Public service workers proved in the Croke Park vote that we are capable of getting organised to defeat the careful plans of the government to make us swallow yet another round of cuts. This despite the fact that the leadership of the two biggest public sector unions were working with the government in trying to get us to accept that plan. And now they are in a panic because the No vote to Croke Park represents a massive refusal of their claim that austerity is the solution to the crisis. Almost 300,000 workers have declared that Enough is Enough, add in our immediate families and this is probably quarter of the population.
This doesn't mean the fight is over, the No vote is only the start of defeating austerity. Public Service Workers are not alone, 400,000 households have not registered for the Property Tax. Across society ordinary working people are saying Enough, that is one of strengths. We think we can beat any attempt to unilaterally oppose pay cuts around the points that follow
The Security budget for the Fermanagh G8 operation, to encompass cities in Northern Ireland, including buildings, phone lines and whatever else may be deemed a ‘Security risk’, will add many millions to the already astronomical security budget . There is £3.8 million for drones and £1.3 million for pop up hotels for the 2,500 extra Officers already drafted in. The additional cost of subsistence and logistics involved in PSNI guarding 208 empty buildings in Belfast from a mythical anarchist plan to occupy them is no more than a ridiculous attempt to scare anyone who is against the G8 Summit. These sort of stories in the media are intended to thwart any attempts to allow for freedom protest. The supposed economic gains of pantomime are alleged longer term investment that will be brought to the province in the way of business for some hotels! But the less visible costs include the cost of the loss of earnings for local residents for the three days of the summit, the road closures and disruption to people’s lives and privacy.
In spite of a long and consistent campaign which has been waged against people in relation to the imposition of this unjust and unfair tax on homes, over 650,000 households have not registered with revenue [22.05.2013]. Draconian legislation and the threats of fines has not resulted in people volunteering their information to the revenue.
Public Talk - The rise of the far right in Greece Greek teacher Matina Velonaki and anti-racist activist Joe Moore. This Saturday May 25th at 4:00pm, Solidarity Books will be proud to host a public talk on the rise of the far-right in Greece by former Greek teacher Matina Velonaki and anti-racist activist Joe Moore.
Jura Books in Sydney recently hosted 'Anarchism in Bulgaria as I see it' by the 88 year old exiled anarchist Jack Grancharoff. Around a dozen people listened intensely to Jack as he described his upbringing and his involvement in anarchism and challenges faced by both fascism and Stalinism.
SIPTU members engaged in a second day of strike action at the Shanganagh Waste Water Treatment Plant, Co. Dublin, have expressed serious concern over the possible environmental impact of the dispute at the facility. The facility treats water for domestic and commercial purposes for 248,000 people living in Dublin and Wicklow. Workers believe that due to the current reduction in manning levels at the facility key processes, including the testing of water being discharged into Dublin Bay and the treatment of effluent stored in the plant, may become compromised.
In response to yesterday’s Irish News (Mon 20 May 2013) front page article, “Police to Occupy hundreds of vacant premises in Belfast during G8”, the Workers Solidarity Movement condemned security forces scaremongering in the media.
Campaigners against the property tax have said that the tax, which is being boycotted by huge numbers of people, is “totally unnecessary” and that the government should scrap it “unless it is prepared for a major battle with an angry public.” “The government has claimed it hopes to raise €500million from the property tax,” said Gregor Kerr, spokesperson for the Campaign Against Home and Water Taxes (CAHWT). “But this is €500million that ordinary people – who have already suffered 5 years of austerity – simply don’t have.”
Members of the Irish National Teachers Organisation (INTO) have voted by a massive 91% in favour of industrial action up to and including strike action if the government moves to cut their pay via legislation. This huge vote is a clear statement by the union’s members that No means No, that their rejection of the so-called ‘Croke Park extension’ deal must be respected by both government and the union’s leadership and that they are ready and willing to take action to prevent the imposition of paycuts.
A conversation with Sydney anarchist Sid, co-founder of the Jura books Collective on the history of anarchism in the city and how he became involved in the various phases of the movement. He describes the early debates, conferences and initial projects of opening bookshops and radical spaces. He talks a lot about Jura books whose formation and ongoing maintenance he is centrally involved with.