Over the last couple of months we have witnessed an unprecedented wave of large demonstrations. Across Australia people have risen in opposition to the current administration’s escalation of attacks on worker’s rights and conditions, erosions of living standards and civil liberties.
We take the issue of continuing to oppose anti-semitism while opposing the Israeli state's massacre in Gaza very seriously. That has involved deleting blatantly anti-Semitic comments and banning repeat offenders (and the same with Islamophobes) and debting with and educating those making softer versions of such comments. So this criticism coming from a supporter concerned us, had we, albeit accidentally, stepped over the line?
Another supporter (David Landy) responded to that accusation and we found that response so educational we asked if he might write it up in more detail.
Below David discusses the difficult question of the nature of Zionist colonisation prior to the creation of the state of Israel.
For the size of its population Ireland has seen very large Gaza solidarity demonstrations. It is also one of the few places in the world outside the USA where there has been public displays of support for the Israeli military assault. Internationally there are many variations of this map where activists present to their population what the expulsion of the Palestinians from much of the land they once occupied would look like in a local context. One of our members prepared this but we soon realised its an impossible image to post without some reflection on our own settler colonialist past.
The Irish Independent and Irish Times on Thursday, reported on a new study showing that more than one in fifty people living in Dublin are millionaires (in US dollars, and not counting the value of primary residence). Both articles quote an analyst for WealthInsight as saying, "For Dublin itself, an abundance of millionaires could help the city claw back its financial prowess from 2008's collapse."
Presumably the much lauded trickle-down effect is supposed to come into play and make life better for all of us. But with the "Consistent poverty rate" in Ireland standing at 7.7% in the CSO's most recent Survey on Income and Living Conditions (SILC), or one in every thirteen people, we can see how many people are trying to live off the same trickle. The "At risk of poverty rate" is much higher, roughly one in six, which means potentially many more could be trying to sip from that trickle. With "favourable tax" given as a criterion for attracting millionaires, Dublin's high density of millionaires (13th highest in the world, 9th highest in Europe) is clearly no accident.
The madness that is Dublin housing bubble being rapidly re-inflated need to be opposed, not celebrated. Unlike estate agents & the media we recognise rising home prices are not good thing. Unaffordable homes are going to make things much harder for those in lower paid employment in particular. And with almost no protection from landlords for tenants and rising rental prices this means many being stuck in insecure poor quality accommodation for years to come.
House prices in Dublin have increased by almost €200 per day every single day for the past year (and by €220 a day in the past month). Figures released by estate agents DNG reveal that the average cost of a home in Dublin is €349,000 – an increase of €71,000 since this time last year.
Even more frighteningly, prices at the lower end of the market (less than €250,000) are increasing at a faster rate than more expensive houses. This clearly affects people in lower paid employment and those struggling to buy a home disproportionately.
People in Ireland have been protesting the Israeli assault on Gaza in every city and many towns across the country. Online polls show a majority want the government to take action through expelling the Israeli ambassador. Yet the southern government abstained on a crucial UN vote to set up an investigation into Israeli war crimes. We’d suggest when you include a look at the map above it becomes very clear that this is yet another example of the Irish state putting its alliance with the imperialist countries that have imprisoned the majority of the worlds population in misery ahead of the wishes of the population.
This isn’t new. During the American invasion of Iraq over 100,000 marched through the streets of Dublin demanding an end to our participation yet the government continued to allow US warplanes to refuel at Shannon. When hundreds of people threatened to physically enter Shannon to stop the refuelling ‘our’ same government deployed riot police and even the army against ‘their’ people’. Last month they sent 80 year old Margaretta D’Arcy to jail for a second time for refusing to stop protesting against that same refuelling, a decade on. And a few days ago they even arrested two TD's for daring to try and inspect a clearly visible US military plane that was on the runway for weapons or prisoners.
On this day in 1942, the Nazi's began the mass deportation of Jews from the Warsaw Ghetto to the death camps, putting into practice the policy known as "the final solution". Over the next two months, over 250,000 residents were sent to Treblinka.
Extraordinary stuff. The Party that failed to act for 20 years on the X-case legislation wanted emergency legislation rushed through the Dail in 24 hours to facilitate a Garth Brooks concert. The concerts now appear to be all cancelled following an announcement from the promoters but the entire episode shows how politicians found great urgency to act when it came to a populist money making cause that they could not locate anywhere when women's lives were under threat.
When we hear of '400 Israeli airstrikes' against Gaza we don't necessarily understand just what a tiny area this constant bombing is happening in. A lot of people are probably thinking its the size of a smallish country like Ireland when in fact as the map below shows its more similar in size to the greater Dublin area.
Gaza Under Attack: Emergency actions for Palestine this Saturday 12 July!
Dublin – 2pm @ The Spire, O’Connell Street
Derry – 2pm @ Guildhall Square
Limerick – 2pm @ Thomas Street
Cork – 2pm @ Daunt Square
(map comparison concept from Mark M, @soundmigration on Twitter, make you own for local use at http://mapfrappe.com/?show=20150 )
SIPTU members who are locked out of their work at Greyhound Household Ltd will march to Dublin City Hall on Monday, 7th July.
The event will begin with a rally at Liberty Hall at 3.30 p.m., followed by the workers and their supporters marching to City Hall for the start of the Dublin City Council meeting at 5.30 p.m.