At the end of March on Easter weekend, Ireland celebrated its 100th year anniversary of the 1916 Rising. Never heard of it? Nor had I until I embarked in a grand old trip to the emerald Isle, my Mother’s land.
1916 Rising, more commonly know as the Easter Rising, was the first major revolt against British rule in Ireland. Irish republicans wanted Ireland to be an independent country, to stand on its own 2 feet.
Sounds kind of interesting? Exactly what I thought.
The Irish republican was made up of activists, people who believed that it was important for Ireland to be its own country, under its own laws and to part from British ruling. They wanted to do something about it, and they did. Irish republicans rebelled and went up against the British Military.
Well in my eyes this sounded like something which was a courageous act by a group of people who felt passionate and wanted Ireland to be a place which they could call their own. This group believed that its country should be able to be independent, you could almost say that Ireland was grown up enough to stand on its own 2 feet away from Britain. If it hadn’t happened, would Ireland still be Ireland?
But it was criticised as an unnecessary battle, which resulted in heavy amounts of ongoing violence with over 500 people being killed. Over 50% being civilians who hadn’t been involved in this decision to fight.
Still interested? Good… keep with me… this is the bit about how they became independent.
After the rising came to an end, British authorities executed all those who were leaders in this rebellion and arrested over 3,500 people who they suspected were involved. That’s a lot of people, over those just wanting to stand alone? Many of the Irish folk didn’t like this, they didn’t like it one bit. Which lead to many more being up for being an independent country, which they became.
The top things that stood out to me when discovering this valuable piece of history:
1. The rebellion was lead by ordinary people. Teachers, poets, journalists, playwrites and political activists leaders of something that changed Ireland forever.
2. They sacrificed their lives. They had families and still a whole life to live. But with the support of those around them who believed. Their history still lives on and is celebrated.
3. Women were recognised too! Yes! A group of 200 female activists were involved in the rebellion and hold an important place in the 1916 Easter rising.
So why am I telling you this?
Social Action occurs as the result of co-operation and struggle between the individual and wider society.
Well to me Easter rising started because a group of people were struggling with what their country was or wasn’t becoming. They were struggling with how their society was, so they did something about it. This to me is true activism, history is swarmed with stories similar to the Easter Rising. Communities, groups of people who were passionate about their beliefs, made sacrifices that they knew would change perceptions, laws the environment for the better. They stood up against others and were the voice that many look for.
Social action, activism… a way to make changes for the better in communities, the world. If you believe in something, find others that are passionate about it too and do something! You don’t have to come from the richest of families or have all the resources, you just have to have drive and persistence to do what you believe will make a change. Reflect from history, there are some amazing and inspirational stories out there. Is there something you want to change? are you a social activist?
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