Sean M

Where next for Occupy Belfast as they occupy second building?

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On the anniversary of the Wall Street occupation which sparked a global movement and captured media attention, Occupy Belfast acquired a second building.  A statement released on the groups Facebook page reads ‘members of the Occupy Belfast Movement took a step towards expanding the movement’s reach by taking control of a multi-unit residential property in an undisclosed location in Belfast.

Reproducing sectarianism in republican clothes - The Proclamation misses the mark

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The new republican newssheet ‘The Proclamation’ produced by the Sean MacDiarmada Ardoyne branch of the republican umbrella group '1916 societies' exposes much of the contradictions implicit in the politics of the republican movement today. In the front page article it asks the question 'Where is Our Leisure Centre?'  The article goes on to contrast facilities in the working class catholic & protestant areas of Belfast.

FG Wilson axes 760 jobs while doubling its profits

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The major job losses will affect Belfast and Larne which is already struggling with decades of under-investment and high employment.  FG Wilson has received a staggering 12 million in various state handouts via the quango Invest NI, and last year doubled its pre-tax profits to £7.8m. Caterpillar’s share price rose by 1.2% after the announcement on Thursday. According to one inside source who spoke to the Belfast Telegraph ‘That 1.2% rise would have kept the people they were going to sack in a job,” (1)

People in deprived areas 3 times more likely to take their lives in Northern Ireland

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People in deprived areas in Northern Ireland are three times more likely to take their lives.  Health minister Edwin Poots said, ‘Unemployment rates in deprived areas further affect people and this is a major concern. Studies indicate that a 1% increase in unemployment is met with a corresponding 0.79% increase in suicide.

The chickens come home to roost in latest outbreak of violence in North Belfast

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Loyalist rioting this week in North Belfast is a reminder that beneath the shiny new ‘normalised’ Northern Ireland is a political process that reaps what it sows.  While our local politicians continue to promote and sell the North to greedy developers, investors and tourism the reality is the majority of us, the working class have been left behind by a so-called settlement in which we are left to rot to be discarded and disposed when necessary. As increasing poverty, sectarianism, lower wages, mass unemployment, lack of affordable and social housing; including the introduction of water charges back on the agenda being as raw as ever the need to build a political alternative to the politics of green and orange is as urgent and relevant as ever.

Carrick Hill residents in Belfast subjected to sectarian hatred from Loyalist parade

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There was little ‘our time, our place’ for residents of Carrick Hill on the edge of Belfast city centre recently as they were subjected to a sectarian and provocative Loyalist band parade with the approval of the PSNI along a route that has been relatively ‘peaceful’ and ‘non-contentious’ for years. Despite a parades commission ruling banning the Shankill Road band Young Conway Volunteers from playing outside St Patrick’s catholic church after this incident on the 12th July in which they were deliberately playing sectarian songs such as the Famine outside the church. (See video

Stormont Health Minister taking us for a ride over 'business flights' to US

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As the latest youth club in Belfast is threatened with closure, it is clear some of our local politicians and fat cats have never had it so good. The Irish News has revealed that DUP Health minister, bigot and creationist Edwin Poots and his advisors flew business-class to a five day healthcare conference in Boston. Earlier this year it was also uncovered that 400,000 had been spent on overseas training for 50 managers.

The New Politics of Sinn Fein by Kevin Bean- From Insurgency to Identity - Review

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As someone who moved from Irish republican socialism to anarchism, Kevin Bean offers a convincing and fascinating insight into the journey and demise of radical republicanism in Ireland. It demolishes the ‘sell-out’ narrative promoted by some quarters of disaffected republicanism by diligently exploring the rapid transformation of the Provisional movement from a counter-insurgency to an active partner in governing the state it now eagerly upholds.

Interview with striking bus worker in Belfast

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In April this year over 100 bus drivers took successful wildcat action bringing Belfast city centre to a standstill in solidarity with a work colleague who was wrongly suspended by management without using the proper procedures.  Independent Workers Union and WSM member Sean Matthews speaks to one anonymous driver from Translink about the action taken, wider working conditions and the possibility of solidarity and

The Spanish revolution and its relevance today

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This year marks the 76 anniversary of the ‘Spanish Civil War’ which is one of the most mis-understood conflicts in the 20th century. For some particular those wedded to a traditional view of history the war was merely between the forces of fascism and those committed to defending the democratically elected Republican Government. It is also this time of year when we will be greeted with a range of lectures and talks organised by the Communist Party inspired International Brigades Commemoration Committee across Ireland which deliberately distorts the reality of the 'civil war'. However, for anarchists nothing could be further from the truth. The social revolutionary upheaval was not just a battle against fascism but a new society in the making-libertarian communism.

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