Upsurge in Stop and Search police harassment in northern Ireland

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Over the first couple of weeks of November we have witnessed intensification in British state repression and intimidation on the streets of the North primarily directed at republican activists.  The widespread use of stop and search powers, house raids and use of sophisticated surveillance techniques is an attempt not only to criminalize republicans from the wider community but anyone who dissents from the status quo.

This upsurge in stop and search powers comes after the revealing of recent internal PSNI report describing the culture in Garnerville police training college as “more associated with a pseudo-militaristic training environment."(1) From the training to the streets, the RUC/PSNI remain a heavily armed paramilitary force in working class communities whose first priority is to defend the interests of the status-quo. While MI5 maintains controls over issues of ‘national security,’ PSNI is only accountable in name only.

UDA cashing in on community funding

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Recent fury over our local ruling class giving away £1.7 million of the Social Investment Fund to Charter NI in East Belfast, headed by a suspected leading member of the UDA, is indicative of a continuing corrupt political settlement where there is one rule for the few and another for the rest of us.

11 initial reactions to the election of Trump

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Our inital reaction once it became clear that Trump was going to carry the electoral college vote.  These 11 points were sent out via the WSM Twitter.

1. Reacting to Trump - part of pattern with Brexit - revolt against established neoliberal order led by reactionary super wealthy

2. Need to organise for massive transformation. Massive in numbers, massive in geographical spread, massive in scope.

Why didn't RTE say teachers were locked out on November 7th?

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Listening to Morning Ireland on regime radio on the 7th of November we were surprised to hear the word lock out used only in the context of pupils being locked out of schools. The term has been carefully avoided when it comes to the teachers locked out by their employers.]

Thousands of teachers are locked out of their place of work that morning despite turning up as normal. The ASTI twitter account has sent many photos of teachers standing outside closed schools around the country, some 60% of secondary schools are closed.

Repression escalates in Turkey with mass arrest of HDP MPs - protests held in Dublin

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Over the night of 3rd November the Turkish state moved to deepen the repression directed against the HDP, the party that got the 3rd largest share of the vote in the last two elections. Arrest warrants have been issued for at least 15 of that parties members of parliament including it’s two co-chairs. At the same time the state moved to shut down social media in the country with access to Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Instagram and WhatsApp being blocked.

Yet another women arrested in north Ireland for use of abortion pills

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It was reported 27th October that yet another woman has been arrested and charged for having an illegal abortion through use of pills obtained online in northern Ireland. It is believed that the woman sought medical help after taking the pills and so we can only assume that she was reported to the police by staff at the hospital.

BBC spreads misinformation about safety of abortion pills

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The BBC  spread dangerous misinformation about the abortion pills in its broadcast of 27th October.  They have claimed that it is dangerous and that “a number of women will actually require a blood transfusion" after taking the pills.  This is not true. The abortion pills, mifepristone and misoprostol, are extremely safe - safer than viagra and aspirin as a matter of fact. They are on WHO's list of essential medicines.

Revolution in Rojava reading group

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A very significant book on the Rojava revolution has just been published. It's called Revolution in 'Rojava: Democratic Autonomy and Women's Liberation in Syrian Kurdistan' and provides a detailed account of the structures of the revolution, social, economic, legal and military. We've found it so useful that we are not only encouraging others to read it but are going to hold a series of three reading groups so we can talk about what is happening and what relevancy it has as an example to those of us in Ireland.

The book is summarised as "A new kind of society is being built in Syria, but it's not one you would expect. Surrounded by deadly bands of ISIS and hostile Turkish forces, the people living in Syria's Rojava cantons are carving out one of the most radically progressive societies on the planet today. Western visitors have been astounded by the success of their project, a communally organised democracy which considers women's equality indispensable and rejects reactionary nationalist ideology whilst being fiercely anti-capitalist. The people of Rojava call their new system democratic confederalism. An implementation of the recent ideology of the imprisoned Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan, it boasts gender quotas of 40 percent, bottom-up democratic structures, deep-reaching ecological policies and a militancy which is keeping ISIS from the gates. Revolution in Rojava is the first full-length study of this ongoing social and political transformation in Syrian Kurdistan. It is the first authentic insight into the complex dimensions of the revolution. Its authors use their own experiences of working and fighting in the region to construct a picture of hope for Middle-Eastern politics and society, and reveal an extraordinary story of a battle against the odds."

Conversations about Anarchism discussions return to Dublin - Nov 15th

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Interested in anarchism and looking for others to talk about it with and maybe get your questions answered? Conversations about Anarchism is returning this November and all are welcome.

Conversations about Anarchism is a facilitated discussion group that takes and collectively answers some questions designed to help us explore what anarchism is about and what anarchists do.

Anti racism campaigners demonstrate against Calais eviction at French embassy in Dublin

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Monday night saw dozens of anti-racist campaigners gather at the French embassy to protest the eviction of Calais refugee camp.  France is heading into an election and the eviction which will see thousands of people taken out of the camp is seen as an election stunt by President Hollande seeking to win right wing votes.  

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