cwi VOTING TAKES place this month for the general secretary of NIPSA, Northern Ireland’s biggest trade union with a membership across all areas of the civil and public service. It can play a crucial...

AS WE go to press, it seems almost certain that Northern Ireland’s Executive and Assembly will collapse this week. New Labour’s Northern Ireland Secretary John Reid will probably suspend the institutions in the hope that they can one day be resuscitated.

The situation outside the Holy Cross primary school has developed into an ugly stand-off as community leaders talk about trying to settle the conflict. At root, this conflict is about redefining boundaries between Catholic and Protestant areas, which is further polarising the communities.

One of the most vicious recent attacks was on the home of a Muslim family in Craigavon. A gang of up to ten men armed with baseball bats threatened to burn the family out; they have since left the area.

PEOPLE HAD been expecting this suspension and now fear that it could be permanent. We will now likely face a long drawn out political crisis with little hope of any agreement at the end.

The Socialist Party has decided to challenge the right wing and sectarian parties by putting up two candidates for the Assembly. Voters in East and South Belfast will have the chance to elect someone who will fight to defend the common interests of working class people and to break the logjam of sectarian politics.

WITH THE Assembly in long term suspension, the main political parties are once again enjoying the luxury of permanent opposition. They have suddenly found their voice again and are able to lay the blame on Westminster for cutbacks, privatisation and other unpopular policies.

The Socialist Party and its forerunners in Northern Ireland have consistently campaigned for working class unity and the struggle for socialism as the only answer to the sectarian division that is part of every day life. Through patient work in often extremely difficult and polarised conditions they have built a base in...

cwi 80,000 turned out in Belfast, despite the wind and rain, to support the trade union demonstration against sectarian attacks. This was bigger than any of the previous anti sectarian trade union rallies that...

Committee for a workers' International publications


p248 01

p304 02