Free speech

No Platform for Fascists

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Workers Solidarity position paper No Platform for Fascists as ratified at April 2006 National Conference. This sits under the Fascism position paper, refer to that for more context.

Media Mayhem - Anarchists and the Mass Media

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On one level the phrase "the media" simply refers to the various modern technologies for transmitting ideas to large populations, such as newspapers, television, magazines, radio and the new kid on the block, the Internet. These are extremely useful tools. They allow people to know what's happening in the world and hence share some common understanding with strangers. A fundamental precondition for achieving the type of revolutionary change that anarchists seek is that a large number of people actively desire it, or at the very least are open to it. Indeed, communicating "our beloved propaganda" to the masses has always played a major part in anarchist activity and hence we require the media. However, today, when we talk about the media, we also implicitly refer to the corporate machine that comes very close to operating monopoly control over mass communication.

Anti-Racist Groups Withdraw from Charlie Hebdo Rally As It Is Co-Opted Into Republican Grandstanding

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The hijacking of Sunday's demonstration against the assassination of journalists - by the same world leaders who are themselves responsible for censorship of the press and the jailings, murder and torture of journalists - has been well documented. What is perhaps less known is that their presence caused a number of left anti-racist organisations in France to withdraw from the protest.

One statement explaining this said:
"We deeply regret that Sunday's demonstration – initially set up by anti-racist organisations - was transformed into a « Republican march » for which Valls would like to appear as the organiser and where Sarkozy will be marching.

Fiercely opposed to this « national unity », for the reasons mentioned above, we will not participate. It is of utmost importance that all those who feel outraged by this fascist attempt and who refuse to march alongside Sarkozy and Valls, all those who are intent on resisting racism and discriminations, on opposing security policies designed to curb our liberties, regroup and recapture the initiative." (Full text at end)
 

Irish Ministers Pose for Charlie Hebdo Free Speech, While Blasphemy Law Remains

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'Je suis Charlie. Vive la Liberté (mais le blasphème est interdit!)'

More members of the hypocrite's identity parade. If these politicians were serious about protecting free speech, beyond posturing in photo-ops, they would be fast-tracking a referendum on abrogating the blasphemy law and not fast-tracking redundant 'anti-terror' legislation (which has been used all over the world to stifle dissent).

The greatest irony is that while they make a spectacle of defending the blasphemous Charlie Hebdo against Islamist violence, repressive Islamist governments use the Irish blasphemy law as justification for their persecution of blasphemers, and advocate the exact wording of 'our' law to the UN as international best practice to spread blasphemy laws to other countries.

In fact, this is the most important reason that the Irish blasphemy law must be abolished immediately. It will likely not be applied in Ireland, though it is certainly unjust and ridiculous. Although Dr. Ali Salem, of the Islamic Cultural Centre of Ireland, has warned that he will invoke it against blaspheming Charlie Hebdo cartoons if they are re-printed here.
 

Sweeping 'Anti-Terrorism' Legislation Due Soon Before Dail

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REMAIN INDOORS, TERRORISTS ARE COMING FOR YOUR FREEDOM

Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan has said Ireland is on alert for terrorist attacks and that sweeping zero-tolerance anti-terrorism legislation will be soon before the Dáil.

Enough hysteria. In Ireland we've prided ourselves for not indulging such wacky 'anti-terrorism' mania to the extent the US and UK have post-11/9. 'Terrorism' is an ill-defined nonsense term and this is as true as ever.
 

Charlie Hebdo: Taoiseach Enda Kenny's Gold and Liliaceous Statement

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Politicians love to take the high moral ground, especially because they spend most of their time lying and implementing the unethical agenda of the masters. Events like the Charlie Hebdo massacre are excellent opportunities for them to declaim from the pulpit, and distract from their own malfeasance. 'Murdering journalists is bad! Those people are savages, how could they trample on our exquisite Democracy? Why do they hate our Liberty, which we love so dearly?' It is an opportunity to further reinforce the mythology of a Free Society, and Enda Kenny - the ambitious statesman that he is - is not one to let it pass.

In our solidarity we show the agents of such destruction that to us their actions are anathema, their propositions absurd ...
Together, as Europeans, may we nourish our democracy, protect our liberty, cherish our way of life.
” - An Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Paris, January 2015.

How wearisome is it when we are more accustomed to our most beloved ideals being used as soundbite seasoning than being expressed in earnest - let alone actually being embodied by the society we live in? Political life is fake, and we expect it to be fake. The politicians are just so shocked that anyone would do such a thing. Where did it even come from? Well don't ask that, but they had nothing to do with fomenting the conditions for its expansion anyway. Iraq, Afghanistan, Abu Ghraib, (Shannon), speak not of it. The barbarians are on the loose and there's no time.
 

Spanish PM Postures about 'Freedom of Expression' Despite Repression at Home

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The question isn't which of these countries' governments isn't truly committed to freedom of expression, as the Picket Line of Justice would suggest, but which is. Today Spanish police arrested at least 16 lawyers of Basque political prisoners. Three were arrested on their way to the Spanish Special Court for the first day of a mass trial against 35 pro-independence activists. This is only two days after a 80,000 person protest for the rights of Basque political prisoners.

Also, on December 16th 2014 we saw 11 anarchists in Barcelona area detained in what has been known as "Operation Pandora". All 11 detainees (4 of them were released on charges on December, 18th) are anarchist activists. Solicitors for the accused have stated that they have been arrested for being organised; evidence against the accused is non-existent and desperate. Presiding Judge Bermúdez said “I am not investigating specific acts, I am investigating the organization, and the threat they might pose in the future”, presumably having to stop himself before saying 'Anarchy is on trial'.
 

Defending Free Speech in France Does not Stop with the Mainstream Press - Support Saïdou and Said Bouamama

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Defending Free Speech in France Does not Stop with the Mainstream Press - Support Saïdou and Said Bouamama

(Translation of article from Alternative Libertaire)

On January 20, 2015, the rapper Saïdou and Bouamama Said, a sociologist and activist, will appear before a Paris Court, following an investigation for "public insult" and "incitement to discrimination, hatred or violence" on foot of a complaint from a far right organisation.

The Crises of Multi-culturalism: Racism in a Neoliberal Age - review

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In November 2011, the Fine Gael mayor of Naas, Darren Scully sparked controversy when he announced on national radio that he would no longer represent “Black Africans”, due to their “aggressiveness and bad manners” and their tendency to “play the race card”. Ultimately, the controversy caused by Scully’s blatant and unambiguous racism forced his resignation as mayor.

Cartoons and Caricatures

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By now we are all familiar with the cartoons commissioned and published by the Danish magazine Jllands – Posten which aroused such anger in the Muslim world and in Muslim communities worldwide.

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