The Left

Saoradh, Irish republicanism and the politics of Unfinished Revolution

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The launch of Saoradh in the Canal Court Hotel in Newry is the latest republican project to have emerged but is it a fresh departure a break from past mistakes or just simply a re-packaged version of the pre ceasefire Provies?

Since its inception, Saoradh has faced increasing state repression on both sides of the border as it has attempted to establish itself. Many will look upon this crackdown as evidence of a real threat to the status-quo and therefore acclaim the revolutionary potential of Saoradhs’ version of republicanism, confusing revolution with the reality that the state will always repress those who they perceive question their monopoly over violence.

Radical bookfair to be held in Derry 28th January

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This coming January in Derry, activists will be holding its first evert Radical Bookfair. In a statement on their web page organisers said: On Saturday 28th January 2017 the first ever Derry Radical Bookfair will take place in Pilots Row Community Centre, Rossville Street, Derry, BT48 6LP.

The event takes place on one of the busiest days of the political calendar in the city which is during the Bloody Sunday week of events. Each year the same venue itself hosts the annual Bloody Sunday events such as talks, films and discussions around contemporary social justice issues.

Report on “Kurdish Resistance in Turkey and Syria” meeting (November 2016)

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About 50 people gathered in the Teacher’s Club on Monday evening for a public meeting organised by Rojava Calling.

Speaking at the meeting were Faysal Sariyildiz, People’s Democratic Party (HDP) MP in Turkey, and Calvin James, a Dublin born DJ and activist who spent 6 months as a volunteer medic in northern Syria in 2016. Faysal joined the meeting by Skype from Brussels as the Turkish state recently cancelled his passport.

Revolution in Rojava reading group

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A very significant book on the Rojava revolution has just been published. It's called Revolution in 'Rojava: Democratic Autonomy and Women's Liberation in Syrian Kurdistan' and provides a detailed account of the structures of the revolution, social, economic, legal and military. We've found it so useful that we are not only encouraging others to read it but are going to hold a series of three reading groups so we can talk about what is happening and what relevancy it has as an example to those of us in Ireland.

The book is summarised as "A new kind of society is being built in Syria, but it's not one you would expect. Surrounded by deadly bands of ISIS and hostile Turkish forces, the people living in Syria's Rojava cantons are carving out one of the most radically progressive societies on the planet today. Western visitors have been astounded by the success of their project, a communally organised democracy which considers women's equality indispensable and rejects reactionary nationalist ideology whilst being fiercely anti-capitalist. The people of Rojava call their new system democratic confederalism. An implementation of the recent ideology of the imprisoned Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan, it boasts gender quotas of 40 percent, bottom-up democratic structures, deep-reaching ecological policies and a militancy which is keeping ISIS from the gates. Revolution in Rojava is the first full-length study of this ongoing social and political transformation in Syrian Kurdistan. It is the first authentic insight into the complex dimensions of the revolution. Its authors use their own experiences of working and fighting in the region to construct a picture of hope for Middle-Eastern politics and society, and reveal an extraordinary story of a battle against the odds."

Sein Fein rolls out red carpet for Zionist Likud Party delegation

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The rolling out of the red carpet by Sinn Féin to a delegation from the Zionist Likud Party Israel is a symptom of a corrupt political process built on protecting the privileges and power of the few.

Sinn Fein’s so-called ‘anti-imperialist’ credentials were put out in the dustbin the moment they became a firm pillar of the establishment and British rule. Not to mention their role in implementing a brutal austerity agenda that has inflicted devastation and misery in working class communities

What's the story with the pro-choice Graffiti around Belfast?

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Have you been noticing pro-choice graffiti around Belfast recently?  There has been a massive increase in the amount of political propaganda around Belfast the past few weeks, which has most likely been inspired by the recent criminalisation of a young woman for having an illegal abortion here; something that many women are forced to do.

Our reporter talked to some of the people involved.  
"It’s important to strike every blow we can against things as they stand, no matter how small the blow provided the outcome is bigger than the input.

We are constantly subjected to sexist advertising on billboards and outside shops and religious propaganda on buses, it is only right that we take back the city to display our demands, and our messages.

The roots of the 2016 rebellion in France

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Since the beginning of March there has been in France a strong protest movement against the El Khomri bill. This bill is supposed to be a complete reorganisation of our labour code. The law would encroach upon our established social rights and degrade our working conditions (increasing working hours, easier redundancy, weaker defences in case of conflict with an employer, etc).

Book Review: Kristin Ross Communal Luxury: The Political Imaginary of the Paris Commune

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Kristin Ross has written a beautiful, inspirational account of the life and afterlife of the Paris Commune and of the everyday communards who brought it to fruition.

“Communal Luxury” takes as its subject matter the Paris Commune of 1871, one of the single greatest advances toward a free society ever attempted in human history. The Commune arose in the course of a devastating war between France and Prussia (Germany), with the French army’s defeat prompting the collapse of the imperialist, authoritarian French regime. The people of Paris organised their own defence, bought their own cannons, and refused to hand said cannons over to the new French Republic. Instead, staging a worker-led insurrection, they declared Paris to be liberated from both the French and Prussian forces and set about constructing a free society, one in which all comers participated in decision-making and all wealth was shared in common. The Commune lasted some 72 days in the spring of 1871 before being brutally crushed by the reactionary forces of Nation, Church, State and Capital. Some 25,000 men, women, and children were executed.

 

Election 2016 - beyond the five year scratch ration

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Five years ago we all scratched bits of paper, and a new government was formed. Today, in 2016, with we are five years down the road, and here we are scratching more paper, and another new government will be formed. It may be different from the last one or it might be the same, but ultimately the policies will appear to be remarkably similar. To serve the economy above all others appears to be the top priority for all governments.

Labour Party - judge them on actions on power, not promises before the elections

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Here Labour come again, back on our doorsteps to test the waters, to see if we're still mad about the past 5 years of their governance, to find out if we can remember every attack they made against us, probably in the hope that there have been so many that maybe, just maybe, we'll only remember a few.  A party riddled with so much contempt and disdain for us that they genuinely believe they can convince us that things will be different this time. They bombard us with sentences along the lines of "You will get X, Y and Z with Labour in government".

Crudely, they tell us that one of the things we can expect from them is a referendum on the 8th amendment, with top-notch propaganda to go along with that promise, propaganda painting them as pro-woman and pro-choice. There is no propaganda effective enough to cover up the war that they have waged on women for the past 5 years.

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