Abortion Alliances Transcending Orange and Green

One of the first things I became involved in through the Belfast Feminist Network was a short play about abortion. It attempted to tell the stories of women’s experiences accessing abortions from Northern Ireland. At the time, around 2011, it was novel. We weren’t even telling real stories, per se, but writing them based on conversations with real women. We performed it a couple of times, and then the artistic conversations moved on to telling real women’s actual stories – … Read more

‘Booby Trap’ Bomb Under Soldier’s Car Found This Morning

An “undercar booby trap bomb” has been discovered under the car of a soldier in Bangor, County Down this morning. The bomb fell out from underneath the car this morning and was discovered. 20 – 30 homes in the area were subsequently evacuated. This follows the bomb at the Strand Road Police Station in Derry yesterday, blamed on republican splinter group Óglaigh na hÉireann. In May, the IMC said that the threat from dissident republican militants remained high, and the … Read more

Community Relations Rally at Stormont Today

Youth workers, community workers and activists will gather at the Newtownards gate of Stormont today at 12pm and walk up to the parliament building in support of community relations work and in protest at the cut in vital funding. In a perhaps unwitting testament to how important this work is, the BBC this morning ran a story about the rising tensions at the interface on the lower Oldpark road. There is also believed to be a sectarian motive for a … Read more

Of Bombs and Diplomas

At a press conference in Kabul this morning, David Cameron stated that Afghanistan was his “number one priority” and pledged an additional £67m to fight improvised explosive devices, or  IEDs (roadside bombs, effectively). Mr. Cameron denied that any additional troops would be sent. £67m on bombs. What else could that £67m have bought you in Afghanistan? Schools, hospitals, roads, infrastructure, a better police force? All that things that, arguably, might reduce support for the insurgents that plant IEDs, which is … Read more

Your outrage must endure another 37 days…

Outraged at Israel’s violent attack on the humanitarian aid flotilla? Outraged at those who are outraged? Either way, you may have to wait 37 days the next time you want to join your international peers in demonstrating your anger. Something that should’ve been obvious from yesterday’s City Centre vigil for the flotilla, but was rarely mentioned: If the Public Assemblies Bill passes, yesterday’s demonstration would have been illegal. The organizers and everyone there could have been subject to six months in … Read more

“Shoot to Kill” Files Ordered Released

The High Court today has ordered that files relating to the government’s alleged ‘shoot to kill’ policy should be released. Mr. Justice John Gillen said: “If inquests are to maintain public confidence, put minds at rest and answer the questions of the families who are bereaved, it is vital to ensure that the interested parties/next of kin can participate in an informed, open and transparent fashion on an equal footing with all other parties throughout the various stages of the … Read more

South Africa and the World Cup Frenzy – A Success Story?

No local teams will be participating, but all eyes are already on South Africa in the lead-up to the World Cup next month – and the rest will be glued to the T.V. But amid all the glitz and glamour surrounding the World Cup, very little is being said about South Africa beneath the World Cup gloss. We presume that such prestigious events as the World Cup can bring countless benefits to struggling societies, particularly those coming out of transition. In … Read more