A clash between members of the National Party, protesting outside the Dáil against Covid restrictions, and left-wing activists saw both sides deploying the Irish flag as weapons
‘Different groups operate under different flags but they all, right across the spectrum, proudly fly the tricolour. The anti-fascists are referred to as antifa, but it is not clear what exactly they represent. Some of their number have associations with disaffected so-called Republican outfits.
The physical characteristics of both sides are pretty similar. Plenty of young men in dark clothings and face coverings and baseball hats. Plenty of tricolours flying. Plenty of older men who look like they’ve nothing better to be doing. Some, but not plenty, of women on both sides.
A smattering of clothing items referencing the men and deeds of 1916. (Those poor signatories, they have ended up being claimed by every headbanger from Termonfeckin to Tehran) … “Nazi scum off our streets,” roared the antifa or whatever they were. “Paedo scum off our streets,” roared back the Nationalists.’
My wife, an unyielding critic of the far right and alert to the dangers of its growth – pointing to the history of right wing violence against direct provision centres – had mentioned earlier that the Garda had “chased the Nazis” in Dublin, but added that, to the viewer watching, it wasn’t readily apparent who was who…
….If the impression (above article) formed by Clifford takes root the only group to emerge with “honour” from the clashes will be the Gardai. Which invites the question of why the anti-fascists, with whom my own ideational sympathies lie, mount these counter protests in the first place.
…The anti-Fascist Left can hardly afford to ignore the far right phenomenon but needs to find a better way of confronting it which enables it to avoid being rendered indistinguishable from the very people it stands four square against.
– And what did you do when the fascists marched on the streets of Dublin, Granddad?
– Why, I courageously wrote a newspaper column about how both sides are as bad as each other from the comfort of my own home, son.
— Philip O’Connor (@philipoconnor) October 11, 2020
Saturday: Mostly Peaceful