History – NICRA Essay

This was called Gerrymandering. Also NICRA wanted a chance in the votes themselves as if you paid any rates, own more than one houses and own your own business you got more votes. This was unfair as it was the protestants were the ones who had these things and there for they had an advantage. That’s why NICRA wanted the Government to bring in a law which is fair in voting. They called it ‘one man, one vote’.

Discrimination in jobs

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In another situation where the Protestants have an advantage in the jobs. This is because the workers in employment centres are mainly Protestants and only gave the best jobs the Protestants and the low paid jobs to Catholics. For example out 2000 workers in Harlem and Wolff only 200 were Catholics and the rest were Protestants.

Also in comparison the blacks were the same as they had the lowest paid jobs. This is because they were seen as inferior to the whites that’s why they never any government jobs.

Discrimination in housing

Well the black lived in ‘shanty towns’ compared to whites. That’s because they weren’t able to get good enough jobs to pay for good houses. This then lead to families living in the same homes. For example there would have been three families living in the same small house.

Also the Catholics were discriminated against in the same way. But also they were tortured by local police authorities. For example when a women at 19 years of age who was a protestant got a council before a catholic family of five. This then lead to rally in Tyrone at a barricade which was there to stop a march. Also in the Bogside area police came in after the apprentice boy’s march and attacked Catholics. This was for no reason and while they done it they shouted sectarian chant.

Extremist Groups

With all of this commotion there extremist groups in both Southern America and in Northern Ireland. They the P.D. (Peoples Democracy) and the Black power. They were both being discriminated against but used more violence than peaceful. The Black Power Movement under Stokley Carmichael were a more militant group and didn’t want to be equal with the whites.

Then P.D. wanted the same as NICRA but used more violence. For example they were holding a march to Derry from Belfast. But NICRA told them to call it off as it was too tense in Northern Ireland. But went on and marched knowing that they would be ambushed. They got burntollet and were ambushed and they reacted. They found back and caused eruption in Northern Ireland.

Differences in demands

There were some differences in demands as blacks wanted to stop school segregation and go to the same school as whites. But Catholics in Northern Ireland wanted to be in separate schools from Protestants so they can learn from the Catholic Church. Also blacks were segregated in all public places unlike Catholics.

The BCRM then went to the Supreme Court declaring that a separate school for blacks and whites is illegal. This was done by the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People). They had gain lots of support mostly from the church and the media. They won their main case in 1954 when they declared that all blacks and whites must go to the same school. This was called for integration in all schools.

Then whenever this came through schools rejected to it just like Little Rock. They stood outside the school and didn’t let nine black boys and girls go into the school. They spat on them threatened them and swore at them to keep them out. But them the president sent 500 Federal troops in to escort the black kids into school and maintain the mob.

They had also ended the segregation in all public places. This was because they were treated as second class citizens by the whites. This was unlike Northern Ireland as they weren’t segregated against. But they faced many obstacles. Such as sitting in separate section in restaurants, cafes, cinemas, public transports and parks. But they had to use different water fountains and swimming pools. But the thing which sparked of the civil rights movement was a woman called Rosa Parks. She had sat on a white section on a bus because all the black seats were taken up and she was tired. She was told to move by the bus driver but refused. She was then arrested at the next bus stop and fined $10. This then made the blacks angry and they stood up. They had a bus boycott to prove a point and to end segregation or to bankrupt the buses (that’s because it was mostly blacks who used the buses).

But the black power movement wanted to have different schools and police forces. It’s because they claimed that they didn’t need whites support and could cope by themselves.

NICRA’s aims where then different because they weren’t being discriminated against in public places. But they were being discriminated against in different ways from the blacks. Such the Special Powers Act. This was an act which meant the RUC could arrest anybody without a trial even if they are not guilty. But this was used to arrest Catholics and not Protestants. It was shown because very little Protestants compared to Catholics were arrested.

Another aim is to get rid of the B specials. As they were a fierce group which were out to get the IRA. They were established in 1920 to fight against them but they were brutal and had beaten’ people up for no reason.

None of these aims where similar to the demands in USA.

Similarities in Methods

Both groups used similar methods such as rallies, sit ins and marches. These are the methods they used of which are all peaceful. For example in the USA the March On Washington was one of the greatest marchs for civil rights. On that day in August 1963 200,000 people marched in Washington for there rights. Here is where martin Luther King gave his famous speech ‘I Have A Dream’. But this is a too high of level for NICRA to follow.

But NICRA did peaceful marchs. Such as the march from the Tyrone towns Coalisland to Dungannon on 24th August 1968. The march was over a house giving to a Protestant girl rather than a Catholic family. They were stopped by the police at a barricade. But the protesters stayed at the barricade and finally the march was passed and they marched without an incident.

But also while they were protesting in Tyrone they had a sit in at the house which was giving to the woman. This is because a local mp spuatted in the house. This is the same method the blacks used in the USA.

Such as the protest under taken by black and white kids at restaurants and luch counters. They sat at opposite colours section and refused to move. This was a peaceful protest but the whites were in anger as there were scaring away customers.

Difference in Methods

NICRA got all of there methods from the black civil rights movement. But the Americans had a greater range of methods. Such as th court callenges to the Supreme Court. Also boycotts in Montgomery which was done becauseof Rosa Parks and sparked the civil rights.

Then also Freedom Rides, just like the rides across Alabama to gain votes but the KKK tried to stop them and kill them.

These all didn’t take place in Northern Ireland because segregation didn’t take place there. So therefore it was not a viable option.

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