No Rent, no Rates: Civil Disobedience Against Internment in Northern Ireland, 1971-1974

Rosa Gilbert


Recent scholarship on civil disobedience in Northern Ireland primarily focuses on the immediate period before the breakout of violence in 1969, and in some cases, on the mass protests of the late 1970s around the H-Block/Armagh prison protests. This paper attempts to fill the gap between these two periods in its analysis of the rent and rates strike of the early 1970s, which was initiated in response to the re-introduction of internment without trial. In doing so, it positions itself against simplistic approaches towards civil disobedience as either oppositional, or causally linked, to armed struggle. Instead, it probes the complexity of its relationship to armed struggle in relation to the Northern Irish and British state’s security policies.

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