Blogs > Liberty and Power > Another Day, Another Riot

Feb 26, 2006 1:08 pm

Another Day, Another Riot

"The main thoroughfare . . . became a battle zone as up to 2,000 rioters tore up building materials being used in major renovation work in the road and hurled them at . . . police. Shops and hotels closed their doors, and at least three . . . police were taken to hospital as rioters hurled scaffolding poles, bricks, slates and rocks at their lines.

"Violence raged throughout the afternoon as protesters opposed to the . . . rally fought running battles with . . . police. Cars were set alight and fireworks thrown at police. Shops . . . were looted as the riot squad combined with a mounted unit initially prevented demonstrators . . . from crossing the river."

Baghdad? Damascus? Beirut?

No, Dublin. Read the full story here.

"The first loyalist march in Dublin since Partition (1922) had to be rerouted after thousands of republican protesters rioted in the centre of the Irish capital yesterday, with several Irish police among 40 people injured."

"The chaotic scenes took place during a weekend when Dublin was meant to be showcasing itself as a world tourist destination. Thousands of tourists were in the city for today's Six Nations rugby international between Ireland and Wales, and for the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival."

"Ruairi O'Bradaigh, president of republican party Sinn Fein, which organised the protest against the Love Ulster rally, compared the scenes to riots outside the British Embassy in 1981 over the republican hunger strike at the Maze. 'I haven't seen anything like this for 25 years, in fact this is much worse. They (the authorities) underestimated the depth of resistance to this march,' said the veteran republican leader, as fireworks exploded and bottles smashed at garda lines beside the statue of protestant nationalist leader Charles Stewart Parnell.

"One of those protesting against the loyalist march, Sean Fallon, who described himself as an ordinary GAA-supporting non-political Dubliner, said: 'If the loyalists had just come down and laid a wreath somewhere and then met a government minister, I wouldn't have minded. But to try and walk down our main street waving the Union Jack, playing Orange tunes and generally rubbing our noses in it is going too far. That's why I'm here.'

"The Love Ulster rally was organised by the South Armagh-based Families Acting for Innocent Relatives (FAIR). One speaker, the Democratic Unionist MP Jeffrey Donaldson, said that the trip to Dublin had been worth it because people exercised their civil rights."

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William Marina - 2/26/2006

Americans seem to have forgotten the Stamp Act riots and that "crowds" were the protest mechanism in the 18th and into the 19th centuries.