National

The Nazis were Pro-Choice? Think Again

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It's not uncommon for someone arguing in favour of criminalising abortion to draw a comparison between pro-choice advocates and the Nazis, often on the basis that supposedly the Nazis had the same liberal views on abortion, or that pro-choice campaigners are of a similarly genocidal bent.

Comparing the Nazis to the Irish feminist movement is bizarre. In summary, Nazi abortion policy was driven by sexism, ‘pronatalism’, and eugenics, while pro-choice campaigners in Ireland are driven by personal freedom.
 

Why Irish Rail workers are right to strike

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The Workers Solidarity Movement extends its solidarity to all workers at Irish Rail. A series of one-day stoppages and pickets to secure pay rises are planned over the months of November and December. The sought-after pay increases (3.75 per cent annually) are in line with pay increases secured by other transport workers in Dublin Bus, Luas, and Bus Éireann, all of whom secured these victories following collective industrial action and numerous strikes.

 

Ireland's Strongest Storm: Hurricane Ophelia and Climate Change

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Hurricane Ophelia charged across the island of Ireland in October 2017, causing widespread wreckage and even loss of life. This video puts the storm into the context of global human-caused climate change, looking at the pattern rather than the isolated incident.

US ambush video crew at March for Choice turn out to be extremists who want death penalty for women who have abortions

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The March for Choice saw another another sinister anti-choice video crew in operation.  The last time on investigation they turned out to be an far-right crew who subsequently worked with Tommy Robinson, ex leader of the EDL.  This time the accents were American rather than British and on investigation we discovered they are an extremist anti-choice church, one of this crew has even told media they want women who have had abortions to be executed. [Video report]

As with the previous crew their method is to try and get participants to agree to be interviewed without revealing their extreme anti-choice views. As you will see in the video when challenged as to who they are they tried to vaguely pass themselves off as a TV studio and then Facebook stream.  When people agreed to be interviewed after a few sympathetic appearing questions they were suddenly ambushed with very hostile language in the hope that their targets either don’t notice or get flustered.  The goal is to then broadcast edited footage of flustered or hostile pro-choice people to try and dehumanise us and urge their own followers to fanaticism.

March for Choice 2017 - report & video

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Saturday the 30th of September 2017 will go down as a high point in the fight for abortion rights in the Republic, and that is a struggle that stretches back decades. Years of campaigning and maintaining a focus on the issue, saw a massive crowd of nearly 30,000 people take to the streets for the annual March for Choice as organised by the Abortion Rights Campaign (ARC). The calls are for action, and the need for Repeal of the 8th Amendment.

Delete the 8th - no restrictive wordings

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The delaying is almost over and a date for a referendum to finally overturn the 8th amendment has almost been confirmed. But - as expected - the government are now publicly threatening to present a wording other than the one needed - a vote to remove the anti-choice Article 40.3.3.

The media are reporting that the government are instead trying to somehow present a referendum that would include the terms abortion could be accessed under. Essentially the overwhelmingly old, male and conservative government do not want to follow the recommendations given by the very body they set up to avoid such responsibility. The creation of the Citizens Assembly was clearly imagined by the government as a way a new, very restrictive, anti-choice regime could be created in the aftermath of the referendum and presented as ‘the people’s will’.

However it turned out when 100 random people heard weeks of expert testimony they decided the reasonable moderate position was the one where restrictions on pregnant people would be removed or at least minimised. To the anti-choice extremists in power this was unexpected, they were only willing to concede movement on the very edges of the extreme anti-choice laws under which pregnant people and doctors face a 14 year jail sentence.

Lessons for Ireland from the Pro-Choice movement in Italy

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I moved to Ireland from Italy shortly after the Strike4Repeal of the 8th of March, a mass mobilisation on the streets of Dublin in protest of Ireland’s archaic abortion laws, which I followed closely on social media. While still in Italy, I had been involved in organising a successful feminist demonstration in the city where I lived, on that same date (International Women’s Day), and I felt deep sympathy and admiration for the Irish pro-choice activists and the amazing work they were carrying out. At first glance it was unbelievable to me that in a western-European country people still had to take the streets to demand access to abortion. While the Irish situation initially felt like something I could not relate to, I soon remembered where I was from and I had to think twice: despite abortion being legal in my home country, safe and effective access to abortion service is currently utopia.

The Personal and Political within Catholic Ireland

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Sci-fi is a genre that I’ve never been able to get into and have never had the desire to change this. I find myself in the strange position now, however, of wishing I was some kind of sci-fi expert so that I could easily find a term for something that is half alive and half ghost. If there were such a term I’d use it to personify catholic Ireland, an institution that is still alive but dying with a ghost that wields most of its power.

Catholic Ireland was a violent, brutal regime that existed – among many other reasons - to dehumanise, torture and inflict as much pain as possible on women. The church sexualised us from no age through instilling notions of modesty and chastity in us. They then shamed us and hid us away when we did have sex and the evidence was there to prove it. While in hiding they tortured us in laundries and traumatised us in Mother and Baby Homes.

Why YOU need to get out and March for Choice on the 30th Sept

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We are in the 4th decade of the struggle to get rid of the 8th amendment - no one under the age of 52 could even have voted for it.  But this year should be the year and that's why everyone should be on the March for Choice in Dublin, September 30th.

The 1803 rebellion Ireland and Robert Emmet

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The 1803 rebellion followed only five years after the rebellion of 1798.  1798 involved tens of thousands under arms, rising across the country over months and the liberation of parts of Wexford, Wicklow and Waterford for long enough for a republic to be declared.  It was smashed by the British empire with great brutality directed at those under arms but also the civilian populations.  As many as 30,000 may have died.

Despite this Robert Emmet who was the brother of one of the 1798 leaders reorganised and with Thomas Russell and others attempted another rebellion in 1803. 

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