The Blanket

West Belfast Firefighters Support Group

Davy Carlin

The local West Belfast Firefighters Support Group was established recently along with other local support groups after a meeting of various trade union and community activists in Central Belfast. We decided initially amongst other activities to do a collection and distribute leaflets at the Kennedy Centre on the Falls Road. With a dozen local trade union representatives from West Belfast, various unions and local community activists we were joined by over a dozen firefighters from the local fire station. Some of those in attendance had brought their kids - some dressed in firefighters uniforms. And with a fire engine parked outside we were very visible.

Rather than standing outside the premises we were actually not only invited into the main mall but also provided with table and chairs by the centre which was much appreciated. The response by the local people of West Belfast was absolutely brilliant, with not only hundreds of pounds donated in a couple of hours but people were very aware of the role of Blair and his supporters in relation to the firefighters dispute. Much of the propaganda about the firefighters put out by various networks cut no ice with many whom I spoke to.

Such support was greatly appreciated by both the firefighters and the local trade union and community activists who came to lend support. Much of the propaganda put out by the government against the firefighters is part of a bigger political agenda as witnessed through its recent interventions. The firefighters seek only fair pay yet the government refuses to allow this and calls for 'modernisation'. The FBU has stated its commitment to further introduce change for the benefit of the communities it serves and has already put out its position statement on the way forward for 'true modernisation.' Yet the modernisation the government states and seeks will actually mean cuts to fire cover and would be equivalent of closing down the entire Scottish fire service if taken in relation to UK.

With the recent support and solidarity shown in those few hours in the Kennedy Centre for 'fair pay' for the firefighters I would like to say to the hundreds who showed their support in West Belfast 'fair play' and I hope such brilliant support and solidarity will continue as Blair continues to dig in his heels while his spin-doctors unleash their propaganda.






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It is better to be defeated on principle than to win on lies.
- Arthur Calwell
Index: Current Articles

1 December 2002


Other Articles From This Issue:


Blanket Special

3 Part Series

Capo di Tutti i Capi?: The Three Families

Part Three: The Civil Rights Veterans' Story
Anthony McIntyre


Asking the Awkward Questions
Terry Harkin


West Belfast Firefighters Support
Davy Carlin


Crime And The Family

Sean Smyth


Juliana McCourt
Anthony McIntyre


A Glimmer of Hope
Michael Dahan


28 November 2002


Blanket Special

3 Part Series
Capo di Tutti i Capi?:
The Three Families

Part Two: Danny McBearty's Story
Anthony McIntyre


The Price of Peace Is In The Pocket
Davy Carlin


Bastards and Traitors!
Billy Mitchell


Dr. Ruth Inexpert On Sexy "Irish State" Controversy

Paul A. Fitzsimmons


The Letters page has been updated.




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