not silent

Dank. January.

Cold, grey, soggy.

Time to gather the thermals, the hats and scarves, and the tambourine.

Friends, bloggy buddies, the politician/ citizen, the musician and thousands more.

We gathered. We milled about, chatting , huddling, small folk getting bored.

At 12.55, for five minutes, we made ourselves heard. A small portion of the NI “silent majority” let rip.

There were shaky things, drums, biscuit tins, whistles, horns, trumpets and a didgeridoo.

Cheering and clapping. Whooping

not silent protest

drummer boy

I’ve been protesting about whatever you’ve got for years; in truth I’ve never had such fun doing it. But. But. But…

What are we doing?

Belfast is headlining national news again. There are riots, water cannon and plastic bullets. These affect us all, even if we live a few miles away, mostly untroubled. The huge problems in our society, those problems that politicians try to ignore, are making themselves forcefully felt. The protests are nominally about a flag, but are about alienation, the loss of power and status. People who traditionally had no need to value education or political involvement feel that they’ve been left behind as NI has moved on. Local politicians used this, deliberately provoked the anger, and then walked away, washed their hands as the situation mushroomed out of control. Disgraceful behaviour. The result of years of sectarian voting and political arrogance.

A didgeridoo, my tambourine and few drums. What do we think we can change?

Maybe, just maybe, we can remind the world that there’s more to Belfast than protestors literally using a flag to beat the police with.

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16 thoughts on “not silent

  1. It was good to meet you, Speccy, and it was great fun joining in the five minutes “No silence” to stress the frustration of the peaceful silent majority. Hopefully common sense will prevail in due course and these violent and self-destructive protests will fade away in favour of a more useful political dialogue.

  2. NI has come such a long way since the troubles. I was brought up in a neighbouring county to NI and it saddens me to hear Belfast and Riots in the same sentence once more

  3. I love the ‘Silent Majority’ of this peaceful demonstration, Fiona. So many times, the majority keeps silent because it is so vitriolic to say anything at all. The festive spirit that you and your fellow countrymen and women put to this gathering is a model to show the rest of us the way.

  4. Well done Speccy (and Nick). Everytime I hear a news bulletin these days I think about you.
    And I don’t want to have to. If you see what I mean.

  5. I hadn’t realized this event was happening. I’ m clearly the archetypal silent minority who screams at the tv when this all comes on the news – but who doesn’t’ take the opportunity to get her voice heard. So – well done Speccy for getting out there and making a noise! We owe you!!

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