National

The political and personal landscape of choice in Ireland

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It is all but impossible, both in theory and in practice, to legally obtain an abortion on the island of Ireland, both north and south of the imaginary border that divides this island. It is completely impossible to safely and legally obtain an abortion anywhere in Ireland;  the legal framework in the south specifically requires that in order to obtain an abortion without being criminalised for so doing, the woman who needs it must be ill enough to die; thus it is rendered impossible for her to be safe in access to legal abortion. 
 

A great display of solidarity from transport workers as Bus Eireann strikers mount secondary pickets

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Inter city bus workers in Ireland launched widespread secondary pickets at 4am this morning. Solidarity from transport workers at the other services picketed meant that most of the country ground to a halt as morning rush hour approached, almost all trains, Dublin bus and light rail services did not operate.

Interview: Belfast Co-operatives.

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Belfast has seen something of a surge of co-operatively run businesses in recent years as more people are faced with the choice between precarious work and unemployment with meagre dole payments. Belfast is now home to a taxi co-op, Union Taxis, a cleaning co-op, Belfast Cleaning Society, a co-operatively run café, Lúnasa, and a digital media co-op, The Creative Workers’ Co-Op - to name but a few. We sat down with Clem and Colin, two of the three members of the Creative Workers’ Co-Op, and Elena from Lúnasa to get their thoughts on co-ops in Belfast.
 

Anarchist Gathering 2017

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Anarchists are gathering to discuss how we can better organise and fight for a free society.

Thousands of children were starved to death in Tuam and other state funded homes run by nuns in Ireland

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It is emerging that thousands of children were starved to death in state funded homes run by nuns in Ireland. The Daily Mail today carries a detailed report which quotes Philip Redmond, a survivor of Sean Ross Abbey Hospital, Roscrea, Co. Tipperary where of the 167 babies born in 1942, there were 72 deaths. Mr Redmond says "As far as Bessborough is concerned, there is little doubt in our minds that as many as 2,000 died while we believe another 1,200 died in Sean Ross Abbey" This figures are to be added to the estimated 796 bodies found in a waste tank in the grounds of then Tuam home - see the earlier piece on this page.

Irish Times publishes manipulative poll days ahead of 8th of March ‘Strike for Repeal’ actions

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The Irish Times has yet again made an entirely cynical intervention in its bid to force its agenda on the campaign to get rid of the hated 8th Amendment.  This time in the form of an opinion poll constructed to reinforce the idea that abortion is a constitutional issue rather than a medical one.

Opinion polls using complex questions have become a common method of political manipulation in our time.  The method is simple, the questions are used to frame the way the subject considers the issue and so direct the answer they give.  That directed answer is then presented as some ‘objective truth’ discovered by the person or group who framed the question.  A poll that simply asks ‘Should women control their own bodies’ is liable to get one response, today’s poll that instead gives a long set of options around the degree women should be judged under law was designed to give another.

8 reasons to 'Strike for Repeal' this 8th March

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The WSM are supporting and taking part in the ‘Strike for Repeal’ events on March 8th, intended to demand the government stop stalling and introduce a referendum to repeal the hated 8th amendment that denies access to abortion.  We have been fighting Ireland’s anti-abortion access laws since the 1980’s, a period when they meant books and magazines were being banned because they had contact details for clinics in Britain.  We continue to demand that access to termination be an option to be decided on by a pregnant person as part of a free health service.  The 8th amendment should never have been introduced, the referendum to repeal it should be delayed no longer. 

What follows are 8 of the reasons to take part in ‘Strike for Repeal’ events near you Wednesday followed by links to all the Facebpok event notices across Ireland and elsewhere.

Traveller Ethnicity: The end of the denial

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This evening, when Enda Kenny makes an announcement to the Dáil recognising the identity of Irish Travellers as a distinct ethnic group, it will be an historic moment for Irish society.  This recognition, which has been a very long time coming, marks the end of a campaign that has been fought for decades by Travellers to be recognised in their home country as an ethnic group.  So what’s being done today is formally ending the long denial of Traveller ethnicity that has taken place in the Irish state.

As the statement that from the Joint Oireachtas Committee admitted
“Travellers are, de facto, a separate ethnic group. This is not a gift to be bestowed upon them, but a fact the State ought to formally acknowledge….”

Hitting Tesco where it hurts: Strike sees sales fall more than 80% leading to back down

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Tesco agreed Friday to suspend its attempt to impose a worsening of pay and conditions on its long term workers and to return to the Labour Court, leading to the suspension of the strike.  Monday’s Irish Times carries a report on just how hard Tesco have been hit by the strike action, the Finglas superstore saw a massive 80% decline in takings.  These leaked figures stand in stark contrast to the attempt by Tesco PR to suggest the strike was ineffective and unpopular.

The figures reveal that even those stores which had not yet voted to strike, and which subsequently did not have pickets, saw a decline of 30% in sales.  According to Conor Pope’s report in Tesco Clearwater on the Monday before the strike “sales were €165,901, while a week later they were under €35,000, a drop of €130,916 or nearly 80 per cent” and “The fall between the two Mondays across 29 stores of all sizes totalled €827,896. .. A daily loss of that scale would suggest the cumulative impact of the 11-day strike came close to €50 million” 

Say no to Tesco’s attempts to slash wages by up to 20%

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Tesco stores across Ireland will strike from today against 'race to the bottom' wage and conditions changes the company is trying to impose on long term workers.

The Tesco’s scheme would impose up to a 20% pay cut on long-term staff. These workers, who have worked for the company for 20 years or more, are currently paid 14 euro an hour, and Tesco want to slash that. That this wage is seen as too high, in particular after 20 years' service, shows why it's important for all of us that the Tesco workers win their strike.

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