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Articles that link to audio recordings

WSM conference, Capitalist Crisis, and a united front of struggle to resist it

Women with CE cuts protest placardsThe last two years in Ireland have been dominated by the massive assault launched on the working class as our rules have successfully forced us to pay for the crisis in their system.  Tens of billions have been used to bail out the property developers, speculators and bankers, money that has been generated by the slashing of public services and the imposition of a massive pay cut on public sector workers. The response of the left has been weak and highly fragmented, reflecting in part the massive hold neo liberal ideology has on the working class but also a left that was in no way prepared for the coordinated assault that fell on workers in Ireland. WSM had its six monthly conference in May and as you might expect this topic took up a good chunk of the agenda.

Using social media for political activity & individual security

Last Monday I did a talk on the political use of social media like Facebook and individual security concerns for RAG (Revolutionary Anarcha Feminist Group).  The text I based the talk on and the audio recordings of the talk (which had four other speakers and 40 minutes of discussion) are with this blog post.  I ranged fairly widely as I think these questions can only be understood in the balances revolutionaries have always had to strike between effective communication and personal security.

Class, Irish farmers and the movement of movements

One of our ideas with running the Rethinking Revolution discussion series is to try and return to old core concepts for the left in fairly fresh and non dogmatic ways.  It probably comes in part from a view that a lot of the 'movement of movements' left are tending to throw the baby out with the bathwater on some of these concepts in focusing on quite narrow, orthodox interpretations of these issues.  The audio with this blog 'How do we know who will Struggle?' was the first of the meetings where we tried to return to the importance of class through a somewhat indirect route.

Thoughts on Revolution in our lifetime, the crisis and demoralisation

The audio this blog is about was a presentation I gave last week on 'Will we see a revolution in our lifetime' to the Rethinking Revolution discussion at Seomra Spraoi in Dublin.  I go into some of the thoughts behind what I said on the night and the idea of the discussion sessions in general. This was the second of these meetings, the idea of which was inspired by the interest shown in the Better Questions discussion series which I've previously blogged about here.  This one was set up as a debate between Alan MacSimoin and myself, he is the other speaker on the recording.

Mapping the Feminist Walking Tour of Dublin with audio

Dublin Feminist walking tour 2010International Women's Day was marked, as is becoming traditional in Dublin, with a Feminist walking tour around the city center.  I recorded the seven stops and along with three stops from the previous year have now added them to my Google Map of 'Radical Ireland' as well as adding the text of the tour booklet to the Choice Ireland site.  About 150 people (mostly women) took part in the tour which was divid

BQ: Roundtable on Social Movements and Praxis

Better Questions meeting at Seomra SpraoiThe final Better Questions seminar was last week, this was a 'Roundtable on Praxis' with Fergal (who is another WSM member) and Theresa O’Keefe a feminist academic and activist. Fergal who is a community educator and activist gave a short introduction to the ideas of Paulo Freire entitled 'Hope, cultural politics and popular education'.

Which left should those Better Questions be directed at?

Slide from Better QuestionsI was at the Better Questions seminar in Semora last Wednesday for a discussion of the ideas of two French philosophers Jacques Ranciere and Alain Badiou. The audio recording of the seminar is below, here I wander into a discussion of the fundamental concept underpinning the seminars and an argument that the Better Questions need to be directed as much at the 'moment of movements' as at the 'old left' which I argue it has now joined. This and the previous BQ session seem to share a similar problem to me, that the presentations are demolishing a left that has not only been simplified for the purpose of the argument but which almost no longer exists. What is more in terms of the audience its almost completely a left that no one in the room has or even had much faith in.

Shell retreats as solidarity with Pat O'Donnell continues

Shell to Sea banner at the Spire in DublinThe week before last Erris fisherman Pat O'Donnell was jailed for seven months for his part in the communities ongoing resistance to Shell's attempt to impose an experimental gas pipeline on them. Across the country local Shell to Sea groups have been holding solidarity protests and other events for Pat. In Dublin this has included two protests and a public meeting in UCD (an audio recording of the meeting is at the bottom of this article). Meanwhile Shell have been forced to admit a temporary defeat in the face of local opposition and call off the construction they have planned for Glengad this year.

Protests at Shell HQ against jailing of fisherman Pat O'Donnell

Protest at Shell HQ in DublinOver 50 Shell to Sea campaigners gathered at the Shell head quarters in Leeson street Dublin Tuesday evening to protest at the jailing of 52 year old Erris fisherman Pat O'Donnell for resisting Shell's experimental gas pipeline. Pat received a seven month sentence which has the added benefit for Shell of taking his boat off of Broadhaven Bay for the period they need to carry out major underwater construction work and repairs. Pat has twice previously been arrested and held without charge when Shell has needed to carry out work in the bay.

Seomra prompted thoughts on class definition, community and exclusion

Dublin poor around 1910In my opinion one of the greatest ongoing weaknesses of any left discussion in Ireland is the confusing way class is talked about. One cause of this is that the smallness of the country and the huge range of accents that exist within it. This tends to promote a common sense 'I know it when I see it approach' at least a magnitude greater than anywhere else I have ever been. And because on the left 'class' is a term that is seldom explained this allows a tottering tower of misunderstanding and confusion to be built which results in normally sensible people offering up common sense platitudes as analysis. As with the Better Questions Seomra seminar whose audio I link to here this can happen even when the basis of discussion is intended to be quite theoretical.


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