Friday, May 6, 1977
THE MICHIGAN DAILY
Protestant Irish strike falters
BELFAST, Northern Ireland
(AP) - Militant Protestants
stoned policemen and buses, set
up roadblocks and tried to in-
timnidate workers yesterday as
a three-day-old general strike
aimed at paralyzing Northern
Ireland appeared to falter.
Several persons, including a
,sther and her 3-month-old ba-
by, were seriously injured in the
viotence, a police spokesperson
The government's Commerce
lepartment reported an average
so per cent turnout at factories
across the province Thursday in
what appeared to be a massive
popular rejection of the strike
allMost stores were open.
About 60 strikers hurled
hcks and bottles at police of-
rs trying to break up a hu-
n barricade blocking roads
, factories in Belfast's Dundon-
d suburb, police said. They
P several officers were drag-
gt bleeding from the clash and
persons were arrested.
IN THE STAUNCHLY Protest-
ant Sandy Road district, gangs
vi young thugs hijacked vehicles
mtId stoned buses, injuring sev-
eril persons, a spokesperson re-
In the North Belfast suburb of
Newtonabbey, similar attacks in-
tired other bus passengers, in-
ch din-g a mother and her
5 month-old child, police said.
The strikers were demanding
tougher steps against the most-
ly Roman Catholic IRA, which
has been trying to drive the
British out of Northern Ireland
and to unite the province with
the predominantly Catholic Irish
Republic. The death toll in the
eight-year-old terrorist war is
at least 1,741.
THE PROTESTANT militants
were also demanding that Lon-
don revive the Protestant-dom-
inated provincial parliament.
Northern Ireland has been ruled
directly by the central govern-
ment in London for the past
Squads of Ulster Defense As-
sociation - UDA - men, mem-
bers of the province's biggest
Protestant street army and the
strikers' muscle, renewed at-
tempts yesterday to intimidate
workers at the big Harland and
Wolff shipyard on Belfast's east
side, Protestant sources report-
The strike enforcers moved in
after shipyard officials report-
ed that almost the entire 9,000-
member work force, which is
largely Protestant, reported for
THE POLICE spokesperson
said undercover "flying squads"
of detectives were operating
throughout the province "in a
determined effort to prevent and
detect widespread intimidation."
Violence also erupted in Arm-
agh, which is in Northern Ire-
land but is the ecclesiastical
capital of both north and south,
when 400 Protestant hardliners
besieged a courthouse to pro-
test the arrest of 18 militants
on charges of manning illegal
roadblocks. One policeman was
injured, and demonstrators at-
tacked news reporters and tele-
vision film crews.
"The strike is on its last legs,"
a Commerce Department
spokesman said Thursday. But
there was no sign it would end
soon. "We're not finished yet,"
declared Jim Smyth, a leader
of hardline United Unionist Ac-
tion Council, which organized
the mass protest action.
April wholesale prices up
WASHINGTON (AP) - Sharp-
ly rising farm and fuel prices
pushed over-all wholesale prices
up 1.1 per cent in April for the
second straight month, almost
assuring consumers of higher
grocery and utility bills.
The April increase, reported
yesterday by the Labor Depart-
ment, equaled the March rise
and followed a nine-tenths of"
one per cent jump win Febru-
The wholesale increases have
been matched by large increas-
es-in consumer prices this year,
raising fears of accelerating in-
Consumer prices rose at a
ten per cent annual rate in the
first quarter, compared to 4.8
per cent in all of 1976. But Car-
ter administration economists,
while expressing disappoint-
ment, said there was no evi-
dence of runaway inflation on
Bert Lance, director of the
Office of Management and
Budget, told reporters, "It is
always serious when you see
that kind of an increase," but
he said it was fortunate that
the boost was no larger than
the one in March.
Lance said it was difficult "to
tell how much effect energy and
cold weather had to do with this
trend" and that this would not
be clear for another month.
Jack Meyer, assistant director
of the Council on Wage and
Price Stability, said: "It's dis-
appointing and clearly a bite
on the consumer's pocketbook,
but I don't think it's an indi-
cator that we're headed for dou-
checkup.It can save
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