The brutal and barbaric reality of ‘punishment’ attacks
Workers Party representative in North Belfast, Gemma Weir has condemned the shooting of a 26 year old man in the New Lodge area.
‘This is yet another barbaric and totally unjustifiable assault. It has neither cause nor justification’, she said
‘These so called ‘punishment‘ attacks and the consequences they have are in danger of becoming a sideline issue’, Gemma warned.
‘There is a real concern that this type of behaviour becomes accepted as the norm and that we fail to express sufficiently the outrage and condemnation which these actions deserve’, she said
‘In the past year there have been almost 100 shootings and beatings across Northern Ireland and a staggering 3,000 attacks since the signing of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998’ explained Gemma.
‘These are brutal, life changing and sometime fatal attacks’, she said. ‘They cannot be carried out without the support and help of a number of people in the local community’.
‘While we must continue to call on those directly involved to desist immediately we must also say to those who support them, in whatever way, ‘Examine your conscience and reflect on the role you have played in these brutal maimings and murders’
‘The police, the courts and the judicial system are the only legitimate source of redress’ said Gemma
‘Anyone with any information about this or any other attack should contact the PSNI’, Gemma concluded.
Photo Credit: AMMG Media
PANA(NI) members at the inaugural meeting Belfast
The Peace and Neutrality Alliance (PANA) which has been campaigning or more than 20 years in support of Irish neutrality, against war and the militarisation of the European Union has established a Northern Ireland branch .
The inaugural meeting of PANA(NI) heard of the continuing expansion of NATO, the threats posed by the European Union’s involvement in international conflicts like Libya, Afghanistan Syria and Iraq and the impact of weapons sales by the United Kingdom.
Membership of PANA(NI) is open to all individuals who subscribe to its key principles and to organisations who wish to affiliate. See Pana website for details – link below.
The next meeting has been scheduled for Saturday March 3rd. For further details or inquiries contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
PANA : https://www.pana.ie/about.html
Party member Paddy Wilson painting out fascist graffiti
Workers Party representative Gemma Weir has condemned the appearance of far-right graffiti around North Belfast.
Images and slogans of the group ‘Generation Identity’ have appeared across the area in recent times and points to a worrying increase of far-right activity.
“Generation Identity is just a modern incarnation of the same fascist ideology that has always aimed to divide people along the lines of religion or race in the past”, Gemma said.
Opposed While the appearance of this graffiti gives cause for concern, I am sure that any attempt to create racist divides in North Belfast will be opposed by its residents”, she added
Generation Identity has made headlines recently when it was found that its members had taken part in ‘military-style training camps’ and was instrumental in crowdfunding a ship to stop refugees sailing the Mediterranean, a particularly inhumane activity considering the hundreds of people who have died making the dangerous journey.
Stand against “In the past months, Belfast has stood against the abhorrent politics of Britain First. There is no doubt in my mind that they will stand against any attempt by this group to attack the immigrant communities who contribute so much and make our society a vibrant one.” Gemma said
“The Workers Party is completely opposed to dividing working people, be it by race or religion”
North Belfast needs more homes, decent work and better healthcare. This is what the people of North Belfast should fight for. It does not need the far-right attempting to fan the flames of division.” Gemma concluded.
Chris Bailie: Questioning the question
Chris Bailie the Workers Party representative for Oldpark has called on Belfast Metropolitan College (BMC) to explain why job applicants are being asked which political party best represents their views on equality monitoring forms.
Some people “may feel uncomfortable applying for jobs”. he said. “This is clearly an attempt to further pigeon-hole people into sectarian blocks. added Chris.
“The BMC needs to explain why they use this form of questioning when there is no legal requirement for them to do so and also to remove this question as people may feel uncomfortable applying for jobs”, Chris concluded .
Workers Party member Joanne Lowry with Linenhall Library Director Julie Andrews at the Digital Archive launch
Belfast’s Linenehall Library has launched an important digital archive of political publications, posters, essays and documents from the 1990s.
A number of items contributed by the Workers Party are included.
‘Divided Society’ is a unique and important resource that explores a critical time in Northern Ireland’s history.
Over 500 journal titles relating to the period and the peace process have been made available to search and consult.
The archive can be accessed, free of charge, at https://www.dividedsociety.org/
Time to take back public services from the private sector
Workers Party spokesperson Joanne Lowry has expressed outrage and concern at the collapse of contractors Carillion and the threat to over 500 local jobs.
“The futures and livelihoods of around 200 Carillion staff carrying out work for the Housing Executive are now at serious risk and hundreds more including those employed on Power NI contracts are at similar risk”, she said.
“I have been in touch with senior civil servants in the Department for Communities insisting that they arrange for the threatened Carillion workers to be taken on to the Housing Executive payroll immediately”, Joanne said.
“This crisis has come about as a result of the outsourcing of contracts, the privatisation of public services and the failure of companies like Carillion to deliver.” she stated.
“Public sector organisations like the Housing Executive must have their own Direct Labour Organisations to provide the level of service required and job security for its maintenance and repair teams”
“It is time that we reversed the privatisation of public services and took them back fully into public ownership”, Joanne concluded
If there is a semblance of decency left in Sinn Fein then O’Mulleoir should resign
Commenting on the announcement of his resignation The Workers Party has said that “Barry McElduff and Sinn Fein should have taken the decision a week ago”.
“Barry McElduff displayed a callous disregard for the families of those who were murdered and wounded in that blatantly sectarian attack at Kingsmills”, the Party said
“South Belfast MLA Mairtin O’Mulleoir who re-tweeted McElduff’s video should now also resign” the statement concluded
Sinn Fein’s response ‘disgraceful and contemptuous’
The Workers Party has branded the decision by the Sinn Fein leadership to ‘suspend’ its West Tyrone MP Barry McElduff as ‘disgraceful and contemptuous of the families of the Kingmills massacre victims’.
‘Sinn Fein has clearly demonstrated where its priorities lie. They are much more interested in going through the motions than in taking any firm stand against the callous and insensitive actions of McElduff.’, the party said.
‘If he had any shred of decency or dignity he would resign, but given the cover he has received from his party leader Michelle O’Neill that is now highly unlikely.
South Belfast MLA Máirtín Ó Muilleoir, who retweeted McElduff’s video clip, should also hand in his resignation.
That is the only way in which anyone can have any confidence in believing that Sinn Fein’s public apologies are anything other than damage limitation measures’
McElduff: letting the Sinn Fein mask slip?
‘Sinn Fein must sack its West Tyrone MP, Barry McElduff and publicly apologise for his grossly offensive and insensitive behaviour’, the Workers Party has said.
‘There can be no excuse for Mr McElduff’s behaviour and his post on social media’, the party said .
‘To do what he has done on the anniversary of the Kingsmill Massacre does not so much show an error of judgement but more a callous and derogatory disregard for the families of those who were murdered and wounded in that blatantly sectarian attack forty two years ago this week’.
‘The Sinn Fein leadership must demonstrate its abhorrence of his actions by sacking Mr McElduff with immediate effect’, the party statement said