THE BULLETIN OF SOCIALIST YOUTH
Reclaim Pride Also inside: lFighting the Bigots! lstruggliNG FOR THE RIGHT TO CHOoSE lOlympics Austerity? lsOlida rity with Spainish Miners According to recent statistics, anti-gay prejudice in NI has risen dramatically in the last three years. Even, shortly after these statistics were released, Ulster Unionist Ken Maginnis on a live radio debate condemned the LGBT community as “deviant” and compared homosexuality to bestiality! By Luke O’Brien Local politicians have played a disgraceful role in stoking homophobia. Iris Robinson was named "Bigot of the Year 2008" when she described homosexuality as an “abomination”. Alliance MLAs have publicly opposed equal marriage rights and Sinn Féin take part in the New York St. Patrick's Day parade despite calls for a boycott from excluded gay groups. This homophobia has a concrete impact on the lives of the LGBT community in Northern Ireland. For example, Health Minister Edwin Poots has ignored medical experts and refused to allow gay men to
give blood, as they can in the rest of the UK. More dangerously, it gives confidence to thugs who carry out homophobic bullying and attacks, which are also on the rise. In the context of economic crisis and brutal austerity, right-wing politicians and religious figures will cynically try to use homophobia and other forms of bigotry to try to divide the working-class. The LGBT community has won many victories in recent years but these can come under attack as the establishment try to distract from the real issues facing ordinary people. In the face of rising homophobia and the continued institutional discrimination that members of the LGTB community face lack of equal marriage rights, lack of adoption rights, the blood ban, etc there’s no denying that its essential that the LGBT community gets organised to take on the Stormont politicians on these
issues and resist bigotry. There are groups which do admirable campaigning work but, unfortunately, there isn't mass involvement. While the Pride events which take place here are important, they have become de-politicised and Belfast Pride is largely a commercialised festival. This must be change. Ultimately, homophobia cannot be done away with on the basis of capitalism. As the current economic crisis has demonstrated, this system cannot provide jobs, homes and a decent standard of living for the majority. It creates the social conditions in which homophobic hatred and other prejudices can breed and are often fostered by the political elite. The struggle for real LGBT equality must be linked to the struggle for socialism where the massive wealth that exists in society is used in a planned, democratic way to meet the needs of everyone, not just provide massive profit for a tiny elite.
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“I lied about what a great time I had on holiday” – this is the way one woman described her own horrifying experience of travelling to England to terminate her pregnancy. These words give a glimpse of the emotional turmoil women find themselves in when they make the hard decision to end a pregnancy. By Ann Orr No-one can argue that this is a decision women, partners and families take lightly in any country. However, in Ireland – North and South - the choice is made even more difficult as women have to travel to England, Wales, Scotland or further afield to access abortion services. In 2010, over 5,500 women attending abortion clinics in England alone gave addresses in Ireland. The Family Planning Association estimates that the average cost of travelling to England from Northern Ireland for an abortion (including travel and accommodation) is £2,000 – a huge amount of money for young people and workers which has to be accessed in a very short space of time in these situations. The lack of safe, non-judgmental and on-demand abortion services here is putting a huge added and unnecessary strain on women and families who find themselves in an already difficult
situation. Further sex education and contraceptive services as well as support for women who want to have children is necessary, as women should truly have the right to decide if and when they have a child. Women should also be given the proper financial support to help them raise children. However, the current proposals for changes to the welfare system are going in the opposite direction. The support for a woman’s right to choose was shown by a strong counter-demonstration at City Hall in Belfast. They were protesting against the disgusting and offensive “pro-life” march. Legal change is necessary and women here need to continue to fight for their right to be able to access abortion services. The social stigma that continues to be attached also needs to be challenged further to make sure that women will have access to safe, free and on-demand abortion services which include after-care and counselling support if needed.
FIGHT THE SECTARIAN BIGOTS
It's summertime again and, while the weather will probably be crap, both Orange and Green bigots will be preparing for a hot one. Last year, the riots following the UVF attack on the Short Strand and the march at Ardoyne saw paramilitaries from both sides draw young people into conflict. As the marching drums get louder, sectarians will again seek to whip up tension and disrupt people's lives – all to serve their own mindless agendas and distract people from the real problems we face. By Daniel Waldron The Orange Order is a right-wing, sectarian organisation. Residents of Ardoyne and other Catholic communities have genuine concerns about parades going past their areas, especially since elements of loyalism – like those behind the rioting last summer – consciously want to provoke violence. 'Dissident' republicans are cynically exploiting people's real concerns and hoping to whip up conflict so they can pose as 'community' defenders. If rioting does flare up this summer, the likes of Martin McGuinness and Peter Robinson will, no doubt, 'tut tut' from the sidelines and say how these people have
nothing to offer society. That's right, but neither do the right-wing parties at Stormont! All the main parties rely on sectarian division to keep their grip on power. In fact, the loyalists and republicans stoking violence today are taking their lessons straight from the pasts of our First and Deputy First Ministers! Paramilitaries have always sought to exploit workingclass young people, particularly the most disenfranchised and alienated. There's a growing social crisis facing our generation, with endless barriers being placed in our way – youth unemployment at 20% and climbing, fewer college and uni places and benefit cuts robbing us of our independence. This can create the frustration that sectarians prey upon but none of these groups – Orange or Green, inside or outside Stormont – can offer anything but a future of more poverty, violence and hopelessness. We need to build a political movement that brings young people together to challenge sectarianism in all its forms and fight for a decent future – free from poverty, violence and environmental destruction. That means challenging the rotten capitalist system which breeds these problems.
Austerity games brought to you by: l Only McDonalds are allowed
The London Metropolitan Police have taken this opto sell chips at the Olympics. portunity to increase their l They will be providing 20% repressive tools and are of the food at the games - How practicing a lockdown in London: healthy does the organisers l Squashing the right think their food is?
l Coca Cola has exclu-
sive advertising and marketing rights until 2020! l The Coca-Cola corporation has overseen factories in Columbia where trade unionists have been killed to cut across workers getting organised.
Striking Miners show:
Mass arrest of a cyclist demo on the first day of the Games. l Militarisation
Positioning of a missile system on a block of flats against the wishes of the residents. l Breaking
Workers who discussed using their democratic right to strike were threatened with soldiers marching them to work.
Anti-austerity movement ignites in spain Against a backdrop of a massive €100 billion EU/IMF bailout for Spanish banks and mass youth unemployment of 52%. Spanish miners have been engaged in a heroic all out strike for over two months to defend their jobs and community. By Kevin Henry As part of the new right governments program of austerity they have cut coal subsidies by 63%. Like we have seen in Britain this will mean economic destruction of mining communities. At the same time mining bosses like, Victorian Alanson who owns 40% of the national production and still makes huge profits. . While the Prime Minister, Rajoy, has tried to use Spain’s recent euro cup win to dis-
tract from the massive crisis facing Spain. The miners brought the spirit of resistance into Madrid on the 11th July chanting “This is our Team.” As the miners entered the city they were greeted by 250,000 workers and youth from Madrid who poured onto the streets to express their solidarity chanting “Miners, you are the dog’s bollocks!” The government welcomed the miners in a different way- with riot police and rubber bullets. The arrogant government at the same time announced a further hike in VAT and attacks on the unemployed. This has led to broadening out the movement- a week later- with possibly millions turn ing out in 80 cities in opposition.
The establishment in Europe are worried, as well as their economic woes, about the growing popular resistance to their austerity agenda. Spanish workers and youth have a long tradition of struggling for an alternative going back to the revolutionary movement for socialism that was crushed by the fascist Franco in the 1930s. A renewal of that tradition would set Spain, and indeed Europe as a whole, on a radically different course from the unremitting crisis and despair that capitalism in crisis means. Working people from all backgrounds in Northern Ireland were more than willing to show solidarity with the British miners in the 1980’s. Do the same today! Send message of solidarity to SMSC@talktalk.net
Melter of the Month...… Edwin poots Poots gains the award for refusing to lift the ban on gay men donating blood. He also said he would like to extend the ban to those who have sex with "with somebody in Africa”. When he’s not making bigoted comments Poots spends his time as Health Minister closing down A&E services and putting health workers out of their jobs. Which politician or fat cat is melting your head? Let us know on our facebook page ‘Socialist Youth NI’ and look out for our poll for next months melter. Socialist Youth is a campaigning group for young people which is opposed to capitalism and fights for the establishment for a socialist society. Follow us on: Facebook - SocialistYouthNI Twitter - socialist_youth
Fighting homophobia, racism sexism & sectarianism
The bosses’ system is built on using anything to divide workers so it can defend its profits. Socialist Youth is opposed to any form of prejudice. This is why many of our members have been involved in organising against racist attacks on migrant workers. It is also important to us that we fight in working class areas in the north whether they be catholic or protestant. We are opposed to republicanism and loyalism - we stand for workers’ unity and socialism.
Fight for jobs & education - not their profits
Youth unemployment in Northern Ireland has risen in the past few years to 1 in 5 18-24 year olds. While threats have been made to EMA and university fees spiral. Schools across the north expect to lose 4,000 teachers in the next 4 years. Yet £13trillion sits in the bank accounts of the rich and wealthy around the world. A system for the 99.9% not the 0.1%.
Join the march for jobs
Assemble @ 1 .30pm Sat 29th Sept Custom House Sq, Belfast
End environmental destruction
The speed at which the planet is heating up has rapidly incrased over the past 2000 years. Huge storms, hurricanes, drought, tsunamis and other extreme weather conditions are increasing in their intensity and frequency. The role of capitalism is making this situation worse. We say take into public ownership the major polluters and run them in the interests of the planet and it’s people not the rich.
For a socialist world
There is more than enough wealth on this planet to let everyone have a decent standard of living - but it is contrary to the interests of those who own the vast amount of wealth to allow this to happen. We fight for a revolution led by the working class and young people to overthrow this rotten system and introduce democratic socialism.
TEXT ‘JOIN SY’ followed by your name and postcode to 07821058319 e-mail: email@example.com
First edition of Socialist Youth new Bulletin Inside -Reclaim Gay Pride -Fighting the Bigots!-Struggling for the Right to Choose -Olympics...