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Riots reveal tension at the heart of the Celtic Tiger

category dublin | miscellaneous | press release author Tuesday February 28, 2006 18:08author by Dave - SWPauthor email dlordan at hotmail dot com Report this post to the editors

SWP statement on Dublin Riots

RIOTS REVEAL TENSION AT HEART OF CELTIC TIGER

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Related Link: http://www.swp.ie
author by ATATpublication date Tue Feb 28, 2006 19:31Report this post to the editors

What was the SWP's position on the march BEFORE saturday?

What is trhe SWP's position regarding Love Ulster and FAIR?

author by dublinerpublication date Tue Feb 28, 2006 20:18Report this post to the editors

SWP's Left Republicanism is clear. Recently they called the IRA a "revolutionary army". SWP think that the protestant working class must be either (a.) written off or (b.) accept petit-bourgeois Irish naitonalism. SWP hold a very un-Marxist view of nationalism and they don't advocate socialism as an alternative to the failed sectarian politics. SWP have fallen into the nationalist trap that has continually dogged and held back the workers' movement in Ireland for decades. Did the SWP have any members involved in the riots?

author by ebaypublication date Tue Feb 28, 2006 22:04Report this post to the editors

The splinters to the left argue against the splinters to the right, and the agitated disaffected burn some cars?

We imported a sectarian divide (not a class divide) and the gardai casually turned a blind eye. The Reclaim the Streets were consider a riot, for christ sake. The guards were shown up for the mickey mouse police force they are, with their inability to even consider that coralling anti-loyalist protestors onto a building site might be a bad idea.

As for the SWPs, any bandwagon in a storm, eh?

author by pat cpublication date Tue Feb 28, 2006 22:22Report this post to the editors

just to clarify: it wasnt an orange order march, it was a loyalist march. love ulster is an extreme loyalist organoisation which is linked to the uda & uvf. willie frazer was refuse a gun license by the psni because of his links with the uvf. love ulster mrchs in britain have been stewarded by combat 18 & the bnp.

author by guydebordpublication date Tue Feb 28, 2006 22:28Report this post to the editors

Youre analysis is irrelevent swp, none of your members were there.

author by Major Woodypublication date Tue Feb 28, 2006 22:50Report this post to the editors

Anyone else reckon this is a bad summary of an article that has already appeared on indymedia?

author by D24publication date Tue Feb 28, 2006 23:25Report this post to the editors

Gerry Ryan understands more about the riot than the SWP .

author by R.Isiblepublication date Tue Feb 28, 2006 23:26Report this post to the editors

In that it gives more credence to the idea that McDowell "let it happen". I'm dithering between the two positions. In favour of the conspiracy hypothesis is the fact that almost immediately after the riots Ahern stated publically that trouble had been expected and McDowell denied that trouble was expected.

Interesting Rabitte slapped down Costello's calls for a public inquiry. That's what's got to happen before any reasonable hypothesis can be formed. What intelligence was presented to McDowell? What decisions did he make (or was it all a fuck up by senior Gardai with no political direction?) How many riot police were available? etc. There's very little information about what our democratically elected representatives decided on our behalf.

author by Rioterpublication date Fri Nov 16, 2007 14:03Report this post to the editors

I broadly agree with this article on the riot by the SWP.
However I joined RSF along with 4 of my freinds in the aftermath of the riot. They were the only ones who represtented the feelings of Dublin's youth on the day, and they would do it all again.
I also support their direct action approach to drug dealers in my area, which has helped to clean the place up a lot.

What RSF do is the difference between saying that you agree with youths rioting with the guards, and actually involving yourself in the rioting.

author by martin lacey - nonepublication date Fri Nov 16, 2007 17:40author email mlacey at oceanfree dot netReport this post to the editors

i emailed willie frazier to say that me and some of my mates would escort them down o'connell street next time they visit against the the fascicist lumpens who attacked them last time. our day has come . we have grown up . ulster protestants have the same right to wlk down o'connell as any other group or minority.let a group come together to welcome loyalists on streets. i will help / see ya , martin

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