p. 553. Life cheapens: the descent into war
- Marc Mulholland
‘Life cheapens: the descent into war’ explains how Loyalist political violence regained renewed effect with the civil rights movement. Most Protestants did not accept the claims of the civil rights movement that it wished merely for the rights of British citizens. Determined to expose its nationalist character, a substantial minority set siege to Catholics, corralling them physically and politically. The British government and army were sucked into the dynamic of polarization. The fall of Stormont in March 1972, to be replaced by direct rule from Britain, escalated Protestant fears of a sell-out. Loyalist violence soared, indicating that the ability to disrupt ordinary life lay not only with the IRA.