Lives are threatened.
Homes and businesses are threatened.
There is rioting, and water cannon in action.
Main roads are blocked at the busiest time of the day.
Families are anxious; will they all be able to get home?
It’s apparently a good news story when 500 or 2,000 people gather to protest and block roads, but do so without violence breaking out. No matter how intimidating they are. No matter what chaos is caused by their behaviour.
Politicians say “There is no excuse for violence, but…”
We’re seeing masked men on the streets. Banners announcing “democracy doesn’t work.”
Shops and restaurants are losing money, at what should be the busiest time of year. The time of year that could save some of those businesses, those jobs.
This is not simply about a council decision regarding a flag- many of the protests are happening outside that council area. This is how some people react to what they see as a loss of power and status. Their view of the natural order has been threatened and an unholy tantrum is the chosen response.
The bit that I’m missing is this: who is benefitting from this situation? A week ago I thought I knew, now I’m as baffled as the rest of the world.
The economy is losing.
The reputation of the region as a place to visit or do business is vanishing.
Children born long after ‘the troubles’ are being introduced to political violence in their city.
Any jobs going where you live?
pictures from Belfast Telegraph