Shaun Harkin: "I'm honoured to be selected to represent People Before Profit in May. There's a massive desire for fundamental change right across society."
People Before Profit have selected Shaun Harkin to be their candidate in the Foyle seat for next May's Assembly Election.
Harkin, who is currently one of the party's two Councillors at Derry City & Strabane District Council, will be hoping to be one of five MLAs elected to the Assembly at Stormont come May 5.
People Before Profit have been represented at Stormont before when Eamonn McCann was elected back in 2016, only for him to lose his seat at the election that took place the following year when boundary changes cut Foyle's MLA allocation from six to five.
Cllr Harkin is no stranger to contesting elections at a national level as he has twice challenged for the Foyle seat at the UK General Elections of 2017 and 2019.
This, however, will be his first attempt to become an MLA.
Cllr Harkin said: “I'm honoured to be selected to represent People Before Profit in May. There's a massive desire for fundamental change right across society.
“People want more real equality and less of the divisive dead end of communal politics that the Stormont political establishment gets top marks on.
“The last number of years have been very hard right. They might not like to hear it but the Stormont Executive, instead of protecting people from Tory policies, has imitated them.
“It's been one rule for them and another for the rest of us. Elites have been taken care of while the vulnerable, workers and students have been ignored.
“Just like the Tories, the Executive botched its pandemic response. This has brought unnecessary grief to many people, has strained our health service like never before and brought tremendous hardship in all our communities.
“The callous treatment of health and social care workers by Boris Johnson and the Executive epitomises everything that's wrong. They've tried to look the other way as people reel from massive energy and cost of living hikes.
“Instead of supporting progressive demands, the Executive has consistently blocked them and enforced the reactionary status quo.
“This is the case when it comes to the right to choose, real pay rises for workers, climate action, racial equality and addressing the spiraling housing crisis.
“Promises to address structural inequality in Derry and the North West continue to be broken. It's shameful that 30 per cent of people in Derry struggle below the poverty line. We have the largest number of people on the housing waiting list. The commitment to expand Magee to 10,000 students has once again been ripped up.
“Executive parties wave around their newfound environmental credentials but they couldn't even deliver the Derry-Coleraine rail upgrade or start the clean-up of the toxic Mobuoy dump. All this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the failure to deliver for people here.
“We are standing to give voice to students and teachers demanding better treatment. We are standing to make sure the demands of women and those who have been marginalised are heard.
“We are standing to demand real pay rises for all workers in the public, private and community sectors. We are standing to make sure our Black and minority ethnic communities are never treated again as they were by the Executive on June 5, 2020.
“We are standing to make sure the vulnerable in our communities are not ignored. We won't allow people who've demanded justice for 50 years to be ignored because Boris Johnson says so.
“Foyle Port workers, anti-poverty campaigners and many others are taking action for change now. No one should wait. We are fighting for a Stormont seat to amplify these struggles.
“May 5 is an opportunity for change and we urge people to seize it.”
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