Derry's first ever Radical Bookfair was held over the Bloody Sunday week of events on Saturday 28th January 2017 in Pilots Row Community Centre. It's estimated that several hundred people passed through the doors of Rossville Street venue to explore what the days events had to offer as well as to rummage through the different book stalls to catch a bargin or two.
Several thousand people took part in todays annual Bloody Sunday March for Justice in Derry marking the 45th anniversary which made its way from the Creggan to Bogside along the original route of the initial Civil Rights demonstration in 1972 at which 14 unarmed innocent civilians were murdered by British Paratroopers.
Farah recently visited Istanbul and Northern Kurdistan around Amed / Diyarbakir to interview feminist and Kurdish activists. In this interview on her return to Ireland we talk about the massive repression against the left and Kurdish movement that has seen tens of thousands fired from their jobs and thousands including many of the HDP MPs jailed.
With Martin McGuinness resigning as Deputy First Minister and Sinn Fein declining to nominate a deputy first miniter an election is almost certainly going to be called and the electoral circus will once again come to town.
Please excuse this writer's election fatigue - with this being the third election in 12 months on this island - as I begin this short post off with a well used phrase: "Never be deceived that the rich will allow you to vote away their wealth".
The Green and Orange politics of the north almost guarantees us that we will be returned with a Sinn Féin - DUP government, meaning that, yep you guessed it(!), if voting changed anything here it would be illegal.
The Barricade Inn was a squatted social centre in the centre of Dublin. During the peak of its activity over the summer of 2015 hundreds of people were involved in putting on events in the space that thousands of people attended. In this audio we talk to three WSM members who were involved in opening up and running The Barricade about what happened there and what lessons they drew from the experience.
Revolution in Rojava” is an eye-witness account on the experience of creating a bottom up social order which actively challenges all forms of oppression and exploitation. The struggle in Rojava (a mostly Kurdish region north of Syria), despite the extent of counterrevolutionary and imperialist forces aligned against it, continues to nurture an autonomous, grassroots resistance across its multiply ethno-religious communities.
Yesterday hundreds of people turned out to support the imaginative action which is known to all as Apollo house. Apollo House is the single point of light that emerged from an otherwise dismal year, a centennial year of significance, which gave us so little to be proud of. Homelessness, in spite of being a significant symptom of all that is wrong in our society, is both ignored and tolerated. Fortunately the sight of the homeless masses did not get in the way of the centenary celebrations of what a great little republic we have grown up to be.
The actions of the Irish Housing Network and the alliance of supporters which has become known as Home Sweet Home, has taken over an ugly brutalist building and former dole office on Tara Street, and gave homeless people hope of a fresh start. What it has also done is shone a light on the inhumane bureaucratic approach of this to dealing with people who live on the streets. Getting people who have no bed for the night, to phone a free phone number in order to secure one for a single night, only to be thrown back out into the dark pre-dawn streets to do it all again the next day. Apollo House is the golden lamp that emerges from 2016 – and that’s why it has touched the people of Ireland, and been so massively supported. It is an example of what this state should do to support the dispossessed, and would have been a far more fitting tribute than having parades or concerts.
The small town of Ballaghaderreen recently found out that it would be welcoming some 82 refugees in the near future. About half of these are minors and most of those are under 12 including 13 under the age of 4. There were the predictable attempts by neo-nazis to whip up hate online and someone even distributed about 80 British fascist leaflets in the town. But rather than hate taking hold the town held a standing room only welcoming meeting last Thursday. We asked one of the organisers, Jessamine O Connor, to tell us how this happened.
When it comes to housing, most of us just want to sort everyone out because everyone needs a home regardless of who they are. However, occasionally an issue is raised about who the homeless are:
'Are all the homeless people Irish? And if so how can the government find houses for the refugees coming into Ireland and not their own people?'
There are lots of people in high places who benefit from us thinking that the reason for homelessness in Ireland is refugees and other migrants. Or that these people are causing 'us' a big problem. It's understandable why some people believe that, after all the media spreads this message constantly, but it's just not accurate.
A bit of great news as the year closes - Apple have been told they owe 13 billion to the Irish state. Great news now in terms of housing, healthcare and eduction where that money is badly needed. But also great news in the long term for workers everywhere as its a blow against corporate tax avoidance.