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Union Flag Protest Planned for Dublin

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Guest IsMise

Loyalist activist Willie Frazer has said he is organising a demonstration in Dublin next weekend as part of the ongoing protests over the union flag controversy.

 

Mr Frazer, who is based in Markethill, Co Armagh, said he expects 150 people to take part in a short protest at Leinster House at midday on Saturday, 12 January.

 

He said the protest will be peaceful and has informed gardaí of his plans.

 

Mr Frazer was involved in organising an Orange Order parade in Dublin in 2006, which ended in a riot.

 

Meanwhile, SDLP spokesperson on policing and MLA Conall McDevitt has called for police in Northern Ireland to be firmer in their dealings will illegal protests.

 

Speaking on RTÉ's News at One, Mr McDevitt also accused unionist politicians of doing a "u-turn" on the issue of flying the union flag, and questioned whether they were stoking political tension for political purposes.

 

Ten police officers were injured when they were attacked by a mob of loyalist protesters in Belfast last night.

 

Mr McDevitt described the violence as pointless, and added that he was not convinced it was genuinely motivated by the decision to the fly the union flag on designated days over Belfast City Hall.

 

Two people have been charged with rioting after the violence in east Belfast.

 

A 24-year-old man was due before Belfast Magistrates' Court today, while a 16-year-old boy will appear at a juvenile court on 28 January.

 

A road was blocked by a burning car in the Templemore Avenue area last night. Hooded and masked gangs threw bricks, bottles and petrol bombs at officers.

 

 

http://www.rte.ie/news/2013/0104/belfast-riot-union-flag.html

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What are comrades opinions on this?

 

On one hand, we have a bunch of sectarian, bigoted, loyalists, trying to stir up tensions for all the wrong reasons, but on the other hand, we have loyalists protesting against something that republicans themselves, should be demanding, and that is, the removal of our revolutionary, republican, tricolour, from the institutions that the Free Staters claim, it represents.

 

Should we as republicans, stage a counter-demonstration against Wille Frazer's bigotry, while also demanding the removal of the flag and the replacement of the undemocratic bourgeois system, that it has come to represent?

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Guest Connolly

I think there's a wisespread perception that republicans are just like loyalists but with different flags and identities. And in truth there is quite an element of truth to that in that either side are representing more or less different ethnic groups, and with most being born on one sode or the other. But obviously, on a political and ideological level, irish republicanism and irish republican socialism are not the ones holding on to the bigoted and reactionary views.

 

Confronting these gobshites might play into the hands of those who wish to portray republicans as being the other side of the same coin as loyalists. As republicans being the other 'sectarian side', rather than those who have a more sophisticated political position.

 

I dont know if it would be of benefit to protest against them. Though I guess you could have used that sort of reasoning for lots of things like the Lopve Ulster aswell.

 

But nico makes a good point about them taking the flag down from an institution republicans oppose too.

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The problem I would have in confronting this crowd would be because it could feed into a partitionist mindset to do so. There is little or no organised confrontation to these flag protests in the 6 counties by Republicans that I'm aware of, despite some clearly needed defensive work in the likes of the Short Strand or other enclaves, and I did see that there were Tricolours the whole way up the Lower Ormeau. But mostly, Republicans seem to be standing back and letting the protests take their course. By confronting them only in the 26, you draw attention to the difference between the two jurisdictions, as if its somehow acceptable for them to demand the flying of the British flag in the occupied 6, but not in Dublin.

 

On the other hand however, protests in support of the flying of the British flag in any part of Ireland should rightly be opposed. Their logic in bringing the protest to Dublin is to reassert the difference between the 26 and the 6, as well as using the opportunity to wave their butcher's apron triumphantly in the Free State. While it would be a refreshing difference to confront the Free Staters on their illegitimate use of the national flag, I would be more inclined to approach this on a No Platform for Fascists/Imperialists basis, and to emphasise the fact that the British flag is not just unwelcome in Belfast City Hall on 350 days of the year, but that its imperialist symbolism is not welcome throughout the vast majority of our country. But to be most effective, it would be better to have a similar protest at the same time in the 6 counties somewhere, protesting against the continued flying of the British flag, as well as highlighing the actions of the British lackies who sit in government and opposition in Leinster House.

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Concerned Republicans Against Imperialism and Fascism

 

A number of Republicans, both from established groups and individuals, have come together in response to the planned protest against the flying of the Irish flag in Dublin. Despite claims that the Loyalist protest has been postponed, it has been decided to continue with plans to hold a counter demonstration.

 

Republicans in Dublin wish to extend their solidarity to the communities in Belfast and other areas in the occupied North that have been besieged by the flying the British flag in Ireland. In contrast, the gardaí under a Fine Gael Blueshirt administration have yet indicated that they are prepared to facilitate Loyalists. Fascism in Ireland must be opposed in all its forms.

 

Republicanism has long promoted the flying of its anti-sectarian standard, the Irish Tricolour, which stands for an Ireland of Protestant, Catholic and Dissenter. Republicans have long pointed out the irony of the Free State institutions adopting this flag, whilst at the same time persecuting Republicans and backing up sectarian partition. Republicans too demand that the flag of the Republic be taken down from Leinster House, until the Republic that is worthy of it has finally been victorious.

 

Republicans have never supported the corrupt regime in Dublin, just as they have never supported the sectarian state in Stormont. They are two sides of the same coin. Peace can only prevail in Ireland when these two deformed states are replaced by a 32 County Workers Republic.

 

The British flag that Frazer plans to promote in Dublin has done nothing for the working class in any part of Ireland. It represents English capital and the violence that has been used in its name. Only by removing the flag and all that it stands for from every corner of Ireland will the chains around both Protestant and Catholic workers be broken.

 

Frazer has before tried to bring his hate-filled anti-Irish violence to the streets of Dublin. The media and the gardaí have fueled fears of a violent reaction to this provocation. It is they that seem content on violence. The gardaí have guaranteed Loyalists protection and the right to protest, but do not offer the same to those protesting against the fascists. This is yet another attempt to intimidate the people of Dublin off their own streets to facilitate British imperialism.

 

Republicans call for a peaceful but defiant protest, to show those under siege in the occupied North that they are not forgotten, to show that sectarian bigots and fascists will not be tolerated in any part of Ireland where they can be stopped, and to show that the Free State authorities that there remain people in Dublin who believe in the anti-sectarian message of Republicanism.

 

The counter demonstration will take place outside Leinster House at 12.00 noon on Saturday 12th January and further demonstrations will be arranged should the Loyalist protest be re-scheduled. We call on all those who support the above aims to join us and to remain peaceful, dignified and disciplined at all times.

 

No Platform for Fascists, No Pasaran! An Phoblacht Abú!

 

Concerned Republicans Against Imperialism and Fascism

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