Analysis

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Articles based more around exploring a particular rather than reporting on it

Is the Irish 'austerity referendum' where the real battleground is for the left?

Ireland is to have a referendum after all on the EU austerity treaty and a lot of the left is getting unreasonably excited about this. I say unreasonably because my opinion is that the referendum will not really, as the likes of the ULA claim, be a meaningful ballot on austerity. Austerity is not something simply being imposed on us by Europe through this referendum but something our domestic ruling class are already imposing and have been for a few years. Of course they have used the ECB/IMF as the 'bad cop' to scare us with and when passed will use the EU austerity treaty in the same way. But we need to recognize and organize around the fact that our local politicians and capitalist class are not really a 'good cop' eager to help us avoid the attentions of the 'bad cop' making threatening gestures at us across the room.

 

20 years of inaction after the x-case - Action on X launched

20 years ago this month details emerged of the X-case, when the Irish state injuncted a pregnant 14 year old who had been raped to prevent her traveling of England for an abortion. The x-case was the culmination of a decade of fundamentalist anti-choice hysteria that had flowed from the 1983 referendum designed to make it impossible to ever legalize abortion again in Ireland.

 

(Pic: Press launch - taken by RAG)

Dublin demonstrates against ACTA & SOPA but it is about more than just downloading

Dublin last weekend saw about 400 people take part in a demonstration against the intention of Seán Sherlock, the Labour Party Minister for Research and Innovation to bring into law a requirement for Irish internet service providers to block access to sites that allow the downloading of copy righted material. This is a similar law to the SOPA and ACTA laws that Hollywood & music industry lobbyists tried unsuccessfully to force through the US Congress.  A second demonstration is to take place this Saturday.

 

Laying the foundations: Proudhon’s contribution to anarchist economics

This is an introduction to Proudhon’s economic ideas and their influence on revolutionary anarchism. It is a chapter from the new book The Accumulation of Freedom: Writings on Anarchist Economics (AK Press [US/UK], 2012) and its blurb (in part) states: “The only crisis of capitalism is capitalism itself...

Bloody Sunday in Derry - Origins & Consequences of a Massacre

On the 30th January 1972 British soldiers opened fire on protesters in the city of Derry, north-west Ireland. Twenty six unarmed protesters were shot, 13 died immediately or within hours, one more died just over four months later. Derry was in the section of Ireland claimed by the British state and the shootings happened in the context of the suppression of a growing civil rights movement demanding equality for Catholics in the 6 of Ulster’s counties claimed by Britain.

 

Referenda: A Strategy for Success?

The idea that calling for a referendum is a good strategy for winning significant reforms often crops up in campaigns. It seems logical, as a referendum is a chance for the population to directly make a decision on the issue to hand. But the reality is that the demand for a referendum is seldom, if ever, the best way to build a struggle for a reform. Here are five reasons why:

Understanding state TV apology for bias in Corrib gas dispute & role of police ombudsman

Station’s crime correspondent Paul Reynolds falsely reported that recording of Garda rape conversation was ‘tampered with’

Shell to Sea has revealed that RTÉ is being compelled to broadcast an apology ahead of Wednesday's Six-One and Nine O’Clock TV news programmes, as a result of RTÉ's biased coverage of Shell's attempt to build an experimental gas pipeline and refinery in Erris. In this specific case, RTÉ chose to ignore the facts as explained to them by Shell to Sea around technical issues concerning the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) investigation into the conversation Garda had about threatening to rape two women Shell to Sea campaigners they had arrested in April this year. RTÉ instead reported as fact the false suggestions of Justice Minister Alan Shatter, that part of the recording of the arrest had been deleted. 

Pay Inequality: where it comes from and what to do about it

“The exploitation of man by man, someone once said, is theft” (Pierre-Joseph Proudhon)

The global Occupy movement has struck a cord with the 99% and the ruling class is worried. Rightly so, given that the neo-liberal agenda that has allowed the few to become obscenely rich at the expense of the rest has come under fire.

Occupy - the assembly process is the revolution

As we prepare to enter the 3rd month of the Occupy movement a commonly heard criticism targets both the lack of clear demands and the related complex and often drawn out decision making processes being used at Occupy General Assemblies. These criticisms however miss the point, against the traditional left with its package of pre-set answers (best before 1917) what makes Occupy different is that process of decision making through assembly. The assembly form is not just a way of making decisions but also a different form of doing politics.  The Assembly is in embryo the different world we seek to create.

 

As Gaddafi falls - Lessons from Libya - imperialism, anti-imperialism & democratic revolution

The sudden end of the Gaddafi regime some 6 months after the start of the Libyan revolt leaves some difficult questions unanswered for the left. Gaddafi’s determination to physically crush the revolt quickly transformed it into a civil war, a civil war that saw considerable imperialist intervention on the rebel side, intervention that was essential to their eventual victory. This and Gaddafi’s historic record led to some on the left taking his side in the civil war while other organisations tried to balance support for the ‘Arab spring’s’ arrival in Libya with opposition to imperialism. This question of where the balance lies between international solidarity with pro-democracy movements and opposition to imperialism could well rapidly return to the top of the agenda in a very much bigger way as the regime in Syria continues its months long military suppression of the democracy movement there. [Italian translation]

(Image from B.R.Q. via Flickr under Creative Commons )

  


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