On the 18th of February, 13 families who were being housed in an emergency accommodation facility on 54-55 Mountjoy street were handed an eviction notice, ending their tenancy in just 8 days time.
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.
Monday saw an eviction without court order in Dublin involving Garda and private security / builders at Villa Park, Dublin 7. The house had been left abandoned for at least two years according to neighbours before being brought back into use last October by people who needed a home. One of them told us that it was a “Beautiful house that was to be demolished in order to make a new route to warehouse / bakery behind it but neighbours objected and planning permission was refused. The person claiming ownership seemed to be very wealthy and is listed as a director of over 28 companies.”
We awake (Jan 1st 2016) to news that more towns in Ireland are under water due to storm flooding. And that perhaps the sea ice at the north pole might melt due to temperatures rising above zero. The first story is given a lot more prominence in Irish media than the second but strangely at the same time another story is being celebrated. The start of yet more greenhouse gases being pumped out of their safe place far below the sea off the Irish shore to be processed and then released into the atmosphere via the Corrib refinery. [Greek translation]
Oxfam has just released a report that shows global inequality has escalated rapidly over the last 6 years. The particular measure they used is a very important one. First they calculated the wealth held by the poorest 50% of the planets population, which is about 3.6 billion people. And then they asked how many of the richest people held the same amount of wealth.
This is a write-up of my talk at the 2015 London Anarchist Bookfair. It is based on my notes and so will not be exactly the same as at the event but it will be close enough. The meeting summary initially submitted for the programme was:
One of the more bizarre developments of the last year has been Russell Brand or, more correctly, the response that he has provoked across the political spectrum. Watching commentator after commentator froth at the mouth and seeing Cameron proclaim in the middle of an election campaign that a comedian was a “joke” was, to say the least, strange. It reached a (to use a word Brand would surely approve of) climax when it was proclaimed by the right that Ed Miliband was “getting into bed” with Brand – by having an interview with him. Seriously?