Maria

Hidden costs of the Fermanagh G8 run beyond millions spent policing protest

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The Security budget for the Fermanagh G8 operation, to encompass cities in Northern Ireland, including buildings, phone lines and whatever else may be deemed a ‘Security risk’, will add many millions to the already astronomical security budget .  There is £3.8 million for drones and £1.3 million for pop up hotels for the 2,500 extra Officers already drafted in.  The additional cost of subsistence and logistics involved in PSNI guarding 208 empty buildings in Belfast from a mythical anarchist plan to occupy them is no more than a ridiculous attempt to scare anyone who is against the G8 Summit. These sort of stories in the media are intended to thwart any attempts to allow for freedom protest.   The supposed economic gains of pantomime are alleged longer term investment that will be brought to the province in the way of business for some hotels! But the less visible costs include the cost of the loss of earnings for local residents for the three days of the summit, the road closures and disruption to people’s lives and privacy.

Fighting for abortion rights in Northern Ireland

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In the North of Ireland, abortion is prohibited under the Offences Against the Persons Act (1861) - with some common law exceptions.  If continuation of the pregnancy threatens the life of the woman, or would adversely affect her mental and physical health where the effects are ‘real and serious’ or ‘long term’, are two such examples.

Croke Park II - the view from the north

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The Croke Park 2 deal soon to be voted on in the republic will force all public sector workers there to accept 1 billion cuts to be delivered through wage cuts & longer working hours leading to fewer jobs.  So far only a few unions balloting their members are calling for a NO vote to the extension of the Croke Park agreement. By most unions the deal is being sold as the only way to avoid worse cuts.  Instead, a walkout and a indefinite strike is what needs to happen. Public sector workers can reclaim the Unions from so called realpolitik and keep hold of the hard won collective bargaining rights for workers not yet lost in Croke Park one.

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