Disney’s Moana - an individualistic neoliberal spin on the old reactionary princess tale

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Just because Disney characters look cute doesn't mean Disney films are inoffensive. In fact, they should be recognised as a powerful propaganda weapon, meant to inculcate neoliberal ideology in the earliest years of life. Thus, by virtue of self-defense, the authors of this article, who work in the industry, will not be bothered to avoid spoilers.

Disney’s Moana is set in Hawaii. Moana, the daughter of the Island’s chief, is meant to become the first woman to rule. But the island faces ecological imbalances which threaten the survival of the islanders and lead Moana on an adventure that she will share with a demi god named Maui.
If the title of Disney’s feature is the name of its main female character, one wouldn’t go so far as to say that Moana is the central character of the story. Indeed, as soon as Maui appears on the screen, a shift of focus occurs and Moana becomes no more than Maui’s side-kick. This is neatly illustrated by the memorable “go save the world” addressed by Moana to Maui as he is about to face Te Ka the lava demon. A closer look at Maui’s character can help us understand why this failed attempt at creating a strong heroine might have happened.

Rojava: a new world in our hearts?

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War is hell. In September 2015, the heartbreaking image of Alan Kurdi went viral. The picture of the little Syrian-Kurdish boy lying face down on Ali Hoca beach in Turkey highlighted Fortress Europe’s racist response to those refugees fleeing conflict in the Middle East.  Abdullah Kurdi, Alan’s father, returned to Kobane to bury his wife and two sons. He wrote to the world: ‘I am grateful for your sympathy for my fate. This has given me the feeling that I am not alone. But an essential step in ending this tragedy and avoiding its recurrence is support for our self-organisation’. Kurdi was referring to the emergent experiment in popular democracy sweeping Rojava, the most hopeful thing to have happened in the Middle East for a very long time. A popular, anti-authoritarian rebellion is struggling against the death-world of capitalist modernity. And for now, it seems to be winning. 

Dublin solidarity vigil for anarchist prisoner Umut Firat on hunger strike in Turkish prison

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On Wednesday the 1st of February there was a solidarity vigil for Umut Firat in Dublin, Ireland. Umut is a writer for the recently jailed in Turkey and on the 53rd day of a hunger strike. Anarchist Meydan Newspaper Anarchists and supporters of Umut’s hunger strike gather outside the Turkish Embassy. Turkish embassy staff came out to mock the protesters. Embassy staff called the police to have get the protesters to remove a banner that was tied to the fence of the embassy. The banner said FREE UMUT FIRAT! SOLIDARITY FROM IRELAND. The police stayed on till the vigil was over.

A critical look at the Women’s March on Washington and coverage from Dublin solidarity protest

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Saturday 21st January saw 1000s take part in a Women's March against Trump in Dublin, a local solidarity march with the Women's March on Washington. It's estimated that 1% of the US population took to the streets to protest the Trump presidency that day with solidarity protests in dozens of cities around the world including Belfast.

Sydney march against Australia / invasion day

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Irish anarchist living in Sydney reports from recent march against ‘Australia Day’- On the 26 January tens of thousands of people took to the streets across Australia to protest against ‘Australia Day’ representing 227 years of resistance against the British crown colonial invasion, dispossession and genocide.

In Sydney, thousands also marched representing the biggest Invasion day march since the 1988 bicentennial. The march organized by FIRE Fighting in Resistance Equally represented an amalgamation of groups across the political spectrum. Irish migrants living the in Sydney took part in the march including people from the James Connolly Society.

Derry's 1st Radical Bookfair a success

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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.

WSM takes part in 2017 Bloody Sunday march in Derry

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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.

After the coup - a visit to Istanbul & north Kurdistan - interview with activist researcher

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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. 

Meaningless election looms at Stormont

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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.

Lessons from the Barricade Inn squatted social centre - audio discussion

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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. 

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