Ireland

Report on WSM National Conference - Autumn 2013

The WSM had its Autumn national conference in Dublin on the 23rd November.  National Conference is the ultimate decision making body in the WSM. It happens every six months usually over a day or two. As well as discussing motions time is also spent on discussing the past six months activity and prospects for the next period. Conference also hears reports of activity from all branches, officers and working groups.  This covered areas like the Irish Anarchist Review, WSM Website, Dublin Anarchist Bookfair and our pro-choice and anti racist work.

On Ireland being No1 for business. Tech workers, society, night clubs & cycle lanes

Mainstream media were very excited earlier this week with Forbe's proclaiming the republics "extremely pro-business environment" with of course no critical commentary over what that reality means for the mass of the population who rely on paid labour or social welfare to get by. What lies behind phrases like " low tax burden, investor protection"? Why has there been more investment by UC companies since 2008 ( $129.5 billion ) then in the previous 58 years? Should we really be cheering being No1 for attracting corporations?

Anti choice extremists defeated in Ireland but new abortion legislation is worthless

Despite spending in the region of a million euro and getting the backing of the catholic church its now clear that the anti-choice extremists of Youth Defence & the Pro Life Campaign were resoundingly defeated when the Dail finally voted though legislation implementing the X-Case judgment of 21 years ago. This time last year they were confident that they already had enough Fine Gael TD's on board to block the required legislation but they reckoned against the wave of public anger that followed the death of Savita Halappanavar after she was denied a potentially life saving abortion in a Galway hospital.

To be watched, inspected, spied upon - Shell's law in Erris

Shell to Sea campaigner Naoise Ó Mongáin asking Garda to stop videotaping his grand daughter during a protest at Shell's refinery on Saturday.

 

Garda use violence & arrests to suppress Rossport protests

Yesterday (27 June) five people were arrested by the Garda as violence was used to break up protests against the continued imposition of an experimental gas pipeline on the community by Shell. In the morning 30 Garda blocked the entrance of Rossport Solidarity Camp and then arrested 2 Shell to Sea campaigners who were trying to access the public road. During these arrests Garda behaviour was described as "very violent" by an eyewitness we talked to.

8 years of intense struggle against Shell - June 2013 week of action

The first direct actions of the Erris struggle against Shell took place 8 years ago when 6 locals were injuncted and then 5 of them jailed for refusing to allow Shell onto their lands.  In the 8 years that have passed there have been countless direct actions, dozens of arrests, about two dozen jailings and hundreds of people attacked by Garda or Shell's security company IRMS.  But as the first two days of the week of action demonstrated that intense level of repression over so many years has yet to end effective resistance.

 

Shell compound breached, equipment destroyed in day of action against pipeline

The second day of the week of action saw an unexpected success when Shell to Sea campaigners managed to breach Shells fortified compound and force security to retreat to the inner compound.  While this happened much of the equipment, in particular the spy cameras, in  the outer compound was damaged or destroyed.

Shell pipeline construction preparations destroyed in direct action in Erris

This morning (Sat 22 June) around 50 Shell to Sea campaigners kicked off the Week of Action against Shell's experimental high pressure gas pipe in Erris by tearing up the bog road Shell has laid as part of its attempt to finish the pipeline.  They also destroyed the sandbag dam that Shell were attempting to build across part of the estuary in order to be able to work on the pipeline route regardless of the tides.  This was accomplished in full view of about 15 security from IRMS - the security company hired by Shell to repress protest.

 

Successful anti-eviction defence of squatted house on Manor street

Around lunchtime on April 15th we received word that there was an anti-eviction protest underway on Manor street in Dublin outside a house that had been squatted.  A Garda had called at the door that morning and after being refused entrance had said he'd be back later with more Garda. The building had been squatted on and off a couple of times in recent years and was recently re-occupied.

 

10% of female suicides in Ireland used to be of pregnant women until UK abortion became accessible

 The anti-choice movements have been repeating over and over the message in recent months that 'abortion is never a treatment for suicidality' This is frequently coupled with citing the realtively low current rate of suicide among pregnant women. But like other myths of the anti-choice movement it has emerged that until abortion became accessible to Irish women, through travelling to the UK, 10% of suicides of women in Ireland were of pregnant women, a figure far in excess of the general population.

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