People have been making a natural comparison between the Trump victory and the Brexit referendum result back in June. The comparison is natural because in both cases anti-immigrant hysteria and racism was used to agitate and energize the passions of a grassroots base which drew its support from new roots put down into politically alienated sections of the working class, many voting for the first time. But we need to recognise the differences as well as the commonalities.
Listening to Morning Ireland on regime radio on the 7th of November we were surprised to hear the word lock out used only in the context of pupils being locked out of schools. The term has been carefully avoided when it comes to the teachers locked out by their employers.]
Thousands of teachers are locked out of their place of work that morning despite turning up as normal. The ASTI twitter account has sent many photos of teachers standing outside closed schools around the country, some 60% of secondary schools are closed.
Over the night of 3rd November the Turkish state moved to deepen the repression directed against the HDP, the party that got the 3rd largest share of the vote in the last two elections. Arrest warrants have been issued for at least 15 of that parties members of parliament including it’s two co-chairs. At the same time the state moved to shut down social media in the country with access to Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Instagram and WhatsApp being blocked.
Monday night saw dozens of anti-racist campaigners gather at the French embassy to protest the eviction of Calais refugee camp. France is heading into an election and the eviction which will see thousands of people taken out of the camp is seen as an election stunt by President Hollande seeking to win right wing votes.
If we were to bullet point everything that is wrong is this country we’d fill all 4 pages of this leaflet. From the denial of Bodily Autonomy to Direct Provision racism to the control of our media by one super rich villain we face a system of interconnected elements designed to ensure the rule of the most privileged 0.1% of the population who divide & control the rest of us. And when we look outside this island it only gets worse, we live in a world where oil companies are driving us into climate disaster on the one hand and where European politicians have imposed border controls that have killed over 15,000 people fleeing the war’s our governments created in the middle east.
A lot of people are resisting these policies and fighting for real change. Every now and again a victory is won in one area, although often riven with compromises and incomplete. Winning the Marriage Equality referendum was one such example, forcing the suspension of Water Charges another. But, particularly on the global level, it can feel like an impossible whack-a-mole game as for every victory that is won another 50 bad moles are popping up elsewhere.
Why bother with the Russian Revolution? The Soviet Union, rightly, has been classed as a failed, horrific, experiment since its collapse in 1991 so what is the benefit to have yet another book on it? There are three main reasons why this excellent book is worth your time.
First, a great many socialists still believe in what one of its authors, Alexander Berkman, labelled The Bolshevik Myth and are busy trying to reproduce what the Bolsheviks did. They need facts, not fairy tales. Second, revolutions have a habit of breaking out when least expected and learning the lessons from previous ones makes sense. Third, these are the works of two of the world’s leading revolutionary anarchists seeking to do both of these important tasks when it was deeply unfashionable to do so – in the 1920s and 1930s.
The shutdown of Dublin bus services begins prematurely at 21.00 tonight thanks to management's refusal to trust the workers to wind down the service ahead of tomorrows two day strike, the first of three scheduled. As our name suggests Solidarity Times stands in solidarity with the bus workers, just as we were in solidarity with the LUAS strikes.
In both strikes a media looking for angles to attack the workers on choose the relative size of the pay claims they were making. 21% sounds big but the period covered, 2008 to 2019, is actually 11 years. But workers in Dublin need big pay increases and contrary to what RTE might tell you this isn’t a bad thing for most of us, quite the opposite.
The native Irish ruling class have long been prone to parasitical activity, enriching themselves by acting as agents of absentee landlords or today as law firms for multinationals keen to avoid and evade paying taxes. As landlords agents that involved breaking down the doors to evict those who were literally dying of starvation. The modern form is less hands on but the repercussions are similar, the 13 billion they don’t want to collect from Apple are the same billions whose absence has people dying on hospital trolleys.
A little over ten hours ago (24th August) Turkish tanks crossed the Syrian border to supposedly attack ISIS. For the last couple of years Turkish troops and ISIS militants have been exchanging hand waves across the border as month by month hundreds of ISIS recruits have been allowed to cross it.
The massive complex of squatted buildings at Grangegorman was evicted for a second time in early August, this time its likely to be permanent at the plan is to build a huge number of expensive to rent student apartments on the site.
The eviction was anticipated and a lot of material was moved over the days around August 11th when 'heavies' broke through the gates but were told to back off and allow time for material to be moved out when the Garda arrived. The squatters were quietly moving to another large abandoned building nearby that had been squatted recently, the Debtors Prison on Halston street. Central Dublin is full of such abandoned buildings despite the worst housing crisis in the history of the state. Welcome to Ireland 2016 where protecting the rights of vulture funds to make millions come far, far ahead of needs of those without secure accommodation.