Instigating a lukewarm attempt at US-style race rioting in Clonee of all places, the GSOC inquiry into the death of Nigerian blade enthusiast turned anti-racist martyr Goerge Nkencho may loom large over the politics of 2023.
Shot by the Armed Support Unit after an altercation with a staff member at a local Spar, footage of a knife-carrying Nkencho confronting Gardaí went viral among a locked-up population. Evidently, attempts to pin the fatal encounter on a ‘mental health crisis’ by some campaigners buttered no parsnips, with public derision palpable at the audacity of the racially charged protests and rhetoric.
With campaigners and Nigerian activists pushing for an independent inquiry separate from Garda oversight, the boys in blue have been rather slack in presenting their finalised report despite it apparently being completed in October of last year.
Bouncing around GSOC commissioners like a hot spud, Garda seniors are apparently now giving their final approval before publication. Despite this, the truancy from the force has stoked up the anger of activists at large anxious to make hay from the death of the 27-year-old in advocating for the suspension of the Garda in question, better onsite mental health experts to defuse situations and a general push against hate speech/misinformation on social media.
Falling short of a much-coveted inflexion point by the diversity lobby akin to an Irish Stephen Lawerence or the eponymous George Floyd, it is expected that certain activists will continue to milk whatever emerges from the inquiry (or doesn’t) for all its worth.
Chief among them is Marxist washout Ruth Coppinger who featured prominently in the days after the death of Nkencho at numerous protests. Tumbling out of the Oireachtas in 2020 and unsuccessfully trying to mount a Seanad bid thereafter, a more cynical voice might think that Coppinger is attempting to rebuild her political prospects off not just the anger of the Nigerian community but their burgeoning voter bloc in Dublin West and Dublin 15 in particular.
With Socialist Party minions and their respective anti-racist front YARI most prominent at largely Nigerian-attended protests, Coppinger has appeared front and centre at vigils as a self-appointed voice of the community.
Grasping for a political resurrection, the former TD is likely contemplating tapping into that tribalistic anger at the ballot boxes, a perilous game and precisely the accusation thrown at the right of dividing communities.
A small win amid covid compliance attempts to push a racialised agenda on Paddy and Mary backfired due to the stark nature of the shooting and footage at hand.
Regardless, the brazen-faced opportunism of those manipulating the protests and the emergence of Nigerian ethnic activists in strength points to the arrival of proper US-style racial politics.
For two decades, Irish activists have been mimicking what they saw Stateside only without the proper grievance groups that are regularly mobilised in the form of riots and strategic protests. Demographics have moved on and for the first time we are witnessing the beginning of this trend on Irish streets and Irish estates largely of Celtic Tiger-born anchor babies.
Western societies from America to France can be cast into anarchy with the slightest of altercations with racial undertones and police forces transformed into the agents of the diversity lobby by the institutional capture these grievances give.
Clonee is not Portland. Don’t expect us to wake up to Eurospars in flames just yet. But, nevertheless, the trajectory remains the same. Akin to loyalist demagogues in the North, politicians like Coppinger are playing with a tribal hand grenade the contents of which could well go off in our faces.