Sure Enough, Billy Bragg Speaks the Truth

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He made an off-hand comment on today's DNow! in a segment I was cutting out to use on the air for other purposes (the Internationale).

He said that the cause of 'The Troubles' in Northern Ireland was actually the Catholic Civil Rights movement.

So I looked it up.  And I found the most charming reference for that Nutjob (capital-N) Ian Paisley (the equivalent of Rev. Fred Phelps in the UK).  Here's what I found:

In 1988, when Pope John Paul II delivered a speech to the European Parliament, Paisley shouted "I Denounce you as the AntiChrist!" and held up a red poster reading "Pope John Paul II ANTICHRIST" in black letters. John Paul continued with his address after Paisley was ejected from the hemicycle by fellow MEPs.[7][8][9][10] Some reports claimed that other MEPs assisted in expelling him from the chamber [11], and that Paisley was booed and struck by other MEPs, who also hurled objects at him, leading to his hospitalisation[12][13]. The elderly Otto von Habsburg helped to wrestle Paisley out of the room. It has been reported that Paisley brought several posters with him and when a poster was snatched away, he immediately re-commenced with a new poster[13]

That's from the wiki (names are links).

So, really, the march started in September 1968.  Now, the Protestants had already started killing folks when the Catholics started marching, but the Catholics didn't take up arms (this time) till a few marches got clubbed.

Here's what they were marching for:

In a conscious imitation of tactics used by the American Civil Rights Movement,[9] and modelled somewhat on the National Council for Civil Liberties, the new organisation held marches, pickets, sit-ins and protests to pressure the Government of Northern Ireland to grant these demands. NICRA had five main demands:

  • one man, one vote which meant extension of the local government franchise from ratepayers to all over 21
  • an end to gerrymandering, which meant Protestant candidates were elected even in districts with Catholic majorities
  • an end to discrimination in housing
  • an end to discrimination in jobs
  • the disbandment of the B-Specials, an entirely Protestant police force, which many viewed as sectarian.

NICRA was ignited by the Derry Housing Action Committee, which organized sit-ins to protest housing discrimination. The most prominent event the allocation of a home in Caledon, Co Tyrone, to a single Protestant woman, when there were many Catholic families living within one house.

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This page contains a single entry by writch published on May 4, 2009 1:12 PM.

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