Great news from the courts today (17 Feb) where 11 out of the 13 Crumlin water charge protesters arrested last year have had their cases dismissed. Although 2 are still to face trial in May this is a victory not just because 11 are already off but because the judge seems to have smacked down the Garda attempts to interpret the Public Order Act in a way that would outlaw a lot of protest. This is a significant slap down for the political policing pushed as a strategy by the Labour Party & Fine Gael to try and demoralise the water charges movement.
Our solidarity to Travellers in Galway who have occupied City Hall's carpark after the state has yet again failed to provide them with adequate housing.
Our solidarity today to the LUAS workers striking for decent pay rates. The crisis was used by the government and capitalist class to drive down wages and ensure that a bigger share of profits went to shareholders. The LUAS fight is a fight for all of us as a victory should be a green light to all workers to demand pay rises, including the recovery of the money lost in the cuts imposed under the crisis. Across the world the share of income that goes to the richest 1% has soared while that going tooth rest of us has been slashed, we need to fight to reverse this.
The Neo-Nazi group Pegida is attempting to establish a branch in Ireland this Saturday in Dublin. Pegida, the "anti-Islamifacation" group that is attempting to hijack anti-establishment politics by placing the blame of the current global capitalist crisis on the shoulders of refugees and migrants: those with no systemic or economic power in our society.
Pegida Ireland is trying to mask their vitriolic racism as concern against rape amongst other things. This feminist group says stuff your concern.
On Sunday, a group of WSM and other anarchists took part in the annual March for Justice in Derry which commemorates the civil rights marchers who were shot dead by the British Parachute Regiment on 30 January 1972.
As the 2016 General election got underway lobby groups had already set out their stall in terms of what they do and don't want to see in government policy. IBEC (the Irish Business and Employers Confederation) have launched their manifesto and have begun hosting political debates in plush surroundings. One of their most prominent calls to politicians is to leave the universal social charge untouched, not abolished, not reduced, and not modified to relieve lower earners from paying it.
The USC is often described in the media as Ireland's most hated tax, and it's easy to see why this might be so, it's applied to even those who are not earning enough to pay tax, or support themselves and their families.
The Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Bill published in November 2015 contains proposed measures to criminalise the purchase of sex, an approach inspired by legislation undertaken by countries such as Sweden, Norway, Iceland and in Northern Ireland which frames itself as a “progressive” move, often referred to as the “Swedish Model”.
Minister of state Aodhan O Riordan claims that removing those selling sex from the 1993 criminalisation act will help vulnerable workers to report violence and misconduct and thus stay safer at work. Yet according to sex workers themselves, only 2% agreed that criminalising clients is a good idea (as interviewed for the Queen’s University Belfast report, 2014).
Yesterday evening we were at Connolly station in Dublin to cover a performance renouncing Ireland's anti abortion laws, this was one of a number that was happening in cities across Ireland to mark St Bridget’s day. “St Bridget is one of four Irish saints who “are recorded as openly and miraculously carrying out abortions”, the feast day was the pre-Christian festival of Imbolg (meaning ‘in the belly’).”
The performance as you’ll see in the video collectively confronts the themes of censorship, self censorship through art, action, performance, conversation and camradery. The location at Connolly is one of the transport hubs through which many of the 12 people who have to leave Ireland every day to access abortion in the UKL and beyond pass.