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Tue Jul 13 00:17:44 MDT 2004

The Plough #47
12 July 2004

E-Mail Newsletter of the Irish Republican Socialist Party

1) Orange Marches -- A Carnival of Reaction
2) What's On


Orange Marches -- A Carnival of Reaction

On this day, July 12, 2004, it is time to remember and reflect what
the Orange marches of this day mean. On the surface it is a
celebration of the victory of a Dutchman over an Englishman fighting
on Irish soil for the kingship of England. In reality it is a
celebration of bigotry and intolerance. Watching the serried ranks of
drummers in their gaudy uniforms one is minded of the Redcoats in the
old movies lording it over the natives. The Orange marches are
militaristic, racist, intimidatory and an affront to decency. The
hangers on with their beer bellies and bottles are like storm troopers
eager and willing to swarm all over the croppies if there are any
about. This is not about cultural identity -- it is about domination.
What sort of culture is it that depends on its validation by walking
through areas where it is not welcome? What sort of culture is it that
needs to express itself by waving the flag of a brutal and now
thankfully declining British imperialism? What sort of culture is it
that prances about huge bonfires on the 11th drinking to excess and
cursing the Pope? What sort of culture whoops and cheers when the drug
dealing thugs of the UDA appear on platforms with guns and taunt their
former hero Adair with calls to "bring it on" while the TV cameras
whirl away and the police do nothing? Sectarian murderers are
lionised, Chinese homes attacked, Catholics burned out, all in the
name of some ill defined cultural identity that can not decide if it
is British or Protestant or both or Ulster Scottish or God knows what.

The Orange Order does not give one damn about the condition of
Protestant working class people so long as those same people see their
main enemy not as the rich unionist middle classes but the poor
Catholic working classes. Orangism is the means of perpetuating
divisions among working class people. And while that division exists
the working classes of all traditions will be slaves to nationalisms
that favour their own exploitation.

The Orange Order is a successful all-class alliance that has roped the
exploited into facilitating their own exploitation. The trouble at
Ardoyne was to be expected. Nationalists, republicans, Catholics will
no longer put up with these displays of bigotry. The way in which both
the DUP and the UUP have rowed in behind the Orange Orders in relation
to the march past Ardoyne should have sent a clear message out to all
republicans. So long as the six county state exists there will be no
movement from unionism and the working classes of all and no
traditions will still be the ones suffering, in the words of James
Connolly "a carnival of reaction."

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