The hardship of the current economic crisis has impacted unevenly across genders. This panel from the 2014 Dublin Anarchist Bookfair discussed the intersection of austerity, care-work and women’s reproductive rights. Selma James and Conor McCabe presented with Conor focusing on what this has meant in Ireland in particular.
In 2012 The Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) made a submission to the Irish government’s public consultation on the prostitution laws. Most of it was just a cut-and-paste job of text sent to them by the Turn Off The Red Light campaign, which seeks the introduction of the Swedish model. But there is one part of ICTU’s original contribution which I found remarkable. A few paragraphs down the submission cites – clearly for the purpose of endorsing – the view of the Technical, Electrical & Engineering Union‘s General Secretary that “prostitution could not be considered work”.
Welcome to Issue nine of the Irish Anarchist Review, published for the 2014 Dublin Anarchist Bookfair.
We've been hearing scare stories about the damage being done to the environment by co2 emissions for decades now. Terms like “climate change”, “greenhouse effect”, “the ozone layer” (more importantly, the holes in the ozone layer) and “global warming”, are part of everyday language. We know that the polar ice caps are melting, causing sea levels to rise and we know that the weather is doing crazy things in parts of the world that are usually temperate. And, we know that all this is being caused by the stuff we produce and how we produce it. What has our response been?
By and large, we've done nothing. In fact we've done the opposite. We've continued to create stuff. More and more stuff. We produce enough food to feed the world at least twice over and a third of it is wasted. We produce gadgets we don't really need, war machines to subjugate people, we plan obsolescence so that we have to keep producing things to replace other things so that the wheels of the global economy keep turning and profit keeps accumulating. Billions of humans, across the planet, spend a large chunk of every day, doing things they'd prefer not to to produce things they don't need in a process that is making the planet unfit for their habitation.
Capitalism is making you fat. Capitalism is also destroying the environment. These two things are more closely connected than you might think. Not all growth is good. Certainly the growth of people’s waistlines and indexes of body fat have lead scientists and health professionals to warn of a global obesity epidemic. 65% of the world’s population now live in countries where being overweight kills more people than being underweight. Worldwide obesity has nearly doubled since 1980 and 1.4 billion adults over 20 are now overweight.
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This introduction is to briefly clarify what exactly the purpose of these documents is. We have found that many people, especially if fairly new to politics and/or anarchism, may initially be a bit daunted by the size of the collection and the amount of detail in some documents. Their first reaction may be "Do I have to learn this off by heart and agree with every word before I can become a member?" The answer is "no".