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Hundreds attend rally for peace, equality and progress

Published 01/02/2014

Gail Bell




HUNDREDS of supporters, workers and activists turned out yesterday for a 'peace and progress' demonstration at Belfast City Hall.

The crowd braved the winds and rain to attend the 'Peace, Progress and Equality' lunchtime rally organised by the Irish Congress of Trades Union.

Speakers at the event called for action on everything from political stalemate and violence to poor public services.

Secretary of the ICTU, Peter Bunting, said the message being sent out was the need for politicians to start addressing issues "crucial for the social and economic wellbeing of Northern Ireland".

"We, the people, demand that action be taken to end political stalemate, to end all violence and to end inter-communal strife," he said.

"We are convinced that the people of Northern Ireland would like to see the NI Assembly concentrate on delivering decent public services, like schools and hospitals, while facilitating more and better jobs, especially for our young people. We want an economy that works for all."

The event caused minimum disruption, although as numbers began to swell, police were forced to cordon off a section of Chichester Street for a time.

Also speaking were community worker Claire Hackett; Ruairi Creaney, secretary of ICTU Youth and community worker and human rights activist Fiona McCausland.

* 'WE, THE PEOPLE, DEMAND THAT ACTION BE TAKEN': Left, secretary of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions Peter Bunting on stage at yesterday's trade union rally at Belfast City Hall. Some of the crowd wrapped up against the elements

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Bill Smyth