[Marxism] Fwd: Socialist takes seat from Sinn Fein in West Belfast

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sat May 24 18:24:27 MDT 2014





FRIDAY’S LOCAL ELECTION RESULTS signal a new dawn for politics in West
Belfast, as People Before Profit candidate Gerry Carroll was elected
with the third highest count in Black Mountain ward.“None of the pundits
saw us coming,” Carroll observed after coming less than a hundred votes
shy of topping the poll. “The assumption outside this district is that
the two main nationalist parties have the area sewn up. What we have
heard on the doors all through this campaign and what has been proven
today is that ordinary people are fed up with the status quo. In the end
we managed to take a seat from Sinn Féin, but it could have just as
easily have been the SDLP: both have played a shameful role around the
Casement Park development, and our vote sends a clear message that
residents will not accept a sham process that has been rigged against
them at every stage. I call oncorporate GAA and the Antrim board in
particular to come back to the table immediately and begin to repair the
damage they have done.”

“Our campaign has been a fight for the soul of West Belfast, and our
victory here today is only the beginning.  This constituency includes
some of the most socially deprived wards in the North, and the message
from here is loud and clear: ordinary people have had enough. They are
tired of seeing their rights trampled upon in the interests of
developers, landlords, and low-wage corporate employers; they have had
enough of the politics of sectarian division, and their patience is
running out with a political establishment committed to gutting our
public services and punishing the most vulnerable of our friends and
neighbours under a regime of austerity and cuts. It is time for
change and I am committed to leading and lending my support to every
fight for the rights of ordinary people in this district and across the
city of Belfast.”

“The conditions that brought people out to vote for change in Black
Mountain ward exist in every working-class community, and on both sides
of the sectarian divide. We are proud to have worked side-by-side with
people on the Shankill and in the Village in the past, and will seize
every opportunity to unite ordinary people against the elite who benefit
from our continued division.”

“Across the city working people are struggling to keep their heads above
water while our politicians spendmillions of our hard-earned rates
subsidising low-wage corporate employers. Our hospitals are being run
down and privatized with the full support of the political
establishmentand our leisure centresare on the chopping block. Many of
our young people are unemployed and without hope, while those fortunate
enough to have work are stuck on zero-hour contracts and paid less than
their counterparts anywhere in these islands. Politicians and clerics
have built whole careers on whipping upsectarianism, and in recent weeks
have acquiesced in or given cover to racist attacks on migrant workers
and their families.  People Before Profit is committed to riddingthis
great city of the burdens of the past, and we know there are tens of
thousands of ordinary people across Belfast who share our rage at the
status quo and our hopesfor a new dawn. We look forward to working with
them and building a new Belfast that puts people before profit.”


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