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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.

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.

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.

Only mass action can defeat Austerity - WS129 Cover story

Five years into an austerity program that is only working to make the rich richer, most of us are very unhappy about the lack of resistance from the unions. During the Croke Park campaign the SIPTU National Executive Council released a statement that included: "There is, of course, a wider issue of fairness in the Country as a whole because the wealthy are not contributing to the degree that they can or should. This is a consequence of the political choices made by the voters at election time.”

Photos from Belfast & Dublin Maydays

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.

What the No to Croke Park means for radicals & why you should get stuck in

300,000 public service workers may shortly be forced to strike, something that may very well transform the potential for radical politics in Ireland.  The purpose of this Open Letter is to provide information for activists who are not working in Public Services in order to explain the importance of the No vote to Croke Park. It is important in terms of the general struggle against austerity and we want to suggest some ways you can help make sure this fight is won, in particular by coming to a discussion of just that on Wednesday 8th May at 7.30 in the Teachers Club. (RSVP on Facebook)

 

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