Site updated, April 18th, Day 30 of the Oil War.

This page will draw together some of the reports of protests in Ireland, with photographs,etc.

Belfast demo 12th April

2pm, Art College, assembled. Then marched to the City Hall.
6pm. About 250 attended with 2 speeches at the Art College; Carmel Gates (NIPSA President - personal capacity), Chris Henry, Youth against the War. After marching to the American Consulate, with a large police presence, there was a speech by a rep. from Schools against the War. Then onto the City Hall where Eamon McCann addressed those present.
This was a colourful event, which made the point that opposition to the occcupation and corporate looting of Iraq will go on.
The text of the Socialist Party and Socialist Youth leaflets distributed on the day are now available.

Socialist Party Belfast

Hypocrites plague Northern Ireland

The cynicism is breathtaking. The two war mongers Bush and Blair are coming here on Monday - Tuesday, 7th-8th - to talk to us about the need for peace here! This is while they are responsible for bombing Iraq to the ground. They are happy to slaughter 55 shoppers in a market, they tell us we must have a peace agreement.
The reality is that they are hoping to get some 'glory' from the spin of a deal here to cover their plans to divide the spoils from the Iraqi oilfields and the construction contracts.
Press statement issued by the SP

Joe Higgins and Peter Hadden, two of the leaders of the SP issued a statement on Monday 7th opposing this obnoxious visit.

Youth against the War organised schools protests at the visit of the warmongers. See the local press coverage here.

The protest at Hillsborough was attended by 5,000 protesters from across the island. large numbers from the Belfast area were joined by bus loads from Derry, Galway, Cork. There were banners from Offaly, Clonnakily, Co Cork, and Westport among other local ones.
The StWC rally near the Hillsborough roundabout was addressed by Bernadette McAliskey, Joe Higgins (Socialist Party TD), Eamon McCann and Daniel Waldron (Youth against the War). All four of these speakers were warmly welcomed for their atacks on the war, and on the need to oppose the class causes of it.
A welcome sign was the very vocal opposition to the establishment politicians from the Women's Coalition, the SDLP and Sinn Fein. Mitchel McLaughlin faced widespread calls for 'Boycott Bush' and calls of 'shame', etc. Being a politician he brazened out this oppositon talking of Sinn Fein's role in the anti-imperialist struggle.
One major problem was the decision by some to split off and take a large part of the crowd away from the speeches to get closer to Hillsborough. Having led the crowd away, the 'leadership' of Boyd-Barrett ended that vocal protest and walked back to the main rally. Granted it got half a mile closer to Hillsborough, but the only real effect of the decision to split the parade was for a large number of activists to miss some very rousing speeches opposing the war.
As someone reproting on last nights events I'd also say that some responsibility must lie with those officials of the StWC who insisted on going by the letter of the law> There was an opportunity to take the whole parade closer to the hypocrites, it should have been taken. But, once the decision was made the parade should have stopped to hear the opposition to the War Meeting.
The Socialist Party, Socialist Youth and Youth against the War were well represented, with groups at both the offical meeting and the extended parade.

Labour dissident call's for Blair to go

Tam Dayall, a long established anti-war dissident in New Labour has written an article in Red Pepper,April 03, calling for Blair to go. This is our second piece by a New Labourite, this series will not be continued, but this is interesting given the author's credentials. [The primary reason for a lack of continuity of this series of signs of a fightback INSIDE the Labour Party is because no such fight exists!]

School shamed over anti war protests

Abbey grammar was named as a shameful school by Youth against the War in a press statement this afternoon. This statement concerns the reactionary suspension of students for taking part in anti-war protest on March 5th.
At the end of this statement I've added a short report from Newry City council where they voted calling for leniency to the students.
The Irish News carried a further report, 27th March, Walkout Fracas Spirals, dealing with the excuses of the school principals and new threats at another college. The issue was brought up on TalkBack, Radio Ulster on the 27th as well. Youth Against the War are determined to put pressure on the schools to drop these punishments.

West Belfast schools and anti war protests

The Andersonstown News carried a report of how Youth Against the war got one school to drop all plans to punish those who protested on March 5th.

Anti war photographs

To tidy things up, I'm put a collection of our photographs from the anti- war demonstrations on this page, please send in addition photographs to our office.
Day X reports
Short reports by Socialist Youth on its intervention on the Belfast, Derry and Omagh demos.

Belfast demo on March 22nd.
A short report by the Socialist Party on our intervention on the Belfast demo.

Youth against the War, Coleraine, March 5th
Before it gots forgotten about in the speed of events. Here are two extensive reports on the Youth against the War protests, March 5th, from the local newspapers of this very succesful protest. The platform included a member of the FBU.

Youth against the War, Derry, March 5th
Here are three reports on the Youth against the War protests, March 5th, from the local newspapers of this very succesful protest.

Derry Journal
28th Feb. Derry Schools will walk out for Peace
March 7th. Students take a stand against war.
March 21st. Protestors and schools on collusion course.

Newry Democrat: March 25th. Anti war protest goes on

More anti war reports
2 reports from Fermanagh by the local anti-war group and the Derry YaW actions.

march 22nd: News Coverage of Saturday's Belfast, Dublin demos, etc.

Photos of the demo
Omagh Socialist Youth banner on Royal Ave.

The Belfast demo had 5,000 on it, with a loud and active group behind the banners of Youth against the War, Socialist Youth and the Socialist Party. Reflecting the marvellous work done by our people in buiding the anti-war movement,espeically through Youth against the War, our delegation, with nearly 150 on it, was BIGGER than on the Feb. 15th parade which was three times the size of today!
As fast as we could get petition sheets out, people filled them in. Thousands of leaflets were snapped up, esp. those for Youth against the War, and several hundred copies of our latest special supplement to Socialist Voice were bought. Full figures have not been collected, but dozens of people gave their names to join YaW, Socialist Youth, with a number joining the Socialist Party TODAY. Follow their example, join up now!

Anti-war statements by Joe Higgins, Socialist Party member of the Dail.

These recent statements by Joe, denouncing the war, American troops use of Shannon, etc are accompanied by an extract from the Dail debate on Thursday when Joe complained of garda force against a peaceful protest at the parliament on Wednesday night. A report of the protest at Shannon on March 1st, with sizeable quotes from Joe and Ashling Golden, YaW, was carried in the Irish Times.

24th March: For those interested in the Oscars, Micahel Moore won a prize. He also went onto say: "we live in a time where we have fictional election results that elect a fictional president". His speech was greeted with boos and cheering from the star-studded audience. Moore ended by saying: "We are against this war. Shame on you, Mr Bush". At least someone made the point, we've a dictator under threat from an unelected president!

Small part of the Youth Against the War rally, Belfast City Hall, Day X, March 20th

Indymedia has carried a report of the Belfast demonstration, I've taken this from there.

On the Streets
Thousands of youth and trade unionists took to the streets of Derry, Belfast, Omagh, Enniskillen and Newry today to fight against the oil war.

The mobilisation today was all the more remarkable because it followed a decision by ICTU to delay official protests until Friday. Despite this disruption to the plans of the anti war movement young people from schools, universities, work places and collages gathered in towns to oppose the war.
It is a credit to the strength of the movement that it was able to go ahead with the demos. Well done everyone who worked so hard to sent a message to Blair and Bush.

Update: March 24th, 5 days into the war.
It has happened, America, with a few cronies, has launched its imperialist war against Iraq.
At 6.50 AM in the morning of Day X, Youth Against the War issued this statement on the war.

YOUTH AGAINST THE WAR - The Slaughter has begun

ALL OUT TODAY at 12.30
School students walk-outs today at 12.30pm
Rallys planned throughout Northern Ireland
Belfast Rally 1.30pm outside City Hall

Students will walk out of school in protest against the outbreak of war on Iraq today to join rallies across Northern Ireland. Youth Against the War, the organization that organised the mass walkouts on March 5th, has been organising in over 70 schools across the country in preparation for today’s rallies.
Youth Against the War spokesperson Gary Mulcahy stated " The war on Iraq will be a slaughter. The blood of Iraqi men, women and children will be spilled as a price for the oil in Iraq. Bush is correctly seen as an oil corporation disguised as a human being."
" Youth Against the War are calling on all students to join the walk-outs at 12.30pm and join the rallies in town centres at 1pm. In Belfast, young people will gather from throughout the city to a rally outside City Hall at 1.30pm."
Rally Details
Belfast: 1.30pm at City Hall
Derry: 1pm at Guildhall Square
Newry: 1pm outside City Hall
Omagh: 1pm outside the Courthouse
Enniskillen: 1pm at the Diamond

Note: In the hours after the war started and before the schools opened, YaW supporters in Belfast erected posters outside 35 secondary level schools in Belfast, one of the factors leading to the great schools turn out at the Day X demonstration.

Update 6.30pm: March 20th

Reports are coming in of the successes of the Youth against the War rallies. Approx. 1,000 attended in Belfast, with hundreds out in Newry, Omagh and Derry. As details come in from the numerous school protests, we'll add them here. First report from the BBC.

Day X

Youth against the War have called protests to be held on Day X, the day war breaks out in Iraq. 2 posters have been distributed, one planning for the protests, the other to be displayed ON Day X, getting students and others mobilised to the protests.

Let's be clear. If war breaks out overnight, Youth Against the War is calling for a protest that lunchtime.
Please run off the posters, fill in local details, get mobilised. Let us know how things are going, if you need more leaflets, help, etc.

Update: Anti war reports: March 13th.
There are a number of important new statements issued today. Youth against the War and the Stop the War Coalition reveal their plans for Day X and after. The Firefighters union has issued one supporting the YaW protests, and one of the main teachers unions is instructing it's members not to prevent young people protesting against this planned war (see the YAW statement).

The initial news reports on the 16 anti-war demonstrations in Ireland on March 8th. More reports on these, including the one in Derry, will follow later.

Indymedia and the Irish anti-war movement have the following notesabout the demos in Cork, Galway and Tullamore.

An extra photo from the International Women's Day anti-war rally in Derry.

Another image of Socialist Youth

Derry anti-war demo - an SP Banner.

Derry anti-war demo Socialist Youth

Derry anti-war march, Youth Against the War banner

Some photographs of the YaW Schools protests

YaW Press Conference before the demonstrations.

Fortwilliam 1

Fortwilliam 2

Fortwilliam 3

Ballynahinch - Assumption

Update: 7th March. A circular from the YaW/Socialist Youth organisers about plans for Derry on the 8th; then plans for Newry, Fermanagh, Mid-Ulster and other places.
Update: 7th March. A statement on the protests at Shannon and how to build the anti-war movement democratically and effectively.

Press coverage of the plans and then the protests.


Irish News, 4th March.
Pupilsí war protest worries teachers



Derry Journal, 28th Feb.


Derry Schools Will Walk Out for Peace

News Letter March 5
Anti-war pupils demand right to go on march



Belfast Telegraph March 5th

Pupils plan anti-war walkout

Irish News, March 6th

Students stage anti-war protests


Irish News hostile editorial, March 6th
School walkouts counterproductive


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