National

Extending The Debt: The Great 'Promnight' Swindle

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Sometimes you can walk around this city and feel like you are the last sane person left on the island.  On the front page of every single newspaper the spin doctors have gone into their highest setting possible with the great news that we’ve buried the rotten corpse of Anglo Irish bank which had been stinking up the whole economy for years now.   We’d cut ourselves away from this horrible thing, we no longer had to pay out this awful promissory note for a staggering amount of €3.1 billion every year.  We were now going to just liquidate the rottenest bank of all time, transfer it over to the men in black (NAMA) and the plan then was to pay interest only on this astronomical debt (€40 Billion) until 2038.
 

Authoritarianism and the early Irish State

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Fin Dwyer looks at the latter years of Ireland’s first post independence government, which having successfully suppressed political opposition and the workers’ movement, went on to “attack women and enforce their moral and ethical values on wider society”. From the clearing of prostitutes from the Monto and the filling of the Magdalene laundries to the institutionalisation of child abuse, he describes how the state’s close association with the Catholic Church played a decisive role in forming attitudes to women and sex that have had a devastating effect on Irish society that can still be felt today.

20 years of inaction on abortion access - now a tragedy

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There are some stories that are hard to cover - the death of Savita Halappanavar, a pregnant women, from septicemia whose life might have been saved if an abortion was not delayed is a hard as they come. According to the Irish Times Praveen Halappanavar, the husband of Savita said she had asked for a termination several times over a three day period only to be told "this is a catholic country."

For years we were aware that the failure of successive governments to legislate could result in a tragedy but when the first reports started to circulate that this had happened we were horrified. How did we come to this point?

100's of women have medical abortions in republic but what of those who can't?

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Anti-choice bigots are going into a frenzy to try and prevent the Irish government legislating for abortion provision in the republic as required by the X and C judgements. But they are ignoring the reality that 1000 plus women are already obtaining abortions in the republic every year and are simply making that decision for themselves. The bigots 'keep Ireland abortion free' crusade was fake even before the opening of Marie Stopes in Belfast, the false slogan is presumably designed to fool the US donors whose donations the bigots salaries and offices depend on. But it is having tragic consequences for women in Ireland as those unable to access abortion pills are left without access to abortion.

The Croke Park Agreement – the very antithesis of Larkin’s trade unionism

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Next year, 2013, will mark the 100th anniversary of what many see as the most significant industrial dispute ever to have taken place in Ireland - the Dublin Lockout.  The employers of Dublin, led by William Martin Murphy, locked out over 20,000 workers in an attempt to starve them into submission and to smash the increasingly popular Irish Transport and General Workers Union (ITGWU).

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.

Single Issue Campaigns, Community Syndicalism & Direct Democracy

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There’s been a lot of talk lately about participatory and direct democracy. Renewed interest in alternative forms of organising society has arisen from increasing dissatisfaction with mainstream politics and the domination of the economy by a few corporations. This dissatisfaction has found its expression in the Arab spring, the May 15th movement in Spain and the Occupy movement in the English-speaking world. Where the anti-capitalist movement of the last decade focussed almost exclusively on the power of the corporations and finance capital, this current tendency is to also focus on politics and the state. 

Torture, Murder & Exclusion: Ireland’s first 10 years of Independence

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The 1916 proclamation, the manifesto of the 1916 rebels, states: “The Republic guarantees religious and civil liberty, equal rights and equal opportunities to all its citizens, and declares its resolve to pursue the happiness and prosperity of the whole nation and of all its parts, cherishing all the children of the nation equally, and oblivious of the differences carefully fostered by an alien government, which have divided a minority from the majority in the past.” 

These noble aspirations would become almost a bible of Irish Republican ideals and within six years, after the end of the War of Independence in 1922, a section of that movement had a chance to implement these ideals. However the society established after the war of independence “The Irish Free State” was a pale shadow of even the most modest interpretation of this document. Civil liberties were almost non existent, citizens were not equal, with women becoming second class while the poor were plunged further into destitution.

My Life in Politics: Women Speak - DABF2012 Audio

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This session at the 2012 Dublin Anarchist Bookfair was held in memory of Sue Richardson, a Dublin anarchist who was a friend to many of the bookfair organizers and who had died earlier in the year. The panel was women speaking of their experiences as activists and consisted of.

Reposted 8th March 2013 to mark International Women's Day

Resisting Austerity - Beyond the Ballot Box of the Fiscal Compact Treaty

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On the 31st May, the Irish people will be asked to vote in a referendum on the Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance in the Economic and Monetary Union, commonly known as the Fiscal Compact Treaty. The YES side in the campaign argue that this is necessary in order to maintain stability across the EU, and the NO side argue that this treaty represents an enshrinement and continuation of the austerity we have faced since 2008. However, both sides, either through ignorance, cynicism or malice, portray the limitations of people's agency and power as the ticking of a box on a piece of paper.

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