Category Archives: belfast

SY Belfast – End Low Pay

End Low Pay

 WE DEMAND

£8 minimum wage NOW
Abolish the youth
exemptions
End bullying, intimidation and poor working conditions
Trade union rights for all young workers

 As the cost of living goes through the roof the proposed increase for the minimum wage in October is nowhere near what is needed. How is anyone expected to live off this poverty wage?

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New Young Socialist Bulletin – May 08

The new edition of the Belfast Socialist Youth’s bulletin, the Young Socialist is now available.

In this issue we cover:

  • Fight for young workers rights.
  • The Socialist Solution to Capitalist Crisis
  • Book Review: France 1968, Month of Revolution
  • And More

To download a pdf copy click here

If you would like a number of copies posted out to distribute in your school, workplace or friends please contact Paddy at 07876146473 or the Socialist Youth Office in Belfast at 02890232962.

SY Belfast Event: 1968 – A year of revolt

Come to this special Socialist Youth event to discuss the revolutionary events of 1968.

Sessions on: Revolution sweeps France, Civil Rights Movement, lessons for socialists today

Saturday 21st June – Socialist Party Offices, 13 Lombard St

ADMISSION FREE, For more info contact 07876146473

Iraq five years on: End the Occupation – Fight for a socialist solution

By Paddy Meehan, Socialist Youth Regional Organiser

In 2003 Bush’s top commanders met to discuss the invasion and occupation of Iraq. They concluded then it would take four years to “normalise” the country. Yet from this March, US and British troops will have been in Iraq for five years with no end in sight to the conflict.

Bush’s intention is to dump the mess of Iraq onto his successor. It is estimated that the war and occupation of Iraq has claimed the lives of  over one million Iraqis and 4,000 US troops. No US presidential candidate has committed themselves to a complete withdrawal from Iraq. Both Republicans and Democrats represent the interests of companies like Haliburton and Blackwater who have made billions of dollars from the suffering and destruction in Iraq.

The US mission to ‘stabilise’ Iraq has failed miserably as 70% of Iraqi’s are without access to adequate water supplies and in total 4.6 million people have been forced to leave their homes. Living standards in Iraq are getting worse despite contracts of over $20 billion being paid to companies to rebuild Iraq. The US Congressional hearings in February 2007 stated that $10 billion was either “wasted or mismanaged” in Iraq. Along with this hardship, Iraq is descending into sectarian war. US forces lean on different ethnic and religious groups attempting to keep their control of the country. The Sunni Awakening Councils are being recruited extensively into the police and army. This is an attempt to challenge the control of Shia militias such as the Mehdi army by backing sections of the Sunni forces. But the real outcome is a fracturing of the police and army along religious lines, which can increase the likelihood of civil war.

US imperialism’s divide and rule strategy is directly contributing to the increasing sectarian divisions. Imperialism has no progressive role to play in the future of Iraq, and the longer the occupying armies remain the greater the chances of civil war and a break up of the country.   Socialist Youth and the Socialist Party believe that a united movement of working class Iraqis of all ethnic and religious backgrounds could drive out the occupying armies. A struggle by such a movement of the working class against imperialism and for a socialist solution is the only way to guarantee freedom, democracy and a decent life for all.

On 15 March thousands will protest around the world against the occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan.

In the north Socialist Youth is aimimg to collect 5,000 signatures before the anniversary to show the opposition to the war. If you can help collect signatures or can build support for the protest please contact Socialist Youth at socialist.youth@btconnect.com or 02890232962.

In the south Socialist Youth will be participating in protests and also organising a series of “Resistance” meetings around the country at which young people can discuss political issues like the occupation of Iraq, climate change and socialism. You can find out more about Socialist Youth’s “Resistance” and anti-war activities by visiting socialistyouth.wordpress.com or phone us at 01 6772592.

Dublin: Join Socialist Youth on the anti-war demo on Saturday 15th March, 1pm Parnell Square, Dublin. more info – www.bebo.com/Socialist-Youth.

Belfast: Join the Socialist Youth contingent on the protest, Sat 15th March, 2pm Arts College, York St. (beside St Ann’s Cathedral)

Campaigning against the Occupation of Iraq

To mark the 5th anniversary of the occupation of Iraq, Socialist Youth is building for a protest on 15 March in Belfast. SY members have been energetically campaigning outside schools and on the streets with an aim of collecting 5,000 signatures of young people against the occupation of Iraq. The Socialist spoke to SY members Leontia Madden and Conor Barr about how their campaign is going so far.

“Over the past five years the arguments of the anti-war movement have been proved correct. Many young people today may not be too sure of all the facts and figures, but when we get talking to them they have strong feelings against the war” said Leontia. Conor added “The war for oil is a terrible example of capitalism’s constant drive for profits. Hundreds of thousands of people have been killed, all for natural resources.

“We get young people to sign our petition outside schools across Belfast to demonstrate the opposition which exists but also to raise awareness of what is going on in Iraq. We have received an excellent response with most people signing the petitions and buying our very popular anti-Bush badge. The important thing is we get to speak face to face with people on stalls to put forward a socialist solution.” said Conor, who has been organising very successful stalls at his technical college.

Leontia, a school student from North Belfast said “There is still a feeling of anger against Bush and Blair. But with the occupation lasting five years and no end to the conflict in sight people want to do something more than just sign a petition. We’re holding public meetings in the run-up to the anniversary to explain what is going on in Iraq now and how a socialist solution can be found. As well as this, we want to give an opportunity to people to show their opposition by protesting on 15 March.”

Public Meeting: End the Occupation of Iraq
4.30pm Wednesday 13th Feb. SY Offices, 13 Lombard Street, Belfast

PROTEST against the occupation
2pm Sat 15th March, Arts College, York St, Belfast

Belfast ‘Young Socialist’ bulletin (Dec 07) now online

The latest edition of the Belfast Socialist Youth bulletin Young Socialist is now online as a PDF.

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE PDF

Belfast: Domino’s Pizza – Delivering Low Pay

In the last edition of The Socialist we carried an article on migrant workers in Domino’s pizza stores in Wolverhampton and Derby who were earning negative wages after working for a month! Bosses had charged them extortionate amounts for rent and insurance to cheat them out of their wages. It leaves no doubt as to how Domino’s makes their £700 million every year.

To highlight this scandal Socialist Youth in Belfast organised a stall outside a local Domino’s on the Antrim Road on a busy Friday night. We received a warm response from customers to our leaflets. The response of Domino’s however was to ring the police. There is nothing criminal about campaigning for an £8 an hour minimum wage, but the actions of Domino’s in England should be considered criminal.

Many passers-by were shocked to hear of such exploitation and were very happy to sign our petition against low pay. More activity outside Domino’s has been planned in the next few weeks to ensure Domino’s doesn’t get away with treating other workers like slaves.

However Domino’s is not just one bad apple. It is has become the norm for fast food chains to hire migrant and young workers and pay them as little as possible.

There is a lot of anger against this and the many other examples of low pay that we have found. This anger can grow as the pace of attacks from the bosses increases. In order to make more and more profit companies like Domino’s will seek to continually drive down wages.

When Domino’s workers got organised in a union and began to fight for their rights, they were able to hold the bosses back in their attacks. If all workers in the fast food industry united and struggled for higher wages and better conditions employers can be forced to give concessions.