Today for the first time since 1918 the population of Ireland, north and south are going to the polls. The questions are somewhat different in the two jurisdictions but they amount to the same thing, acceptance or rejection of the Stormont 'peace' deal.
The results of the 2001 Life and Times survey in the north of Ireland confirm that sectarian attitudes are spreading and deepening. In 1998 we warned that
Monday 23rd July 2001 saw two separate demonstrations take place outside the Italian embassy on Northumberland Road. Both had been called to protest the savage repression of the anti - G8 Protests in Genoa.
May Day (2001) saw a very successful and well attended demonstration that forced the Dublin Stock Exchange to shut early. Some 300 protesters joined a demonstration called by Globalise Resistance which blocked the street outside the exchange.
This was a talk I prepared for a WSM public meeting in 1994 based on an analysis of the early information coming from Chiapas. The talk was given in June, some five months after the start of the rising but despite that early date it touches on the essential themes that I return to again and again over the subsequent years in the dozen or so articles I was to write on the topic.
The lack of serious discussion of the Zapatistas by the revolutionary left is surprising. There exists a certain amount of (mostly) uncritical reporting by individuals and a few essays aimed at putting the rebellion in a broader context. But the 'official left' either remains silent, or worse, produces ham fisted and lazy critiques that merely compare the rebellion to Cuba and Ché Guevara and say 'they failed, so will the Zapatistas'.
BETWEEN 1986 AND 1999 Bill Gates, the richest man on earth, earned over 14 million dollars a day from the increasing value of his Microsoft shares alone. Yet over one billion people on this planet live on less than one dollar a day. Some put Gates' wealth down to hard work, but the reality is that some of these low earners are working far longer hours.
January 1st marked the 11th anniversary of the Zapatista uprising in Chiapas, a state in southern Mexico. On New Years Day 1994, the EZLN seized a number of towns in Chiapas before retreating into the mountains and jungles in the face of a massive army counter attack. The military phase of the struggle lasted only a few days as millions of Mexicans demonstrated to demand that the army stop their offensive against the rebels.
Saturday March 31st 2001 saw the third Irish anarchist gathering to be held under the title of 'Ideas and Action', this time in the North Star Hotel, Dublin. In terms of numbers this was the most successful gathering to date with around 70 people attending at least one of the three sessions.
The attempt to effectively ban most demonstrations in Dublin O'Conell st collapsed last night (Monday 2nd April 2001 6.30pm City Hall, Dame St.). As the councillors entered city hall they had to pass through one of the largest demonstrations that a council meeting has faced in the last decade. Not surprisingly they then voted 21 - 4 to abandon the plan.
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