Fiona Ferguson for North Belfast

Socialist Worker 386

Fiona Ferguson for North Belfast

Fiona Ferguson has been selected as the North Belfast candidate for People Before Profit for the forthcoming Assembly election in 2016. Ferguson, a 23 year old activist with the party, says she believes that North Belfast is “in dire need of an alternative voice:

“The latest stitch up at Stormont may be a ‘fresh start’ for the big parties”, said Fiona, “but it will mean more of the same for the communities in North Belfast.”

“More cuts and hardship heaped onto ordinary people. Meanwhile corporations get a tax break to line their pockets.”

“North Belfast continues to suffer high rates of poverty, unemployment and mental health problems. Sectarianism has not been overcome either. Instead it continues to fester with working class people on both sides of the divide losing out. We need a new movement here: a grassroots movement on the streets and in the workplaces; one that breaks down the communal divisions that our politicians have no interest in tackling.”

New politics

“North Belfast has been left behind,” says Ferguson, “the promised ‘shared future’ hasn’t materialised for working class people here. Instead, we’ve seen sectarianism on the rise and much-needed community services being slashed. There is a dire need for an alternative—for a new kind of politics.”

Fiona argues that she intends to mount a serious campaign: “People Before Profit is a growing movement across Ireland, both North and South, with more and more people realising the power of left-wing, street politics. We believe that there is a thirst for a socialist alternative. Gerry Carroll has shown that in West Belfast, and we intend on building on that success in the North. We are going to work night and day to get the message out that a better way is possible.”

“In this election I will be a voice for the working class people of North Belfast that have been left behind by the politics of cuts and bigotry; a voice for women and the LGBT community who face discrimination on a daily basis. I will be a voice against racism and sectarianism, and a voice for socialist politics that puts the interests of working class people first.”

Gerry Carroll, People Before Profit Belfast city councillor, welcomed the news:

“I am delighted that Fiona has put herself forward. She is a hardworking and dedicated activist, and I think she can really shake up politics in the North of the city. People are sick to the teeth of the failures at Stormont. The time of People Before Profit has come.”’

Fiona will be one of several PBP candidates fielded across the North, including in Belfast and Derry.

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