These photos are from the Action on X protest outside the Gender Equality Conference held in Dublin Castle as part of Ireland’s EU Presidency. Action on X is one of a number of pro-choice organisations in Ireland campaiging in advance of anticipated legislation in line with the X-case.
Back in April thousands took part in the anti home tax march on the EU Finance ministers march in Dublin castle. The slideshow here are my better images from that demonstration and you will also find a link to the Facebook all that was fit to publish album. A lot of work by the march organisers went into organising the iconic red card images you can see here, I suspect they will get a lit if reuse in years to come.
Mayday in Dublin was on the evening of May 1st while in Belfast it took place on Saturday May 4th. I managed to get to both events with a camera, I wanted to get to the Belfast one in particualr to build up my library of stock photos from the north, and getting a load of northern union banners in a single day made sense. Below is my write up of the Dublin Mayday march and photo slideshows of my better shots from Dublin & Belfast.
The left is fond of military analogies so I want to open this piece with the observation that poor generals plan for the last war rather than the next one. Those militaries that planned for World War Two by perfecting the trench systems that dominated World War One had their powerful & expensive fortifications quickly overwhelmed in the opening weeks of the war through blitzkrieg. And in turn by 1943 Blizkrieg was defeated though defence in depth at Kursk.
Saturday in Dublin saw another desperate attempt by the anti-choice coalition to prevent legislation coming to the Dail (Irish parliament) to allow abortion where a women's life is under threat. Despite months of preparation, a spend that must have ran close to a million euro, and the parish priest at every mass in the country telling catholics they should attend, less than 15,000 turned up. Compared to the 150,000 women who have had to travel to obtain abortions in the last decades this amounts to almost nothing, a handful of bigots bussed in from all over the country. [Italian translation]
This photo is one I took a couple of weeks back at a national pro-choice meeting in Dublin called as part of the process of launching a new national campaign. I was stuck at home with an injured leg when I got a sequences of tweets & txts asking me if I could come in as there wasn't anyone else available and we wanted a photo to send out with the press release. So I called a taxi and in I went.
Something in the region of 2000 people who demand that women in Ireland should have to carry to term unwanted pregnancies in any situation organised a demonstration at the Dail this evening (4th Dec). They were trying to prevent the government legislating for abortion in the very limited circumstances of the X-Case - some 20 years after the Supreme court told them such legislation was required.
Tonights demonstration seems to have united all factions of the anti-choice movement with speakers from both Youth Defence and the Pro Life Campaign. This in itself reveals how paniced they are over the public outrage following the death of Savita after she was denied an abortion in a Galway hospital. The semi spontaneous protests that followed saw well over 25,000 take to the street, over 15,000 on a single demonstration in Dublin alone. A weekend opinion poll showed 85% want X-Case legislation enacted leaving the bigots with a tiny but scary 15% of the population who would sooner see women die than allow abortion.
Saturday saw a major anti-austerity march through Dublin organised by Dublin Council of Trade Unions and the Campaign against the Household and Water Taxes. The turnout was far larger than I expected, perhaps as many as 15,000 marched on a fairly miserable late Novemeber day. I've a selection of some of the photos I took here, as usual there are much more in the WSM Facebook album for the event.
Medical abotion became legally available in Ireland for the first time with the opening of a new Marie Stopes clinic in Belfast. As you might image the forced birther movement has gone into overdrive with pickets of the clinic being led by a fascist who has previouslu supported the killing of catholics by loyalists (just so long presumably as they had been born). The director of the clinic is former PUP leader Dawn Purvis, the Progressive Unionist Party was pretty unique in terms of electoralist parties north or south in adopting a pro-choice position. The forced birthers are in a panic because they rightly see this as the beginning of the end of the long misery they have managed to impose on women north and south who found themselves pregnant when they had no wish to be.
Saturday 29 September saw thousands march through Dublin as part of the March for Choice and as usual I was there with my camera. I'd been part of the organising group for the event but my task for the day itself was photography, just as well as it turned out. The slideshow here is composed of some of my better pictures from the day, as usual you will find a very much larger collection in the WSM March for Choice Facebook Album.