This page will save some of the reports of Socialist Youth activities over the past period. Latest developments will continue to be reported on the Socialist Youth page.


Report of Anti War March in Belfast, October 6th. 2001


More than 150 people took part in an anti-war march through Belfast city centre. To the beat of drums the people carried placards and signs under the overriding banner of Belfast’s Anti-War Movement (AWM). The march included about 15 members of Socialist Youth with their banner, along with 12 other members of the Socialist Party.

Two speakers got the afternoon’s rally off to a start at the art college, beginning with a Socialist Youth member who firstly condemned the attacks of 11th September in America. However, he stated it did not mean the US had a right to use force and it would not bring about justice.

The second speaker, an American citizen, was quick to condemn her government’s actions, stating ‘It’s not a potential disaster, it is a disaster’.

The rally then moved through the city centre, shouting out slogans and getting a varied response from the huge numbers of shoppers, who appeared curious but mainly supportive of the message.

It was a varied mix of anarchists, socialists and individuals who made up the march, all there due to the strength of feeling they felt in witnessing the bombing raids on Afghanistan. Richard, from the AWM, was particularly angry about a report he had read on the numerous injuries being received by Afghans picking up what they thought were food parcels dropped by the Americans but which were actually cluster bombs. The cynicism which many have felt in light of the joint bombing and food drops has strengthened as both are packaged in yellow colouring, hence the deadly mix-up.

Talking about one of the American government’s spokesmen, Richard said: ‘I don’t know what distinguishes him from terrorism’.

Cary was another protestor, along with her 5-month-old daughter Carmen. She was there as she believed, ‘War is not the answer, bombs and missiles are not the answer’, and yet ‘the US government has refused to take part in any form of peaceful negotiation’.

Steve, from the Anarchist Syndicalist Federation said,’ It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out that this war is unjust’.

Once at Belfast City Hall, the placards and banners were attached to the gates and more speakers had their say including Sean Smith from the Belfast Trades Council. Although two thousand workers are being laid off at Shorts supposedly in response to the bombings, he says this would have happened anyway. He was particularly concerned with the American B52 planes stopping over in Shannon Airport on their way to Afghanistan, and called upon the workers there to refuse to help them. The crowd applauded this.

After the speakers had finished I spoke briefly to another member of the AWM and asked what else was planned following the success of this rally. Hopefully it won’t be long before a benefit gig is arranged and the silent vigils outside Belfast City Hall continue every Monday at 5 p.m.

Socialist Youth intervened at the march with our banner and distributed a large number of leaflets opposing the war and starting to organise our delegation to the December anti-capitalist demonstartion in Brussels. Shortly after it we gathered for a successful SY meeting which was attended by a number of new people. We shall be back in the city centre every Saturday giving out anti-war leaflets.

SOCIALIST YOUTH

International Rally & Conference 2001

Fighting Global Capitalism
For a Socialist Future
Dublin City University
September 1st
Rally 1pm
The International socialist struggle

Speakers;
Clare James
Young Socialist Action/ International Socialist Resistance, England & Wales
Young German socialist from "International Resistance"
Joe Higgins TD Socialist Party
Revolutionary socialist Member of parliament in the South
Clare Daly
Socialist Party councillor in Dublin
Young African Socialist
Chris Loughlin
Socialist Youth Belfast
Conference 2:30 - 5:00 pm
What future for young people?
This session will discuss the situation facing young people today in Ireland, North and South. There will be reports of the many campaigns we have been active in around the country, plus discussion on political perspectives North and South.
Socialist Youth - what we stand for, aims and national structures
Manifestos* for the North and South have already been drafted, outlining where we stand on the big issues affecting young people. This session will discuss the manifestos, plus national structures, and targets to reach for next year.
After the rally and conference come to the party, relax and meet up with young comrades from around the country.
Don't miss out in attending the founding conference of Socialist Youth - The fastest growing youth organisation in Ireland, North and South.
Book your place today!
Mini-buses have been booked travelling to Dublin and returning the same night. To book your place today telephone Gary at 90232962.


Reports on our actions in Genoa, at the anti-globalisation protests, July 2001.

Following on from the participation by members of Socialist Youth and the Socialit Party in the protests in Genoa (Italy), as a part of a larger Committee for a Workers International delegation, we got a good amount of local press coverage. To read these reports, go to Reports from Genoa

NEWSFLASH

90 people turn up to Socialist Youth meeting in Belfast

Socialist Youth, the new youth section of the Socialist Party in Ireland, had a hugely successful first public meeting in Belfast in June. 90 people, mostly young, turned up to hear Chris Loughlin, a 16 year old comrade, speak on the life and ideas of Che Guevara.

It is probable that the vicious sectarian clashes that had been ongoing for the last two nights in the city affected the turnout. Nevertheless, it is reckoned it was the section's biggest youth meeting in Northern Ireland for twenty years. 16 people indicated they would like more information and 7 new people joined Socialist Youth. A few older people also expressed interest in the Socialist Party with one person wanting to join.

In Belfast there are now 70 names around Socialist Youth with a hardcore of around 14 activists. At the meeting it was announced that SY would be launching a campaign against sectarian attacks and there was an appeal for people to come to our day of action.

The response to Socialist Youth in the North is an indication of the youths’ disgust at the sectarian political parties and the thirst which exists for a radical alternative and radical ideas. There is an extremely open attitude and support for socialist ideas as an alternative to capitalism, particularly amongst the youth.

Socialist Youth will be stepping up our work during the summer months even though this summer looks to be quite a tense and sectarian one. We hope to mobilise for our founding national conference in Dublin in August and build Socialist Youth as the biggest youth section in Ireland, North and South.

Gary Mulcahy, Socialist Party, Northern Ireland gives another report of that meeting.

Belfast Socialist Youth held a public meeting on the ‘Politics of Che Guevara’ on the 21st June, with terrific results. 90 people attended the meeting at the Holiday Inn in Belfast. An introduction was given by Chris Loughlin of Socialist Youth on Che’s life and times. Matthew Waine, National Organiser of Socialist Youth gave a speech on how Socialist Youth takes inspiration from Che and carries on many of his main principles forward to a new generation. With the success of the public meeting and the end of the exams a renewed vigor has taken to Youth work in the north. With protests and meetings taking place on a weekly basis, core activists in Socialist Youth are regularly getting in touch with new and politically aware young people. Deborah a 14 year-old school student from just outside Belfast is one such example of this new layer of youth, here’s what she had to say: “I think society needs to change for the better. Socialist Youth I feel is a young person’s organisation offering proper action, and not discriminating on the grounds of religion or race.” Terry a 15 year-old school student from the Shankill Road recently joined Socialist Youth because as he put it the major parties are all “a bunch of sectarian s***”! This highlighting the definite need for a proper alternative to the dead-end sectarian policies of the major parties in the north. Socialist Youth is planning to carry on the work in Belfast with the anti-sectarian campaign already in place for the summer, and maybe even a benefit gig over the summer to help the funds! Public meetings are planned for early August in both Belfast and Derry, with the hope an active branch can be setup in Derry. Check out this document on Che (you will need the Acrobat Reader Plug-in. See the note in the "Documents" page for details if you can't open this file)

Che Guevara - Symbol of Struggle
(Filesize 200kb)

What we do

Socialist Youth is an independent youth group supportive of the policies of the Socialist Party. It is independent of the SP, so it is not necessary to be a member of the SP before joining Socialist Youth. SY was set up in late 2000 to offer an opportunity for young people North and South the opening to fight back.

In Northern Ireland the comrades in Belfast have held a number of successful stalls in Belfast city centre explaining the need for a socialist alternative to the bigots. SY also protested outside Tylers shoe shop in Ann Street. This saw a lot of shoppers supporting our campaign for decent wages. Management was so scared by the success of our protest in stopping shoppers that they harassed our stall, even going to the stage of throwing a bucket of water at us! The problem for them was that this caused even more protests as it missed the Socialist Youth and hit shoppers instead who marched in to LOUDLY COMPLAIN to the management!!!

In Cork Socialist Youth organised a lively demonstration on December 5th to highlight students support for the teachers industrial action. Over 600 signatures were collected in the petition in just one hour.

Socialist Youth protest against Sectarian Attacks

SOCIALIST YOUTH members held a protest in Belfast city centre on Saturday 30th June against the sectarian attacks breaking out across the North.

(By Gary Mulcahy)

The protest attracted hundreds of people to the stall to sign our petition. One supporter drove in especially to sign the petition and to join the protest. He has just been intimidated from his house and is now homeless. He explained that young people in his area were being targeted for recruitment to the paramilitaries and it was important that Socialist Youth continued with its work.

A 14-year old school student who had come to the protest decided to join Socialist Youth because she saw Socialist Youth as the only people who were taking a stand. Leaflets were distributed calling on the trade unions and community organisations to take mass action by mobilising workers and residents against the bigots on both sides intent on dragging us into a summer of violence.

For large sections of youth, there is no time for Green and Orange politics. Socialist Youth will continue to swim against the stream of sectarianism, and campaign to build a credible alternative throughout the summer months.

This page will save some of the reports of Socialist Youth activities over the past period. Latest developments will continue to be reported on the Socialist Youth page.