Monday, February 27, 2006

I Predict a Riot


Sometimes you can just tell when there's gonna be trouble. It could be something subjective like a gut feeling or a whiff of it in the air. Maybe there's a full moon out and a bunch of hicks are getting drunk at the table next to you. The shit's gonna hit the fan you might think.

Or maybe a group of Protestant Loyalists from Northern Ireland are planning to march through the centre of Dublin, past the GPO and the Dáil, waving Union Jacks and playing Orange Order tunes. Yep, Hoss, there's gonna be some bother.

Sufice to say the parade didn't even make it to O'Connell Street and the GPO (main site of the 1916 Easter Rising) and it's amazing that more weren't hurt or that nobody was killed. How can I put this into context for someone from the US? Imagine a group of Canadians marching through Washington and the White House to commemorate the 1812 sacking and burning of the city by the British and Canadian forces. But as Gaius pointed out, no one remembers or cares much about the War of 1812. I would dare to say that the majority of Americans wouldn't even believe that a foriegn army burned Washington anyway, much less get worked up about a parade of Canadians marching through the city. A more accurate comparison of Saturday's events would be more like the KKK marching through Harlem to celebrate their contribution to African-American history.

Rioting is part of the culture on the island of Ireland, especially in Northern Ireland. Sometimes it doesn't take much to start one. I've seen kids as young as 10 throw stones at a fire truck trying to deal with a blaze in a housing estate for no other reason than the fact that it was a government vehicle. I've found that there can be a surprising lack of political motivation. Ask young people about Connolly, Pearse, DeVelera & Co. or the Easter Rising and they'll shrug. But you can be damned sure that they'll be waiting when a parade come to town.

Recreational rioting they're calling it now-a-days. My solution: create local "Riot Centres" where people from all walks of life -young and old, Protestant and Catholic, male and female- can come to enjoy a good ol' stone throwing or petrol/paint bombing.

Stuffed PSNI officers will be at the ready as well as effigies of our most hated politicians (Bush, Blair, Adams, Paisely) or bring in your own local rep. to burn, desicrate or otherwise tarnish. Paintballing could be offered as well. The sky's the limit with this one folks. And maybe while everyone's down at their local Riot Centre the Orangemen, IRA, UDA, gays and lesbians and even the Loyal Order of the War of 1812 (Canadian chapter) can fianlly march around the empty streets in peace.

3 Comments:

Blogger Erasmus said...

Riots are good since they help to get the bad blood out. Really you should have one evry couple of years. Look at what the race riots of the 1960s did for the urban centers of the US. They really helped to promote race relations and undo the economic desparity between classes (mostly along racial lines).

Tuesday, February 28, 2006 11:39:00 AM  
Blogger Gaius Germanicus said...

Riots are fun to predict. I predict one in the middle east tomorrow.

We need neo-vikings, a merging of internal and external raiders with political goals. Oh, thats right, they are call Al'Quiada. Maybe thats not such a great ideal. Then again maybe we need a police state so we can finaly live and peace and consume without fear. Who knows?

As it is the world is so messy. Is there a problem with that? Solution?

Tuesday, February 28, 2006 2:16:00 PM  
Blogger Epictetus said...

Sorry, I forgot to publish that piece with my absurd solution...the creation of local Riot Centres for people to vent their frustrations. Maybe it makes more sense to read it now. Anyway, there you go.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006 9:01:00 AM  

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