Derry workers protest against dissident violence

On 15th October, 300 workers and young people gathered in Derry’s Guildhall Square in protest against a spate of bomb attacks by the dissident republicans in the city. The most recent took place on 5th October, when a car bomb was abandoned on the Culmore Road. Many people had to be evacuated from their homes. The explosion seriously damaged a nearby hotel and a branch of the Ulster Bank.

Ridiculously, they attempted to justify the bombing by claiming it was an attack on the banks which were responsible for the economic crisis. However, it has been suggested that the real target was the Strand Road police station, but the device had to be abandoned due to a heavy security presence. In August, dissidents hijacked a taxi at gunpoint in the Bogside and forced the driver to take a 200lb bomb to the police station. This is yet another example of the absolute disregard dissident republican paramilitary groups have for the lives and interests of working class people.
Dissident republicans have nothing to offer working class people. They are determined to drag the North back into open sectarian conflict, and are preying upon young people in the most disadvantaged and marginalised communities. Their actions have the potential to divide workers and weaken the fight-back against the cuts.
Derry Trades Council’s decision to call the protest against the bombings was commendable. They have pledged to respond to any further attacks in the city in the same manner. Protests of this character have the potential to isolate the tiny minority involved in paramilitary activity by mobilising and uniting the community in opposition. The Socialist Party intervened in the protest to argue that a new party of the working class must urgently be built to cut across the growth of dissident groups and give young people an alternative to the blind alley of paramilitarism.


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