Republicans, Irish, former colonies … Why don’t they mourn the Queen’s death?

Republicans, Irish, former colonies … Why don’t they mourn the Queen’s death?

Republicans, Irish, former colonies … Why don’t they mourn the Queen’s death?

As the tributes to Elizabeth II continue to pour in from around the world since the king’s death last Thursday, some dissonant voices are heard. Focus on those who refuse to mourn the death of the Queen of England.

in the united kingdom the republicans give a voice

A woman arrested in Edinburgh after holding up a sign calling for the abolition of the monarchy, another evacuated from the Palace of Westminster for holding a “not my king” (“not my king”) poster, whistles during the proclamation of Charles III. .. The enthronement of the new monarch was marked by minor incidents but which revealed the persistence of the republican struggle in the UK.

Already during the jubilee of Elizabeth II, last June, giant signs “Make Elizabeth the Last” (“made Elizabeth the last”) had flourished in several large cities of the country. The work of the collective republic, which calls for a “national debate on the future of the monarchy”.

“The proclamation of a new king is an affront to democracy, a moment in stark contrast to the values ​​in which most of us believe, values ​​such as equality, responsibility and the rule of law,” explains a spokesman for the Republic in a statement released after the queen’s death.

Although in the minority in the country, republican sentiment appears to be on the rise, especially among the youngest. With the advent of an older and less popular king, the trend could increase. According to a May 2022 YouGov poll, 27% of Brits say they support the abolition of the monarchy.

in Ireland, the memory of the war is still alive

The images, shocking for some, have made the rounds of social networks. In Derry, Northern Ireland, the announcement of the Queen’s death was followed by a horn concert through the streets of the city. Scenes of jubilation, comparable to those following a sporting victory, which contrast with the mourning scrupulously observed in England.

The explanation is to be found in the conflict in Northern Ireland, which opposed Republican Catholics in favor of independence and the reunification of all Ireland and Unionist Protestants, who wanted to remain attached to the British crown. On 30 January 1972, the city of Derry was the scene of the “Bloody Sunday” massacre, during which the British army killed 14 independence activists during a peaceful demonstration in defense of the rights of Irish Catholics. This memory survives to this day and for many Northern Irish, Queen Elizabeth II symbolized British oppression.

Similar outbursts of joy also broke out in the Republic of Ireland, a country that gained its independence in 1922 after 800 years of British rule. At the Tallaght stadium in Dublin, fans of the Shamrock Rovers club were filmed singing in unison “Lizzie’s in a box”, “Lizzie is in the box in French”, a morbid allusion to the queen’s coffin.

in Africa, the burden of colonization

From Kenya to Nigeria to South Africa, the death of Queen Elizabeth II sparked an avalanche of condolences from African heads of state who praise an “extraordinary” leader and share memories of his frequent visits to the continent in 70 years of reign.

But the monarch’s death has also rekindled a delicate debate on the colonial past in Anglophone Africa, at a time when European countries are called upon to take on their colonial history and return stolen works to local populations.

In Kenya, for example, many remember the bloody repression of the Mau Mau revolt by the British army (more than 10,000 dead), which took place from 1952 to 1960 under the reign of Elizabeth II.

In Nigeria, some voices recalled that Britain had supported the Nigerian army during the Biafra civil war between 1967 and 1970. More than one million people had since died, mainly of hunger and disease, during the ensuing conflict. the declaration of independence of the Igbo officials in the south-east of the country.

“If anyone expects me to express anything other than contempt for the monarch who oversaw a government that supported the genocide that slaughtered and displaced half my family (…) you are dreaming,” said Uju Anya, a Nigerian scholar. -American on Twittersparking a lively debate on social networks.

When Elizabeth was born in 1926, the British Empire spanned six continents. During her reign, which began in 1952, most of the 56 countries that make up the Commonwealth gained independence, including many African continent nations such as Ghana, Kenya or Nigeria.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.