Sectarianism

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Anarchists not to blame for flag riots in Newtownabbey

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A WSM member responds to the crazy claims of the Newtownabbey Times.  As the sectarian flag riots continue to burn, one paper the Newtownabbey Times in sensationalised headlines in December of last year attempted to blame riots in the Newtownabbey area on “anarchists hell-bent on damage and destruction.” Quoting South and East Antrim Community Federation spokesman, Tommy Kirkham, a former independent loyalist councillor who previously represented the UDA-linked Ulster Political Research Group, who claimed that known paramilitaries were behind the trouble as “conv

Ulster Loyalism, Flag Protests & the failure of zero sum politics

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The continuing opposition by loyalists to the decision by Belfast city council to limit the flying of the Union Jack  is a product of a deeply sectarian colonial settlement that smothers the importance of class.  The disturbances were pretty predicable in the context of summer riots over parading, intra unionist rivalry and rising anger in traditional protestant working class communities over shortage of jobs, housing and perceived gains made by the ‘nationalist’ community.  The mass inflammatory leafleting by unionist parties in the days leading up to the council vote served to heighten fears in a constituency which is easily inflamed and mobilised in defence of the realm. This is not the cause of the disturbances; but the logical conclusion of capitalist decay and opportunist politicians battling for the hearts and minds of protestant working class communities- disenchanted and disillusioned with the peace dividends promised over 10 years ago.

Working Class Unity not Sectarian Diversions

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Once again violence has flared across Belfast and other parts of the north as protests continue around the flags issue. The latest disturbances come as Stormont Assembly leaders, Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness meet to discuss another wave of street protests, and their concerns about the damaging effect it is having on the economy leading up to the busiest shopping period of the calendar. But as each issued a separate statement calling for protests to come to an end, loyalist gangs flexed their muscles, blocking off streets and hijacking cars.

The Orange state is now a sectarian state where naked economic & political injustices are rampant.

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A Civil Rights march from Coalisland to Dungannon was organised on Sunday 26 August 2012 to commemorate a similar demonstration 44 years earlier and to highlight existing abuses. The march finished in Anne Street, Dungannon with speeches from Councillor Barry Monteith, Rev Fr. Raymond Murray and IWU trade union representative Gareth Mackle. 

Carrick Hill residents in Belfast subjected to sectarian hatred from Loyalist parade

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There was little ‘our time, our place’ for residents of Carrick Hill on the edge of Belfast city centre recently as they were subjected to a sectarian and provocative Loyalist band parade with the approval of the PSNI along a route that has been relatively ‘peaceful’ and ‘non-contentious’ for years. Despite a parades commission ruling banning the Shankill Road band Young Conway Volunteers from playing outside St Patrick’s catholic church after this incident on the 12th July in which they were deliberately playing sectarian songs such as the Famine outside the church. (See video

Carve up of Girdwood site in Belfast reflects the sectarian carve-up

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The sectarian row over the former Girdwood army barracks site in North Belfast is  part  of a larger picture of sectarianism and segregation forming the bedrock of the status-quo, with our local political class depending on it for their very political survival. 

In a recent report, Trademark, the Belfast-based social justice co- operative affiliated to the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, "Sectarianism still remains a serious problem in Northern Ireland." The group conducted a major survey with more than 40 interviews in private sector companies and surveyed 2,500 workers in a large retail company as part of its study. It found that "low-level but persistent sectarian harassment is a feature of too many workplaces in Northern Ireland".

Northern Ireland's sectarian violence

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Following on from this weeks July 12th rioting across the North and report from a WSM member present during the disturbances in Ardoyne, Guardian presenters Hugh Muir and Peter Sale have produced an excellent podcast reviewing the roots of the latest trouble. The podcast interviews convicted members of 'dissident republican' organisations and examines the socio/economic and political context of the latest sectarian violence. The podcast concludes that the violence remains within the fringes of the working-class, but is dangerous nevertheless.

Report from the frontlines of the Ardoyne anti-Orange Order riot

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Rioting erupted in ‘nationalist areas’ across the North on Tuesday after the annual Orange Order parades. The worst of the trouble was in Ardoyne in North Belfast which left 16 police officers injured and with over 60 lethal plastic bullets fired leaving many people injured.  WSM member 'John Creagh' reports from the Ardoyne on the disturbances and what they tell us.

Sectarian violence on the streets of East Belfast

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PSNI armored jeep from Ted Drake flickrThe cracks beneath the surface in the peace process were once again exposed on the streets of East Belfast last night in the second night of serious sectarian rioting. A UVF led mob numbering in the 100's has been engaged in attacks on catholic homes at the edge of the Short Strand.  This is the reality of a peace dividend which has failed to deliver to working-class communities and stands in stark contrast to suburbia only 5 miles away which produced golf champion Rory McElroy.

Ardoyne Riots

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This summer’s Belfast riots must have been the most anticipated for some time, being widely predicted throughout politics and the media. The August rioting in Ardoyne (and Short Strand, the Markets, Lower Ormeau, New Lodge, Broadway; and Lurgan, Derry & Armagh) saw three days of trouble, shots fired at police and a landmine attack in South Armagh.

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