Policing Civil Rights Movement in Northern Ireland (Policing the CRM…
Policing Civil Rights Movement in Northern Ireland
Denial of Grievances
Denial of grievances voiced by the protesters is implied in the attribution of the responsibility for the civil disorders on the "bad" protesters.
The image that police has of their role within society is a key aspect of police knowledge.
The interpretation of their function in a country's social and political life affects their response to public dissent.
In situations of public disorder, police officers' perceptions and attitudes toward protesters are the base of police knowledge.
Interactions Between Police & Protesters
The degree of institutionalization and formalization of police authority consultations with protest organizers is an influential aspect for the control of violent behaviors by both "sides of the barricade"
Both Civil Rights and Unionist protest organizers
granted a stewarding scheme, striving to restrain their crowds and guarantee the peaceful unfolding of their marches and manifestations
Policing the CRM
Police stuck between serving state and serving citizens
Interaction between "conceived as street-level bureaucrats who represent government people"
Public Order Theory
Determinants of public disorder: structural, political/ideologcial, cultural, contextual, situational, and interactional
Moved away from the assumption of "the irrational madding crowd" to a socio-contextual understanding
Disorder is a form of interaction where "all other forms of communication have been exhausted".
Channelled and institutionalized the protest movements' repertories of action, allowing police to intervene in public order situations on only a few occasions, with minimal use of force
Political Opportunity Structure
Protest policing styles are influenced by: institutional characteristics of the police, political system, and police culture; configurations of power and debate in public arena on protest policing
Incorporated with Police Knowledge
Royal Ulster Constabulary
Fundamental role was to subdue "the rebellious population"
Massive size, highly centralized structure of control and command, and had a heavy militarized outlook
Maintain public order, combat sectarian, intercommunal violence, and protect the state from subversive and violent opponents
Partition of Ireland (1920)
Protestant and Unionist, majority
Catholic and Nationalist, minority
Voting system systematically excludes minorities.
Civil Rights Movements
Campaign for Social Justice in Northern Ireland
Exposed housing and political discrimination in region.
Had moderate protest activities, sending complaints to Parliaments of Stormont and Westminster
Loose and ideological heterogeneous network of disparate groups : NICRA, People's Democracy and Derry Citizens' Action Committe
Challenged discriminatory & sectarian practices by embracing a proactive, reformist civil rights message and demanding "electoral, housing, and policing reforms.
CRM influenced by US Black Civil Rights Movement; borrowed aggressive tactics of direct political action, sit-ins, demonstrations, marches, rallies, and acts of civil disobedience
Data & Methods
The Scarman Report
Carefully inspected the state of affairs in Northern Ireland, especially the causes of political violence and the RUC management of public order.
35 volumes of transcripts, but has gone almost entirely unnoticed by historians as well as by social scientists.
The transcripts do not specify if the witness under examination was obliged to go to the Tribunal or offered evidence spontaneously.
De Fazio aimed to exploit the sizable amount of original information gathered for the final Report, especially police' attitudes, judgements, and justifications for their behavior.