The 9th Belfast anarchist bookfair takes place this weekend 14 October - 16 October with the main bookfair events being at the Black Box 19-22 Hill Street, on Saturday from 11.30am to 5pm. On Friday night there are events at Just Books 22 Berry Street, Belfast
The speeches given before and after March for Choice 2016 provided a broad introduction, through the personal stories of the speakers, to the complex intersecting oppressions imposed by the 8th Amendment on women along with some trans-men and non binary people in Ireland. An oppression that doubles up on those who are also in the Asylum system, disabled, or Travellers. If you are used to protests where the speeches are mostly from politicans telling you what you already know this wasn't one of them.
Tuesday 3rd October evening hundreds of Polish women and their allies gathered outside the Polish consulate in Dublin to protest the anti-woman bill being pushed in the Polish parliament that will criminalise women who have abortions in all circumstances. Ahead of last nights 'Dublin - Solidarity with Polish Women on Strike' protest the organisers said;
The Bob Crow Brigade fighting ISIS and defending the Rojava revolution took time out recently to post images supporting Repeal the 8th and the Dublin bus strikers. The photos of masked people men & women with guns posing in the sand beside placards with slogan about our struggles in Ireland caused some confusion, some even assumed they had to be photoshopped. The above image is a variation on the one they tweeted.
On Saturday 24th of September the Anti-Internment Group held a protest outside RTE (Irish television and radio station) studios in Donnybrook south Dublin. The protest was held because of RTE’s censorship against the case of the Craigavon 2. The Craigavon 2 have been in jail since March 2009, Brendan McConville and John Paul Wootton (who was only 17 years of age at the time) were accused of the shooting dead of a Police officer.
Their trial was a farce, not only was it a non jury trial, all evidence used in the case used by the prosecution was either circumstantial or witness evidence from a witness whose statements were totally contradictory but also his own father came forward and said he is “walter mitty” (a walter mitty is well known slang in Ireland for a liar).
This is more than a little odd. It appears that someone prominently associated with Youth Defence was on the March for Choice in September complete with a (fake) Repeal jumper and an obnoxiously phrased placard. Another activist on the way to the march saw the same women with one of the Youth Defence leaders.
Dave Gorman spotted her and tweeted about it from the march, that tweet was subsequently shared by 100s of people, all no doubt curious as to what was up. Our video reporter at the march had noticed the woman pass and while initially thinking the placard made her look like a Youth Defence infiltrator but also thought it was possible it was someone who had English as a second language. She was recorded in the video though, the segment is attached proceeded by Dave's tweet alerting people which we only saw later.
As they have driven ISIS back in northern Syria / Rojava the Kurdish YPG and their allies in the SDF have won increasing visibility in western media. While such reports often mention the key role in this fight played by women in the YPJ, there is otherwise little examination of the revolution happening behind the front lines in Rojava. That revolution is why they stood and fought ISIS rather than fleeing. This can be true of a lot of alternative media coverage. In part this is due to the limited amount of information on what this revolution involves. but it’s also in part because photographs of women with guns are judged to be more striking than women workers in a co-operative bakery or a community assembly.
We’ve tried to address this imbalance somewhat, both in our coverage and through bringing a number of Kurdish and other speakers over to talk at the Dublin Anarchist Bookfair. They spoke about what is happening behind the front lines. What is it that is being constructed that so many have judged is worth going to the front lines to defend against ISIS? Our speakers this year included Erjan Ayboga author of ‘Revolution in Rojava’ and US academic Janet Biehl who has visited the region twice since the revolution to investigate what is happening on the ground.
We march today to demand change. So much is wrong in our country and our world. People are denied their Bodily Autonomy or endure Direct Provision racism. Some struggle to find decent work or keep a roof over their heads. Meanwhile, our media is dominated by one super rich villain. Beyond this island, the news is worse. Oil companies are driving us into climate disaster.
The Irish government's attempt to introduce domestic water charges in Ireland is not going well. In fact, for them it's been a disaster because it's sparked off a huge upsurge in working class self organisation and direct action. Saturday saw thousands of anti-water charges campaigners flooding the streets of Dublin o to again voice their opposition to Irish Water & water charges and as a show of strength for the movement.
It has been fully understood since the very beginning of this campaign that Irish Water was simply a vehicle to be used for the privatisation of water services and infrastructure in Ireland. The right wing, neo-liberal political establishment wished to gift the most vital of all resources to capitalist interests who would squeeze as much profit out of commodified water as possible, while cutting off the water supply to anyone who couldn't pay their extortionate charges. However, due to a huge effort on the part of working class organisers, the water charges appear on course to be abolished. The significance of this campaign in laying down a milestone for working class self organisation will be felt for years.