August 2011

End Prison Torture march in Belfast

Date:

"End Prison Torture" echoed on the streets of West Belfast on Saturday in support of republican prisoners in Maghaberry. Despite a provocative security operation hundreds of people and three bands marched from Dunville Park on the Falls Road to Andersonstown to demand the rights and dignity of prisoners to be respected.

For the WSM's position on the North see our position paper and our topic pages on Republicanism andLoyalism.

Shankill commemorates International Brigade volunteers from Northern Ireland

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The Shankill library in Belfast hosted a successful meeting as part of the West Belfast Feile on the lives and contributions of working class people from the Falls and Shankill who fought against Fascism 75 years ago in the Spanish Civil War.

It is a living testimony to common class conflict coming to the fore, an often ignored part of our history which does not fit in with the narrative of a divided and segregated sectarian carve up which is the new era in the North.

Minister of justice once again refuses to release Brendan Lillis

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David Ford, Minister of Department for Injustice has once again refused to release long suffering prisoner Brendan Lillis on compassionate grounds to receive proper medical attention. Roisin Lynch, partner of Brendan, and representatives from Sinn Fein and SDLP met with the minister today to lobby for his release but have been rejected once again, despite a ground swell of popular support, protests and rallies.

"Crown Forces Watch" Facebook page shut down - police to have monopoly on spying

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A Facebook page scrutinizing PSNI harassment and operations has been forced to close down today due to a media frenzy and scaremongering from the police and politicians. The Facebook page Crown Forces Watch has dominated news headlines and radio shows this morning with the Chairman of the Police Federation Terry Spence claiming the site was ‘an attempt to gather information which is likely to be of use to terrorists which I am in no doubt will be used in attempts to target police officers for murder."

Roscommon Hospital closure – Politicans lie, the poor die.

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The recent closure of the Roscommon Hospital Accident and Emergency department goes to show, yet again, that the FG/Labour coalition is fully intent on following identical “slash and burn” policies to their much-loathed predecessors.  In an astonishingly overt show of contempt for the will of the electorate, as well as a demonstration of the pressure the IMF/ECB can bring to bear on our politicians, Kenny and co. have completely and utterly reneged on a promise they publicly made to the people of Roscommon just months ago. 

Waterford Gardai convicted of assault

Date:

 Three Gardai have been convicted in Waterford in the case of a man set upon and assaulted in the city centre. Anthony Holness was taking a piss in New street when he was set upon by the Gardai who beat him and arrested him. Garda Daniel Hickey and Sgt Martha McEnery were both convicted of assault whilst Garda John Burke was convicted of intending to pervert the course of justice, in his case by moving away the cctv cameras from recording the scene.

Fuel Poverty on the Rise

Date:

Northern Ireland suffers from some of the worst poverty in Western Europe according to a report produced by a consumer watchdog. The Price of being Poor released by the Consumer Council found that our wages are the lowest in the UK and those who have least are expected to pay more for essential good and services such as the use of transport and fuel poverty.

Organising against the household tax - You have a role to play

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Workers Solidarity Movement members are currently centrally involved in helping to establish a campaign against the new household tax announced by the government.  For this campaign to be successful it will have to be built at a local level in every area of Dublin and in every town and city around the country. The central plank of the campaign will be non-payment and it will be based on the successful anti-water charges campaign of the 1990s.

Eyewitness to the London riots - it's all about class

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Workers Solidarity interviewed Hackney local and education worker, Alex Carver, about the roots of the London riots. Alex is a long standing activist in the IWW union, housing struggles in the East End, and the big left events since the start of the recession, most recently the M26 Militant Workers Block and the J30 Strike project. He was a direct witness to the rioting on Monday. Here he tells Workers Solidarity why he thinks that the riots are best understood by loooking at class rather than race.

London burns - causes & consequences of the riots - an anarchist perspective

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The police killing of Mark Duggan resulted in four nights of rioting across England. The immediate trigger was the killing itself, and the disrespect shown by the police to Mark’s family and friends. But the riots rapidly broadened to expressions of a more general anger and alienation; an anger that was all too often unfocused and striking out at the nearest target of opportunity. This resulted in widespread destruction of resources in already deprived neighborhoods and some anti-social attacks on bystanders. Despite this, the roots of the riots lie in the economic and political conditions of these districts, and not in ‘poor parenting’ or ‘mindless criminality’. These conditions were created by the very politicians and business elite who now call for a return to normality and repression. [French translation]

(Image: By SkyFireXII via Flickr Creative Commons 2.0)

Iarnroid Eireann's discrimination against same sex couples is not new

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This weekend witnessed the shameful discrimination against a same sex couple when they attempted to use a travel pass at Hueston station in Dublin. The incident occured ironically enough as the couple concerned returned from a march demanding same sex marraige equality in Ireland. The scandal has been passed off by the hierarchy of Iarnroid Eireann as something of a one off incident and that the company has changed their ways.  In fact this policy has been in place since at least 2008.

Book-launch and Talk: Tommy McKearney's, ”The Provisional IRA from Insurrection to Parliament” Tuesday August 23rd 7:30pm @solidaritybooks

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On August 23rd Solidarity Books on Douglas St., Cork will host a booklaunch for the new book by Tommy McKearney, ”The Provisional IRA from Insurrection to Parliament.” Tommy McKearney was a senior member of the Provisional IRA from the early 1970s until his arrest in 1977. Sentenced to life imprisonment, he served 16 years during which time he participated in the 1980 hunger strike in the Maze. He is now a freelance journalist and an organizer with the Independent Workers Union.

Resist plans to close Belfast City A&E

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The cut-backs in essential public services continues unabated with plans by the Northern Ireland Health minister Edwin Poots to close the Belfast City A&E award by October. This is an attack not only on the staff but the entire community and should be treated as such.

Public sector unions to ballot on strike action to defend jobs, pay and conditions

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Up to ninety thousand public sector workers are to be balloted by the largest trade unions Unison and NIPSA on whether to take strike action to defend jobs, pay and conditions. Health and education workers will vote on the ballot between the 22nd August and 20 September as Unison regional secretary Patricia McKeown warns that essential services are facing "the biggest budget cuts in their history."

Londres brûle – causes et conséquences des émeutes, une perspective anarchiste

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Le meurtre de Mark Duggan par la police a engendré quatre nuits d’émeutes dans toute l’Angleterre. Le déclencheur immédiat en a été le meurtre lui-même, mais aussi la goujaterie de la police envers la famille et les amis de Mark. Cependant, les émeutes ont rapidement pris une dimension plus large, exprimant une colère et une aliénation plus générales, colère qui trop souvent a été mal ciblée, frappant les cibles les plus proches et à portée de main. Il y eut par conséquent de grandes destructions de biens, dans des quartiers déjà déshérités, et des attaques anti-sociales contre des riverains. Malgré ces aspects, les racines des émeutes résident dans les conditions économiques et politiques qui régissent ces zones, non pas dans la “piètre éducation” des parents ou dans la “criminalité aveugle”. Ces conditions ont été créées par cette même élite de politiciens et d’hommes d’affaire qui en appellent maintenant à un retour à la normalité et à la répression. [Thanks to liberationirlande for the translation of this article, you can read the orignal in English]

(Image: By SkyFireXII via Flickr Creative Commons 2.0)

Film Night: Debtocracy, Wednesday, August 24, 8pm @solidaritybooks

Date:

For the first time in Greece a documentary produced by the audience. Debtocracy seeks the causes of the debt crisis and proposes solutions, hidden by the government and the dominant media.

Brendan Lillis free at last

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The release of Brendan Lillis demonstrates the power of sustained protests and mobilisations on the streets, led by his courageous partner Roisin Lynch, and friends and families of other prisoners. Solidarity pickets and camps took place across Ireland and abroad including a three day hunger strike at the former Andersonstown barracks site in West Belfast, whcih involved a broad range of republican and human rights organisations including the WSM.

Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti - anarchist organisers murdered by the state

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Sacco and VanzettiOn August 23rd 1927, two Italian-born anarchists Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti were judicially murdered by the State of Massachusetts in the USA, having been framed for two murders they didn't commit. 

Leprechaun Leader and his goverment of the little people

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Recently an American friend was over buying tatty gifts for the folks back home. She asked me how did the Leprechaun look come about.  Who decided that they were all going to be short arsed red haired people?  It was a good question.  "Does anyone look like that anyway?" she said. Immediately our present prime minister sprang to mind.  

Noam Chomsky on student protest and why students should be anarchists

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In this interview with Noam Chomsky he reflects on the progress the left has made in the last 50 years particularly on university campuses.  He reaffirms his self-identification as an anarchist and calls on students in general to "challenge authorities and join a long anarchist tradition."  He was being interviewed by the German language publication ZEIT Campus.

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