The Water Charges: After we win, what comes next?

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The revolt against the water charges is of a size and militancy that if we stay on the streets we will certainly win. But the revolt has also exposed in plain view the level of co-operation between media, politicians, big businessmen like Denis O’Brien and the gardaí. All have acted together to cajole, bully and suppress protest and then to lie and distort events.

Water Charges Protest - Regime Media Numbers Just Don't Add Up

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Sometimes the media don't do a very good job of hiding their agenda. Wednesday's mass protest against water charges in Dublin city centre was a prime example. While anyone who was present could see that this was one of the biggest demonstrations in recent times, despite being on a workday afternoon in the middle of winter, the media tried to downplay the numbers.

While initially, the Garda press office said it wouldn't be releasing an estimate of the crowd numbers, within the hour, it backtracked, and said gave a number of 30,000 "plus". Of course, that is technically correct, the crowd did number over thirty thousand, but citing that figure insinuates that there might have been one or two thousand more, not the massive numbers that people who experienced the demo for themselves witnessed. It was as if they plucked a number out of the air.

 

We are a Vision From the Future: Turkish Anarchists in Solidarity with Fallen Comrades in Greece, Mexico and the USA

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DAF, an anarchist group in the Turkish state held a demonstration for the anarchist prisoner Nikos Romanos who is in hunger strike for 29 days in Greece and for our sisters and brothers who has been murdered while resisting in Greece, in Ferguson, in Mexico, in Kobanê.

Nikos is a 21-year-old who has been on hunger strike at a prison near Athens since Nov. 10 after authorities rejected his demand for educational leave. He had managed to win a place at Athens’ School of Business Administration. His father has told the Guardian “He is a fanatical lover of life. He wants to live But this is his 27th day without food and his condition is deteriorating. He is getting weaker.” On Saturday 6000 protesters clashed with police in Athens in the aftermath of occupations of municipal, university and union buildings 
 

Homeless Nightmare Won't be Resolved by Government Response

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You'd think Enda Kenny had never seen a homeless person before. In the wake of the sad death of Jonathan Corrie, who was sleeping rough in the shadow of Dáil Éireann, Ireland's parliament, the Taoiseach went walk about in the city centre to meet Dublin's homeless. In an interview with the media, he said he was "taken aback" by what he saw. 

Like Ebeneezer Scrooge, whisked around the capital by the ghost of Christmas present, he got a first hand view of the conditions that people without homes or hostel places have to endure. He saw the effects of addiction, the sleeping bags and the syringes, that dominate the lives of those who have been left at the margins. But, it's hard to believe that he didn't know this was happening; It's difficult to imagine, that after three and a half years in power, he has suddenly had a Scrooge like epiphany, and is going to pull out all the stops to transform the lives of the country's homeless people. 

Irish Anarchist Review Issue 10

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Welcome to the tenth instalment of the Irish Anarchist Review, published for the 2014 London Anarchist Bookfair.

Five years ago, the Irish Anarchist Review replaced Red and Black Revolution as the magazine of the Workers Solidarity Movement. It’s mission was to fill a vacuum in Irish radical circles, to be a publication that raised questions and provoked debate, rather than laying out blueprints for success, as had been the norm in the more theoretical work of the left. It was established at a time where a fightback was believed to be imminent, when the expectation was that as the (economic) beatings continued, morale would improve.

 
The intervening years produced a series of false starts. The big ICTU demonstrations in the infancy of the crisis proved to be safety valves for the expulsion of steam from the rank and file, and were tightly controlled by the bureaucracy. The Occupy phenomenon was a reaction against that type of protest, and it did release a wave of creative energy, but it’s structurelessness ultimately had the same effect, and that energy escaped into the ether. There have also been strikes and occupations, the Unlock Nama campaign, the campaign against household and water taxes (CAHWT) and a massive resurgence in the campaign for abortion access.

 

 

Projects of Death in Mexico’s Sierra Norte - Community and Environment Under Attack

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OLINTLA is a small village in the Sierra Norte, a remote, mountainous region to the east of Mexico City. The landscape there is dramatic, green and beautiful, mostly sunlit jungle, rivers and wildlife. The hillsides are occasionally populated by farming towns and villages, mainly indigenous communities whose way of life is constantly threatened. In recent years, the Mexican state has accelerated plans for the development of a vast hydroelectric power plant in the area, directly impacting the people in Olintla and about a dozen or so neighbouring communities. What appears on the surface to be a ‘green energy’ project is in fact closely bound up with community displacement and the aggressive extraction of local oil and gas reserves, primarily to the detriment of the region’s water resources and wider capacity to sustain life. Unfortunately, Olintla is far from an atypical case but represents how indigenous communities in Mexico, as in Latin America more generally, tend to bear the brunt of the state’s creation of opportunities for private capital accumulation, called ‘development’ by those in power and ‘projects of death’ by the communities affected.[1]

 

Role of the Anarchist Organisation

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1. To popularise the idea that an anarchist society is desirable and that it is reachable if enough people organise for it.

2. To encourage the use of anarchist methodologies in day to day organising efforts.

3. To expose the class nature of capitalist society and to argue that class organisation is fundamental to overthrowing capitalism and creating a new society.

4. To demonstrate the links between the issues that people struggle around and how these struggles often do not stand in isolation from each other.

Leaked Report: Self Serving NGO's Want to Perpetuate Rescue Industry, Not End Direct Provision

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Last week, it was revealed that four Irish NGOs – the Immigrant Council of Ireland, Nasc Irish Immigrant Support Centre, Focus Ireland and Sonas Housing – had submitted a report to the Minister for Justice about the accommodation of suspected sex trafficking victims in direct provision centres. While the report raises a number of very valid concerns, it’s unsurprising that one particular line has received the most attention – the allegation that “traffickers have used the asylum system for residency and accommodation while simultaneously trafficking victims”. The media focus on this uncorroborated claim is unfortunate (albeit totally predictable) at a time when asylum seekers’ complaints about their housing are finally starting to get the headlines they should have had for years.

 

Origins of the hostility and the split between Al Qa’ida and ISIS

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ISIS control of Syria & Iraq as of Sept 2014 from WikipediaGeo-strategically the Al Qa’ida leadership (Azzam, bin Laden, Zawahiri) are products of the Cold War, specifically the Afghan Mujahidin war against the USSR. Rather like their American neo-con previous employers, Al Qa’ida view the end of the Cold War as a victory over the USSR by their own side. The Al Qa’ida perspective is that, having “defeated” one superpower, the global jihad now needs to turn its offensive against the remaining superpower.  Al Qa’ida worry that the Zarqawists of ISIS may be restricting the struggle to a parochial Mesopotamian sectarian struggle that could fail to engage Muslim jihadists around the world, outside the MENA region, say in West Africa or Indonesia and the Philippines  where the US is a more credible #1 enemy than Iran.

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