A different sort of Orangemen

 

Just when you think things are getting better, the news comes ’round and slaps you square in the face, making you realize yeah, the countries, parties and deities may change but it’s always the same ol’ same ol’:

 

BELFAST, Northern Ireland (AP) — Protestant extremists attacked Northern Ireland police and British troops into a third day Monday, littering streets with rubble and burned-out vehicles in violence sparked by anger over a restricted parade. Crowds of masked men and youths confronted police backed by British troops in dozens of hard-line Protestant districts in Belfast and several other towns.

 

Two Protestant paramilitary groups, the Ulster Defense Association (UDA) and Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF), launched into violence against police—including homemade grenades—on Saturday when police prevented the Orange Order, a legal Protestant brotherhood, from parading near a hard-line Catholic neighborhood. (It’s always funny to think of the Orangemen as anything but Syracuse University players, being an alum and all, something Gerry Adams pointed out when he came to ‘Cuse for the St. Pat’s parade a few years ago.)

 

From the Guardian: But while the IRA has built a major base of support through its Sinn Fein party and has grown central to ongoing negotiations on Northern Ireland’s future, the Protestant paramilitary groups have dismally failed to win electoral support and barely register in political talks. Instead, they wield power through criminal graft backed by occasional intimidating shows of force.

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