The euro will survive for now — but only because working people in Greece and other European countries face greater suffering. That’s the not-so-hidden agenda behind the new US$227 billion bailout of Greece organised by the most powerful countries of the European Union, mainly France and Germany. The rescue comes little more than a year after a $155 billion rescue that was supposed to stop the debt crisis. See also: United States: the nonsense battle over debt
More than 100 loyalists (supporters of British rule) were involved in a serious mob assault at a “peaceline” in the mid-Ulster town of Portadown in Northern Ireland on July 15, throwing bricks, bottles, paint-bombs, fireworks and at least one blast bomb. The mid-Ulster Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) has been widely blamed for the assault, the latest in a series of large-scale attacks it has mounted over the “marching season” (when the Protestant Orange Order holds provocative anti-Catholic marches).
About 1000 people took part in the Enough Campaign's protest against European Union/International Monetary Fund austerity program in Dublin on July 16. The campaign is supported by People Before Profit Alliance parliamentarians Richard Boyd Barrett and Joan Collins, the Unite Trade Union, the Waterford Trades Council, the Spectacle of Defiance, the Socialist Workers Party, the People’s Movement, Afri and several independent members of parliament.
Ireland’s seven-month-old United Left Alliance (ULA) is the “new kid on the block” of European anti-capitalist parties. Launched in November last year, it won five TDs (members of the Irish parliament, the Dail) in February elections, despite its name not appearing on the ballot paper. To date the ULA has also won 20 positions in local councils and one seat in the European parliament. In the Dail, the ULA TDs have already had successes, such as stopping the abolition of the Joint Labour Committees that set wages and conditions in some industries.
Violent attacks and rioting, orchestrated by terrorist Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF), have targeted communities of the Catholic minority in Northern Ireland in recent weeks. The largely working-class Catholic east Belfast suburb of Short Strand was attacked in riots organised by the UVF on June 20. Petrol bombs and rocks were thrown at homes and residents. See also Sinn Fein leader to speak in Australia
Martin Ferris, a TD (MP) from Irish republican party Sinn Fein, will address audiences in Australia in late July on the ongoing struggle for Irish reunification and independence. Ferris will address audiences in Perth, Melbourne and Sydney on the topic of “Uniting Ireland”. The tour is part of an international campaign by Sinn Fein to gather support for ending British rule over the six counties in Ireland's north.
This year marks the 30th anniversary of the hunger strikes by republican prisoners in the H-Blocks of the British-run Long Kesh prison in Northern Ireland. These hunger strikes, in which ten men died demanding "political" status, were preceded by hunger strikes in the last part of 1980 that ended with the British authorities promising a compromise, only to then betray the prisoners.
On May 5, 1981, Bobby Sands, Honourable Member of the British Parliament for Fermanagh-South Tyrone in Ireland’s north, died. The 27-year-old republican prisoner died after 66 days on hunger strike in the H-blocks of the British-run concentration camp called Long Kesh prison. Nine other men died on hunger strike, as the British government of Margaret Thatcher refused to conceed their demand to be granted the status of “political prisoners”. More:
On the 30th anniversary of the May 5, 1981 death on hunger strike of Irish republican prisoner Bobby Sands MP, Green Left Weekly spoke to Sands close friend, former prisoner in the Long Kesh H-Blocks along with Sands and leading Belfast Sinn Fein activist Séanna Walsh about the man who has become a revolutionary icon around the world
This year marks the 30th anniversary of the hunger strikes by Irish republican prisoners n the British-run Long Kesh concentration camp — an event that shook the world. The British government of Margaret Thatcher let ten men starve themselves to death rather than negotiate with them over their demand to be recognised as political prisoners. The first prisoner to begin the hunger strike was 27-year old Bobby Sands. He died on May 5, 1981 after 66 days of starvation.