Andrew Flood

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Articles by Andrew N Flood

Beyond the 5 'errors' of the crusade against abortion

Fintan O'Toole has an article in the Irish Times answering what he describes as the 5 errors of the 'Crusade against Abortion.' I want to go one further and look at what these errors tell us about the methods of those who want to control women's bodies. And more importantly how it is an error for pro-choice activists to allow the debate to be framed through responses to those errors. 

RTE refuse to allow organisers of anti-household tax campaign on panel to discuss campaign

In what has to be one of its odder decisions Morning Ireland this morning decided that the best voice of opposition to the Property Tax was obviously someone from Finna Fail the political party who began the process of bringing the tax in.  The property tax was part of the package of cuts Finna Fail agreed with the Trokia while in government. To most people the more obvious voice of opposition would certainly be the mass campaign of some 50% of households that has refused to pay the Household Charge, the fore runner of the property tax.  That campaign also brought thousands of people to protest outside the Fine Gael ard fheis.

 

Dail blockaded by 100's after 3rd refusal in 6 months to legislate for X-case

Last night saw hundreds of pro-choice activists blockade the gates of the Dail after TD's once more refused to pass X-case legislation. Twenty years after the X-case and one month after the death of Savita Halappanavar women in Ireland were told once more that the politicians had not had enough time. The political parties, in particular the Labour Party, were once more engaged in a cynical game of playing politics - a game that leaves pregnant women at continued risk in Irish hospitals.

 

20 years of inaction on abortion access - now a tragedy

There are some stories that are hard to cover - the death of Savita Halappanavar, a pregnant women, from septicemia whose life might have been saved if an abortion was not delayed is a hard as they come. According to the Irish Times Praveen Halappanavar, the husband of Savita said she had asked for a termination several times over a three day period only to be told "this is a catholic country."

 

For years we were aware that the failure of successive governments to legislate could result in a tragedy but when the first reports started to circulate that this had happened we were horrified. How did we come to this point?

100's of women have medical abortions in Irish republic but what of those who can't?

Anti-choice bigots are going into a frenzy to try and prevent the Irish government legislating for abortion provision in the republic as required by the X and C judgements. But they are ignoring the reality that 1000 plus women are already obtaining abortions in the republic every year and are simply making that decision for themselves. The bigots 'keep Ireland abortion free' crusade was fake even before the opening of Marie Stopes in Belfast, the false slogan is presumably designed to fool the US donors whose donations the bigots salaries and offices depend on. But it is having tragic consequences for women in Ireland as those unable to access abortion pills are left without access to abortion.

 

Political implications of Facebook damaging Pages for advertising revenue

 

 Recent changes Facebook has made to Pages & Events have greatly reduced its usefulness for radical political organising. Here I reject the idea that the reason for these changes is political censorship and examine what the actual reasons & effects are.   In doing this I'm building on my article of last week that argues that Facebook should be a collectively owned public utility and not a private company - in part because of the way it has sabotaged its own usefulness in the search for advertising revenue. 

 

Facebook destroys page & event effectiveness for advertising gain - make it a utility owned by the people

Over the last few months changes made by Facebook have greatly reduced the effectiveness of Events and Pages because it has become much less likely that someone following a page will see made by that page. According to Facebook on average only 12% of followers will see a given post. In 2011 Facebook did the same to events, multiple changes in the way events work saw response rates to event invitations decline from around 80% of those invited responding to this figure often being less than 20%.

 

The experience of the Social Solidarity Network



The Social Solidarity Network came into existence in the Autumn of 2009 in Dublin as an initiative of the Workers Solidarity Movement. It faded out of existence a few short months later and never amounted to all that much in the interim beyond a couple of meetings, a leaflet distribution at a mass ICTU march and a badly organised and executed protest at the Dail on budget day. Nevertheless there are some useful lessons (mostly of the ‘how not to do it variety’) to be taken from its short existence.

 

1,600 billion - Massive scale of oil giveaway revealed in Shell to Sea report

€1,600 billion.  That is the figure for Irish Oil & Gas reserves already licensed revealed this morning in a detailed report from Shell to Sea using the energy corporations own reports and estimates.  People in Ireland will see almost no benefits from this incredible wealth because the Irish state gives these reserves to the corporations at the cheapest terms in the world.

 

The International Anarchist Gathering at St Imier

August saw a gathering of a couple of thousand anarchists from all over the globe in St Imier, Switzerland. This small town was the site of the founding of the Anarchist International in 1872, the gathering was organised to commemorate this event and involved dozens of political, organisational & cultural events.  As part of this gathering Anarkismo, the international network that the WSM is the Irish section of, held both a European conference and a global gathering. [In Italian]

 

  


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