IF you happen upon the various strikes and protests taking place in Belfast, it's likely you will see Gerry Carroll on the picket.

The People Before Profit West Belfast MLA is a familiar face at industrial actions across the city and he's adamant that the strikes will “break the Government” and “turf them out”.

“I think strike action really imposes the question of who keeps society functioning,” he told the Andersonstown News.

“It very much is the people who staff our hospitals, our supermarkets and essential resources. Without them, society would literally come to a standstill.”

Gerry spoke of his disdain for the Tories, their “changing of the guard so many times” and the “disaster of Liz Truss, who couldn’t defeat a lettuce".

He added that their "shameful ideology to privatise the NHS, to reduce it, to underfund it, that’s putting people at risk including patients and staff.”

And he expressed his solidarity with environmental activist groups such as Extinction Rebellion and Just Stop Oil. 

“In terms of civil disobedience we’d be for it," he said. "I think it’s best to target the real cause of climate change which is the big corporations, the top one hundred corporations are responsible for 71 percent of climate emissions."

And he hit out a the DUP, who he accused of attempting to “whip up tension for their own benefit in terms of protecting their seats” by “using the protocol as a way to whip people up and to divide people”.

“The DUP are culpable in cost of living crisis”, he added, through “keeping Stormont down".

But will everything be resolved if Keir Starmer becomes British Prime Minister?

No, according to Gerry, who wants the Labour leader “to feel it in the neck that workers aren’t going to just go back quietly".

“I think Keir Starmer frankly isn’t offering much. He doesn’t have a backbone to stand up to support strikes," he said.

“But, yeah, I think there needs to be a general election so people can have their say on the farce that’s been happening for the last number of years.”

Gerry also spoke about the immigration and asylum policy of the Tory Government and the growth of the far-right in the Republic of Ireland.

“There’s no such thing as illegal asylum,” he said. “These people who are seeking asylum have a right to seek asylum, so really there’s a backdrop of really nasty state racism that kind of treats migrants and asylum seekers with distained suspicion, hostility and worse.

"People are looking terrible accommodation, they’re stuck in what’s called hotels but they’re more like prison conditions,” he added.