#OccupyQUB ended as it started – not with a bang, but a whimper

The, “Civil Rights Movement,” has ended… (their words… not mine – Civil rights defines as – “the rights of citizens to political and social freedom and equality.” Quite how occupying a building and saying “we’re not leaving unless you do something we tell you to do” fits into social freedom and equality, I’m unsure). #OccupyQUB “took over” a couple of cubicles in the finance office of the administration building of Queens University Belfast, their demands?   Fossil Free QUB had been campaigning for some time to encourage QUB to divest from fossil fuel companies such as Shell, BP, Gazprom and others – in fairness, this is a noble cause and one that I and many others will support. The problem arises when ultimatums are brought into the arena – “Do this or else.” Who responds well to that kind of activity? Prior to the, “Occupation,” – such as it was, Queens had said there will be a workshop on the issue on the 6th of January, they had also pledged to review their investment policy (which would take between 6-9 months). Queens released the following statement, Queen’s statement   “At its meeting on 14 October 2015, the University’s Investment Committee agreed to carry out a comprehensive review of its Investment Policy. The review is expected to take 6 – 9 months and will be informed by best practice in the area of ‘Socially Responsible Investment.’   “As part of this review the University has engaged directly with students from Fossil Free QUB.  To help inform the investment policy review, a workshop will be held in early January 2016 (6th...
An Open Letter To Refugees Coming To Northern Ireland…

An Open Letter To Refugees Coming To Northern Ireland…

I consider myself an average Northern Irish citizen, and as such I’d like to extend a warm welcome to any and all refugees coming to Northern Ireland to escape persecution, war and conflict. Hello and welcome to you all – Dia Daoibh agus Céad Míle Fáilte Romhaibh. The difference between where you’re from and Northern Ireland is probably quite massive, so I thought it might be handy to write a wee (little) guide for you to refer to.   1: You may think you know English… disregard all of that knowledge, it’s outdated… we may technically speak English but it’s mostly unrecognisable to the outside world. This blog from Sarah Arnold may help. 2: You should perhaps start taking anti-cholesterol medication as soon as possible, our standard diet will destroy you. 3: Vegetable roll is not for you. 4: Do not… repeat, DO NOT try to go to Primark on a Saturday. 5: Ask NO questions about Daniel O’Donnell, it’s best left alone. 6: Make sure, before you go into a shop, that it is in fact a shop… some of our shops aren’t real, they’re just there for decoration. 7: Larne isn’t as bad as people make out it is. 8: But still, don’t go to Larne. 9: You may have heard of the ‘Emerald Isle’, you should also become accustomed to the phrase ‘Gray Skies’. 10: Don’t be confused by the ‘Westlink’, despite the name, the road runs pretty much North-South. 11: If you will be driving, you should acquaint yourself with the following places and avoid them: Black’s Road, Grosvenor Road, Chichester Street, Ormeau Road, Sandyknowles, Short...