the Trade Unions condoning sectarianism by calling
on the Lord Mayor and the Councillors of Belfast City
Council to host a one hour protest on Friday August
2nd against sectarianism?
the last thirty plus years the working class has born
the brunt of sectarian attacks from not only Republican
and Loyalist paramilitaries but also the state who
have acted with indifference in prosecuting those
whos guilt is not questionable, or have themselves
been involved directly in sectarian attacks.
workers were murdered because of inflammatory speeches
made by elected councillors; M.Ps and so called
Christian leaders of our society.
the Belfast agreement was signed many loyalist politicians
have made claim after claim that republicans are the
only people who have gained from the Agreement and
that the republicans are the reason why there is so
much poverty in loyalist working class areas.
if you use the Noble index as a guide to the worse
poverty affected areas in NI you see nine of the top
ten most damaged wards are in Belfast, see below.
4. St Anns
8. New Lodge
9. The Mount
10. The Shankill.
the index shows not one section of the Catholic/Protestant
working class communities can claim to be suffering
more deprivation than another.So why is there so much
poverty in working class areas? Some will tell you
it was because of seventy years of misrule by unionists
in which time we lost our shipbuilding, heavy and
light engineering, ect, etc.
will tell you it was because of thirty years of war
caused by the IRA and Republicans, ect, etc.
could it be the lack of funding by successive British
Governments who were quite happy to bale out big business,
and to push through the Neo-Liberal Capitalist Agenda
of the (IMF, WBO, WTO and the European Union)? But
when it comes to Funding job creation they say they
can not afford it because of the money being spent
on security, which means less for the countrys
top of this the four main parties in the Stormount
Executive (UUP, DUP, SDLP, SF) have all being lobbying
Westminster to lower corporate tax from 30% to as
little as 10%, and are pushing through (PFI,PPP) deals
which means the privatising of our public services,
and putting profit before people. Sinn Fein have set
about selling our Health and Education services, while
Paisley's DUP are selling off our Transport and Water
people to blame for the poverty the working class
are forced to exist in are all of the above.
the rhetoric coming from some parts of the unionist
camp seek to blame only nationalists, so inciting
sectarian violence from factions within loyalist paramilitaries,
who have maintained a constant barrage of sectarian
attacks on the Nationalist/Republican/Catholic Communities
in an attempt to make the IRA break its ceasefire
and so destroy the agreement.
has the loyalist community gained from the Belfast
war is over, the IRA lost, and have surrendered their
guns. They have apologised for the suffering they
caused, articles two and three have been removed from
the Irish constitution, and you have Sinn Fein ministers
implementing British Rule in NI.
for some in the unionist/loyalist camp this is clearly
not enough. They want all out victory, and a return
to pre-1969 style of government a Protestant government
for a Protestant people, and second class citizenship
for everyone else. This is not going to happen and
the sooner they realise that, the better for all of
the European Union force through the widening of the
union to include the Eastern European states it will
mean more job loses for the local economy and the
minimum wage will quickly become the maximum wage
for all of the working class, Catholic, Protestant
and dissenter. You just have to look at what happened
to the ICTS workers in Aldergrove Airport who took
strike action against poverty pay and were sacked.
the last thirty years and more so recently, much of
the media have tried to claim that the sectarian attacks
are tit for tat, and recent comments from some of
our union leaders have claimed the same. Nothing could
be further from the truth.
republicans have been guilty of sectarianism. The
Teebane massacre for one if you needed proof. But
to say that Republican sectarianism has been equal
to the level of violence aimed at the Catholic community
especially lately is wrong.
trade unions calling on the elected representatives
and the churches to join the working class in an hour
long protest against sectarianism could be seen by
some as a insult to the memory of all the workers
murdered by sectarian paramilitary thugs. After all,
it was whose very people the ICTU are now calling
to join them who have caused the last thirty plus
years of misery by ramming there political and spiritual
beliefs down the throats of the working class.
the decision has now been reached and the City Council
with the exception of the DUP, (no surprise there)
are to host the one hour stoppage which no doubt the
media will turn into a peace rally.
protest will give the working class not only from
Belfast but the whole of NI a chance to face the people
who are responsible for the sectarianism we have to
endure every day.
leaders of our society should be on the platform on
Friday. But it should only be to beg forgiveness from
all the working class for the pain and suffering the
have caused, and to sign a pledge not to use language/actions
which could be misinterpreted and be used as a excuse
for sectarian attacks and to implement the incitement
to hatred act in NI.
will only defeated when the working class stand shoulder
to shoulder and face the sectarians down and make
the politicians and church leaders accountable for
their actions and words.
wont go away you know.
has to be DESTROYED.
writer is an Independent Socialist.
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