IRSP Support North Belfast Civil Rights Association Protest

North Belfast IRSP statement

Date – 28/9/11

Re Anti Poverty protest camp at Girdwood

The North Belfast branch of the Irish Republican Socialist Party are offering full support for the NBCRA Anti Poverty protest camp at Girdwood on the 5th October.

Paul Little, IRSP representative in the north of the city called on all fair minded residents to support this protest against conditions that are causing poverty to many families. Evil work can only flourish where citizens feel silenced and unheeded, this protest camp is an opportunity for residents who are being discriminated against to make their voice heard loud and clear. Stand up for North Belfast.

North Belfast Civil Rights Association Statement:

Date 28th September 2011

Re- Anti poverty Protest Camp at Girdwood to mark Civil Rights Anniversary

The North Belfast Civil Rights Association is to hold a three-day anti poverty protest camp at Girdwood to highlight continuing housing poverty in North Belfast and to protest against the Stormont decision not to build any homes at the former British Army base.

NBCRA Chairperson Peter McIlroy said for the past three years we have held housing protests on the anniversary of the first civil rights march on the 5th October 1968 in Duke Street in Derry.

This year we believe that the decision by Stormont minister Nelson McCausland not to build any new public housing on the Girdwood site flies in the face of all available data on housing poverty and housing need in the north of the city. The decision smacks of the gerrymandered, sectarian decisions of the old Stormont regime and gives very little credence to the dire situation that many working class families find themselves due to sectarian discrimination.

This protest is an opportunity to set the record straight on housing need and the failure of Stormont to come up with any public housing strategy that will begin to redress decades of discrimination. The Girdwood site remains a major opportunity to build some public housing along with associated services and infrastructure it cannot be squandered on the alter of sectarianism by politicians who have no interest in delivering a fairer and more just north Belfast.

In conclusion Mr McIlroy said that the Anti poverty protest is open for all to take part in, we are especially calling on young adults who cannot get on the housing list at all to come along and support the protest. Housing is a fundamental right that many residents of north Belfast are being refused. Whilst housing is key requirement, the protest will also highlight high levels of unemployment and increasing domestic bills for fuel, food and heat in working class communities are also a having a disproportionate impact.

The NBCRA is calling for support across the political and community spectrum for new homes for those in need on the Girdwood site. Community groups in the area, the Irish Republican Socialist Party, Irish Socialist Network, People Before Profit, Republican Network for Unity and independent community activists are supporting the protest camp.