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Workers demand housing, civil rights

On February 1st the North Belfast Civil Rights Association held a march in Belfast to protest massive housing discrimination in North Belfast.

The totally corrupt nature of the Irish peace process is illustrated by nationalist workers demanding housing rights 46 years after the slogan was raised on the first Civil Rights march in Derry on October 5th, 1968.

The housing crisis is not a hangover from the past, but a harbinger of a reactionary future. It is driven by state    collusion with Loyalist intimidation, creating a miniature apartheid state with nationalist penned behind "peace walls" maintained by the state.

Speakers at the rally warned that the downgrading of the housing executive and the transfer of housing stock would privatise and further sectarianise housing, leaving it in the gift of Sinn Fein and the DUP and removing the limited housing rights available to the working class. Sectarianism would reach new heights when the local parties implemented the austerity programme.

The new movement has much to contend with: restrictions by the Parades Commission, threats from loyalist thugs, a campaign of slander and disinformation from Sinn Fein and disinterest from trade union and socialist groups complacently wedded to a colonial, imperialist, settlement.

For all that it is a movement of great importance, having already understood that to oppose sectarianism is to oppose the British state and its supporters.


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