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Not too surprising. The Union Jack to many Irish = Confederate Flag to African Americans. And Northern Ireland to many Irish = Israel to Palestinians. The only slightly surprising thing this time is it's the N. Ireland protestants, not the Irish Catholics, that are creating all of the havoc. Clearly bad blood still runs deep on both sides.
Good analogy, justsayin. Instead of "Jim Crow" it's been "John Bull" in N. Ireland - but the effect has been about the same on the N. Ireland Catholics as on the blacks in the post-Civil War U.S. South. The Catholics are, by far, the minority in U.K. Northern Ireland - but should it ever rejoin Ireland and become part of the Republic, the Protestants will be a tiny minority in the reunited Ireland. No wonder they're going berserk at something as innocuous as not flying the Union Jack every day of the year. But someone needs to tell them that the Catholics in the Republic do NOT treat Protestants in the Republic the way the Protestants treat Catholics in Northern Ireland.
I understand this article has been simplified for various reasons, I just want to clarify that the conflict in NI is not Protestants v. Catholics but more accurately between Loyalists (staunch unionists from the Protestant community) and Nationalists from the Catholic community. The majority of people in NI agree that this is complete nonesense, whatever their religion, and a growing number of us are simply neither.
The rioters this past week have been organised by a tiny minority of Loyalists who the local police believe are in collaboration with the Loyalist paramilitaries in East Belfast. During the Troubles, there has always been an action-reaction of violence from both communities, spearheaded by their own paramilitaries. When the Troubles began and the issue was about civil rights, the IRA used to make all the headlines because they were viewed by the world as a liberation force for the underdog; but the loyalists have the UVF and the UDA. So it is not 'unique' that the current trouble is from members of the Protestant community.
I live a block away from the rioting and I see thugs and teenagers out intimidating the police and wrecking their neighbourhood, playing the victim and using this flag malarkey as an excuse. Most of them are kids who should be at home getting their bedtime stories read to them.
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