A grass roots movement, born out of frustration over the lack of a government in Northern Ireland, will next week hold a public protest in Derry’s city centre.
The rally will form part of the series of #WeDeserveBetter protests taking place across Northern Ireland next Tuesday, August 28.
It is now over 18 months since Stormont collapsed, and local organisers of the We Deserve Better event said it was an “organic, people-powered” movement forged amid outrage over the lack of political leadership in Northern Ireland” at a time when people are being severely impacted ob a number of fronts.
This includes, organisers said, “anger at cuts to services, job losses, waiting lists, welfare reform and increased poverty in the face of MLA pay increases at a time when they refuse to govern”.
The campaign itself was originally sparked by a video uploaded to Facebook by Fermanagh man Dylan Quinn and it has grown now in just over a month to include organised events in 15 locations across Northern Ireland.
Local woman Aideen Hughes felt compelled to help organise an event in Derry through which local people could express their thoughts on the current political stalemate.
“Being a teacher, I have seen first hand the impact that lack of government is having on our children and the education system across Northern Ireland now for some time. Of course the cuts were being implemented across all areas long before the politicians downed tools but we have now have a situation where teachers and classroom assistants are being made redundant whilst MLAs are being paid for not going to work.
“It’s completely unacceptable and needs to be challenged. I’m only one voice but I’m asking people to stand together on this. It’s time to unite.”
The event planned for Derry will take place in Guildhall Square on August 28th at 7pm and the organisers said it will be “a fun, family friendly event with music, dance and some short speeches”.
“Unusually there will be no addresses from politicians and the organisers ask that party political placards be left at home.
“We, in Derry, created a short video which encapsulates what We Deserve Better is all about and shared it on social media.
“It’s had 165,000 views in a week. People are really connecting with our message in a big way so we’re hoping the events will be well supported across the North but especially here in Derry.”
More information can be found on the Facebook page ‘Derry #WeDeserveBetter’.