The Irish Times has yet again made an entirely cynical intervention in its bid to force its agenda on the campaign to get rid of the hated 8th Amendment. This time in the form of an opinion poll constructed to reinforce the idea that abortion is a constitutional issue rather than a medical one.
Opinion polls using complex questions have become a common method of political manipulation in our time. The method is simple, the questions are used to frame the way the subject considers the issue and so direct the answer they give. That directed answer is then presented as some ‘objective truth’ discovered by the person or group who framed the question. A poll that simply asks ‘Should women control their own bodies’ is liable to get one response, today’s poll that instead gives a long set of options around the degree women should be judged under law was designed to give another.
The WSM are supporting and taking part in the ‘Strike for Repeal’ events on March 8th, intended to demand the government stop stalling and introduce a referendum to repeal the hated 8th amendment that denies access to abortion. We have been fighting Ireland’s anti-abortion access laws since the 1980’s, a period when they meant books and magazines were being banned because they had contact details for clinics in Britain. We continue to demand that access to termination be an option to be decided on by a pregnant person as part of a free health service. The 8th amendment should never have been introduced, the referendum to repeal it should be delayed no longer.
What follows are 8 of the reasons to take part in ‘Strike for Repeal’ events near you Wednesday followed by links to all the Facebpok event notices across Ireland and elsewhere.
This evening, when Enda Kenny makes an announcement to the Dáil recognising the identity of Irish Travellers as a distinct ethnic group, it will be an historic moment for Irish society. This recognition, which has been a very long time coming, marks the end of a campaign that has been fought for decades by Travellers to be recognised in their home country as an ethnic group. So what’s being done today is formally ending the long denial of Traveller ethnicity that has taken place in the Irish state.
As the statement that from the Joint Oireachtas Committee admitted
“Travellers are, de facto, a separate ethnic group. This is not a gift to be bestowed upon them, but a fact the State ought to formally acknowledge….”
Tesco agreed Friday to suspend its attempt to impose a worsening of pay and conditions on its long term workers and to return to the Labour Court, leading to the suspension of the strike. Monday’s Irish Times carries a report on just how hard Tesco have been hit by the strike action, the Finglas superstore saw a massive 80% decline in takings. These leaked figures stand in stark contrast to the attempt by Tesco PR to suggest the strike was ineffective and unpopular.
The figures reveal that even those stores which had not yet voted to strike, and which subsequently did not have pickets, saw a decline of 30% in sales. According to Conor Pope’s report in Tesco Clearwater on the Monday before the strike “sales were €165,901, while a week later they were under €35,000, a drop of €130,916 or nearly 80 per cent” and “The fall between the two Mondays across 29 stores of all sizes totalled €827,896. .. A daily loss of that scale would suggest the cumulative impact of the 11-day strike came close to €50 million”
Just because Disney characters look cute doesn't mean Disney films are inoffensive. In fact, they should be recognised as a powerful propaganda weapon, meant to inculcate neoliberal ideology in the earliest years of life. Thus, by virtue of self-defense, the authors of this article, who work in the industry, will not be bothered to avoid spoilers.
Disney’s Moana is set in Hawaii. Moana, the daughter of the Island’s chief, is meant to become the first woman to rule. But the island faces ecological imbalances which threaten the survival of the islanders and lead Moana on an adventure that she will share with a demi god named Maui.
If the title of Disney’s feature is the name of its main female character, one wouldn’t go so far as to say that Moana is the central character of the story. Indeed, as soon as Maui appears on the screen, a shift of focus occurs and Moana becomes no more than Maui’s side-kick. This is neatly illustrated by the memorable “go save the world” addressed by Moana to Maui as he is about to face Te Ka the lava demon. A closer look at Maui’s character can help us understand why this failed attempt at creating a strong heroine might have happened.
Tesco stores across Ireland will strike from today against 'race to the bottom' wage and conditions changes the company is trying to impose on long term workers.
The Tesco’s scheme would impose up to a 20% pay cut on long-term staff. These workers, who have worked for the company for 20 years or more, are currently paid 14 euro an hour, and Tesco want to slash that. That this wage is seen as too high, in particular after 20 years' service, shows why it's important for all of us that the Tesco workers win their strike.
War is hell. In September 2015, the heartbreaking image of Alan Kurdi went viral. The picture of the little Syrian-Kurdish boy lying face down on Ali Hoca beach in Turkey highlighted Fortress Europe’s racist response to those refugees fleeing conflict in the Middle East. Abdullah Kurdi, Alan’s father, returned to Kobane to bury his wife and two sons. He wrote to the world: ‘I am grateful for your sympathy for my fate. This has given me the feeling that I am not alone. But an essential step in ending this tragedy and avoiding its recurrence is support for our self-organisation’. Kurdi was referring to the emergent experiment in popular democracy sweeping Rojava, the most hopeful thing to have happened in the Middle East for a very long time. A popular, anti-authoritarian rebellion is struggling against the death-world of capitalist modernity. And for now, it seems to be winning.
Bus Eireann staff are set to exert their collective rights and strike from the 20th February in an indefinite industrial action in order to secure their pay and conditions. The strike action follows Bus Éireann’s acting chief executive officer Ray Hernan saying the company wanted to reduce its cost base by €30 million per year, with payroll costs accounting for 40 per cent of that reduction.
On Wednesday the 1st of February there was a solidarity vigil for Umut Firat in Dublin, Ireland. Umut is a writer for the recently jailed in Turkey and on the 53rd day of a hunger strike. Anarchist Meydan Newspaper Anarchists and supporters of Umut’s hunger strike gather outside the Turkish Embassy. Turkish embassy staff came out to mock the protesters. Embassy staff called the police to have get the protesters to remove a banner that was tied to the fence of the embassy. The banner said FREE UMUT FIRAT! SOLIDARITY FROM IRELAND. The police stayed on till the vigil was over.
Saturday 21st January saw 1000s take part in a Women's March against Trump in Dublin, a local solidarity march with the Women's March on Washington. It's estimated that 1% of the US population took to the streets to protest the Trump presidency that day with solidarity protests in dozens of cities around the world including Belfast.