March 2012

Opinion: Is the 'austerity referendum' where the real battleground is?

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Ireland is to have a referendum after all on the EU austerity treaty and a lot of the left is getting unreasonably excited about this. I say unreasonably because my opinion is that the referendum will not really, as the likes of the ULA claim, be a meaningful ballot on austerity. Austerity is not something simply being imposed on us by Europe through this referendum but something our domestic ruling class are already imposing and have been for a few years. Of course they have used the ECB/IMF as the 'bad cop' to scare us with and when passed will use the EU austerity treaty in the same way. But we need to recognize and organize around the fact that our local politicians and capitalist class are not really a 'good cop' eager to help us avoid the attentions of the 'bad cop' making threatening gestures at us across the room.

Successful Household Tax meeting in Dublin's north inner city

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The latest in a series of meetings in the Dublin 1/3/7 area took place in the Mount Carmel Centre on Nelson St on Wednesday evening, covering the Dominic St, Dorset St and Blessington Basin areas. Despite the competing attractions of the “boys in green” and Olly Murs, about 25 people were in attendance.

Dub: Seomra Spraoi fundraiser punk gig! Twisted Mass and Complan

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A fundraiser for Dublin's Autonomous Social Centre Sat 3rd March - Seomra Spraoi is hosting some deadly local Dublin punk rock! Fundraiser for our Autonomous Social Centre, come rock out and throw in a few quid to help pay them persistent rent bills! This is the first in a series of monthly gigs in Seomra, on the first Saturday of each month.

Dub: Unlock NAMA Fundraiser

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Unlock NAMA is a campaign to access NAMA properties for social and community use and to hold NAMA to account. While NAMA is all about giving public money to private banks, we want to make public buildings available to the public.

Stormont unleashes savage housing cuts

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Thousands of people will be forced into poverty and homelessness as Stormont imposes the latest cut backs. Government changes mean young people aged between 24 and 35, who live alone and receive housing benefit face cuts of up to £40 a week, resulting in homelessness or forced into shared housing. These housing cuts are compounded by the lack of social and affordable housing while slum landlords and property developers continue to be subsidised by the taxpayer to the tune of millions every year. 

FEE Galway March and occupation of AIB

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On Wednesday 29th February, over 200 people marched on the streets of Galway against the government’s ongoing attacks on the education sector. The march was organised by Free Education For Everyone (FEE) Galway in conjunction with NUIG Students Union, to fight back against cuts including the increase of third-level fees to €3000 by 2015, abolition of postgraduate grants and the slashing of the numbers of Special Needs Assistants (SNAs), which FEE views as part of the wider neo-liberal attack on free education and further argues that all of these measures make education increasingly inaccessible to working-class people.

Print workers at Belfast Telegraph protest against redundancies

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Print workers threatened with redundancy at the Belfast Telegraph have started a campaign to save their jobs and keep the print run of the newspaper in the city beginning with a rally outside its premises on Saturday.

 

Belfast joins UK day of action against Slave Labour Workfare schemes

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Up to 20 people took part in the name and shame tour on Saturday of some of the biggest names on our high street including McDonalds, Primark and Top shop organised by Youth Fight for Jobs.  Protestors, including members of the WSM and the Socialist Party, visited these high street stores during the busy shopping day giving speeches and handing out leaflets to members of the public, to the chants of ’No Pay no Way’.

Detailed account of Shell's prosecution of 19 more people for ongoing resistance in Erris

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The end of February saw 19 Shell to Sea campaigners, including a WSM member, being prosecuted on 80 charges for civil disobediance against Shell's decade long attempt to impose an experimental high pressure raw gas pipeline on the communities of Erris.  Over 8,000 euro in fines were handed down by this special sitting of the Belmullet court and Shell to Sea spokesperson Terence Conway was given two 3-month prison sentences under section 8 of the Public Order Act for blocking the road on two seperate occasions, a 'crime' that anyone following the struggle will be aware Shell's private security company committs three times a day with the co-operation of the Gardai.

(Image: Community show support in advance of the court cases, J Bender, RSC)

The eviction of the Occupy Dame Street camp

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A large force of Garda and council workers were deployed at 3.30am today, International Women's Day, to clear Occupy Dame Street (ODS) camp. The camp was completely demolished in the course of the eviction, campers intimidated and their personal property stolen. This was a level of force way out of proportion with the numbers in the camp (about 15 people) and stands in contrast with the lack of resources put into investigating what happened at Anglo, the collapse of which has left a debt of 26,000 Euro on every single person in the country.  

A General Assembly will take place at the former camp location at the Central Bank at 18.00 this evening.

Feb 25 Household tax protests in Dublin

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Saturday 25th Feb. saw many Household Tax demonstrations held across Dublin and a mass leafletting in the city centre. This was part of the nationwide day of action that saw around 40 protests take place. We give some reports here from WSM members who were at some of the protests around Dublin.

Scuffles on Pearse street as Garda attack Occupy Dame St march

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Over 150 people gathered at the Central Bank last night in the aftermath of the eviction of Occupy Dame Street (ODS). They then marched to Pearse street Garda station to demand the return of confiscated property but for unknown reasons the Garda prevented them for reaching the station, knocking many to the ground while doing so. Following on from the violence used during the 4am eviction that morning this represents a radical departure from the 'softly-softly' policing that has characterized the interactions of the state with ODS to date.

 

Cork: Cinema Night - Soldier Girls (1981) - Nick Broomfield 8pm Thurs March 15th @solidaritybooks

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Our "Women in Struggle" series continues this 15th March at Solidarity Books with a screening of "Soldier Girls (1981) " - Nick Broomfield (details of film below). Start time is 8pm. All welcome, donations appreciated. Soldier Girls (1981) "This is a 'direct cinema' documentary, slice of life, all shot fly-on-the-wall as it happens, without interviews or voice-overs.

Shell construction halted for five hours by road 'lock on'

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Despite heavy sentencing in Belmullet district court two weeks ago, people continue blocking roads in Mayo. At 7.30am on Thursday 8th March, a group of people from the Rossport Solidarity Camp blocked Shell's haulage route between Ballinaboy refinery and Shell's tunneling compound in Aughoose. They set up a concrete lock-on which two people inserted their arms into, making it very difficult for gardaí to remove them.

Community Action Against Vigilante Group in Derry

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Today’s protest rally in Derry against the vigilante group Republican Action Against Drugs (RAAD) went ahead despite calls for it to be cancelled. Hundreds of people filled Guildhall Square to voice their rage against the recent shooting of two teenage cousins earlier in the week.

Relatives of those recently targeted, attacked and murdered by RAAD also attended the city centre rally calling for an end to the attacks.

200 march against the Household Tax in Newbridge

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At half past one on Saturday March 10 there were 4 members of the Newbridge Campaign Against Household and Water Charges assembled in the driveway of the Patrician Brothers monastery.We had two megaphones and a placard between us. Needless to say we were eagerly looking around for other members and people to bolster our numbers as the start of the march was scheduled for 2pm.

Campaign to demilitarise Queens University cancels British Army event

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Troops off our campus sends out clear message that British Army recruiters will no longer be able to publicly organise without significant opposition, after the Officer Training Corps were recently forced to cancel their event in the PFC fitness centre in Belfast.

As Cllr Claire Heaney said after an unsuccessful motion proposing to ban British Army recruitment in Queens in November: “This would be a very public demonstration in support of peace. The British Army are responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of civilians, for extraordinary renditions.' Since than Troops off campus have stepped up their activities and action as only popular pressure will deliver results.

Belfast Anarchist Bookfair

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To take place in the Centre(Warzone) at Little Victoria Street.  Organised by Just Books and Organise! More details to follow

Sucessful anti-household tax public meeting in Kildare Town

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A report on the sucessful Campaign against the Household and Water Taxes (CAHWT) public meeting in Kildare:

Upon arriving at the meeting in the Derby House at around 7:30pm I found a number of members of the Kildare CAHWT branch making final preparations in the function room. A projector was playing a recording of an interview describing the continuing mismanagement of the Irish economic crisis.

International Women's Day 2012 Celebration at Solidarity Books

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As has happened for the last two years, Solidarity Books and Cork WSM hosted an event on the 8th of March to celebrate International Women's Day. This year, Cork WSM members and other activists got together to put on an evening of food, film and discussion in the city's premier radical bookshop and meeting space. Meals were prepared on site and served by Veg Out! and Lentil Disorder, and was enjoyed by a multitude of women and men from the Cork activist scene and beyond. The food fuelled an hour or more of convivial chat, as people reminisced over previous celebrations and cast an eye over feminist-themed displays in various places about the shop space.

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