IRELAND: RIGHT TO BE MAD PART 2
As if prophetic, my article talking about how people are right to be tired of lockdown but wrong to flout restrictions was published only two days before a large-scale protest conducted by a mix of Ireland’s Anti-Vaax, Anti-Mask, Q Anon (yes, sadly we have them too), and the Alt-Right. With my new found powers of seeing into the future, I will now take requests for tomorrow’s lotto numbers.
The events unfold as such; on Tuesday, the 23rd of February, Taoiseach Micheál Martin gave a national address confirming the government’s plan that level 5 restrictions are to continue until April 4th. Schools will be phased back slowly (completely after Easter). It’s unlikely restaurants, hotels, and pubs are to reopen to the general public until this Summer.
Regardless of this address, the protest on Saturday was planned, but it certainly didn’t help matters. For many in attendance this only cemented and justified their frustrations. What couldn’t be predicted though (even by me and my new super-powers), was just how openly and proudly people wore their lack of understanding (some literally wore it).
A hodgepodge of Pedophilia-obsessed parents, Lamestream Media proclaimers, and general thugs declaring “This is our town!”, echoing the sentiments of the Alt-Right chanting “Who’s streets? Our Streets”.
Marchers made their way from O’Connell Street up to Grafton Street, being stopped short of Stephen’s Green (a large city park within Dublin) by An Garda. From there, as shown in many of the videos circulating at the moment, a member of this protest fired fireworks at An Garda, initially to cheers and applause, only to be met with Gardaí present attempting to arrest those responsible. At the time of writing 23 people were arrested, with the man responsible for the fireworks believed to be among them.
What happened on Saturday, no matter how tired we are, no matter how done we are with all of this, was unacceptable. And to simply shake it off as “a few bad eggs” or as “people who don’t represent us” is to endorsed the clear attendance of conspiracy theorists, provocateurs, Ethno-Nationalists (National Party representatives were present handing out flyers), and people convinced TV presenters are “Reptilians” (reptile aliens). To say the fireworks passed a line you stay behind is to say blatant lies, stirring up anger, and verbal abuse hurled at people wearing masks and An Garda some how didn’t.
For God sake, even Ultra-Conservative Conspiracy Theorists John Water and Gemma O’Doherty have been supportive of these protests! You’re hardly in good company!
So… let’s try this again. Yes, you are mad. And yes, you are right to be mad. You’re tired, you’re annoyed, you’re depressed. But you are not right about what to be mad about, certainly if you think you can flout restrictions, not wear masks, mock people, and even endanger their lives with fireworks, threats, and causing a stampede.
I haven’t seen my family since September. With the exception of my younger sister, I’ve missed all of their birthdays, including my new born nephew’s first, whom I’ve only seen a total of three times since his birth last year, just before Covid started in Ireland. It’s hard to remain impartial on this issue when part of the reason I can’t see them, besides new virus variants and government flip-flopping, is a bunch of fuckwits who think there’s some evil cabal out there in the world. There isn’t. No one is tracking or controlling you; why would they waste their time? I am sorry you feel the way you do, I really am, but fuck me, you’re really starting to become a bigger problem than Covid. And given the year we’ve had, that’s saying something.