“Mutual aid is arguably as ancient as human culture; an intrinsic part of the small, communal societies universal to humanity's ancient past. From the dawn of humanity, until far beyond the Invention of agriculture, humans were foragers, exchanging labor and resources for the benefit of groups and individuals alike.” – Wikipedia
Since the establishment of the Bolt Hostel just over a week ago, there have been many people that have arrived at the door to donate furniture, cloths, bed linin, volunteering their time, labour and skills. There has been a communal kitchen area/ TV area created, all by the donations of fridges, microwave, washing machine, cooker, table and chairs, sofa, TV and DVD player by people.
THERE ARE TWO IRELANDS – reality for people like you and me; fantasy for the rich and their political servants.
On Wednesday 8th of July several organisations from the Travelling community held a protest outside Dublin city hall for better housing conditions. Irish Travellers are a ethnic minority with an identity and culture, based on a nomadic tradition, who face severe discrimination and marginalisation in Ireland.
Over two years after the last major mass direct action against Shell in Erris the state continues to pursue a vindictive prosecution against some of those arrested that day. In June 2013 at the culmination of a week of action around 70 people entered the Shell compound at Aughoose where the final section of the experimental high pressure raw gas pipeline was being connected.
The local community have been resisting the pipeline and refinery for a decade. During that resistance hundreds have been arrested or injured and several have spent periods in jail. Millions was spent every year deploying hundreds of Garda and at times the airforce and navy to make effective protest impossible. Despite this the protests meant that the project has finished years late and at 3 to 4 times the original projected cost.
Austerity was never going to be defeated by the vote. We don't live in an economic democracy, we live in an economic dictatorship where only those with vast wealth determine its course. Parliament provides a useful illusion, one that limits our dreams and stops us acting to make them a reality. The real defeat in Greece will not be the capitulation of Syriza but rather if that capitulation is broadly accepted as the end of the road of struggle.
Thousands of people marched through Dublin June 20th to protest the continuing attempt to impose water charges on the 'Burn your Bills' protest.
Thousands of people paraded through the streets of Dublin Saturday June 27th for LQBTQ Pride 2015.
Pride followed shortly after the overwhelming victory in the Marriage Equality referendum and some of the blocs and banners referenced that including a controveral 'Fuck Marriage; We want revenge" one.
Fridays shock closure of the iconic Clery’s department store in Dublin shows how the law is set up to favour capital and screw workers. Workers are being told there may be no additional redundancy or owed holiday payments as the company is in debt. But this is only the case because right before the closure the largest asset, the building itself, was separated off from the accumulated debts. This was almost certainly legal under our system but of such obvious dubious morality that the workers could expect massive popular support if they occupied the building on a permanent ongoing basis.
According to SIPTU unions organisers some of the workers are owned “four or five weeks’ wages” and the limited redundancy they will get will come not from the company but from the rest of us via the government’s insolvency and social insurance fund which pays out statutory redundancy when companies declare bankruptcy. In other words all those costs are to paid by us.
We might’ve voted for equality in large numbers when it came to the marriage referendum, but the likelihood that this will impact on the way the country is run or the lived realities for many appears unlikely. This week the Irish Government is once again having their knuckles wrapped by the UN in Geneva for failing to live up to the documents they sign around the International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights. The reality is that there has been the imposition of austerity measures on the sections of Irish society who can least afford it. The inevitable by-product is inequality, increasing poverty and deprivation. The message is simple, economy trumps all else and lip service is all that is all that is paid in terms of human rights or equality. Emily Logan – Chief Commissioner of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission said as much, she said that ‘budgetary decisions had been made without any consideration of the State's human rights obligations.’ This is the reality that needs to be examined, especially in the aftermath of the sight of politicians kissing, smiling, hugging each other and slapping each other on the backs as champions of equality in Dublin Castle.
The vast sums of our money that the state gave to Denis O’Brien are hard to understand. None of us are ever likely to see one million, short of winning the lotto, never mind 336 million, the amount written-off when O’Brien acquired Siteserv Group, Topaz Group and Beacon Private Hospital.
But here is a comparison that helps put the real cost in context. It’s been reported this week that a number of rape crisis centres may have to close because of escalating cash difficulties. These are caused by the loss of €240,000 in core funding. The state funding body Tusla explicitly claimed that the cuts had to happen in order to to make the best use of limited resources.
The three debt write-offs the O’Brien companies got are the equivalent of 1,400 years worth of that core funding. If Catherine Murphy’s Dáil allegation about the preferential interest 1.25% rate he was given are correct then that cost us 30 millions a year, which is around 125 years core funding for every year the loan is not repaid in interest terms alone.