impoverished families or backgrounds. Some yes but the majority no. These were young people who were wearing fashionable clothes and had expensive mobile phones, camera phones that they used to record the actions of their friends etc.
There is an air of middle class liberalism about some of the comments about these young people. Posters are making excuses and are acting as apologists for their actions. These young people engaged in a display of extreme sectarianism and bigotry. There are no excuses for that and people who claim to be on the left should not be making excuses. And the people who smashed into shops and stole on O'Connell St were mostly not participating in the riot but were opportunists thieves who just got in on the act.
Pat C says that members of the WSM, socialists, anarchists etc participated on Saturday. I don't think that any member of the WSM took part in the riot and WSM members should answer Pat C on his point. I did not see any organised participation by a political party/group of the left in the riot on Saturday. The only political parties who in an organised way were involved that I saw were RSF and the IRSP.
I've been puzzling this one myself. I can only conclude that the long hand of Herr Mcdowell is responsible. All the photos in Indymedia, the mainstream press and various blogs seem to portray 13-17 year old rioters in Celtic tops wrecking people cars and running off with trainers. Has he somehow supressed all the pictures of rioting anarchists, socialists and shinners?
"Pat C says that members of the WSM, socialists, anarchists etc participated on Saturday. "
who were the anarchist rioters there ? noticed a fair few black flags waving around the place
a word to the wise
Hello Witness. You say:-
“The majority of these young people were not from impoverished families or backgrounds. Some yes but the majority no.” So by your reckoning the majority of the “rioters” were from the middle and upper classes then? The author of this piece who observed the scene on the day extensively, and with video footage, disagrees with you, as do many of the other witnesses on this thread, as do the several people I know who were there on the day. Regarding apologists I have already commented on this. See back a few comments. I do not think people are trying to apologize for what happened, rather trying to “explain” why it happened. If you think this explanation is wrong, then fair enough.
Breaking News: Ahern denies gardaí were ill-prepared
Hello Moff. I am disappointed that you are disappointed at the reporting of the riot on this site – you’d wanna hear what the Irish mainstream have to say!! But I would strongly suggest that you do not base your judgement on just reading a portion of the article but rather read the article in full. I think you will find that it is not a bad analysis. And an analysis that suggests that on the outside it looks like this was sectarian driven – but when one delves a little deeper (which the media here are failing/refusing to do) the deeper causes of what happened are based in poverty and underprivilegement. People who came from the type of areas that were the feeding ground of the paramilitary organizations in the North on both sides.
As an Irish citizen may I express my deepest apology for what happened. Most people I know are shocked by what had happened and in general it was a very embarrassing day for Ireland. One of the most embarrassing in living memory. And it is awful that the thousands of people killed by the IRA and the hardship their families and friends have had to endure have nearly been totally forgotten about in the coverage of Saturday’s events.
well done to author, i tried to upload link about article in yesterdays daily ireland which mentioned similar angle as one reason for the riot, but was unable to upload and now dont know how to find the article, on a similar note someone uploaded what peter mc verry said in relation to poor relations between cops and inner city lads and the recent death of terence wheelock
Daily Ireland: McVerry says death in Garda custody a factor in riots - alternative narrative emerges
Here's some of those 'ultra right thugs' from Frazers that Outsider referred to earlier.
Shurely shome mishtake?
Celtic Fans Against Fascism banner on O'Connell Street before the riot
One of the author's points seems to be to draw any blame whatsoever away from Republicans and lay all the blame indirectly on Capitalism. Fair enough! These poor people have been marginalised so what can they do but cause destruction and injure (or kill) as many people as possible. It makes them feel empowered.
Forgive me but I'm sick of hearing about how 'circumstances' cause people like this to make life miserable for so many others. There is a scumbag element in every society (frequently poor people - but not always, of course) who like to cause mayhem. When they're not gathering for huge riots like this; they shoplift, they beat people up, they steal bikes and cars. They ruin things for other people and make us all pay vast sums more in security and protection.
I grew up in west Dublin in the eighties. My father was unemployed for most of that decade and we could barely makes ends meet. I'm glad to say I didn't become a scumbag. If only we could lock these worthless pieces of s**t up, life would be better for everyone.
see wikipedias version of events,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2006_Dublin_riots - presuming these authors ok with that or can edit as see fit
links also made to
McVerry says death in Garda custody a factor in riots - Daily Ireland - http://www.indymedia.ie/article/74567
ad-hoc flashmob of citizen journalists - Indymedia.ie - http://www.indymedia.ie/article/74547
Couldn't agree with you more. These scumbags can be seen making a general nuisance out of themselves on the same street on most days. Where you'll see them in droves is either in the GPO on dole day or down at the District Court in the Bridewell all day every day.
As you said Paul, every city has scum, but I think we are blind to the fact that the scum of this city has started to take over and displace the normal law abiding citizen. If anything, Saturday was a wake up call, but of course the muppets that we chose to to run the country will tell us that it is "fringe republican elements".
Last Saturday was what happens when you let the scum of the city have the same liberties as the rest of society. Are we really expected to believe that this is the first time any of these people threw a brick at Gardai or damaged someone's property??? Is it realistic to suggest that some sort of collective group effect took over O' Connell Street at 12:27 last Saturday and the result was that the Gardai came under attack and people felt compelled to loot shops and generally smash the city up???
Yeah right, these "disadvantaged" poor souls spend their entire lives wrecking communities and last Saturday was just like some sort of bank holiday for them, and if you don't believe me, take a trip down to the Bridewell any day of the week and see how many defendants are there for the first time, inonically they sound the same, look the same and act the same as the crowd that wrecked the city on Saturday last.
A little closer to the truth may be that we have a serious problem in Dublin with law and order, and I'm not saying this started last Saturday. The problem is masked by the fact that the crimes that these people become involved in as part of their normal lives, and not considered to be crimes by the Gardai. If your car is stolen, the Gardai don't even bother trying to catch the offender because now its not even called "crime", its called "anti-social bevaviour". Not so many years ago, we didn't see security guards at every shop door. Now a whole fucking industry has been created around these scumbags, and we are all paying for it everytime we make a purchase. If your car is robbed and distroyed, there is no way any scumbag will be held to account. No, you will be held to account, when you claim off your insurance. There is something fundamentally wrong with a society that lets people commit crime on a huge scale without the offender being held to account. The people who were arrested for looting, do you think they will be made pay for the damage??? What we need is a justice system that says, "look, what damage did you do??? Three thousand Euro??? That's a pity because the law says that I have to multiply that my 5 and that's what you have to pay back now to the shopkeeper, do you think you might do that again???".
The government seemed to have been scratching their heads on this since last Saturday, now I get the impression that they realise exactly where the trouble came from. Our serial ditherer Bertie seems to be trying to tell us, "look lads, it HAS to be the Republican's, there is NO WAY the chavs of Dublin could gather that quickly and get all that stuff to lamp at the Gardai". My arse, these scumbags hang around O' Connell Street all day every day and the material that they used to smash the place up was more or less provided at the scene for them from what I can see. Like the other problems our government has yet to sort out for us, this one will not be sorted out any time in the near future.
So by your reckoning the majority of the “rioters” were from the middle and upper classes then?
No. What I said was the majority were not from impoverished families. The vast majority of working class people in this country are not impoverished, and the majority of the young rioters (and not so young) were from this section of the working class.
My point is directed against the rubbish from people like John Throne and others here who are trying to make out that this was a rebellion from the downtrodden and oppressed and that is just crap. This was not the youth of Harlem or Brixton reacting to oppression, this was naked sectarianism mixed in with some who were opportunist lumpens taking advantage. Many of the people I saw "rioting" were not actually rioting they were involved in wanton violence and destruction on a Saturday afternoon, like football holigans on the rampage. Some of them would be the same people who would be beating the crap out of people when they are pissed or stoned on a Saturday night or mugging people etc.
Nothing heroic, nothing political.
Were you everywhere at once? Well some members of some groups may now wish to run for cover and say their groups were not involved, but Socialists, Republicans, SFers, Anarchists and even members of the Labour Party were active on saturday. Not that any of them did anything illegal' I never wrote that. Some people wear masks though.
Calling someone an Orange Bastard is hardly Anti-Protestant. Because the march wasnt a Protestant Parade, nor was it an Orange Order march though. It was a Loyalist march composed of UVF supporters who intended to honour one of those responsible for the Dublin& Monaghan bombings. Willie Frazer has links with the UVF and has praised the sloyalist mass murderer Billy Wright. In Britain Love Ulster parades have been stewarded by Combat 18 and the BNP. I think calling the Love Ulster mob orange bastards is justified.
that unionist political parties and organisations have links with unionist paramilitaries, just like republican political parties and organisations have links with republican paramilitaries? People keep repeating this over and over and its starting to hurt my head...
That's part of the point. These weren't merely orangemen or loyalists. They were (or at least some of their most prominent organisers were) very associated with loyalist paramilitaries and British fascists. There's a concerted effort in some media circles to paint this as a "simple expression of Ulster unionism", it's not. It was a provocation by people that don't believe in democracy, don't believe in equal rights for Catholics and it was received as such by a large number of people even if only a tiny percentage of them bothered to try and stop it.
Re that unionist political parties and organisations have links with unionist paramilitaries
Depends what you mean by paramilitary and what you think of them. The RUC and UDR were paramilitary forces and the vast majority of unionists were happy to stand by them. I would say that they were obviously different to UDA etc, but the more you learn about the conflict in the north the less obvious it becomes.
To Michael R
Thanks for clarification of your views of the need for an equal society - I'm with you on that one and I must congratulate the writer of the originating article for stirring up such passion with such an intelligently writen piece.
Hating each other will never solve anything. Parades are not the answer to anything - unless they are simply rejoicing in life itself - like the one in Rio - or the great one in the Camargue for the worshipping of Sante Sarah. Worshipping killers or the killed is just pure wrong in public. Just like the two subjects to avoid in a pub - religion and politics. The politicians have to realize the fragility of these events. Here in Toronto we randomly get 3 recent editions of the Irish Times at the Central Library. I went in today to read Friday's, Saturday's and Monday's editions. Nothing in the editions prior to the parade gave any sense of impending riots. Sure there were mention of a fully stocked Gardai preparing for the march but there are no grave warnings of mayhem and anarchy. Sure it could have been worse - and it certainly isn't Bagdad - but it is still bad, and while I agree that there is a certain expression of resentment from the lower class - it is certain also not to be heard by those with power to change things - and that is the true sadness - here.
The Gardai cannot be run over by thugs. Let's clarify this. If you throw a brick at somebody's head, I think that makes you a thug. Wasn't the Moore Street market open for them to grab a few tomatoes or turnips or something less brutal. Throwing a brick is pure intent to injure. I feel sorry for the marchers, regardless of their views and alliances. They have been allowed into the equation foolishly by the government. They are entitled to their views. they lost loved ones. They have a right to grieve, but not in public, not on O'connell Street on a Saturday afternoon in the dead of winter.
I do believe in a United Ireland but I understand that these people, regardless of how they got here in the first place, have lived here now for a long time. We are going to have to learn to live together - then there will be no need for marches of remembrances to stir a pot always waiting to boil.
I find it very difficult to agree with John Throne's analysis that the rioters on Saturday were acting out a class based protest or were protesting about garda repression in the inner city. The idea that socialists should organise to support the rioters and no one should be charged or held responsible for these actions is ludicrious. Does that include those who launched the racist attack on Westland Row? These views would ruin the standing socialists enjoy in working class areas and is more in keeping with the middle class guilty liberal mindset.
The rioters that were responsible for Saturday's events were not acting on behalf of their communities and in the main are the very people who make life in underprivilidged areas a nightmare for their neighbours. Are their neighbours not working class people with rights too?
If some of the commentators can't draw the distinction between thugs and scum who terrorise their communities and the decent, ordinary working class people of Dublin then they should really examine their politics.
Nobody was killed on saturday yet youd swear the world came to an end . If only these howls of moral outrage had been heard when Dublins poor were deliberately blown to smithereens by Frazers mates . There were no howls and squeals either when McDowell announced all the files had gone missing from Garda HQ and from his own Justcice department , after the Garda had took high court and supreme court actions to prevent those files being used in the ECHR . Britain had moved to take a crown interest immunity certificate but the boys at HQ and the Justice Department made sure they dont need one now with the evidence gone and no public enquiry .
Thats worth getting outraged about . A bit of property damage and orange bandsmen getting re-routed isnt the end of the world . Your governemnt colluding in the mass murder of its own citizens is a tad more pressing an issue .
I notice theres not a word from the self righteous about Frazers group going on the rampage for hours in Portadown when they got home either .
Excellent posts. You have both captured the real reason behind what happened and encapsulated the view of most working class Dubs. That is, those of us who have to live every day with the scum of the earth. Scum is what they are, not revolutionary heroes. Put them down.
All of those people who are going on about scum should be bloody ashamed of themselves. No human being is scum and there are reasons why people behave in certain ways.
75% of inmates in mountjoy come from 6 identifiable areas, pockets of deprivation in the city (John Lonergan, Mountjoy Governor). Ireland has the most unequal distribution of income in the EU (UN report 2002). Crime and anti-social behaviour are strongly correlated with poverty and inequality - to put it simply, if you have a society like ours where enormous wealth sits side by side with deprivation, you will have anti-social behaviour and it's nothing to do with people being 'scum' - it's social reality not choice. "lifestyle choices are limited by economic circumstances" (Health inequalities and Irish General Practice in areas of deprivation). 22% of the population live on weekly incomes of less than 164 euro per adult and 54 euro per child per week (combat poverty agency, 2004).
Young men living in over-crowded, deprived council estates suffer some of the worst consequences of this inequality. They see wealth and consumer goods all around them, they are sold a message that there are opportunities for all and that they have all the choices in the world, but the reality is that they are excluded from this wealth and have seriously limited choices. This produces destructive behaviour - they come to blame themselves for their inability to attain the wealth that is around them - hence hospitalisation rates for mental illness are more than six times higher for people in lower socio economic groups than for those in the higher groups and suicide rates are more than 5 times higher (public health alliance of Ireland 2003). Mortality rate in the lowest occupational class is 100%-200% higher than the rate in the highest occupational class (Balanda, Wilde 2001). This self destructive behaviour also manifests itself in terms of alcohol and drug abuse (heroin addiction is almost exclusively a problem for deprived young people). It also manifests itself in anti-social behaviour and crime.
Calling for harsher measures against such people is not only morally reprehensible, it is counter productive. A national representative study published in the BMJ showed 40% of irish prisoners inject drugs - 21% inject for the first time while in prison. That means that prison actually creates more problems than it solves in the long run. Troubled kids go into prison and many of them emerge with heroin habits which require a criminal lifestyle to feed. In any case, this group are already massively over-represented in prisons, 50% of prisoners are under 24 and 80% are under 35 (health in prisons project).
Those people who think that calling the most disadvantaged and unfortunate members of our society 'scum' is a solution to anything deserve a thrashing. In fact, they deserve to be brought up in a broken home, with an abusive, alcholic father and a mother who is addicted to heroin and regularly beaten and bullied. They then deserve to have a whole bunch of more fortunate people looking down upon them as 'scum'. In particular anybody who thinks that they are a socialist or progressive in any way and uses such terminology is a fucking hypocrite and a disgrace.
Since the disturbances the words "scum" and "scumbags" have been bandied about incessantly . This plays right into the establishments hands . There is nothing remotely progressive about the use of this blanket term . Once someone is deemed " scum" then they arent a human being , they have no rights at all . Their only purpose in life is to get wiped away .
Ive no doubt the poorest streets of Dublin were targetted for the bombings because the people in them were viewed simply as " scum" with no rights . Ive no doubt successive governemnts covered up the bombings because they viewed the poor as scum who didnt deserve protection , respect or justice .
The incesssant use of this blanket term of abuse is itself a sign of bigotry . I despair at the amount of times Ive heard it in the last few days from people who should know better .
with the northern accents in the celtic Tshirts couldn't be loyalists. You'd never get a loyalist in a celtic T-shirt. You wouldn't recognise them - would you?
Joe Higgins (Socialist Party): The Socialist Party condemns those who orchestrated Saturday's violence. It was a sectarian riot to prevent the Love Ulster group marching through Dublin. My party believes that the Love Ulster campaign is based on sectarianism and that its activities heighten sectarian divisions and encourage disunity among working class people, especially in Northern Ireland. We strongly oppose the political agenda and the activities of Love Ulster, but we recognise its right to march and protest in the centre of Dublin. The Socialist Party equally recognises the rights of others to indicate peaceful opposition to Love Ulster through disciplined protest, but they have no right to stop others marching as happened on Saturday in Dublin. My party strongly opposes the political agenda of both orange and green sectarians, whether in the North or on the streets of Dublin.
Let us contrast Saturday's disgusting scenes with those of a few weeks ago, when striking postal workers in Belfast, Protestant and Catholic, marched together up the Shankill Road and down the Falls Road in a united working class demonstration. With the many groups and individuals subjected to disgraceful violence on Saturday, I highlight violent assaults against workers, including migrant workers, in their workplaces, particularly shops, by the thugs who participated. Clearly, the Good Friday Agreement is not providing a solution. It could not do so, since it is the institutionalisation of sectarian division. Therefore, I register my dissent and formally oppose that section of the motion before us.
The key task remaining is forging unity among working class people within Northern Ireland and North and South and, in so doing, ensuring all communities and individuals can live free from sectarian conflict. However, the British and Irish Governments which push new liberal and right-wing economic agendas at the expense of those working class communities are not the ones to show the way forward in this respect.
I wish to issue a strong, loud and clear warning to senior Dublin City Council officials and anyone in the Government who echoes the call made yesterday by the Dublin city manager. Effectively, he called for the right to democratically organise, protest and march in Dublin city centre to be curbed and restricted. Disgracefully, the Taoiseach echoed that call today. It is disgraceful that the hooliganism of a tiny few, who sought to curb the freedom to march on Saturday, should be seized on by city council bureaucrats to curb our freedom to march peacefully and express ourselves on a whole range of issues that concern ordinary people, workers and working class communities. All, whether it be the farming community, trade unions, community organisations or political organisations, have the democratic right to come to the centre of their capital city and show their cause. Just as working class people of Dublin, with one of their great leaders, Jim Larkin, exerted their right to bring their movement, grievances and cause on to O'Connell Street in the time leading up to and during the monumental events and struggle for justice by workers in 1913, we will not tolerate any attempts by bureaucrats or anyone else to prevent our right to demonstrate peacefully and democratically in the centre of this city of Dublin.
I am proud to be from three generations of working class Dubs and I know scum when I see them. In my grandparents times these scum (often their gandparents!) were pimps and scabs and animal gangs. Now they are dealers and muggers. Scum. As for the thrashing you threaten, I would love to see you try. Some of the scum did and didn't succeed.
Working class Dubs - who live in the same places and the same conditions as the scum - know what the reality on the streets is. We are not looking at things through some schizophrenic ideological prism.
Arguing from personal experience is absolutely worthless when trying to understand social problems. When examining the effects of poverty and exclusion on society, it is only possible to see patterns when one uses broad based statistical analysis. Otherwise, we should all be billionaires since it is always possible to find out somebody who made it to the top from the slums after a hard life of graft.
Anti-social crime is caused by poverty and inequality - it's an undeniable fact unless you want to dispense with science altogether. Calling people scum on the basis of your personal experience is tantamount to shutting down your brain and substituting blind prejudice for thought. You might be happy to leave your gray matter idle but don't expect anybody who is interested in making the world a fairer place to be interested in what you have to say.
Its always the people who are the most vocal about " scum" who seem to be the hardest men on the internet . Im surprised he never chased them up OConnel st single handed .
Chekov - don't fkn patronise me. I warrant I have more of the grey matter than your good self. I have also lived long enough in Dublin to know that the scum you romanticise are among the most serious obstacles to improving the lives of working class communities. Always have been and always will be. They are a persistent threat to anyone within the community who seeks to build local organisation or even simple things like sports groups and facilities for children and old people. Scum.
Barry - I know you probably think you are "hard" because you happen to be associated with an alleged army, I don't. I do happen, however, to have been attacked on several occassions by these scum. Once or twice at random. At others because I was identified as a member of the anti-drugs and anti-hood organisation (which was associated with a real army at the time). Came off worst sometimes, othertimes I got away. Once or twice I came off the best. Once or twice we took them at a disadvantage and what a pleasure that was. However, the scum never managed to intimidate me and never will.
Observer, just 2 points.
1. You disguise your copious amount of grey matter very well. As long as there is poverty and inequality there will be anti-social crime and the people who you call scum are a symptom not a cause. Any remotely scientific analysis of the statistics reveals that to be a fact, plain and simple. There is absolutely no romance in this, just a basic understanding of statistics. Or maybe your grey matter is so voluminous that you have developed methods of analysiing society that go far beyond the standard statistical correlation methods that are accepted by the scientific literature? Go on, let the cat out of the bag and tell us the secret of your special wisdom - a nobel prize awaits at the very least
2. Playing the hard man on the internet is very childish and I'm sure our readership is terrifically interested in learing how hard an anonymous poster calling himself 'observer' claims to be. Grow up.
In my grandparents times these scum (often their gandparents!) were pimps and scabs and animal gangs. Now they are dealers and muggers
Isn't this the very point Chekov is making?
No actually it proves that their badness - scumminess if you will :) is more likely to be heriditary than enivronmental.
Besides, the causes of why someone is a piece of shit is irrelevant. You don't wonder why a cockroach is a nasty disease spreading vermin, you do your best to destroy him.
Of course naive dillententes such as Chekov will claim that "there is a better world" and that all the scum will turn out to be Pollyanna once the New Jerusalem is ushered in by middle class revolutionaries such as himself.
Pardon me, if I don't hold my breath in anticipation .....
No actually it proves that their badness - scumminess if you will :) is more likely to be heriditary than enivronmental.
Besides, the causes of why someone is a piece of shit is irrelevant. You don't wonder why a cockroach is a nasty disease spreading vermin, you do your best to destroy him.
So do you favour the killing of these people you identify in this manner or just their compulsory sterilisation? Because the logic of what you write is that stopping them breeding will sort out the problem?
This really shows the problem with the 'scum' level of analysis - if taken seriously it boils down to some very reactionary politics.
I have no moral objections to killing them, or them killing themselves as is more usually the case of late, but I wouldn't see it as a solution. Welcome and all as it is to hear that some other lowlife has gone down in a hail of bullets.
Infact there is no solution. But of course there are still people like Chekhov after more than a century of cathastrophe on the back of revolutions based on a false understanding of human history and society, who still trot out the same tired old platitudes.
Joe Higgins' statement in the Dáil is spot on. Against sectarianism bth green and orange. He clearly pointed to what is needed in Ulster ie cross community working class politcs. Joe is spot on to have a go at the city council and government for wanting to clamp down on marches.
Meanwhile here's the view from IBEC. Nice to see that Mr Butler et al are closely focused on the deeper social issues, as ever.
"Speaking in reaction to the violent riots in Dublin on Saturday, Torlach Denihan Director of Retail Ireland, the IBEC group that represents the Irish retail sector, said:
'It is difficult to quantify at this stage the exact cost of the mindless violence that erupted on the streets of Dublin on Saturday. We estimate that the loss of sales by retailers as a result of the riots is in the region of €10 million. Besides the immediate cost to businesses and individuals directly affected, street violence of this sort damages the reputation of the city right across the island and overseas. It is important that those responsible are brought to justice and that such scenes are never witnessed again.'
Note: Retail Ireland is the representative body for the entire retail sector in Ireland and is affiliated to IBEC. Its membership represents department stores, major supermarket groups, symbol groups and a whole range of specialist retailers."
Perhaps Mr Butler is referring to social justice for all Dublin's deprived areas? 10 million Euro seems an awful lot. Are they thinking about their insurance claims, I wonder?
this punters clearly off his rocker . People should now be killed because of their grandparents alleged misdemeanours as "scumminess" not only carries a death sentence its genetic .
crazed evil lunacy .
I'm a Nazi now!! Unlike your friends who blew the shite out of Omagh of course. Warrirors for a more caring society no doubt. Crazy Barry. But then again that's where you got the cars wasn't it - from joyriders?
same tired old platitudes.
Observer, it is more than a little ironic that you refer to my tireld old platitudes while putting forward a genetic explanation of behaviour which has been largely abandoned by science since the 1930's.
There is no evidence that genetics play a significant role in anti-social behaviour.
There is a tremendous body of evidence that environment plays a significant role. We can see this clearly by looking at how crime levels and other associated metrics change as significant environmental correlates change. So, for example, it is well known that crime increases as relative poverty increases within the same population, without any change in gene distribution.
Your laughable approach to science is essentially Hitlerite and the disasterous consequences of this pseudo-science in that particular uncontrolled experiment are one of the reasons why this particular evidence-free line of argument is considered to be not only laughable, but also morally abhorrent. Indeed, it is a safe assumption that people who argue such points of view in this day and age are some sort of racial supremacist or other. I find it, thus, curious that you have persitently abused this site by posting anti-immigrant comments on any article which RAR post here. It's what I would call a strong indication of a causal correlation.
Incidentally, a consequence of your argument should be that Africans are genetically superior to caucasians, having much lower levels of anti-social crime in their societies than we have here. I take it that you would accept such a proposition?
The cars used in Omagh and other bombs were supplied by the gardai and one of their paid agents who was NOT a joy rider. That has since been established by Detective John White who also revealed that his superior in Special Branch who was responsible has fled the jurisdiction since he bgan to talk .
As for your eugenics theories they are straight out of 1930s Berlin , including the cockroach and disease comparisons and the desire for ethnic cleansing . Crazed bigotted lunacy .
especially of sexual abuse nature and religious license / occupation. no?
Hi Michael; you had no need to apologise. Everyone in the North are well aware that the rioting was caused by disinfranchised youths. What disappointed me about the article was that the underlying attitudes that caused youths from all parts of Dublin to congregate in the City centre on Saturday in order to attack a very small protest parade were not addressed fully. There are a number of points I'd like to make.
1. It has been suggested that this was a loyalist paramilitary parade. There were possibly people there who had paramilitary associations (I've no idea) but by no stretch of imagination was this a paramilitary parade. If the UDA, UVF (or any other bunch of nutters) had wanted to march in Dublin they would have arrived in much greater numbers, they wouldn't have brought elderly women and children with them and they wouldn't have meekly followed the Guards instructions. They would have been actively trying to get stuck into the protesters because, like the protesters, they "don't give a fuck"
2. It has been widely stated that the marchers were being deliberately provocative by including the GPO in the march route. Forgive me if I'm missing the point here but wasn't this route agreed with the appropriate Dublin authorities? If thats the case, then I would suggest that the blame for the march route lies squarely at the door of whoever signed off on it, not the marchers.
3. It was stated in the article that SDLP voters, the author knows, were glad that the march didn't take place. It's attitudes like that that have caused vast swathes of Northern Ireland to become either 100% Republican or Unionist. Is that what these people want? A sort of self imposed Apartheid system where people can only celebrate their own Traditions in their own areas and never the two will meet. If this is a widely held view then I really do think that the Republics Government should be honest and remove the Orange part from your national flag because I don't for one second believe the originators of the flag intended this!
Overall, I thought the article contained many valid points but I don't think it addressed all issues. From a Northern Perspective, I can see very little difference between the rioters and for example
1. Mary Harney who yesterday stated that "I don't have much respect for the Orange Order because it is a sectarian, bigoted organisation". I'm not personally a member but I know a hell of a lot of people who are and none of them fit that description! I personally think that if 20th Century History has taught us anything, it's not to stereotype people.
2. Mary McAleese who recently stated that Northern Protestants were brought up to hate Catholics. Thats just too offensive and inaccurate for words!
3. Father Alec Reid (observer at recent alleged IRA decommissioning) who stated that Nationalists were treated not much better than animals by Unionists. Once again too offensive and inaccurate for words! AND we're expected to believe him when he says the IRA have decommissioned!!
With people in authority in the Republic issuing statements like that, is it any wonder that the disinfranchised/scumbags/whatever piled into town on Saturday to have a go at the "Orange bastards". The only difference that I can see between the rioters and the above mentioned is that the above mentioned wouldn't dream of rioting because they've too much to lose.
An excellent article, and ditto some of the responses - i now realise how some have associated the anarchists perhaps incorrectly with the rioting, and have learned a bit from some of the links.
But one obvious flaw. In mid-january, I remember joking with friends about how the march was going to be subverted. We joked about following them with a steel drum band, so that noone could take them seriously, or sitting in a bar on o'Connell street, watching the inevitable scrap at the GPO - what greater flashpoint could there be?
Now myself and my friends are far from the most enlightened political commentators. But when doing-alright middle class lads start making jokes about how if they love ulster, they can stay there, and how they'll get hopped if they try to march the GPO route, well, we laugh it off, and plan on staying out of town for the day - at the end of the day, despite their (to us) distateful views, they'r epeople, and hey, it might do something for the peace process. Worse, if people do attack them, they'll want to come back! All great black humour at the time.
But when the disenfranchised, who the author so perceptively names as the non-affiliated Nationalists, joke about the same thing, it was always going to be trouble. Anyone who didn't see it coming needs their head examined. You can see how trhe gardaí got walked into a very difficult spot after the may day protests, and i feel for them. I doubt there was anything sinister in Bertie's going ahead with it. But it does show an appalling naievity.
Let us try to discuss these issues without name calling! Let us try and respect that each person is entitled to their own opinion and viewpoint. Disagree with these opinions and viewpoints of course but don't disrepsect them. Name calling will get us nowhere are weakens your argument. Hate, was a key factor on Saturday and of course a massive factor in the North over the last 30 years and going back longer. Let us not repeat this hate in our own lives (as difficult as it can be at times to subdue it). I'm enjoying the differnet perspectives people have on things but the hate and name calling is ruining the arugment.
Well "Observer" has shown himself in his true colours alright, but a number of other people have made a fair argument that you can't blame everything on social conditions, because not everyone who experiences those conditions responds in the same way. I think it's probably true that some people have a tendency to be thuggish (not a genetic tendency, mind), and you get people like that right across the social spectrum.
But how far they go with this tendency DOES largely depend on whether they're poor, middle class or wealthy. Affluent people generally don't push it too far because they have something to lose. Take one very well known case of posh thuggery in recent years - the killing of Brian Murphy 6 years ago. The media gave huge coverage to the trial, precisely because it's so rare for people from that kind of background to be put on trial for killing someone. The full details of what they did didn't really come out in the media, but they're well known among southside youths in the same age bracket as Brian Murphy (one of the sick fuckers held him a foot off the ground with one hand then smashed his face into pulp with the other).
If the killers had been working class, they would have gone down for a long time (they might well have been charged with murder and convicted). The judge and jury wouldn't have had any worries about disrupting their bright futures. Once they were in jail, they would have had no incentive to reform themselves, and probably would have fallen in with hardcore criminals. Once they got back on the street, the chances are they would have done something even worse, and spent the rest of their days in and out of prison.
Instead, they got light sentences (or were let off full stop) and they didn't have any reason to get involved in crime once released. So your background does matter. I don't doubt for a moment that there are thugs who make life hell for people in their communities. It's hard to have much sympathy for anyone who goes around picking fights with random strangers for the craic. But the chances are, they never would have got to that stage if they had some kind of stake in society.
This is not a soft, naive liberal argument. If you really want to put a stop to "anti-social behaviour" (or whatever you want to call it), you might as well come up with a strategy that has some possibility of stopping it - and the law'n'order, lock 'em up and throw away the key approach hasn't worked anywhere, ever.
thanks for the response, your analysis is probably closer to the truth than my own, thats what listening to too much Joe Duffy does to you! Did you see or hear anything of the reports of non nationals being attacked? i heard there was some chinese attacked in a shop. I still reckon though that the rioters themselves could go either way in the future as in ultra nationalism/racism etc. The way alot of them dressed and stood (arms open wide) reminded me alot of ironically enough english football hooligans. But like I say its an open question. it's up to the organised left to offer some sort of alternative to that.
i suppose I probably should have said there was a communal overtone, as in us catholics/souhterners against prods/northies etc. Not religion per s, as in catholic fundamentalism, but as the indy photographer pointed out a form of nationalism. A negative form in my opinion that could just as easily be against non nationals as "prods".
Northern reg cars were smashed up and as far as I'm aware it was the Ulster bank smashed up.
Its the first time any form of politcal protest from any section of the northern prodestant community since partition. This riot whether we like it or not sends out a message of intolereance and quite frankly if I was a northern prodestant it would do little to convince me Southern Ireland is ready for any form of unity with the north.
About the Love Ulster crowd having paramilitary links, well Pat so do Sinn fein, RSF and the whole republican movement. The IRA killed a hell of a lot of innocent people with Bombs but should Sinn Fein be banned from marching through Belfast city centre? And remember O'Connell street is Dublin city centre its capital street, no equivelent to the Falls or Shankill. And for that matter the British State killed plenty of people too.
I think that a lot of what chekov has said here and on the radio is right but not all of it. It is too simplistic to just say that disaffected young people came out on the streets and engaged in the riot because of their social conditions and anger against the gardai. That is part of it but RSF did organise a protest and they did leaflet schools asking young people to come on the protest. The riot started because RSF members and supporters attacked the gardai and then after that the young people joined in. A lot of the young people did turn up with tricolours and wearing celtic shirts and scarfs as republican symbols and they did shout sectarian chants and pro IRA chants. The majority of the rioters were not the young people you are talking about they were republicans and the riot and trouble had three different aspects to it. The republicans who started it but then gradually withdrew, the young people who were influnced by the republicans and then you had the criminal types who robbed the shops.
mcdonalds was smashed up as well. reckon that was sectarian or communally inspired? or how about the eircom windows? get a grip please.
the reason why i am stressing the loyalist nature of love ulster is because so many people have tried to pretend that they were just a bunch of innocent protestants commemorating innocent victims. they intended to commemorate one of the dublin/monaghan bombers in o'connell street. a fair comparison of this would be a republican march up the shankill road past the site of frizzells carrying a portrait of the bomber.
I agree with you basically. However, in the comments here and on the radio I only really attempted to put forward the part of the story that was being left out by most commentators who focused exclusively on the tribal aspects.
Pat come on are you really telling me that this riot had nothing to do with the north? i think like you probably do, much of the riot came from the anger of dissaffected youth having a go at the cops, and social problems lie at the bottom of this. But you can't really be saying that there was no sectarianism/communalism involved, as eyewitness pointed out alot of the rioters did have tricolours etc. We could ask ourselves whether the tricolour is a nationalist or republican flag today and in this context.
I don't think anyone is saying there was no unionist or loyalist connections, but by the same token most republicans and nationalists commenting here and on the radio give links to unionism/loyalism as a reason they should not be allowed parade. And the direct equivlent of that is SF or any republican group not being allowed to march in the centre of either dublin belfast or london because of links to the IRA.
I disagree with your analysis that it's the same as the shankill road, The whole of belfast city centre was bombed by the IRA on black Friday, should Sinn Fein be banned from marching or protesting there? Whole town centres were blown up by the republican movement, should they be banned there.
Unionists/loyalists not being allowed march up o'connell street is territorial and has little to do with the dublin monaghan bombings. I heard as much mention of the GPO as the bombings, and at least one victim of the bombings denounced his name being used by republicans.
The majority of the rioters were not the young people you are talking about they were republicans
Because that's the total opposite of the impression I got from your report. Do you also agree that the RSF people "attacked the Gardai"?
I have a few questions I want to ask those people here who take offence to the use of the term "scum" or "scumbags"...
If the problems here are actually sustained disadvantage pertaining to the person or the community, widespread and concentrated poverty in certain areas of the city, lack of resources, disenfranchised communities, chronic drug abuse problems, concentrated unemployment levels in a community, etc., it follows reason that these people are in this situation against their wishes and if offered real and meaningful assistance, would use whatever additional tools and resources that could be put at their disposal, to improve their quality of life and lift themselves out of whatever disadvantage that their consider themselves to imprisoned within.
This is where the argument for a collection of social diseases as being the direct cause of this situation that unfolded last Saturday, falls flat on it's face.
We have FREE third level education, we have college places RESERVED for people from what we call socially deprived areas of the city. I know of one university that reserves on-campus accomodation for the same people and pays for it IN FULL. With such help and assistance available, you would imagine that there would be a queue of people from disadvantaged areas trying to tool themselves with the educational resources to improve their quality of life.
The truth that I subscribe to is that you could bring each of these people into an interview room, give them a free house, money to educate themselves so they can get the jobs and income that they tell us are not available to them, (for fuck's sake we are already doing this), you could give them anything they ask for, but all they will want is the next handout. The concept of being contributors to society is alien to them and the concept of being socially responsible is alien to them and always will be. These people have been conditioned by state handouts & supports to believe that the state is there to serve them, and not the other way around as the rest of us believe!
If I had the money to prove this theory I would but unfortunately I can't. I'm extremely low paid myself but I don't make excuses for it, I don't go out stealing cars over it or thrashing the main street of our capital city over it, I get up off my arse and work hard every day to chisel out a life for myself and improve my own situation.
I'm not cruel or harsh here, I'm all for helping people who are disadvantaged, who have suffered deprivation and who wish to imrpove their circumstances and wish for genuine help. The problem is that the people I call scumbags, the people who are behind the ever increasing levels of "anti-social" behaviour in this country, the scum strutting around the place in Celtic tops with hoods up and wrecking the capital last Saturday, these people don't want help, they just want to be at war with the rest of society, they want to wreck what others have, be it cars, public property, or whatever. We need to accept this first and deal with this issue first, before continuing to throw money at this problem. You can bring a horse to water, you can stick his head under water, but if the horse does not want to drink the water, then the water is no good.
So my point is that we need to be a little more honest with ourselves here and certainly more realistic if this problem is ever to be fixed. It's just not enough to come on here and talk shite about social disadvantage and lay out all the answers as if people who are in a situation where they consider themselves disadvantaged, want to live life any other way. I think disadvantage or whatever you want to call it is a lifestyle decision at the moment, it's a mindset that people wish to subscribe to, it's an identity that many people in this city now want to be associated with. Before people come on here fucking me out of it for having these views, explain why these scumbags all wear expensive Celtic football jerseys and brand new expensive runners and tracksuits and excessive GOLD jewellery??? If I have it wrong, why do they all dress the same, the clothes & decorations they wear are not cheap, surely if they were "disadvantaged", they would all be going around in rags instead of wearing the latest chav trendy gear??? Why do they talk the same and use the same terminology, "wots de story bud", "wha are you fuckin lookin at ye prick???"etc, etc??? I suggest that being violent in public like we saw last weekend, damaging property or people, causing a general nuisance, this anti-social behaviour is as much a feature of this identity as dressing like a chav or scumbag and taking on the general identity of one.
It also follows reason that if "social deprivation" was the root cause of what happenened last Saturday, that all the homeless people in the city would have been at the front line of it, another reason why the "social disadvantage" argument falls on it's face.
Pat C I don't agree with you. I saw the persons who smashed the windows in the empty office building where the riot started they were not young people they were men in their 30s and I saw young people smashing windows and cars and setting them on fire on Nassau st and there was nothing anti-capitalist about it if thats what you are trying to imply. It was wanton vandalism mixed in I think (can't be certain) with sectarianism. The people smashing things up in Nassau st were the dispossessed type of youth who engage in anti-social behaviour who because of the circumstance on the day had a freedom to smash things up and they were the same people who beat up the shopworkers in the Centra. When I say it could also have been sectarian its only because two of three cars that I saw on fire were from the north and a mini bus from a protestant school was smashed up beside them. But that was most likely just be a coincidence.
It is correct as Chekov has done to identify the social conditions that have given rise to these young people and to point a way forward to solving their (and society's) problems through economic and social change but Pat this reasoning should not be used to excuse what happened. The youth who engaged in these activities were wrong to do it and that needs to be said while at the same time placing the blame on the politicians and the social system, capitalism that is the root cause of the problem.
"Pat come on are you really telling me that this riot had nothing to do with the north?"
opbviously i'm not. i made it quite clear that it was an action opposed to loyalism. but your suggestions that ulster bank or northern reg cars were specifically targetted are ridiclious.
". But you can't really be saying that there was no sectarianism/communalism involved, as eyewitness pointed out alot of the rioters did have tricolours etc. We could ask ourselves whether the tricolour is a nationalist or republican flag today and in this context."
i think in this conyext the tricolour is anti imperialoist & anti loyalist symbol. i would have been happier if they had all been waving red flags but thats not how things happen in the real world. this was mostly a spontaneous rising. but it is worth noting that celtic fans against fascism were out with their banner.
". And the direct equivlent of that is SF or any republican group not being allowed to march in the centre of either dublin belfast or london because of links to the IRA."
no its not. those loyalists were going to march past the sites of the dublin 1974 bombings. the direct equivalent would be a republican march down the shankill past frizzels. (no point in ping ponging further over this. we have both established our positions.)
look, we have a fundamental disagreement in our approch to and the nature of the imperialist domination of this island. hence we will have a difference in how we relate to loyalist and republican violence. i didnt agree with a lot of the iras actions but i never regarded them as terrorists. i doubt if we can have a useful debate on this issue on indy due to the numerous trolls. sometimes its an idea to agree to disagree.
It seems obvious to me that some of the comments being posed here reflect a lack of knowledge of the O' Connell Street area. These people are floating around this street every other day of the week, they weren't "imported" from the north, they've caused very similar problems before, one time that springs to mind was St. Patrick's day not so long ago, another time was when school exam results were out and these chavs basically took over Stephens Green for the day and caused mayhem. if you actually walk down O' Connell Street regularly, you'll see this!
Would you believe I only looked at this site to read an article (should have taken 10 minutes max) but this is now my 3rd comment! First of all, HS, Eyewitness, Anti Chav, I can't argue with the viewpoints you've expressed. Pat C, sorry mate but I'm not sure what Planet you inhabit. Imperialist domination of this island; what the f**k does that mean!!! I hope that you aren't suggesting that just because Prods like myself can't really trace our ancestry back further than 300 or so years on this Island that we aren't really Irish! Or maybe it's the Border that bugs you in which case I'd suggest that the way to get rid of it is to convince a majority, north of the Border that a United Ireland is a great idea, bombing the shit out of place and shooting people really isn't a great sales pitch!!! Or maybe you plan repatriating us Prods to Scotland or wherever (hope the American Indians don't hit on that idea or this place would sink! Or the English and Scottish for that matter ,though it would mean you wouldn't have far to go to see Celtic play and you would have Wayne Rooney playing for the Republic!!). Imperialist domination of this Island...................................................UNBELIEVABLE!
Michael R's call for a Just Society, involving a community's responsibility, and making most things equal, was a terrific response to Blaise Fini's belief that individuals have to pull themselves up, poor or not.
Cornelius's declaration that we are all part of the community, echo's JohnThrone's criticism of the imbalance in all of our societies.
The author's profound analysis of the Dublin event, in such striking terms, and with such violent speed, certainly reflects a mind that has surveyed the landscape of his country months and years before.
Bravo, sir, you make us pause, and challenge our familiar notions.
According to Jimmy Cunningham and Tom Latchem _Mirror (Eire Edition)_, Feb 28 2006 there were " more than 900 specially trained riot officers -- 20 times the number on duty on Saturday -- were available but not used". They also quote Dermot O'Donnell (President of GRA) calling for water cannon to be made available to them " We currently don't have a water cannon available to us. It's a symptom of the lack of investment and researching of An Garda Siochana that we haven't bought one."
A very good contribution. Having close family teaching in the north inner city and west tallaght areas of Dublin, I can only agree with the above article, these areas have the absolute bottom of the ladder of Irish society, kids come to school hungry everyday, cold, stoned, in 2006!!!!! the kids in these areas suffer from a higher than normal frequency of "Attention Deficiency Disorder" ( I think its lack of basic parenting skills and television as the babysitter is the cause of these "disorders" real or otherwise) shite diet, disturbed family structures, inarticulate language abilities, substance abuse, lack of mental or physical stimulation other than the goddamn television warping their sense of reality, and lack of imaginative impetus from the very state they profess "loyalty" to (i.e. stupid ape non-voters = f*ck em' ,who cares), this noxious concoction is bound to fester an infection in our society, the pus of which seeped out in it's athletically attired glory on saturday.
these people i talk of are generations and generations of the same families, the state really needs to take imaginative responsibilty for these people, build youth clubs, training centres instead of letting cowboys build more and more ugly apartment blocks for those who don't give a f*ck about anyone but themselves. so-called working class areas of dublin are being destroyed by the people most neglected, because they feel powerless outside they need to oppress those around them making life absolutely shit for anyone unfortunate enough to live near them. tracksuited clowns.
but i'll just make the last point that people died on all sides, people were murdered on all sides, we can no more take away loyalist voices than they can take away republican voices, if we ban loyalists for killing innocent people... well you can see my point.
like you say we can agree to disagree, but i think the action on saturday will have a negative effect on cross border and cross community relations and have do little for a united ireland. You may think of my attitude as appesment but we'll have to leave it at that.
If republicans committed an offence , if they killed some one , bombed someone then they were hunted . They were condemned . They were simply " scum" who shouldnt be tolerated . The jails were full of republicans in the 26 cos . But not a single loyalist was incarcerated despite mass murder and repeated attempts at follow ups . And we now know the garda knew who was doing it but never even sent out a wanted poster , much less sought to investigate their crimes . They simply let them get on with it unhampered .
So there is no equivalent to republican offences . Loyalist crimes were covered up at the highest level in the south and still are .
In the immediate aftermath of the Dublin Monaghan bombings the state that you live in tried to blame republicans inititially . Then they turned around and blamed Dubliners and Irish people in general for the states biggest atrocity . And they never even investigated it , despite knowing from an early stage who did it . They told you people , and its a position so many of you accept still today , that the responsibility for deliberately planned mass murder of your fellow citizens lay at your doorsteps . It was your fault because " anyone who has ever condoned or failed to condemn violence was responsible " for those bombings . Thats your governments words . Thats your medias attitude . Thats the stinking shit you tolerate for politics and justice. For your own rights . Thats the utter shit you clearly allow to infest your body politic .
This state , its police , judiciary and politicians turned a blind eye to the massacre of its citizens , Dublins poor with no rights or voice . We know now that the garda were the actual drinking buddies of the masterminds in British intelligence that planned it and provided the technology . Before and after the bombings . After they knew who had ordered it and who had done it their cosy relationship stayed exactly the same , because they were British agents just like the bombers who did the dirty work . Dirty work they didnt even possess the knowhow to commit .
We know that the gardai disgracefully harassed and stigmatised those poor who had the simple misfortune to be blown to smithereeens by your states allies , the British . We know that they photographed , scowled at, pointed at and harassed the victims families for feckin decades .We know that they cover it up to this day . We know that your Taoiseach Ahern campaigned for re-election on a promise to Dublins northside to re-open garda files and sort this stinking mess . And we know that he reneged on this promise once in office .
We know that your police took high court and supreme court actions to stop their files being used in a European court by Dublins poor . And that the British sought crown imunity certificates , which they no longer seek aftere the files so handily disappeared from Dublin 2 years ago . We know that your Justice Minister announced that all the states files have now disappeared as soon as a limited enquiry is announced . Disappeared totally from Garda HQ and the Justice Department , simultaneously and in their entirety .
So Dublins poor have no rights in this case . No right to dignity . Not even a right to an inquest for 30 years never mind an investigation .
And their rights continue to be disgracefully ignored .
Why does willie Frazer, a clear supporter of the people who carried this out and who attempted to honour them in Dublin have the right to insult Dublin and Dubliners have no right to oppose that ? Is it because they are poor and catholic Iirish ? Why have they no right to an investigation and basic dignity under the law ?
Argue your constitution all you want . It simply and clearly did not apply to people slaughtered by Frazers associates and still doesnt . So why does it apply to him ?
what that Indymedia video clearly shows is that when a massive banner that denounced the Dublin Monaghan bombings was unfurled near the end of the riot a huge and prolonded roar of defiance and applause greeted it .
That was not the applause of scumbags . It was the response of peoplw who knew why they were riting and who they were rioting against . The enemies of the Irish people .
im living in Wales at the mo (not by choice) and have only heard limited bits and pieces about the Dublin Riots. Reading your article really opened my eyes to it as i and a few of my irish collegues over here had no idea of the extent to how bad the riot was. it got absolutly no coverage over here, which is shocking due to the grand scale of it.
your article, along with shocking, was brilliently written and really gave us fuller picture of the whole fiasco.
I think it was very very naiive to think that Orange men marching down OConnell St was not going to result in major trouble.
I dont believe MacDomhaill is a stupid man so why would he allow this go ahead and why would he leave the Gardai so understaffed. Also, to leave all of the building materials on OConnell St as convenient ammunition is an extreme oversight which seems to me to encourage trouble. Could it be that he hoped for trouble to make the republican movement look bad which could influence voters in upcoming elections away from Sinn Fein. This would also explain why Sinn Fein having figured this, avoided the march.
I would have preferred a peaceful protest and that the scenes of last week didnt happen. Human weakness becomes apparent in situations where normal societal controls are overridden so I consider the looting(human weakness) and the riots(anger) as different issues. I didnt like the tone of your article in the least and your focus on class and your use of the word scumbag and complete lack of understanding of the issues effecting inner city Dubliners that lead to their attitudes towards Gardai. By many means a point has been made, the people of Dublin do not want Orange Men marching through the city, I am yet to meet someone who considered the march a good idea. There are boundaries to free speech as was seen only last week when the holocaust denial was deemed unacceptable. Orange Men have rights as well as the rest of us but this march was in bad taste and should never have been allowed.
Chekov's response is heart-warming. Okay, maybe they're not literally scum. But it's just a shorthand way to describe worthless people who contribute nothing and have an urge to gratify every impulse immediately, no matter how it affects others. Their thought process is something like the following - "Great, a riot! Let's hurt people."; "I want to have fun; I think I'll take somebody's car and wreck it."; "I want new shoes, I'll just pop into this shop and steal them".
I swear to my core, I cannot understand why so many people stand up for these wasters that have no idea how to act in public or treat other people properly or generally contribute to making society better for all. 'Scum' sums it up a little better eh?
I think you may be right Observer.
Going back to Chekov's spiel about these people being denied access to a wealthy society because of their poverty. Here's a thought that's simple but obviously unrealistic. Let's imagine a world where we don't need security gurards on every shop door. Maybe prices could be a little less so that more people could afford them. Maybe, the owners could afford to employ more scumbags in jobs with prospects. Let's assume we could cut the amount of Gardai by 50%. More money for social programs that might help the impoverished?? I admit it's all a little theoretical but isn't there some truths buried here?
Although Ireland is not poor, just think how much richer it could be for everybody (financially and socially) if scumbags didn't do their thing every day. A little too ironic for a lefty maybe!
I am thoroughly convinced now after reading all the diatribes on this very useful site - having weighed the pros and cons - and even tried to understand some of the hate-filled messages contained herein - that the social gap between the have and the have-nots is the root cause of these troubles - during the march. Firstly, the march was a stupid idea - pure and simple - unecessary pot boiling.
Yesterday, I had a listen in on TalkRadio 106 - and the on the street interviews gave us a good idea of what's going on here. There was a young lad, obviously a lower class who was spouting on about how his Da had punched his pregrant wife of 3 months, and that he would have to probably punch someone himself today or rob a mobile just get enough to put food in his wife's belly - tragic stuff really. How are you going to fix this lad up - he's obviously got problems upstairs and he thinks nothing of telling reporters of his pathetic and scornful ideas for survival. Some dramatic councilling required here. Is this the sort of lad who can easily be coerced into throwing bricks at the Gardai?
No, regardless of how compassionate and tolerant we may be or wished to be, this sort of fellow cannot be allowed to roam the streets and rob and injure innocent people at random. Some tough love is necessary, here. I am not a tea totaler but I believe there is a serious drink and drug problem here which needs vital addressing. March 17 will be coming soon and the next great test for the beligerant at heart.
I was abroad last weekend - I missed the riots, I saw a snippet on TV where I was with a Charlie Bird lookalike telling his audience that Catholics and Protestants were fighting in the streets again - you would not have known it was Dublin. It could have been Derry or Belfast. Or, if you missed the Guards and the Parnell monument, it could have been Leicester or Birmingham....or Paris, Lyon or Grenoble.
The article that started this thread is a masterpiece...the comments about 'scumbags', and 'trash', and 'these types of people', and 'not allowed to roam our streets' are, on the other hand, horrific examples of the greed, insensitivity, lack of understanding and fear/insecurity generated in some/many by the wild capitalist development in our country over the last 10-15 years. These are epithets and ways of referring to our disaffected and marginalised rioting young kids of ours and our brothers used by the American middle classes in the 1920s and 30s and the British owners of capital in the '50s and '60s to refer to our grandparents and fathers/mothers who had to leave this land in search for a place in the sun. These are attitudes of the 1/3rd of our society, those who have [or think they have] benefited from the Tiger, looking down at the 2/3rds. Despising them, hating them, feeling ashamed that they are part of the same nation/group.
A precursor, I am sure, of the multitudes of the dispossessed fighting those who have power - all over this globalised nightmare over the coming period. March 17 and particularly March 18 when we will all march against the complicity of our Government with the invasion of Iraq and the use of Shannon as a warport should now come more into focus.
Well done Indymedia...
"worthless people who contribute nothing and have an urge to gratify every impulse immediately"
That sounds like a good description of the "haves" in our society who conveniently forget our own past.
Village, the weekly news/politics magazine has a shorter version of the above analysis piece as its cover story in the current issue, which is in the shops today (Thursday). Is this a coup for Indymedia...? Maybe not, Indymedia probably has more readers than Village. But all the same, as an Indymedia reader/supporter/contributor, I was chuffed to see it.
MichaelY, yes these people are despised by me and many others. You conveniently made it sound like it's the less well off that are despised. Of course it isn't. Once again, it's the people that cause havoc for others that I have a poor opinion of. There are countless less well-off people that try to make an honest attempt to make life better for themselves, without feeling the need to destroy eveyrthing. Just like there are countless well-off people that are not screwing the poor at every chance they get. What is so difficult to understand about this?
Snobs, why did you leave off the end of my sentence, "no matter how it affects others"? This is the key to the sentence having any meaning.
Ah I think I know. Never mind!
Hi Blaise. No one is saying that violence is acceptable. That should be obvious. But I believe yourself, Observer and some others on this thread seem to be suggesting that the author and many people on this thread think that violence is acceptable. I would have hoped it would be obvious that we do not think violence is acceptable. All the article and a lot of the follow-up contributions are trying to do is analyze the root causes of this violence. Calling these people “scum” etc. not only will get us nowhere but it EXACERBATES the problem. The government, either consciously or unconsciously, want us to believe that all they are is scum. As if they were somehow born into the world with “scum genes”. In such circumstances there is not much we as a society can do except lock the “scum” up and try and keep them off the streets. We and other Western governments (thinking particularly of the United States) have tried to do this for decades. But what has happened over the last few decades?? In Ireland alone, following similar patterns in Western Europe there has been a 600% increase in all levels of violence over the last 30 years. This “lock up the scum” policy clearly not only seems not to have worked, the problem seems to be getting out of hand, as demonstrated on Saturday and will be again in 15 days time (i.e. Irelands national “holiday”).
These people are not born with scum genes - Maybe a few (i.e. with psychotic genes) but an extremely small few. And even then its not scum genes its psychotic or insanity - Otherwise there would be “scum” evenly spread across all sectors of society. But of course they are not. They are “extremely” heavily weighted in the economically poor sectors of society. To quote Chekov’s excellent stats from earlier in the debate:-
“75% of inmates in mountjoy come from 6 identifiable areas, pockets of deprivation in the city (John Lonergan, Mountjoy Governor). Ireland has the most unequal distribution of income in the EU (UN report 2002). "Lifestyle choices are limited by economic circumstances" (Health inequalities and Irish General Practice in areas of deprivation). 22% of the population lives on weekly incomes of less than 164 euro per adult and 54 euro per child per week (combat poverty agency, 2004).
So these people are not born with scum genes. Rather they are socialized from the poor environment they come from into becoming what people like to call scum. Its suits the government for the general public to continually view these people as scum. For if people were to think different it would put more pressure on the government to try and solve the root causes of the problem, i.e. poverty & inequality. But doing this would mean becoming socialist. Most parties are either ring wing or leaning to the right. They hence don’t want to become socialist. Becoming socialist and actually really caring about people would mean having to raise taxes. It would mean having to stop the US refueling here. But doing things like this (particularly looking at taxes) will lose them votes and hence they would or may lose power and lose their jobs. So it suits the main parties for us to view these people as scum. Those in power want to maintain the status quo. They are not looking for revolutionary ideas. What ideas that might mean them losing their jobs????
And not only does it suit the government for society to view them as scum it also suits "US". For it exonerates us from any responsibility. We vote in the main parties cause they keep taxes low, bring in American jobs and make us richer. We dont want to postulate the thought that by doing this WE as a society are creating scum, are causeally involved in murder, rape, theft etc. Are are causeally involved in the slaughter of the people of Iraq. Are causeally involved in the millions dying in the Third world. We are totally involved cause we vote these governents in. So it is FAR easier just to call them scum and not even think of our "own" involvment in the situation.
So to conclude, I believe that calling these people scum is both wrong and counter-productive in that in maintains the status quo – a status quo that has hugely contributed to this 600% rise in violence over the last 3 decades and a status quo that has led to Ireland moving alongside America in becoming one of the most unjust societies in the Western world, if not the entire world. And it hides the responsibility we all have in the creation of these "scumbags".
Village which is out today. (I'm not suggesting Village stole the story, by the way). The author's name is on it, Chekov Feeney. Presumably they asked him for a shorter version for the mag.
I think I have been somewhat misunderstood. I have never referred to anybody as 'scumbag'. In fact, I recall in an earlier message I had insisted that nothing is gained at all by such terminology. I believe in the the power of human beings to overcome their lot and their shortcomings. Sure I also believe the government has a responsiblity to help out and they shouldn't be tar and feathering all from the disadvantedged sectors of society. I believe I had earlier congratulated you on your wise ideas for creating a more just society. But I also think that one shouldn't open up avenues for criminals to exploit - that is to give fodder to the disenfranchised to think ' I must steal and cause bodily harm because nobody else will help me.' I am well aware from your messages that you do not advocate crime.
I am simply trying to find a useful median to which the poor can inhabit with the well-to-do. They certainly didn't find it last Saturday on O'Connell Street. In other words I am trying to reach out to those fortunate enough so as not to turn them completely against the lower classes - tarnishing them all as 'scumbags'. There is a sickness on both sides of this coin. The irony of all this - is that in many respects - both sections of society have lost here - the haves don't feel that safe with their new found wealth - in fact there are more likely to segregate themselves from their poorer brothers and disengage completely. The have nots, on the other hand, have never been so desperate and left out of Dublin society as they are at present. Both sides are ranting at each other. One is a 'scumbag' - the other a 'snob' (i'm sure there must be a stronger term than this one).
This all leads nowhwere. Like an orangeman telling a nationalist he has suffered more than him. Suffering is suffering. Leave it be. All the events of last Saturday did was point a finger to an anarchy which takes place everyday in Dublin on a smaller, though no less troubling, scale. I understand something has to be done and I believe this forum can be helpful and englightening. Best of luck.
Paul, could not agree more with you. As I said in my post above, as far as I can make out, these people want to be the way they are. On the one hand they complain about their situation and being "disadvantaged". On the other hand, every advantage that is put at their disposal, so that they may help themselves to be removed from the disadvantage that they complain about, is fucked back in everyone's face. People from these so called disadvantaged areas now have preferential access rights to univertities and third level, they have access to education grants that others don't have, they have on-campus accommodation provided for them free of charge, if it suits them better then the heavily subsidised local authority accommodation they are provided with while the rest of struggle to pay a mortgage.
These people can't have it both ways, they either are disadvantaged and need help, which from what I can see is available to them so therefore they should use it and improve their circumatances or alternatively they should just come clean and say that they like their lifestyle, they aren't up for changing, they accept that they are disadvantaged and wish to remain so, and we should come up with a more severe method of dealing with the problems that they cause, problems like what happened last Saturday, and happen every night in our city, when they decide to steal cars and burn them out, joyride through estates and wreck them, etc.
On a case by case basis, these people that I call scum, who commit crime and cause misery for others in the community on a regular basis, need to be sat down and asked whether they actually want to be disadvantaged or not. If they don't, then someone should ensure that they get up of their arses and use the tools that are already available to them and record their progress and enforce actual results. results means getting an education, getting a job, paying a mortgage, rearing children if there are any in a socially responsible manner, getting involved in the community instead of trying to smash it up, etc.
Alternatively, if they want to shite on about being disadvantaged and want to continue using this as an excuse to cause disorder, which is currently the situation with the vast majority of them, we need to put them through the judicial system and keep them out of circulation, as they are criminals.
But someone needs to put the choice to them, "what's it to be, option A or option B???"
I read your posts and needed to reply here if I may. I live in an area that suffers substantially from the behaviour of these "disadvantaged" people. I see no evidence that there is any actual "disadvantage". What I see is an attitude problem. There is no evidence that disavantage, whether real or imagined is the root cause of the problem here.
As I said already, if this argument could be taken seriously, well then where were all the homeless people of Dublin last Saturday???
Calling people who are scum, scum, does not exacerbate this problem. These people are fooling everyone with a dead-in-the-water argument based on supposed disadvantage, poverty and all sorts of bullshit. Why do you not look at the resources that are now available to these people, and ask yourself why they are not availing of them???
People that regularly commit crimes or cause social problems have shown to have slower than normal functioning in the frontal and temporal lobes of their brains. Their frontal cortex control mechanism is normally not active enough to override urges to commit crimes. Example, improper functioning of the right frontal lobe of ones brain can possibly result in loss of inhibition.
Lifestyle (diet, education etc.) and environment factors (pollutants, design and orientation of buildings etc.) from pre-birth and throughout life has an affect on the ability on how ones brain functions and therefore influence ones decision making.
It has being shown that EEG coherence increases between and within the cerebral hemispheres of the brain during the practice of Transcendental Meditation (TM) which results in the individual making more life supporting decisions.
By introducing TM into the Education, Health and Justice Systems would greatly reduce the anti-social and criminal tendencies in society, regardless of people’s level of education or income.
I hear all the enlightened modern Irish people calling the rioters scum. What about the orange scum who provoked this? I am proud ot the lads who stopped this as the thought of a loyalist march through Dublin made my blood boil. Go ahead, attack me with your tired pc rhetoric.
think this is an extremely complex issue.. not sure we should be commending anyone yet for coming up with an "answer" for why the riot occured. i think puttin the article in Vilage magazine is ridiculuous.. it sonly a theory of what MIGHT have cause this.... still think the orange men should not have marched down O Connell street or any other street in Ireland for that matter. i am not at all surprised by what happened it was inevitable...
It is certainly a good commentary on the day however I feel that the oppressed masses line has been overplayed. Knowing quiete a number of those involved on Saturday last and their political believes intellectual abilities and their personal circumstances I feel that it is unjust to describe those rioting as mainly oppressed working class young people with no deep political believes. In fact it does an injustice to young people from inner city areas to suggest that they have no understanding of politics and Irish republicanism. I also feel that the article underestimates the depth of republicanism that does exist and the way a spark such as the FAIR march can ignite this- particularly in Dublin where a certain generation of republicans desire to strike out - however regardless of these points the main success from last Saturday is the suggestions that the proposed visit of Lizzie may not now take place - I salute RSF for the stand they took - when compared to those hypocrites from Prosivisonal Sinn Fein who now seem to want to jettison everything they once held true ( including their origins) just to be seen as respectable - whatever happened to not been into the politics of condemnation -
As to the results of the riots - as with all such events - it will radicalize maybe a small number however as the saying goes it is quality not quantity that counts
in response to Anti Chav...
Anti - you live in Dublin now - I don't - and you undoubtedly know more than I do about the goings-on there. I am appalled at the amount of violence which is heaped upon Dubliners and tourists there know - and there are vast elements of your case which I totally agree with - while there are likewise vast elements of Michael's which I agree with totally as well. This is a fence straddeling problem, I know. Believe me, I am not trying to sit on the fence but with such a complex issue, one is left very little choice.
I live in Toronto where we have a fair degree of homelessness and it gets very cold here, so that if you're out in the dead of winter lying on a grate of warm air which many of them do, it is not a pretty site. Everyday I pass by a homeless fellow in his early thirties who curses people while drinkin a bottle of expensive beer with enough change in his woolen hat to buy more cans of beer. He is regularly visited by social workers who bring him designer sandwiches and full meals who are always encouraging him to clean up his act. He is in pretty good shape physically and won't change his act, it seems.
At the same time we have tons of immigrants from all over the world who get off the boat from wherever and start a job the next day - who make lives for themselves and live in cramped quarters until they get settled properly so I have very little sympathy for the 'cursor' (as I call him) but it is still disturbing. There is crime here in Toronto, more murders than Dublin for sure - mostly they are payback crimes over drug deals and most involve black immigrants who for the most part keep the shootings to their own neighbourhood. Every now and then, some white girls gets innocently on the end of a bullet and the whole town goes nuts. The media has a field day from it.
The streets, however, of this big city, can be walked without fear, at practically any time of the day or night. I live downtown in a Greek neighbourhood. If a guy beats on his girl, the men from the nearby cafes will jump out of their seats and intervene. My wife works in a factory and comes home by herself in the wee hours of the morning without fear and danger accompanying her. I have heard, correct me if I'm wrong, that the regular citizen of Dublin wouldn't dream of that these days. This is why, in my earlier mail I did mention that the Garda must do their work to keep the public safe and feeling safe about walking the streets. Sounds to me like the heroin problem of the 80's left real scars on the the inner city. I am not simply proposing tough sanctions against those who commit crimes - but also there should be attempts made to nip these problem in the bud - which I think is where Michael's ideas bear listening to. Good luck to both of you. I believe you're both on the right track. And I'm still sitting on the fence - trying to make sense of it all.
The only information I have about the riot of last Saturday is what I've read on this web site, and the 13-minute video therefrom. Despite all the middle-class vitriol expressed against the rioters by some of the posters, nothing contradicts the picture that the violence was a justified response to a police-plus-fascist provocation, and that most of the side destruction and looting was targeted at capitalist property and at the luxury cars of those who have far too much in a world where most people don't have nearly enough.
While I don't think proletarian violence against the police needs justification, it seems that the police (Gardai) initiated the violence by violently dispersing a peaceful attempt to block the sectarian march. For that and other reasons, any injuries they received they, as a group, had coming!
My support for the rioters does not, of course, mean that every act of violence or destruction that took place in that context was supportable, any more than support for the Iraqi resistance means that every bombing or killing attributed rightly or wrongly to "the resistance" is supportable.
As for the use of the term "scumbag": It's a term I'm fond of using to describe George W. Bush and most government officials in the United Snakes, Tony Blair and his crew, etc. Even though there are some individual poor people I might apply it to if I had good information about that individual, I think that people who apply the term to the so-called lumpenproletariat in general are themselves, well, yuppie scum.
I want to add, BTW, that anybody who posted photos or videos to this or any site that can be used to identify and prosecute rioters is either thoughtless or a scumbag who deserves whatever retaliation he gets.
This is an excellent article, but not without flaws. I think there is and always has been an element of sectarianism in the south. I have felt it myself on occasion. Most of us Prods have got by by burying our identity. If you are conspicuously Protestant (an English accent is often seen by some as a badge of that) you can be treated differently, and certain people will shun you. Of course, a certain atavistic anti-English bigotry is also part of this. The two are intertwined.
Institutionally, the state is still sectarian. The Catholic church still has a firm grip on the education system, with the vast majority of teachers controlled by church boards.
I fear that there is an insidious tribalism in the article. The kind of bigotry expressed by the rioters is seen as excusable, and in some way constructive, because those who perpetrated it come from the writer's tribe. Would the writer exercise the same judgement if it was a loyalist mob?
Many of the sectarian bigots in the North spring from similar marginalised areas, but you don't find many from the Irish nationalist left holding a candle for them.
There is an element of conjecture in the piece. The writer speculates about why the rioters moved to the southside and says that most likely they moved south because they wanted to take control of a wealthy area.
Where's the evidence?
How do we know for definite the social background of those who took part?
Were they all unemployed impoverished youth? This would be worth exploring.
Still, all in all, it is a fasinating and lucidly-written first draft of history.
Of course there is tribaliasm, bloom. The English expect the Irish should forget everything that went on before - all the persecution - the degradation - to simply be nice little forgetful Irishmen, or leprachauns, if you will. You say you have had to hide your religion while living in Dublin. I've got 4 uncles and a number of aunts who all went to England - to Liverpool, Manchester, London, Buxton - to find work - while concealing their names - going under false names - so as to hide their Irish identity. They all took the lowest of jobs and all were subjected to many forms of racism while trying to make a life for themselves and their families. They always bowed to the Brits. I've never witnessed the reverse of that. We're used to that. I actually think that we as a race we are quite welcoming to foreigners, although we're really being tested now with the influx of immigrants from all quarters of the globe.
Most of the world is racist to some degree. I would venture that most of the immigrants on our shores now wouldn't be as welcoming as we are if the shoe was on the other foot. I actually think the politicians are insane to allow these ridiculously inciting parades down their main streets, past memorials to our brave fallen heroes who gave up their lives just so we could live in our own land with dignity. The Orangemen love marching. I heard one of their spokesmen from the north on the radio the other day and he went on about 'it's our tradition. the marching, the drumming - it's part of who we are.' Saints preserve us. This bloody nonsense will never end as long as we allow the hideous marching to take place. By the way I have nothing against Englishmen and I am not racist but I am not afraid to call it as I see it. Most families are tribal, whether you like it or not.
Chance a Flack and Tan dance
down sackcloth street.
Let lambegs boom triumphant doom
as fifes shrill sectarian grief.
By the Garden chant mournful rants.
Ashe to ashes orange and green.
Behind Larkin's pants? Shear Shankhill cant!
GPO! Then what a reeling scene.
Fly boys of the dole brigade
storm the irony baricade!
Landless legion liberate
flaming fish tart cart
gab smacking game Gardai.
Foul sinners pluck fair Fenian fowl.
Cunning stick prick enisled screams silent.
Liffey stiffy rub-a-dub-dub-Dub.
Dart to the bus dash to the Dail.
Dissemblers roil roil roil.
In the afterflame, who to blame?
Gaudy garbed Glaswegian named.
Come the glower come the story.
They answer errorland's call
who dance on the Liberator's mall.
Shrouded ruin underdone overrun.
Sackville Street nation once again.
I've only just started reading Indymedia's stuff, and while generally well-written there is a pervasive lack of balance that will always hold you back. The above article is a case in point.
The idea that Garda beatings are almost acceptable in polite society is a nonsense; such allegations are at best unprovable and at worst seditious. The people who make them tend to be "known to Gardai" or have some agenda against them, as the author clearly has.
I can understand his sympathy with the marginalised of Dublin's inner city, but what must be taken on board is that attacking Gardai is not a legitimate form of political protest. They were written off as "scumbags" because they looted shoe shops and burnt out random cars, which is hardly going to make society think any better of them.
The following passage is really a case in point of what it is arguing against:
The idea that Garda beatings are almost acceptable in polite society is a nonsense; such allegations are at best unprovable and at worst seditious. The people who make them tend to be "known to Gardai" or have some agenda against them, as the author clearly has.
Writing off all such claims on the basis that the people making the claims are 'known to garda' is one of the way that 'polite society' accepts such practice. The argument is circular (ie if you get a beating, you are 'known to gardai' by definition) and isn't remotely true. Primetime ran a story some months back which highlighted various credible allegations of beatings in custody. This morning on Newstalk 106 Father Peter McVerry stated that such practice was extremely widespread. He runs a home for troubled boys in the North inner city and thus should be in pretty much the best possible position to evaluate the accuracy of such claims.
I think I have said too much on this site...but I can't leave without commending Sean on the excellent poem 'Sackville Street' which is wonderfully written - very Joycean in fact with shades of Flann thrown in for good measure. Well done.
let me deal with a couple of representative extracts from the article above:
"the idea that the loyalist paramilitaries could come and march through their city, by the GPO - ground zero of Irish republicanism"
firstly these were not loyalist paramilitaries. it was an organisation called Families Acting for Innocent Relatives (Fair). It is indicative of the bigotry of so-called republicans that whilst they campaign for the release of convicted murderers as part of the Good Friday Agreement they will not allow a group of protestant families to march in support of the memory of their dead relatives. Perhaps the march is provocative, but only to those who are so ill-educated and blinded by hate that they cannot see the irony of using 'political' violence against a group who are marching because their loved ones were lost to 'political' violence.
If the republican movement was ever falsely branded in this way they would be up in arms about media, state and unionist bigotry. yet it seems to be fair game to brand any group as they please so long as it fits their ''look at us we're the victims in all of this'' agenda.
These are people whose communities are completely ignored by the Gardai and the state, whose only interactions with the Gardai are to receive beatings and general persecution from them."
This statement claims that the government and the gardai only interact with these innocent, well behaved, hard working people when they wish to beat them up. However the reality of the situation is that this group of people represent the rotten core of what is otherwise a liberal, tolerant, tax paying, law abiding society. How any group can throw bottles of their own urine at poilce, loot shops, set cars on fire and overturn them, and then claim that all the gardai do is beat them up and persecute them, is seriously stupid, or seriously misguided, or as is more likely just a trouble maker looking again for ''victim'' status.
"RTE is generally felt by republicans to be anti-republican (with some justification)"...
The media, to me, seem to expose the republican movement for what they are: uninformed small minded bigoted parimilitaries who will use violence and the threat of violence to achieve their marxist agenda, regardless of the opinions of the right thinking decent majority, who are enjoying an economically and socially liberal new ireland with the lowest ever rates of unemployment and the highest level of ''life quality' index' in the whole of the EU.
This is anti-republican in the same way that showing pictures of austwitz is anti-nazi.
Im afraid trying to blame the state, the police, the sunday independent, the unionists and the PDs for the riots that occurred last saturday, whilst portraying the rioters as victims, is a gambit that would not even catch the dim-witted off guard.
Why is the organisation for protestant only ,isnt that a bit UN-FAIR and also I have a one name for you.......Willy Frazer....who was going to hold the picture of Robert Mc Connell during the march and what do the Orange Order have to do with FAIR? why the band ??? I think it was said before , why did'nt FAIR either come to Dublin on their OWN without the band ??? or meet a minister and give a petition to him/her , FAIR minus Willy Frazer and nobody would have battered an eyelid ,FAIR minus the orange band also...
To response to your piece above I think you are looking for things in article to suit your argument, that aren’t actually there. I stand corrected on this!!!
For example you quote the authors comment:-
“the idea that the loyalist paramilitaries could come and march through their city, by the GPO - ground zero of Irish republicanism"
And you then go onto comment that “firstly these were not loyalist paramilitaries…….”
I am quite sure the AUTHOR knows that of course these were not loyalist paramilitaries. What he is trying to build up throughout the article is “why” the rioters did what they did. To do this he is trying to get inside the possible mindset of the rioters. When he says the above what he means is that in the eyes and mindset of the rioters they were loyalist paramilitaries or at least some of them were and they were marching through our territory and we won’t stand for it etc. etc Even dogs attack postmen for the same reason!!. So it is important here to distinguish between what the author thinks and what he perceives was going through the rioters head to make them do what they did.
Regarding your closing statement:-
“Im afraid trying to blame the state, the police, the sunday independent, the unionists and the PDs for the riots that occurred last saturday, whilst portraying the rioters as victims, is a gambit that would not even catch the dim-witted off guard.”
Maybe indeed the author could have made it more clear about how he felt about the rioters. As a lot of people have picked up on the point that they seem to be portrayed as victims who had noting to do with what they did on the day. They OBVIOUSLY had plenty to do with what they did on the day. I am guessing that the author feels that this is so obvious that he forgot/did not think it worth mentioning. But I do agree with you that he should have mentioned it. Again all he is trying to explain is “why” it happened. We all know what happened buy why??? The mainstream media and the government are not asking these questions. I would strongly guess that the author was disgusted by what happened as much as anybody else. Im sure he was disgusted by the actions of the rioters as much as anybody else. Im sure he felt a sense of shame. I certainly was extremely embarrassed and offer my deepest apology to the families who have already experienced hurt that most of us will only be able to imagine in our life times.
I would strongly doubt that the author feels the rioters should be left off the hook and not even charged for what they did. I am sure he would want the full rigors of the law apply to the horrendous things they did. But what the article is basically saying (and again I agree this should have been spelt out) is that throwing the law at them and locking them up etc. etc. is not going to solve the problem. No one is excusing them for their actions. But as a society we must try to understand why they did what they did. What was the cause? And then eliminate this cause. Otherwise problems and days like this will not just go away.
In the republic of Ireland we have had a lock em up policy since the beginning of the state. Our politics and practices have become more and more like those of the United States as best exemplified by the current government. But despite this lock em up policy all areas of crime have increased by 600% over the last 30 years. Do we just continue to lock em up, call them scum – or do we try to address the root causes of the problem?
Best regards. Michael.
micheal, thanks for your post. Whilst I agree with what you are saying to a certain degree, I still feel that help should be given to those who are prepared to help themselves. Otherwise the help and effort of those decent enough to do so is entirely wasted.
To my mind this section of society are not entirely marginalised. They live on generous welfare subsidies, they are entiteld to free health care, free education, free housing, free central heating, all of which is funded by the tax payer. In return these people decide not to work. indeed, they resent those who do work or those who make an effort to better them selves. They spend a lot of time bemoaning the fact that foreigners are taking their jobs, or taking their welfare payments. they hate foreigners, they resent the middle class, and they despise the government that does everything reasonable within its power to help them (in my opinion).
For those of us who work 6 day weeks, 10 hour days, to keep up with rent, living costs and expenses, and ultimately cant afford to go to the dentist, or for a pint at the weekend, Im afraid their behaviour and their attitude is a little hard to take. Certainly it is hard to feel to sorry for them when you see satelite dishes haning out of every last window of every block of council flats....
read below a letter in todays irish times with which i am in full agreement:
Madam, - Vincent Browne (Opinion, March 1st) writes that much of the trouble in Dublin on Saturday, February 25th was caused by "the alienation of a sizeable segment of Dublin working-class youths from society in general and gardaí in particular".
Most of the working-class people that I know do just that - work. Many are members of clubs, are involved in their communities, and work happily with colleagues from a variety of countries. Many own holiday homes, in Ireland or abroad. As someone who grew up in a working-class area of the city, I am increasingly fed up with seeing us described in such negative terms. What has emerged in Dublin in recent decades is a non-working class or a welfare class. I strongly suspect that this is the group largely involved in the recent riot.
Such people don't work but resent those who do, and who better themselves. They hate foreigners, whom they blame for taking their jobs, or for being "spongers", if they are in receipt of social welfare payments. (Just a tad ironic, that one.) They and their spokespersons constantly complain about the unfairness and inequality of modern Ireland, while living off the taxes of those of us who work for a living.
The thought that these people's representatives could form part of the next government should chill all taxpayers to the bone. Left unchecked, they will destroy our economy, if they don't first destroy our society. - Yours, etc,
The riots which occoured last saturday do it seems with hindsight appeared to spark a disconntented angry vioce among the youth and disenchanted which did manifest itself in violence towards agents of the state i.e the gardai.
why the gardia were not prepared is not surprising. there own ignorence and prejudice towards the people they police is apparent to all who live in these areas including myself.
their mostly country background and biased views towards dubliners in deprived and neglected areas. gives them the impression they are in a hostile terrain and in accordance some act as such.
their country accents to many impoverisehed nike wearing youtn many school drop outs. is something of a foreign hostile accent. if you are rountinely being stop and searched under some drugs act aimed at youths not the drug dealers who live in nice houses in the suburbs.
you would be hostile. when these acts were passed which means the gardia can strip search you.
the were not intended to be rountinely abused by members. can you imagine the gardai policing say castleknock d15. and strip searching the local youth in that area on a rountine basis. ther would be uproar. but this goes on in these areas all over the city everyday hundreds or may be some days thousands of times a day.
i know first hand what goes on in my area with the police. i grew up there there are some who are just doing a job and there is some who are on power trips at the expense of the youth ,
they dont stop older male or females [except if they are drug addicts]
they prefer to stop youths who were casual clothing who can not articulate there questions as to why there being stopped and searched. if they dare do that it infuriates many of these egotistic gaurds.
it is worse today for the youth there is a proliferatiion of cctv that is not seen anywere in the more affulent areas of the city . many who profess to been the victims of burglaries or muggins car teft
and other such larcenies, these affluent area would put up with petty crimes rather than have the state spieing in there areas. but we in the innercity have to put up with cctv a large influx of foreign nationals inthe area no consultation with the athourites many of the foreign people dont understand english nigerians russians chineses polish latvians all have moved in to the innercity
practically overnight . all these circumstances builds up to seaige like mentality in the area which is on going many sexual crimes has happened in the area to local girls and womenn mosty perpetrated by foreign nationals.
im not trying to stoke up hatred but these are facts .
the royal canal for instance was once a walking place for locals. but has becomee the dumping ground for foreign gangsters who cut their victims up.
3 dead bodies in 18 months.
the foreign nationals have moved in side by side with local people occupying landlord flats in the area which has a very high number. this were to happen in the affluent areas would horrify them.
if saturday was bad its only a glimpse of what is waitng down the line.
if people speak out there called racists. but this has nothing todo with what peole are saying . it is simply a clash of cultures. that is why people witnesses foreign nationals being attacked which was wrong and ignorent on saturday. these are only my opinions but as i have stated im from this area and have seebn first hand what goes on here . and it will get worse. the goverment should spread the large coummunties out across the city instead of feeding the greedy landlors with foreign nationals in the nth innercity which is heading for boiling piont just look at the weekends and you will see that locals and foreign nationals regulary clash in street fights mainly eastern europeens . i have not got the answers to the problems but that does not meen these problems dont exist.
Good work, Ton C - we need more real life revelations like yours on these pages. The higher-ups should be listening to your warnings. You have encapsulated the problems in a nutshell.
The vid is available for download using bittorrent here: http://indytorrents.org/
.....I think you could look A LOT closer to home for such perpetrators....
This article apperas to have been written by an adequate journalist and a third-rate hack of a sociologist. The over simplified ideas in it have spread like the plague, and i'm alarmed at how many people have adopted them as their own! The issues it deals with are hugely complex, and are summed up with simplkistic soundbite analyses
It reinforces this idea that violence like this can be explained neatly with sociological analyses. It's the easy way out, and it originates in misinformed bourgeois academics. You can apply any amount of sociological reasoning to any problem in the world - and as a result people are literally allowed away with acting like thugs!
I would disagree that the rioters have little to lose. What about the values of dignity, humanity and social grace? This is not something they need an expensive book to know and feel. They are qualities that people have had throughout history - regardless of social class, income, geography or education.
Personal accountability is paramount in civilised society - thats my point. These people have enough free education, housing and healthcare to make this idea of a "disenfranchised youth" striking back agains't the state laughable. These people have no more right to renege on personal accountability than any of us.
I am sick to death of the rationalisation/explanation that a worryingly large number of deluded knee-jerk thinkers are trying to apply to this thing. You say these people have little to lose, I say shame on you. It sounds like you're the one underestimating them, I believe these people have all the necessary resources to be intelligent, educated, and important figures in society. As Nietsche said : The how of living does not matter if there is a why. I reject the rationalisation of their personal circumstances as an explanation for the violence we saw on Saturday.
Quote: I am sick to death of the rationalisation/explanation
The whole point in having a brain is that we can use it to rationalise and explain events. By pronouncing yourself sick to death of rationalisation, you are literally asking somebody to lobotomise you. If you want to change the world in whatever way - perhaps you want to minimise violence - you need to do your best to understand it. Moaning about the mere fact that other people try to understand events and explain them is not much more than a demand that we collectively turn off our brains. Just saying "they're all scum!" leads to the pathologically irrational exterminationist position outlined by observer above.
If you don't like the rationalisation, put forward your own and if you just want to turn your brain off, go for it. But don't expect everybody else to do the same.
What a very limp argument. I never said I was rejecting rationalisation, but i refuse to accept the rationalisation of THIS particular event as anything more than unecessary violence. There was no need or real reason for what happened on saturday
The change of behaviour must start in the communities themselves, or else they too will start to buy into the limitations people have applied to them (i.e they have nothing to
live for or aspire to) and use it as a crutch.
Honestly, people are talking about our working class in this context as if it was Iraq, Zimbabwe or Brazil we lived in. We each have to take responsibility for our thoughts and deeds and their application to our everyday life.
Articles like these are dangerous because not only do they rationalise violent acts with uninformed rhetoric and unsubstantiated facts, but they also sell the rest of the working class short, sloganising their feelings and dismissing their individuality – and hence, their accountability – with lazy, catch-all labels such as "disenfranchised youth".
I think some people are frightened. They are scared to think that there might be people out there who are so used to having the crutch of "personal circumstance" to rationalise and explain their actions that they have become used to not being morally responsible. Scared that there might be some violent thugs out there, for which there is no nice, neat, little explanation.
Regarding some of your comments above – “This article appears to have been written by a ……third-rate hack of a sociologist……the issues it deals with are hugely complex, and are summed up with simplistic soundbite analyses”. Do you mind if I ask if you come from a Sociological background yourself (and I’m not saying I have a PHD or anything)
I agree with you that the issues are complex and I would imagine the author would to. But I don’t think it was his intention to write a book here – rather an article. But I agree that the complexity of issues such as this is worth pointing out.
“It reinforces this idea that violence like this can be explained neatly with sociological analyses”
Again I don’t think any Sociologist would claim to be able to neatly explain the causes of violence. Sociology, like psychology, is not an exact science say like Mathematics. But I don’t think that means we must run from trying to explain things even though we can’t be 100% sure if what we are saying is right.
You suggest various reasons why articles like this are dangerous. I would suggest that it is the absence of articles like this and just pure analysis in general (which ever the direction that analysis be in) is what is dangerous. The mainstream media, not for the first time, have not been doing in-depth analysis on this. Rather they are primarily focusing on the more surface issues like policing and nationalism without going any deeper. The Government and the public at large have also all primarily focused on these issues like they were all in league with each other or something. The danger of this type of analysis is that it does not address deeper underlying causes. I have made several comments already on this thread. The media – government and the public have primarily concentrated on more police and a lock em up policy. And yet all aspects of violence have increased by 600% over the last 30 years. This policy has manifestly not worked and yet it is still the only real policy on the table and that is being discussed in public fora.
This is what I think is dangerous. 600% = an awful lot of deaths, murders, rapes, assaults, theft, violence, pain, suffering & loss. And this percentage looks not only to decrease but to keep on increasing. Surely we have to start analyzing this in many more different ways than in just “more police” and a “lock em all up” policy??
Best regards. Michael.
I agree absolutely with what Cu-head has said. At some stage, socialogical arguments have to be dropped and you simply have to hold people responsible for their own actions.
with regards to the inevitible reply that brought up the same old mantra ''we cant just dismiss them as scum'', i would say that if people behave like scum, how else are we meant to treat them? i think they are scum for no other reason but that they behave in the manner that i would expect a scum bag to behave.
In respose to micheal who fairly says locking them up and more police is not the solution, well a better solution would be for them to stop misbehaving? until this point, ie until they realise that they are human beings living in a social democracy and are accountable to the state for unlawful actions, why not lock them up ? whats the alternative, let them do what the *uck they want at our expense?
Hi Mp. With reference to your above comment can I make some points on it:-
“at some stage, sociological arguments have to be dropped”
The problem is, is that sociological arguments have not really started and are not even listened to, in general, by the media – the government and the public at large. As best exemplified by the coverage and reaction by all concerned after the Dublin riots. Only Indymedia has made any real attempt to have a Sociological look at things. Indymedia has thousands of readers, but most would think this sort of way anyhow. 99% of the country’s population are not really hearing the arguments that have been raised in this article and the the ensuing debate. This suits the government and people like Anthony O’Reilly etc.
“at some stage…….you simply have to hold people responsible for their own actions”
They are held responsible the WHOLE time by being sentenced and locked up etc.
(and see below)
“a better solution would be for them to stop misbehaving”
Ya wouldn’t that be great!!! Do you think its going to happen?? Are people going to suddenly stop speeding on the roads, are people going to suddenly stop hating each other, is war going to suddenly stop……..unfortunately, not gonna happen.
“(until they behave)……why not lock them up”? I’m not saying, nor I think is anyone else, don’t lock them up. Of course a person is responsible (to at least some extent anyhow) for their own actions. So lock em up yes. But if we really want to solve the problem we gotta go A LOT further than this.
“what’s the alternative, let them do what the *uck they want at our expense?”
Eh…any idea what the cost is to all of us to keep just one prisoner locked up for just one day?? (€230 euro per prisoner, per day or €84,000 per prisoner, per year). If we can somehow get em all working, educated, out of living in kip areas, off drugs etc etc.. they start paying tax to us nstead of costing us:-
- huge prison costs
- cost from theft (ive had 2 cars and nearly a 3rd stolen in Dublin already)!!!!
- huge costs from social welfare, medical cards etc. etc.
- And of course the unquantifiable human cost - murder, rape, assault, violence, pain, suffering & loss.
- And the final bonus – they start paying tax, income tax, vat to us and society gets the benefit from their latent talents – entrepreneurs – sportsmen – musicians – entertainers - artists etc. etc.
Ahh wouldn’t that be nice.
Best regards. Michael.
micheal, thanks for your post. You make a fair point, but i just despair at the attitude of some of these people. As you say:
If we can somehow get em all working, educated, out of living in kip areas, off drugs etc etc.. they start paying tax to us nstead of costing us:-
well that would be brilliant, and i'd be fully prepared to pay for programmes that might achieve this, but i just dont think its realistic. these people have not grown up in a culture of work, they are completely devoid of all sprit and the will to improve themselves (As far as i can see)... i dont think there is any talking to these people, and its nobody's fault except their own.
I have the utmost respect of those who try to better these people, I for one am lacking the required patience !!
Thanks for your response guys.
"They are held responsible the WHOLE time by being sentenced and locked "
But thats the thing - if these people TOOK responsibility for their actions it wouldn't be left to the legal system to force responsibility on them.
Really the root of this issue is: that until individuals(not "the disenfranchised/these people/the working classes") take complete responsibility for themselves and their lives we will live in a police state. Responsibility can only begin with an individual, not the collective.
I agree that life, society and people should be examined on a regular basis. People who elect themselves to write articles like this should consider how many people are influenced by them - as I said i was alarmed at how many people adopted the misinformed viewpoints as their own.
Yes, I happen to do sociology as part of my college course, but I wouldn't call myself an expert. However, I do know enough to be able to spot the dangerous and misinformed sweeping statements made in this article, and the pigeonholing of entire classes and their behaviour which is ludicrous.
Disgusting, macho, lad culture as Ireland's patriots do their best to get into the next Bill Bruford novel or a feature article in LOADED. Given the number of IRELAND and CELTIC and KEANE shirts on display (I counted at least 5,000 euro worth), why no comdemnation from the FAI, Celtic or KeanO (TM) distancing themselves?
calling them working class when work is the last thing on their minds!
Titles such as 'Working Class', 'Middle Class' have lost all connection to their original meanings. They serve merely as convienent labels to lull people into believing they are better than someone else with less wealth. Anyone who works for someone else is working-class, whether they like it or not.
Builders used to be considered working-class, yet many now earn more than so-called 'professionals' such as your average worker in the computer-industry, many of whom, by virtue of having a degree, consider themselves to be Middle-class and 'professionals.
There's hardly any working person in this country, who doesn't already own their own property outright (ie: no mortgage rent etc), that's more than 2 or 3 paychecks away from homelessness
It's so funny to hear posters talk about "these people", and about people "who try to better these people". What a loser!
Amazing the outrage at this disturbance . Had the rioters taken a different attitude to violence things would be a lot different . Had they not bothered with stones and instead planted no warning car bombs for the British government, and killed and maimed 100s of their fellow citizens not a single one of them would have been arrested . The free state governemnt and the garda wouldnt even have blamed them and instead blamed the people of Ireland for their bad attitude . The Irish media would have ignored their victims for decades and not asked why there was no investigation .Years later a gang of bigots would even have got a state invite to parade through Dublin in their honour carrying their photographs to taunt Dubliners with .
Of course theres the possibility that this victory parade and the state and garda cover up might have annoyed a lot of Dubliners . Might even spark a riot .
It seems a long-time ago since the riots now, but anyway, I was a protester on the day and was absolutely delighted that the Orange march had to be called off. The reason for it being called off (despite all the analysis) was simple, PEOPLE DID NOT AGREE WITH THE MARCH - and were so enraged they felt compelled, particularly, in light of the cover-up re. the atrocity that was the Dublin/Monagan bombings, to do something to call it to a halt. While I don't condone everything that happened, for example, the stealing of goods from shops by shoplifters who took advantage of the situation for their own selfish reasons, and were certainly not on the protest originally! Everyone I saw that was originally on the counter-demonstration and I was amongst them, behaved impeccably and admirably (I was there from 10.00 a.m. throughout the day and I can vouch for this).
I, like the majority in Ireland, do not want any sectarian organisation parading down O'Connell Street or anywhere on the island at all. The Orange marchers involved had nothing positive to contribute on the day and no right thinking person would want them to have a platform to endorse their sectarian ideals here.
I can only hope that those in Leinster House have learned a valuable lesson and will not repeat the invitation to this disgraceful sectarian grouping ever again. You'd have to be a complete lúdramán not to be aware that this Orange march was not going to go off peacefully.
having been invlved in the riots.now facing a prison term of 3 to 5 years.i am not proud nor ashamed.love one another,the orange order can not speak to theit neighbours,never mind people in dublin.tiocfaidh ar la
The short and simple truth is that a small group of political-extremists, aided and abetted by a few drunks and criminal opportunists who saw an opportunity for loot and to get at the Gardai, caused mayhem and fear among ordinary people going about their lawful business. In the latter category were the peaceful orange marchers whose right to peaceful protest is underwritten by the Constitution of Ireland.
You are free to disagree, and peacefully express that disagreement, with these fellow Irishmen and women from the North of this island. You are not free to assault, intimidate, loot, riot, gratuitously commit criminal damage, and put people in fear of their lives.
The political sickos who rioted that day, no less than their criminal pals, disgraced themselves. They also found out that they were opposed by the overwhelming majority who believe in the right of peaceful dissent.
Being of Ulster scots extraction, and happily living in the south with a man of the catholic persuasion
I have to ask- what the fuck was it all about????
Jesus christ a fucking Prod/presse/episcopal. (stone them!!!!!)
The March was called 'Love Ulster' ye wee planks.
Now where are the rioters when you need them, like when Blix/Bush come to town?
No- go for the old orange men and history and old stupid wounds.
What , pray tell is the difference between the old guard of both traditions and
aren't we all just people trying to get on with living?
The Orange Order were most certainly not marching in Dublin . How many times does this need to be pointed out ? Even the Dublin Lodge formally disassociated themselves from the march and forbade the wearing of any sashes . The march itself was not attacked nor was there any attempt on the part of the rioters to do so, the conflict was between rioters and gardaí with opportunistic vandals and thugs going after loot in the midst of the trouble . As Chekovs piece pointed out there are a host of underlying reasons why Dublin youths would seek to throw stones at the gardaí . The standoff over the paramilitary linked Loveulster organisation with its public links to the Dublin Monaghan bombings merely set the scene for this confrontation between them and the Gardaí , which in my opinion was largely to do with social issues in Dublin and nothing to do with Willie Frazer and his paramilitary associates .
Its also worth pointing out again that Willie Frazers right wing extremist sectarian front for paramilitaries and bigots is banned from parading through Belfast city centre .
Teen gets suspended sentence for looting at 'Love Ulster' rally
The 17-year-old boy, who has been in Ireland since September 2005 without any parents, had pleaded guilty at the Dublin Children’s Court to trespassing on the Schuh Shop, on O’Connell Street, with intent to commit a theft on February 25, 2006.
Love Ulster protester jailed for petrol-bomb attacks
A 19-year-old man who set two gardaí alight by throwing petrol bombs during riots at the Love Ulster parade in Dublin last February has been jailed for five years at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.
A 22 year-old father of two pleaded guilty to arson, burglary and violent disorder around the O’Connell Street and Lenister Street South areas of Dublin city centre on February 25, 2006.
Garda Shane Graham told Dominic McGinn BL, prosecuting, that he saw Heapes set fire to two cars parked near the bottom of Kildare street. Another youth smashed the windows of the cars and Heapes set them alight causing damage worth a total of €19,000.
Heapes smashed paving stones to throw at gardai and hurled glass bottles, rocks, traffic cones and pipes. A series of photos showed him lifting a green wheelbarrow over his head and throwing it at gardai from the public order unit.Garda Graham said Heapes was also one of a group which attacked a fire engine.
I must admit, your article is very well written and has a few very good and valid points in area's.
However, if you couldnt not predict any trouble on Feb 25th 2006 you need your head examined! Parading a marching band down the country's main street called "Love Ulster" was of course going to spark some trouble. I predicted the troubles as did my family and friends.
It is not yet a hundred years when that same street was host to the country's main fight for freedom. Many of the ancestors of those people killed in the fight for indepence still live in the same area which is centre of town (impoverished area's as you referred to them as). Where i agree that alot of trouble was started by bored, less educated trouble makers I was not happy with the decision to allow such a march to take place and I will STRONGLY oppose a repeat of such a fiasco.
No body has any problem if you want to have a Love Ulster parade, wear your orange sache's and beat a drum to an Orange Order tune but the majority of people do object to this happening on a street of such importance historically and "rubbing" out noses in it as such.
Morley pleaded guilty to assaulting the shop workers at Westland Row, causing them harm. He also pleaded guilty to violent disorder at O'Connell Street on the same occasion.
Romanian teenager jailed for throwing bottles during 'Love Ulster' riot
A Romanian teenager who threw up to thirty bottles at riot police during last year's 'Love Ulster' parade has been sentenced to 18 months in jail.Diaconu - who was identified on CCTV - told the court he knew nothing about Irish history and went to the parade for the "fun of it".
It sounds like the Irish judicial system is a whole lot more effective when it comes to sentencing violent Republican bigots than the system up North. Recently armed IRA/SF thugs paraded through Belfast taunting Protestants about the mini holocaust inflicted on them by the 100% sectarian Republican movement, and as usual the PSNI dont lift a finger to make an arrest.
Then again Unionists have always known that Nationalist miscreants are practically above the law. It seems to me Hugh Orde could learn a lot from his Garda counterpart.
only a complete FOOL would sanction a parade like this organised by people actively involved in sectarian strife and murder in the north.
As for ppl trying to depict the riot as 'scumbags and thieves' going on the rampage, ok, keep your head up your backsides but when you feel ready to face reality go and actually do some research (becasue clearly you need to) into the conflict in the north and related events that deemed an event like this would and should never take place.
Catholics are not even allowed a st. patricks day parade in belfast yet some of you think its ok for murdering loyalists and their cronies to stage a nose rubbing parade in the republics capital? Are you insane? Or just so niaeve that you belive it really was about 'loving ulster? pah! Get a grip.
Ya a good read, thanks for explaining the issue of what happened but most importantly why, after initial stages of protests, it pisses me off when people proclaim it was 'scumbags' that were involved on a saturday afternoon kinda thing (Neil Delameres stand-up for example) I mean someone had to do something and young people who don't care about consequances for themselves are ideal to cause a stir to try and make sure 'orange people' never march on the republics capital, the same would have happened in Limerick or Cork and many other counties...I will peacefully protest if Love Ulster ever intend on marching again, it's insulting and wrong to allow it.
I am a 23 year old final year college student by the way and have an interest in northern politics and have watched many if not all you - tube vids on this matter and related issues.