30 October 2003 Edition
Belfast Community Workers furious at Trimble
Community activists from across Belfast met this past week to discuss the latest crisis in the peace process and its consquences for ongoing developments within the nationalist community.
In a strongly worded statement released on Thursday 23 October, community workers said they were acutely aware of the damage done to the peace process by the recent actions of UUP leader David Trimble.
They went on to denounce the UUP leader, his party, and the Irish and British governments for the erosion of confidence in the process within the nationalist community.
The statement reads: "We want to voice our serious concerns and our anger at:
- the apparent inability or unwillingness of David Trimble and the UUP to move us all out of conflict. The developments of Tuesday last have seriously eroded the confidence of our community in the Unionist party as serious partners for peace.
- The missed opportunities, in respect to job creation and attracting inward investment, that would contribute to the social and economic regeneration of all our communities and the essential services provided.
- The acquiescenece of the Irish and British governments to facilitate the unionist position once again and their obvious failure to safeguard the deal that had been agreed upon to move the peace process forward and come to the full implementation of the Good Friday Agreement.
- The demands being placed on the Republican leadership to again placate the insatiable demands of the UUP. The well of political generousity within our community is now well and truly dry. We have nothing left to give.
The time has now come for the political generousity and leadership to be reciprocated from within Unionistm, and from within the Irish and British administrations, if the erosion of confidence and faith in the peace process is to be halted."
The document went on to say that as community workers who were actively involved in the Yes campaign for the Good Friday Agreement, the activists intended to convene a standing conference of community workers in support of the Good Friday/Belfast Agreement and the peace process.
"As a communty voice we will seek meetings with the Irish government, the British government and the Ulster Unionist Party to raise the serious erosion of confidence within our communities in the political will of Unionism to share power with Catholics," reads the statement. "We will give expression to the sense of violation and betrayal felt by the nationalist community, caused by the unilateral halt to the peace process called by David Trimble and the Unionist party and facilitated by the Irish and British governments.
"Our rights and the rights of our community under the Good Friday Agreement to a new beginning, to power sharing on the basis of equality, parity of esteem and partnership, have once again been put on hold in order to appease David Trimble and the Unionist party."
"We are saying enough is enough."