Conor McLoughlin

Biotechnology - confusion, fear and protest

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On the 26th of June 2000 researchers announced that they had finally created a rough map of the human genome - almost 3 billion DNA letters. In December 2000 British MPs voted to allow scientists to collect cells from human embryos and to substitute a nuclei from an adult cell into embryo cells for research purposes. These sorts of developments leave many people confused and frightened. The BSE, and Foot and Mouth, crises have left people wondering are scientists and governments to be trusted in these areas. There has been a consumer revolt against Genetically Altered foods and activists have rushed to pull up genetically altered crops. So what's all this about? Is it any use to anyone or just another example of big science and big business going mad at our expense?

Incorporation of struggle - A Spoonful of Sugar

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Why is it that many single issue campaigns and community groups which start out with a radical program soon end up as little more than service groups? Conor Mc Loughlin, an activist of the now defunct Portobello Unemployed Action Group investigates.

Is Equal Pay Possible?

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You thought that equal pay had been sorted years ago? Well, according to the United Nations, women and girls do two thirds of the world’s work for 5% of the income. Of the world’s 550 million working poor, those unable to lift themselves and their families above the $1 per day threshold, 330 million, or 60%, are women.

A woman's work is never done

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I am going to look generally at the issue of woman’s work. Initially a very quick survey of the global position – then some more specific stuff on wage differentials, house work, work conditions, child care in Europe and Ireland with some possible suggestions for some points for our new program maybe to be incorporated into a general section on work.

Argentina - assemblies, occupied factories and Piquettes- a living laboratory of struggle

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On Sunday May 18th Argentineans went to the polls and elected Nestor Kirchner - widely considered a puppet of the former populist president Eduado Duhalde. Yet on December 19/20th 2001 Argentineans "churned through 3 presidents in a row" as thousands poured into the streets. Their slogan: "que se vayan todos" (everyone must go). Yet quite clearly "everyone", in the shape of an old school populist president, is back. This begs two questions. Firstly how did such a formidable protest/popular movement evolve, and secondly where is it now?

Review: 'Open Borders: The case against immigration controls'

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Most mainstream groups eventually come down clearly in favour of immigration controls and deportations, though arguing for "generosity." This book takes a position that so far has only won over a small but growing minority and argues for the immediate ending of all border controls.

Open Borders: The case against immigration controls
by Teresa Hayter (Pluto Press 2000)
reviewed by Conor McLoughlin

Direct action, violence & that fence at Shannon airport

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One of the most interesting arguments from within and, interestingly from without, the growing anti-war movement is on the use of violence. Typically, the argument takes this form: anti-war protests are peace protests, therefor they must be peaceful. Further, these self-appointed arbitrators within and without the movement have extremely tight definitions of what is and what isn't peaceful.

Max Stirner and anarchism

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Max Stirner was an obscure prophet of individualism living in nineteenth century Germany. many anarchists today including anarcho communists also consider themselves Stirnerists and a Stirnerist tradition lives on in places like Glasgow. Conor Mc Loughlin examines some of Stirner's ideas.

Irish councils on the run over bin tax

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Dún Laoghaire Rathdown

This Summer 60,000 or so householders in Dun Laoghaire Rathdown received instalment two of their bin bill. Inside in bright red ink it declared "It is intended to replace the traditional refuse collection method with a wheeled bin refuse collection to be introduced on a phased basis from September 2000. Wheeled bins will only be allocated to those householders who have a clear account"

Campaign against Bin Tax off to a good start

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In December 1996, following a two-and-a-half year long campaign of people power, the then government was forced to abolish water and sewerage charges throughout the State. The principal argument against these charges had been that they were a form of double taxation on ordinary workers, already shouldering an unfair proportion of the tax bill through PAYE income tax and indirect taxation.

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