Dermot Freeman

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Remembering the Green Party betrayal while they held power - why trust them again?

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Green Partuy Leader Eamonn Ryan with Rossport solidarity sign outside Dail - Photo William Hederman indymedia.ieWe are in the midst of another full on election cycle. Eamonn Ryan, leader of the Green party, and former minister in the preceding government, was annoyed at not being one of the leaders involved in the TV debate. But let us not forget what happens with the little party in the coalition government. We can witness it in the performance of Labour in this government, but the previous government, lest we forget, was a Fianna Fail and green alliance, with the little party being the greens.

Bertie Ahern appointed on the 14th of June, Eamon Ryan to the newly created portfolio, of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources. This was a big test for the greens who had aligned themselves with the Rossport campaign, and their leader, Trevor Sargent, at the time spoke at a Shell to Sea press conference and said that the Greens “supported an independent commission” as proposed by the campaign. The party were also aware of the great oil and gas giveaway, and said that it needed to be reviewed.

How to chair a meeting.

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Why do meetings use a Chair/Facilitator?
Sit back and think of all meetings you have gone to, especially all the bad meetings you have gone to, the ones in which you were very annoyed with how it was chaired and take a note of what was wrong with them. Some of these problems might sound familiar:
 
-After hours of discussion no conclusion is reached and few important decisions are made.
 
-Participants keep wandering from topic to topic and so nothing is discussed in detail.

London burns - causes & consequences of the riots - an anarchist perspective

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The police killing of Mark Duggan resulted in four nights of rioting across England. The immediate trigger was the killing itself, and the disrespect shown by the police to Mark’s family and friends. But the riots rapidly broadened to expressions of a more general anger and alienation; an anger that was all too often unfocused and striking out at the nearest target of opportunity. This resulted in widespread destruction of resources in already deprived neighborhoods and some anti-social attacks on bystanders. Despite this, the roots of the riots lie in the economic and political conditions of these districts, and not in ‘poor parenting’ or ‘mindless criminality’. These conditions were created by the very politicians and business elite who now call for a return to normality and repression. [French translation]

(Image: By SkyFireXII via Flickr Creative Commons 2.0)

Looking back on the battle of the Bins & the Lessons Learnt - Interview

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The campaign against the bin charges was one of the largest organised mass movements of resistance to the state in recent years. Local organising groups popped up across the city. It climaxed in the winter of 2003, with the jailings of numerous activists in quick succession. Here we talk to Dermot Sreenan, a member of the WSM who has been a prominent activist in the campaign from the off.

Defeating the Water Tax in Dublin in the 1990s

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Last year, the domestic water charge was abolished. In 'Winning The Water War', Dermot Sreenan, an activist in the Federation of Dublin Anti Water Charges Campaigns examines the campaign and the demonstration of people power that brought about the downfall of this charge.

The EZLN rising in Mexico

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On New Years Day of '94 people awoke to the news that four towns in the south-eastern state of Chiapas had been taken over by a group calling itself the Zapatista National Liberation Army. Dermot Sreenan, who recently presented a talk on the EZLN and organised a picket of the Mexican embassy in January '94, looks at the politics and history of the EZLN.

Movement of Freedom - An overview of the current situation in Lesvos

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Tensions have been growing amongst the migrant communities in Lesvos since the beginning of January when the new right-wing government (New Democracy) implemented more aggressive migration policies with a view to “decongest” the Aegean islands and to stem the flow of migration. Deputy minister Stelios Petsas announced that “the government, from the first moment, followed a different policy on the refugee-migration issue. With a comprehensive plan based on four axes: guarding the borders, speeding up asylum procedures, increased returns and closed pre-departure centers.” What this translates to is increased spending on border controls, a staggering backlog of asylum claims, fast-track border procedures that fail to protect people (including children) from deportation if they are rejected in the first instance, even if they appeal, along with large scale confinement and detention.

People protest against the Pre-Removal Detention Centre in Moria Camp after an Iranian migrant was found dead, hung in his cell.

People protest against the Pre-Removal Detention Centre in Moria Camp after an Iranian migrant was found dead, hung in his cell.

Protesting racism in Rooskey

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Rooskey - when I heard the name, it triggered some flicker of recollection. A memory was stirred. As it turned out, it is not far from where my mother's family come from. I had a cousin who grew up in a nearby Longford village, I had actually cycled through this place. So it vaguely came back to me, and I remembered the bridge spanning the Shannon, as that great river flows onto Lough Ree and down towards Athlone. My mother's people grew up around that Lough. I’ve spent summers listening to the wind whistling through the telephone wires. Today I was on my way to an anti-racist protest.

Review of Conor McCabe talk on Money

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Conor McCabe delivered a talk entitled ‘Money’ hosted by Comhlámh. Conor is a research fellow, writer and educator. The talk is available to view as a video on Comhlámh’s FB page.

His talk started with a joke, but the joke was just reported as staight news. The OECD produced figures that showed that the Irish worker is currently the most productive worker that has ever existed, globally. The Irish worker in 2017 was adding €87 to the value of the economy for every hour worked. The joke is that this figure is arrived at by crude mathematics which divides the size of the Gross Domestic Product, by the number of hours worked, not taking into account our functioning as a tax haven. That’s the joke, but at a time when the nurses are on strike for fair pay it is hard to find any of this funny.

Review - To Keep a Bird Singing, a novel by Kevin Doyle

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A man adrift in the doldrums of the last great crisis finds his stolen punk records. Noelie Sullivan by simply reclaiming his discs sets off a chain of events which quickly unravels his life and puts him and all who know him in danger.

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