Regular readers may have noticed I’ve recently starting tagging articles & blogs with Networked Revolution some of which don’t appear to have a direct connection to the revolutionary implications of social media. This is because I’m using this tag as a catch all for the blogs & articles I’m publishing questioning how we traditionally understand revolutionary organisation in the new conditions of today.
I’ve expanded this beyond simply being about the technology to the behaviors this new technology makes possible and also the conflicts it is creating. One aspect of this is the material looking as the arguments around what is often called ‘intersectionality’ although in terms of left practice the term micropolitics may be more useful. In meat space I’ve had a few people asking me what I’m up to, surprised I suspect that I’ve been quite sympathetic to this set of ideas and methods while most on the left (particularly those over a certain age) are unrelenting in their hostility. Someone even told me I’m ‘playing a clever game’ so I thought it might be a good idea to clarify that this is a genuine exploration and explain some of what has prompted it.
On Saturday I was taking photos at the Gaza solidarity march through Dublin to post to the WSM Facebook page as part of the may we are now using the page to report news as its happening. I spotted this placard in the crowd and took a couple of pictures of it, figuring that people's frustration with the huge focus Irish media and politicians have put on the Garth Brooks concerts would make it popular. On returning home I posted it to our Facebook page with the text below. I thought it might generates 10 or 20,000 views but at the moment of writing it is only 3,000 short of quarter of a million and should exceed this within the next hour.
An explanation for our readers outside Ireland. The Irish media has been dominated for the last week not by the unrelenting Israeli bombardment of Gaza but by the fact that a US singer, Garth Brooks, can only play 3 rather than 5 concerts in Dublin's largest sports stadium.
Extraordinary stuff. The Party that failed to act for 20 years on the X-case legislation wanted emergency legislation rushed through the Dail in 24 hours to facilitate a Garth Brooks concert. The concerts now appear to be all cancelled following an announcement from the promoters but the entire episode shows how politicians found great urgency to act when it came to a populist money making cause that they could not locate anywhere when women's lives were under threat.
When we hear of '400 Israeli airstrikes' against Gaza we don't necessarily understand just what a tiny area this constant bombing is happening in. A lot of people are probably thinking its the size of a smallish country like Ireland when in fact as the map below shows its more similar in size to the greater Dublin area.
(map comparison from Mark M, @soundmigration on Twitter )
The mass grave in Tuam isn't simply a story of a handful of evil nuns acting out of sight and discovered 80 years too late. It's the story of the long and protracted relationship between the Irish state and the Catholic church as illustrated by these two photos from the 1930s and 1950s.
I'm off on a short (4 city) speaking tour of Norway from next week. It initally expanded out of an intention to go somewhere interesting for the Solstice and Oslo and then the train north being the closest / cheapest way of doing that. When I contacted Motmakt members in Oslo suggesting I do a talk while passing through they suggested turning it into a mini tour and going much further north that I'd originally planned. And I could hardly turn down the opportunity of doing a talk 350km north of the Arctic Circle, in the city of Tromsø which not only will have no sunset on the solstice but won't have one anytime in June or July. On the way I'll be stopping off at Bergen and Trondheim.
Are the Direct Provision Asylum Seeker centres our generations equivalent of the child detention centres of the 1930's? Some 4,360 people were stuck in this misery at the start of the year. Over 1,600 of these people have been trapped in the system for 5 or more years. Meanwhile those running the centres who are frequently connected to the ruling parties pocketed €62 million in 2012 alone.
If you are feeling strong Rabble published a must read article on the 796 dead children found in a mass grave at the St.Mary’s Mother and Baby Home, Tuam. That's not a misprint, for the 40 years this institution operated at least one child died a fortnight, a death rate that approached 10% of those in the home per year! They ranged from 2 days (Thomas Duffy) to 9 years (Sheila Tuohy) old.
The Herald contains a bizarre full page whinge from the owner of the Paris Bakery about how the publicity their failure to pay their workers received has 'destroyed my life.' It's heartening as the occupation enters its 6th day to see that both Yannick Forel and Ruth Savill have come under enough pressure from the workers to feel the need to make public statements. But they need to meet with the workers and make arrangements to pay the estimated 130,000 in wages owed.
Labour Party spokespeople after the enormous rejection their policies received in the elections have been trying to spin this as being down to some flaw in leadership. The implication being that there was no real problem with their role in imposing savage cuts on workers and marginalised people. No, instead we are to believe it was all a problem of the current Labour leaders not being skilful enough at 'selling' these cuts to the electorate.
Like most sites we have a major problem with bots trying to post spam into the comments section. While looking for a better solution we are reduced to only on turning on the ability to anonymously comment for brief periods around the posting of new articles. But if you are a regular visitor you can comment at any time by creating an account on the site and logging in before posting. But the Spammers also set up accounts so to reduce the workload of deleting those we only turn on the ability to create accounts for brief periods which we announce on our Twitter & Facebook accounts so follow those to hear when we have that turned on. We do want you to be able to engage with us via the comments and we are very sorry for the fact that we can't find a better way of dealing with spam.