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Congress asks human rights group to oversee anti-G8 protests

Date Released: 31 May 2013

Trade unionists and community activists will march in Belfast on Saturday and next week in Enniskillen in response to the G8 Summit of international leaders in Fermanagh on Monday, 17th and Tuesday, 18th June.

The marches will demand that world leaders take action to halt the growing division between those profiting from the world economy and those in poverty.

Congress has asked the Belfast based human rights group, the Committee for the Administration of Justice (CAJ), to monitor the anti-G8 protests following reports that they will be the subject of an unprecedented security force operation.

According to Brian Campfield, vice-chairman of the ICTU Northern Ireland Committee, the CAJ has been asked to observe the rally due to the expected heavy security presence.

“Our concern would be that the security overkill would result in the prevention of a legitimate right to protest. This is the first time the trade union movement has asked a human rights body to oversee the way a demonstration is handled by the security forces. It is a measure of our concerns that the policing and security around protests could be overzealous, and it has to be stressed the trade union movement –led protest will be entirely peaceful,” he said.

SIPTU Organiser, Brenda Callaghan, said: “It is important that trade unionists show their opposition to the neo-liberal austerity measures of the G8 and their cronies in the World and Central Banks.”

The Belfast march begins at 12.00 p.m. on Saturday. SIPTU and Mandate trade union have organised a bus to the march. The bus will leave Liberty Hall at 9.15 a.m., returning from Belfast at 5.30 p.m. Those availing of the bus are asked to make a donation if they are financially able to.

The march will be followed by a talk by veteran political campaigner, Tariq Ali, on the US presidency of Barack Obama. To book your place on the bus click here.

As well as the Anti-G8 rally, the Belfast Trades Council and the Northern Ireland ICTU Youth Committee have jointly organsied the ‘Another World is Possible Festival’ of political discussions, comedy, music and protest.

Festival events run from Thursday, 13th June to Sunday 16th June and include a debate with Respect MP, George Galloway, a folk music concert and international youth activist conference.

The ‘Another World is Possible Festival’ will form part of the broader anti G8 activities being organised by ICTU, IF Campaign (a global food justice campaign), Amnesty and Friends of the Earth.

For further information about the planned range of excellent events, please click on the following link http://fairerworldfestival.org/events/  .


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