News

Belfast activists canvass for Yes in Cavan

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With just under two weeks to the Repeal referendum pro-choice activists from Belfast travelled across the border to help canvass Cavan for Yes this weekend.

The bishops - no more credible on abortion than on divorce referendum

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In the week before the 1995 divorce referendum the catholic bishops put out a statement commanding their flock to vote No. The WSM reacted to this by putting up posters reading 'The bishops; They hid priests who raped children and now they want to lecture us about morals.." illustrated with a photograph of Father Brendan Smyth who had raped at least 143 children and whose religious order had hid these actions from the police. The enquiry had found that "..despite knowing his history of abusing children, the Norbertine religious order moved Smyth to different dioceses where he abused more children.."

The weirdness of the Save 8 roadshow in Newbridge

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"Oh, you're going to start quoting the pro-choice Irish Times are you?! Why don't you come over here and I'll give you some *real* statistics!".

Extremists on 'both sides'? Not really.

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If anyone says to you that 'there are extremists on both sides' in the referendum campaign, do be sure to point out that it's only the 'No' side that has the Far Right activists and the people with the big gory pictures that stand outside maternity care centres trying to harass and shame women.

The man in the pictures on the left is Justin Barrett, former leader of Youth Defence, and current leader of the anti-immigrant, homophobic, National Party.

The National Party wants 14 years imprisonment for women who access an abortion and the death penalty for doctors who provide abortions. Justin Barrett has attended neo-Nazi events in Germany and Italy in the past and his Far-Right party have been putting up posters around Ireland calling for a 'No' vote.

Dublin Mayday 2018 - at a hectic time it's a small gathering of the faithful

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The Dublin May Day march last night took place in miserable weather conditions, the parade was led off the Trade Union Repeal the 8th banners - Repeal was one of the march themes and copies of a newspaper aimed at trade unionists called Yes Repeal were also distributed.

Another Dublin May Day theme was working rights for migrants following the farcical new rules that supposedly give asylum seekers a right to work but which in practice few qualify under and which require too much paper work for employers to bother with for a 6 month contract.

Disgusting smear attempt by anti-choice FB page

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Perhaps out of frustration with their failure on last night's Late Late Show (Apr 27th), the anti-choice No campaigns have stooped to a disgusting new low today.  We've observed that they have been engaged in setting up apparently innocuous Facebook news pages and we presumed it was in connection with the referendum.  Today they changed the cover image of one of these pages to make it look like a Yes campaign page and then posted this disgusting post.

ICBR get the SPUC off treatment after they target LGBTQ spaces during Repeal referendum

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The afternoon of April 16th, outside Pantibar in Dublin, the so-called Irish Centre for Bioethical Reform staged an anti-abortion protest targeted at LGBT people in particular – planning to target well-known LGBTQ+ spaces Pantibar, Gay Community News, The George Bar, and Outhouse (LGBT community/resource centre), with a bespoke banner including a Pride rainbow flag.

The ICBR might be better known to people in Dublin as a small group of people who display large banners with graphic imagery of late-term abortions intended to shock and shame those have had abortions, who might have one someday, or who might defend a person’s right to make that decision. And, of course, those who have miscarried are collateral damage in the process.

Distrust politicians? - Vote for Repeal because we forced them to call the referendum, we are the rebellion

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One of the more bizarre elements of the pro-choice referendum in Ireland has been the attempt by anti-choice campaigners to portray themselves as rebels.  This while defending a 35 year old ban on abortion that was introduced to copper fasten the status quo back then.   This is providing something of an excuse however for some characters on the left (generally men) to adopt anti women positions on the basis that the 'establishment' is now backing change.  A couple of our members take this argument apart below.

Trusting politicians does not come easy - distrust comes far easier. In the fight for votes in the Repeal referendum the issue of distrusting politicians has been raised by the anti-choice side. Politicians do have poor track record, tending to leave a litany of broken promises in their wake. We all remember different promises broken - I remember the one about ‘ to protect the vulnerable’ when this battered ship sailed into the storm of austerity. In Ireland, even politicians say things like ‘you can’t trust politicians’. It as if by saying that they are exempting themselves from being politicians, and saying, you can trust us again.

Trust and distrust are flip sides of a coin. The answer you give frequently depends on this. Are you dancing? Who is asking? On the bottom of some No posters it says 'join the rebellion’. There is a gross twisting of the truth going on here. It can be compared with Darth Vader stretching out his gloved hand and asking you to join the rebellion. Essentially it is the empire of misogyny doing everything in its power to gain a single no vote. Their mind trick here is that if the Government want you to vote for something that you should vote the other way. It hinges on the inherent distrust factor.

Fascist Party Openly Campaigns as 'Abortion Never' to Keep 8th Amendment

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Seen any of these posters around recently? You may be interested to know they are a product of the 'Abortion Never' campaign, an initiative of the anti-immigrant, far-right National Party. The party is led by one Justin Barrett who is arguably best known for leading Youth Defence from the early nineties until 2004.

In the past he has attended several events hosted by the German NPD, a Neo-Nazi group, whose then deputy leader confirmed that the NPD was 'friendly' with Youth Defence. Italian fascist group 'Forza Nuovo' reported that Mr Barrett has also attended several of their events in the early 2000's.
Even after Mr Barrett's departure, Youth Defence still managed to grab the headlines though. In 2013, a Youth Defence billboard truck parked outside the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre carrying a billboard that read: "The abortion bill won't make women safer, it will just kill babies". The company who owned the truck refused to carry any more Youth Defence material after the wave of outrage that followed.

Solidarity Times is now only visible if you are in Ireland

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A few minutes ago we made Solidarity Times Facebook page invisible to people who are outside of Ireland. This post explains why we did this, but remember you can still see all the content by following our WSM Ireland page so don’t panic!

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