Ulster

Abortion: Legal Challenge to Exclusion of N. Ireland Women from NHS

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The Court of Appeal has reserved judgement on a legal challenge to the exclusion of women from N. Ireland from NHS abortion services.

Last May Mr Justice King ruled in the High Court that the residence-based exclusion was lawful, despite the fact that people living in the North pay the same amount of taxes as everyone else in the UK and should therefore be entitled to the same services. The case was brought forward by a woman known as A in order to protect her identity and her mother.

Three years ago, A, like many other women from the island of Ireland, had to raise the nearly £900 to avail of an abortion in England.

Stormont Bans Paying for Sex Work

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Today in the North of Ireland it will become illegal for people to pay for sex work.

In spite of protests by sex workers and their allies Stormont has ignored their voices.

Despite 98% of sex workers who were surveyed by the Department of Justice last year coming out against the bill, 81 MLAs (out of 108) voted in favour of it. This represents a complete contempt towards sex workers as they struggle for labour rights.

The new law is extremely irresponsible and it will do nothing to protect sex workers; it will only drive them further underground and put them in more danger. Banning the purchase of sex isn't going to stop it happening and it would be foolish to think so.

Sinn Féin, Welfare Reform, and Building a Culture of Resistance

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As our bankrupt local political class squabble over the crumbs from Westminster’s table, the class war continues with the re-packaged ‘Welfare Reform’ bill - a further erosion in the standard of living of the vast majority while transferring wealth to the small minority. Don’t be fooled by token opposition from mainly nationalist political parties to oppose the bill, particularly from Sinn Féin, that they are ‘defending the most vulnerable in our society’ because they are part of the problem rather than the solution proving that the parliamentary route ends in disempowerment, corruption and betrayal. Rather than ‘defending the most vulnerable’, let’s remember their record in power from consistently rolling out the red carpet to representatives of Imperialism at home and abroad, to their rolling out of the red carpet to the Queen and Commander in Chief of the Parachute Regiment Prince Charles, to their support for tax cuts for the rich, cuts to education and healthcare, opposition to women’s right to choose, to the criminalisation of republican prisoners over the last decade.



Derry Public Sector Cuts: Workplace and Community Solidarity, Not Electoral Promises

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As part of the forth coming series of strike actions next month by public sector workers across the north, trade unionists and community activists held solidarity march and rally in Derry today in an effort to highlight workers concerns. Speaker after speaker condemned continued attacks on working class communities by Stormont politicians united in their efforts to implement Tory Cuts ‘in the name of austerity’.

One final speaker, a Dublin based community activist engaged in the fight back South of the border, gave provoking examples of how working class communities their have rallied together, stood up and fought back on many different occasions over the past number of years, which in turn has inspired thousands to do the same.

March 13th: Unions Strike Across North of Ireland, but One Day isn't Enough

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On the 13th of March, unions across the north of Ireland will be striking against another round of service cuts and job loss proposals including the introduction of prescription charges.

The Minister for Health would like to introduce prescription charges across the 6 Counties. The DUP’s Jim Wells claims that this is to be done in order to provide a “cash injection” to his department to create a specialist drug fund which would pay for drugs that are either too expensive or too specific to be licensed right now. In doing so he is proposing £3 per item and hopes to raise between £5m and £10m per year claiming that this is not “unreasonable”. But it is unreasonable; the rich should be taxed for this.

Brutality in Maghaberry Prison - the Background

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Earlier today over 50 people protested outside Amnesty International HQ, in Dublin, against the brutal treatment of republican prisoners in Maghaberry prison in Antrim. This has flared up again with, for instance, republican prisoner Martin Kelly having his arm broken and face stomped on by the riot squad only 5 days ago. Here is the background to the struggle of these political prisoners for basic human rights.

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When the H-blocks closed as a part of the peace process in 2000, republican prisoners were put into Maghaberry prison because it is the only high security prison in the North of Ireland. But anti-Good Friday Agreement republicans were getting imprisoned in Maghaberry from the late 90's. The prison administration straight away treated all political prisoners as “criminal”. The rights that were gained from the prison struggle in the late 70's early 80's were taken away.

End The Abuses in Maghaberry – Solidarity with Political Prisoners

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The violence that erupted within the confines of Maghaberry Prison this week was the accumulation of ongoing tensions directed at political prisoners by Prison Authorities who are continuing to implement a punishing regime within the confines of Roe House, which houses around fifty Republican Political Prisoners. That's why we are saying End The Abuses in Maghaberry – Solidarity with Political Prisoners!

Since the end of January the Republican wing was put on lock down, 23 hour lock up, controlled movement and regular brutal forced strip searching despite an agreement brokered in the summer of 2010 to address these issues.

At the height of the violence, white-line pickets and protests occurred in both Belfast and Derry, as well as outside Maghaberry Gaol itself in an effort to highlight the abuse of human rights within Roe House. Reports coming directly from Maghaberry have been reminiscent of the horrors inflicted on Political prisoners in the H Blocks and Crumlin Road Gaol during the 1970’s and 1980’s. Prisoner representatives and their families have stated that several prisoners within Maghaberry’s Roe House have been attacked and beaten with one prisoner requiring hospital treatment after sustaining a broken arm. Legal challenges have also taken place as solicitors for those prisoners assaulted have been denied access to their clients who were initially refused immediate medical treatment as a result.

Robinson racist remarks show bigotry at the heart of Stormont

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The recent racist attacks in Northern Ireland against migrant workers are an indictment of the Stormont status-quo which thrives on blaming minorities for the problems inherent in capitalism. It is the political class and sections of the tabloid press who constantly provide the ammunition for racist attacks.

Britains secret dirty war in Ireland - the MRF & FRU

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The recent BBC  documentary 'Panorama: Britain's Secret Terror Force' may have once again put a spotlight on the extent of British state sponsored terrorism in the North and the activities of its various shadowy forces; but the level of orchestration, impunity, collusion and cover up is yet to be truly uncovered. The documentary revealing the activities of the Military Reaction Force (MRF) was aired just a day after Northern Irish Attorney General John Larkin called for an amnesty on atrocities committed during the Irish troubles. He may be right to break this taboo, but was he lobbied by British soldiers and their friends who fear justice taking its course as this evidence comes to light?
 

Bloody Sunday: Justice, it concerns us all

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As the relatives of those murdered and injured on Bloody Sunday gathered this week to launch this year's commemorative events, anarchists in the city echoed their call by encouraging everyone interested in standing up for human rights and social justice to support the annual 'march for justice' which will take place on Sunday 2nd February.

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