'Today 5 activists occupied United Colors of Benetton, St. Stephen's Green [Dublin] asking Benetton to honour their pledge of 5 million dollars to the victims of the Rana Plaza Collapse [deadliest garment factory incident in history] which claimed the lives of 1134 people and left over 2500 casualties.
Within 16 minutes of entering the shop 4 Gardaí arrived and asked the manager to tell us to leave.
The Gardaí then removed us one by one using unnecessary force. The result was the security saying we were now barred from the shopping centre.
Boycott Benetton!' - statement from one of those occupying the Benetton shop today.
This is yet another event which highlights the inhumane nature of our political system. A factory collapsed in Bangladesh due to appalling safety standards and carelessness, where there is huge pressure on unionised workers. Even after cracks appeared in the building and the building was deemed unsafe and evacuated, workers were ordered back the next day due to the drive to meet fast order deadlines and make profits.
The National Union Of Journalists (NUJ) has expressed concern over Denis O'Brien silencing of media and the role his control over much of the media plays in the lack of media opposition.
The NUJ are concerned that the media failure to defend Dáil privilege may shatter public trust. Then more cynical amongst us might think that would be a good thing, for too long media outlets in Ireland have been spoon feeding the population with one side of the news in the service of those with wealth and power. O'Brien is at least doing us the 'favour' of making the control those with power over what can and cannot be reported very obvious.
NUJ Irish secretary Séamus Dooley has warned that faith in the media would be shattered if proprietors and editors did not challenge threats to parliamentary democracy and freedom of expression.
The last 24 hours have demonstrated the truth of 'If you want to know who really rules you find out who you are not allowed to criticise'. As the image shows billionaire media mogul Denis O'Brien has managed to almost completely suppress stories about him in the few outlets he does not control.
Those media outlets he has ownership of seem to have somehow missed TD Catherine Murphy's revelation that somehow O'Brien had managed to only pay 1.25% interest on the 500 million he owed to IBRC (in effect to us) rather than the expected market rate of around 7.5%. The difference costs us about 30 million a year.
This isn't the first story of O'Brien getting a good deal from the IBRC. Almost a year ago the Irish Times reported "in a deal that again involved the writing down of bank debt. O’Brien took a controlling interest after he bought about €304 million of the Topaz Energy Group’s] loans from the State-owned Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC), in liquidation,for a reported €150 million."
Yesterday, members of the Kildare Palestine Solidarity Campaign carried out a boycott Israeli goods action in Tescos in Newbridge. This fairly straightforward action consists of a group entering the store with a trolley or two and filling them up with all the Israeli goods that they can find and then bringing these to the customer service desk and making a formal complaint to management.
Included in the haul were Israeli produced grapefruit, cosmetic products and baby potatoes which Tescos were asked by activists to cease purchasing and stocking due to the ongoing state of illegal occupation and apartheid in Palestine. This action follows on from the previous one in the same store that took place on Thursday 2nd April 2015.
As our bankrupt local political class squabble over the crumbs from Westminster’s table, the class war continues with the re-packaged ‘Welfare Reform’ bill - a further erosion in the standard of living of the vast majority while transferring wealth to the small minority. Don’t be fooled by token opposition from mainly nationalist political parties to oppose the bill, particularly from Sinn Féin, that they are ‘defending the most vulnerable in our society’ because they are part of the problem rather than the solution proving that the parliamentary route ends in disempowerment, corruption and betrayal. Rather than ‘defending the most vulnerable’, let’s remember their record in power from consistently rolling out the red carpet to representatives of Imperialism at home and abroad, to their rolling out of the red carpet to the Queen and Commander in Chief of the Parachute Regiment Prince Charles, to their support for tax cuts for the rich, cuts to education and healthcare, opposition to women’s right to choose, to the criminalisation of republican prisoners over the last decade.
Last Thursday the local branch of Dunnes stores in Gorey Co. Wexford, closed due to an injunction which was brought upon the store by banning the managing agent for the receiver of Gorey shopping center. The injunction was to close the door which leads directly to the car-park. The effect of the door was that customers bypassed the smaller shops in the shopping mall. Dunnes Stores never asked the management for permission to construct the door; it was a clear breach of the lease.
I remember being in a tent at Electric Picnic perhaps 3 years ago when Christy Moore belted out the Pogues 'Thousands are Sailing' to 15,000 very emotional people. For sure there were other sources but a good part of the emotion was the sense that it was all happening again.
In a disgraceful if not unexpected scene the High Court has again taken the side of property speculators and ordered the arrest of the remaining squatters at Grangegorman - 19th May. The judge also imposed a 14-day prison sentence on one of the occupiers who said he had not yet vacated the premises because he wanted time to bring an appeal to the Supreme Court
Homelessness in Ireland could be solved at a stroke by allowing people without homes to move into the 302,602 empty houses in the country.
That figure comes from the National Institute of Regional and Spatial Analysis. It's the equivalent of half the homes in Dublin, many of the vacants being in ghost estates that developers have been deliberately allowing to fall apart.
Drug criminalisation claimed another tragic victim last night 17 May) with the death of 18 year old Ana Hick. From press reports it appears hers was yet another preventable death caused by taking toxic PMMA that is sometimes substituted for MDMA due to prohibition and ruthless gangster capitalism.