Tuesday, 30 December 2014

éirígí Remember Volunteers Grant & Quinn in Newry

10814245_10204315898316556_872738692_n
Residents of Newry's Derrybeg estate, along with former Republican Prisoners and community leaders joined with éirígí on Christmas eve to mark the 41st anniversary of IRA volunteers Eddie Grant and Brendan Quinn.
The annual wreath laying commemoration has been held every year since éirígí became active in the Newry area.
Both men were tragically killed in Monaghan Street on Christmas Eve 1973 when a bomb they were carrying exploded prematurely. Sadly a civilian was also killed in the explosion.
10841474_10204315905876745_1125844710_n
The crowd gathered at the Republican monument in Derrybeg to remember and pay tribute to those who lost their lives. During the ceremony a wreath was laid by long standing community worker Anthony Coyle in memory of both men.
Speaking at the event éirígí’s Newry spokesperson Stephen Murney said “Eddie Grant came from Derrybeg while his comrade Brendan Quinn lived just out the road in Cloughreagh. Both were Republicans and both men were volunteers in the Irish Republican Army. Tragically both young men were taken before their time along with a civilian.

10872552_10204315906596763_919185462_n
“Volunteers Grant and Quinn both actively participated in the struggle for national and social liberation, and, like many other hundreds of men and women, both gave their lives. The objectives for which those men and women fought and died for remain unfulfilled”
Murney concluded “We aren't here to try to speak for the dead, nobody can do that. However we can safely say without fear of contradiction that the goal that these men set out to achieve remains to be achieved. They fought and died for a socialist republic and that fight continues to this day”

Saturday, 13 December 2014

éirígí Commemorate Egyptian Arch Ambush in Newry

éirígí Commemorate Egyptian Arch Ambush in Newry

Friday [December 12] marked the 94th anniversary of the historic Egyptian Arch ambush which took place on the Camlough Rd in Newry in 1920. The socialist republican party éirígí commemorated the anniversary by holding a wreath laying ceremony at the site of the battle on Friday morning.



The audacious operation resulted in the loss of three heroic IRA volunteers, William Canning, Peter Shields and John Francis O’Hare.

The operation began when IRA volunteers attacked the RIC barracks in Camlough. Reinforcements consisting of British soldiers and RIC personnel left Newry to reinforce the Camlough garrison. When they reached the roadblock under the Egyptian Arch the IRA volunteers on top, who had taken up their positions earlier, dropped grenades onto them– two or three found their target but were thrown out before they could explode. Others exploded on the road. Volunteer William Canning was hit in the throat and head and died instantly. It was later admitted by the RIC that his body was thrown from the top of the Arch as “it was the quickest way to get it down”. Volunteer John Francis O’Hare  was badly wounded and captured. He was taken to a British military hospital and kept there until July 15 1921. He died from his wounds on October 5 1921.

Also badly wounded in the ambush was volunteer Peter Shields, but his comrades managed to help him to safety. Shields died from his wounds on Christmas Day 1920 and was buried in an unmarked grave in Omeath.

Speaking after the event éirígí's Newry representative Stephen Murney paid tribute to the IRA volunteers “We started commemorating this historic event back in 2010 by unveiling a plaque to mark the 90th anniversary of the Egyptian Arch ambush which saw three IRA volunteers paying the supreme sacrifice for Irish liberation. For far too long this historic event was largely forgotten about and we felt it would be fitting to pay tribute to the fallen volunteers. Even though it’s six years until the 100th anniversary we are already planning events to mark the centenary.

“The volunteers involved in the ambush were soldiers of the Irish Republican Army who took part in a meticulously planned and daring operation involving over 200 volunteers. We are proud to be here every year to pay our respects to these courageous volunteers and the sacrifice made on that cold December night 94 years ago”

Murney concluded  “These men were soldiers of an army, an army that was to the fore in resisting British occupation. Despite the odds being stacked against them they nonetheless faced the foe with outstanding courage and bravery. The principles by which the organisation stood and for which many of its members paid the ultimate sacrifice remain relevant almost a century later.”






Monday, 1 December 2014

The resistance continues, and the flames of intifada burn: PFLP message to éirígí and Irish struggle

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine sent the following message to éirígí on the occasion of  its Ard Fheis, or National Conference on November 29, 2014:


On the occasion of your national conference, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine extends to you our comradely and revolutionary greetings. The Palestinian people and the Irish people have a long history of joint struggle, confronting and challenging colonialism, political imprisonment and military occupation. The British colonialism that you today struggle to end in Ireland, and to unify your country, is the same British colonialism that brought the Balfour Declaration and welcomed the Zionist movement to colonize and occupy Palestine. We salute your struggle for a fully liberated, democratic, socialist Ireland!

Today, in Palestine, the Palestinian people are facing an escalating onslaught from the Zionist settler colonial racist state. In Jerusalem, there is an ongoing, constant drive to erase the Palestinian character of the city and to push the Palestinian people from Jerusalem. Home demolitions, land confiscation, settler invasions and settler attacks, official threats to Muslim and Christian holy sites, the stripping of Jerusalem IDs and residency rights – all of these are part of a systematic campaign by the Zionist state. The ongoing attacks on Palestinians in Jerusalem and the escalation of the rapid colonization and ethnic cleansing of Jerusalem are part and parcel of the ongoing Nakba that has been taking place in Palestine for over 66 years.

In the West Bank, colonial settlement construction is increasing – Palestinians are daily faced with land confiscation, violence and attacks by occupation soldiers and colonial settlers. Mass arrests continue in the West Bank and Jerusalem and over 6,200 Palestinians are held as political prisoners inside occupation jails. On a daily basis, homes are raided late at night, belongings ransacked and Palestinians kidnapped for interrogation, torture and arrest. Palestinian children and youth are targeted for arrest, interrogation and harassment by the occupation forces.

Meanwhile, the Palestinian Authority and its “security forces” continue to arrest and detain strugglers of the Palestinian resistance, while soldiers and settlers attack Palestinians and their villages and cities – burning olive trees and other crops, running down children, invading mosques, attacking women and men – on a daily basis, while the PA “security” do nothing to protect the Palestinian people.

In Gaza, thousands of people remain without secure housing or homes following Israel’s genocidal “Operation Protective Edge” in July-August 2014. We saw the massive upsurge of the people around the world protesting the occupation aggression on Gaza, and in support of the Palestinian resistance. The siege continues against the Palestinian people, and the United Nations’ so-called reconstruction plan threatens to continue to impoverish Palestinians, while providing profits to occupation capitalists. It collaborates with the occupier’s “security” agencies to surveil Palestinians while attempting to disarm the resistance, something to which our people will never concede or agree. It is imperative to keep up the international support for Palestinians in Gaza, Jerusalem and throughout Palestine and make it clear that the solidarity on the streets of the world this summer continues.

In occupied Palestine ’48, our people face an increasing racist onslaught. From the so-called “Jewish nation-state” proposed bill, to demands for workplaces “free of Arabs,” to repeated and institutionalized threats at the highest levels of the state to transfer and strip Palestinians in ’48 of citizenship, to the over 50 laws that discriminate against Palestinians in ’48, there is a racist attack and continuing Nakba that has never ended against Palestinians, no matter what citizenship they are forced to carry.

Palestinian refugees inside and outside Palestine continue to struggle for their right of return. The Palestinian people are in a state of siege everywhere – inside occupied Palestine on the entirety of our land – and inside the refugee camps of Lebanon and Syria. Palestinian refugees in Lebanon face massive poverty and are denied basic rights, while Palestinian refugees in Syria struggle to survive amid war. And all of these Palestinian refugees face the struggle they have continued since their expulsion from Palestine – to implement their right to return to their homes, lands and villages from which they were expelled by the occupation and its armies of terror. The right of return is the central issue in Palestine, the key to the liberation of our land and our people as a whole.

Palestinian political prisoners are under attack and under siege – as mass arrests continue on a daily basis, prisoners are denied family visits, and regularly face armed raids by occupation “special forces.” There are now over 500 Palestinian political prisoners held in administrative detention without charge or trial. The cadres of the PFLP throughout the West Bank are facing mass arrests and ongoing targeting attempting to disrupt and demoralize the work of the Front. Just today, 27 November, Comrade Abdel-Alim Da’na, a long-time leader of the Front in al-Khalil, who spent over 17 years in occupation prison, was once again kidnapped by occupation military forces who raided his home at dawn. The political leadership of the Palestinian people – including Comrade Ahmad Sa’adat, General Secretary of the PFLP – is held in the prisons of the occupation in a desperate attempt to suppress the growing popular movement that is escalating on a daily basis toward a new intifada. Éirígí has been a consistent voice and presence, raising the images and the voices of Palestinian political prisoners and standing with Comrade Sa’adat. The distinguished experience of Irish political prisoners is one that also inspires and informs the struggle of Palestinian political prisoners; the connections between our prisoners of freedom stretch back decades and continue to the present day.

The Palestinian resistance is indeed strong and growing. At all levels, from demonstrations, to sit-ins, to armed resistance as a central core of the struggle for liberation, the Palestinian people are resisting the occupier and dedicated to breaking its racist siege everywhere in Palestine. The resistance in Gaza prevented Israel from achieving any of its goals in its brutal aggression over the summer; today, the resistance in Jerusalem is burning and growing, confronting the settlers and their army and demanding freedom and liberation. After the murder of Mohammad Abu Khdeir, the occupation state attempted by all means to suppress the growing resistance in Jerusalem and the West Bank – from the mass arrests of thousands of Palestinians, to the demolition of the homes and stripping of IDs of resistance fighters in Jerusalem, to the shooting and killing of young demonstrators, to escalating their aggression and murdering thousands of civilians in Gaza – yet the resistance continues, and the flames of intifada continue to burn.

International solidarity is critical at this time. The Palestinian people are under siege – and are struggling for justice and liberation. The work that éirígí has done in this regard is a critical part of a growing international movement that stands with the Palestinian people and supports the Palestinian resistance in all its forms. It is clear on the streets, from Ireland, to Europe, to North America, to Asia, to Africa, to Latin America, to the Arab world – that the people stand with Palestine, with the struggling Palestinian people, and against the occupier and his illegitimate, racist, settler colonial project on Palestinian land. The growing international boycott at all levels of the occupation state – including economic, academic, cultural, political and all other forms of boycott – reflects a growing movement for international isolation of the Zionist project in Palestine. Your revolutionary solidarity and steadfastness gives strength to the Palestinian national liberation movement and our people as we struggle for a democratic, liberated Palestinian on the entire land of Palestine. U.S. imperialism and the European Union are doing all they can to support their strategic ally, the Zionist state. The Palestinian struggle is not only a confrontation with the Zionist project, but with global imperialism. And just as the imperial powers stand with the occupier, the people of the world stand with Palestine.

On this occasion, we bring to you the greetings of Comrade Ahmad Sa’adat from behind the bars of the occupation, General Secretary of the PFLP; Comrade Abu Ahmad Fuad, the Deputy General Secretary of the PFLP; the Central Committee and all of the cadres and members of the Front. We also extend our solidarity to you – in your struggle for freedom and liberation from colonization; against exploitation and injustice; and for a truly socialist and liberated Ireland. Every victory that you achieve in your struggle is also a victory for the Palestinian people and for our collective struggle for a world that is free of racism, colonialism, imperialism, oppression and capitalist exploitation.

Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine

http://pflp.ps/english/2014/12/01/the-resistance-continues-and-the-flames-of-intifada-burn-pflp-message-to-eirigi-and-irish-struggle/

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Stephen Murney Interview with Mustadafin World Front

Part 1 of an interview éirígí's Newry spokesperson Stephen Murney took part in with Fatima Bidar from Mustadafin World Front, a news website working on human rights and anti-imperialist subjects. They have decided to have interviews with activists around the world and publish them in three languages, English, Persian and Arabic and we are privileged to have been asked to participate. The interview focuses on the struggle in Palestine and the fact many of us in Ireland naturally take to the streets to protest and show solidarity and support to the people of Palestine as we in Ireland are also involved in struggle against occupation and imperialism. Many Irish people have a very real understanding and empathy with the Palestinian struggle simply because Irish people are able to directly relate to the experiences of the Palestinian people. Any population that has the misfortune to find itself under foreign occupation will inevitably stretch out in solidarity and friendship to others in the same situation.

Part one

MWFpress-

* Hello Stephen. Please introduce yourself to us and tell us about your activities.

- My name is Stephen Murney, I live in Newry in occupied Ireland. I’m a political activist with the socialist republican political party, éirígí, and I’m also a former republican prisoner. As a member of éirígí, I’m active across a wide range of issues of concern including campaigning for a British withdrawal from Ireland and exposing the unchanged nature of British imperialism in Ireland.

That includes challenging false premise that the various political agreements since 1998 have somehow resolved the main issues which have caused repeated cycles of conflict and oppression in our country over successive generations.

It should be remembered that those agreements were very carefully crafted by Britain and US administration. While they created an illusion of change, the reality is that did not address or resolve the core political, social or economic issues that lay at the heart of conflict in Ireland.

In both partition states in Ireland today, the two administrations are implementing anti-working class austerity measures, both have access to a wide range of repressive legislation. In the North of Ireland in particular, we still have heavily armed police that can call upon the British military for support and assistance, and Britain’s secret intelligence service, MI5, with several hundred personnel in the North, still operates with impunity.

Campaigns that I’m directly involved in include opposing the anti-working class programmes of the Stormont Coalition parties and raising awareness in relation to the conditions Republican prisoners have to endure. Along with other party members, I’m also active on international issues such as the situation in Palestine and party comrades are intensely involved in the mass protests and popular mobilisations opposing the introduction of water-taxes in southern part of Ireland. There the government is attempting to tax people for using water in their own homes.

* Why is Palestine important for you as a social activist?

- Given our own history in Ireland – the historical and ongoing experience of having been forcibly occupied by Britain as a foreign power, of having gone through the devastating impact which imperialism and colonialism wreaks upon subject nations and people, of experiencing the very political, social and economic injustices that occupation creates – many Irish people have a very real understanding and empathy with the Palestinian struggle simply because Irish people are able to directly relate to the experiences of the Palestinian people.

Any population that has the misfortune to find itself under foreign occupation will inevitably stretch out in solidarity and friendship to others in the same situation.

As a small example, here in Ireland we have a system of detention used by the Northern state which we call “Internment by Remand”. That system ensures many Republicans are held in prison for lengthy periods without ever being found guilty of any offence. I have been a victim of that system.

Palestinians suffer under “Administrative Detention” which ensures they can be held in Israeli prisons for years without trial. I and many other Irish Republicans and our families can relate to that.

* Why do we still witness America and England's support for Israel and the UN silence, while everybody is talking about human rights and freedom?

- America and Britain see the Israeli state as an outpost, one whose interests they will protect at all costs.

Let’s not forget that both the USA and Britain helped established the modern Israeli state, have armed it, financed it, and have helped Israel develop an offensive nuclear capability.

Israel has often been described as the USA’s “unsinkable aircraft carrier” in the Middle East. That demonstrates the important strategic interests - political, economic and military – which the US in particular attaches to Israel.

* Western mainstream media has been hiding the truth about Palestine and hides the murders of Israel in Palestine. Do you think it is possible to confront with the mainstream media? If yes, how?

Its important to remember that the western mainstream media is very much controlled by capitalist forces whose interests are tied directly to the interests of US, British and other western governments. It is therefore not beneficial for them to expose the brutal and unjust nature of Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territory. In that respect, it is extremely difficult to break through the barrier of that media’s self-imposed censorship.

However, through the development and use of social media, it has become possible to widely disseminate the truth of what is happening in Palestine to a far wider audience than would have been the case twenty or thirty years ago.

Indeed, as was seen during the recent armed assault upon Gaza, the use of social media by Palestinian people and by their activists, by the support and solidarity networks which have developed in many countries meant that it was possible to present real time updates of what was happening almost instantly.

Part 2 of the interview will be published next week

Monday, 24 November 2014

Murney urges community vigilance following upsurge in Newry break-ins

Following a recent spate of break-ins in the Newry area, éirígí’s Newry spokesperson has urged local communities to be vigilant and to take precautions to keep their homes safe from intruders.

Several homes were targeted recently in the O’Neills Avenue and Barley Mews areas which prompted a number of residents to contact the socialist republican party.

Commenting on the incidents éirígí’s Stephen Murney said “The fact that there have been several homes broken into in a very short space of time in the same general area is a worrying development. To be targeted in such an intrusive manner can obviously be very distressing for any family. 

“Unfortunately in today’s society there will always be those who will resort to criminality to satisfy their own selfish needs. It’s clear that the PSNI and the British judicial system are failing working class communities. However there are measures local people can take to help prevent their homes from being targeted”.

“It’s time local communities started to look at alternative community based projects which could help stem this, and other types of anti-social activity. In the past, in other areas of Newry, éirígí activists have been heavily involved in organising community empowerment initiatives which, in a positive way, helped to at least thwart and prevent similar anti-social elements.

The party representative concluded “Particularly at this time of year we would urge local residents to be vigilant and to pay particular attention to neighbours who may be more vulnerable to thieves, such as the elderly and those who live alone. A good deterrent to criminals is of course a strong community spirit and local residents working with each other to ensure their homes and valuables are safe and secure. Organising community based initiatives is one way of combating this unwanted activity”.

Sunday, 9 November 2014

éirígí Newry slam glorification of British Forces of Occupation

The socialist republican party éirígí has criticised a number of supermarkets in Newry after the erection of stalls to promote the Royal British Legion’s “Poppy Appeal”.
The collection stalls were erected in at least two large stores, Tesco and Sainsbury’s, and this has prompted members of the public to contact the party to voice their concerns and opposition.
Commenting on the offensive pro-imperialist stalls, éirígí's Newry spokesperson Stephen Murney said “It is often falsely portrayed that the Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal is simply for remembrance purposes, yet nothing could be further from the truth.
“In fact according to the Royal British Legion, the appeal supports not only former British soldiers but also serving members of the British Armed Forces. This includes the occupation forces currently garrisoned here in Ireland, those who colluded with loyalist death squads and those who have murdered countless Irish citizens including here in Newry. Not only that but it also includes British soldiers who were involved in murderous exploits in Iraq and Afghanistan in more recent times.

"Even in Britain itself, there is increased criticism of the poppy campaign which many people now view as having less to do with memorialism and more to do with support for specific British military campaigns and jingoistic enthusiasm for British involvement in war generally."
Murney continued by saying “It was only a few weeks ago our activists were among those who protested at Sainsbury’s in opposition to that stores complicity in funding Israeli genocide, murder and terrorism and now they, along with Tesco, add further insult to injury by helping to support British imperialism.
"Those  who permitted these stalls on their premises would do well to spare a thought for the victims of the Britain's war machine in Ireland and elsewhere”.

The Newry representative concluded “We are formally writing to the managers of both stores to voice our opposition to the promotion of the British Armed Forces and we will be demanding that in future they refrain from promoting such offensive displays.  It will be interesting to see their justification for permitting these displays."

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

SINN FÉIN – THE ILLUSION OF RADICALISM DISAPPEARS

SINN FÉIN – THE ILLUSION OF RADICALISM DISAPPEARS


SSCcopySF
In the past éirígí has generally avoided singling out individual parties among the Stormont Coalition for criticism – choosing instead to address the collective actions and responsibility of ALL members of that Coalition in implementing Westminster’s austerity programme.
However, following the publication of the draft Stormont budget (largely agreed by Sinn Féin and the Democratic Unionist Party) it would be simply wrong not to highlight Sinn Féin’s abject failure to protect the interests of the most vulnerable in our society and indeed the interests of the working class generally.
The DUP has never claimed to be a radical or left-wing party. Sinn Féin, on the other hand, consistently presents itself as both radical and left-wing.
Far from being a radical all-Ireland party with radical all-Ireland policies, reality demonstrates Sinn Féin to be a partitionist party implementing conservative and reactionary policies.
That party’s endorsement of the Stormont budget proves the point beyond any doubt.  As Sinn Féin leaders in the Twenty-Six County state present their party as a bulwark against austerity, their leaders in the Six Counties are actually implementing austerity.  It is a party which selfishly seeks to sit in power for power’s sake, and not for the sake of making positive, meaningful change to the lives of the people which it claims to represent.
In the 26 Counties, Sinn Féin has made opposition to austerity their major campaign platform, promising to protect the vulnerable and the interests of Ireland, rather than accepting the demands of the Troika.
In the 26 Counties, Sinn Féin’s recent electoral growth was largely based on its apparent opposition to the Dublin government’s programme of austerity, including the slashing of public spending and public services, the raising of new and existing taxes and the targeting penalising of ordinary workers and the less well-off.
In the 26 Counties, Sinn Féin have been the most vocal critics of the Irish Labour Party whom they accused of selling-out the working class by implementing budget cuts designed and imposed by the Troika.
In the 6 Counties, well…. that’s where we see a totally different Sinn Féin, a party that too often accedes to demands of the British political establishment.
In the 6 Counties, Sinn Féin is a party that refuses to defend public services, that agrees to cuts to public services and embraces the privatisation of public services, a party whose ministers have closed dozens of schools.
In the 6 Counties, Sinn Féin is a party that sells out the working class by agreeing to and implementing hundreds of millions of pounds of budget cuts at the behest of the Tory Party in Westminster.
Sinn Féin in power in the Six Counties has much more in common with the Irish Labour Party in power in the Twenty-Six Counties than either would prefer to admit.
ssssss
Joan Burton, Irish Labour Party, “we have little choice but to observe the conditions of the troika.” –  Martin McGuinness, Sinn Féin, says cuts are, “Best deal possible”
Perhaps, they should both merge as one party and abandon their pretext of protecting working class interests, of being radical and of being left-wing.

Vols Patricia Black & Frankie Ryan MFB re-launched

Last night (01/11) was the occasion for the Volunteers Patricia Black and Frankie Ryan Memorial Flute Band to re-launch at a function in the Parkhead area of Glasgow.
Since their formation to the present day the band have been staunch supporters of éirígí.
The crowd in attendance were able to hear Angela Nelson, Chairperson of the Justice for the Craigavon 2 campaign speak in relation to the continued imprisonment of Brendan McConville and JP Wootton. After giving a detailed overview of the facts of this blatant injustice, Angela urged those listening to do all they can to highlight the case.



Next to speak was Stephen Murney, éirígí representative for Newry. Stephen spoke of the Craigavon 2 and the friendship he made with the two Republicans while also unjustly imprisoned in Maghaberry Gaol. He proceeded to inform the crowd of his own experience in the conditions faced by Republican Political Prisoners in the gaol and the daily challenges they face in resisting the criminalisation policy the prison regime attempt to enforce upon them.



Stephen then spoke of éirígí and the role of those assembled in bringing change to our respective communities and to the wider world. He was clear to place emphasis on activism of many kinds. Whether it be through outlets like Republican bands, international solidarity groups, community groups, youth clubs among others. The emphasis, he said, must be on everyone being active in their own communities and promoting the revolutionary change needed to our societies.
Stephen finished by thanking the band for their continued support and discipline in the previous four years.
The band then took to the floor for a rousing performance before the night ended with a local folk band taking to the stage.
Congratulations to the band on a successful re-launch.




STORMONT’S BUDGET – AN ATTACK ON ALL OF US

Stormont
It was quite apt that the two main Stormont parties chose the run-up to Halloween to announce agreement on their draft budget which will see several hundred million pounds being slashed from public service spending across the Six Counties.
In recent times, members of at least one Stormont party opted to don the false face of hypocrisy in order to engage in street campaigns claiming to oppose such cuts in the full knowledge that such actions were mere acts of street theatre completely devoid of any real substance. ‘Ruling by fooling’ is one description that comes to mind.
But the false faces have now been removed. For the main Stormont parties, completely defending the existence of Stormont now takes precedent over defending public services or defending working class communities and the vulnerable in our society.
Since September 2010, when we originally launched our party’s Stormont Isn’t Working campaign, éirígí has consistently stated that Stormont’s economic agenda is designed in Britain and has been and will be implemented without question or dissent by local politicians.
stop stormont cuts orange1
We make no apology for correctly forecasting that British Tory government instructions to institute widespread cuts across all public sector services would be dutifully implemented by Stormont through ‘modernisation agendas’, ‘health service streamlining’,  ‘reform initiatives, and ‘private investment incentives’.
Of course, we were accused of scare-mongering when we said that the reality for people in the Six Counties would be a massive, negative impact on housing, employment, health and social services, with continued community disintegration and housing shortages, reduced services for the ill and vulnerable, and further financial pay offs to companies through the privatisation of public services with rock-bottom wages.
Stormont’s latest draft budget, like those before, completely vindicates our position.
For the sake of our communities, we would have like to have been proved wrong.
But now is the time to fight-back, to join with trade unions, communities and with the more progressive elements within our society and say: enough is enough!
We are now facing into the most critical time for public services in the Six Counties since the era of Margaret Thatcher.
Plans are being implemented to shed thousands more jobs in the public sector. That will mean less services for you, increased waiting lists for health care, less support for the ill and the elderly, for families, for young people. Front-line services in health and social care and in education are already being cut across all six counties. And all this will grow even worse over the next five years.
Working class communities and those workers organised in trade unions must unite in opposing the joint agenda of the British government and its Stormont lackeys.
A new political, economic and social order is required right across Ireland to bring radical, meaningful and effective improvement to the lives of working class people.
Stormont is a clear impediment to that. Now is the time to reject the Stormont parties, reject their hypocrisy and build a radical political alternative.

STOP STORMONT CUTS!

The Stormont Coalition
The Political Parties of the Stormont Coalition will ramp up their PR machines over the next few weeks using catchy slogans and sound-bites aplenty. Government ministers and party representatives will harp on about “being brave” and “making difficult decisions” for the people of the Six Counties. Stormont government sources are suggesting that the impending cuts could run as deep as £700m – £850m.
And we’ve seen it all before. In December 2010 the two main Coalition partners, the DUP and SINN FEIN, along with ALLIANCE, agreed to and voted for these cuts with the aim of ‘absorbing’ £4 BILLION of ‘spending cuts’ – at the time, one Stormont Coalition Minister commented, “It will be a good Christmas present for the people of Northern Ireland(sic).”
Stormont
Stormont’s 2010 Christmas present means:
  • An estimated 130,000 people are seeking work – a figure Stormont won’t acknowledge
  • One in every four young people aged 18-24 are without a job
  • 1 in 5 children live below the poverty line – where families struggle to pay for basic necessities such as food, heating and clothing. *Astonishingly, this figure increases to more than 2 in 5 in West Belfast and in some areas of Derry as high as 63%*
  • 21% of pensioners live in poverty
  • 34,776 households on waiting lists
  • The new Welfare Reform Bill will hit the less well-off
If the Stormont coalition won’t acknowledge that there are 130,000 people in the Six Counties who want and who need work, how can that coalition ever get to grips with the economic crisis or all the social problems which flow from that?
And Stormont’s cuts agenda already impacts upon everyone.
  • In Health, up to 5,000 jobs, including many front-line workers, face the axe by 2015
  • 1,500 posts earmarked to go in the next year
  • The number of hospital beds is being reduced
  • 50% of residential care homes for the elderly to close
  • In education, schools in each of the Six Counties are facing threat of closure
  • Individual school budgets cut-back
  • Many young, newly qualified teachers cannot get permanent jobs
  • Far reaching changes to Welfare Benefits will hit the vulnerable, the ill and the poor
  • Housing Benefit will be cut and a ‘bedroom tax’ introduced
  • Community and voluntary sector groups are under-resourced and under-funded
A04P101-02
First Minister Peter Robinson, DUP & Deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness, Sinn Féin
Party representatives from the Stormont coalition would have you believe that they are not responsible for the misery sowed upon the people in this part of Ireland. Some of them would even tell you that the same Stormont government that implements the very cuts to your public services is not responsible for some of the highest child poverty rates in Western Europe.
Not content with the high child poverty rates or high youth unemployment, those snake-tongued politicians with their double-speak, media jargon and fancy PR campaigns are now going to attempt to swindle you out of a few hundred million more – and hand it, by way of a few fancy cash transactions, straight into the pockets of the European banks.
Party representatives from each of the government coalition partners will meet over the next few days, sit in a room together and cut the budgets of the government departments that handle Housing, Education & Welfare by as much as 20%. Our Health Service, already ravaged by cuts to beds and under-staffing, may not escape the turmoil.
Then those same politicians, after a few hours of deliberation and a few cups of tea, will stand in front of the assembled media and tell you that what they just did – they didn’t do – that it was someone else.
But you’ll know exactly who it was – and don’t you forget it.
IGNORE THE LIES from the Stormont Coalition Parties – These are not ‘Tory Cuts’ – They are Stormont Cuts!

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Newry Palestine Support Group Protest at Sainsbury’s

Newry Palestine Support Group Protest at Sainsbury’s
Once again the Newry Palestine Support has taken to the streets to show solidarity and support to the people of Palestine.

Over a dozen activists took part in Saturday’s protest outside the Sainsbury’s store in the centre of Newry. Complete with Palestine and PFLP flags the activists distributed hundreds of leaflets to Saturday shoppers. A banner which read Saoirse Don Phalaistin (Freedom for Palestine) was also unfurled at the busy Quays shopping complex.
Commenting on the successful protest a spokesperson for the Newry Palestine Support Group said “Today we have made hundreds of people aware of the reality of what is happening in Palestine. We distributed hundreds of pieces of literature regarding the Israeli linked goods that are being sold from Sainsburys, goods such as Coca-Cola, L’Oreal, Garnier, Nestle, Nescafe and Halawi products to name but a few are all being sold in this store. Sainsburys use suppliers that trade in products from illegal Israeli settlements, these settlements are built on stolen Palestinian land and are illegal under international law.”
“Despite a supposed ceasefire in Gaza, Palestine is still suffering under Israeli occupation. In fact today Israeli forces have sealed off the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip, as Palestinians prepare to mark the Muslim feast of Eid al-Adha. To add insult to injury, on 30th of August, Israeli occupation authorities announced that they will confiscate almost 1000 acres of Palestinian land belonging to five villages situated south of Bethlehem. Along with Jabaa, Nahalin and Surif, much of Wadi Fukin’s land will be stolen and given to three nearby Jewish-only settlements. ”
The spokesperson continued “Purchasing Israeli products provides support to the Israeli economy, which in turn lends support to the Israeli state and its murderous campaign against the Palestinian people. Following our first protest at Marks and Spencer the Newry Palestine Support Group were inundated with messages of support from people in Palestine and we also received a statement of support from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. “
“Boycotting of Israeli goods sends a very strong economic and political message to Israel – ‘apartheid and genocide are not acceptable in our world.’ Just like the apartheid regime of South Africa, Israel is on the wrong side of history. For as long as that regime exists right-thinking people across the world will organise opposition to it.”