As part of the European-wide week of protest & solidarity initiated by the Left MEPs, a protest has been called by many groups in Belfast on 24 June.
The point of the protest is to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with fellow workers and communities across Europe who are also coming under attack in the form of job losses, massive public sector cuts and real reductions in wages. The economic crisis was created by the speculation and profiteering of hedge funds, big business and banks. It is they who should pay for this crisis, not ordinary people who have already suffered enough.
The protest is also to take a stand against the cuts being implemented in Northern Ireland. Already hospitals, schools, colleges and other essential services across the North are facing closure and/or crippling cuts. The Tory/Lib-Dem Budget to be announced on 22 June will contain even further cuts which will result in more job losses and the destruction of services which workers, the unemployed and vulnerable people rely on. We believe these cuts must be resisted. We call on all trade union, socialist and community activists to endorse our protest by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org, and to help in any way you can to advertise the protest.
Contact Gary Mulcahy, Co-ordinator of Belfast “European-wide week of protest & solidarity” 07743282321
Letter of Support
We the undersigned wish to record our complete opposition to the massive cuts being implemented and planned from Westminster and Stormont. To mark this opposition we urge people to join a protest in Belfast from 5-6pm on 24 June outside the European Commission offices on the Dublin Rd to coincide with a European-wide week of protest and solidarity.
Across Europe, workers are facing huge attacks on living standards. However, cuts are not inevitable. From Greece to Spain and Portugal, workers are beginning to fight back. Locally, workers are confronted with a tsunami of cuts. Since the current Executive was formed, cuts or “efficiency savings” as our MLA’s prefer to call them have been implemented every year across all Departments. These cuts have already led to job losses and a severe increase in workload for workers providing much needed services. Our health service is creaking under pressure from years of underfunding. The latest round of cuts announced by the Executive has already led to the closure of A&E services at Mid-Ulster and Whiteabbey hospitals. At the same time ambulance provision is being cut. This will lead to unnecessary deaths.
Cuts are being felt across all public services. The closure of schools and further & higher education campuses combined with threats to raise university tuition fees means education will no longer be an option for the thousands of young people joining the dole queue.
It is estimated up to £35 billion could be cut over the coming five years across the UK. The impact of these cuts will be devastating for working class communities who depend on public services, especially in Northern Ireland. Swinging cuts to the public sector will also lead to further job losses in the private sector.
The blame for the budget deficit does not lie with public sector workers and working class people. The fault is to be found in the boardrooms of the financial institutions, of the banks, of unelected hedge fund managers and of the speculators who made obscene profits gambling on the stock markets. In 2008/09 alone, £109.5 billion was given away to the banks to save their hides. The wealthy continue to live in luxury after being bailed out, yet it is working class and young people who are expected to pay the price. There must be a determined organised fight to oppose the cuts and protect workers jobs, services and living standards.
Jim Barbour, Fire Brigades Union
Maria Morgan, NIPSA (personal capacity)
Frank Bunting, INTO
Pat Lawlor, Unite/Amicus Royal Hospitals Belfast (personal capacity)
Tommy Black, Socialist Party
Paddy Lynn, Workers Party