Northern Ireland workers love to skive


Workers in the North like to skive off work more than anywhere else in Britain according to a survey from business advisors PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). A whopping 65% of employees admitted to skiving off work for at least a day in the past year, with a third taking between two and five days. This compares with 51% in Scotland and 62% in Wales.  Illness remains the most common excuse to pull a sickie while others display fake symptoms around the office with the hope of getting a day off such as sniffing at work, pretending to lose their voice. We also gladly top the table for inclining to skive if we see our workmates doing the same.

Release Brendan Lillis Now!


Brendan Lillis is a prisoner in Maghaberry jail in the North. He is close to death, weighing only 5.5 stone and having an estimated 10 days to live. His partner has pleaded for support as she watches Brendan slowly die. There is a media blackout and he can no longer speak nor move, and is confined to his bed, in a prison cell with no windows.

Report from the frontlines of the Ardoyne anti-Orange Order riot


Rioting erupted in ‘nationalist areas’ across the North on Tuesday after the annual Orange Order parades. The worst of the trouble was in Ardoyne in North Belfast which left 16 police officers injured and with over 60 lethal plastic bullets fired leaving many people injured.  WSM member 'John Creagh' reports from the Ardoyne on the disturbances and what they tell us.

WSM twitter live during Ardoyne Orange Order July 12th parade


It is this time of year again when the spectre of sectarianism and division comes to the fore in the north of Ireland. It is a time when communities, kerbstones and poles are marked and carved into territory. There are those who will be living in fear and silenced from speaking out while the rest of us are told to turn the other check in the interests of peace and stability. It is unfortunate, if perhaps somewhat inevitable, that the now annual battles around the ‘marching season’ fall along religious lines. The Orange parades are being used to test the supposed 'neutrality' of the northern regime and the PSNI in particular. The losing side in this dangerous game however is likely to be the working class, as the confrontations and the sectarian attacks that occur around the Orange marches drive people further into ‘their own’ communities.

Survey shows 66% of young in north neither unionist nor nationalist


The latest survey from Northern Ireland Life and Times highlights that just over half of those questioned are dissatisfied with the devolved government with most respondents believing more should be done to tackle unemployment and poverty.  Social issues appear to be of more concern to those 1205 adults questioned across all walks of life in the North than 'the national question', and 45% of those polled do not consider themselves nationalist or unionist.  This deviation from expectations is very strong with the young, 66% of those aged 18-24 considered themselves neither nationalist nor unionist.

Sectarian violence on the streets of East Belfast


PSNI armored jeep from Ted Drake flickrThe cracks beneath the surface in the peace process were once again exposed on the streets of East Belfast last night in the second night of serious sectarian rioting. A UVF led mob numbering in the 100's has been engaged in attacks on catholic homes at the edge of the Short Strand.  This is the reality of a peace dividend which has failed to deliver to working-class communities and stands in stark contrast to suburbia only 5 miles away which produced golf champion Rory McElroy.

The need to reject armed republicanism


Last weeks killing of PSNI officer Ronan Kerr combined with the massive public backlash expressed on various media outlets and rallies has served to strengthen the status-quo and the acceptability of the PSNI. In doing so providing a hostile environment for radical politics to operate in and ‘legitimacy’ to an intensification in intimidation and repression of republicans, their families and dissenters who dares to question the status-quo. Some media commentators suggesting that the booby trap car bomb will do for the PSNI what Bloody Sunday massacre did for the Provisional IRA.

Belfast March against Cuts



Congress says NO to unfair and unnecessary cuts which are damaging services and costing thousands of jobs.
Join with your communities and the trade union movement in our protest against the Westminster and Stormont austerity policies in Belfast on 26th March 2011

Capitalism is the real problem


This article was first published in the Monday edition of the Andersonstown News a few weeks ago.

The dreaded IMF have now landed on our shores, thanks to the bankers, property developers and their lackeys in power.

Once again, ordinary people will bear the brunt of a new round of vicious cutbacks in jobs, wages and conditions and social services, all, we are told, in the name of the ‘national interest’ . 

The Belfast police mutiny of 1907


During the 1907 Dock strike in Belfast there was a police mutiny involving 70% of the Belfast police.  In this article John Gray argues that "When we look at the 1907 Dock Strike in Belfast and the police mutiny of the same year simple myths begin to evaporate. We find unskilled workers, mainly Protestant, fighting the employers, many their future leaders in the UVF, we find policemen, many Protestant, mutinying, we find the Independent Orangemen mustering hundreds of Protestant workers under a platform asking Protestants as Irishmen to play their part in the development of Ireland as a nation." The article is from Anarchy No 6, published in London in 1970

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