October 24, 2015

George Orwell and "Peace Walls"


The term Peace Wall is emphatically Orwellian. They are not peace but hate walls and walls of war. George Orwell wrote in his book 1984:
"People ignorant of one another’s existence, held apart by walls of hatred and lies, and yet almost exactly the same."
Eugene Robinson wrote in the Seattle Times in 2007, Turning Baghdad into Belfast
"Walls divide; they do not unite. Walls give concrete expression to hatreds and prejudices, establishing them as artifacts not of the mind but of the landscape."
Robert Frost wrote in Mending Wall, "Something there is that doesn’t love a wall", and Reverend Lesley Carroll wrote: "And something there is in Belfast that doesn’t love a wall." Vicky Cosstick wrote:
"All the peace walls programmes have discovered that ultimately it is relationships and conversations that make change happen… Community workers have developed a shared understanding…. Ultimately it is the actual experience of having a barrier removed, of being in a more normal environment, that is likely to alter the dynamic within a given community from the self-reinforcing ‘vicious circle’ into ‘virtuous circle.’"
Gerry Moriarty reviewed Costick in the Irish Times:
"But change is coming, she feels. And as for McGuinness’s prediction that the walls will come down within the next eight years, Cosstick is optimistic: “I gradually became convinced that overall,the walls do more harm than good. I now believe that the walls will and can come down – and that this could easily happen within the 2023 timeframe”."
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