International

Climate Change Talks 2017 - What is COP23?

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Thousands of people have converged on Bonn, Germany, for COP23, the annual United Nations summit on climate change. What is COP 23 and why should we care?

Climate change is a global crisis like nothing humans have seen before. COP23 stands for the 23rd ‘Conference of the Parties’, the 23rd in a series of similar climate talks. This happens within the UNFCCC or ‘UN Framework Convention on Climate Change’ - basically the UNFCCC is a plan and legal framework to seriously deal with climate change as a global society. The UNFCCC was agreed in 1992 in Brazil and has been built upon each year. It came over 30 years after climate change was given serious international political treatment by the UN in 1961 [1]. The well-known ‘Kyoto Protocol’ was agreed in 1997 at a UNFCCC summit.

Audio - Anti-fascism in the age of Trump: A panel of US anarchists speak in Dublin

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Nazis, white-supremacists, “Identitarians”, and other fascists are organising, becoming more emboldened to attack members of our communities and spread hate speech online, in the media and on our streets. In the US, the election of Donald Trump has been heralded as a victory by right-wing reactionaries and racists around the world. [Audio]

Democracy - The Art of Re-making Society

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David Graeber’s excellent insider account of the occupation of Wall Street [1] offers us an insight into what form the politics of resistance needs to take. It will be dual purpose, having to both build resistance and also build anew. It will be about renewal, hope and learning. Crucially, how you build resistance will inform and shape what is to follow. It will entail democracy being built from ground zero.
 
During Occupy wall street there was a electric hum that came from that community. People were actively engaged on a social level, face to face discussions everywhere attempting to make it an active space for direct democracy. In that electricity of building community, ideas flourished, principles were applied, democracy was direct and actions flowed from the place where decisions were reached, collectively. In short, politics has to became about the remaking of society.[2] What is society if it is not about people? It can only be rebuilt by people; people meeting, planning, discussing, deciding and acting together.

Sojourner Truth - AIN'T I A WOMAN? - address to 1851 Women's Convention in Ohio

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This is the address given by Sojourner Truth to the US Womens Convention in Akron, Ohio most often known as Ain't I A Woman.  Sojourner was born into slavery in New York state and after gaining her freedom through escape in 1826 she became an anti-slavery organiser and speaker as well as a womens rights activist.  The brief speech which linked her race & gender can be considered a very early example of what is now called Intersectionality. This Womens Convention was one of a number held in Ohio in this period demanding rights for women producing a 'Declaration of Rights and Sentiments' signed by 100 women.

"Well, children, where there is so much racket there must be something out of kilter. I think that 'twixt the negroes of the South and the women at the North, all talking about rights, the white men will be in a fix pretty soon. But what's all this here talking about?

Dublin protest against police repression of Catalan referendum - video

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Following on the attacks by the Spanish police on the Catalan referendum there was a solidarity protest called in Dublin at short notice with well over 100 people attending. [Video]

 

The text below was read out from Alfred, CUP activist and member of the cooperative social centre LA BAULA. 

Catalonia anarchists - We choose to fight. - On October 3rd, everyone on general strike

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Unions, organizations and groups that sign this call want to let all the working and popular classes know our stance on the different events that have taken place during the last days on the streets in our cities and towns.

For some years we have witnessed how the rise in tension in a – already historical – conflict has been taken advantage of to cut back the fundamental rights of the people. We come from a strong political and syndical tradition that has historically stood up for the rights and the freedom of the oppressed class and has also taken the streets whenever it has been necessary in order to grab from those in power everything we need to become protagonists in our present and future.

Pro Life is a Lie - dismantling the anti-choice spin

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When pro-choice militants argue that their struggle is the continuation of a historical fight against the oppression of women, they are met with a pro-life movement which attempts to symmetrically paint itself as fighting for the rights of ‘‘the unborn child’’, a category which would otherwise remain defenseless and be sentenced to life or death by their bearers.

But both sides are far from holding symmetrical views. For one thing, while people who can get pregnant initiated the pro-choice movement, there is no doubt embryos didn’t start the pro-life movement. No pro-life advocate would deny this trivial statement, if anything they would use the voicelessness of “the unborn” as an argument to emphasise the unfair nature of abortion rights.

While it is easy to understand why one group would be motivated to fight for their own interests, explaining why a group would me motivated to fight on behalf of another group is not as straightforward. Pro-life advocates would have us believe that they are fighting for the “unborn child” first and foremost out of a strong sense of empathy and out of an unremitting commitment to defend the human right to life. The problem is that this is demonstrably untrue. Far from being satisfying explanations, empathy and adhesion to moral principles don’t even qualify as partial explanations for the commitment of pro-life advocates.

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"

Wage theft defeated by solidarity in Sydney

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An Irish anarchist reports from recent victory in Sydney against wage theft in the hospitality industry. The Sydney Solidarity Network was formed a number of years ago along the lines of the Seattle Solidarity Network.

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?

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