In mid August the story emerged that a suicidal migrant who was pregnant as the result of rape was forced to continue the pregnancy for weeks after requesting an abortion despite both a failed suicide attempt and a hunger and thirst strike. After been forcible rehydrated she 'agreed' to a C-section as an 'alternative' to the abortion she had first requested 8 weeks into the pregnancy. (See www.wsm.ie/migant-x for more details).
Thousands of people took part in demonstrations against her terrible treatment across Ireland, treatment that reflected the racist patriarchal authorisation nature of the Irish state. Astonishingly the forced birth brigade rather than maintaining a shamed silence actually protested that the state had not forced her to continue the pregnancy to its conclusion.
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.
On Saturday I was taking photos at the Gaza solidarity march through Dublin to post to the WSM Facebook page as part of the may we are now using the page to report news as its happening. I spotted this placard in the crowd and took a couple of pictures of it, figuring that people's frustration with the huge focus Irish media and politicians have put on the Garth Brooks concerts would make it popular. On returning home I posted it to our Facebook page with the text below. I thought it might generates 10 or 20,000 views but at the moment of writing it is only 3,000 short of quarter of a million and should exceed this within the next hour.
An explanation for our readers outside Ireland. The Irish media has been dominated for the last week not by the unrelenting Israeli bombardment of Gaza but by the fact that a US singer, Garth Brooks, can only play 3 rather than 5 concerts in Dublin's largest sports stadium.
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.
The start of September saw a walking tour organised by the Stoneybatter & Smithfield People's History Project to mark the anniverseries of the 1913 Lockout and the collapses of two tenement houses on 2nd September 1913 which resulted in the death of seven people. The tour started at the statue of Jim Larkin on O'Connel st and proceeded via 6 stops to the site of the collapse where relatives of those killed laid wreaths. There was then the launch of a commermorative pamphlet and a social in the Cobblestone Pub.
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.
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.