It cannot be denied that Sinn Féin are a pragmatic party that wishes to be all things to all people – from the poorest in our society to the richest (not at all grasping that this is impossible and fundamentally wrong). But for now let’s focus on the three main tell-tale issues of Sinn Féin’s lack of principles and wishy-washy politics that ultimately are harmful: Abortion, Water Charges and Capitalism.
Of course this does not mean that cannabis is legalised in Ireland, Galway, or even the university, but it does exhibit the rapidly changing attitudes toward drug prohibition and that this change is happening right here in Ireland.
The capitalist crisis saw the closure of Greek Radio-Television (ERT) but workers not only resisted they took ERT into collective self management and continued broadcasting. 21 months after its closure the striking workers still ran 17 radio stations (15 regional, two national) and a single TV channel (ET3).
The translation of the texts below has been sent to us by Thanasis, a worker at the ERT and outline how the workers restructured ERT and what they want Syriza to respect if funding is returned.
Thanasis writes " Actually, and in simple words, they fired us but we never left the building and of course we never took an advance to earn money (publicity etc) respecting the fact that all these buldings and technical stuff belong to the Greek people. The new government after having recognized our struggle decided to re-open the Public Radio-television. Lets hope they will also incorporate our ideas, those we fought for over the last 2 years. What you will read is not a dream. Is what we already do everyday and we simply propose it for the future. "
In this society we are told that we have certain rights; the right to vote, the right to protest, the right to bodily autonomy (i.e. the right to decide what happens to our bodies). All of these rights can be taken away in a flash at the whim of those in power. But you cannot take away from a pregnant person that which they don’t have: bodily autonomy.
Abortion is extremely restrictive on this island, with the southern state not acting on the prohibitive legislation that is in place – as was highlighted with Ms. Y in August 2014 – and the northern state only allowing abortion when the pregnancy endangers the mother’s life (read: not health).
“Women of all classes, races, and life circumstances have been on the receiving end of domination too long to want to exchange one set of masters for another.” - Carol Ehrlich
Anarchism is the idea that no one is more qualified than what you are to determine your own life and that you should have self/personal determination. It is the belief that power structures are oppressive and that only with the abolition of power will we be free. There is no end goal as there will always be power dynamics in our lives that need to be addressed and abolished in order to arrive at a society that is coercion free, community based and operating on the principles of direct democracy. Anarcha-feminism is the application of these anarchist policies to the Black Feminist theory of intersectionality.
On the 13th of March, unions across the north of Ireland will be striking against another round of service cuts and job loss proposals including the introduction of prescription charges.
The Minister for Health would like to introduce prescription charges across the 6 Counties. The DUP’s Jim Wells claims that this is to be done in order to provide a “cash injection” to his department to create a specialist drug fund which would pay for drugs that are either too expensive or too specific to be licensed right now. In doing so he is proposing £3 per item and hopes to raise between £5m and £10m per year claiming that this is not “unreasonable”. But it is unreasonable; the rich should be taxed for this.
An introductory video on what direct action is and isn't, providing illustrations from the campaign against the water charges.
Direct action is at the heart of the struggle against the water charges, from preventing meters being installed, to Meter Fairies removing them, to boycotting registration and the water bills in April. But what is direct action, and what is it not?
A lot of left reporting of Greece reduces us to spectators of a West Wing like show where we are required to unthinkingly cheer the good guys in their efforts to get one over through clever negotiation methods. We don't quite understand what is going on but we are required to believe our side are doing their best because they are the 'good guys'. And we like it when they appear to land a blow on the EU establishment. But does this drama tell us much about what is actually happening in Greece.
Minister for the Environment, and 2nd in command of the Labour Party, Alan Kelly has dared to denounce protesters as not contributing to society, despite his own status as grand leech.
Without a hint of irony the minister accused some in Sinn Fein and 'the hard left' of being jobless and not making a contribution to society despite being politically active.
Though Kelly is virtuous enough to have a job - because remember, you're a bad person if you don't have one - he and his party's contribution to society is much like a bullet's contribution to the healing process, despite the fact that he is very politically active.
Although Kelly was keen to point out that these comments were totally unrelated to the campaign against the water charges, we all know they are part of a long line of government smears designed to rip apart our movement.
Indeed many of us wait with hands to our ears for the next damning fiction to slop out of a Labour or Fine Gael politician's mouth. What will it be next time? We're already dole scrounging terrorists, how much further can they push it?