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Published by jack elliot

 

Conflict means in Northern Ireland include 'civil protest'-nonviolent, extra-parliamentary action of which civil disobedience is a key form.

 

The chief actors using civil protest have been the Protestant Ultras and civil rights partisans who in 1967-69 departed from traditional issues to stress regime performance and community relations.

 

Ultra civil protest stimulated the civil rights movement, decelerated Unionist Government reforms, and aided the minority's disenchantment with gradu-alism.

 

Civil protest by the civil rights movement helped to extend some liberties, restructure admin istration, publicize sectarianism and repressive laws, and mobilize parochials.

 

Unachieved have been an end to emergency legislation, the building of social trust, and mass adoption of nonviolent dissent.

 

Basic questions of nationalism and im perialism emerged in 1970-71 when violence prevailed over civil means following Ultra violence which provoked the revival of the IRA.

 

Ultra and civil rights protest contributed to the province's loss of autonomy to the central regime before it suspended the Unionist regime in May 1972, and to both conventional and creative reactions in Britain and the Irish Republic.

 

Minority (Irish Catholic) civil protest resurfaced in August 1971 with internment of suspected revolutionaries, and Ultra civil protest surged with direct British rule.

 

Regardless of who practices civil protest in Ulster, its presence may serve to demythologize the assumption that violence is endemic in Irish con flict and to offer an alternative between political violence and unwilling obedience.

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