Opinion

The opinion of a WSM member. This piece has not been reviewed by any WSM editing body

The pro-choice & feminist movement in Greece with relevance to Ireland

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The legal right for abortion in Greece was established in 1986. Trying to find more info about this time and by digging into Greek feminist history, I bumped into that article about feminists and their struggles. I came out of my research feeling positive and empowered. Sometimes, when people get involved in struggles to bring about change, they forget that things don’t really change that easily. The articles I found made clear that that abortion rights were achieved in law only after years of women’s struggles. The same holds true in Greece, not only for abortion rights but for contraception and divorce rights. It is difficult now to imagine that only 31 years ago people were fighting for these basic rights.

Image banner says: "Get the laws off our bodies"

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.

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. 

We will march for choice. Will you?

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Ask yourself a question.

A relative, a friend, a neighbour, a co-worker or a stranger on a bus says to you that they were pregnant but exercised their right to choose and secured a termination. Would you then imprison them for 14 years? If you wouldn’t jail someone for exercising their right to choose, would you want to be associated in any way with their jailors?

If the answer to the above is ‘no’, then you might consider joining the 6th Annual March for Choice will take place in Dublin this Saturday, 30th September. We anarchists of the Workers Solidarity Movement will be assembling with thousands of other pro-choice people at the Garden of Remembrance on Parnell Square from 1.30pm, before we march on Dáil Éireann at 2pm.

George Hook, Leo and the place of women in patriarchal-capitalist Ireland

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Over the last few days we’ve been given a couple of direct insights into the minds of our political elite, in particular in relation to how women are to be viewed in modern Ireland. On his daily talk show last Friday, rugby pundit, and right-wing mouth piece George Hook went on a three minute tirade, moralising about rape of a young woman in the UK. The outcome of his spiel: blaming a rape victim for being assaulted while unconscious.

Looking back at 2016 March for Choice and forward to 30 Sept

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As it’s been almost a year since March for Choice 2016, I decided to reflect on what was to be the first of many protests against the State over my right to choose.

Without much luck considering the weather and bus strike circumstances, it was a wonderful day to be among the 25,000 that marched the streets of Dublin on a rainy Saturday afternoon in September. There was a certain atmosphere that was indescribable, among the thousands of flags, posters, chants, smiles, flares, megaphones and umbrellas it was day that I will never forget. On a National level the March for Choice was something much needed in the media to refocus attention on repealing the Eighth Amendment. With Pro-Life campaigns in full swing, between leaflets at churches and canvassers at my door, a show of strength - of young people like me mobilising, was needed to make it very clear that they are the receding tide.

Post Charlottesville: Freedom of Speech and Expression

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I think we can all admit that the last year has been hectic, a man-baby reality TV star has nuclear launch codes and I’ve found myself having arguments with people that I never could have imagined having before. And in the past few weeks I’ve actually had to argue why letting Nazis, actual Nazis, organise is a bad thing. And it’s the same reply every single time, because free speech and free expression.

Because we all have the right to express any idea in the marketplace of ideas and if we can defend our position, argue well and appeal to the nobility of human reason - we will be heard. So if we all agree that the ideology behind fascism is repugnant, then why has it persisted and indeed, grown in the months following Trump’s election?

Wealth transforms class interests - the example of Conor McGregor

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It’s not everyday you get to watch two multimillionaires knocking the shite out of each other but tonight it’s going down. One of them is Irish to boot, Conor McGregor is probably already worth over 50 million, if the fight goes ahead he is thought to be gaining at least another 75 million.

This puts McGregor firmly in the capitalist class, 50 million invested anyway smartly should be bringing in at least 3 million a year off other people’s labour - very much more than enough to comfortably live off. We know he is doing this as he set up his own investment company in 2016, Congregor Investments Ltd.

Dublin Brothel Pickets - Stigma is Not the Solution

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Why have there been pickets outside massage parlours on Dorset St? Do they really pose any danger? Do these protests help those who work there, or actually make them more afraid and isolated? Watch the video below.


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