Ireland

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Art activists mark Imbolc by renouncing Ireland's anti-abortion laws

2nd February to mark St Bridget’s feastday performances were staged in public settings across Ireland and London renouncing Ireland's anti-abortion laws. St Bridget is one of four Irish saints who “are recorded as openly and miraculously carrying out abortions”, the feast day was the pre-Christian festival of Imbolg (meaning ‘in the belly’).

We recorded the event at Connolly station in Dublin, the performance as you’ll see in the video collectively confronts the themes of censorship, self censorship through art, action, performance, conversation and camradery. The location at Connolly is one of the transport hubs through which many of the 12 people who have to leave Ireland every day to access abortion in the UKL and beyond pass.
 

Dublin marches against water charges on 23 Jan 2016

January 2016 and once more thousands of people across Ireland take to the streets to protest against the introduction of the water charges. Our footage is from the Dublin demonstration but similar demonstrations happened in most of the major towns and cities.

Numbers were down considerably on previous protests, particularly in Dublin but this is because a general election is imminent, its expected the date of the election will be released any day. Parliamentary elections like the one coming up in Ireland are set up to cause division and rivalry between groups that in fact have very similar policies, its a consequence of a system of decision making that tries to force us to choose between various leaders, self-proclaimed or otherwise.

Video from the Villa Park eviction in Dublin with interview

Monday saw an eviction without court order in Dublin involving Garda and private security / builders at Villa Park, Dublin 7.  The house had been left abandoned for at least two years according to  neighbours before being brought back into use last October by people who needed a home.  One of them told us that it was a “Beautiful house that was to be demolished in order to make a new route to warehouse / bakery behind it but neighbours objected and planning permission was refused.  The person claiming ownership seemed to be very wealthy and is listed as a director of over 28 companies.”

A world to change in 2016

We awake (Jan 1st 2016) to news that more towns in Ireland are under water due to storm flooding. And that perhaps the sea ice at the north pole might melt due to temperatures rising above zero. The first story is given a lot more prominence in Irish media than the second but strangely at the same time another story is being celebrated. The start of yet more greenhouse gases being pumped out of their safe place far below the sea off the Irish shore to be processed and then released into the atmosphere via the Corrib refinery. [Greek translation]

Routes to freedom - the platform, its shortcomings and the WSM practise - does it remain relevant?

One of the key foundation documents for the Workers Solidarity Movement is the ‘Organizational Platform of the General Union of Anarchists (Draft)’   This text was written in Paris in 1926 by a group that included exiled Russian and Ukrainian anarchists and was very influenced by the lessons they drew from the Russian Revolution.  Three of the authors -- Nestor Makhno, Ida Mett, Piotr Archinov -- were then and now very well known anarchists, the remaining two -- Valevsky and Linsky -- I know relatively little about. 

In this article I intend to examine whether this text has any relevance to anarchist organising today, some 90 years after it was drafted. In addition, what can we say about its shortcomings? Finally, I will look at some of the confusion the WSM ran into when trying to follow it.

Dublin protests in solidarity with those targeted in Ankara bombing - video

People gathered outside the Turkish embassy in Dublin last night to take part in a solidarity protest of remembrance for the 100 plus people killed in the bombing of a peace rally in Ankara on Saturday. 

 

Dublin March 4 Choice with videos

Dublin city centre came to a halt Saturday 26th September as thousands of people marched for choice and against Ireland's anti-women law that would jail people who access abortion here for up to 14 years.

The key demand is to Repeal the 8th Amendment which was passed at the height of clerical control back in 1983. So long ago that nobody who voted on it would now be in a position to even become pregnant. More that 2/3rd of the population want abortion to be decriminalised, only 25% want the current criminalisation to remain yet Enda Kenny has announced he has no intention of introducing a referendum to Repeal the 8th.

The Firehouse Squat on Gardiner Place in Dublin prior to eviction - video report

About 10 days ago three van loads of riot cops arrived at the door to No 2 Gardiner Place at around 9am,  There they formed a Roman style tortoise shell shield formation and proceeded to start to batter the door down.  Once in they stormed through the building, arresting the residents and dragged them down to the High Court for an eviction / injunction hearing at which they were forced to agree not to try and re-enter the house.  No media outlet deemed any of this worthy of coverage.

Solidarity Times had been in the building the previous week, shooting some video in anticipation of a campaign in opposition to the eviction.  We’re assembled a video report on the space from that footage as yet another example of the vast amount of empty housing that is around even inner city Dublin. Homelessness is not caused by a lack of usable buildings but by deliberately leaving such buildings empty and boarded up in order to create the scarcity that is seeing rent hikes and a new property bubble.

The political policing of the AAA - if voting changed anything..

Garda letter to AAA banning them from collecting money with anarchist slogan If voting changed anything it would be illegal superimposedSometimes the old ones are the gold ones. The attempt by the Irish state to damage the electoral chances of the Anti Austerity Alliance by hitting them where it matters - in the pocket - reminds us of how shallow parliamentary democracy is. The Anti Austerity Alliance is the political front the Socialist Party runs under but for the next elections its unified with the SWPs People Before Profit as the rather lengthy AAA - PbP.

It's broadly understood that cash determines who wins an election more than any other factor. Indeed with the US presidential election, for almost a century, the winner has always been the candidate who had the most money behind them. So in terms of influencing the outcome of an election denying a party the right to fundraise is probably the single most effective tactic short of banning them outright.

Drop the Charges against the Jobstown 23 March - report with video

The photo shows the Jobstown 23 'Drop the Charges' banner on its way down the Quays to the courts on Parkgate street. The Jobstown 27 charged in connection with the protest last November which saw Labour Party leader struck in her car because of a sit-in just in front of her. 

 

Revenge came initially in the form of over the top dawn raids on the houses of water charge activists and now after a long delay many are charged with crimes as serious as false imprisonment  - the maximum sentence for this is 14 years - despite the fact that several Garda were also around her car at all times. The number facing charges means this may be one of the largest political trials in Ireland for some decades.

  


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