The Blanket

The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent
Democracy, Eh?


Davy Carlin

I went along recently to the showing of a brilliant film about the coup led against the democratically elected leader of Venezuela Hugo Chavez. It was interesting to see both the manipulation of the facts by the privately owned media which was replayed and largely regurgitated by large sections of the international media and the welcoming in of the new 'undemocratic' leader after the coup, by the US and the European nation states. So here we had a situation of the majority of the population demanding their democratic rights as enshrined in their constitution but being told by a minority that they could not have it (only in Latin America, eh?). So the people after finding out the truth about the lies spun out, took to the streets in their hundreds of thousands and demanded that the democratic will of the people be upheld against that of dictatorship.

Yet now in this wee part of 'Western democracy', the sort of democracy which is to be imposed by the US/UK occupying forces in their 'liberation' of Iraq we see in Ireland a denial of our own ' democratic rights'. I look at the situation over the last few weeks and I think of the many who have marched, protested and died through generations to give us the right to vote. From the suffragettes, through to the civil rights movements they took to the streets to attempt to deliver some democracy into the hands of the people. Whatever one thinks about elections and if they can really bring effective change, whether one is for or against the peace process, this is however a fundamental question of the democratic right of a process and of the people.

For the British government to side with one party against the majority of parties, against the majority of people, against democracy itself in its cancelling of elections is to spit on the graves of those who died for that right to vote. In doing what Blair did he not only took away our rights but is attempting to direct an outcome to his liking. Whatever the reasons which have been given the simple reality is that we have long been told that we live in a democracy where the will of the people through whatever mandate directs the governance of our society but in fact we have now found out that our democracy and governance is neither directed by the will of the people and their mandate but by the dictate of governance who have now decided to deny us our rights - that democracy.

We all know the history of our small patch of earth the denial of democratic rights, discrimination. gerrymandering, and the inequality dished out by a unionist governance. Yet a tradition of not bowing down in the face of of such denial of rights coupled with severe repression seen people not only in Ireland but in countries around the world stand firm and win many of those rights now afforded to a new generation today. In Venezuela the people would not allow their rights to be trodden on can we in Ireland allow our rights won by generations of such peoples to be trodden on? This is an issue that needs to be taken up within communities, trade unions and wider society. This cannot be allowed to continue to set a precedent. Like those in the suffragette movement or those in the civil rights movements through to the peoples of Venezuela recently taking to the streets in action we need to make our voices heard loud and clear and state that we the people do not ask for our democratic rights, we the people demand them.





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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent



I have spent
many years of my life
in opposition, and
I rather like the role.
- Eleanor Roosevelt

Index: Current Articles

9 June 2003


Other Articles From This Issue:


Money's Worth
Terry O'Neill


Connolly: National Liberation, Socialism and Partition
Liam O Ruairc


Pauperizing the Periphery
M. Shahid Alam


Democracy, eh?

Davy Carlin


Polluting People's Lives

Barbara Muldoon


The Gags of Prejudice
Anthony McIntyre


5 June 2003


Irish State Collusion with MI5
Eamonn McCann


Use of Loyalty
Mick Hall


Victimisation of Victims
Christina Sherlock



Newton Emerson


Heat, Not Necessarily Light

Anthony McIntyre


The Party's Fool

Karen Lyden Cox

Targetting Iran
Michael Youlton




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