« | Home | »

Bankers’ Bandwagon

Tags:

Never let it be said that Irish republicans are slow to jump onto a passing bandwagon. As the Occupy protests spread from city to city, the Real IRA issued a statement claiming credit for two bomb attacks on Northern Irish banks. Santander branches in Newry and Derry City were targeted over the summer. According to the group’s leadership, ‘such attacks are an integral part of our strategy of targeting the financial infrastructure that supports the British government’s capitalist colonial system in Ireland,’ and would ‘send out the message that while the Irish national and class struggles are distinct, they are not separate.’

This isn’t the first time republicans have focused on the financial industry. In the early 1990s, the Provisional IRA devastated the City of London with a series of ‘blockbuster’ bombs; one device cost the City almost half a billion pounds. The banking sector has been important for republicanism as a source of cash. Both the Provos and the Official IRA showed a talent for bank robbery, using it to fund arms purchases and above-ground activity until it became too politically embarrassing. But where are the RIRA going to get money if all the banks are gone? (Colonel Gaddafi can no longer sponsor.)

The Guardian’s Henry McDonald, who received the latest communiqué, noted that its tone was reminiscent of 1970s European ultra-left groups, who also targeted bankers and industrialists. Although it doesn’t have the glamour of Baader-Meinhof, the RIRA has a fair bit in common with the Red Army Faction: just as they claimed to see no difference between the Third Reich and the Federal Republic, the RIRA talks as if the Orange State and its sectarian machinery have not been altered in the slightest since the Provisional IRA began its campaign.

Their statement suggested one promising course:

In the Six Counties, the effective power of the system is vested in heavily armed Police Service of Northern Ireland units who, ultimately, enforce bank repossessions of homes… the PSNI is not a police force, it is a political militia and a social control tool.

So why don’t they organise people to resist home repossessions? If republicans want to expose the PSNI as a tool of the establishment, what better way than by getting them to swing their truncheons on behalf of the banks?

 

Comment on this post

Log in or register to post a comment.


  • Recent Posts

    RSS – posts

  • Contributors

  • Recent Comments

    • pgillott on Wishful Thinking about Climate Change: Phrases like “monumental triumph” and (particularly) “renaissance for humankind” are overdoing it, but to suggest that there is no chance of ...
    • UncleShoutingSmut on Goodbye, Circumflex: Unfortunately this post is likely to leave readers with a very partial idea of what is going on. Firstly, there is no "edict": all that has happened i...
    • martyn94 on The Price of Everything: If it's a joke at anyone's expense, it's surely at the expense of any super-rich who take it seriously. I used to skim it occasionally as a diversion ...
    • mideastzebra on Swedish-Israeli Tensions: Avigdor Liberman was not foreign minister November 2015.
    • lars hakanson on Exit Cameron: Europe will for good reason rejoice when the UK elects to leave. The country has over the years provided nothing but obstacles to European integration...

    RSS – comments

  • Contact

  • Blog Archive

  • From the LRB Archive

    Chris Lehmann: The Candidates
    18 June 2015

    ‘Every one of the Republican candidates can be described as a full-blown adult failure. These are people who, in most cases, have been granted virtually every imaginable advantage on the road to success, and managed nevertheless to foul things up along the way.’

    Hugh Pennington:
    The Problem with Biodiversity
    10 May 2007

    ‘As a medical microbiologist, for example, I have spent my career fighting biodiversity: my ultimate aim has been to cause the extinction of harmful microbes, an objective shared by veterinary and plant pathologists. But despite more than a hundred years of concentrated effort, supported by solid science, smallpox has been the only success.’

    Jeremy Harding: At the Mexican Border
    20 October 2011

    ‘The battle against illegal migration is a domestic version of America’s interventions overseas, with many of the same trappings: big manpower commitments, militarisation, pursuit, detection, rendition, loss of life. The Mexican border was already the focus of attention before 9/11; it is now a fixation that shows no signs of abating.’

    James Meek: When the Floods Came
    31 July 2008

    ‘Last July, a few days after the floods arrived, with 350,000 people still cut off from the first necessity of life, Severn Trent held its annual general meeting. It announced profits of £325 million, and confirmed a dividend for shareholders of £143 million. Not long afterwards the company, with the consent of the water regulator Ofwat, announced that it wouldn’t be compensating customers: all would be charged as if they had had running water, even when they hadn’t.’

Advertisement Advertisement