Andrew N Flood

Irish Times publishes manipulative poll days ahead of 8th of March ‘Strike for Repeal’ actions

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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.

Hitting Tesco where it hurts: Strike sees sales fall more than 80% leading to back down

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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” 

Say no to Tesco’s attempts to slash wages by up to 20%

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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.

After the coup - a visit to Istanbul & north Kurdistan - interview with activist researcher

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Farah recently visited Istanbul and Northern Kurdistan around Amed / Diyarbakir to interview feminist and Kurdish activists.  In this interview on her return to Ireland we talk about the massive repression against the left and Kurdish movement that has seen tens of thousands fired from their jobs and thousands including many of the HDP MPs jailed. 

Lessons from the Barricade Inn squatted social centre - audio discussion

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The Barricade Inn was a squatted social centre in the centre of Dublin.  During the peak of its activity over the summer of 2015 hundreds of people were involved in putting on events in the space that thousands of people attended.  In this audio we talk to three WSM members who were involved in opening up and running The Barricade about what happened there and what lessons they drew from the experience. 

Fascists fail to stir hate as Ballaghaderreen says welcome to refugees

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The small town of Ballaghaderreen recently found out that it would be welcoming some 82 refugees in the near future.  About half of these are minors and most of those are under 12 including 13 under the age of 4.  There were the predictable attempts by neo-nazis to whip up hate online and someone even distributed about 80 British fascist leaflets in the town.  But rather than hate taking hold the town held a standing room only welcoming meeting last Thursday.  We asked one of the organisers, Jessamine O Connor,  to tell us how this happened.

Hundreds form protection ring around Apollo house as High Court demands evictions

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Hundreds of people responded to the High Court demanding the eviction of Apollo House by linking arms to form a protective ring around it.  The judge  refused the residents an extra week to find accommodation despite the housing minister failing to deliver what had been promised.

Minister Simon Coveney fails to deliver on Apollo House promises - protests today

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It emerged overnight that housing minister Simon Coveney has failed to deliver on the terms he agreed in order to get Home Sweet Home to vacate Apollo House. Protests are taking place outside Apollo house and across the country in response to this betrayal.
Like many other TDs Coveney is a landlord, we know he earns at least 2600 a month from landlordism - it could be a lot more, TDs are only required to declare that there are landlords if they earn more than that figure, they are not required to say how much more. For landlords homelessness plays an essential role in keeping tenants in a state of insecurity and fear, it makes us feel we have no other choice but to pay rent increases.

Minister for homelessness says beware of neighbours filling swimming pools in piss poor divide and rule move

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You can tell a lot about someone from what they worry about. The Housing Minister Simon Coveney isn’t so much worried about people sleeping on the streets at the moment. He is losing sleep about the thought that other people might fill their swimming pools with free water!

Apple owes 13 billion to the Irish state - solidarity means abolishing the tax avoidance 'republic'

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A bit of great news as the year closes - Apple have been told they owe 13 billion to the Irish state. Great news now in terms of housing, healthcare and eduction where that money is badly needed. But also great news in the long term for workers everywhere as its a blow against corporate tax avoidance.

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