Thursday, August 11, 2011
Terrorists, hooligans, vandals, blackguards.
These were the epithets flung at my people - even by their own - when the few struck out for Irish liberation back in the day. They were young and idealistic too. And could no longer bear the poverty and hardships and hopelessness with which they were surrounded.
A poverty I saw up close and personal. And I'm not talking just material – even though my ancestral lands were seized and my ancestors, including the infants, massacred (I've written about it here). I'm talking poverty of education and opportunity, of advancement and enlightenment.
My grandparents were tenant farmers on a couple of acres' holdings when I was a child. Things were beginning to change. But never fast enough for them. My grandfather would hunt our supper in the fields and speak of his rage against our terrorists, the English landlords. He carried the memories of shock and horror with him, passed down through the generations. I never knew what missions he carried out for the IRA before I was born - when Irish freedom was being fought for on the crossroads and hidden valleys of Ireland. He would be a terrorist/vandal/criminal in today's world.
Today's heroes were yesterday's terrorists. To the victors go the re-writing of history.
It is easy to say: yeah, we can understand what is happening in England and now in the U.S. – six generations of population explosion and living on welfare in the UK and nearly 50 million on foodstamps in U.S.: it must kill the spirit, the hunger for the “better” life they see on their televisions and the fact that their peaceful protests against injustice are ignored and not even mentioned in the media, their voices unheard. And then in the next breath condemn their criminality. Does it have to be this violent and destructive? Like the examples they see on their Teevees of invasions and annihilations of the innocents and conflagrations of property in Iraq and Afghanistan et al?
Well, the peaceful protests gained nothing – and this has gotten the attention of the world.