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BS: Grit your teeth, the PIRA boys are out

Peter K (Fionn) 30 Jul 00 - 07:05 AM
InOBU 30 Jul 00 - 10:04 AM
Lena 30 Jul 00 - 10:16 AM
Roger in Sheffield 30 Jul 00 - 10:28 AM
InOBU 30 Jul 00 - 10:30 AM
Roger in Sheffield 30 Jul 00 - 10:34 AM
Lena 30 Jul 00 - 11:02 AM
InOBU 30 Jul 00 - 11:34 AM
beachcomber 30 Jul 00 - 02:49 PM
GUEST,Paddy(1) 30 Jul 00 - 02:59 PM
paddymac 30 Jul 00 - 04:02 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 30 Jul 00 - 04:16 PM
paddymac 30 Jul 00 - 04:26 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 30 Jul 00 - 05:32 PM
Brendy 30 Jul 00 - 05:47 PM
InOBU 30 Jul 00 - 07:37 PM
paddymac 30 Jul 00 - 08:18 PM
GUEST 30 Jul 00 - 09:05 PM
Lena 31 Jul 00 - 01:50 AM
Brendy 31 Jul 00 - 01:57 AM
alison 31 Jul 00 - 02:42 AM
InOBU 31 Jul 00 - 07:23 AM
Ringer 31 Jul 00 - 10:01 AM
Fiolar 31 Jul 00 - 01:22 PM
Grab 31 Jul 00 - 02:12 PM
InOBU 31 Jul 00 - 04:20 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 31 Jul 00 - 05:00 PM
Brendy 31 Jul 00 - 05:26 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 31 Jul 00 - 06:59 PM
GUEST,Antóin 31 Jul 00 - 07:14 PM
Brendy 31 Jul 00 - 09:16 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 01 Aug 00 - 06:39 AM
Lena 01 Aug 00 - 06:43 AM
InOBU 01 Aug 00 - 07:11 AM
Brakn 01 Aug 00 - 10:53 AM
InOBU 01 Aug 00 - 11:18 AM
alison 01 Aug 00 - 11:36 AM
DougR 01 Aug 00 - 04:49 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 01 Aug 00 - 06:21 PM
InOBU 01 Aug 00 - 07:47 PM
Brendy 01 Aug 00 - 09:36 PM
Little Hawk 01 Aug 00 - 09:47 PM
InOBU 01 Aug 00 - 09:52 PM
Brendy 01 Aug 00 - 09:54 PM
Little Hawk 01 Aug 00 - 11:16 PM
paddymac 01 Aug 00 - 11:23 PM
Brendy 01 Aug 00 - 11:23 PM
Little Hawk 01 Aug 00 - 11:31 PM
Brendy 01 Aug 00 - 11:42 PM
InOBU 02 Aug 00 - 06:26 AM
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Subject: Grit your teeth, the PIRA boys are out
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 30 Jul 00 - 07:05 AM

Yes, and not only most Provo inmates of the Maze, but some seriously villanous loyalists too. In all, 86 of them were turned loose on Friday.

I always accepted this as part of the deal. But Friday was certainly the Toughest Day for all those who voted Yes for the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement.

And sadly, this was no Mandela-like walk to freedom. It was a horn-honking cavalcade in which "women supporters of the IRA killers showered the former prisoners with confetti, threw party streamers and popped champagne corks" (The (London) Times).

In case the message might have been missed, a relative told reporters: "The war is not over. Put that in your notebooks. They are coming out to fight for freedom again." Oh dear.


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Subject: RE: BS: Grit your teeth, the PIRA boys are out
From: InOBU
Date: 30 Jul 00 - 10:04 AM

I would remind you that Amnesty International was founded by a former commander in chief of the IRA. As much as I hate to see the release of - for example the loyalist who murdered mourners at a funeral, and make a distinction between those who carried on a war under the articals of war and the loyalists who made no attempt to follow articals of war, but rather targeted civilians as primary targets by reason of their religion, in order for there to be progress there must be a stepping back from the past while incorporating the lessons of the past into the future. This is why, again, I say there should be the kind of peace and reconcillation process that occured in South Africa, including truth on the part of England about the role Military Intelligence played in sponsoring sectarian killings. Does it not seem strange to anyone else, that the same year that the cold war ended, the imposible feet, talking to the IRA, was suddunly possible for England? I believe the lesson of this past July, is that we don't have to fear the IRA as the agents of vilence in the coming years, but rather pressure must be placed on the loyalist community to realise that their politic has died with the cold war necessity to maintain a British military presence in Ireland. By the way, Sean McBride wrote about this cold war dynamic and was laughed at, and yet the proof is in the timeing of the end of England's refusal to negotiate.
Lets get beyond fear and hurt,
Larry


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Subject: RE: BS: Grit your teeth, the PIRA boys are out
From: Lena
Date: 30 Jul 00 - 10:16 AM

Two questions:the first is two words about what's been happening for those out of Europe.The second is,PLEASE,twenty years old and I still don't know what the Ireland/IRA issue is about.Since there's enough space on this thread,would any elder mind helping a young mudcatter?! InOBU,are you meaning that Brit secret serviced were keeping the tension up?!Do you mean they were behind the whole thing?!Like a 'Fear Strategy'?!(Wow,politics told from people around the world would be much more constructive than the telly...)(It would be FACTS)


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Subject: RE: BS: Grit your teeth, the PIRA boys are out
From: Roger in Sheffield
Date: 30 Jul 00 - 10:28 AM

Extraordinary
Tell me more about the founder of AI
truely my ignorance knows no bounds !!!

Roger


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Subject: RE: BS: Grit your teeth, the PIRA boys are out
From: InOBU
Date: 30 Jul 00 - 10:30 AM

Hi Lena, there is a film - Hidden Agenda, which had as a sourse a fellow I met in law school, Halroyd, a defector from MI 6, My wife and I seeing the film looked at each other, as we had had the same conversation about MI 6 involvement in loyalist death squads with Mr. Halroyd about a year before we saw the film and sure enough, he was in the credits as an advisor. The film is still banned in England, though it won the Cannes Film Festival, as England's entry - but perhaps someone with better HTML skills than I can direct you to the posts about Ireland, including the one about Joe Doherty, in which I and some others who lived and worked in the northern counties of Ireland wrote about the real politic of England's involvement. In a nut shell, Ireland is (possible was) non-alined to NATO, and as such, in order to keep the potential to guard the Scapa Flow from Russian ships - or more concicely to monitor Soviet ships passing through the Scappa Flow, England sponsored sectarian violence in the face of attempts by the communities to come to gether several times in the recent past. - Larry


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Subject: RE: BS: Grit your teeth, the PIRA boys are out
From: Roger in Sheffield
Date: 30 Jul 00 - 10:34 AM

Lena you've asked for it and I think you are going to get an information overload !!!
Be prepared to set aside several hours of reading time and read some very heated postings
Or perhaps someone could link to the previous discussions ???

Roger


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Subject: RE: BS: Grit your teeth, the PIRA boys are out
From: Lena
Date: 30 Jul 00 - 11:02 AM

Hours of reading don't scare me.But I'm completely ignorant about the all matter-I don't even know what's the difference between the two Irelands and what they're fighting about,and what about Ingland and so on... Now You'll all jump and laugh about it,but it was miles away from my reality ( you may agree that,despite European Community,Continental Europe and UK are still miles apart from each other.and being in a Commonwealth country now doesn't help) and I never had anyone to ask about it.So,a simple scheme(I know it's science fiction to get a simple scheme of it..)starting from bees and and flowers would be greatly praised.I'm sure that there are other mudcatters out there who could benefit as well from the information,but if you prefer to knock my head privately you know where to find me.As I told you,I miss the Ireland bit and I guess I shouldn't.............


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Subject: RE: BS: Grit your teeth, the PIRA boys are out
From: InOBU
Date: 30 Jul 00 - 11:34 AM

I heartly endource Roger's post, there have been very complete posts on the subject where a few of us on differing sides became rather good friends... Joe Offer... if you are out there in Cyber land, can you offer us a few links to past posts (no pun intended ol' pla)
Larry


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Subject: RE: BS: Grit your teeth, the PIRA boys are out
From: beachcomber
Date: 30 Jul 00 - 02:49 PM

Dos'nt anybody recognise the significance of the fact that the British "Tory" Party's relinquishment of power co-incided with the UK Government's willingness to re-enter negotiations with the "terrorists"?? Mrs Thatcher could never countenance discussion with those types. (In spite of Mr "Hockey's" silver "tay-pot".)


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Subject: RE: BS: Grit your teeth, the PIRA boys are out
From: GUEST,Paddy(1)
Date: 30 Jul 00 - 02:59 PM

Lena,

Somewhwere about 1060 something Art O'Murchu (Arthur Murphy to us) invited an English warlord to Ireland to beat up a neighbour because he stole his girlfriend.

Who wants to take it from here . . . .?

Paddy(1)


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Subject: RE: BS: Grit your teeth, the PIRA boys are out
From: paddymac
Date: 30 Jul 00 - 04:02 PM

As to the releases of 28 July: there were 86 men released from the Maze, of which 46 were IRA men. The balance were mostly Protestant paramilitaries, and there were a handful of INLA members. These releases were the last scheduled under the terms in the Accords of 10 Apr 1998 (aka "Good Friday Agreement" or "Belfast Agreement"), and brought the total number of men released to 428. The releases on Friday were staggered so as to allow each group its "moment" with the press, with Protestant paramilitaries first. Yes, you can probably find a bit of official partisanship in the sequencing, but it doesn't strike me as a big deal.

Lena - There is a wealth of material out there in book form to make you as informed as you want to be on the problems of Northern Ireland. Two books I strongly recommend which give you a good insight into the subject of state-sponsored terrorism in Ireland are "The Committee" by Sean McPhelimy (1998) and "Big Boys' Rules" by Mark Urban (1992)

Paddy(1)- It was Dermott (Diarmuid) McMurraugh, King of Leinster, who invited the Normans into Ireland, at the recommendantion of Henry (I think II), to help him in a feud with the O'Rourke, which had to do with the kidnapping of the willing "victim" Dervogilla. A I recall (without checking sources) it was McMurraugh who took her from O'Rourke, and O'Rourke didn't seem to have overly disturbed - until McMurraugh sent her back. Whhen McMurraugh made his pact with deClare (Strongbow) he offerred his crown on his death and his daughter's (Aoife?) hand. The first Normans arrived in the early fall of 1169.


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Subject: RE: BS: Grit your teeth, the PIRA boys are out
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 30 Jul 00 - 04:16 PM

Beachcomber, you're miles out. The joint Ireland-UK declaration (known as the Downing Street declaration because that's where it was made) came while the Tories were in government and John Major was British prime minister.

The analogy with South Africa is quite useful, which is why I alluded to it at the top. The ANC never had much time for PIRA, taking the view that PIRA, unlike the ANC, was fighting a democracy. I go along with that, but with the crucial caveat that it's a democracy in which the policing is institutionally partisan. The Patten review, if fully implemented, would be a massive step towards sorting that out.

The secret services may have done many crazy wrong-headed things, but compared with, say, the CIA in Chile their effect has been small. And notwithstanding the Irish Republic's neutrality stance, and the Good Friday agreement, you may be sure there will be a Brit/American/Nato presence on the island of Ireland for many years to come.

What brought renewed Westminster interest in the affairs of the six counties was simple economics. The place had become a ridiculously large factor in the Westminster budget. After Thatcher had squandered most of the North Sea oil/gas bonanza and sold off the family silver through privatisation, winding down the security bill and economic subsidy to Northern Ireland was an obvious next target.


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Subject: RE: BS: Grit your teeth, the PIRA boys are out
From: paddymac
Date: 30 Jul 00 - 04:26 PM

Here's a nationalist view of the Friday releases. Trusting that Fionn's originating post for this thread is an accurate reflection of the London Times' reportage, you might think they were talking about an entirely different event. However, if you're at all familiar with Ireland, you recognize that the British press is noted for its "spin" of Irish topics. This material is from RMD. _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Forty-six IRA political prisoners were released from Long Kesh yesterday on a day which saw the infamous prison virtually emptied and set for imminent closure. There was a strong sense of history as the IRA men walked free from the prison in which the British government famously tried to break the back of Republican resistance. Amid high spirits, the IRA men were mindful of those comrades who had given their lives in Long Kesh and all the other victims of the conflict in Ireland. The prisoners said they were "unbowed and unbroken" but ready to extend the "hand of friendship" to everyone wanting to build a better future for all people in the North. But as they emerged from the jail into the arms of delighted friends and family just before midday, the IRA OC (Officer Commanding) in the prison, Jim McVeigh, said republicans would continue to strive for a democratic socialist Ireland. "As republicans, who have experienced suffering, we understand well the hurt of others. We offer a sincere hand of friendship to everyone who is prepared to help build a new future for all of our people. The Ireland we seek is a more equal and democratic one, an Ireland that cherishes all of its children equally", he said.

Earlier, prisoners with the breakaway Republican INLA and three loyalist organisations were released in a staggered arrangement, catering to each group's taste for the attentions of the international media. The IRA prisoners were met by the Sinn Fein Assembly member, Gerry Kelly, who himself escaped from the H-Blocks in 1983. Mr Kelly rejected suggestions that the final phase of releases, which included some of the IRA's top operatives, posed a threat. "I was in jail and I am no threat to anybody", he said. If Long Kesh was to become a monument, it had to be a double-sided monument: "A monument to man's inhumanity to man, but also a monument to people who found themselves naked and alone but kept their spirit." Meanwhile, the only prisoner released from a jail in the 26 Counties yesterday accused the Dublin government of "cherry-picking" those who qualified for early release under the Good Friday Agreement. Dubliner Padraig Steenson, who was freed from Castlerea Prison in County Roscommon, called for the release of the seven remaining republican prisoners at Castlerea. "I have to stress that I am saddened I left behind some of my comrades. It is hypocritical that the Irish government have failed to release them under the terms of the Good Friday agreement even though they are qualifying prisoners," he said. "The Government have no right to cherry-pick who qualifies to suit their own political agenda." But in Belfast, Danny Morrison said it was a "day of celebration" for republicans - and particularly himself. His brother Ciaran, who had visited him as a four-year-old when he was interned, was among the first to emerge alongside David Adams, cousin of Sinn Fein president Gerry. Danny said he believed the release of prisoners was the "most stabilising thing" that could happen. Although he favoured retaining the hospital where the hunger strikers died, he said a testimony to prison officers should also be included. "It would be an act of reconciliation and a great recognition of one another's humanity," he said. Also present was Martin Meehan, the last internee to be released from Long Kesh, who also served a prison term in the 1990s alongside his son. He said his thoughts were with the suffering of prisoners' families over the years, as a "sad chapter for all" finally came to a close. "It is a momentous day, but there is a lot of suffering outside as well," he said. "There should be no triumphalism because there is a lot of hurt out there. Prisoners are hurt, families are hurt, victims are hurt." Sinn Fein councillor Paul Butler, who served 14 years in the prison, also returned and called for part of it to be preserved as a museum. "If that is done, it could hopefully be seen as a final chapter in the whole conflict. It should be a true beginning for everyone in the north," he said. "Whatever you say about the people who were in the jail and what they did, we need to learn from the failures of the past." LOOKING FORWARD Belfast republican Paul Stitt, who was sentenced to 22 years in prison, was one of those who walked free to a joyous homecoming in his Carrick Hill home. Speaking just two hours after his release, the 29-year-old admitted it was hard to believe he was finally free. "It's still a bit unreal. When I walked out this morning it felt like I was just going out on a visit - but then, when I came back to the house and saw the flags and everything, it started to sink," he said. "It's been a long wait and, to a certain extent, today was tinged with a bit of sadness because two of my friends were left inside. But it's an important day and there's a tremendous sense of relief to be out." He said he believed former prisoners had a vital role to play in Ireland's future. "We're absolutely essential because we are political prisoners and, just as we were part of the conflict, now we are part of the solution," he said. He has vowed to join Sinn Fein outside the prison to help further republican objectives. Before the prisoners left jail yesterday, he also revealed that a meeting was held to air views on what should happen on its closure. The consensus was that, at the very least, the H-block in which Bobby Sands served time, and the prison hospital, should be preserved as a museum. "We met and talked about it and we would particularly like to see H3 and the hospital retained," he said. "It could become a tourist attraction just the way Robin Island is in South Africa and Kilmainham in Dublin," he said. Looking ahead in the short term, he is preparing to enjoy the next few days at home and, with a string of newly-acquired qualifications, he is interested in working with computers. Above all, he is determined to work towards a positive solution to the situation in the North. "At the moment there are a lot of difficulties with the Patten report and all these issues need to resolved," he admitted. "But I have total confidence in the Sinn Fein leadership that they will do everything in their power to ensure that the Good Friday agreement is implemented."


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Subject: RE: BS: Grit your teeth, the PIRA boys are out
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 30 Jul 00 - 05:32 PM

It's a bit lame deriding The Times as British, Paddymac. It's owned by a globalised Oz (Rupert Murdoch) who has several governments, including Blair's, dancing to his tune. And having lived in the north, with my sympathies overwhelmingly with the nationalist side, I'd have to say the British press is more reliable than the American (and I've filed copy to both sides of the Atlantic) on northern Irish matters - if only because it's got to be. More of its readers see more broadcast footage. There has been much crap Brit reporting and first-classs American of course. But I doubt whether any paper gave the Army a harder time in the worst years of the troubles than The Guardian (which could also be crappy too).

The Times account was backed up by the bits I saw broadcast, but I'm delighted to see this other side of it. Pity whoever wrote it couldn't spell Robben.

Seriously, I thought some of what Danny Morrison said was commendable and I've always had time for Gerry Kelly. Jim McVeigh looks to have come full circle with his hopes for a socialist IReland. Who knows, the sticks and splinters (Officials and Provos) may yet get it together again. Fat chance of a socialist Ireland though, even though Maynooth - the catholic hierarchy - no longer calls the shots in Dublin.


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Subject: I really hate the way some journalists...
From: Brendy
Date: 30 Jul 00 - 05:47 PM

Go for the emotive headline

B.


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Subject: RE: BS: Grit your teeth, the PIRA boys are out
From: InOBU
Date: 30 Jul 00 - 07:37 PM

A bit of clarification, there was indeed solidarity between the ANC and the IRA as well as the INLA. Where do you get your information that the ANC did not support Irish Republicanism? In point of fact, a number of IRA and INLA volunteers I knew through my work as a civil rights activist - though they supported fully the goals of the ANC, were quite frim that their support was tempered by the practice of "neclacing" which they concidered to be an example of a war crime and begged American supporters of the ANC to attempt to get the ANC to abandon that practice. Necklacing was the paractice of filling a tire with gasoline, tieing it around someone's neck and burning them alive. I pass on this information, in support of the ANC's goals, while being committedly opposed to that practice, and where it not for the laudable goal of the truth and reconcilliation process, would call for prosicutions for that practice while demanding prosicution of the murderers of Stephen Biko. But, the process proposed by Bishop Tutu breaks the tradition of politic of the last outrage, and I heartly endorce it for Ireland. I'd even give old Conrad the peasant a handshake and a toast if he'd be polite. It is time to understand the past from each other's point of view and build a new future (a socalist Ireland would not be bad either!)
Slan, Larry


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Subject: RE: BS: Grit your teeth, the PIRA boys are out
From: paddymac
Date: 30 Jul 00 - 08:18 PM

Fionn - Yes, I'm aware that Murdoch is Oz, and owns far too many elements of the print media, and has a reportedly large number of world leaders seemingly standing in line at times to cozy up to him. Must be that old political adage about never picking a fight with a guy who buys his ink by the barrel. If you wouldn't describe the Times a Brit paper, how would you describe it? Eveb though Owned by corporate Murdoch, it's still got substantial local control of story selection and spin. I am in complete agreement that the American press is mostly oblivious to the news of an from NI. I would go a step further and respectfully suggest that what little does appear here has been well massaged by Brit spin doctors. The bottom line, I believe, is that we should all endeavor to gather news from diverse sources, and then apply a healthy dose of common sense, experience, and realistic optimism.


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Subject: RE: BS: Grit your teeth, the PIRA boys are out
From: GUEST
Date: 30 Jul 00 - 09:05 PM

Lena, I would caution you not to depend entirely upon forums like this one to fill in your gaps. Most of us, on things politic, are very partisan and though I'm sure most of us try to be objective, it is difficult to do. The suggestion above is a good one. Get ahold of a couple of books that present both sides and read them. It is a very complicated problem and I, as an American, have gone out of my way not to post to Threads about the "Troubles" in Ireland. Although I am of Irish/Scotch decent, I am not well enough informed to contribute. I do read the Threads on the "Troubles" though. DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: Grit your teeth, the PIRA boys are out
From: Lena
Date: 31 Jul 00 - 01:50 AM

I am partisan as well when I say that to me everything published under Rupy's empiredom,no matter how official,is still reliable only half...Sorry but I sincerely,genuinely, neverendingly hate that man...ok I said mine.Thanks for the trouble of quoting articles,all of you....Apart from that I think I'm beginning to have a rough idea.It's funny how political patterns are always(alas )the same ones.We had very similar things in Italy on completely different matters.Yes,it makes me suspect that the story is happening everywhere.So,to get infos for my personal ABC...IRA is protestant,extreme right...or catholic,extreme left?!Or a bunch of anarchists?!What's Mi 6?!If I don't get the chance now to get it together,especially from people seeing it differently...PIRA.What's PIRA?!


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Subject: A time for reflection
From: Brendy
Date: 31 Jul 00 - 01:57 AM

=>Hard to believe it was 25 years ago...TODAY<=

B.


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Subject: RE: BS: Grit your teeth, the PIRA boys are out
From: alison
Date: 31 Jul 00 - 02:42 AM

Lena IRA= Irish Republican Army,

PIRA = Provisional IRA....

please read through some of the links I am about to give you, bear in mind some of them are not pleasant, and some of them get hostile....

Back home in Derry

the man from the RUC

the story of Drumcree

today in Ireland's history

today in Ireland's history 2

my little armalite

tiocfaidh ar la

orange sing-a-long , no surrender

or do a filter search for Ireland... but that's a few to get you started.

slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: BS: Grit your teeth, the PIRA boys are out
From: InOBU
Date: 31 Jul 00 - 07:23 AM

Alison:
Thanks for posting the links. I have been looking back over them, and it is a remarkable example about how truth and reconcilliation works. I can say looking back, that Richard (the solisitor) and GeorgeH and I have really come to a better understanding of each other through the process, and speaking for my self, have developed a long distance friendship. For those who must live several streets apart the process is vital, becasue part of the fustration of the past decades has been a result of the governments of several large nations keeping the underlieing truths hidden. When diverse members of the Irish and British working class wake up to the degree that we have been pauns in the games of those who run the game, well, we will find more in common with each other than with the leaders, eh?
Thanks again
Larry


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Subject: RE: BS: Grit your teeth, the PIRA boys are out
From: Ringer
Date: 31 Jul 00 - 10:01 AM

I think you and I must have different definitions of the term "working class", InOBU, if you, a lawyer, include yourself in it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Grit your teeth, the PIRA boys are out
From: Fiolar
Date: 31 Jul 00 - 01:22 PM

Another book worth reading is "Rebel Hearts" by Kevin Toolis. A new edition has recently been published. With regard to the movie "Hidden Agenda" it has actually been shown on British TV. Mike


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Subject: RE: BS: Grit your teeth, the PIRA boys are out
From: Grab
Date: 31 Jul 00 - 02:12 PM

Lena,

There's several interpretations. The surface one is religion - NI has majority Protestants vs. minority Catholics, and in the 60s there were severe riots between the factions. But only the most extreme of religious nutters would use that as justification for killings. Possibly Ian Paisley (the most un-Reverend - he bought the qualification) is one of these.

The next stage down is the football violence stage. Some folks need to fight, and for that they need an enemy. This isn't any different from the violence between European football fans. The 'marching season' is a fine example of the Protestants going out to pick a fight - it has improved recently under new legislation designed to stop it descending into the usual bloodbath, but that's no thanks to the instigators.

And the last stage is power, pure and simple. The IRA and its various Protestant counterparts are heavily into drug-trafficking and protection rackets, plus an awful lot more medium-grade criminal activities (armed robbery, etc). This is about power in the same way that the Mafia is about power. They're large organised crime gangs, and that's that.

And then there's the political boys, who have sworn off violence. Unfortunately although they've stopped fighting, they're not quite sure if they want to start talking - the IRA still isn't handing over weapons. I'm hoping Gerry Adams and Martin McGuiness have the sense to keep up the work so far, and not get back into pissing contests with Paisley (who frankly is barking mad).

The really ironic thing is that the more the NI Protestant Lodges insist that they're defending Britain, the less the British want them - we tend to think that they're all a bunch of savages. Not the average citizens, who voted at better than 90% to take up the NI peace agreement after the Omagh bombing, but the thugs that try to convince us that they represent the average people. But the IRA are no better either - although there's no bombings, and shootings are few now, there's still plenty of 'punishment beatings' and knee-cappings done by the IRA's heavies to folks who talk out of line or won't pay their protection money. And the Army and the RUC don't exactly have a spotless record either - they've supported the Protestants behind the scenes before now, allowed (and taken part in) assassination attempts, and intimidated the Catholic community.

The best move would be to sideline the thugs. If the British government could just say "We're doing this, and if you won't sit in government then you'll have no voice", then it'd be great, and the NI parliament walkout wouldn't have been an issue. The very fact that both the Catholics _and_ the Protestants thought it was unfair to them both shows how good it was! :-) But in the real world, power does come from the barrel of a gun. It's all just an exercise in brutality, and the sad thing is that it's not in some pissant third-world country, it's in a supposedly civilised country not far from us, and there's not a damn thing we can do about it if they don't want to stop fighting.

Grab.


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Subject: RE: BS: Grit your teeth, the PIRA boys are out
From: InOBU
Date: 31 Jul 00 - 04:20 PM

Two quick things: Bald Eagal, my wife and I have no savings and are still thousands of dollars in debt for our educations. People's lawyers, rather than corporate lawyers are not only working class, but I have worked in ship yards, digging ditches and every shit job you can emagine, including timmerman on a square rigger where you work like hell while scared to death, and working in a small unfunded civil rights practice is harder than any if it. The most valuble thing I recieved both sentimentaly as well as monitarily was a blanket and some bead work for defending a birth mother in a Native American court against an out adoption, three days on a greyhound to get to her tribe, sleeping for a week on a concrete floor and three days back on the bus. If that aint working class, then it is sub working class.
On a happy note, I am greatly impressed, chuffed, feeling warm all over that Hidden Agenda has been releaced on TV. I hope that is not in lue of releasing the Stalker Report, which is NOT fictional. But it is a great start, and brings Britain closer to being Great.
My respects
Larry


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Subject: RE: BS: Grit your teeth, the PIRA boys are out
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 31 Jul 00 - 05:00 PM

InOBU, so Provisional IRA supported the goals of the ANC. So what? Who wouldn't? That's not the same as ANC supporting the goals of the IRA.

Where did I hear that they didn't? From various ANC sources, including Thabo Mbeki when he was operating out of an upstairs office opposite the Duke of York in London W1. More recently Mandela distanced himself on several occasions, to the extent that he is now derided as a licorice allsort in some Irish nationalist circles (ie black on the outside...)

And it wasn't only the ANC who were sceptical. When my wife an I met Nathaniel Shimuyarira in his office in 1982 (he was minister for information in Mugabe's first cabinet) he asked my (Irish) wife: "What are the Provos fighting for? If they would tell us that, we (Zanu PF) might respond more positively to their appeals for support."

Paddymac, you can't seriously believe that what gets into the American press is massaged by Brit spin doctors? Get real.*BG*.

And Grab, it's nice to see that "better than 90 per cent" voted for the Good Friday agreement. I wish. (You've got confused with a referendum in the Republic on the Irish constitution (the territorial claim on the north etc).


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Subject: The boys are out
From: Brendy
Date: 31 Jul 00 - 05:26 PM

I'm a bit, surprised, Fionn, that after such a short acquaintance, your wife was co-opted onto the Zimbabwean Foreign Affairs committee.

Are you honestly trying to make us believe that official stands made by governments bear any resembelance to their actual policies.

I thought they warned you about these sorts of things in journalist school.
I believe, also, that conversational 'niceties' are just that: you know, like "Nice weather we're having" kind of thing.

Which all has very little relevance to the subject you started - prisoner releases.

B.


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Subject: RE: BS: Grit your teeth, the PIRA boys are out
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 31 Jul 00 - 06:59 PM

You've lost me with your first point, Brendy. On point two, I've made no reference to the official stands of governments, unless you mean Mandela's statements. Are you saying that notwithstanding the Mandela/ANC public positions, the South African government has been supporting PIRA?

Shimuyarira was of course talking about Zanu PF's attitude, not the Zimbabwean government's. Do you believe that Zanu PF's attitude was different in practice? Do enlighten us.(I was meeting him not as a journo, BTW, but through knowing many Zimbabweans who had been exiled in London during the UDI years.) In those days, incidentally, Mugabe was a respected, and in some quarters revered, statesman rather than the corrupt, gay-bashing arsehole he's become. Ah, the tragedy of it.

As for wandering from the subject, I wandered only far enough to embrace the issues that have been raised in response. I started the thread because I had seen (and seen reported) an aspect of the prisoner releases that I found disturbing (seeing Michael Stone accorded celebrity status earlier in the week was disturbing too). Paddymac came back with two useful posts, the second of which showed a side which I had missed, which I was delighted to know about, as indeed I said. Others have chipped in from one viewpoint or another, some closer than others to the topic, and all of which I welcome. So what's eating you Brendy? And what's the punishment for thread creep anyway? *BG*


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Subject: RE: BS: Grit your teeth, the PIRA boys are out
From: GUEST,Antóin
Date: 31 Jul 00 - 07:14 PM

Hey!, what's going on here?. Grit your teeth okay. I thought this was a forum for discussing folk and blues, not a propaganda channel for a bunch of self-elected so- called "freedom fighters". After 30 years of a glorious campaign of blowing up shopping centres (centers) along with any innocent civilians who happened to get in the way, the PIRA now wish to be considered "war heroes" and not "terrorists". Some of the so-called Republican prisoners mentioned above who are now demanding to be released under the terms of the Good Friday agreement murdered a member of the Gárda Síochána (the Irish police force) in cold blood during an attempted armed raid. I didn't visit this site to become embroiled in a discussion of the "troubles" but I feel a little balance has to be injected into this matter. The PIRA never got more than a miniscule amount of support in the south of Ireland and caused widespread outrage by their repeated atrocities carried out in the name of Ireland. Posted by a Fíor Gael.


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Subject: What's eating me.....
From: Brendy
Date: 31 Jul 00 - 09:16 PM

Is the way some people want to whip us on the way to our peace.

You should never assume the moral high ground, Fionn.
For a journalist, you seem extremely ill-informed, although, for some odd reason, I refuse to believe that you are

Given that, Fionn, what's the punishment for trolling?

B.


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Subject: RE: BS: Grit your teeth, the PIRA boys are out
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 01 Aug 00 - 06:39 AM

Brendy, if you'd had some facts, I'd have gladly listened, as I did to some others in this thread who had a different view than mine.


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Subject: RE: BS: Grit your teeth, the PIRA boys are out
From: Lena
Date: 01 Aug 00 - 06:43 AM

Thanks for the information,Alison and Grab.

It still sounds crazy to me,how can it go on and so on.I thought it was a matter of nationalism.I think that at school(It. school)it was quickly explained like:the IRA puts bombs in England because they want to join the other Ireland cause they're catholic ot something like that. So,you see,GUEST Antoin.If you don't like the discussion,you can jump to another thread .You'll probably find the same people from here,and they won't be gritting their teeth.Personally I think it's great to read this.It's great to see people with different opinions who can express them without shouting against each other.All the shit always starts from lack of comminication/expression.And if people,here,thinks differently,no wonder there are major frictions somewhere else.It's a micro-example of social matters.And it's precious.

I forgot:InOBU of course you're right, a lawyer can be working class.And can be a criminal as well,when he gets an heavy truth out.And before being overfed by tv serials in which lawyers are the cool rich people(fuck you Ally Mc Beal),I used to think that lawyers were all like my granpa:people often in the deep shit."You do it to defend widows and orphans",I've been told.

I'm glad you're another one of those

(Thank God I'm an agnostic girl,or I would be studing to be a priest by now...)


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Subject: RE: BS: Grit your teeth, the PIRA boys are out
From: InOBU
Date: 01 Aug 00 - 07:11 AM

Let's see, where to begin...
We have all seen a pronounced change in the ANC since becomeing ligit. I dearly love our brother Nelson Mandela, but remember when he was a COmmunist? Funny how easy it is to become a politician after being a freedom fighter, and if you think the Provos committed untinkable acts, you have not studdied the tactics of the ANC. Now, unlike others on this site, who in other posts concidered the ANC victemisers who ended a reasonable governemnt and brought anarchy, I feel the ANC was created by the barbarity of the South African government. However, it seems the ANC is now being shaped by diplomacy, conformity is the begining of the greatest evils, read Hanna Errant.
Yes this is a folk music site. Folk music is the voice of the working class, and as such, in order to be good little folk singers, we have to be informed (to the poster who wonders why we are disscussing this). For the same reason, though I think Conrad the Peasant often makes disingenuous arguments, I think he plays a real role in making those of us who play in the Irish tradition better informed musicians.
Now as to the lack of support in the free state, that is a very interesting process, which several scholars have traced varrious reasons for, including the role Finna Fail played in funding the split in the IRA, not because they were repblican, but for the concession that the Provos split with Cathal Goulding's direction in Dublin. One has to do a huge dance around history, to see a difference between the IRA of the 1970's and the 1913-21 period which brought an end to Irish people being west british, Now, that is not a problem for a lot of people with Irish passports today, who would be happy to be subjects rather than citizens. But that is because, unlike northern catholics, they don't inherit 90% unemployment and searches in the middle of the night by violent troops, or arrest without warrent or trial or the torture in the jails or all the miriad of other disgraces which brought about the IRA in the first place. England created the IRA in the forges of Long Kesh, in the same way the South African aparthide government created the ANC. Now, with the entry onto the world political stage, I agree with Burnadette Devlin McCaulisky, we are going to see the same kind of 180 degree shift in direction by once worker's leadership in Irish Republicanism.
I never met an IRA or INLA volunteer who "wanted to be a war hero". However, I never met one who wanted to fight for nationalist reasons alone, in every case, like Joe Doherty, the O'Hara brothers, Bobby Sands, their inspiration to insurection was torture in a british cell after the non-violent movement for basic rights was first destroyed by loyalist vilence, and in the face of violence in support of loyalist violence by the RUC, the IRA rearmed to defend their communities against roiting cops as in the battle of Bogside. I remember a north Irish journalist watching police ransaking houses in Derry, stopping himself when he picked up the phone to call for help - who do you call when it is the police destroying your neighborhood?
To bring it back to music, "only the very safe can talk about wrong or right. WHen forced to chose, some will chose to fight."
For you in the free state who shake your head at the IRA and say, what evil fellows. Where would you have stood when the British army burned cork? The difference is it is not in your back yard today.
We all, all ... even Brendy and I, have every day to look into our hearts at the same time as looking into the facts and examine the past to make a new future.
Let's keep it polite here though, we have a great luxury to be able to disscuss things in this community of caring folks, who, at the end of the day can share music together.
Slan
Is mise, LE MEAS!
Larry


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Subject: RE: BS: Grit your teeth, the PIRA boys are out
From: Brakn
Date: 01 Aug 00 - 10:53 AM

Grit your teeth, the PIRA boys are out?
It's a bit late to start gritting ones teeth. There have been gritting their teeth for a long time. The RUC, etc., have always been out. In fact they've never been in. It worries me that there are still people who believe what the read in the press!


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Subject: RE: BS: Grit your teeth, the PIRA boys are out
From: InOBU
Date: 01 Aug 00 - 11:18 AM

Oh, one more thing, I meant to say at the very start... griting one's teath is a VERY bad idea. Leads to all sort of problems at the dentist. So, in the interest of not makeing dentists any richer, try a level headed, calm, humanist approach. You will find, if you get the opportunity, ex-IRA volunteers are prone to speaking in quite reasonable terms.
One night, in my van, a young teacher from Cork was litteraly shouting about the IRA being a bunch of criminals who would kill you for your views. The fellow sitting next to her laughed and said, Nora, if that is the case your in big trouble, that is Tony O'Hara, Patsy's brother in the front next to Larry, that is Kelin (sorry for the spelling) Costello (Seamus Costello's daughter) and went on to name about five well known republicans in the van, who had been trying to reason with her in very quiet respectable tones, while she was screaming obsenities. She began, litteraly to shake and cry. (We were all in the same currach racing crew). When we arrived where we were going, I took Nora accross the street to a pub and bought her a beer. I calmed her down, and explained Turlochs point was NOT that she was in danger, but that these fellows had taken up the gun, in the absence of options to stop violence against them, and that she might concider that for the past few hours the reason she had not pegged them as IRA volunteers, is that they did not fit the steriotype she had been led to believe by the press - which by the way even in the States heavily relies on Ruters - and the British information service, as if there is much difference. So, she went back to the event, carried on talking with the lads, and became not only great friends of theirs, but realised that 99% of what she was baseing her knowelege on was untrue. Now, I am sure there are people out their who have first hand knowlege and expericences that will lead them to dislike, distrust or hatred of the IRA. This is the sad result of decades of war. But, the point is, reasoned dialoge is now more possible than ever, and gritting one's teath will not help the process.
And in that light, let me in this thread, again thank Conrad Blainey, for the really nice song about Roma (Gypsies) he posted the other day, and all those of us who have, issues (as they now say) with Conrad, check out the post and extend a hand to him. It is a start away from the grittted teath, hairy eyeball, clenched fist, growling, and the armalite.
All the best,
Larry


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Subject: RE: BS: Grit your teeth, the PIRA boys are out
From: alison
Date: 01 Aug 00 - 11:36 AM

Fionn..... follow the link I gave above to "The Story of Drumcree".... I think you'll find plenty of facts from Brendy there....

slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: BS: Grit your teeth, the PIRA boys are out
From: DougR
Date: 01 Aug 00 - 04:49 PM

Lena, I seriously doubt you would pass the physical for the priesthood. :>) DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: Grit your teeth, the PIRA boys are out
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 01 Aug 00 - 06:21 PM

Well said, Larry. Just to clear one point: I for one have not intended to say a word against the ANC's objectives, nor for that matter against its methods, though now the question's raised, I did find the necklacing and some of Winnie's behaviour a bit hard to stomach. I was just saying that the ANC itself has made the point that whereas the ANC was fighting for democracy, the Provos (certainly for the past 20 years or so) have been fighting against one - albeit one that is seriously flawed by a partisan police force, at least in the six-counties part of the enemy country.

I did read that other thread Alison, but I don't remember much from Brendy about the ANC and Patriotic Front perspectives, which is what he/she seems to be challenging here.


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Subject: RE: BS: Grit your teeth, the PIRA boys are out
From: InOBU
Date: 01 Aug 00 - 07:47 PM

Thanks again Fion:
One difference between the IRA and the ANC, which may shed some light on the fight for etc. The IRA, in it's structure, still retains the concepts laied down by Connolly, which creats an important and actually laudable difference. Connolly was a member of the IWW (as I am) and so was an anarchist\syndicalist, which in the days before Stalin redefined Marxism to exclude Austrio-marxism, syndicalism, and most other democratic marxist theories, was in fact made up of socialists and communists and anarchists. The major difference between syndicalist structures and post stalinist communist structures like the ANC, was the distrust of armed government. As such, whereas the press keeps refering to Sinn Fien as the political wing of the IRA, that is in fact inacurate, as was shown in the testimony reguarding the structure of the Provisional IRA during parts of Joe Doherty's hearings here in New York. The IRA is one of the few, if not only modern people's armies, which did not have political commisars, stating that they were fighting a defensive battle to win the right to open political systems and would not impose a government by force of arms. The structure of the IRA command reflects this anarachist democratic structure, where no active service unit is allowed to undertake an opportation without direction from the army council, but the Army Council cannot order a service unit to carry out an order, which is to say, any indivdual member of an active service unit has the right to refuse to carry out an order. As a result it is hugely democratic in structure, and relitive to other people's struggles their record of civilian outrages is far below the average of all the many people's struggles we all know and love, from the International Brigades in Spain, to the Viet Cong (boy am I gonna hear it for that one!) and the ANC. Those who live in close proximity to the actions of the IRA and oppose it, are not in the best possition to look at the war record in a less passionate way, but if you look at the statistics it is obvious that the IRA conducted a remarkably restrained campain in comparison to other insurections and most importantly in comparison to the British Army in Ireland (or India for that matter) or the Loyalists.
Best to all,
Larry


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Subject: RE: BS: Grit your teeth, the PIRA boys are out
From: Brendy
Date: 01 Aug 00 - 09:36 PM

We also have to remember one other thing, Larry.

As far as I am aware, there are no 'spokesmen' for any armed resistance groups on this Forum. However, I can only speak for myself, here, when I say that I saw at first hand the two kind of 'policies' that I referred to in an earlier post; the 'official' and the 'un-official'
I'm not sure if you are aware of this or not, Fionn, but both the broadcasting and print media had an unbelievable influence in the way world public opinion was groomed in the matter of things northern Irish.
Quite reputable news agencies; news agencies that covered and still cover conflicts the world over, used to pay teenagers to start riots in Belfast, Derry, and Portadown, among other places. I don't know for which papers you have worked for, or indeed, how much experience you have in your field, but I would assume that you don't need me to tell you how it all hangs together.
If you did, well then, you've been drinking in the wrong pubs on Fleet Street.

I don't mean you any disrespect, Fionn, but your previous contributions to this forum have shown both wisdom and knowledge.
This is why I'm more than a little suspicious of the way you started this topic off. It either showed total ignorance (as I said earlier, I refuse to accept that), or some as yet un-resolved bitterness within you, that quite frankly reminded me of our old friend, that fine collector of songs, who often has spoken on these matters.

And apart from my blithesome reply to your little bit of name-dropping, I don't think I ever made a reference to the continent of Africa, let alone a connection between the Provisional IRA and the ANC.

It is OK to try and put words into peoples' mouths, Fionn; it is sort of expected, at this stage. The only crime that is involved, is when you let that take place.
And where I come from, and indeed yourself, Fionn, that is a very dangerous thing to let happen.

I wish I had the calmness of Brothers Larry and paddymac, sometimes. They tend to level out discussions of this sort. But this has to be a two way street.
We don't go around this Forum picking fights, and we try to be as informative as we can when pushed on a point.
Where you lose my interest and co-operation is when you deliberately go out to raise the temperature a wee bit.

It's too 'Tabloidy' for my liking.

B.


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Subject: RE: BS: Grit your teeth, the PIRA boys are out
From: Little Hawk
Date: 01 Aug 00 - 09:47 PM

I won't take sides in this one. As "all humanity is of one spirit" (Bob Dylan said that), why are they fighting? "Forgive them, Father, for they know not what they do" (Jesus of Nazareth said that). That pretty well sums it up.


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Subject: RE: BS: Grit your teeth, the PIRA boys are out
From: InOBU
Date: 01 Aug 00 - 09:52 PM

One more quick thing.... on the question of democracy in the Northern counties of Ireland, at the time the armed insurection began, there was no place for the majority of the Catholic community in occupied Ireland. One by-product of both armed resistance and the civil rights movement has been greater access to democratic systems, though things have yet to be equal... gotta run and make dinner for my sweetie... Larry


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Subject: Prisoner releases
From: Brendy
Date: 01 Aug 00 - 09:54 PM

Oh, they know what they do, alright, George.

And they know why they do it, too.

B.


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Subject: RE: BS: Grit your teeth, the PIRA boys are out
From: Little Hawk
Date: 01 Aug 00 - 11:16 PM

Within their conscious frame of reference, yes, they know what they are doing and why. But there is a greater truth that they have not become aware of yet. And that is why I choose to forgive them, but not necessarily to ALLOW them, if I'm in a position to do anything about it. You forgive children, but you don't allow them to be destructive, you discipline them. Properly applied discipline is a form of love...of course, it's a very fine line, so I won't pretend to have the final answer on where that line begins or ends for anyone in particular.


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Subject: RE: BS: Grit your teeth, the PIRA boys are out
From: paddymac
Date: 01 Aug 00 - 11:23 PM

Fionn - I must disagree with your assertion that NI is a democracy. In its present state, and since partition, I believe it can be seen as nothing other than an apartheid state. Such a socio-political entity can maintain a facade of democracy and tranquility only when the power disparity is overwhelming. Eventually comes what I call the "problem of parity", when the oppressed population approachs and achieves a critical mass (and awareness) and begins to demand an end to its oppression. This is not necessarily a numbers game, as is evident in a comparison of NI with the old South Africa and Rhodesia. As much as anything, it is a matured sense of fairness and determination to achieve it. It seems to me that where the power elite has been most barbaric, it is hardest for them to make room at the table for the oppressed. Perhaps it's a fear that they might then be treated the same way that they have treated the oppressed population. With particular regard to the island of Ireland, it seems to me that the Republic gives ample evidence of an innate sense of fairness, at least as between the "two traditions" that seem to dominate the arguement and discussion. I do not mean to imoly that the Republic is free of discrimination: it plainly is not, as the "travelling people" and recent refugees can attest. But I do believe it is sufficiently "open" to serve as a valid proof that the "two traditions" can in fact co-exist peacefully and profitably.

At slight risk of thread creep, this thing in the states that some like to call "the great experiment" was very greatly influenced in its early development by Ulstermen. It began with a great notion of democracy, but one which excluded everyone except white male landowners, mostly "WASPs". It has evolved tremendously, sometimes violently and sometimes rationally, to essentially universal suffrage. The problen now is getting people to exercise that sacred right and duty. NI has about 200 years of philosophical and political catching up to do before I could even begin to contemplate calling it a democracy.


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Subject: The Fine Art of Serious Thread Creep
From: Brendy
Date: 01 Aug 00 - 11:23 PM

Oh, God. Give us a break, George, will you?

B.


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Subject: RE: BS: Grit your teeth, the PIRA boys are out
From: Little Hawk
Date: 01 Aug 00 - 11:31 PM

Sure thing, Brendy. What the heck, I'm tired anyway, and I need to practice some guitar instead of this keyboard. Good night, folkies.

Say, how did you get the Subject: to change???

Ooops. This damn stuff is addictive, ain't it? Well, like I said, good night.


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Subject: Just delete the offensive words...up here.
From: Brendy
Date: 01 Aug 00 - 11:42 PM

And sorry George. I didn't mean to snap!, but life is not so cut and dried in places. And although the ideals are faultless, the practise of it takes a lot of understanding and dialogue.

Peace Jobs Progress

B.


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Subject: RE: BS: Grit your teeth, the PIRA boys are out
From: InOBU
Date: 02 Aug 00 - 06:26 AM

A note on democracy in occupied Ireland... I was in such a rush last night, I didn't have time for the details. If you remember the one man one vote cries of the nineteen sixties, even into the eighties, if memory servers, in Derry the powers that be devided the town into three voting districts, two loyalist and one republican. In Derry there was a majority of republicans, so they gave each district equal wieght, so that the 2/3rds Republican majority was out voted by the 1/3 Loyast minority by giving them 2/3rds of the voting power through districting the vote. DEMOCRACY!? Not to mention, when the majority community, the Catholic community (over the age of 18) is driven out by internment without trial or charge, and by unemployment as a result of government sanctioned prejudice, to the degree that the majority is widdled down to a minority, I don't concider that democracy. To put it more susinctly, there would have been a Nationalist majority in the six counties in the seventies, had there not been forced immagration through state sponsored terrorism.
This is the reaon one must put statistics in context to avoid the old saying, there are lies, damned lies, and statistics. Numbers (like votes) are meaningless out side of their context.
Peace (Bread work and freedom to carry on in Brendy's vien - with a salute to Billy Bragg)
Larry


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