Céad Míle Fáilte to Rough It Outside the Garda National Immigration Bureau

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Some International Students & Workers organised a solidarity gathering to stand up and speak out against the humiliating treatment of international students and workers required to register at the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB).

Many have seen the recent reports and photographs of students and workers queueing overnight at the GNIB in order to obtain required visa permissions to remain in the state. Under huge pressure from students, workers and allies the Department of Justice (DoJ) were forced to temporary alleviate the situation by placing more resources into processing claims, especially for re-entry visas.
 

Images of water charge resistance

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Images: Andrew Flood (Follow Andrew on Twitter )

Demonstrations in Spain as Police Crack Down on Anarchist Movement

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Demonstrations took place overnight across the Spanish state against the series of police raids targeting the anarchist movement. The Barcelona demonstration of 2000 people was led by a banner proclaiming "If you touch one; you touch all".

Demands include "Freedom for those arrested for struggling", "Down with prison walls" and "Social war against the state of capital".

Media reports say that the raids took place in 15 locations in Barcelona, Sabadell, Manresa and Madrid and that 11 have been arrested. The usual excuse is given, 'terrorism', but the same reports reveal that all that the raids have discovered are "computers, mobile phones and notebooks found during searches"
 

Sunday World Story More Incendiary than Starring Petrol Bomb

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We have an easy winner for the WTF example of media bias this week in relation to the water charge resistance. The Sunday World journalists have pulled out all the stops in the service of Denis O'Brien as illustrated below. In case you miss the small print under the photo we have underlined it in yellow 'How it Could have Looked'.

The non exploding Drogheda 'petrol bomb' was a weak story in any case, a scare that felt manufactured before the Sunday World got creative with its photographs of a burned out van from somewhere else altogether. But really what sort of excuse can be offered up for such transparent bias?

 

Abortion: Just Travel to England?

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The Irish Family Planning Association (IFPA) revealed yesterday that over the last 12 months alone they have seen 26 asylum seekers or women with travel restrictions who indicated they wanted an abortion but were unable to travel abroad. At least 5 of those women were forced to continue the pregnancy to term.

For too long people have allowed the state to continue to deny bodily autonomy because the trip to Britain for an abortion was a difficult and expensive option but one still available to many. What was ignored was that those unable to access such abortions were the most marginalised, those with little or no voice. As the IFPA revealed as well as Asylum Seekers this includes "women in poverty or on low income, young women, women with disabilities, women in State care, women experiencing domestic violence and women with travel restrictions”.
 

They Seem Invincible, says Orwell, But Don't Give Up

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'Whoever is winning at the moment will always seem to be invincible' – democratic socialist George Orwell.

You wake up, and the radio is saying something about hundreds of billions of euro again. Police somewhere just shot a load of protesters, and something about the polar ice caps melting faster than we thought. It's awful, but you're just one person. Things are pretty bleak.

You're not the first to feel hopeless
As Orwell says, the rulers of society, the people in charge who control the resources and make the decisions, will seem invincible. Put yourself in the position of a feudal serf, or a slave? Do you think they ever thought that the feudal regime would crumble, that slavery would be abolished? People said it wasn't possible, that human nature wouldn't allow it, and that we should just aim to have a 'better feudalism', a 'better slavery'. But, lo and behold, it happened and only because there were people who refused to settle, who dared to believe that a fundamentally better world was possible.

Sindo front page belies ESRI report: Austerity for Most, Good Life for Some

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The Denis O'Brien media published a remarkably badly considered Sunday Independent magazine cover story trying to convince us the good times were back. The reality as demonstrated by a recent ESRI report is that while Budget 2015 did indeed make those on high incomes richer it made most people poorer and hit the poorest 10% hardest of all.

The years of crisis have been used to impose a shock doctrine of neo-liberal restructuring of society in Ireland. Our health services have not just been destroyed but it's become all too common to see people trying to fundraise for needed surgery through online fundits. People are sleeping on the streets in freezing conditions right beside buildings which have remained empty for years after being bought up by property speculators. Tens of thousands of young people have been forced to emigrate, tens of thousands more forced onto Jobsbridge - a scheme that provides a massive subsidy to employers at our expense.

Disobedience is Humanity's Original Virtue says Oscar Wilde

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'Disobedience, in the eyes of anyone who has read history, is man's original virtue' - Oscar Wilde.

However, there is a prevalent perception counter to Wilde's view which considers conformity and compliance to be virtuous traits. This perception is quite clearly held by most of those at the top our society's hierarchies - be they politicians, top business people, or religious leaders - or at least they want us to embody these passive 'virtues'.

But as Wilde points out, a reading of history clearly shows that it has been disobedience, rebellion, and heresy, which have driven progress over the millennia. It seems almost too obvious to say, because the absence of resistance will obviously lead to nothing changing for the better.
 

RTÉ Primetime Parrots State Propaganda on Water Charges

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On Thursday night RTE Primetime presented what many have described as a 'regime broadcast', an utterly transparent hatchet job of the anti-Water Charges campaign. This featured, supposedly, an anonymous water meter installer describing being accosted by knife, hatchet, baseball bat, and golf club wielding maniacal protesters – the sinister fringe. The core message transmitted in the program was 'you can protest, but don't protest effectively'. If you watched it (link below), what did you think?

 

Smear Them! Indo Hypocrisy in Vilification of Anti-Water Charges Campaign

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'Smear Them' - Indo makes shocking newspaper vilification of anti-Water Charges campaign



The conveyor belt of smears against Water Charges protesters has lurched back into Full-Speed Mode, with Denis O'Brien's Irish Independent deciding to run this incendiary headline: ''Shoot him' - Protester makes shocking Facebook threat towards Taoiseach'.

This story, featuring in one of the largest publications on the island, is based on some Facebook comment a person seemingly made in anger: 'Shoot him make a martyr haven't had one in a long time'. This headline is ludicrous for a few reasons.

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