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.
Events in August 1969 are often considered to mark the start of the Troubles. In an eruption of violence, seven people were killed and 750 injured. 1,500 Catholic and 300 Protestant families were driven from their homes. British troops came on the streets and were to remain there for more […]
Harding Memorial Primary is set to become east Belfast’s first integrated school. Almost 90% of the school community voted in favour of this move. The school, situated on the Cregagh Road, balloted parents after they found an interest in integration.
Facing a new recession in the economy and the uncertainty of Brexit, we can expect attempts to impose further austerity, job losses and misery for working people. The trade union movement must prepare for the fight to come, firstly by organising the huge sections of predominantly young workers working in services – the biggest sector of the North’s economy – to prevent further outsourcing and casualisation of jobs
Over three-quarters of MPs in the House of Commons have voted to extend abortion rights and equal marriage here via amendments to the Northern Ireland Bill. If made into law, the amendments would remove the North from the 1861 Offences Against the Person Act, decriminalising abortion, in the event that Stormont does not resume by 22 October.
With Harland & Wolff just days from going into administration, placing 130 skilled jobs at risk, workers at the shipyard in Belfast – members of Unite and GMB trade unions – have begun an occupation, demanding that the government nationalise the yard to safeguard its future. It is imperative that the wider trade union movement and working-class communities rally behind these workers to defend jobs and skills at this iconic landmark for generations to come.