Aileen O'Carroll

Inside the Filibuster, an anarchist account of the fight for the right to choose in Texas

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Interview with Texan Anarchist, Jen Rogue

Q. How easy is to get an abortion in Texas?

Depends on what you mean by “easy.” To begin with, there is a very conservative culture that shames and silences women about sex and opts for abstinence-only sex education, which contributes to abortion being inaccessible. Texas is almost ten times the size of Ireland and has the nation’s largest rural population, which is yet another obstacle to access, given the limited options in health care. Additionally, with a price tag of $450 to $3,000 (depending on how advanced the pregnancy is), the cost alone makes access to abortion a huge challenge.

Q. How was this law going to change the situation?

The bill would ban any and all abortions after 20 weeks. Also, it would require clinics to be certified as “ambulatory surgical centres” and their doctors to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles. This would close almost every clinic in the state, leaving only 5 out of the current 47.

Men are from Earth, and So are Women

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How different are men and women? Very, according to some. John Gray’s book “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus” is based on the idea that there are fundamental differences between the genders. It may be just another self-help book on relationships, but it has also sold over 30 million copies and been translated into 40 languages. Deborah Tannen’s book “You Just Don’t Understand: Men and Women in Conversation” was on the New York Times bestseller list for nearly four years and has been translated into 24 languages. 

The Nomad, the Displaced and the Settler: Work in the 21st century

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In many countries there has been a debate as to the nature of the changes in western workplaces; in Britain they talk about increased casualisation of the workforce, in the US they talk about contingent labour and on the European continent they use the language of precarity. Central to in all these debates is the issue of job insecurity.

A number of issues are being discussed. Firstly has the workplace changed fundamentally such that people increasingly are in temporary work rather than permanent work? Secondly is the division between work time and non-work time dissolving, are we spending more of our lives 'in work'? Thirdly are the non-work aspects of life becoming increasingly insecure?

Anarchists Playing the Media Game

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The Dublin Grassroots Network put a number of structures in place to avoid some of the pitfalls of dealing with the media. Perhaps the two biggest problems in dealing with the media are firstly that the media can, through the questions they ask and the pressures they bring, begin to set the political agenda of the group. Secondly servicing the media machine can take up all a group's time and energy (to the detriment of the other activity).

Anarchists and the right to choose

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We envisage an anarchist society as a society where people are free to make choices about their own lives. We picture a society where decisions are made at the lowest effective level. For women, this includes the decision whether or not to become pregnant, whether or not to remain pregnant, whether or not to have children.

About the Organizational Platform of the General Union of Anarchists

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Anarchists are constantly thinking about how society is and how it could be. We strive towards the ideal of a free and democratic society. We know that, in order to get there, it will be necessary to tear down the present authoritarian system of government. Our struggle for freedom throws up many areas of controversy and debate. One of these has always been, and always will be, how do we get to a revolution? How do we organise for change? An important contribution to this debate was the Organisational Platform of the Libertarian Communists*, a document which was written in 1926 by a group of exiled Russian and Ukrainian anarchists, and which still has much to offer to today's debates around the question of organisation. 

Freedom and Revolution: The Bolshevik Experience.

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Does the end justify the means? Many on the left believe so. Aileen O'Carroll argues that the means used play a part in creating the end that is achieved. The best example of this is the Russian Revolution of 1917.

In 1922 Emma Goldman complained Soviet Russia, had become the modern socialist Lourdes, to which the blind and the lame, the deaf and the dumb were flocking for miraculous cures(1). The Russian Revolution was the first occasion where decades of revolutionary ideas could be applied to real life. What was theory was now practice. The struggle between the two concepts of revolution - the statist-centralist and the libertarian federalist - moved from the realm of the abstract to the concrete.

The question thrown up by the October revolution is fundamental. Once capitalism has been defeated, how is communism to be achieved? While there are certainly faults to be found with aspects of the anarchist movement, at least it cannot be criticised for getting the basics wrong. Anarchists have consistently argued that freedom and democracy are not optional extras. Rather they form part of the conditions necessary for the growth of communism.

Repeal ref is coming - get ready for a long tough battle to win it

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Irish pro-choice campaigners are celebrating - this is why... Abortion is highly restricted Ireland, thanks to an amendment inserted into our constitution in 1983. The government has said there will be a referendum on abortion next summer.

Co. Clare mobilises for the March for Choice - interviews from Ennistymon

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We caught up with abortion rights activists in Clare as they held a public information stall in Ennistymon, they will be running buses to the Sept 30th March for Choice in Dublin. [Video]

Shame on Labour for Opposing Fatal Foetal Abnormality Bill

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Tonight members of the Labour Party voted against a bill which would allow abortion in situations where the foetus has no prospect of survival.

Once again, the Labour Party vote against abortion legalisation on petty political grounds. Once again they promise that they will introduce legalisation. The first time they did this was in 1991, 22 years before the promised legalisation had not materialised. Labour lie, women die.

The second time they did this was after Savita Halappanavar died in October 2012. Within months of this they again voted against abortion.

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