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  1. #1
    Dreadlord Black Kyurem's Avatar
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    Belfast Flag Protests

    Hello World.

    Okay, so I'm not sure if you guys outside of UK (or maybe even outside of Ireland) have heard about the current situation in Belfast. I haven't seen a thread on the topic here, so I thought I'd make one to enlighten you all on the current situation in Belfast. You can skip the next part if you don't want a history lesson.

    As many of you probably know, Northern Ireland is a country that experienced extreme sectarian hatred and violence in a civil war called The Troubles (debatable if it was a civil war or civil unease, I think it was a civil war). The 'war' was fought between two sides, the Irish Nationalists and Republicans, and the British/Northern Irish Unionists and Loyalists. The main paramilitaries during the time were the Irish Republican Army (IRA) who fought against the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) and Ulster Defence Association (UDA).

    By the time I was born, while not officially over, the violence of The Troubles had simmered down, and the two sides were in talks to share power in Northern Ireland. The Troubles officially ended when the Good Friday Agreement was signed in 1998.

    Nowadays in Northern Ireland, sectarianism (technically hostility between Catholics and Protestants, but realistically hostility between Nationalists and Unionists) is, in my view, very low. I, an Irish Catholic, have never experienced sectarianism personally, and I'm friends with a lot of British people. As far as I know, none of my friends care about nationality or religion, we're just friends. And as far as I know, that's the general consensus of young people today.


    History lesson over.



    Recently in Belfast there have been a number of protests over the flying of the Union Flag at the City Hall. It's been flying every day since 1906, and, as far as I know, Buckingham Palace is the only other place in the whole of the UK to do this.

    On 3 December, Belfast City Council voted to limit the days that the Union Flag flies from Belfast City Hall. The vote means that it will now be flown no more than 18 days a year. The move was backed by the Council's Irish nationalist Councillors and by its Alliance (neutral party) Party Councillors. It was opposed by the unionist Councillors.

    As a response, loyalists and unionists have held protests throughout Northern Ireland. Some of these protests have become violent and sparked riots. On the night of the vote, protesters tried to storm City Hall. Alliance Party offices, and the homes of Alliance Party members, have been attacked. Belfast City Councillors have also been sent death threats, and riot police have been shot at by loyalist militants. The protests and riots have continued into 2013.

    The protests have been pretty disruptive to me personally. There's been multiple occasions when I haven't been able to go into Belfast and just last night I wasn't able to go into my own town because protesters were blocking roads. The majority of the protests have been peaceful, but there have been a lot of riots. The protests have not only affected me and my friends, but also businesses. On the news there was a story about a laser-eye surgery that had appointments cancelled because of protests, and cafés and restaurants have seen less customers during the protests.

    What troubles me about these protests is that I thought the days of sectarianism were behind us as a country. If a trivial thing such as a flag is able to cause so much unrest, then what happens if another, more serious issue arises one day? It's my opinion that if the Unionists want equality (many of the protesters are claiming this is a breach of their equality) then it's my opinion that both the Union flag and the Tricolour should be flown from the City Hall, it'd be a good way to show how far the countries come.

    If you wanna look more into it you can use these sites which have recent news on them:

    http://www.u.tv/news

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/northern_ireland/

    I'd like to see your opinions. I'm probably biased to the Irish side considering I'm Irish. What about you guys who haven't been affected at all by this, what do you think of it?


    TL;DR: The Union Flag was taken from Belfast City Hall. There've been a number of violent and non-violent protests. What's your view?
    Last edited by Black Kyurem; 2013-01-12 at 08:00 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Valerean View Post
    I admire your passion for your favorite character, but If I were you I'd hesitate before drawing parallels between self-perceived societal malaise and how nerds feel about a fictional blob of green pixels created in 2001 by a guy called Chris.

  2. #2
    Warchief Reqq's Avatar
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    I don't think the sectarianism will ever end, but Ireland has shown a great capacity to deal with it in the correct way in the majority of cases.. Marginalise extremism and get on with working on building peaceful relations.

    I know this is such a stupid, nit-picking, pedantic thing to say, but it's kind of incorrect to refer to it as the "Union Jack". I can't help it, sorry! :/

  3. #3
    Dreadlord Black Kyurem's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reqq View Post
    I don't think the sectarianism will ever end, but Ireland has shown a great capacity to deal with it in the correct way in the majority of cases.. Marginalise extremism and get on with working on building peaceful relations.

    I know this is such a stupid, nit-picking, pedantic thing to say, but it's kind of incorrect to refer to it as the "Union Jack". I can't help it, sorry! :/
    That's alright haha, I purposely tried not to use Union Jack but it seems I slipped.
    Quote Originally Posted by Valerean View Post
    I admire your passion for your favorite character, but If I were you I'd hesitate before drawing parallels between self-perceived societal malaise and how nerds feel about a fictional blob of green pixels created in 2001 by a guy called Chris.

  4. #4
    Was in the car last night with my mum, turned a corner and saw 25-30 people in hoodies running towards us throwing bricks at the police behind them, quickly 180'd and got the fuck out of there.

    My view is this: We aren't living in an age were expansion of land is even a possibility anymore. All land is claimed, Northern Ireland is for the British, Ireland is for the Irish. Each flag should fly their own, or none should fly any. I disagree with the idiots being violent over it, but i think they're nothing better than the idiots who took it down in the first place, causing this mess.
    Quote Originally Posted by Oktoberfest View Post
    If you do not like guns, move to England. It is that simple.
    Simply pack up and leave! Much think, such smart.

  5. #5
    Stood in the Fire Zarintha's Avatar
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    I think the whole thing is silly. Being from Wales I hardly ever see the British flag anywhere, it's always the Welsh dragon. Does it make me feel any less British? Nope. It's just an excuse for them to riot. No one is going to hand N.Ireland back to the rest of Ireland unless there's a referendum and the majority of the N.Irish want to. I wonder if there'll ever be peace for the people of N.Ireland. They stay part of Britain, republicans go nuts. They rejoin the rest of Ireland, unionists go nuts.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Zarintha View Post
    I think the whole thing is silly. Being from Wales I hardly ever see the British flag anywhere, it's always the Welsh dragon. Does it make me feel any less British? Nope. It's just an excuse for them to riot. No one is going to hand N.Ireland back to the rest of Ireland unless there's a referendum and the majority of the N.Irish want to. I wonder if there'll ever be peace for the people of N.Ireland. They stay part of Britain, republicans go nuts. They rejoin the rest of Ireland, unionists go nuts.
    I can tell you the majority of them are just doing it for a laugh, it's great fun as we all know to be chased by the police, i grew out of it when i was like 13-14, it seems these idiots didnt. I even know some of my old mates out doing it last night.
    Quote Originally Posted by Oktoberfest View Post
    If you do not like guns, move to England. It is that simple.
    Simply pack up and leave! Much think, such smart.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Black Kyurem View Post
    Hello World.

    Okay, so I'm not sure if you guys outside of UK (or maybe even outside of Ireland) have heard about the current situation in Belfast. I haven't seen a thread on the topic here, so I thought I'd make one to enlighten you all on the current situation in Belfast. You can skip the next part if you don't want a history lesson.

    As many of you probably know, Northern Ireland is a country that experienced extreme sectarian hatred and violence in a civil war called The Troubles (debatable if it was a civil war or civil unease, I think it was a civil war). The 'war' was fought between two sides, the Irish Nationalists and Republicans, and the British/Northern Irish Unionists and Loyalists. The main paramilitaries during the time were the Irish Republican Army (IRA) who fought against the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) and Ulster Defence Association (UDA).

    By the time I was born, while not officially over, the violence of The Troubles had simmered down, and the two sides were in talks to share power in Northern Ireland. The Troubles officially ended when the Good Friday Agreement was signed in 1998.

    Nowadays in Northern Ireland, sectarianism (technically hostility between Catholics and Protestants, but realistically hostility between Nationalists and Unionists) is, in my view, very low. I, an Irish Catholic, have never experienced sectarianism personally, and I'm friends with a lot of British people. As far as I know, none of my friends care about nationality or religion, we're just friends. And as far as I know, that's the general consensus of young people today.


    History lesson over.



    Recently in Belfast there have been a number of protests over the flying of the Union Jack at the City Hall. It's been flying every day since 1906, and, as far as I know, Buckingham Palace is the only other place in the whole of the UK to do this.

    On 3 December, Belfast City Council voted to limit the days that the Union Flag flies from Belfast City Hall. The vote means that it will now be flown no more than 18 days a year. The move was backed by the Council's Irish nationalist Councillors and by its Alliance (neutral party) Party Councillors. It was opposed by the unionist Councillors.

    As a response, loyalists and unionists have held protests throughout Northern Ireland. Some of these protests have become violent and sparked riots. On the night of the vote, protesters tried to storm City Hall. Alliance Party offices, and the homes of Alliance Party members, have been attacked. Belfast City Councillors have also been sent death threats, and riot police have been shot at by loyalist militants. The protests and riots have continued into 2013.

    The protests have been pretty disruptive to me personally. There's been multiple occasions when I haven't been able to go into Belfast and just last night I wasn't able to go into my own town because protesters were blocking roads. The majority of the protests have been peaceful, but there have been a lot of riots. The protests have not only affected me and my friends, but also businesses. On the news there was a story about a laser-eye surgery that had appointments cancelled because of protests, and cafés and restaurants have seen less customers during the protests.

    What troubles me about these protests is that I thought the days of sectarianism were behind us as a country. If a trivial thing such as a flag is able to cause so much unrest, then what happens if another, more serious issue arises one day? It's my opinion that if the Unionists want equality (many of the protesters are claiming this is a breach of their equality) then it's my opinion that both the Union flag and the Tricolour should be flown from the City Hall, it'd be a good way to show how far the countries come.

    If you wanna look more into it you can use these sites which have recent news on them:

    http://www.u.tv/news

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/northern_ireland/

    I'd like to see your opinions. I'm probably biased to the Irish side considering I'm Irish. What about you guys who haven't been affected at all by this, what do you think of it?


    TL;DR: The Union Flag was taken from Belfast City Hall. There've been a number of violent and non-violent protests. What's your view?
    although your suggestion with the flag is a nice one, the tricolour has no place in a NI building as although still part of Ireland NI is its own country and does have its own national/government flag (Well untill 1973 it did not full sure nowadays)

    The riots and issues in NI are caused 100% by a stupid decision by the local government there. as much as it seems trivial there is a very easy way to stop the current unrest going on. All it is going to do in the long run is eventually result in a serious issue and or death.


    On another note, the Irish Tricolour is only flown by unionists, which is fine and as some others have suggested in the past flying the jack and the tricolour together would be a suitable resolve. Unfortunately though that would invariable piss of both the nationalists and the unionist..

    NI is a ticking timebomb. Its also the most subsidised part of the UK which is why the Republic will never actually want to take full control over NI as they cant support the costs needed there

  8. #8
    Stood in the Fire Zarintha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Akoroth View Post
    I can tell you the majority of them are just doing it for a laugh, it's great fun as we all know to be chased by the police, i grew out of it when i was like 13-14, it seems these idiots didnt. I even know some of my old mates out doing it last night.
    That's just sad. I don't see how it can be fun to waste the police' time. Even as a kid I wouldn't have done it. I'd be under the patio if I had. My mother would have seen to that :P It's kinda similar to the London riots, people joining in for the sake of it, except I don't know if there's any looting where you are.

  9. #9
    Scarab Lord Manakin's Avatar
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    Im very thankful i never grew up in belfast during the troubles (I moved away), i do visit my family time to time... But of course we disagree on the religion aspect

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Zarintha View Post
    I think the whole thing is silly. Being from Wales I hardly ever see the British flag anywhere, it's always the Welsh dragon. Does it make me feel any less British? Nope. It's just an excuse for them to riot. No one is going to hand N.Ireland back to the rest of Ireland unless there's a referendum and the majority of the N.Irish want to. I wonder if there'll ever be peace for the people of N.Ireland. They stay part of Britain, republicans go nuts. They rejoin the rest of Ireland, unionists go nuts.
    Wales does have an actual national flag though. As of the 1970s NI doesnt realy have an official flag. Developing one of their own would maybe be a good idea and keep everyone happy. its not the jack, not the tricolour.. hell have some school kids design it or something

  11. #11
    Protest away...The riots though are pure fucking retarded fail

  12. #12
    Stood in the Fire Zarintha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tsubodia View Post
    Wales does have an actual national flag though. As of the 1970s NI doesnt realy have an official flag. Developing one of their own would maybe be a good idea and keep everyone happy. its not the jack, not the tricolour.. hell have some school kids design it or something
    As ignorant as this will make me sound, I thought N.Ireland did have it's own flag :s It would be a good idea to make one then I guess, but do you think they'll stop all their bitching about not having the British flag flying too?

  13. #13
    Warchief tommypilgrim's Avatar
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    I've considered making a thread about this for a while, but I wasn't really sure how I'd start it.

    If Scotland votes for independence (which is unlikely), I'd be fully in support of a complete dissolution of the United Kingdom. As a Brit, I feel angry at the violence over a flag. Personally, I don't feel any unity with the people of Northern Ireland, nor do I particularly want to continue our relationship with them.

    I feel a lot of the violence is simply violence for the sake of violence, similar to what we saw in London. I think to a large extent people are rioting not because of the flag, but because "hey, why not, let's riot". When you see kids of 15 throwing stones it's obvious that this has nothing to do with the troubles, since they were born after the Good Friday Agreement.

    If Scotland continues to be a part of the UK, which is likely, I'm not sure what Britain can do in order to stop things like this happening. There are always going to be idiots, idiots like the Orange Order, marching in Catholic areas because of a battle three centuries ago, provoking anger and ill-feeling because "it is our right to". There are always going to be people who feel Northern Ireland should be part of the Republic, and that there should be a single Ireland. Quite frankly, it is an open sore that I cannot see going away. As an Englishman I wish I could wash my hands of them. Again, I feel no affinity to them, I do not believe the it is in England's interests to continue offering support to Northern Ireland, unfortunately I do not see that happening.
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    Titan peggleftw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zarintha View Post
    As ignorant as this will make me sound, I thought N.Ireland did have it's own flag :s It would be a good idea to make one then I guess, but do you think they'll stop all their bitching about not having the British flag flying too?

    me to, i thought the N.Ireland flag was the white flag with diagonal red cross :P
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    Mechagnome larrakeyah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zarintha View Post
    As ignorant as this will make me sound, I thought N.Ireland did have it's own flag :s It would be a good idea to make one then I guess, but do you think they'll stop all their bitching about not having the British flag flying too?
    There's no official NI flag, and the anthem is GSTQ.

    ---------- Post added 2013-01-12 at 10:19 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by peggleftw View Post
    me to, i thought the N.Ireland flag was the white flag with diagonal red cross :P
    It's not official, It's used in soccer and such but it's not government sanctioned.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Zarintha View Post
    As ignorant as this will make me sound, I thought N.Ireland did have it's own flag :s It would be a good idea to make one then I guess, but do you think they'll stop all their bitching about not having the British flag flying too?
    yes and no. the ulster banner is what they use as a national flag in competitions for international sports but technically as of 1973 it has no official standing.

  17. #17
    Scarab Lord Xanjori's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by larrakeyah View Post
    There's no official NI flag, and the anthem is GSTQ.[COLOR="red"]
    England doesn't have its own national anthem either.

    Personally I don't think a flag flying is actually enough to cause protests, people want an excuse to cause issues and will jump on anything.
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  18. #18
    Titan peggleftw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xanjori View Post
    England doesn't have its own national anthem either.

    Personally I don't think a flag flying is actually enough to cause protests, people want an excuse to cause issues and will jump on anything.


    as others said, its probably like the London riots, people just seeing an opportunity to cause trouble
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  19. #19
    Dreadlord Black Kyurem's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peggleftw View Post
    me to, i thought the N.Ireland flag was the white flag with diagonal red cross :P
    That was the flag of Ireland when it was under British control.

    I always thought the Ulster Banner was the Northern Irish flag (England flag with Red Hand of Ulster) but a quick wikipedia search shows he's right!
    Quote Originally Posted by Valerean View Post
    I admire your passion for your favorite character, but If I were you I'd hesitate before drawing parallels between self-perceived societal malaise and how nerds feel about a fictional blob of green pixels created in 2001 by a guy called Chris.

  20. #20
    Titan peggleftw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Black Kyurem View Post
    That was the flag of Ireland when it was under British control.

    I always thought the Ulster Banner was the Northern Irish flag (England flag with Red Hand of Ulster) but a quick wikipedia search shows he's right!
    #


    oh my, seems im a bit far behind on my history :P
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