SOCIALIST PARTY member Paul Murphy, secretary for the Campaign for Free
Education, is standing for the position of Students' Union President in UCD.
Paul, who is well known in UCD as a fighter for student rights will be standing
on a programme of creating a fighting, democratic Students' Union.
Paul told the Socialist Voice: "We need a union which earns the
respect of the students, and which organises mass campaigns on the key student
issues - fees, grants and student accommodation."
The Socialist Party in UCD has fought a continual battle against the right-wing
leadership of the Students' Union, who have repeatedly failed to campaign for
The right-wing attitude of the current Students' Union leadership meant that last
year they initially refused to condemn the proposed re-introduction of full
fees! Students responded to this betrayal by launching the Campaign for Free
Education (CFE), which mobilised students to campaign against fees.
Socialist Party/Socialist Youth has played a leading role in initiating the
CFE, in building for demonstrations, and in arguing within CFE for militant
tactics as the only way to defeat the government.
While CFE has had success in organising a number of occupations and protests
attended by around 500 people, it is clear that with the full backing of the
Students' Union, bigger and more significant protests could be organised. Electing Paul Murphy as SU President would be an important step towards getting the union focused on a major campaign against fees.
Regardless of the result, the struggle to reclaim our
Students' Union will continue. The Socialist Party/Socialist Youth and other
left activists will also be standing for a number of officers and Executive
North: We Want Our Skate park!
by Chris Loughlin
OVER THE last few weeks Lisburn City Council has taken the step to
recommend that police enforce by-laws in the area to make sure Skateboarders
are not allowed to skate in Lisburn city centre.
This ludicrous step means that skateboarders in Lisburn will be prosecuted for
skateboarding; talk about a free country! But, what has lead to this dangerous
situation, where literally hundreds of young people will be given a criminal
record for skateboarding?
council claims "hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of damage" has
been done to Lisburn city centre. Anyone who walks through Lisburn won't see
any damage to any property, young people are simply being scapegoated as
"nuisances" and "pests". The step to use these by-laws
comes nearly a year after a public meeting was held in Lisburn where the
council promised to build skate park facilities. The council even set up a
working group to establish what would be the best way forward.
as is usual young people are at the bottom of the list of priorities for a
council made up of old men, cronies and huge conflicts of interest. The council
of Lisburn has sold off huge numbers of football pitches in the area to private
contractors and has managed to waste huge amounts of money on the "Lagan
Valley Island" and its 30 000 pound a year fountain!
Young people in Lisburn we have to organise to fight for a publicly owned skate park.
The council will not give a skate park to us without pressure being put on them
to do so. None of the politicians or parties in Lisburn are in touch with young
people, they represent the people with money. This is not just an issue for
Lisburn. In most other towns across Northern Ireland it is the same. Young
people need to link up and campaign together for proper facilities.
Join the alternative, fight for a socialist society where
things are run for people's needs not profit, Join Socialist Youth today!
Bertie Ahern has dragged Irish
people into this bloody drive to war by allowing US warplanes refuel at
In recent months massive anti-war demonstrations have taken place in Europe
and significantly in the US itself. With the outbreak of war these
demonstrations will not diminish, but will instead dramatically grow in size
and anger as the brutality of this war is brought home.
Here in Ireland, the focus must be on building a mass
anti-war movement to oppose the use of Shannon Airport, but also to oppose
the rightwing character of this government who would prepare to back Bush
than deal with issues such as homelessness or low pay.
It is young people through out the world and indeed in
Ireland who have the most to lose from this war and the developing world
recession as our future is increasingly dominated by poverty, wars for profit
and instability. For this reason Socialist Youth has launched Youth Against
War as an active campaign open to all young people to oppose this war.
We call on all young people to join and get active in
Youth Against War. Set up an anti-war group in your school. Hand out leaflets
and collect a petition to show that Bertie Ahern and Fianna Fail do not
represent us. Most importantly, get your friends and class mates to join and
get active. 15 February is international day of action against war. Protests
will be held in capital cities all across the world. Make sure you and your
friends and school are represented in Dublin on that day. Ring Matthew @ 087
Youth Against War Activist Speaks Out
YOUTH AGAINST War activist Anita OíFlynn is Student
Council President at ScoilPol boarding school in Co.Cork.
Anita in her capacity as Student Council President was
asked to address the end of year school assembly. She was meant to do a
reading from the Bible but instead stood up in front of all of the students,
teachers and nuns and read out a statement she had prepared about Bushís
preparations for a war against Iraq.
The stunned nuns threatened to suspend Anita from school
but due to support she received from other pupils, teachers and parents this
threat was lifted. Anita and other YAW activists in her school have gone on
to produce an anti-war newsletter. YAW and Socialist Youth school students
should follow Anitaís courageous example - get your friends organised in YAW
campaign groups in your school.
For more info, click here to see the Youth Against War Website
Get Organised Now - Build Youth Against War
In the North
By Chris Loughlin
THOUSANDS OF troops are being mobilised as we speak, from California to
Southampton. Troops, war ships and airforce personnel are getting ready to go
to war against Iraq.
Over the last weeks the drive to war has intensified and it now looks more than likely
that war will be declared by George Bush Jnr. in the short term with or without
UN backing. This war however, is not a crusade for democracy or a "war on
terror", it is a war for western oil interests, plain and simple.
The effects of this war will be devastating on the Iraqi people. 60% of Iraqi
people depend on the UN sanctioned oil-for-food programme, which means in real
terms that millions of Iraqis have been living on less than $0.65 worth of food
per day for the last ten years.
to mention the fact that over one million children have died over the last ten
years due to malnourishment and lack of basic medical supplies. The people who
will die in this war are not Saddam Husseinís cronies who will live in their
bunkers for the duration, but ordinary Iraqis who are in Saddamís conscript
army, together with defenceless women and children.
can we do to stop this bloody drive to war? We can organise and demonstrate,
win people to our viewpoint that this war is just another war for oil. Most
importantly though, we have to register, every single one of us, to our
friends, family, school and the politicians that we donít support this war for
oil; that we donít believe the lies and propaganda of Bush and Blair nor those
of Saddamís brutal dictatorship.
why Socialist Youth has taken the step to set up Youth Against War, as a broad
organisation for all young people who are opposed to this war. In your
workplace or school, you could hand out leaflets, organise a meeting against
the war or even have a protest outside with your friends!
most important thing is that we start to organise and demonstrate now.
Socialist Youth is fighting for a socialist society where peopleís needs not
profits come first. Get organised, join Youth Against War and help stop the war
machine. Ring Chris @ Belfast 90232962
info, click here to see the
Youth Against War Website