This year Belfast saw its largest pro-choice demonstration when about a thousand people took to the streets for the Rally for Choice. This was a significant achievement and to mark it we’ve put together this brief documentary featuring footage from the march, some of the speakers and interviews with both organisers and participants.
July 4th in Dublin saw homeless people occupy a 40 bed hostel they are being evicted from so that it can eventually be turned into long term housing. The Irish Housing Network which is supporting the residents posted that Johns Lane West provided shelter and accommodation for over 40 people. A few months ago DCC and Focus Ireland announced they were closing the hostel to build apartments on the site. On Monday July 4th when the hostel was supposed to close, residents with nowhere else to go refused to leave and occupied the building.
The loss of 42 beds means another 42 people at risk of sleeping on the streets. With no new beds opened, if Johns Lane closes permanently more people will be forced onto the street.
A new report from Social Justice Ireland has shown that the economic crisis has pushed 100,000 more people under the poverty line in the south of Ireland, with a total of 750,000 people. That's about 15% of people.
The background image is of a house on Dublin's illustrious Shrewsbury Road (the top property in Monopoly).
Have you been noticing pro-choice graffiti around Belfast recently? There has been a massive increase in the amount of political propaganda around Belfast the past few weeks, which has most likely been inspired by the recent criminalisation of a young woman for having an illegal abortion here; something that many women are forced to do.
Our reporter talked to some of the people involved.
"It’s important to strike every blow we can against things as they stand, no matter how small the blow provided the outcome is bigger than the input.
We are constantly subjected to sexist advertising on billboards and outside shops and religious propaganda on buses, it is only right that we take back the city to display our demands, and our messages.
One of our dear leaders is set on a plan to link child benefit to school attendance of the children in question. Minister Denis Naughton believes he has strong support for the plan--although many, including some in government are reportedly balking at the idea (although most likely not for any reasons related to humanity or decency). They probably fear a public backlash or loss in support.
Although the plans are not definite they give an insight into the minds which make up our government.
Roughly over one hundred thousand workers in Ireland are currently working on the minimum wage-thats 9.15 an hour or under 400 euro a week,working 40 hours a week. Around 90% of those on social welfare payment and out of work earn less than they would in work. The old proclamations of our leaders that 'were all middle class now' and the lies spread about those on social welfare are shown to be what they actually are from these facts. They are mere propaganda slogans aimed at convincing us that we live in a more or less equal society and that we should keep quiet about the enormous wealth of corporations and business owners.
One of the most common arguments against the establishment of Anarchist Socialism is that there would be no incentive to work in a new, future society--leading to widespread apathy and laziness among the general population,with a few carrying the burden of the overwhelming majority at best and at worst nothing will be done at all. The aim of this piece is to highlight that the opposite is instead true--that in a Socialist society there will even more of an incentive to work productively (in the capitalist sense) and to contribute to the communal pot which we can all then draw from.
Firstly we should reject the capitalist ethos of what is productive labour. To summarise under capitalism productive labour is valued by how much profit can be made in a transaction of goods,services or ficticous capital--not by how valuable it is on a human level. Take for instance stock brokers get enormous pay checks for betting on and moving currency or goods around the world while mothers and the care givers of children get next to nothing, becoming slaves to charity, the state or their partners(possible all of these) to support them in the rearing and socialisation of children, so arguably one of the most important jobs in society gets no remuneration.
Over the previous year myself and a small number of comrades have been involved in housing activism in Dublin, specifically in relation using squatting or using occupation as a tactic. This is meant to be a short piece on some of the lessons learnt to inform activists who wish to get involved in this sort activity.
At the start of our career as squatter/housing activists over a year ago occupying buildings seemed like the primary logical option available to us. Not only was it an available and sensible form of direct action, which informed by our Social Anarchist politics was invariable the best and most effective tactic to use, it was also an easy way to alleviate the housing crisis.
Even at this late stage in the game, water charge campaigners still come across the odd person on the street who will parrot the government propaganda line "We have to pay for water". Of course, this line is nonsense as we already pay for our water through general taxation and paying extra billions to an utter failure like Irish Water, which they'll just waste on consultants fees, is lunacy.
What is 'self-organisation'?
Listen to anarchists for long enough, and you'll hear us praising the 'self-organisation' of various movements or groups and insisting that political activity needs to be more 'self-organised'. But what does this mean? Why is this important?
It can be an odd-sounding term, but basically 'self-organisation' is doing stuff without relying on or waiting for external leadership or a central authority. A 'self-organised' movement doesn't wait for parties, unions, or whatever leader, to give it orders. A 'self-organised' group isn't controlled from the top-down. Self-organisation – like a related idea, 'self-management' – is at the core of anarchism. It makes us more effective, and gives us an opportunity to practice real democracy.