Anarchists are gathering to discuss how we can better organise and fight for a free society.
Our global society is broken. Donald Trump & Brexit are symptoms along with the rise of the far right elsewhere in Europe. In an old pattern, fundamental economic crisis often results in society becoming very much more brutal for most people. In the age of nuclear weapons this current crisis could be our last. And with a somewhat longer countdown to disaster we are also facing climate catastrophe.
The crisis is fundamental rather than temporary because there are two underlying factors that are irreversible. The first is the end of the era where the environmental costs of growth could be mostly discounted in the belief that dilution would neutralise pollution. For much of the industrial revolution the poisonous effluent dumped into the ecosystem had only local severe effects with the vast oceans and atmosphere diluting the pollutants enough that global effects were minor. This is no longer the case with climate change being the most talked about of several examples where the pollution generated by growth can no longer be absorbed without serious global consequences.
A number of police raids have occurred in search for abortion pills in the north this past week. According to the London Times "At least a dozen other people connected with the pills have been contacted by the PSNI and invited for interview." This will impact people in the south as many pills provided to people south of the border generally come through the north.
March 8th 2017 and International Womens Day sees an enormous mobilisation in Dublin to demand repeal of the eight amendment to the Irish Constitution. Thousands of people blocked O’Connell street bridge as part of #Strike4Repeal and then in the evening 11,000 marched on the Dail.
The packed in nature of the #Strike4Repeal on O'Connell bridge made it impossible to do an actual count. So we've done the next best thing, used the area occupied to calculate how many people could have fitted into the space photos show was occupied. We also did the same thing for the later #March4Repeal
It is emerging that thousands of children were starved to death in state funded homes run by nuns in Ireland. The Daily Mail today carries a detailed report which quotes Philip Redmond, a survivor of Sean Ross Abbey Hospital, Roscrea, Co. Tipperary where of the 167 babies born in 1942, there were 72 deaths. Mr Redmond says "As far as Bessborough is concerned, there is little doubt in our minds that as many as 2,000 died while we believe another 1,200 died in Sean Ross Abbey" This figures are to be added to the estimated 796 bodies found in a waste tank in the grounds of then Tuam home - see the earlier piece on this page.
Newstalk is finally leading on the story of the 796 children buried in a sceptic tank in a religious home in Tuam - it has yet to appear in the RTE website. It's over a week and RTE has yet to 'realise' this is a major story. A clear indication that we are not dealing simply with uncovering a grim story from the distant past but with the way power continues to be exercised between Church, State & Media in our collective present.
The mass grave in Tuam isn't simply a story of a handful of evil nuns acting out of sight and discovered 80 years too late. It's the story of the long and protracted relationship between the Irish state and the Catholic church as illustrated by these two photos from the 1930s and 1950s.
The first is one of many scenes from the 1932 Eucharistic Congress, a few short years after the Tuam home went into operation. The congress saw the Irish state lay on an enormous pageant to cement its relationship with the church as part of the process of recasting its control over the population through the promotion of a regressive religious ideology that marginalised independent women, queers and anyone else who didn't toe the line.
In what is by any measure a wonderful mark of solidarity the women fighting ISIS in Rojava have taken the time to send solidarity greetings to next Wednesdays #strike4repeal in Ireland.
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.