April 2011

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Class War hits the streets of London - Dare to struggle, Dare to Win!

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Last Saturday, 26 March saw up to half a million take part in a TUC organised anti-cuts protest in London.  In the aftermath of the protest there has been much controversy about the 700 strong black bloc that broke away from the protest to throw paint at and break the windows of banks, luxury car dealers and the 4,000 a night Ritz hotel in Central London.  Workers Solidarity's Australian correspondent Sean Matthews argues here that a few broken windows was not violence but a legitimate display of class anger and that if anything this was a welcome distraction from the speech of the Labour leader Ed Miliband whose party initiated and imposed cuts and privatisation of public services over the last decade.

Cork: Spring Talks Series at Solidarity Books, every Tuesday! at 8pm, starts 5th April

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WSM Cork today announced that Solidarity Books, of 43 Douglas Street, will host a series of discussions on rights, freedoms, and radical history every other Tuesday at 8pm starting on 5th April and ending on 17th May 2011.  The talks will examine issues of human rights and radical history in Ireland and aim to cover ideas and events not taught in school.

70 Billion Bank Bailout Most Expensive April Fool in History

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On the 1st of April 2011 the government got in on the April Fool's game early, by announcing yet another visit to the trough for the endless bailing out of the country's basket case banks to the tune of 70 billion euros. Anyone remember when Brian Lenihan swore on his life that 40 billion was definitely the last of it? My how we laughed...

177 Beggars prosecuted, White collar crime ignored

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Gardai have made 177 arrests in a crackdown on "aggressive" or "inappropriate begging" in Dublin city in the past 2 months.  The Dublin Chamber of Commerce are jubliant, boasting that begging has dropped tenfold as a result of the crackdown, meanwhile no charges have been brought nor even any serious garda investigation concluded into the corrupt awarding of a mobile phone licence to Denis O'Brien by Michael Lowry.

Boardgames at the Bookshop – every Sunday! - from 7 - 10pm

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Boardgames at the Bookshop every Sunday from 7-10pm in Solidarity Books, 43 Douglas Street (across from Fionn Barra's), Cork. New faces always welcome!

Boardgames at the Bookshop – every Sunday! - from 7 - 10pm

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Boardgames at the Bookshop every Sunday from 7-10pm in Solidarity Books, 43 Douglas Street (across from Fionn Barra's), Cork. New faces always welcome!

Cork: Veg Out! - Every Friday, from 7 - 9pm, at Solidarity Books

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Delicious all-vegan food at the Veg Out Cafe every Friday from 7-9pm in Solidarity Books, 43 Douglas Street (across from Fionn Barra's) in Cork - suggested donation 5 euro - all welcome!

Cork: Veg Out! - Every Friday, from 7 - 9pm, at Solidarity Books

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Delicious all-vegan food at the Veg Out Cafe every Friday from 7-9pm in Solidarity Books, 43 Douglas Street (across from Fionn Barra's) in Cork - suggested donation 5 euro - all welcome!

"Dissident" Republicans in Armed Struggle Cul-de-sac

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When “dissident” republicans killed policeman Ronan Kerr with a booby-trap car bomb on Saturday, they were pursuing what they believed was a strategy that would eventually lead to the defeat of British imperialism in Ireland, firstly by destroying the policy of normalisation, "ulsterisation" and the co-option of  republicans into the political system, and ultimately in breaking the will of the British ruling class to maintain their hold in Ireland.

ESB Cut Prices, But Not For Those Who Need It

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ESB today announced a range of price changes that could decrease the average billpayer's costs by up to 17% for electricity per unit and 6% for gas per unit.. However, this will only apply to customers in good standing, i.e. not to the 100,000-plus ESB customers who are having difficulty paying their bills.

Garda - "Give me your name and address or I’ll rape you"

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Give me your name and address or I’ll rape you - the words of a Garda Sgt as he discussed with at least two other Gardai how they were going to interrogate one of two female Shell to Sea campaigners they had arrested and who were being brought to Belmullet Garda station. Just second earlier while they were discussing how to interrogate the women one Garda suggested they threaten her with deportation. The Sgt responds with the addition of the rape threat which he repeats before another so far unidentified Garda chimes in with “hold it there, give me your name and address there, I’ll rape you” prompting the Sgt to repeat it one last time as “or I’ll definitely rape you.” [Listen to the 2 minute audio]

Garda dirty tricks and attacks on campaigners in aftermath of release of rape discussion video

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Garda in Mayo took revenge for the publication of the Corrib cops rape threat video yesterday by attacking Shell to Sea campaigners during another protest near the site where the women were arrested.  Alongside this there are clear indications of a dirty tricks campaign being waged by the Garda Press Office. The fact that Garda from the same division felt confident attacking the friends of the women only hours after the so called investigation had been announced by the Garda Press office demonstrates exactly how serious they expected such an investigation to be.  These actions confirm that the  rape threat as an interrogation method discussion captured on the video is not simply an issue of the Garda directly involved on the video but indicative of the brutal nature of policing in the area where individual Garda continue to expect to have a free hand in attacking campaigners.

The Belfast Royal Irish Regiment parade should be opposed

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This week Belfast City Council approved a homecoming parade for the Royal Irish Regiment and Irish Guards from Afghanistan. The motion was backed by the DUP, UUP and Alliance parties, but opposed by the SDLP and Sinn Fein. The final vote was 26 to 20. Smaller parades will also take place in Lisburn and Enniskillen.

Belmullet: Protest to be held outside Belmullet Garda Station on Saturday

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A protest will be held on Saturday, April 9th 2011 outside Belmullet Garda station, Co. Mayo at 2pm. Shell to Sea are inviting people to join this demonstration in support of all the women and men who have been harassed, threatened and intimidated by Gardaí, especially in light of the recently documented comments about the deportation and rape of two female Shell to Sea campaigners. This is not the first example of Garda intimidation and threats against campaigners in Erris. The recording is a glimpse of the reality of intimidation and violence that has dominated community life since Shell's arrival in Co. Mayo.

Garda behavior at Shell protests needs a independent international inquiry not internal investigation

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Shell to Sea held a well attended press conference today at which it was highlighted that the video recording of Garda discussing using rape threats as part of an interrogation was symptomatic of the policing of the entire Shell Corrib project. Local resident John Monaghan revealed that another Garda sergeant made abusive sexual remarks to him at a previous protest. ULA TD Joe Higgins added his support to the Shell to Sea demand for an independent international inquiry into both the behavior of Garda and of the controversial private security company IRMS at the Corrib protests over the last decade.

And Portugal Makes Three - looks for ECB\IMF bailout

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Yesterday the acting prime minister of Portugal finally threw in the towel and declared the need for an ECB\IMF rescue of the kind that Greece and Ireland already succumbed to last year. So Portugal becomes the third Eurozone country to be press-ganged into the Bailout Brigade.

At the time of Ireland's fall into the clutches of direct rule from Frankfurt, the common consensus was that Portugal would follow not long after. That it has taken until the beginning of April for the inevitable to happen is testament to the desperate struggle of the then Prime Minister José Sócrates to stave off this fate.

The North’s richest getting richer

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Despite the rest of us struggling to pay off the bills, poverty wages and coping with increased living costs or being flung on the dole the so-called great and good in our society the wealthiest have never had it so good. Top of the list in the wee north is Eddie Haughey who has a combined wealth of 340 million.

Not getting the context of the Corrib gardai rape tape remarks

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An editorial in Thursday's Irish Times titled "Loose talk or malice?" accepted the interpretation that the Gardai recorded on the Corrib video were simply making a private joke about rape. The editorial found that unacceptable but less serious then previous "corrupt and illegal actions by a small number of its members." The attitude of the Irish Times that all that is at issue is some off colour joking has been reflected by other commentators. Some like Kevin Myers can be dismissed as pro-Shell loons but others who have taken this line seem genuine and therefore must not have given much thought to the context these remarks were made in. The context being both the circumstances these particular women found themselves in (in the power of the Garda concerned) and the general pattern of Garda repression of protest around the Corrib project.

Dail protest at Garda rape threat audio

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A couple of hundred people turned out in the sunshine this afternoon to show solidarity with the women who are spoken about in the Garda rape comment audio which was released earlier this week. The message of todays event, which was organised by an ad hoc group of organisations and individuals concerned with justice, equality, and women's and human rights under the heading 'Say no to the trivialisation of rape', was that rape is not a joke. Organiser Susan Ms McKay from the National Women's Council said: "Jokes about rape are never funny. Rape is recognised in law as being second only to murder in terms of gravity. An Garda Síochána are responsible for upholding the law and for protecting the public. Their behaviour must be exemplary, and they must respect the people they serve. That includes women. We are half the population, and we are the majority of the population at risk when it comes to crimes of sexual violence."

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