Sean M

Millions to strike on Nov 30th against cuts in the north & Britain

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Millions of public sector workers will be taking to the picket lines across the UK including tens of thousands in the North on the 30th November against the latest Government austerity measures that seek tol force workers to work for longer for less.  All the mainstream unions from NIPSA, Unison to GMB have successfully balloted their members, from teachers & council workers to bus drivers for the co-ordinated industrial action against the proposed new pension scheme. The scheme which will see people who day in, day out, care for our young, our frail, our elderly, our homes, streets and parks; the people who, after decades of service, be lucky to have £5,600 per year to live on when they retire.

We need a programme of class war

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Six months after the assembly elections our sectarian politicians at Stormont have finally revealed their programme for government. Typical of the media spin and economic gobbledegook that pervades the realm of politics in the wee north it talks of creating ‘more than 25,000 new jobs’ in the next four years as part of a package that seeks to attract 300m in Foreign Direct Investment through the unelected quango of Invest Northern Ireland and a 50m loan to small and medium size businesses.

The programme of course was positively greeted by our arch class enemies the bosses union under the umbrella of the CBI and its Northern Ireland chairman. A sure a sign of bad news for the rest of us. Terence Brannigan welcomed the ‘strong commitments to the economy and the priority attached to creating jobs.’

Reform vrs Revolution- What change do we want and how do we get there?

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There’s a lot to be angry about. On the one hand mass unemployment, cut backs and pay cuts, we have death and destruction on a grand scale. On the other, the crushing bore­dom and alienation of everyday life. All of these various horrors are tied together, different faces of a single system. It exploits and exaggerates every tiny little difference between us from sexism to racism and nationalism, making us compete for scraps and hate each other as we fight while a tiny minority enjoy all the benefits. This system is global capitalism backed by the armed force of the state, a pattern of economic and political exploitation that reaches into every aspect of our lives. Class oppression is not simply a small cabal of the ultra-rich in Wall Street or Washington or London it's in every workplace, every police station, every dole queue, every courtroom, every prison and every territory occupied by Western militaries, and can only be sensibly understood as such.

Prison Officers to walk away with 60 million in north as sectarian legacy continues in prisons

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The sixty million payoff to prison officers in Northern Ireland could be much better spent on addressing the causes of crime such as poverty, social deprivation and prison rehabilitation. Prison officers who served during the Troubles could walk away from their jobs with packages of more than £120,000 plus pension as part of a £60m redundancy programme aimed at ‘modernising’ the service.

Poppy day, militarism, imperialism and the promotion of intolerance

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The poppy is used as a fundraising appeal by the British Royal Legion and can be traced back to American ex-service men returning home from world war one. It was particularly associated with a poem written by a Canadian doctor, John McCrae (he died of pneumonia in January 1918). His poem begins:

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below....

Thoughts on Anarchism & the Irish 'National Question'

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Anyone who has been active on the left and broader labour movement will have faced the 'million dollar question from republicans on the 'national question'. The question of opposition or indifference to the partition of the island is often thrown by republicans like a dagger in the direction of the existing left. In responnse many become either wedded to the romantic idea of the flag removing all our sins or face the jibe of being a ‘gas and water socialist’ or at worst a sop to unionism. It’s the type of choice you get at Stormont every four years where you get to choose between Coca Cola and Pepsi. Equally it’s the type of approach of the PSNI press statement that presents every ’dissenter’ from the status-quo as being wedded to physical force republicanism. But of course its much more complicated than this….

Health & Education workers strike across the north

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Thousands of health and education workers took strike actionyesterday across the North in protest against Budget cuts in the public service. The 24 hour strike action, the first in over 30 years involves all health workers except doctors, and some school staff.

Secret Documents reveal British state collusion

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New documents uncovered by the Pat Finucane Centre in Derry reveal the endemic collusion between the British army regiments and loyalist paramilitaries in Northern Ireland. The declassified official documents uncovered highlight that the Ulster Defence Regiment’s (UDR) Belfast battalion was heavily infiltrated by the Ulster Volunteer Force(UVF) in the late 1970s.

Northern Ireland Workplace related deaths on the rise

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The number of workplace related deaths in the north has increased by 50 per cent in the past year, according to latest official figures produced by the Health & Safety Executive’s annual report. To the end of March this nine people tragically lost their lives with six in agriculture, one in construction, one in general manufacturing and one due to carbon-monoxide poisoning. The increase in a casual and flexible labour force, the global erosion of workers rights and conditions are all the end product of a system which places profit before human need.

The History of Belfast anarchism

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Historian Mairtin O Cathain’s ‘Wee Black Booke has now been added to our archive for you to read or download.  In it he pulls together reports of anarchism in and around Belfast in the years from 1867 to 1973. With no local movement for much of this period, the pamphlet looks at some individuals whose political activity merited mention in the media of the time. O Cathain’s work stops before the emergence in the late 1970s of the groups from which contemporary anarchist organisations Workers Solidarity Movement and Organise! can trace their roots.

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