2005年09月15日

北アイルランドの暴動,まとめ(仮:2) ※書きかけ

Riots reveal a deeper resentment
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/northern_ireland/4246630.stm
Last Updated: Wednesday, 14 September 2005, 17:33 GMT 18:33 UK

以下は改めて書くことにする。要点としては,ルサンチマンの話だけに収束させるのはいかがなものか,ということ。だってピーター・ヘインは爆弾犯をあのタイミングで釈放したことを説明してないんだから。。。とか書いてると,自分がオレンジな人になったみたいな気がしてくるもんだ。(笑)

以下は下書き用:
Kevin Connolly
BBC Ireland Correspondent



In the early hours of Sunday morning I was picking my way through the rubble which carpeted one of the main roads through East Belfast.

The searchlights mounted on the armoured truck which carries the police water cannon threw out enough light for me to avoid the worst of the scorched broken glass from the hundreds of petrol bombs which had rained down on police lines.


The area was catching its breath after a sudden explosion of rioting whose ferocity had seemed even to catch the rioters themselves by surprise.

One or two of the police officers had cautiously removed their helmets for the first time in 10 hours and the soldiers who had helped them restore order were sipping on plastic cups of tea and instant soup.

On the far side of a burning barricade of vehicles, including a bulldozer and a minibus, the rioters were still there.

You couldn't see them - because the fires were still too bright - but you could hear them alright.

And every so often a stone the size of a house brick loomed silently out of the darkness as if to remove any doubt.

'Pre-planned'

It was not the first time that a row over the routing of a parade by the protestant Orange Order had degenerated into violence.

Far from it - you can trace the such disputes back around 200 years to 1813, or 1797, depending on which sources you trust.

This time though, the parade itself was merely the trigger for a release of a generalised rage against the general drift of political life in Northern Ireland.



This has been building in working-class protestant areas of the province for some time.

It was pre-planned and pre-meditated stuff, with loyalist paramilitaries opening fire on the security forces and throwing the blast bombs.

They also directed the activities of the thousands of young stone-throwers and petrol bombers who joined them on the streets.

It was the worst street violence here for years.

No-one could immediately remember the last time that the police and the army returned fire with live rounds at paramilitary gunmen.


They once enjoyed primacy within the Unionist-run Northern Irish state.


So what lies behind the anger that led "loyalists", who profess their attachment to all things British, to attack Britain's soldiers and police officers with such sustained savagery?

Well, the phrase I've heard most to explain what happened boils down to this: "The nationalists have been getting everything out of the peace process, and we've been getting nothing."

Now nationalists would argue that what they are getting out of the peace process is equality.

But that's not how it feels to working-class protestants.

They once enjoyed primacy within the unionist-run Northern Irish state.



Snapped elastic

That sense began to unravel when Britain imposed direct rule in 1972 and the process of disillusionment speeded up with the peace process.

It would probably reach a climax of grief and pain if any future power-sharing deal were to put former IRA leaders in the ranks of Sinn Fein into government.

It is all a reminder, as if one were needed, that Northern Irish politics, whatever they say in Downing Street, remains a zero-sum game.

One in which you lose, if your opponents make gains.

This is the difficult background against which the British authorities have felt obliged to declare that they no longer regard the loyalist paramilitary organisation the Ulster Volunteer Force as being on ceasefire.

It was pivotally involved in the weekend's rioting, and it has been engaged in a bloody feud with a rival group, the Loyalist Volunteer Force, in which its been responsible for four murders.


The government obviously took this step with great reluctance.

It has been criticised in the past for operating definitions of paramilitary ceasefires so elastic that bank robberies, beatings and even the occasional murder have somehow been accommodated within them.


That is of course because the whole point of the peace process was to bring people who had been dedicated to violence into the political mainstream so there was never any point in being too quick to exclude them.


Hatred

The truth was that as long as the IRA refrained from bombings, the UVF and the UDA refrained from sectarian shootings, and all three refrained from attacks on the security forces, that that was good enough - if far from perfect.

The UVF just strained that elastic concept a little too far.

And the lesson of all this, apart from the obvious one that that the tradition of Orange parading is an extraordinarily hard one to accommodate in a modern society?


Well, it's probably this. The government's standard line at moments of difficulty here is that life is vastly better than it was 10, 20 and especially 30 years ago, and that's true.

But every so often we're given a reminder that the poisonous reservoirs of hatred and mutual resentment that fuelled much of the violence during the outbreak of the Troubles are deep.

And the political manoeuvrings that we refer to as the peace process have done nothing to drain them.

If there is to be long term peace here - as opposed to continued incremental progress in power-sharing negotiations - that issue will one day have to be tackled.
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