New Lodge

23 Nov

So im driving back from Craigavon and we are stopping for a coffee, and plus i needed some smokes and what not. My friend tells me this is not a place to talk politics so i shut up and we grab a coffee, and a pack of smokes called sovereign, which is actually kinda a joke given that these smokes are produced by the occupation and what not. I light a smoke, roll down the wimdow and we continue our discussion which is randomly talking about everything from pelagious vs. st. augustine, to the drug problem in Kitchener, to normalization etc.

We enter Belfast and start chatting about some of the work the community has been doing esp. around New Lodge and after we drop some lads off we enter New Lodge. The first thing that struck me was how beautiful and clean it was. My comrade start telling me how awhile back this place was full of needles, drug addicts, social violence and what not. He takes me to the grotto of Our Lady, which was full of weeds and overgrown and now was an amazing and clean and such. He tells me he will give me a few moments to do my voodoo, which was his way of poking fun at the contradiction between my dialectic materialist outlook and my belief in things such as the immaculate conception etc., I kneel down ask the virgin to keep me out of trouble or if do get into trouble that I get out of it quickly and say a few hail marys and I see my comrade chatting to a community resident who invites us up for a cup of tea.

He introduces me to his wife and his dogs and what not then he starts talking about the work they did to clean up the community and the role that the 32 s played in this. They start talking about getting a Christmas tree and such with the names of those who died in the struggle and such. I find out that the grotto was not damaged once during the height of the conflict, only to fall into disrepair and neglect until Republicans and members of the community came together and took social responsiblity. We chatted a bit more than we left.

Monday night I returned with my friends and saw the community getting together to pray the joyful mystery of the rosary. Older, members of the community coming out and practising their beliefs without fear of violence and anti social thuggery. I say a few more prayers to keep me out of serious trouble then I look at the mural and the clean up done by the community and the 32 s and such. This social project and community clean up was achieved without any conflict or violence or attacks on those led wayward as a result of the drug problem, who in many cases are themselves victims of the social conditions brought on by the betrayal of the struggle and movement by those now implementing cuts in Stormont and I keep on thinking to myself THIS IS WHAT THE MEDIA AND THE BRITS DONT WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW!!!!! It is the Republicans who are stepping forward and sorting out the problems that community is facing, NOT THE PSNI, NOR SF, NOR THEIR PUPPETS. It is the Republicans that are going to community finding out what the problems are and resolving these contradictions by going to the people and being part of the people.

In other words the Republican movement are the only ones solving these problems because they are creating what is new through pushing forward their vision of what a united Ireland will look like through creating the type of society they are fighting for and not waiting for some glorious moment to start. These people of the caliber of the 32’s and such are building a united Ireland not by spouting rhetoric or saying why everyone else is wrong but rather by identifying the obstacles that stand in their way and removing them through organizing the community and taking social responsibility.

This is what the media does not want you to know and why the border service and others will do what they can to silence the truth, which is that Republicanism is not something outside of the community or something from the past but rather Republicans are not only part of the community but in fact play a key role in the community as those who lead by example and are those who look at the present conditions and try to solve them never losing sight of the fact that the main contradiction is the colonialist occupation, yet not sitting around waiting for coloialism to magically disappear before they start creating the type of society that they want.

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