Where them Loyalist drums do beat

21 Nov

So im gonna write what i remember from the Emerald Isle over the next few days, as i could not get the stories out when i was down there, this here piece is about Ardoyne an Irish enclave surrounded by loyalist death squads, RUC and such.

Its about 7ish or so and its dark outside, as many of you know Im a heavy smoker and as the situation would arise I ran out of tobacco and really needed a smoke, the person I was staying with decided to go for a walk with me to get a pouch of tobacco, so we start walking to the spur I think its called, sort of like a corner store at the top of the hill that has a subway and what not, right close to the twaddel, which is a interface i think its called and is controlled by loyalists on the other side.

Given that the person I was staying with was a true Republican on the way to store we had to go and sort some people out and make sure that they were looked after. I put on my new kicks, the first pair of adidas I owned which the lads have given me, go outside and am bombarded by the sound of drums and what have you and I ask my friend if its the loyalists, which he says aye.

We go visit some people and make sure that they have food, and are doing ok and its really interesting to see the impact that living in the Ardoyne has on people. It is quite clear that decades of the conflict, which is not over, has severely caused trauma and has had a serious impact on everyone’s life. From the woman whose husbands have been snatched and interned by the brits, to the young lads facing severe harassment from the RUC, to the people living in an area surrounded by loyalist death quads that are still active, it is quite clear that the conflict has not only affected those interned murdered or brutalized but all strands of Irish society in what is refered to as part of the murder triangle.

We keep walking up the hill, chatting with people and all I can hear is the loyalists drums continuously beating as a reminder to all living in the area that they are surrounded on all sides by people whose core ideology is no diffrent then the klan, the ideology that they by the fact that they are loyalists are superior to Irish people and if the Irish “forget their place” they will be their to remind them.

Despite this my friend keeps on doing visits and sorting people out and in this i get to see that despite this, or maybe because of this, their is a serious sense of community and those that class themselves as legitimate Republicans are the ones sorting out and solving the problems that the community is facing. From conflict resolution, to taking care of the vulnerable segments of society, to helping a former comrade who has fallen on hard times it is the Republicans that are stepping up to the plate and taking social responsibility.

We finally get to the tops of the street and grab some smokes, and of course you can see the interface full of armored cars protecting and facilitating this racist attack on peoples right to exist. The so called police force look like something out of a bad star wars movie and no one in their right mind would class them as any sort of peace protectors as their cars and uniforms clearly show them for what they are an occupational force serving and protecting the interests of of the colonialist state and yet the drums still beat.

We go back and I have convinced my friend to watch walking dead which put the lad to sleep and gave me time to think and puff away making his house smell like a bad bar full of stale smoke and what have you, and the more I think I the more i start to sort out that it serves the interests of the state to hide all the positive community work done by Republicans. It serves their interests to silence these story’s of the community trauma and those who are stepping up to the plate to solve it. The state and media love the idea that Republicans are bloodthirsty monsters who are living in the past and only want to kill. They love the idea of dehumanizing these brave folks, for by dehumanizing them they can then attempt to discredit and neutralize them on a world stage. What is the biggest threat for them is the truth coming out that these Republicans are principled people and defenders and protectors of their community looking to solve the problems that they are confronted with and that the communitty knows and supports this and furthermore it is the colonialists that have introduced the gun into Irish politics. Still I am thinking about the sound of the drum, the sound that so many are use to, the sound that the loyalists claim is part of their culture but in reality is part of sectarianism funded and promoted by the British State.

Yet the problem is more complex as I learned from another comrade as he was giving me a ride. The sectarian violence promoted by the British state if one looks at it doesn’t benefit the loyalists in a practical way, it does not raise their standard of living, nor does it give them education or benefit them, but rather diverts from the real issue that they too have been left behind by their leaders who have taken the appeasement money and set up shop as drug dealers and thugs and that they have no future in a British state, and will also be thrown to the wolves when it suits the crown. The Brits don’t want them they are pawns to be discarded when they are no longer useful. At the moment their role is turn the conflict into a sectarian war, where the brits can try to make themselves look like “peacemakers” as opposed to occupiers which they are. This trap and provocation is not one that Republicans will ever fall in as they are guided by ideals and principles of community building and are engaging in a struggle for the right to determine their own destiny and as such are focused on one thing Sovereignty. This belief sustains them in the face of all of this and as such will eventually triumph.

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