“I hate little wars,” said Wellington. So do we; and we hate still more a petty mob meeting without purpose, and dispersing without success. Perfect order, silence, obedience, alacrity, and courage make an assemblage formidable and respectable.”
Thomas Davis: “Scolding Mobs”
With the dust quickly settling on a rowdy Wednesday of protests on Kildare Street, plenty of bickering and debate has followed on social media. Here are some loose reflections on the affair.
- Despite the press claiming for months that the anti-government protests are dwindling, yesterday proved that is nonsense. Between anti-groomer rallies, the persistent protests outside Direct Plantation centres, and yesterday’s well-attended Dáil protest, this discontent is not dissipating. That, in itself, is a good thing.
- As usual, protestors brought a palpably angry energy to proceedings and largely were not distracted by asinine conspiracy theories that detract away from the migration and asylum issues. (For the most part).
- Getting in a slimy TD’s face with suited-up Gardaí bearing down on you takes some degree of balls. So does even standing outside the Dáil while antifa journos try to snap you to ruin your life. Courage is valuable; we will need it in the coming years.
- The Left ceding the traditional protest space for the return of the Oireachtas (a date they chose to protest vocally in the past) and emergence of a genuine threat to the system.
- As Jobstown or the rise of Sinn Féin has shown, the lads getting slapped around by the Public Order Unit today can often be the political opposition of tomorrow. If they play their cards right.
- There will always be something to be said for scaring the wits out of the garrison class in Leinster House.
- Looking mental to the average citizen. We are in a position of ascendant popularity, where more and more working and middle class people are starting to identify with us. Both groups (especially the middle class, who we need if we are to win) are disgusted by unhinged schizos and crusties milling around Kildare Street. And there was a lot of that yesterday. The optics lesson has still not been learned by many in our loose movement. Many of the people, including many ringleaders, still don’t realise that without support we are nothing – and the populace will not support thugs and cranks. Stop talking about violent reprisals against politicians. Stop acting like you’re an Afghan warlord who cares not for public opinion. Stop ranting about fringe issues that (while valid) just confuse the conversation (i.e. vaccines). And, for the love of God, abandon the sovereign citizen rubbish that has zero legal credibility nor sympathy from the public.
- Getting arrested or risking a riot (without a plan) is recklessly negligent. More importantly, the State-Media Regime is obviously looking for a January 6th / Jo Cox moment here. Whether real or staged, an incident chosen to elicit fear and disgust in the Irish people, and an excuse to censor and arrest us, will come. It makes it a lot easier for the regime to find this incident when hectic mobs gather outside Leinster House preceded by weeks of fed-talk online.
- The protest movement continues to largely lack any idea of how politics really works or a willingness to learn nevermind (inevitably) being weighed down by semi-violent cranks.
- Talking a big game online about killing or arresting politicians is embarrassing. These are bad ideas, and lying about doing them is nearly as bad. Especially citizen’s arrests, which will land you (not the politician) in jail or worse.
- The people yesterday were not a disciplined cadre of activists the likes of which the republican movement could muster in years gone by but a loose constellation of concerned citizens and social media personalities with little idea how the state can and will play dirty in the courts and on the streets.
- The Irish public are not impressed by noose dioramas and other LARP nonsense and lunatics shouting about freemasonry. Also, learn to dress yourselves. Healy-Rae was the sharpest looking person in the fracas yesterday and that is saying an awful lot.
- Broadcasting your violent fantasies on Telegram is ridiculous and in a state with a competent intelligence apparatus would have merited arrest and imprisonment long ago.
- Gobshites recording themselves while they get into argy-bargy with culchies in the Public Order Unit.
- Lashing out at friendly politicians and mainstream commentators online because they registered their disapproval of the protest is very toxic. Whether you like it or not, established political figures turning from friend to enemy is a massive step back for our movement. We should be trying to court these people, not doubly alienating them.
How to Storm Leinster House (Properly)
A lot of very old muscle memory is about to be reactivated in the state apparatus this morning after yesterday’s high jinks as TDs and their teams returned from the summer break to a baying rabble of right-wing protestors gunning for them outside.
It is not the point of this article to err either way on the morality of yesterday’s proceedings but merely to opine that any continued street activity by the right should be regulated lest it descend into criminal farce for the Six One news to broadcast to a shocked John and Mary Public.
The protest movement kickstarted by East Wall last November is not going away and these types of altercations will be a regular as the muscle returns to Irish politics for the first time since Sinn Féin scaled back their direct action against the Free State in late 00s.
While the Gardaí are undergoing institutional collapse the state can still sting when it has to with the confused mob outside Leinster House however feisty still nowhere near being a political threat to the garrison class inside.
Giving a TD a few slaps may be personally satisfying but nowhere near what is actually required to challenge the status quo and those operating on the other side of the gates of Leinster House.
A bottom-of-the-barrel, easily-provoked EDL style protest culture is what our elite secretly long for, next only to the emergence of a zero optics Neo-Nazi pseudo-threat they can use to discredit opposition and bang up dissidents at politically convenient times.
Mobs by themselves don’t instil more than fleeting terror into politicians without being linked up to wider political change and sense of praxis. While it boasts republican lineage, the “Irish Right” is a confused animal halfway between U.S. style conspiracism, the old religious elements and now rapidly tapping into the communitarian energy that has marked street activism against the state for decades through the republican movement. This uncertain heritage has contributed to a near total absence of a managerial class that can shepherd protests like Wednesday.
Sinn Féin until recently maximised the returns off their street muscle by symbiotically combining it with their emergent political machine and using their institutional hold over the unions and local government to build the force that they are today.
Nothing even approaching that exists on the fringe Right or even with the thought process to begin that institutional odyssey with the conspiracy prone malcontents who hang around right-wing protest circles hampering any attempt at clear thinking political projects.
Many of the well intentioned hotheads active Wednesday have no idea the world of pain they would have been in for had a TD or equivalent been slashed or worse during scuffles as shown by their naive willingness to record every face of the crowd and play footsie with violent threats against state representatives at the seat of power.
Violence against the state is one thing, fecklessly engaging in said violence without any modicum of understanding about costs and benefits is another.
Protests ought to be held with few exceptions after working hours to minimise lumpenprole elements there.
You may not recognise the state for esoteric reasons, as some of those arrested Wednesday do, but it won’t stop some gombeen judge slapping you down with 5-10 or a trip to the Special Criminal Court.
Like Aesop’s “Trumpeter Taken Captive” it is also totally disingenuous for certain Conservative pundits to disavow yesterday’s violence after months of feeding off the energy that precipitated Wednesday’s events. You may want plausible deniability, but we are heading for serious turmoil
In so far as its possible a stewarding system and coordination between protest leaders and other stakeholders for future events will have to be established or grow organically to stave off future hairy situations and risk of easily avoidable own goals.
Certain mavericks and other morons will ultimately refuse to take orders and will find a cell in Portlaoise waiting for their troubles but by and large the majority of crowds will respond well to order and discipline.
A mob is not an alternative to political and societal change but is a sign of palpable rage out there for anything bearing the semblance of a viable right-wing alternative.
Now is when we should be wising up. The powers-that-be saw yesterday as a direct threat on the ship of state, and it’s time for us to start acting like one.