Not looking good when UN spokesmen are crying on television
It falls into this unhelpful post-911 idea of terror. All violence is now terrorism for some reason or can be label so and where does that come from. We have all sorts of ‘insurgents’, ‘separatists’, ‘rebels’ in the news but they are all interchangeable with terrorist depending on what way the wind is blowing and I don’t think this kind of framing/rhetoric - that really took hold during the Bush era - is something we should bolster. Terrorist violence uses fear to achieve goals because fear is seen as most effective weapon available. Israel don’t have anything approaching a weapon shortage. Keeping US politicians or anyone who might dissent in check is one thing, there is fear there for sure but Israel don’t care if people in Gaza are afraid they just want to kill Palestinians and take their land.
And something else that bothers me is inseparable. Who gets labelled terrorist and who doesn’t in this day and age? Not Breivik, not school shooters not any shooters unless they are non-white. Sticking the banner of terror on Israel like some Extra Bad Terrible Thing beyond what they are already doing has connotations of saying they are just as bad as People of colour or more precisely Muslims, those Other people. There is no getting away from how the label of terrorism has been racialised and we must be mindful of that when people have dubious ideas of acceptable and unacceptable violence.
Quick comment on content warnings - or rather the reaction to them - as ‘the debate’ is doing the rounds again and even the Irish Times has blessed us with their wisdom on the matter - (their writer is agin, unsurprisingly).
Watching various tensions on social media and elsewhere over the past two or three years, things have tended to follow the same pattern, almost routinely at this stage. It is not the definite explanation or anything but it does loom very large behind all the agro and it is this.
No one is really fighting about trigger warnings, the same way we were not really fighting about intersectionalism every other week. Pick up any book or essay by a Marxist-feminist in the 70s (or 80s, or 90s, yesterday….) and the same shadow boxing is going on.
Content warnings, like the very idea of feminism then, and hopefully still now, is seen as challenge to authority.
Even if it is merely asking authority to be more considerate - or heaven forbid, make room - it is still perceived as a challenge.
Who gets to speak to for who. Who should be listened to. Who can we hear now that we couldn’t hear before. Why?
These are very important questions. Many would prefer and even depend on them not being asked.
Efforts to undermine warnings and other issues is a proxy for that bigger argument. So much that we see is only very thinly masking one - usually privileged - group telling another to get back in their box.
Have you noticed how the reaction is almost bigger than the issue itself? Some people are so used to being listened to they don’t even notice it. Used to saying whatever they please that being asked to adjust or at least think more about their actions is completely unreasonable. Censorship! they cry.
Journalism is the obvious example. For the Telegraph or Daily Mail we have the well polished trope political correctness gone mad. The dastardly PC brigade are asking us to understand the experiences of others. What is new there. Ho hum.
But what is the difference between that and the likes of Nick Cohen, Mark Fisher or whichever Guardian columnist is - deservingly, usually - getting roasted this week. Their livelihood actually depends on being listened to. Their status depends on their opinion being relevant. Why would they start taking on board these concerns when they can be dismissed instead. When you are used to being right-on, indeed made your name on the right side of issues, it is probably impossible to accept that criticism and even harder to change.
That can be mapped onto political party leaderships, politics without leadership, academia. Any organisation or authority, perceived or otherwise, that is grappling with these issues in world where we suddenly have a lot more voices, whose anger we are not comfortable hearing.
This is very useful.
Plenty of new names among the more familiar. Dancers, librarians, suffragettes, trade unionists, travellers, doctors, camogie players and of course, Peig.
Bridget Cleary, ‘victim of superstition’. Reputed to be the last women in Europe burned as a witch, in 1895!. Husband did twenty years. There is a TG4 documentary in that tbh.
Dev’s god-daughter, Cora Hughes, socialist, died after contracting TB while organising tenants in the Dublin slums.
Bridget Lawlor, built a “catering empire” from a tea room in Naas, held the “European record for most amount of meals served” ?
Parnell’s sister who founded the Ladies Land League, which Charles ‘disbanded it on his release from prison leading her to eventually join Sinn Féin.
Had not heard of Lola Ridge either, anarchist poet from Dublin who settled in Brooklyn
Reshuffle fever as some fresh young Labour hopefuls arrive at Leinster House
Back in 2012, rabble’s intrepid photographer had great fun outside the Dáil
I have never been challenged so often at any demonstration as this evening as to whom I ‘represent’, which paper, and do I know the truth about the story. While being herded around the big screens carrying a Youth Defence video, so organisers could move the two ranks of young people to the front of the demo, an elderly woman followed me insisting that the Savita case was ‘being manipulated’. I replied ‘I can see that’. People kept insisting that I take photographs of the young people, it was almost a mantra that rose above the hymns being sung by the crowd as they were getting ready for the second coming, or whatever it was the buzz was all about.
They are not very keen on anyone pointing to the level of micro-management behind these events.
Young people are totally leading the way you see…
According to the Northern Ireland Department of Social Development,
Custom House Square in Belfast has a ‘maximum capacity’ of 5000.
It probably gets close enough to that, when packed, during the Belsonic festival.
Never to be bound by mere truth or physics however, Youth Defence managed an impressive “8000” for their joint ‘rally’ with Precious Life this afternoon.
Quite an achievement.
Let no one claim the crowd wasn’t politically aware.
You can get a better idea of density with this view from the back
Jammers, there is even room for a marquee.
As of 8pm Saturday the claim of 8000 remained
Youth Defence have a big problem with the truth.
Who knows what else they are being dishonest about?