Monthly Archives: March 2009

France – General Strike

By Daniel Waldron

“THIS PROTEST is for everyone. I have children, so this is for the future”, said a sacked car worker marching on 29 January, as France was rocked by a huge general strike in protest at the Sarkozy government’s attempt to make workers pay for the economic crisis, while giving bailouts to big business. An estimated 2.5 million took part in demonstrations across the country, with 300,000 out in Paris alone, making it the largest strike in the country for almost 20 years.

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Sri Lanka: Stop the slaughter!

By Owen McCracken

BETWEEN 250,000 and 400,000 civilians remain trapped in the small area of Northern Sri Lanka still controlled by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). This densely populated area is now being bombarded by the state military with indiscriminate shelling. With coming days likely to see the bloodiest period of fighting the island has seen, it is evident that a humanitarian crisis on a par with Gaza is unfolding.

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Joe Higgins Column: Real Solidarity is United Struggle

IN THE past we typically used the word solidarity to describe working people coming to each other’s assistance against the background of a strike or a community struggle. It was often used also in the context of appeals for funds to assist poverty stricken people hit by terrible natural disasters in the Third World.

In the last five months since the onset of the catastrophic financial and general economic crisis we have heard the word solidarity repeated a lot. But in the strangest way and in the most unlikely quarters.

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NI: Youth unemployment at 15%.. FIGHT FOR JOBS.

We demand a future! 

By Paddy Meehan, Socialist Youth 

IN NOVEMBER, it was announced that 15% of young people were officially unemployed. This figure, which does not include those on training schemes, will have undoubtedly risen since then with the massacre of job losses tearing through the retail sector. This summer, thousands of school and university students will be leaving education to look for work that simply isn’t there. Every week, announcements of factory and retail closures like Zavvi and Woolworths are dumping hundreds of young people onto the dole.

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Organise to defeat fees: Shut down Third Level for a day

By Ann-Katrin Orr, UL Socialist Youth

ON 4 February, thousands of students marched through the streets of Dublin to vent their anger against the government’s plans to reintroduce college fees. This cannot be seen as the end but must be the start of a fight to force the government to back down. A mass campaign of thousands of college and school students, parents and staff must be built to achieve this.

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FEE holds successful national meeting

By Liam Cullinane

FREE EDUCATION For Everyone (FEE), a national campaign of students opposed to the re-introduction of third-level fees, held its first national meeting on Saturday, the 31 January.

Socialist Youth members participated in the meeting, with students representing FEE campaigns in colleges such as UCC, Trinity, UCD, NUIG, UL and NUI Maynooth.

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NI: University of Ulster – Scrap the Political Protocol

By Ciaran O’Neill, UU Coleraine Socialist Society

UNIVERSITY OF Ulster’s political protocol cuts across students’ rights to speak and organise. The protocol says that, “political leaflets … may not be displayed outside the closed environment”. This in effect means students are not allowed to politically organise and could be “sanctioned” by the union if they do.

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NI: Scrap fees in the FE Colleges

STUDENTS OVER the age of 18 in Belfast and other Further Education Colleges have to pay as much as £1,000 a semester for A-levels and GCSEs. The Socialist spoke to Socialist Youth member Colm Smyth, an A-level student in Belfast Metropolitan College, about crippling effect of fees on students in colleges.

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QUB protest against US Consulate visit

By Kevin Henry, QUB Socialist Society

20 STUDENTS and workers joined a picket organised by the QUB Socialist Society and Socialist Youth against the visit of US consulate representatives to Queens.

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