Northern Ireland bloggers for peace
I see that BBC online has picked up on my blog about the killings in Northern Ireland and used it to reflect on some of the opinion being aired in the blogosphere.
From my scanning of some my usual and not so unusual blog haunts, I'd say that opinion mostly mirrors that in political circles – horror at the killings, fears for the future and determination to stand together in defiance.
My favourite waiter, Manuel at Well Done Fillet, cuts to the chase and offers this defiant message to the killers: "They can f#ck right off. They aren't wanted, they aren't needed, they have no support and all they will do is fill coffins and destroy hope. And will the death of these poor unfortunates free Ireland, whatever the f#ck that means? I very much doubt it. F#ck right off – no one wants you, no one needs you."
Cedar Lounge Revolution offers a more classic, left-wing intellectual analysis: "the redundancy and futility of these acts in the context of the growing socio-economic impacts on working men and women on this island perhaps demonstrates their entirely reactionary and diversionary nature."
Regular blogger, Conall McDevitt, of PR agency Weber Shandwick, focuses on the presentation issues central to demonstrating a united political front: "That’s why a joint appearance is so important. The media will feed well on the image of a former IRA man alongside a man who infamously “invaded” the Republic of Ireland and then donned a red beret in the Ulster Hall, standing together."
I know that OFMDFM have their own spinners and probably don't need any lessons from Conall, but they were certainly all on the same wavelength yesterday, with Ministers Robinson and McGuinness jointly visiting Kate Carroll, the bereaved police widow and standing shoulder to shoulder with the Chief Constable.
I am aware of at least four Facebook Groups established to demonstrate online opposition to the killings, including, People Opposed to Terrorism in Northern Ireland set up by Jeffrey Donaldson MP, and No Going Back – we want a peaceful future.
Moving online to offline has been important too, with my inbox full of emails and Facebook group messages to remind me to get out to the silent protests today at 1pm, organised by ICTU. This morning the status updates of lots of my 'Facebook friends' are all urging me to get to the peace rallies. To be honest, I don't really need the reminders and will walk the walk to City Hall which I have walked countless times before for peace and justice in this and in other lands.
Deirdre Nelson, an up-and-coming DUP councillor from Ballymena, used the comments zone of Slugger O'Toole to slap down a trolling suggestion that these protests would not be cross-community in nature: "I intend to be in Londonderry tomorrow so I don’t want to hear any rubbish about no prods here".
See you later.
UPDATE: Just back from the peace rally in Belfast. I've included a short report in the comments zone of the other thread.
Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.