2016 is turning into a momentous year. Victory now looks certain in the water charges campaign but it was never just about water and a victory that leaves the ruling parties in power has a sour taste. The 1916 commemorations reminded us that even small numbers of committed organised people can initiate big changes, but also that limiting what is fought for will result in the capitalist class reasserting control as soon as the gun smoke clears.
The Dublin Anarchist Bookfair demonstrated once more that there is a huge interest in anarchist ideas. Hundreds took part in the event and although it was free we can now confirm that donations from those attending have covered the entire cost of about 2600 euro. The DABF is a good example of how anarchists organised together can make things happen that otherwise would not take place.
Great news from the courts today (17 Feb) where 11 out of the 13 Crumlin water charge protesters arrested last year have had their cases dismissed. Although 2 are still to face trial in May this is a victory not just because 11 are already off but because the judge seems to have smacked down the Garda attempts to interpret the Public Order Act in a way that would outlaw a lot of protest. This is a significant slap down for the political policing pushed as a strategy by the Labour Party & Fine Gael to try and demoralise the water charges movement.
Our solidarity today to the LUAS workers striking for decent pay rates. The crisis was used by the government and capitalist class to drive down wages and ensure that a bigger share of profits went to shareholders. The LUAS fight is a fight for all of us as a victory should be a green light to all workers to demand pay rises, including the recovery of the money lost in the cuts imposed under the crisis. Across the world the share of income that goes to the richest 1% has soared while that going tooth rest of us has been slashed, we need to fight to reverse this.
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.
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.
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 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.
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 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.
Thousands of people gathered in central Dublin Saturday 12 Sept to take part in an emergency refugees are welcome march in response to the ongoing crisis of hundreds of thousands of people being trapped on the European borders and over 2,500 drowned this summer alone