Saying NO to TTIP
Party members have joined with trade unionists, the Peoples NHS NI group and other concerned individuals in a protest at the European Commission office in Belfast against the secret transatlantic trade deal – TTIP. (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership)
TTIP has its sights set on a number of public services, especially the NHS. One of the main aims of TTIP is to open up Europe’s public health, education and water services to US companies.
This could essentially mean the privatisation of the NHS.
Under the terms of TIPP international companies and corporations would also be able to sue governments if they make public policy decisions which could harm their future profits. Regulation which currently protects people, public services and the environment could be removed.
See also: https://workerspartyelection.wordpress.com/2014/12/08/supporting-public-services/
Tribalism and triumphalism
The Workers Party has condemned the spate of lamppost flags and graffiti which have appeared in the Glengormley / Netwownabbey areas in the past few days as
‘an attempt to raise community tensions and an extension of the sectarian campaigns waged by Sinn Fein and the DUP during the recent Westminster election campaign’
Party representative Gemma Weir said “This has nothing to do with culture or national identity. It has everything to do with tribalism, triumphalism and fomenting community conflict. ‘Given the nakedly sectarian stance of Sinn Fein and the DUP during the recent election campaign it is little wonder that we are now witnessing this type of behaviour on our streets’, she said.
‘Tribal spokesmen will attempt to justify their actions but the reality remains that this is all designed to be confrontational, territorial and sectarian’ Gemma said
‘I have been in touch with the PSNI Community policing team in the area to discuss the Workers Party concerns about increasing tensions and those discussions will be on-going. In the meantime those responsible for the graffiti and the flags on lampposts have the opportunity to reflect and draw back and I would urge them to do so’, urged Gemma.
‘These loyalist and nationalist gangs are hijacking the public space to wage their petty sectarian squabbles. They are neither wanted nor welcome’, concluded Gemma.
The overwhelming support for a ‘Yes’ vote in the recent referendum on civil marriage equality in the Republic of Ireland means that Northern Ireland is the only region in these islands where same sex marriage is not recognised.
The Workers Party will be supporting Saturday’s rally (June 13) in support of Civil Marriage Equality but does not believe that a referendum is the answer in Northern Ireland. Firstly the outcome of a referendum would not be legally binding, the Assembly has the power to introduce the relaxant legislation but given its recent record that is highly unlikely.
A Petition of Concern would almost certainly be used to block legislation. Given those circumstances only a legal challenge will end the unlawful discrimination which sees a same sex couple married in one part of the UK but that marriage not recognised in Northern Ireland.
The recent Yes vote in the Republic’s referendum marked a sea change in people’s attitudes and opinions and a thirst for further social change. That social revolution and the desire for change is also increasingly evident in Northern Ireland.
However, the attitudes of the main political parties in Northern Ireland are fundamentalist, conservative and out of touch. Saturday will be an important day in demonstrating just how out of touch they are.
Racist graffiti in Portadown
Workers Party Upper Bann representative, Damien Harte, has strongly condemned a series of racist graffiti attacks in the Portadown area.
‘This type of racist abuse serves only to intimidate and create fear and divisions within the community. We must all be very clear about our response – there must be no room for racists and no room for racism’ Damien said.
‘The immediate impact of these attacks can be addressed by providing the PSNI with the information they need to secure arrests and conviction. Racially motivated crimes in Northern Ireland have been on the rise. According to the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI), in the 12 months to June 2014 racist incidents rose by 36%, from 830 to 1,132. In the same period, racist crimes increased by 51%, from 525 to 796″.
‘There is a longer term problem to address but withholding information about racist attacks tells those involved that the community is prepared to let them get away with it. We must all clearly demonstrate that that is not the case’, added Damien