Bernadette McAliskey guest speaker at The Mccluskey Civil Rights Summer School this saturday….

The theme of this years summer school is “50 Years On – The Civil Rights Challenges in Ireland Today – Tackling Poverty, Sectarianism, Racism and Inequality”. Here is the agenda 10am Welcome by Chair Professor Paul Arthur 10.30am Tribute to Dr Conn and Patricia McCluskey by civil rights activist Michael McLoughlin Reflections on civil rights and honouring the role of Con and Patricia McCluskey and the Campaign for Social justice 11am Keynote address by Les Allamby Chair of Human Rights …

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Civil Rights Movement: What Went Wrong? #JHISS

WATCH Monday’s political panel at the John Hewitt International Summer School in Armagh which looked back on the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Movement and asked What Went Wrong? Gregory Campbell, Bríd Rodgers, Colm Gildernew and Trevor Ringland, chaired by Peter Osborne.

Soapbox: Housing Then and Now – Conference on 15 June in Dungannon, 50 years on from Caledon sit-in

HOUSING THEN AND NOW – one day free conference in Dungannon on Friday 15 June examines the housing allocation system in the 1960s, civil rights marches, the formation of the NI Housing Executive, and the present day challenge of how to provide social housing which is not divided on religious grounds with input from activists, academics and the students of today.

Northern Ireland’s 1968 at the epicentre of the French ‘Maydays’

As the 50th anniversary of Northern Ireland’s 1968 approaches, we can be hopeful that the accompanying commemorative interest will provide the necessary platform to enable a long-overdue and detailed reflection of what was an unquestionably seminal moment in our recent past. One particular area that requires a more comprehensive examination is how the events in Northern Ireland are to be understood within the broader (and rather exceptional) international context of the time. The term ‘1968’ has become a byword for …

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Free event: Civil Rights 50 years on – An Historical Perspective – Wed 18th April 18…

Join us for a panel discussion with historians Dr Chris Reynolds, Nottingham Trent University, Professor Tom Hennessey, Professor of Modern British and Irish History, Canterbury, Dr Margaret O’Callaghan Chaired by Dr Eamon Phoenix. Date: Wednesday the 18th April 2018, 7pm. Location: Ulster Museum, Belfast. Tickets are free but register below so we can plan numbers: Brian O'NeillI help keep the good ship Slugger afloat by managing the business and techy stuff.

Professor Paul Arthur on Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the NI Civil Rights Campaign…

Commemorations should carry their own health warning. Fintan O’Toole supplies one relevant to the current context. Writing in the Irish Times in January 2005 on the extremist tradition in Ireland he warned that ‘what matters is not what happened but how it is remembered. And that precisely is what the IRA is now fighting for. Its struggle is for the control of the memory of the Northern Ireland conflict’. I was reminded of this reading Declan Kearney’s piece of 29 …

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Memories of the October 5th 1968 Civil Rights March. The day The Troubles began…

  I’ve never spoke on a public platform before, but feel moved to break my silence and contribute to the 50th anniversary civil rights Program. I always remind my twin brother, Fionnbarra, that I am his senior, being born one hour before him at 134 Bogside, which was then known as a single street which ran from the Slaughter House to the junction of Lecky Road & Rossville Street. My mother Mary Ellen, born 1908. hailed from Ballee, Ballymagory near …

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Book your free tickets for the launch of the Civil Rights 50th Anniversary Programme with a keynote address from poet Michael Longley…

The broad-based 50th Anniversary of  Civil Rights Commemoration Committee, chaired by Professor Paul Arthur, wish to commemorate 50th Anniversary of Civil Rights in a sober, inclusive and reflective way. We want to seek to learn from what happened, to consider the significance of the Civil Rights movement for our society today and the continuing resonance of the issues which it addressed and the ideals which underpinned it. You are invited to attend the following events. All events are free but …

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Fifty years on, Sam still Sends Us…

In the 1991 hit film “The Commitments”, the Dublin band’s ambitious impresario Jimmy Rabbitte (portrayed by Robert Arkins) explains to his suspicious proteges that they must play only soul music, because it is simple, basic, and honest: ‘[Soul] sticks its neck out and says it straight from the heart.  Sure, there’s a lot of different music you can get off on, but soul is more than that.  It takes you somewhere else.‘ The man who played a crucial role in helping to inspire …

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Not British, Brutish: @brianjohnspencr guesting on the @LADFLEG blog

In a bit of departure, the Loyalists Against Democracy blog has a guest post from Brian John Spencer (regularly of this parish). Entitled, ‘They are Not British, They’re Brutish‘ and against the backdrop of the increasingly cartoonish behaviour of loyalisms curated extreme, he rages against what he variously calls ‘civilised Northern Ireland’, ‘soft-bellied multiculturalists’  and ‘ever-indulgent middle-highbrows’ and suggests they all need to wake up. He even converges upon Chris’ argument that Unionism needs to adopt the kind of leadership …

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Joshua Bloom and Waldo E. Martin, Jr’s ‘Black Against Empire’: Book Review

Certainly, after the quick rise and repression of the Occupy Movement, this study on an earlier radical faction who advocated more violent urban occupation and resistance merits reflection. Joshua Bloom (UCLA) and Waldo E. Martin, Jr (UC Berkeley) collaborate to present a study which relies not on oral interviews or ‘retrospective accounts’ colored by bias or filtered through idealism, but a sober analysis. They base their work on five years of Bay Area archival research: first to assemble nearly all …

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#Flegs Protest: Blocking the highway is only one way you can be convicted…

For me this was the most straightforward and relevant contribution on last night’s Nolan. Peaceful protest is fine this audience member says, but who is informing the young people who are getting involved about what is and what is not legal. Obstructing the highway has been a focus (because it is probably the most disruptive), but that is not all you can get a criminal record for. Covering your face, acting in an intimidating manner towards others are also grounds …

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Civil Rights hero receives a belated honour…

Nice turn of phrase from former Tory MP Matthew Parris in The Times today… Struggles produce heroes whose names fade after their cause prevails, but Mr [Jeffrey] Dudgeon’s should never be forgotten: the Beflast shipping clerk who – because homosexuality remained a criminal offence in Northern Ireland – took the UK Government to the European Court of Human Rights (boo!) and won (hooray!). Westminster changed the law two decades ago and in the last New Years honours Mr Dudgeon was …

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“A drum major for justice”: Martin Luther King Jr Day

Today the USA celebrates Martin Luther King Jr Day, a federal holiday to honour the man who helped change America (although not by as much as he would have liked). The civil rights campaigner would have turned 83 yesterday, had he not been assassinated in April 1968. The Martin Luther King Jr. memorial in Washington opened to the public some months ago and it has recently been announced that a controversial (mis)quote on one side of the monument is be …

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Oppression through the policing of clothing

France’s lower house of parliament recently approved a bill to ban the wearing of a burqa or niqab in public. People caught wearing garments “that hide the face” will be fined 150 euro and those who force women to cover up could be fined up to 30,000 euro and face a one-year jail term. Some of those in favour of the ban say it stems from the French concept of laïcité, a model of secularism which upholds freedom of and …

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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 …

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