Build united struggle against homophobia, sexism and capitalism In July, MPs at Westminster voted to introduce same-sex marriage and decriminalise abortion in Northern Ireland if the Stormont Assembly is not restored by 22nd October. This is potentially a huge step forward which reflects the aspirations of the majority of people […]
The anti-fracking movement in Belcoo called the first of a series of public meetings in the area with the aim of raising awareness of the renewed threat posed by the latest license application by fracking company, Tamboran Resources (UK). The meeting was well-attended and brought together activists from across the region.
We must oppose these cuts which could put lives at risk and demand the necessary funding – a relative pittance – is put in place urgently. We know money can be found when it suits the political establishment, for junkets and handout to big business. It is a question of political priorities. A campaign of community protests and trade union action can win.
It is clear that the NICS and the Department of Finance Permanent Secretary, Sue Gray, have seriously underestimated the strength of feeling and the determination of NIPSA members and activists. If NIPSA ramps up its industrial action planning, with the organisation of strike committees in local areas and with the development of a strategy and tactics to take the dispute through to Christmas and into the new year, then this shambles of a Tory government can be forced to blink first.
Workers at Harland & Wolff have shown real determination by occupying the shipyard and demanding it is brought into public ownership. The loss of more jobs and skills would be a serious blow to the local economy. Through their struggle, they have prevented the shipyard going straight to the wall.
The storm erupted in August 1969. One event lead to an explosion of violence in Derry, Belfast and elsewhere and within days British troops were on the streets. They were to remain there for more than a quarter of a century.
Boris Johnson has sent his sympathies to Harland & Wolff workers over the threat to the shipyard but has said that ultimately its future rests upon a “commercial decision”. With mealy-mouthed words, he says he wants to develop industry, but he and other capitalist ideologues cannot – or dare not – conceive of an economic model which is driven by anything other than profits for a tiny elite.
The history of Northern Ireland is often present as simply being of two traditions – nationalism and unionism – in conflict with each other. Almost everything is painted as belonging to one or the other, including the shipyard. It is also true that most things do have a history tainted by sectarianism. But there is also another history, one which we see in the shipyards, across Belfast and across Northern Ireland – that is the labour tradition, where working-class people have stood together to fight in their common interests.