10th Dublin Anarchist Bookfair weekender - April 24-26 2015

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Yes it is on!  The 10th Dublin Anarchist Bookfair which will take place Saturday 25th of April around Smithfield square. Come along and meet anarchists and hundreds of people curious about anarchism.

Defeating the water charges - Don’t be fooled by the concessions - 4 page PDF paper

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In the face of massive opposition to the water charges, the government have made several clumsy attempts to placate us, while their partners in the media seek to frighten us off the streets. The latest attempt, delivered by Alan Kelly, Minister for the Environment, Community & Local Government in the Dáil on the 19th of November, is the plan to charge us €160 per year for our water and to give ‘eligible households’ a water conservation grant of €100.

Galway University: Support Yes Vote on Cannabis Legalisation Referendum

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On the 5th of March, students of National University of Galway, Ireland (NUIG) will vote in a referendum to decide whether the Students' Union will adopt a position favouring the legalisation of cannabis. They would be the first Students' Union to do so in Europe, and one of the first on the globe.

Not only do we advocate the legalisation of cannabis, but the end of drug prohibition in general. Far from preventing harm, this inimical policy merely serves to give the state undue control over our lives, empower some of the most savage criminals on the planet to the tune of billions, and, based on superstition, stymy medical treatment.

If someone has a drug problem, the last thing they need is to be punished by the police. For most, criminalisation is their biggest drug problem. But for those who suffer from addiction, what they require is non-judgmental medical care, and support from family and friends, not the heavy hand of the state bearing down on them, and not the narrow-minded stigma which abounds in our prohibition culture.

Direct Action: A Basic Introduction - Video

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An introductory video on what direct action is and isn't, providing illustrations from the campaign against the water charges.

Labour Minister Kelly claims Protesters Make 'No Contribution to Society'

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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?

Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Thinks Own Government’s Policies may be ‘Morally wrong’ – Vows to Continue

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Speaking at the launch of the government’s Low Pay Commission, Kenny said that “It is morally unacceptable for families with people in work to be experiencing poverty”. He did not however announce the abolition of the water charge, the property tax or that the bondholders would not be paid back in order to address this problem. Neither did he, nor Joan Burton, who accompanied him at the launch announce the end of the Jobbridge indentured servitude scheme, where unemployed people get fifty euro for a full week’s work.

Neither was there an announcement that clerical workers in public services would see an end of the pension levies and the universal social charge that have driven so many to the point where they were forced to claim family income supplement.

It is also noteworthy that Enda only thinks it’s morally wrong for those in paid employment to experience poverty, and it is quite clear from looking at government policy over the last four years, that this is the consensus amongst the cabinet. You only have value if you are making a profit for someone else or if you are working to ensure the cogs of government keep turning – though, not that much value.

 

Don't Let the Media Redefine the Meaning of Peaceful Protest

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With the mainstream media hounding the anti-water charges movement with their calculated 'but is it peaceful protest?' narrative, it's important to clarify just what peaceful protest is and is not.

Peaceful protest is not protest which is placid, docile, quiet, polite, tranquil, serene, gentle, or soothing. It is merely protest which does not use violence.

Establishment figures exploit the many meanings that 'peaceful' can have, and use this equivocation to dupe us into thinking our protests should be docile and polite.

We must not be constrained by the narratives the media and politicians try to cast on us like a fishing net. We have to decide what we want to do on our terms, not theirs.

 

The New Security Bill - a Fascist Police Takeover?

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The parliament in Turkey has witnessed unprecedented scenes; opposition MPs being beaten up by AKP (the ruling Justice and Development Party) MPs and Ministers, one MP being pushed down from the balcony of the assembly hall, falling facedown resulting in broken ribs, right wing ultra nationalist MHP MPs and socialist Kurdish opposition party MPs holding a sit in side by side.  All because of the new  New ‘Internal Security Package’ .  In this piece one of our supporters in Turkey explains what is happening and goes on to look at the broader context, including events in Rojava. 
 

Labour Pinkwashing is Cynical Seat-Saving Measure

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In a desperate attempt to save a few liberal seats the Labour Party have been engaged in trying to suggest the water charge movement is some sort of homophobic mob. It's an argument based on the worst Dublin 4 prejudice and snobbery. Joan started the slander after Jobstown, Aodhan continued it in the Irish Times in a piece whose only outcome if believed would be to win election votes at the cost of equality votes.

Aidan writes "As a queer and a participant in the anti-water charges movement, I regard Aodhán Ó Ríordáin's comments as a rather cynical and desperate attempt to paint one of the most promising movements for progress in this state as somehow regressive, and to staple together some progressive credentials for himself by co-opting LGBT demands and organising.

Water Charges: We've Got Them Surrounded. Imagine Winning. What Comes Next?

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We can win this battle but we would be fools to settle for that. As someone said at the January 31st demonstration, 'we have them where we've wanted them for years'. Our opportunity is huge, with a great multitude politically awakened and eager to change society. So the question is presented: will we waste this opportunity to make a better world or will we seize it? What do we do once we win, and how should that affect what we do now?

This raises lots of other broad questions we should all ask ourselves:

  1. Is voting in a new government enough?
  2. Should we keep the system the same, or try something new?
  3. How do we achieve that better world?
  4. What would a better system look like?

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