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Disrupting the road to stability

category armagh | anti-war / imperialism | opinion/analysis author Thursday March 12, 2009 09:53author by Deirdre Niamh Duffy - University of Nottinghamauthor email duffythegreat at gmail dot com Report this post to the editors

the key to avoiding the abyss is to step around it

The recent events in Northern Ireland have brought back a whole host of dark memories. The attacks have placed a question mark over both the stability and success of the peace process. However, in many ways the attacks are very different from those during the Troubles. Unlike the violence in the past, these attacks are not really aimed at gaining public support or making a political point but at destabilising Northern Ireland in its transition from post-conflict zone to stable society.

The recent attacks on police officers and soldiers in Northern Ireland have brought back dark memories to most Irish people, North and South, of a time they would prefer to forget. Through the signing of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998, the subsequent decommissioning process and the success of power-sharing in Stormont, the people of Northern Ireland have made every effort to put the ‘dark days’ of the Troubles behind them and leave the violence – which seemed endless in the 1970s and ‘80s – in the past. And they have become very good at it. Rebuilding a community which at one point was losing approximately 300 of its members every year to political violence has not been an easy process and is still quite some way from completion. But, for many, the Northern Ireland of today seems worlds away from the Northern Ireland of the Troubles.

Hardly surprising then that the recent spate of attacks, which both in manner and brutality are frighteningly reminiscent of past violence, have been so troubling and have raised some simple – but terrifying – questions: what did we miss? What have we, as peace-builders, failed to take into account? Are the Troubles back? And above all: why now? It is this last question which is so troubling to people in Britain and Ireland and is probably the reason why the attacks have come as such a shock to politicians and the public alike.

However, it is the ‘why now?’ element of the current situation which has the potential to avoid the deconstruction of a peace that has been so built with such care. For all their rhetoric and claims of representing Northern Irish people, the Continuity IRA and the Real IRA seem distinctly out of place and out of touch with a contemporary Northern Ireland which is finally moving from ‘post-conflict society’ to stable community. Unlike the 1970s and ‘80s, there is relatively little malcontent in need of expression or division ripe for exploitation. The evidence of this is in the reaction to the recent killings. Rather than proclaiming tokenistic opposition to violence or refusing to comment on the issue, people from all sides of Northern Irish society have been both forceful and vocal in their condemnation of the attacks. If the CIRA or RIRA have a potential support base they are aiming to tap into, it is a very well hidden one.

Equally hidden are the attackers’ aims. Other than a rather generic call for the independence of Northern Ireland from the United Kingdom, the C/RIRA’s actions are seemingly random and do not belie a specific strategy. Additionally, Northern Ireland is currently in the midst of the process of devolution. Stormont now has the same administrative and legal clout as the Scottish Executive and it is not entirely unreasonable to expect more powers. In light of this, calls for freedom seem, at the very least, rather belated.

Looking at the actions of the C/RIRA in this way it appears their aim isn’t to unite a disenfranchised people or force the British government to give Stormont control of Northern Ireland. Rather their aim is to disrupt Northern Irish society and to resurrect old demons. If anything their actions are anarchic – unexpected acts which strive to undermine and unsettle. And like anarchists they should not be treated as part of a wider, representative, social movement in the way previous political radicals in Northern Ireland have been but as individuals who want to cause trouble.

If the present situation in Northern Ireland tells us anything, it is that violence is unwanted and out of place. Something which at one stage may have been sadly accepted as part of life has now been rejected wholesale by both the public and their political representatives. The people of Northern Ireland do not want to stand, as Dolores Kelly of the SDLP in Craigavon stated, staring into the abyss and the perpetrators of these attacks must know this. The test will be whether Northern Ireland continues along its path to a stable, peaceful society, undeterred by these random acts, or whether we stop and keep staring.

author by Real Republicanpublication date Thu Mar 12, 2009 11:42author address author phone Report this post to the editors

British troops are an army of occupation in the beknighted 6 counties who maintain the control of the British settlers who threw the native Gaelic population off their own land. This artificial minority who were parachuted into Ulster by the British ruling aristocracy (whose descendents still rule from London over a fake democracy at Westminister) are aliens on Irish soil and they claim to have democratic right to decide the destiny of this island?
Northern Ireland is a colony of the British-American imperialist capitalist system which has tendrals throughout the world.
The Irish people have struggled for 800 years to free their native land from foreign occupation and oppression and the yoke of British tyranny is still on our shoulders.
The so-called Republic of Ireland is economically and culturally shackled to the Britain - our people speak English, play English sports, drink English beer, watch English television, read English publications and are part of a European capitalist tyranny that England plays a large part in along with France and Germany, with home the English are currently in a fickle strategic alliance.
Ireland is unfree and can never be at peace.
It's people are maintained in a perverse illusion - they were told they are modern educated, confident, cosmopolitan and part of a global community but a essentially glorified serfs of British global capitalism.
Our language, our music, our culture and our Catholic faith have been fatally undermined.
Our British capitalist controlled media have undermined every institution of our society and nation.
The Irish people are enslaved and have been deluded into thinking that they have democratic voice.
Thankfully a small band of Irish patriots have not fallen into the trap and are prepared to strike again for liberty.
That is why the forces of British occupation who were struck last weekend and a cowardly native Irish collaborator in peeler uniform recieved his just sentence.
Naturally enough the masters of the enslaved Irish people organised "peace protests" against their liberators!
A band of Irish republican brothers is once again standing fast to fight for Mother Ireland and to free her people from bondage!
We will not be swayed by sentimental pleading and childish naivete of the brainwashed masses who have discovered that poverty and unemployment await them now that the absurd Celtic Tiger has come to a crashing halt!
Our revolutionary brothers will continue the fight taking the war of liberation to the British occupier, their satraps in Stormont and Dail Eireann, to undermine the twin occupations of the Northern Ireland entity and the so-called Republic of Ireland which will both fall, rotten and morally bankrupt.
One day the British will flee from these shores with their tails between their legs, the British alien settlers who stole the land of Ulster will follow them into the sea, the West Brits elite in Dail Eireann will crumble too and then the process of cleansing all British political, economic and cultural influence from Ireland will commense.
A true Irish Socialist Republic will be established over the entire island - the rich and powerful will be liquidated and the common factory worker and farm labourer will control the destiny of the nation.
Mother Ireland once again calls us to the Green flag and the ghosts of the patriot dead fill us with their spirit of zeal.
We must restore our people from bondage and slavery, proud, strong in their Catholic faith, speaking Gaelic as their tongue and scorning the barbarian culture of their foreign oppressors.

author by Mike - Judean Popular Peoples Frontpublication date Thu Mar 12, 2009 22:35author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"our (sic) people speak English, play English sports, drink English beer, watch English television, read English publications......Ireland is unfree and can never be at peace."

So Ireland will be "unfree" until you can figure out a way to stop people:
speaking English ?
playing English sports ?
watching English television ?
reading English publications ?

Oh and until you can get rid of those nasty "settlers"

Your sick screwed up notion of "freedom" is completly at odds whith the meaning of the word as understood by anyone who happen to inhabit the real world.

Maybe you should go hang with the Taliban for a while ?

Or better yet just go hang !

author by Grapublication date Fri Mar 13, 2009 00:40author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Ireland will one day be united, not though by bloodshed. Unity shall be made manifest, through the goodwill of all of the peoples on this island of Ireland.

That time is not yet.

The personal confidence of all this islands people has to be strengthened, the bigotry on both sides has to be recognised, acknowledged and dealt with in a sincere manner by all organisations.

Then when the divisions have been removed, we can move together as one people, living together on this island and hold our heads up high, for we shall have reclaimed our ancestral dignity and walk into the future united.

 
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