The Socialist Party welcomes the announcement from the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) that all charges related to last summer’s Black Lives Matter protests in Belfast and Derry are to be dropped. The PPS recognised that the events were organised in a responsible manner, aimed at minimising the risk of Covid, and that they related to a matter of “important social concern”. All fines against those who took part in these protests – and a similar protest against gender violence in Belfast, organised by ROSA in the wake of Sarah Everard’s killing – must be immediately rescinded and reimbursed.
Workers generally should follow the example of the Royal Mail staff in Derry. We have a legal right to refuse to work in unsafe conditions, without penalisation. However, in order to make that right a reality, we need the power of collective organisation.
It’s fair to say that the Channel 4 hit Derry Girls, which was commissioned for a second series after its first episode, had us all in laughter and tears by the end of it. The series is set in Derry, a “troubled little corner of the world” as Erin puts it, with the backdrop of the Troubles. It follows a group of teenage girls and a “wee English fella” as they grapple with teenage angst and all the fun that comes along with it in the context of sectarian conflict and steeped in nineties nostalgia.
Recent reports in the local press, on social media and at a meeting organised by Derry Trades Council have exposed the draconian conditions facing workers in the Firstsource call centre in the city. For example, almost 140 workers have found out they were summarily suspended only upon checking their work […]