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Savita was one of us - we owe her our Yes to Repeal this Friday

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At the start of the referendum campaign in March, I took this photograph showing the poster image of Savita, who died because of the 8th amendment, and in the background a huge billboard with a CGI / cartoon of what is meant to be an 11 week old foetus.  Both have the common slogan ‘one of us’ - the photograph invites us to consider if the life of this 31-year-old woman of colour, who was denied a life-saving abortion, really has the same value as an anonymous and unknown 11-week-old foetus.

This is the question we will be voting on this Friday, indeed beyond that we are voting on whether a doctor who gives a life-saving abortion in a Savita-like case should have the threat of a 14-year jail sentence hanging over them - as the 2013 law lays down - whether any of the hundreds of pregnant people taking abortion pills at home in Ireland should be doing so under the risk of that 14-year sentence.  That is the law as it stands - to change it, the 8th must be repealed.

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Dail vote today - Abortion choices - Plane ticket or prison

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12th June saw the publication of the The Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill 2013 on which the Dail votes this evening. In this piece of legislation, it states,

  1. "It shall be an offence to intentionally destroy unborn human life"

  1. "A person who is guilty of an offence under this section shall be liable on indictment to a fine or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 14 years, or both."

Tear Gas & Twitter in Taksim - an anarchist eyewitness analysis from Gezi Park, Istanbul

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Tear gas is a very good place to start trying to understand what is happening in Turkey.  The main purpose of tear gas is to terrorise and thus break up large crowds of people.  In Istanbul over the last weeks huge quantities have been used over and over to prevent large anti-government demonstrations developing. This wasn't about 'riot control' - generally there was no riot to control.  In this piece I'm going to put the Gezi park revolt in the context of the cycle of struggles that began in 2010 and of the specific economic, politcal and historical situation of the Turkish republic to try and draw out the lessons for all of us fighting global capitalism.

Anger explodes at Youth Defense anti-choice posters targeting women - video shows paint thrown over posters

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A video being circulated on the internet shows Youth Defense anti-choice posters being sprayed with paint.  Over the last month more and more bill boards from the anti-women anti-choice organisation Youth Defense have been appearing all over Dublin. It appears they have spent hundreds of thousands of euro in their latest campaign targeting women who have had abortions. In the last days we have seen or been sent photos of their posters that have been altered all over the city and just now we received notification of the video below which shows several of these sites being covered with paint or torn down.

ICTU can't be trusted to organise a general strike

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Tens of thousands will take part in today's ICTU demonstration in Dublin but the demonstration is seen by ICTU’s leaders as yet another one-off protest, another ‘letting-off-steam’ exercise, a trek around town from A to B to listen to speeches from the same people that have misled us to this position and then go home and get ready to vote for Labour in the forthcoming election.  Far from ‘standing idly by’ they are actively working to demobilise opposition to the government.   Against this we need to use today's protest as the starting point for the conversation about what we’re going to replace the current rotten mess with and as the first block in building for the general strike that we need to bring that about.

Stonewall Rebellion: How it all began:

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Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Pride Celebrations have recently been seen all over the world, as a celebration of sexual diversity. It's worth remembering the history of Pride celebrations, of their origin in a homophobic and repressive culture, and their challenge to a world that refused to recognise sexual freedom. In this article, Paul McAndrew discusses the origins of Pride as a moment when the queer community in New York stood up and fought to be proud of their sexualities.

A history of the struggle for abortion rights in Ireland

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A detailed history with photos of pro-choice struggles in Ireland from the 1980's to 2007 and the involvement of Irish anarchist in those struggles. Includes the 1983 referendum (and those in 1986, 1992 & 1995) as well as the X-Case, the D-case and the Women on Waves ship. Written by a participant in almost all (if not all) of the events described.

IMAGE: DAIC picket at Dail with the then illegal abortion information number

34 Frederick street occupied by housing campaigners - popes visit protested by women only day

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After an injunction was obtained against the occupiers of the evicted house on Summerhill they vacated it only to march to another vacant house at 34 Fredrick street and occupy that.  At the time of writing an injunction has again been granted but this time the occupiers have said if there is sufficient support they intend to remain in occupation.  Since lunchtime today when the injunction came into effect dozens of people have been on the pavement outside the occupation.

As the occupation of 34 North Frederick St. passed the week mark, those occupying on Saturday 25th August were made up exclusively of women and children. This was a deliberate action in response to the visit of Pope Francis to Dublin.

Tens of thousands take part in Pride in Dublin on 25th anniversary of decriminalisation

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60,000 people marched as part of Pride this year in Dublin according to the organisers. This would make it  the largest to date, this year was also significant as it was marking 25 years since the 1993 decriminalisation of sex between men. 

25 years after the government finally removed the 10 year jail sentence for sex between men the Irish army marched near the front of parade, with many in the army band wearing rainbow angel wings.  There was one lone counter protester marching along the route 100m ahead of Pride with a cornflakes box on the end of a umbrella.   He had stuck a religious icon and the slogan ‘Sodomy is Sexual Abuse’ on the side of the box! While that was pretty laughable we do not forget that on the eve of the pride there were homophobic attacks in Dublin and Laois so we have a lot to fight for even if Pride today can  feel more like a corporate sponsored carnival than a protest. 

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