Belfast saw a fantastic Rally for Choice march July 2nd 2016 - by far the biggest pro- choice demonstration in the north in many years, perhaps ever.
Despite being organised on a shoe string is was also bigger than the annual anti - choice march. Even though the organizers of that have access to so much money they had billboard vans driving around the city advertising their event.
1. The Brexit vote for the UK to leave the European Union demonstrates that even weak parliamentary democracy is incompatible with escalating neoliberal inequality. In the UK as elsewhere a tiny segment of the population have taken a larger and larger share of total wealth in the last decades. Particularly under austerity almost everyone else has seen their share of the wealth they produce decline massively.
2. The Remain campaign was headed up by the political class of the neoliberal establishment and backed by model neo liberal corporations like Ryanair. But because the anger against rising inequality was successfully diverted through scapegoating already marginalized people, in particular migrants, the Leave campaign was also lead by wealthy elitist bigots whose variant of neoliberalism looks to the former colonies and the US rather than Europe.
Three women have just (23rd May) handed themselves into the Strand Road Police Station in Derry admitting to breaking the anti-choice abortion law. They will either admit to providing the abortion pill or taking it themselves.
We have openly and defiantly broken their law and they have ignored this, these three brave women have decided to force their hand.
Last Thursday 16th June a meeting was held by activists that are opposed to the use of the Special Criminal Court. Speakers included Maureen O' Sullivan, Nicky Kelly (who was wrongly convicted in the Special Criminal Court), John Lynns and Aengus O Snodaigh.The matter was discussed and debated throughout the meeting and the end result is to create a campaign for the abolishing of the Special Criminal Court and the Offences Against the State Act. Everyone at the discussion voiced their concerns at the human rights abuses carried out by the state using the court and the Act.
It is all but impossible, both in theory and in practice, to legally obtin an abortion on the island of Ireland, both north and south of the imaginary border that divides this island. It is completely impossible to safely and legally obtain an abortion anywhere in Ireland; the legal framework in the south specifically requires that in order to obtain an abortion without being criminalised for so doing, the woman who needs it must be ill enough to die; thus it is rendered impossible for her to be safe in access to legal abortion.
Since the beginning of March there has been in France a strong protest movement against the El Khomri bill. This bill is supposed to be a complete reorganisation of our labour code. The law would encroach upon our established social rights and degrade our working conditions (increasing working hours, easier redundancy, weaker defences in case of conflict with an employer, etc).
Our hearts ache for the victims of the homophobic hate crime that took place over the weekend in Orlando, Florida where a gunman attacked an LGBT+ club killing 50 and wounding over 50 more. Much has been asked by us and by other left queers about the LGBT+ community, whether it exists and if it exists why don’t we feel a part of it. Sadly it is at times like these that we become aware of its existence. When people are considered deviants and deserving of a murderous assault for their sexuality, a trait all of us in the community share, we cannot but come together in sadness and in mourning.
During the spring of 2016, Luas workers went on strike for decent pay and for terms and conditions similar to workers in other public transport services . Similarly, in Autumn 2015, Irish Rail workers went on strike, primarily in opposition to the EU Commission and the Irish government’s gradual moves towards privatisation . Previously, in Spring 2015, Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann workers went on strike over plans by the National Transport Authority to tender out 10% of public routes to private operators. SIPTU’s banner at Liberty Hall outlined why: ‘Say No to Privatisation; privatisation results in fare increase, reduced services, a threat to free travel, a bad deal for taxpayers and job cuts’.
A demonstration organised by United Against Racism took place on Tuesday 10th on Nutgrove Way, Rathfarnham. Despite the wet and windy weather, a couple hundred people assembled to show solidarity with the Ahmadzai family - originally from Afghanistan - and to send a message to their assailants. 4 men, at least some of them local, carried out a vicious and pre-meditated racist attack on brothers Naqib (18) and Fazal (20), and their 13-year-old nephew Abdul, on Thursday 5th at around 8pm as they walked home.
In 2010 I was sentenced to 6 years for having possession of 20 grams of explosive powder. I was to serve 4 years and 8 months in Portlaoise prison. This is not an in-depth study into prison and jails, and it is not an academic piece. It is simply an experience. My experience of jail will be different than other people’s experience because no two people’s experience will ever be the same. The other person’s experience will always be different no matter how great or small.
My experience started with 3 days questioning in a Garda station in Mountjoy. After the questioning was over I was charged with having an explosive substance, having materials used to build explosives and membership of an illegal organization.
From the Garda station I was brought straight to the special criminal court which was in Green Street courthouse at the time. I was brought to the holding cell, which resembled something out of a cowboy film or a medievil film. There was no door on the cell, there was a gate made from bars. On the wall of the cell were messages written on the wall by people that have come through here, messages of support, people's names with numbers beside their name indicating how many years the person got, names of different republican groups, pictures of soldiers with guns, symbols such as the hammer and sickle.