In a statement today, the strikers at Shanganagh Waste Water Treatment Plant, announced that 2 wo
Oppose Sectarian Marches Catholics and Protestants Unite and fight!
Sectarian tensions have been heightened in Belfast after a provocative Orange Order march forced its way up Donegal Street past the St.Patricks Catholic Church, just on the outskirts of the city centre.
The protest was deemed illegal by the parades commission however this didn’t deter a Loyalist band on July 12th to march past the church whilst playing the racist “Famine song”. As a result of these actions a Royal Black Preceptory march was subsequently banned from marching past the same church on Saturday August 25th.
On the day the Young Conway Volunteers from the Shankill refused to recognise the ban and defied the Parades commission ruling by marching past the church, this ended with cops injured and several arrests. But the real story here was that Loyalists would march where they wanted and not be stopped by the parades commission or the PSNI.
This act of sectarian defiance was supported by the head of State Peter Robinson , Nelson Mc Causland and Nigel Dodds from the DUP along with every elected unionist politician in Belfast.
They choose to blindly ignore the sectarianism of the Orange Order and Young Conway volunteers and instead decided to take a swipe at the parades commission and call for their abolishment. Nelson McCausland went even further to excuse the violence and intimidation and said the actions of loyalist bands in Belfast on Saturday were "almost inevitable" given the "anger" felt about the Parades Commission.
This is the same Peter Robinson who talks about ending “them and us” politics but gives the green light to sectarian marches .The biggest party in Northern Ireland is playing dangerous sectarian games ,they are stoking up sectarianism and supporting those who partake in it.
At the end of September there will be a centenary march commemorating the signing of the Ulster Covenant ,in Belfast there will be over 20,000 marching in city centre again passing the St.Patrick’s Church. There is a real danger this will escalate into high levels of violence given the tension created by the previous two marches and the fuel added to fire by politicians.
People use the excuse of “culture” as a reason for accepting and allowing the Orange Order to parade where they want .The Fact remains that they are a deeply political and reactionary organization .When not busy playing Famine songs outside the Catholic church they spend their time attacking immigrants and gay marriage.
It is the absolute duty of any progressive and anti-sectarian to oppose these marches.
The events over the past few months go alongside other sectarian events such as the road blockade in support of Loyalist killer Billy Hunter and riddling with bullets the house of Peter Neill, a key witness in the murder trial of Catholic Coleraine man Kevin Mc Daid .
A republican Henry Joy McCracken commemoration marched was also attacked by a group of 350 loyalists. Water cannons were used by police after 47 were injured as a result of the rioting.
The Good Friday agreement didn’t eradicate sectarianism but entrenched it into the heart of the state. The approach of the DUP and SF is to base politics on one communities interest against the other. In no way does this challenge sectarianism but enshrines it in every day politics.
Worse still, the path of "respecting" other "cultures" led Sinn Fein MP Pat Doherty to campaign for the Arts council to publicly fund the Castlederg Young Loyalist Flute band who include on their website songs glorifying the murder of Catholics.
Sinn Fein is part of the set up and don’t have the desire to tackle sectarianism in the sectarian state of which they are a key component .
Over the next few years we will have devastating cuts implemented ,hitting the most vulnerable in our society. Billions will be slashed from welfare payments along with tens of thousands of job losses in the public sector.
In order to beat these brutal cuts will need unity between Catholic and Protestants. The Stormont parties are uniting to make us pay ,we need to be united on the ground if we are to win and stop their cuts. Class politics is the only arena in which sectarianism can be truly challenged.
Whilst building unity against the cuts we have to at the same time stand firm against the people enthusiastically using sectarian provocation and intimidation to bring us back into the past, that means taking a principled stance against these marches wherever they take place.
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