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.
A terrible atrocity has been committed. Democracy is under fire. A thuggish mob below common decency have insulted The President. That is, welcome to the Jobstown media-hysteria Mark II.
They can really pump out the moral outrage when it suits them can't they? The more trivial the offence, the more intense their condemnations.
But it's hard to take this seriously. It is merely another weapon in the arsenal of bankrupt politicians' realpolitik; so clearly sensationalist fodder for the mainstream media. This is a point-scorer for the establishment.
The Irish Water battle came right to the door step of Sean O'Casy's home on Inisfallen Parade this morning. Garda assaults have seen one person injuries and attempted intimidation on balaclava wearing goons hired by Irish Water is continuing.
We note that while the media has had a huge focus on insults shouted at the president no questions have been raised at why 'security' are not only following and videoing residents but are now running around masked up and refusing to identify themselves. It seems extraordinary that the media have failed to notice this while at the same time having such a focus on verbal insults (which have now been apologised for). You'd almost think they had an agenda.
Today, across Europe, the left is excited by Syriza topping the polls in the Greek election. Some on the left have gone so far as to suggest the election itself will mark the end of austerity policies, in the terminology of the Anglo left, an end to the idea that There Is No Alternative (TINA). Another indication that something of significance is happening is that ahead of the election a new wave of capital flight has started from Greece with an estimated 8 billion transferred out of the country over the last few weeks.
There is something fundamentally wrong with this system when 80 people can have the same amount of wealth as what 3.6 billion people have between them. The figures from Oxfam’s latest report show that the rich really are getting richer and that the poor are getting poorer.
There are many factors we can attribute to this trend; globalization, out-sourcing, the breaking of labour power through the breaking of the unions in the Reagan-Thatcher era that labour never recovered from. Ultimately it falls down to the growing strength of capitalism and therefore the growing strength of the other harmful power structures that it has to support it. Included in these is racism, cheap labour from immigrants or as in many cases slave labour, as well as sexism, with gender being the division of labour. Both of these things, racism and sexism (to name only a few) come from policies implemented at the top of society that are targeted at the rest of us.
The next mass anti-water charges protest is on January 31st, at 2pm, in Dublin city centre. The Facebook event page can be found here.
Residents of North Dublin will meet at Connolly Station, residents of South Dublin will meet at Heuston Station, and all will march down both sides of the quays. Those travelling from outside Dublin can meet wherever (Connolly or Heuston) is closest to them. Many local anti-water charges groups will be marching in together. Also, many local groups outside Dublin which cannot make it will be demonstrating locally.
Very positive news coming out of Kobane where as these maps, from different sources, show ISIS have almost been driven out of the city.
Overnight the YPG/J announced they had liberated Suk Al-Hal & the Industrial Zone on the eastern and north-eastern edges of the city. Earlier in the week. There are also rumours of clashes in Helince village south east of the city. If ISIS lose that local commentators say their remaining forces in Kobane will be entirely cut off from supply.
When ISIS reached Kobane about 130 days ago, equipped with US armour captured at Mosul, they appeared unstoppable. The Kurdish defenders were pushed into a small defensive zone in the north west of the city but Kobane became ISIS's Stalingrad. Unable to admit defeat they kept pouring men & equipment into the city, at one stage managing to even mount a suicide VIBED attack at the Turkish border. Now not only have they almost been driven out of Kobane but they are being driven back by Kurdish forces elsewhere.
We examine how the media determines and conditions the way that people think. When faced with broad opposition, we scrutinise how those in power rally behind the banners of no-change in order to keep things the way they are. We also see how they are assisted by the media in this exercise with the ultimate aim of maintaining power, privilege and control of our society.
Can you remember the last time you saw real story being broken in the media or printed press? When I was a young fellow I naively thought that I’d like to work as a journalist. You know those secret meetings with whistleblowers in subterranean car parks, all intrigue and mystery, digging for the truth. I envisioned myself building up a picture of the connections on a cork board, and stripping away at the official story to reveal the truth. I was chasing a dream. That world doesn’t exist and appears to have flourished only for the briefest of moments, a long time ago.
This pamphlet was produced by the Workers Solidarity Movement in the weeks before the 1986 referendum on whether or not to remove the constitutional ban on divorce. The vote was lost by a margin of almost 2:1, with 935,843 (63.48%) voting to keep the ban and 538,279 (36.52%) to remove it. A second referendum in 1995 saw the ban finally scrapped, with a result of 818,842 (50.28%) to 809,728 (49.72%).
Alone on the far left, the WSM was heavily involved in this campaign and had two members elected to the National Executive of the Divorce Action Group. At the time they described their motivation as being to “increase personal freedoms” and “challenge the power of the Catholic bishops”. Read the full text of the pamphlet in the article.
A WSM supporter travelling in Central Java recorded this interview with two local anarchists in January 2015. They talk about the anarchist & punk scene, gender violence, politics and social context in Indonesia, land struggles and the struggle for abortion rights.