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ICTU Calls for an End to Protests and Condemns Attempted Murder of Police Officer December 12, 2012

Posted by Garibaldy in Trade Unions.
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TRADE UNIONS CONDEMN ATTEMPTED MURDER OF PSNI OFFICER AND CALL FOR END TO PROTESTS

Speaking after the attempted murder of a PSNI officer and the ongoing disruption on our streets, Peter Bunting, Assistant General Secretary of the ICTU said:

“The NIC-ICTU condemns the attempted murder of a police officer last night, as she protected the office of an MP who is, in turn, under threat.

“The trade unions further call for a complete halt to all protests, pickets, and violent and verbal attacks related to the issues of flags, on any building in Northern Ireland.

“We also call on the elected representatives in the NI Assembly and local government to suspend motions calling for the raising or lowering of flags with immediate effect.

“At last, the leader of one of the main unionist parties has called for the end of street protests related to flags, but others still repeat that protests are all right as long as they are ‘peaceful’, ‘dignified’ and ‘good-humoured’.

“The trade union movement has years of experience of bringing people onto the streets to protest against violence from all perpetrators, and for equality and justice, but there are rules that we follow. The first rule is the priority of the safety of all who participate and who witness the protest – No one gets hurt. That means dealing with the civic authorities well in advance and ensuring that the protest is well-stewarded by competent people who are clearly identifiable. We always co-operate in advance with the PSNI, Road Service, Translink, local government and anyone else who may be affected, to ensure that the first rule is obeyed, and everyone goes home safely.

“Calling for others to take to the streets and then walking away from the consequences is the act of a coward.

“In the past week, we have seen attacks on public buildings, on the homes and offices of public representatives and on the police. There has been an escalation in sectarian attacks. An MP is living in fear for her life. Sinister men are working in the background and an identifiable fascist is cheered at the gates of Belfast City Hall.

“This is not a ‘crisis’ of Irishness, Britishness or cloth. This is a crisis of our democracy and our society’s willingness to listen to facts and not self-serving myths about identity.”

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1. littlemicky2012 - December 12, 2012

Might I suggest that until our friends in the north agree on a new flag or no flag policy they just fly both the jack and the tricolour off Belfast city hall. I honestly fear that when the next local elections deliver the inevitable nationalist majority there might be a temptation to scrap the union jack altogether and fly the tricolour. I freely admit to a deep gut hostile feeling when I see a union jack, but I understand that the attachment many in the north (and a few in the south) feel to it. Rubbing the noses of unionists in their slow declining power only serves the agenda of the most rightwing elements in their community and brings no closer class unity. The key battle is not symbols but ideas and for the left the building of working class unity. I would hope that comrades in Sinn Fein committed to socialism would understand that and despite the years of oppression could make such a compromise.


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