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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent



Election Coverage

SEA Election Manifesto (Derry)

See full PDF format Manifesto (4 pages, photos and more)

SEVEN YEARS into the Agreement, the walls of sectarianism are not coming down, but are being built higher. None of the main parties has a remedy for this. Some of them don’t see any need for a remedy. As if Catholics being divided from Protestants was the most natural thing in the world. We say it’s unnatural. Our remedy is to pay more attention to the class we belong to than the community we come from. This isn’t just the best way to deal with the division. It’s also the best way for the people being left behind in both communities to rise up.

Parties which focus exclusively on representing one community or the other end up representing only the well-off within each community. Thus, all the main parties in
Derry want to give millions to build a runway for Ryanair. But not one of them is up for a fight on water charges. They are happy to hand over Fort George and Ebrington Barracks to big business for “development”— while lamenting the lack of facilities for young people on nearby estates. They all say they are against poverty, then agree to cut the already-low wages of council workers.

These politics don’t advance either community. They advance a minority within each community.

Our strategy is for people to organise from below — not to look to politicians or paramilitaries to deliver. We’ll use a mandate as a platform to build support for anyone abused by the State or other agencies. We pledge full backing for all whose jobs or dignity, homes or livelihoods are threatened by unaccountable big business. We will defend the public service against the privatisation agenda accepted by the four main parties in the Assembly.

We will support all families, irrespective of community, who want the truth about how their loved ones died, whether at the hands of the State or at the hands of
paramilitaries — or by the two together in collusion. We won’t be telling anyone to stay quiet because demanding the truth might disrupt the “peace process.”

We are a local expression of the world-wide anti-war and anti-capitalist movements. We have been at the heart of the campaign against the illegal war on Iraq — which has cost tax-payers billions, even as they tell us there’s no money for school buses, speech therapists or third level tuition.

Water charges make the point. Only a mass campaign of non-payment holds out hope of defeating privatisation and saving the water service jobs. But such a campaign would have to mobilise across the board. This would directly challenge parties which are based on mobilising one community in competition with the other. It’s for this reason that they all say they are against water charges — but are all against a non-payment campaign, too.

There’s the difference in a nutshell.

Oisín Kehoe, Colm Bryce, Eamonn McCann, Davey McAuley and Liam Friel


The Socialist Environmental Alliance has been the most positive force for radical change in the Derry area in recent years. On the airport, the rail link, council pay, water charges, etc., the SEA has led the way. All the other parties offer more of the same — sellingoff public services, acceptance of water charges, poor wages, property developers destroying our environment, evictions at the dictat of a billion-pound multinational.

We challenge the agenda which puts profit before all else. We stand for the common interests of working people — the only sound basis for resolving the endless stalemate of communal politics.

¦ A vote for any other party is a vote for water charges
Alone among the parties, we stand for a mass campaign of nonpayment of water charges. We will lead from the front. Our councillors won't pay.

¦ Abolish ILEX – for democratic decision-making
The “regeneration” outfit ILEX has wasted £100,000 of our money on a year’s salary for a chief executive who produced nothing. All the other parties want a replacement on the same sky-high salary. We say, No! Abolish ILEX! Make decisions on how to develop our city publicly and democratically. We stand for ethical investment. Not arms factories, but public housing, recreation areas, secure jobs.

¦ Money for education and health – not for war
We will link the local to the global issues. The British government has thrown billions into the illegal war on Iraq. We reject the logic of the New Labour scoundrels who now tell us there's no money for education and health.

¦ No airport evictions – upgrade the rail link
We stand with the Donnybrewer residents in resisting eviction and demolition of their homes. Derry people already subsidise the airport and Ryanair to the tune of millions. Councillors fall over themselves to feather-bed a ruthless, polluting, union-busting airline, but hardly lifted a finger to fight for a fast rail link — which would open job opportunities in Belfast to local workers.

¦ Oppose racism, homophobia and domestic violence
We will insist the council gives a lead in challenging racist attitudes. We stand for full rights for migrant workers. Employers shouldn't be allowed to divide us by creating a two-tier workforce. Homophobic attacks and domestic violence are a blight on our city. The Council should be to the fore in combating this often hidden violence.

¦ Stop criminalising young people
ASBOs, prison sentences and punishment attacks on young people don’t solve social problems. They treat a symptom, not the cause. It will take the radical economic agenda we stand for to deal the causes. We say, provide the resources and then work with young people to create alternatives.

¦ Union rights, secure jobs and decent wages for all
The current council advertises the Derry area as a place where workers come cheap. They boast that wages are lower than in Britain and the rest of Europe. They have given an uncritical welcome to antiunion companies like Seagate and Marks and Spencer. We want to make Derry a union town again, where workers are respected and paid well and have secure jobs. The council should immediately raise the minimum wage of council workers to the European decency threshold. We will oppose the current cuts in pay for council workers. We want full re-cycling, street-corner facilities—otherwise we face million-pound EU fines or an incinerator in years to come.

SEA candidates are:

Eamonn McCann Foyle 07977 924321

Eamonn McCann Waterside Rural 07977 924321
Colm Bryce Northland 07771 781958
Oisín Kehoe Northland 07745 068184
Liam Friel Cityside 07840 560397
David McAuley Waterside 07812 537786

You can contact the SEA at our election offices at:
2 Shipquay Place, Guildhall Square Ph: 028 7127 9544





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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent



All censorships exist to prevent any one from challenging current conceptions and existing institutions. All progress is initiated by challenging current conceptions, and executed by supplanting existing institutions. Consequently the first condition of progress is the removal of censorships.
- George Bernard Shaw

Index: Current Articles

29 April 2005

Other Articles From This Issue:

I Believe
Eamon Sweeney

Behaving Justly
Anthony McIntyre

Stop the Cover Up -- Give Us Peace
Kathleen Coyle

Justice Needs Done
Damien Okado-Gough

More Than Politics to NI Process
David Adams

Jude the Obscure Republican
Anthony McIntyre

Shared Ultra Conservatism
Dr John Coulter

* More Election Coverage *

Europe and the General Election
John O'Farrell


24 April 2005

Robert McCartney's family appeal to Sinn Fein
McCartney Family

Kevin Cunningham

'Dreary Ireland'
Anthony McIntyre

An Ireland of Welcomes Should Be
Mick Hall

Brian Mór

A Spartan's Story
Anthony McIntyre

* Election Coverage *

Martin Cunningham, Newry and Mourne District Council



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