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The liberation of a former Bank of Ireland building in Belfast

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 Occupy Belfast seized the initiative Monday by re-possessing the former Bank of Ireland building in Royal Avenue gaining media coverage both here and across the world. Around a dozen protestors including a WSM member entered the building, unfurled banners and put up barricades despite early attempts by the police to illegally evict us. A WSM member who took part gives us his views on the occupation below.

 

Vita Cortex Workers Rally at the Dáil

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About 150 people rallied at the Dail Thursday lunchtime in support of the Vita Cortex Workers.  According to SIPTU Manufacturing Division Organiser, Gerry McCormack, “the Vita Cortex workers have shown enormous courage in making the stance they made.  They are tolerating appalling conditions in terms of sleeping on foam on the ground at night, in what might be described as a large shed, and are fully determined to stay until this employer engages in a meaningful way to resolve this issue. The new owners of the company borrowed millions of euro from AIB to buy out previous shareholders and used the company assets as collateral against those loans.  They gambled with our members’ jobs and livelihoods to gain control over a valuable site in Cork. The Vita Cortex workers securing their rightful redundancy entitlements is a cause which should be supported by all trade unionists and those who believe in the just and fair settlement of industrial disputes. Failure to win this struggle will amount to a massive defeat for all those fighting against the race to the bottom; it will not be allowed happen.”

SDLP leader pleas ‘poverty' as we face their cuts

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SDLP leader Dr Alasdair McDonnell has claimed that Stormont assembly members should be entitled to a ‘small increment’ on their 43,000 basic salary a year and better pension payments to keep them from ‘poverty’ in retirement. Yet again one rule for them and another for the rest of us as these gangsters on the hill expect us to bear the brunt of their vicious cuts in jobs and services being imposed by all our local political parties at the behest of their masters from Westminster.

Independent Workers Union hold successful benefit in Belfast

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Up to 100 people attended a benefit organised by the Independent Workers Union in Belfast last Thursday. Members and supporters listened to a passionate speech given by IWU organiser Tommy McKearney at the Na Croisbhealai workers café on the need to organise in our workplaces’ and build an alternative to the rotten neo-liberal model being imposed on us. Tommy gave a similar talk at the workers co-operative in Octoberand can be viewed here.

Alliance HQ targeted in ‘dirty protest’

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The ongoing dirty protest by some republican prisoners in Maghaberry over prison conditions has landed on the doorsteps of David Ford, Minister of 'Injustice' at Stormont.

Last night members from the Republican Network for Unity smeared excrement on the doors of windows of Alliance HQ in South Belfast. In the past, the offices have been picketed and occupied in a campaign to end brutal strip searching and abuse in Maghaberry which has been exposed in consistent reports.

Cork mobilises against the household tax

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The past two weeks have seen growing momentum in the Campaign Against the Household and Water Taxes in Cork city and county. A further 6 public meetings have been held to initiate local organising groups to build the campaign: Dunmanway and Skibbereen in West Cork , Bishopstown and Gurranabraher in the city, and Ballincollig and Blarney. They join Cobh in East Cork, Ballyphehane, Mahon and South Parish/Greenmount on the citys southside and Ballyvolane, Farranree and Mayfield on the northside.

Some unemployed workers 432 euro worse off after budget

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Reading all that budget analysis you'd be forgiven for thinking that the unemployed were unaffected by the budget by and large; and you'd be wrong.  None of our news commentators in the mainstream media made much of the dramatic cut to the circumstances of the unemployed. A single person on the dole in rented accomodation is going to be €432 worse off this coming year.

Christy Moore visits Occupy Dame Street and sings Ride On

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Singer songwriter Christy Moore dropped into Occupy Dame Street in Dublin last night to sing and send grettings to all the Occupy camps in the major cities of Ireland,  at Cork, Limerick, Belfast, Waterford, Kerry, Athlone, Galway and the over 2000 Occupy camps world wide.  In the video Christy refers to being in the 'Yellow Submarine,' thats the wooden structure built to serve as a kitchen for a camp that is waterproofed with heavy yellow plastic.  Christy then sings 'Ride On' before heading off into the night to the applause of the assembled campers.  

(Pic: a still from Dave's video of
Christy Moore at Occupy Dame Street)

N30 strike round up for northern Ireland

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Biggest rally in decades outside Belfast city hall Up to 200,000 public sector workers took part in the one day industrial action across Northern Ireland along with millions in the rest of the UK. Trains and buses were halted along with about 400 schools being closed with Irish Congress of Trade Unions assistant general secretary Peter Bunting predicting at the rally that ‘people are going away more determined to oppose the cuts coming down the line.’

 

Coverage of the N30 strike in northern Ireland

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WSM members & supporters in northern Ireland provided live coverage of the N30 Pension strikes  via our Twitter feed. Anarchists in Derry  put a banner up in the city centre in solidarity with today's strike and a WSM leaflet (below) was  distributed across the north.

The strike was part of the UK wide public sector strike against attacks on public sector pensions, attacks similar to those imposed on public sector workers in southern Ireland over the last couple of years.  They are part of a Europe wide offensive against the pensions rights of workers.

(Pic: Anarchist solidarity banner at Derry rally)

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