Monday, 28 February 2011
Mac Coitir was responding to recent comments made by British secretary of state Owen Patterson.
Patterson has suggested that the corporation tax rate in the Six Counties could be cut to as low as 10 per cent from its current 28 per cent in an effort to ape the disastrous economic policies of the Twenty-Six County government.
This follows lobbying in favour of the cut by establishment politicians in the Six Counties, along with the business class.
Mac Coitir said: “At a time when public services are desperately in need of extra revenue, it is nothing short of economic madness to propose cutting the rate of corporation tax by a rate of even one per cent, never mind the 18 per cent the British government is talking about.
“What we are seeing is a perfect convergence of views between a British Tory government, Stormont politicians and the local business class, all in the interests of providing greater profits for the already wealthy.
“Since the economic crisis began, a number of multinationals have banked the public subsidies they received for locating in the Six Counties and upped sticks to more exploitation-friendly destinations. Slashing the corporation tax will only encourage such behaviour and leave more workers high and dry.”
Mac Coitir added: “It is absurd for anyone to suggest that the economic policies that were followed in the Twenty-Six Counties – policies that created a basket case economy in thrall to the International Monetary Fund – should be replicated anywhere, never mind in the same country.
“éirígí will continue to play its part in the building of effective resistance to the slash and burn agenda of the London and Dublin governments and the Stormont administration.
“Ultimately, what is needed to take workers out of unemployment, build efficient public services and reverse emigration is the creation of a 32-county economy that is based on public ownership and human need, not private greed.”
Tuesday, 15 February 2011
The latest incident occurred in the Carnagat and Parkhead areas of the city on Thursday, February 10 when the British army, along with their colleagues in the PSNI, launched a major operation in the nationalist areas.
Over a dozen armoured PSNI landrovers and British army jeeps descended on the working class area, whilst dozens of heavily armed PSNI paramilitaries and British soldiers disembarked from their vehicles and launched a major search operation.
This has become a regular occurrence in these areas over the past few months, with the PSNI regularly provoking nationalist youths, the last time they did this in the same area it resulted in the most serious rioting seen in decades.
In this recent incident, the PSNI were joined by British army soldiers who saturated the area. The Crown Forces proceeded to search storm drains and manholes. True to form and as predicted, they also spent their time goading youths and disrupting residents from going about their daily business.
Rúnaí ginearálta éirígí Breandán Mac Cionnaith said: “Despite the best efforts of the establishment parties to portray this society as normal, it’s perfectly clear that it is far from normal. We are still under occupation and we still have armed British soldiers along with PSNI paramilitaries on our streets.
“In fact, the British army have increased their operations in recent times, with at least two sinister covert units being re-deployed in Occupied Ireland. British armed forces in Ireland have colluded with unionist death squads and are directly responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Irish men, women, and children. The Six Counties remains under occupation and 5,000 British troops remain garrisoned in military bases across the north.
Mac Cionnaith added: “éirígí’s position is simple, the British army is not welcome in any part of Ireland, under any guise, under any circumstances. We will continue to resist all forms of imperialism whether it’s the British army or their colleagues in the PSNI.
“In the coming months, éirígí will be stepping up its campaign against British rule, we appeal for people to join us in rebuilding popular resistance to the occupation.”
Friday, 11 February 2011
Mac Coitir, a republican ex-prisoner and resident of the Lenadoon area of west Belfast, took part in last year’s peaceful protest against the annual Orange Order incursion on July 12 in response to a call for support from local residents.
Leas-chathaoirleach éirígí Rab Jackson and dozens more community activists have also been charged in relation to the sit-down protest.
They will appear in court on March 3 charged with “obstructing traffic or hindering lawful activity” under Section 20 of the British government’s Public Order Act. In addition, Jackson is charged with “resisting a constable in the execution of his duty”.
It took the PSNI several hours on July 12 last year to drag scores of Ardoyne residents and their supporters from the path of the Orange Order march that annually encroaches on the nationalist community with the permission of the Six County Parades Commission.
Several people were injured when the PSNI opened fire with plastic bullets and began batoning peaceful protestors.
“The right to live free from that form of harassment is enshrined in European law and is allegedly enshrined in law in the Six Counties. Yet, every year, the people of Ardoyne are denied that right in order to allow a mob of sectarian bully boys a day of unbridled bigotry at their expense.
“Like the people of the Garvaghy Road and the Lower Ormeau, the community in Ardoyne deserves to be left in peace. I will always support this demand and I am confident that the people of West Belfast and the Upper Falls will always support this demand.”
Rab Jackson said: “There is no reason for the Orange Order to be marching past the Ardoyne Shops except to get the message across that croppies should lie down. That a sectarian, supremacist organisation is allowed to pull this stunt, not just in Ardoyne but in areas across the Six Counties, every year is an indication of the rotten nature of the northern state.
“As long as there are bigoted institutions seeking to trample upon their rights, nationalists will have the right to organise in defence of their communities.”
Tuesday, 1 February 2011
éirígí has announced the names of two candidates who will be standing in May’s Six County local government elections.
John McCusker and Pádraic Mac Coitir will both be standing in Belfast; McCusker in the Lower Falls constituency and Mac Coitir in the Upper Falls area.
The socialist republican party took the decision to intervene in the council elections at its Belfast Ard-Fheis on January 23.
He said: “When I first became involved in the republican struggle, the goals of the civil rights movement were making the headlines, including the right to a job and the right to a home. Forty years later, these very basic and very limited demands have still not been achieved.
“This is why there is a need for a party like éirígí to stand in these elections: to reinvigorate the struggle for social and economic justice and the fight against partition and the British occupation.
“I am very proud to have been chosen by the éirígí membership to represent the party and its socialist republican politics and I am looking forward to engaging with as many working class people as possible in west Belfast over the next number of months.”
Thirty-three-year-old Falls Road man John McCusker holds a masters in international politics and has been involved in the republican struggle all his adult life.
“I am honoured to represent that platform and the politics of éirígí.”
Announcing their candidature, cathaoirleach éirígí Brian Leeson said: “In line with the decision taken by the party membership at our recent Ard-Fheis, éirígí will be standing candidates in both of the west Belfast local government constituencies.
“John McCusker and Pádraic Mac Coitir are two sterling activists who have devoted decades between them in fighting for the rights of working class people and in pursuance of socialist republican objectives.
“West Belfast has been discriminated against for decades and remains one of the most socially and economically deprived areas in western Europe. This was the case 20 years ago and it remains the case today. The vicious cuts which are being implemented by the British government and its Stormont administration are going to make an already bad situation an awful lot worse.
“éirígí is standing in this election to give the working class people of west Belfast an opportunity to say enough is enough. The fight back against poverty and partition, against inequality and exploitation starts now and there are no two better people to be at the forefront of that fight than John McCusker and Pádraic Mac Coitir.”
Leeson added: “Elections will constitute only part of that fight back. Ultimately, real change in this society will only come about when enough people get politically active in their communities, on the streets and in their workplaces.
“This will be the core message of éirígí’s electoral campaign: Together, working class people have the power to stop and rollback the cuts and, eventually, remove those responsible from power.”