“Ed, that’s soldier’s headed our way, we’re gonna have to move”. Sure enough the soldier is trudging down the road towards us, unshouldering his rifle and looking, even from this distance, distinctly narked. Ed doesn’t directly acknowledge my warning, except with a barely discernible movement of the head, focussed as he is on his camera shot. He knows I know that he’s heard me and he knows that as I haven’t yet added the “...now!” intensifier, that he has a few more precious seconds to finish the shot, as the camera pans over the ruins of Eastern Kobane against the backdrop of Mishtenur Hill. It’s 2:30 in the afternoon of Thursday 19 March on the Turkish side of the border with Syria and Kobane.
Nov 1st saw demonstrations against the water charge all over Ireland. Around 1000 people from Dublin 7 alone marched down Constitution hill to join the huge anti Water Charges rally at the GPO
Following increasing Garda suppression of community resistance to water meters tens of thousands of people took part in a march against the water tax in Dublin on October 11th. This was the largest demonstration since 2010 and reflects a broad rejection of the way the costs of the capitalist crisis continue to be imposed on ordinary workers. The huge size of the demonstration certainly suggest a mass boycott of the tax could make it impossible to implement, as was the case in the last attempt to introduce a water tax.
On October 8th about 200 people marched though Dublin to show solidarity with Kobane under attack by ISIS in an emergency demonstration organised at short notice.
What was intended as a rally turned into a march on the Dail (Irish parliament) when more than the expected 30-40 people turned up. The attendance was made up of members of the Kurdish community in Ireland, Turkish leftists and anarchists, left-republicans and other socialists.
Saturday evening August 23 saw over a 1000 people take part in a demonstration in Dublin demanding the legalisation of Cannabis organised by Legalise Cannabis Ireland. The front banner read ‘Medication - Taxation - Industrialisation - Civil Liberties’ and “We will raise awareness and demand change to Irish legislation for the benefit of every person in Ireland. The time is now to end the hypocrisy’
The message of the march as expressed by the front banner was very much a demand for capitalism as normal rather than the gangster capitalism of illegality. That’s obviously a very limited demand - indeed it’s already been won or partly won in a number of European countries and more recently states in the USA.
Thousands of people took part in the LGBT Noise March for Marraige Equality in Dublin Aug 24th and I went along to photograph the demonstration. It is expected that the governemnt will bring in a referendum on the issue some time in the next couple of years.
Saturday 23 August saw a second large pro choice 'Our Bodies Our Rights: Rally to Repeal the 8th Amendment' march through Dublin bringing the number who took part in emergency mobilisations in Dublin alone over 3,000.
I am part of this 'Landscapes of Crisis' photography exhibition and discussion in Dublin this coming Thursday with three other activist photographers. As regular readers will know I started to take photography a bit more seriously a couply of years ago, mostly because of my involvement in pro-choice activism and in particular as it says in the notes below coming our of my experience of the pro-Choice meeting in Maynooth when other speakers were quite excited by the fact I'd a handful of photos from the time of the student struggles and the X-Case. It was the anti-choice Youth Defencd march of the summer of 2011 that then pushed me into getting a 'real camera' rather than a good point & click and once i had an SLR (Canon 60D) I discovered a growing interest in photography as a thing in itself.
Austerity Kills - the clear message sent out by the 'Spectacle of Defiance & Hope' display in front of last Saturday's Dublin Council of Trade Unions march against another austerity budget. The march itself was poorly attended, under 1000 people, and there was some really silly 'get our flags/ banners upfront' stuff going on from a few group both during the march and the speeches at the end.
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