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Workers accept pay offers, but new battlelines ahead!

WORKERS in public transport, health, education and the civil service headed to the picket lines numerous times throughout the last two years which culminated in the largest public sector strike action across the North in a generation on the 18th January. Was this joint public sector strike the major turning point that forced the hand of the DUP to end their boycott? This was an important factor in doing so, but whilst the backdrop reason to the action taken fully laid the blame at the Secretary of State for NI’s feet due to the “punishment budget” he had set, public sector workers were acutely aware that they were being used as a political football to bring about a restoration of the NI Executive.
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In the face of repression Palestine solidarity protests erupt on US college campuses

On Thursday, 18 April, 108 students at Columbia University in New York City were arrested for setting up an encampment on campus in solidarity with Palestine, calling both for a permanent ceasefire and for the university to divest from any Israeli funding. Columbia and Barnard students set up the encampment on Columbia’s main campus on Wednesday, 17 April, in the early morning hours, with students saying they would occupy the main lawn on the upper campus until their demand for divestment was met. Many of the students who were arrested have also been suspended, and the University announced on Monday, 22 April, that classes for the rest of the semester would meet online rather than in person.
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Capitalism and the care crisis

In 2022, Social Justice Ireland reported that the “working poor” had increased by 40% to 134,000, and that half of those households included a person with disabilities. Disabled people are twice as likely to be homeless. Despite these realities the government’s ‘Green Paper on Disability Reform’ proposes a tiering of people with disabilities. The purpose is to force disabled people off state payments and into unsuitable work.
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Misogyny, sexism & capitalism in the dock

The trial has brought to the fore the prevalence of sexist and misogynistic attitudes that exist in the legal system and society in general. In Northern Ireland, over 94% of all rape trials have resulted in no conviction for the accused. The conviction rates for sexual violence are far lower than for any other crime. In the South only 19% result in convictions and 7% when the case is contested. As Suzanne Breen, one of the few journalists who have covered this trial in a fair manner, put it: “This was a case where it wasn’t always clear who exactly was on trial. Each defendant is rightly allowed their own legal representation. But a 21-year-old woman being cross-examined by four defence barristers over eight days pulls at your heart-strings…The young woman failed to secure the verdict she desired. She did not win, yet she has certainly not lost.”
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Young workers fighting for their future. New generation standing up!

Young and precarious workers across Britain and Ireland are getting organised. Small but successful campaigns - such as the McDonald's strike, #Betterthanzero in Scotland and Unite the Union’s Fair Hospitality initiative – have begun to rebuild a fighting trade union consciousness among young people which had been lost by decades of inaction by the majority of union leaderships.
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UCU Strike – Bosses on the run!

Only two days into 14 days of planned strike action by academic staff in Queen's University, the University of Ulster and 59 universities across Britain and the front page headline of the Times ran “University chiefs split as strikes cause chaos!” Some university bosses went so far as to publicly criticise the plans to scrap defined benefit pensions and declared support for the strike.
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International Women’s Day 2018: Capitalism oppresses women – fight for socialism!

When the twenty first century dawned young women in the US and much of Europe were being told that equality was within their grasp. They didn’t need feminism because capitalism was offering a glittering future based on growing prosperity and gender equality. Today that illusion lies in ruins.