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Russia Slaps Flight Restrictions on Turk... Thu Apr 15, 2021 17:40 | bne IntelliNews
Experts Are Super Smart and 100% Reliabl... Thu Apr 15, 2021 11:06 | The Babylon Bee
Politico Relays Outrage That the Preside... Thu Apr 15, 2021 10:06 | Ben Armbruster
US Stimmy Checks Support Foreign Manufac... Thu Apr 15, 2021 09:14 | Schiff Gold
Canada Cancels Suspended Weapons Sales t... Thu Apr 15, 2021 08:14 | Ragip Soylu
A bird's eye view of the vineyard
Executive Order on Blocking Property with Respect to Specified Harmful Foreign Activities of the Gov... Thu Apr 15, 2021 16:53 | The Saker
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701 et
The latest US moves against Russia (OPEN THREAD #11) UPDATED!!! Thu Apr 15, 2021 15:53 | The Saker
Bad news all around today. The US has just slammed provocative sanctions against Russia even though the US ambassador to Moscow was summoned to the Foreign Ministry and clearly told
America?s Neoliberal Financialization Policy vs. China?s Industrial Socialism Thu Apr 15, 2021 15:39 | amarynth
By Michael Hudson and posted with special permission Nearly half a millennium ago Niccolo Machiavelli?s The Prince described three options for how a conquering power might treat states that it defeated
Margarita Simonian on Biden?s call to the ?killer? Thu Apr 15, 2021 15:28 | The Saker
Note: in my analysis yesterday I quoted Margarita Simonian, the head of Russia Today. Today I have asked my director of research, Scott, to translate yet another thought provoking series
Iran?s Much-Troubled Nuclear Program Wed Apr 14, 2021 12:39 | amarynth
South Front You can read this article in German. LINK Iran?s Natanz nuclear facility is an incredibly important piece of infrastructure for Tehran?s interests. One of its most important roles
The Saker >>
Stay Sceptical. Control the Hysteria. Save Lives.
Most Care Home Vaccine Rates below Government Guidance Thu Apr 15, 2021 17:51 | Michael Curzon
A consultation has been launched into making Covid vaccinations mandatory for care home staff as data shows that more than 96,000 eligible staff at older adult care homes in England have not received a vaccine.
The post Most Care Home Vaccine Rates below Government Guidance appeared first on Lockdown Sceptics.
AstraZeneca No Worse Than Other Vaccines for Blood Clots, Study Finds Thu Apr 15, 2021 15:08 | Will Jones
AstraZenaca is no worse than other vaccines when it comes to cerebral venous thrombosis, according to new preprint. CVT more likely to be caused by Covid.
The post AstraZeneca No Worse Than Other Vaccines for Blood Clots, Study Finds appeared first on Lockdown Sceptics.
Let?s Show the Red Card to Vaccine Passports for Football Fans Thu Apr 15, 2021 14:56 | Toby Young
Great article in today's @Spectator making the case against sports fans having to produce a 'Covid Status Certificate' to get access to stadiums when we're allowed back in. ? ?? ?
The post Let’s Show the Red Card to Vaccine Passports for Football Fans appeared first on Lockdown Sceptics.
Vaccines the Cause of Britain?s Drop In Covid Cases, Not Lockdown, Says KCL Epidemiologist Thu Apr 15, 2021 14:08 | Michael Curzon
The drop in Covid cases has been caused by Britain's "exemplar vaccine programme", says King's College London epidemiologist Professor Tim Spector ? despite the Prime Minister saying that lockdown is behind the fall.
The post Vaccines the Cause of Britain’s Drop In Covid Cases, Not Lockdown, Says KCL Epidemiologist appeared first on Lockdown Sceptics.
Government Pays Firm £90 Million to Check If Passengers Are In Quarantine After Arriving In UK Thu Apr 15, 2021 13:13 | Michael Curzon
The Government has hired Mitie to carry out 10,000 home visits every day to check if overseas arrivals are complying with mandatory quarantine rules. The contract allows the firm to spend £90 million on home visits.
The post Government Pays Firm £90 Million to Check If Passengers Are In Quarantine After Arriving In UK appeared first on Lockdown Sceptics.
Lockdown Skeptics >>
Belfast Twelfth of July Bonfires
An Americans Experience of Belfast On the Twelfth of July
I am an American currently living in Ireland. I recently attended the Twelfth of July events in Belfast. This particularly piece is on my experiences at the bonfires.
The annual July 12th parades occur every year in Belfast and across Northern Ireland. The event celebrates the victory of Protestant king William of Orange over Catholic king James II at the Battle of the Boyne 1690, which marked the beginning of Protestant Loyalist rule in Northern Ireland. Since this date there has been almost constant violence between the Protestant communities, that view themselves as loyal to the British government, and the Catholic communities, that want a united Ireland free of British rule.
Northern Ireland, currently, is almost split 50/50 between the percentage of Protestant and Catholics living in the region. In Belfast, many of these communities are split by barriers or “peace walls.” Even though Protestant and Catholic residences may live a few yards from one another, they rarely or never interact. Violence and separation has always been a constant reality in these communities, even since the Good Friday Agreement of 1998 “officially ended “The Troubles.” Still, 90% of schoolchildren attend segregated schools and paramilitary groups control their specified neighbourhoods.
During the parades in Belfast the Protestants, of the Orange Order and Ulster Loyalist, march across the city dressed in uniforms while flying the banners of their communities. Many of these marches go through Catholic neighbourhoods, which provokes violence and disorder.
Being that I was an outsider from the United States, I planned to enter Belfast, on the 11th of July, with an open and unbiased mind. But, it would not be completely truthful if I said I actually did. I came from a family who was proud to be of Irish Catholic decent and I am currently living in the Republic of Ireland as a student. That being said, I know there are two sides to every story and I wanted to document this.
I had been in Belfast a few months earlier with my parents and did the whole tourist adventure. I even took the Black Taxi tour, which brings you into the hot bed areas of the city. I had a relaxing time and found the city very inviting. My return was a bit different though. I was now arriving alone the day before the biggest gathering of Protestant loyalism. The previous year’s parades resulted in weeks of rioting and violence.
Coming from the train station to the hostel, I immediately became aware of the changed atmosphere. Walking through the Donegal Pass I realised it was clearly marked as U.V.F. (Ulster Volunteer Force) territory. Needless to say I felt a bit uneasy.
At the hostel, I was informed about the current situation and was later told that I was allowed to stay, because I was foreign. They made it known, to their customers, that they were closed to anyone who came for the parades from Scotland, England or Ireland. This is very understandable, because any business would be crazy to become a hotbed for drunk and violent political discourse.
As night fell, it became apparent that the city was becoming more intoxicated. The sounds of chanting and breaking bottles became the norm. After getting to know the hostel staff, I was invited to follow a group of them to a nearby bonfire.
The bonfires are constructed from wooden pallets and each Protestant community competes to make the largest one. Many of these structures reach a hundred feet or more. At 12:00 a.m. they are lit with gasoline and petrol bombs marking the start of the July Twelfth celebration. These are a big source of controversy, because of the nature of what is burned. On the pallets are hung the Republic of Ireland flags and Republican/Nationalist/Catholic political posters. Many of the fires are blatantly violent towards Catholics, Effigies of the pope and other catholic symbols are frequently burned. One structure, listed in a tabloid, burned a lynched effigy of Gerry Adams and flag that read “We hate Cotton Pickin Niggers and Taigs.” To be fair, not all of the communities’ fires go to these extremes, but many do.
The bonfire we attended was in Sandy Row, which is a known breeding ground for Protestant paramilitary groups like the U.D.A. (Ulster Defence Association).When we first arrived the party atmosphere was quite apparent. A DJ blasted music while hundreds of people dressed in British Union Jack flags and Loyalist symbols, danced and drank. The drunken state of these people was at a level that I haven’t seen at even the most notorious parties. Fireworks were lit over the structure, which contained political posters and Irish flags. The largest one read “KAT” or “Kill All Taigs” which translates to “Kill All Catholics.”
After talking our way into the structures location, with another photographer from Israel, it immediately became apparent that the organisers did not like the press. More specifically, we were confronted by a man that kicked us out and lectured us on how they don’t like photographs.
I was later told that this man was most likely a U.D.A. member. Over the months leading up to the bonfire they guard the structures with guns to protect them from sabotage by Nationalist/Catholics. It is understandable that they would not want their photograph taken, being that they could become potential targets for revenge by opposing groups.
We ended up sneaking into the other side of the fence, which stood open. Soon enough, petrol was poured over the structure and at 12:00 petrol bombs were thrown at the structure igniting it into a ball of flames.
Like the fire, the crowd ignited into what I could only call a frenzy. They circled the fire and proceeded to throw objects and beer bottles into the flames, while singing loyalist songs and chanting “Kill All Taigs.”
The ages of the crowd in attendance ranged from small children to elderly adults. The whole community seemed to be taking part in the celebration.
For the most part, the crowd was pretty joyous and friendly towards us. In one instance, a drunken teenager came up to me wide eyed and grabbed me screaming “Isn’t it fucking beautiful!” I sort of just laughed and said “Yea, yea it is.”
Overall, I can see how the bonfires are a celebration of community identity. The tradition goes back almost 300 years and even though the crowd is incredibly intoxicated. the event still seems to be family oriented.
But, as an outsider, I can only look at the situation for what it is. It is a cultural celebration, but it is a culture that celebrates hate. I can see how anyone that lives in a warzone will hate the opposing side, but it doesn’t change the fact that it is in fact hate. The fact that the bonfires are burned with signs that read “Kill All Catholics” makes it blatantly obvious that the sole reason for the fire is to show who they hate. When young children see and chant this it just continues that mindset of hate.
There is a movement to portray these bonfires as cultural symbolism, but from what I saw it is just hate speech. That being said, I am still an outsider.
I do not believe that there can ever be peace in Northern Ireland with events of this nature. But, these communities may not want peace. Their communities have been moulded by this conflict for so many years that their main identity is reliant upon the conflict. It’s a vicious cycle that I will never fully understand.
That ended my first night of the event.