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.
On Saturday in Newry Co Down the Anti-Interment Group of Ireland held a white line picket to highlight the prison struggle and fight for justice of Republican prisoners. Dublin Anarchist Black Cross attended and sent us the following report on the protest.
“There were many people in attendance from different groups and organizations giving their solidarity. there was a police presence throughout the picket.
Representatives from four different groups read out statements Cogus, Dublin Anarchist Black Cross, I.R.P.W.A and the Save Moore Street Campaign. The chairperson, Cabs Kavanagh, of the Anti-Interment Group of Ireland thanked everyone and every group in attendance.
Since the worldwide recession in 2008, we have seen governments around the world make neoliberal reforms, states hammering through austerity measures. In Ireland we know only too well the extent of austerity, the state has cut everything from healthcare to social housing. We have seen the struggle communities have been fighting against the privatization of water. We have seen the ever rising number of people being made homeless, mothers and fathers having to sleep in cars and parks with their children. We have seen massive unemployment, our loved ones having to emigrate to the other side of the world to find work.
Around 1000 people currently live in a camp near Dunkirk in France. Many of them are Kurdish, fleeing either ISIS in Syria, the Iranian state or the Turkish states war against the Kurdish part of its population. Some families have already spent 10 months in the camp.
Many hope to get to the UK just a short and very famous journey away across the sea. There is a motorway near the camp and when traffic slows down some in desperation try and leap onto passing lorries. Sometimes people get killed doing this.
It’s an all too familiar story and there is a liberal tendency to paint the people living in these conditions as victims requiring our charity. What we want to talk about here is how this isn’t the case, that instead people in the camps are self organising with solidarity activists and in the most difficult of circumstances taking some control back over their lives. It's solidarity we need to talk about, not charity.