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 40th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Marches

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PostSubject: 40th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Marches   Wed Oct 08, 2008 8:11 pm

The Civil Rights Marches of 40 years ago are being reinterpreted in all kinds of ways. This horribly written interview with Bernadette McAliskey suggests that it shouldn't be relived in a romanticised way:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/bernadette-mcaliskey-return-of-the-roaring-girl-951825.html





From the RTE website:

"From the autumn of 1968 onwards, a wide range of activists marched behind the civil rights banner, adopting civil disobedience in an attempt to secure their goals. Housing activists, socialists, nationalists, unionists, republicans, students, trade unionists and political representatives came together across the North. Many of the protesters were bright young university-educated Catholics, who had been able to avail of the free education brought in by the 1949 Education Act. This movement attempted to bring a new dynamic to Northern Ireland politics. The demand for basic civil rights from the Northern Ireland government was an effort to move the traditional fault-lines away from the familiar Catholic-Protestant, nationalist-unionist, republican-loyalist and Irish-British divides by demanding basic rights for all citizens of Britain."

http://www.rte.ie/laweb/ll/ll_t11_main.html

The movement was part of an optimistic and confident international surge of the have-nots against the haves, right across the globe from the US and Europe to Vietnam. In Ireland the movement was defeated by violent State attack and by the old colonialist tactic of division along religious lines.

Since the driving back of the progressive wave of 1960s liberation movements and civil rights struggles we have had a protracted period of inflationary booms and bursts and Chicago School governments, culminating in the current economic cataclysm and "every man for himself" social disintegration.

Most of us would not remember an era when masses of people got out on the streets for social change, so perhaps it is worth a look back to the Civil Rights Movement to see what can be learned.
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PostSubject: Re: 40th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Marches   Thu Oct 09, 2008 5:20 pm

cactus flower wrote:
Since the driving back of the progressive wave of 1960s liberation movements and civil rights struggles we have had a protracted period of inflationary booms and bursts and Chicago School governments, culminating in the current economic cataclysm and "every man for himself" social disintegration.

Most of us would not remember an era when masses of people got out on the streets for social change, so perhaps it is worth a look back to the Civil Rights Movement to see what can be learned.
Two things.

One, we don't have the demographics they had back then to promote change, something that you Cactus Flower present as a good thing.

Second, that's the generation that's been running the world more or less since then.
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PostSubject: Re: 40th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Marches   Thu Oct 09, 2008 5:34 pm

905 wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
Since the driving back of the progressive wave of 1960s liberation movements and civil rights struggles we have had a protracted period of inflationary booms and bursts and Chicago School governments, culminating in the current economic cataclysm and "every man for himself" social disintegration.

Most of us would not remember an era when masses of people got out on the streets for social change, so perhaps it is worth a look back to the Civil Rights Movement to see what can be learned.
Two things.

One, we don't have the demographics they had back then to promote change, something that you Cactus Flower present as a good thing.

Second, that's the generation that's been running the world more or less since then.

Do you think the 1960s thing was only the product of a baby boom 905? The Irish baby boom group that has just come of age was far from revolutionary, wouldn't you agree?
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PostSubject: Re: 40th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Marches   Thu Oct 09, 2008 5:41 pm

I'm probably being very simplistic. Although the post-war baby boom was international in scale, as was the revolutionary activity. Ireland's recent baby boom lacked that larger international dimension.
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PostSubject: Re: 40th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Marches   Thu Oct 09, 2008 6:42 pm

905 wrote:
I'm probably being very simplistic. Although the post-war baby boom was international in scale, as was the revolutionary activity. Ireland's recent baby boom lacked that larger international dimension.

Dammit - lost a post.

I don't think its wrong to look at the demographics but there was more going on. The 1960s generation benefited from the social and economic gains made by the generation who returned from WWII demanding health services and access to education. They were the first non-elite generation in the universtities. Internationally, the USSR was a conservative force ultimately, aiming at maintaining a balance of power, but tipped away at educating the young liberation movements and providing the kalashnikovs.

I wonder how much the Civil Rights Movement in the North - presumably modelled originally on the US movement - saw itself as part of something wider?
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