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

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

in the united kingdom, the republicans gave voice

A woman was arrested in Edinburgh after holding a sign calling for the abolition of the monarchy, another who was evacuated from the Palace of Westminster for holding a poster “not my king” (“not my king”) , boos at the time of the proclamation of Charles III. .. The new monarch’s accession to the throne was marred by minor incidents but revealed the continuation of the republican struggle in the United Kingdom.

It’s the time of Elizabeth II’s jubilee, in June, giant signs that read “Make Elizabeth the Last” (“make Elizabeth the last”) bloomed in many major 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 that is so different from the values ​​that most of us believe in, values ​​like equality, accountability and the rule of law.” spokesperson of the Republic in a press release published after the death of the queen.

Despite being a minority in the country, republican sentiment seems to be on the rise, especially among the younger generation. With the arrival of an older and less popular king, the trend may increase. According to a YouGov poll from May 2022, 27% of Britons said they supported the abolition of the monarchy.

in Ireland, the memory of the war is still vivid

The images, shocking for some, are making the rounds on social networks. In Derry, Northern Ireland, the announcement of the Queen’s death was followed by a concert of car horns on the city’s streets. Scenes of rejoicing, comparable to those following a game of victory, contrasted with the mourning so closely observed in England.

The explanation can be found in the conflict in Northern Ireland, which opposed the 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 January 30, 1972, the city of Derry was the scene of the “Bloody Sunday” massacre, where the British army killed 14 independence activists during a peaceful demonstration defending Catholic rights. in Ireland. This memory continues to this day and for many Northern Irish people, Queen Elizabeth II symbolizes British oppression.

A similar outburst of joy erupted in the Republic of Ireland, a country that regained its independence in 1922 after 800 years of British rule. At the Tallaght stadium in Dublin, supporters 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 weight of colonization

From Kenya to Nigeria to South Africa, Queen Elizabeth II’s death has sparked many condolences from African heads of state who have praised the “extraordinary” leader and shared memories of her frequent visits. in the continent of 70 years of reign.

But the monarch’s death has also revived a sensitive debate on the colonial past in English-speaking Africa, at a time when European countries are being called to own their colonial history and return stolen goods. work of the local population.

In Kenya, for example, many remember the bloody suppression of the Mau Mau uprising 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 recall that Britain supported the Nigerian army during the Biafra civil war between 1967 and 1970. More than a million people died, mainly from hunger and disease, during the conflict. , which followed the declaration of independence by officials of the Igbo ethnic group in the southeast of the country.

“If someone expects me to express anything but contempt for the monarch who presides over a government that supports genocide that massacred and deported half of my family (…) you are dreaming” , said Uju Anya, a Nigerian-American scholar on Twitterwhich caused a lively debate on social networks.

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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *