NORTHERN IRELAND: Squeezing the Biggies

STAND FAST! KEEP CALM! VICTORY is IN SIGHT! implored the words scribbled on a blackboard at a Belfast street corner last week. The message was an appeal to Protestants in Ulster's latest, and perhaps most serious crisis. A province-wide general strike brought business to a complete standstill, forced most of the province's 180,000 industrial workers off the job and shut down virtually all shops. Ulster was on the brink of economic paralysis.

The cause of the strike was militant Protestant opposition to the Sunningdale agreement, a compromise reached last December that led to the creation of the Provincial Executive, where Ulster's...

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