In what appears to be an attempt to deflect attention from a string of paedophile priest scandals the Catholic Church in Poland has launched an attack on what it is calling gender theory. It's reactionary theological musings are tricky to unpick but in essence the church seems to be trying to use the fact that people's gender identities can be other than what they were assigned or simply fluid and that in any case do not define who they are in a 'blue for boys, pink for girls' fashion, to create a populist panic in defence of 'traditional' male privilege.
The nostalgic left is a bit of shorthand I’ve started using for those on the left who have reacted to the disintegration of the old left by wishing for idealised simpler times. And perhaps more strangely blaming the collapse on what they see as threatening new developments, like intersectionality. They hold such newfangled nonsense responsible for the current failure of the left to get an echo from the general population.
I am part of this 'Landscapes of Crisis' photography exhibition and discussion in Dublin this coming Thursday with three other activist photographers. As regular readers will know I started to take photography a bit more seriously a couply of years ago, mostly because of my involvement in pro-choice activism and in particular as it says in the notes below coming our of my experience of the pro-Choice meeting in Maynooth when other speakers were quite excited by the fact I'd a handful of photos from the time of the student struggles and the X-Case. It was the anti-choice Youth Defencd march of the summer of 2011 that then pushed me into getting a 'real camera' rather than a good point & click and once i had an SLR (Canon 60D) I discovered a growing interest in photography as a thing in itself.
Austerity Kills - the clear message sent out by the 'Spectacle of Defiance & Hope' display in front of last Saturday's Dublin Council of Trade Unions march against another austerity budget. The march itself was poorly attended, under 1000 people, and there was some really silly 'get our flags/ banners upfront' stuff going on from a few group both during the march and the speeches at the end.
The start of September saw a walking tour organised by the Stoneybatter & Smithfield People's History Project to mark the anniverseries of the 1913 Lockout and the collapses of two tenement houses on 2nd September 1913 which resulted in the death of seven people. The tour started at the statue of Jim Larkin on O'Connel st and proceeded via 6 stops to the site of the collapse where relatives of those killed laid wreaths. There was then the launch of a commermorative pamphlet and a social in the Cobblestone Pub.
On Saturday I travelled to Belfast for the Belast Anarchist Bookfair held in the top floor of the Belfast Unemployed Center. As well as helping out a little with the organisation I spoke about my expereinces in Gezi Park at one of the five meetings that were on as part of the bookfair. I recorded the other four and hope to have edited version of those recordings online over the next while.
About a 1000 people took part in the annual March for Choice in Dublin on Saturday 28 September. Because there was an all island final on huge numbers of people saw the march through town and quite a few stopped to clap the march passing. The march was organised by the Abortion Rights Campaign.
As some of you will know I've been working the last while on bringing an organiser of the 2012 mass student strike to Ireland for a speaking tour. Vanessa, our speaker arrived Saturday morning and after got to the AFA Ireland solidarity with Greek anti-fascists demonstration and the Shell to Sea fundraiser in Seomra Spraoi is speaking in Cork today. She spoke after a welcome meal we had for her in Seomra last night and (although I'm biased) I really think any radical will find what she has to say about the experiences of the strike really useful. The talk was very focused on the concrete organisational challenges of co-ordinating a 6 month long strike that had 400,000 students staying out of college for up to 6 months - some of the challenges will be familiar to you, but not at that scale.
We turned on anonymous commenting on articles about a year back after we added Mollum to the site,a Drupal module that checks content to see if its Spam or genuine. For a good while the results were good but over the last few weeks Mollum has been losing the battle and the work of checking posts and deleting spam has become too much. So until the situation improves anonymous commenting is once more off and you need to register to post.
On my first night in Istanbul I got tear gassed and then had an encounter with a secret police man. Lacking time to write it up properly here instead is my side of Facebook chats with a couple of friends back in Ireland after I'd got back to my hotel that evening and was discussing what happened with them. I've got into the habit of writing up encounters with the secret police - see for instance 'I still remember the First Time' and 'A Shell to Sea Jailing and a run in with the Secret Police'.
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.