While the opening skirmishes in the renegotiation of the Croke Park Agreement have played out behind closed doors, the battle lines have been drawn for some time. Within months of the General Election  Fine Gael TD’s were baying for Croke Park to be torn up or at least savaged. The employers organisations, and of course all the fine ladies and gentleman of the press have all weighed in. As we have reported previously one particularly unpleasant Independent journalist even tried to bring poor James Connolly in on the side of the Government. No one with even the minimum knowledge of Connolly, or the miserable counter revolutionary history of the Independent would be fooled by that one.

Once again Irish workers, faced with redundancy have been forced to take action to fight for what is due them. HMV staff in Limerick, Cork and Dublin occupied their workplaces in an effort to ensure that the receive pay owed them by the company. These are but the latest example of workers with their backs to the wall taking sit in action. After discussions with the Administrators the occupations in Limerick have now ended and the workers will receive their back pay. Why? Because they disobeyed their master's voice.

It is now some six weeks since protestant demonstrations began after Belfast City Council decided to fly the Union flag over Belfast City Hall only on specific days, rather than on every day of the year. Last night and again today loyalists clashed with catholics near the Short Strand, a catholic area in East Belfast that has been subjected to many sectarian attacks over the years.

British Prime Minister, David Cameron uses words such as “shocking” to refer to the activities of his own security forces then you know something is up. He was responding to the publication of the de Silva report, a review of the papers accumulated from different investigations carried out by different agencies of the British state into the death of Pat Finucane, which show that there was indeed collusion between the British state and those who murdered him back in 1989.

The recent killing of a prison warden from Maghaberry prison, by an as yet unknown republican grouping, has sent shock waves through the body politic. Many had assumed that as a result of the outpourings of both the Good Friday Agreement and the St Andrews Agreement the days of violence were behind us.

On 20th October 2012 the Northern Ireland Committee of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions organised thousands of trade union and community demonstrators in a march in Belfast for an alternative to the Westminster government's austerity policies. Speaker after speaker lambasted the policies of austerity.

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