McCann: contesting the seat held by Mark Durkan

People Before Profit is having its first electoral outing in the North as former civil rights leader Eamonn McCann stands for the group in Foyle.

McCann is contesting the seat held by SDLP MP Mark Durkan, and where Sinn Féin's Martina Anderson is also standing.

"We are going beyond orange versus green and are speaking for the common interests of those left behind by the peace process," McCann says.

"One party unionist rule in the North has gone but sectarianism hasn't – it's just been modernised. In the Assembly, representatives must designate themselves as 'nationalist',' unionist' or 'other' and only the first two count in terms of forming a government.

"It's perfect for the establishment. Sinn Féin and the DUP sit at the executive table fighting over flags and emblems, but agreeing on the same right-wing economic policies."

McCann's manifesto pledges to oppose public-spending cuts; build a massive campaign against any attempt to introduce water charges; ensure union rights for all workers; and campaign to repeal Section 44 of the 2000 Terrorism Act which allows police to stop and search people without establishing suspicion of wrong-doing.

McCann strongly opposes paramilitary violence. He condemned the Real IRA's murder of Kieran Doherty in Derry two months ago. Doherty, a Real IRA member, was allegedly involved in setting up a cannabis factory.

Republicans are increasingly targeting alleged drug-dealers in the city. "Using violence to combat drugs is barbaric and hasn't worked anywhere in the world," McCann says.