National

Household Tax- planning to win - democracy is the key

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The National Conference of the Campaign Against the Household and Water Taxes in May made some key decisions. The ultimate objective of our campaign should be to ensure that everyone who gets involved in it can have an equal input into our decision-making. This will make for a more democratic and far more efficient Campaign which large numbers of people will feel direct ownership of. That will mean a far stronger Campaign and one capable of winning.  On Saturday we distributed this text which explains the case for direct democracy as a leaflet to those attending the conference.

Shell to Sea release detailed report revealing Garda Ombudsman spin & misinformation

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Shell to Sea have released a very detailed report into the GSOC 'investigation' of the Garda at the center of the 'Corrib Cops Rape Tape' which first came to public attention one year ago today.  The report reveals that the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) engaged in spin and misinformation that misled the public over the Corrib ‘rape’ recording incident of March 2011 and undermined the case against Gardaí.  The report details GSOC’s attempts to serve the interests of An Garda Síochána by undermining the women who made the recording public, while deflecting attention from the behaviour of Gardaí.  The document was prepared by Shell to Sea with one of the women about whom the ‘rape’ comments were made and seven academics at NUI Maynooth.  It has been made available online as a PDF and we are republishing it here.

What YOU can do in your local Household tax campaign group to make it more effective

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Local Participation - Get involved with your local campaign group, ensure that it meets up regularly and that decisions are made democratically and through discussion, so that people really have a sense of ownership of the campaign. This method of organising actually encourages participation, as people being asked to carry out tasks such as leafleting through an email or text message is disempowering and feels much like being given orders as opposed to a group of people working towards a common goal to benefit themselves.

How the DEIS cuts were reversed in primary schools

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Following his announcement that many of his proposed cuts to teacher numbers in schools serving areas of social disadvantage (“DEIS schools”) are to be reversed, Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairi Quinn, has admitted that protests work and that he made the decision because of the huge protests faced by himself and his colleagues on the government backbenches. “[I]n relation to the area where all the pressure was coming from and all the protests was [sic] coming from …. I reflected on the impact on those schools…. and I reversed that decision,” he said.

Household tax & Water Tax must be defeated

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WSM policy in opposition to the Household & Water Tax and how we think the campaign in opposition to it must be built.

Your rights when stopped and/or arrested by a garda

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This is a useful guide written by a barrister for Shell to Sea on what your rights are when stopped, and / or arrested by Garda.  Garda seeking information or to frighten you will often mislead you as to what your rights are, its a good idea to have a basic understanding so that they quickly understand such methods are unlikely to work.

Occupy the Crisis - how the WSM sees the Occupy Movement & the current phase of the crisis

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It is becoming very clear is that there is no national solution to the crisis, even at the level of seizing the wealth of the 1% who live in Ireland. The debt is now too colossal and, in any case, the 1% have been given the needed time to move much of their liquid assets out of the country. The recent payment of a billion dollars in unsecured debt to those who gambled on Anglo is one of the final steps in that process. Confiscation of what they cannot move continues to be needed but there is no longer a radical social democratic solution based on taxing the wealth of the domestic 1%.

An introduction to the crisis in Ireland - causes and potential conflicts

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Something entirely unexpected has happened in Ireland - history has gone into reverse. While North Africa, Egypt and the Middle East are struggling to shake of the shackles of neo-colonial dictatorships, Ireland after the Celtic tiger finds itself back in a situation of direct rule. This time not from London, but from the head quarters of the European Central Bank in Frankfurt and the European Commission in Brussels. A state which it now shares with it’s fellow PIGs, Portugal and Greece. For most of the last 60 years we have been told that liberal history went in one direction, from dictatorship and colonial rule to liberal democracy. This picture no longer fits the new status of the PIGs within the European project.

Using the Organiser Model to Beat the Household Tax

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The new year brings a new tax from the Irish government and a new fight in the shape of the campaign against this household tax.  Although we have beaten such taxes in the past, past victories are no guarantee of future success. In the light of the current low level of organisation and self-confidence amongst our class, we need to re-assess our methods of organisation if we aim to achieve the levels of mass participation needed for a victory. The argument of this article is that the existing traditional models of building local campaigns are not sufficient to the task and that we need to look to a new model of organising - the organiser model.

The Famine, the Land War & 19th Century Resistance- why is it not happening today

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Over the past three years Ireland has witnessed unprecedented austerity. An aspect that has surprised many people has been the limited and at best sporadic resistance to what has been a savage cut in people’s standards of living. Politicians and the media have on many occasions relished the fact that resistance has been largely ineffectual and isolated, while many left wing activists have been left questioning why most people seem willing to take so much pain.

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