Monday, 29 June 2009

You can't decommision attitudes (*Harsh Language*)

So there is alot of talk these day about how we all want to move towards peace, especially since the decommissioning of the loyalist weapons has been spoke about these days. Maybe I'm just a pessimist but I'm not wearing the rose tinted glasses everyone else must be wearing.

We are certainly in a period of less conflict, but is it peace? Well anything other than a physical peace? No, it is not. Still we see flags hoisted to mark ones territory from another, Kerbs painted and the typical traditional hate marchs that happen each year at this time.

Yes at this time each year the loyalist communities try to claim ownership of the month of July. The fresh flags are hoisted, the murals touched up and the sectarian bigoted activities begin. The Fenians are expected to stay either at home, or to leave for the month, at least until after the twelth.

It's not hard to see that with all the talk of loyalist decommisioning, that little has been done to decommision the attitude that the taigs don't belong. In recent years the "council" has hung signs stating "Glengormley; Its Your Town". However at the same time every year, in a completely hypocritical move, they allow the scrap metal to be erected that states "This is most certainly NOT your town; It's ours". The Orange arch cover in anti-irish and anti-catholic sentiment is erected right in the centre of the village, a s'posed public area.

A year ago, at Easter a women was forced, by the PSNI, a s'posed impartial Police Service, to remove her Irish flag. The national flag of her country. And Yet with out any arguement, permissions or consideration for the lowly second class "tims", hundreds of anti-irish flags, UVF Flags and flags of the Foriegn "Union" are hoisted all around my village, where I live. Again to remind me, that I merely have residence there. I'm not part of the community. I'm second class.

Then begin the bigot hate parades. The "Loyal Orange Lodge", an organisation that claims to be religio
us, march through Nationalist area, all over the occupied state, playing songs such as "Kick The Pope" and lyrics such as "Up to our neck in fenian blood 'til the day I die", with band names such as "KAI: Kill All Irish" and waving more sectarian flags. They claim its their traditional routes. I guess they are right. Hate is their tradition. What has kicking the Pope, Killing fenians and harassing locals got to do with christianity? About as much as the "Christian" Ku Klux Klan who marched the streets of the south, harassing and harbouring hate against the "second class lowly niggers" and waving their flags to represent hate.

Then comes the enviormental nightmare of the bigoted Alcohol fueled hate fires. All over the occupied state once again, huge piles of wood are stacked, made ready to be set alight on the 11th night so that local hoods, loyalists and bigots can dance to sectarian music, flags wrapped around them and reminise of the old days where it was okay to hate fenians openly. Anyone that tries to argue these fires are anything other than a hate celebration, is undermined by the use of Irish Flags, Pope models and, horrifyingly, the names of children killed by loyalist bigots used as toppers for their fires.

Note the Use of Sinn Féin posters.

Note the
use of a "Papal Figure" on the top

Note the use of many Irish flags, and a poster displaying the 10 men who died on the 1981 Hunger Strike, who died for the rights of Republican and Loyalist prisioners.

Note the writing on the flag. It says "Fuck Micky Bo". This is in relation to Michael McIlveen. A 15 year old boy, beat with Baseball bats, and had his head kicked and jumped on, by fully grown loyalist men. He was 15, and he died at the scene. Why? He was a Catholic.

Mervyn Wilson Moon (20), of Douglas Terrace, had admitted murder at the start of the trial. Christopher Andrew McLeister (18), of Knockeen Crescent, who had been on trial for murder, was found guilty of manslaughter. Paul Edward David Henson (19), of Condiere Avenue, was convicted of affray and criminal damage. Man Slaughter and criminal damage??
The UDA then threatened the father when he tried to have the flag removed. Striking similarity can be found in the Robert Hamil and the Kevin McDaid cases. Police have accepted now that members of the UDA and the Pride of the Band Orange flute band were involved in murdering Kevin McDaid, beating up his wife Evelyn and issuing threats to his son, and the family of Damien Flemming.

So what do I make of the loyalist decommisioning? Not a dam thing. The UVF, the UDA, the RHC and the LVF were all involved in collusion cases with the British Army and the RUC, and nearly all of them, if not all, were members of the "Loyal Orange Lodge". Nearly every RUC member was also a member of both paramilitaries and the LOL.

The IRA decommissioned four years ago, and only now are we hearing of loyalists making the move. Not only that but they have been considering financial grants to help them do so. That is the biggest insult imaginable to the families of the 1,000 innocent people slaughtered by those bastards. The UVF have claimed to have decommissioned everything and the RHC claim the same. The UDA "have begun" the process. The LVF haven't made a mention, and it seems no one is gonna ask either. With the UVF/RHC, they had three witnesses, whom they chose, and now expect to move into a political role. This is a disgusting thought.

When the IRA decommisioned, the loyalists threw every possible road block imaginable. They demanded they chose the witnesses, and then refused to even consider decommisioning until the Army Council was declared no more. They did it. Four years ago. At this stage if the IIDC report the decommisioning of weapons I will accept that. But I will not accept the legitmising of their bigoted beliefs, by allowing their "army council" to remain.

Further more we have been reminded of the words of David Irvine, a loyalist paramilitary himself, that the "war is over". To even consider the actions of the loyalist paramilitaries to be a war is an insult to the intellegience of any Catholic, regardless of wether they are Republican or Nationalist. Most of the 1,000 killed had no involvement in either the IRA or even Sinn Féin. Most were working class Catholics just trying to live a life. Kidnapping Catholics, pulling them into a black taxi and slaughtering them with butchers knifes in an alley can in no way be called a war. They were not, and can never be legitimised as an army.

They were a band of armed bigots, out to kill anyone Catholic or Irish, and when that was no longer acceptable, they took their hate out on eachother and terrorised the normal, true Protestant people.

To call loyalist paramilitaries or the "LOL" a Protestant organisation, is an insult to the many great Protestant churchs in our world. It is also an insult to the Protestant history of the Irish people. Many of the Irish revolutions were led by decent working Protestant citizens, both in Political and armed arenas. Many men and women involved in the rebirth of Irish culture were of Protestant denominations.

The point I want to make is, its a simple fact that we are not in a time of peace because mindsets are the same. We only want peace, as long as its "our" peace. The loyalist idea of peace, is that we don't use weapons anymore, and that we Irish Republicans, just accept that this is "Northern" Ireland, and just forget about a United Free Ireland. To help us on our way to this thought process, they will of course hoist the flags, sing the songs and parade on the streets and continue to antagonise the locals.

You Can't Decommision Attitudes

God Bless

Friday, 26 June 2009

King of Pop...

Michael Jackson
1958 - 2009

So standing outside the last session of the Novena, at Clonard Monastery last night, it was late yet still very warm, and news began to spread like wildfire. Michael Jackson passed away at the age of 50.

Being probabley the biggest Music icon since the Beatles it is very hard to get my head around the idea. He was just one of them Characters that you didn't expect to hear that news about for a long time. News spread quiet quickly, claims that he had died of a heart attack or lung cancer etc etc. I do not at this stage know what happened but I hope, as I do for most, that it was peaceful.

Michael Jackson started his professional career in music at the age of eleven as a member of the Jackson 5, and even at this stage was a shining star for music. Despite the rumours and storys and claims against his name, I believe that he should be remembered as the Music legend he was.

However as usual, I didn't really start this post to address the case of Michael Jackson's death, but rather to address the attitudes of the public and the media. Usually I am overcome with disgust at these attitudes... well they haven't failed me this time either.

Within three minutes of recieving a text from my friend that merely said "Michael Jackson Just Died", the jokes started to roll in. The same sick jokes that we hear every time anyone that holds space in the public eye dies, is injured or has a breakdown. Some one predicting, and I fear he predicted rightly, that there will be an incline in the amount of stories of Child Abuse and other such claims. He also predicted that there will be one or two "Billie Jeans" popping up. Now to address this attitude, what kind of world do we live in, when I can honestly fear that happening. When a suggestion like that is put forth, how can it seem like such a reasonable thing to say?? It's sad.

Then there is the media. The Belfast Telegraph is a paper that I seem to have one or two quams with. In short I don't like the paper at all. Today we are met with a frontpage image of Michael Jackson, "shortly before he died" on a hospital stretcher. I see the many images on the news channels of reporters pushing eachother over for their chance to catch the golden photograph of the lifeless body, the men trying to film the ambulance and rush the hospital where he was taken. Its disgusting how the death of someone could be so utterly disrespected that the family are given no chance of alone time, to mourn and come to terms, cause its far more important that the public see these images.

However there are the other scenes. The scenes of utter dismay and heartache over the passing. I must admit, I do not understand. I am a fan of Michael Jackson, but I can't find the myself crying hysterically over him. But I am pleased that some people in our world, can be so unsettled by the passing. I would hope that this was respect for human life and not just love of a musician. Eitherway is acceptable however. I prefer these attitudes than that of the jokers and media.

God Bless

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

"I'm gonna start coaxing him to jump..."

As my bus rolled around the corner, crossing the front of the old domed City hall building, I saw a crowd gathered around the front. This immediately caused a gathering on the bus of everyone trying to see why they had gathered outside.

This straight away struck a chord in my mind. What is it about crowds thats people can't resist.

Anyhow as I got off the bus I finally noticed what everyone was looking at. I'm sure at this stage most people in Belfast have heard the story. Especially since it made front page in the Irish News and the Belfast Telegraph AM. Some one had climbed on to the top of the 60 metre high Belfast Wheel, and removed all but his shorts. Now this is not what I want to address. I wish to address the attitudes and reactions of the Public and the Media.

In all situations where something dangerous takes place, or something just out of the ordinary, there is almost like a magnetic field that people can't help be attracted to and soon a crowd gathers. I have fallen into thistrap before, but this time I was attracted for a different reason.

Here is a man, in certain danger and very serious risk of death. No one knows at this stage why he as climbed or who he is. To them he is just something, like a zoo animal, for them to gawk at. Here is a man that, to anyones knowledge, could be seriously depressed and threating his own life; and we all just stare like its a tv show.

People where taking pictures and videos, trying to make sure they didn't miss something "cool". Imagine if he fell, sure they'd have loads to gossip about, and the video would be class for youtube or even to seel to the papers, right? What a pitiful attitude. As people stood around laughing at him, making fun of him and saying things I couldn't even believe I was hearing. One man was phoning a friend, to tell him to come around before he missed something, then proceded to say "I'm gonna start coaxing him to jump..."

Of course the Media, who couldn't care less about the real man, go out of their way to find out what they can, and then plaster his picture and personal information across the frontpages the very next day.

I was once again brought to question humanity as they snapped photo's of the "animal". Me? I took a picture too... of the "animals" as I perceived it.

God Bless

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Ernesto "Ché" Guevara

Does it not strike all these Socialist Partys, whom's main membership is made up mostly of youths, that they are actually going against all that Ché stood for, by use of his image? It strikes me as odd that a man that stood against Imperialism and Capitalism then ends ups as a multimillion dollar selling icon, and further more that his "fan boys" endorse this capitalist scheme. I'm led to believe that these people know little of Ché or his belief of Marxism.

Various Socialist Party recuitment stalls around Belfast display a Flag with the face of the "Legend" emblazoned on it. When I approached them to question this inappropriate use of the flag I was informed "it attracts the youth". What this means is it attracts the uneducated Youth with no Political agenda, based merely on an image of a man they know nothing, or little off. Now obviously this can not be applied to all who have a following for Ché, but surely they realise the hypocrisy of Ché tee shirts, especially if members of the Religious groups in our societies wear them. Ché followed his father in his disapproval of Religious organisations, and though born into a Catholic family, quicly fell away from it.

Before beginning this blog I loaded my favourite online shop and entered the word che and to no suprise was met with hundreds of items displaying the Ché icon; Books, DVD's, tee shirts, satchels, hats, beanies, wrist bands, wallets, badges, canvases, coasters, clocks, posters and dolls. Not to mention the unlimited other items this site doe not sell including Ché lighters, belt buckles and beer etc. Further more we have sites such as

Would Ché endorse this? I certainly don't think he would. I can see the need for history books detailing the historical character, I for instance have recently began to read one I found in my dad's library of historical books. However this is different from the rest of the garbage that is for sale, by capitalist companies that are fully aware that the Ché image is incridibly easy to market for the youth, who percieve themselves "different".

As if this complete misuse of Ché's image wasn't enough, most other symbols connected to Socialism and Revolution are way way over used. The very typical over use of a red or yellow star is just another example. How many in our "Socialist Youth" organisations even know the origns of this star or why it is still used on connection to "revolution"? In fact little is really know about the origins of the use of this symbol, and I personally deem it irrelevant today.

Another symbol which I once again can't stand to see today, is that of the fist. It takes more than the wave of these symbols to be a socialist or a revolutionary. These symbols of revolution today, are no more than an attempt to be different. It is far cooler in this day and age to be against something, than for it. Most of our youth displaying these symbols, if they even realise the political connections, will know little of what they are laying claim to by wearing these shirts, or hanging these flags.

The symbols have merely become a symbol overused in the "alternative" or punk scene, more in connection to music than Politics. Much like fans of Rage against the Machine, a band who claim to be singing about Socialism and revolution and the need for change in certain aspects of society. Many of the fans of this band will proudly display their affection for Ché by buying into the capitalist merchandising world, without having any real knowledge of what the man was involved in, many using the typical soundbyte, claiming him to be a Cuban revolutionary, without mention that he was an Argentinian, if that is a word, and that he was involved in Revolution in Cuba, The Congo and Bolivia.

I do not claim to be a revolutionary, but I am a socialist, in that I believe that people need to come first. The poor need to come before the rich, and that no one member of the Public is better than anyother. Politicians, celebrities, bankers and businessmen are not above the law, or even the "lowest" of society. I however have never had any piece of merchandise

God Bless

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Now We Wait...

So its been a long haul, but I've reached the end of the Campaign trail. I've not had time to blog recently, as I have been out on the streets, doing my best to canvas for the European elections, which have closed just half an hour ago, at time of writting.

So now we wait. Wait until Monday evening, when we will hopefully hear some good news. The turnout today was fairly slow, though people where still arriving as time was running thin.

So as a result of not blogging I have also missed an awful lot. The loyalist murder of Kevin McDaid. Republicans targeting Republicans, in the form of Sinn Féin Ministers. The missing Air France Jet. The slaughter of the British tourist in Africa. Untalkable events in Palestine. The Tamil Tigers officially announcing their surrender, and their main leader being murdered. Its been a bad time to miss blogging Politically. I do not feel that there is a need however to drag these things back up. I will continue to blog about the events in the future.

God Bless