News

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!

Housing is a Human Right march attracts thousands

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Saturday 7th April saw 3000 people take to the streets of Dublin for the Housing is a Human Right march. Some 10,000 people are in emergency accommodation, 3700 of them children.  Meanwhile landlords & property speculators pocket a massive portion of the wages of those who are working either via rent or if post 2000 'homeowners' through massive morgage payments.

Kildare turns out for Repeal

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There was a solid turnout at the TogetherforYes public information meeting in Newbridge Kildare the evening of 26th March. Great venue too. 

#TakeBackTrinity sees occupations spread across the college leading to abolition of resit fee

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14 March saw 40-50 students in Trinity College Dublin occupied the dining hall there to protest the introduction of a 450 euro fee for those who have to sit supplemental exams. Such a fee while trivial to wealthy students would be a major barrier to continuing their eduction to most. Having to work minimum wage jobs to earn it would reduce their chances of passing supplemental exams, further reducing meaningful access to 3rd level education.  After college locked them in a solidarity protest gathered on the steps which then occupied two further buildings.  The college realising that their attempts to repress the protests had backfired then changed track and tweeted that they agreed with the students and would seriously consider alternatives, a week or so later they announced the fee had been abolished.

Together for Yes launched to campaign for Yes vote in Repeal of 8th referendum

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There are times when you walk into a room, and you sense that this is the exact space that you should be, something special is about to take place. It was that way, when Solidarity Times attended the launch of the Together for Yes campaign in the Pillar Room of the Rotunda Hospital last Thursday [22nd of March]. The room was filling up fast and there was excited chatter in all quarters. You need a crowd, and progress and movements come from crowds assembled and pushing in a direction. Together for Yes, is as broad an alliance as I have ever witnessed for a campaign, and all the disparate groups where represented, covering a spectrum that ran from activists, feminists, anarchists, socialists, republicans, through to the most established of establishment political parties, Fianna Fail and Fine Gael included.

Together for Yes is a broad alliance, very broad because it unites all of the people who see this law for what it is, and the time has come to address it, by repealing it. This is issue which has blighted this island, and will continue to do so, even after we win the vote to repeal the 8th amendment, as we cannot forget about the active denial of reproductive rights that exists in Norther Ireland. But in the room last Thursday, the atmosphere crackled with static, there was anticipation to get this started, to enact the campaign, and to repeal the 8th amendment, to move towards free safe medical reproductive care for people in the republic of Ireland.

Anti-fascists defeats Spencer and the TWP

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You may remember a few months back the liberal left claiming that physically confronting fascists would just make them stronger. Well turns out they were wrong, US fascist Richard Spencer, famous for getting punched, has just surrendered and called off the attempt to continue his college speaking tour.

Kilkenny referendum campaign is on!

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On this 8th of March, as part of International Women’s Day, the group Kilkenny for Choice launched its campaign for the upcoming referendum on the 8th amendment of the constitution which currently stands in the way of decriminalising abortion in Ireland.

Early in the afternoon, members of the group set up a stall on the castle parade and were soon joined by workers from local animation studios who had crafted a series of posters and cardboard word bubbles in support of the pro choice campaign. It is always great to see how much can be achieved in a short amount of time when a number of dedicated and talented people get together to promote a cause. The delightful variety of handmade visuals sharply contrasts with the slick, uniform, mass produced imagery of the pro-life campaign.

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