Northern Ireland

No end in sight to conflict over parades

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Fierce rioting took place in several areas of Belfast and Newtownabbey over the 12th weekend. The rioting began when the PSNI enforced a Parades Commission ruling that an Orange Order parade should not be allowed to pass the Ardoyne shops on its return from the main 12th demonstration.

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Trade union movement must act against sectarianism

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The fall-out from the controversy around the flying of the union flag at Belfast City Hall brought into sharp relief the deep, sectarian divisions which remain a reality of life in Northern Ireland. Tensions were decisively heightened and feelings have been hardened in both communities.

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Still no justice for the Ballymurphy 11

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The families of the eleven civilians who were shot and killed by the British army in the Ballymurphy Massacre in 1972 continue to campaign for justice. The workers movement has a duty to support their quest and to strive to ensure that the state is exposed for its crimes over the course of the Troubles.

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Border poll will solve nothing

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At a high profile conference in January Sinn Fein called for a referendum on the border to be held during the next Stormont Assembly term. In practice this means before 2020. Almost immediately, the DUP’s Arlene Foster surprised Sinn Fein by suggesting that it might agree to a border poll.

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Flags controversy – a socialist view

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The political establishment have portrayed 2012 as somewhat of a turning point for Northern Ireland, with society moving beyond the old sectarian divisions – we have been told this is ‘our time, our place’. As if to mock the chic advertising campaigns, the dispute around the flying of the union flag at Belfast City Hall has demonstrated that this is a myth.

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No to sectarian division – unite & fight for jobs

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Young people in Northern Ireland are angry and it's not surprising. We face a jobs crisis, with almost 25% of 16-24 year olds not in employment, education or training. The only jobs that are available for most are low-paid call-centre, retail and service positions, with long hours, poor conditions and no job security.

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Parades: A new front line opens

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The eruption of sectarian rioting and attacks over several weeks in Belfast recently has demonstrated that the so-called “peace process” and the establishment of a power-sharing government have failed to end sectarian division.

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Sectarian parties will exploit Scottish referendum

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The question of an independence referendum in Scotland has provoked rumblings on both sides of the sectarian divide here. Peter Robinson has said that Unionists must not “stand idly by”, but instead do what they can to convince the Scottish people to remain within the Union. On the other hand, Martin McGuinness has welcomed the SNP’s move and suggested that they would like to see a similar vote on a united Ireland take place in the near future – perhaps in 2016, the centenary of the Easter Rising.

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