Operation Pandora: Demonstrations in Solidarity with Spanish Anarchists

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After an international call for protests on January the 16th, anarchists in Belfast, Cork, and Dublin demonstrated in solidarity with the anarchists arrested in the Operation Pandora raids in the Spanish state, along with Basque political prisoners (16 lawyers of Basque activists recently being arrested, and tens of thousands of euro in donations stolen by police).

11 anarchists were arrested back in December in Operation Pandora without any evidence being presented, but the Judge Presiding Judge Bermúdez said “I am not investigating specific acts, I am investigating the organization, and the threat they might pose in the future.”

In a letter of protest which was handed to the Spanish ambassador in Dublin, D. Freeman for the Workers Solidarity Movement said:
Of course the current prime minister of Spain, Mario Rajoy, was front and centre in Paris for the staged photo-op around the Charlie Hebo march for freedom of expression, whilst back in Spain people are being arrested for being who they are.

Not much evidence there of freedom of expression. In fact what we are seeing now in Spain is the opposite; we are seeing people targeted because of the ideas that they hold are deemed unacceptable to the Spanish State.

How to chair a meeting.

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Why do meetings use a Chair/Facilitator?
Sit back and think of all meetings you have gone to, especially all the bad meetings you have gone to, the ones in which you were very annoyed with how it was chaired and take a note of what was wrong with them. Some of these problems might sound familiar:
 
-After hours of discussion no conclusion is reached and few important decisions are made.
 
-Participants keep wandering from topic to topic and so nothing is discussed in detail.

Céad Míle Fáilte to Rough It Outside the Garda National Immigration Bureau

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Some International Students & Workers organised a solidarity gathering to stand up and speak out against the humiliating treatment of international students and workers required to register at the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB).

Many have seen the recent reports and photographs of students and workers queueing overnight at the GNIB in order to obtain required visa permissions to remain in the state. Under huge pressure from students, workers and allies the Department of Justice (DoJ) were forced to temporary alleviate the situation by placing more resources into processing claims, especially for re-entry visas.
 

Images of water charge resistance

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Images: Andrew Flood (Follow Andrew on Twitter )

Abortion: Just Travel to England?

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The Irish Family Planning Association (IFPA) revealed yesterday that over the last 12 months alone they have seen 26 asylum seekers or women with travel restrictions who indicated they wanted an abortion but were unable to travel abroad. At least 5 of those women were forced to continue the pregnancy to term.

For too long people have allowed the state to continue to deny bodily autonomy because the trip to Britain for an abortion was a difficult and expensive option but one still available to many. What was ignored was that those unable to access such abortions were the most marginalised, those with little or no voice. As the IFPA revealed as well as Asylum Seekers this includes "women in poverty or on low income, young women, women with disabilities, women in State care, women experiencing domestic violence and women with travel restrictions”.
 

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.

 

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