October 2011

LGBT: Celebration and Struggle

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June last saw another massive Pride in Dublin with approximately 25,000 people taking part. While Pride has very much become more of a social and commercial event since its early years in Dublin it also remains a strong political expression of the ongoing struggles against Queer oppression. There was also a thousands strong “March for Marriage” through Dublin on August 14th, organised by LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) Noise, which opposes civil partnership on the grounds that it does not provide similar rights to those of married heterosexual couples.

Work in capitalism & anarchism - Thinking About Anarchism - I Hate Mondays

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Unemployment is at alarming levels. There are hundreds of thousands of workers who would take any job. At least it is better than being on the dole. But of course that is what unemployment is all about. It is a tool the bosses use to discipline those in work and help them keep wages low. Also, as workers are let go those remaining are expected to take on more work. Few workers are resisting this. Most just want to hang on to what they have.

Keep the PSNI recruiters away from the schools

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Plans by the PSNI to visit catholic schools as part of a recruitment drive is a cynical cosmetic exercise designed to a camouflage a paramilitary police that has abandoned working class communities and continues to aggressively intimidate and criminalise any dissenters from the status-quo.

Catering JLC wages & conditions cut by courts - Finger Lickin' Good?

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When John Grace of Famous Fried Chicken fame is counting his money, he occasionally has to wet his finger with his tongue in order to facilitate the separation of individual notes and ensure an accurate count. Since 7th July last he has to apply spittle more often, he has received a pay-rise of over 7% thanks to a ruling by Judge Feeney of the High Court that the “Joint Labour Committee (JLC)” rates of pay for the catering industry, which are set by the Labour Court, were unconstitutional. (See table inside for more details)

Dub: Conversations about Anarchism - No 1 The basics

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Join us for a relaxed conversation about anarchism over some tea & coffee. Twice a month we are going to be having an open discussion about anarchism in the form of a conversation around a set of questions. The idea is to create a space where people interested in finding out about anarchism can have a relaxed conversation with each other. As each sessions we will be working through a set of questions taken from the Anarchist FAQ.

The Freedom Flotilla Movement

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The attempts to break the siege of Gaza have become an internationally important movement in the years since 2008. They are a model of the use of non-violence as a tactic for building resistance to imperialism. The Gaza Strip has been blockaded by Israel and Egypt since 2007 and, despite some recent improvements, the blockade still prevents the people of Gaza from obtaining many of the basic necessities of a decent life and effectively creates the world’s largest prison camp

Youth Defense march - Balloons and Bigotry

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After spending tens of thousands of euro in promotion, Youth Defence’s anti-choice march finally took place in Dublin on July 2nd last. Despite the free coaches and months of preparation only about 3000 took part, making it a tiny fraction of the Pride Parade of the previous Saturday. In the week before the anti-choice march, three or four people met to initiate a pro-choice counter demonstration. This proved somewhat controversial as many pro-choice activists feel that it is better to simply ignore those who would seek to jail women to prevent them controlling their own bodes. But despite having no resources, and advertising only though a Facebook event, somewhere over 300 people turned up on Saturday to provide a counter point to the bigots parade.

Health & Education workers strike across the north

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Thousands of health and education workers took strike actionyesterday across the North in protest against Budget cuts in the public service. The 24 hour strike action, the first in over 30 years involves all health workers except doctors, and some school staff.

Occupy 'x' arrives in Ireland with Occupy Dame street

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The 'Occupy X' movement arrived in Ireland over the weekend when a core group of around 50 people set up camp at the Central Bank Plaza on Dame street. Numbers grew to a few hundred at times over the next days and nights as supporters came down to join in for a while and the curious stopped to see what was going on. Issues highlighted by participants included the bank bail out, IMF intervention & the ongoing Great Oil & Gas Giveaway.

Politics averted: thoughts on the 'Occupy X' movement

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Occupy Dame StreetWhat are we to make of the global 'Occupy X' movement which has exploded onto the streets of cities across the world, turning public spaces into campsites of opposition? Certain things are obvious: Firstly, the fact that there are thousands of people across the world taking over public spaces to express their anger at the financial system is undeniably a good thing. Having camped out outside the Central Bank on Dame Street on Saturday night, I can also say that these protests exude a positivity and hopefulness that is so often lacking from the ritualistic parades of anger that make up most protest marches. But there are also, in my view, serious political problems that prevent the movement from moving beyond a 'radical sleepover' and becoming a genuine anti-austerity grassroots resistance movement.

Government to Cut Rent Allowance but NAMA has 90,000 empty units

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1 billion euro in welfare cuts are being hinted at by the government for Decembers budget. One of the areas identified for potential savings is rent allowance. Rent allowance payments total 500 million per year, they are subsidies to help pay the rent of people who qualify due to low incomes, mostly people on the dole or other welfare payments. There are 95,000 recipients.  The money goes to private landlords and is paid on half the housing rental property in the state.

Miami: spread the occupation amid the whirlwind of crisis

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A movement is born. Across America and around the world occupations have spread. We witness the beauty and struggle of a new protagonist joining the fight against oppression and exploitation. Crisis feeds conflict: the pillaging of communities galvanizes people from Greece and Chile, Bangladesh and China, the United States and Spain. A massive wave has been unleashed of impoverishment, unemployment, austerity, and stealing of resources by capital, governments, and the wealthy. We face loss of our jobs, homes, and way of living, with no avenue for contesting these problems within the institutions of power. Doors are being closed. Futures are being stolen.

Noam Chomsky, Naomi Klein, Michael Moore, Michael Albert on the Occupy 'x' movement

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A large number of left writers & film makers have come out in support of the Occupy X movement, often speaking at the various occupations.  Here are video's of Noam Chomsky, Naomi Klein, Michael Moore & Michael Albert talking about the movement.

Thoughts on Anarchism & the Irish 'National Question'

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Anyone who has been active on the left and broader labour movement will have faced the 'million dollar question from republicans on the 'national question'. The question of opposition or indifference to the partition of the island is often thrown by republicans like a dagger in the direction of the existing left. In responnse many become either wedded to the romantic idea of the flag removing all our sins or face the jibe of being a ‘gas and water socialist’ or at worst a sop to unionism. It’s the type of choice you get at Stormont every four years where you get to choose between Coca Cola and Pepsi. Equally it’s the type of approach of the PSNI press statement that presents every ’dissenter’ from the status-quo as being wedded to physical force republicanism. But of course its much more complicated than this….

Anti fascist flash mob forces withdrawal of BNP invitation at TCD

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In what is becoming a regular event the rich kids of 'The Phil,' a University club in Trinity College Dublin, decided they wanted to play with fire by inviting far right BNP leader Nick Griffin to address their meeting. Last night they were forced to cancel the event after getting their fingers burnt when a 30 strong anti fascist flash mob protested at their regular meeting last night, a week before Griffins organising opportunity had been scheduled.

Dub: Conversations about anarchism no 2

Date:

Twice a month we are going to be having an open discussion about anarchism in the form of a conversation around a set of questions. The idea is to create a space where people interested in finding out about anarchism can have a relaxed conversation with each other. As each sessions we will be working through a set of questions taken from the Anarchist FAQ.

Resisting the lure of the Freeman movement

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The last few years have seen a significant growth in the Freeman of the Land movement. Increasingly, its voice is being heard at environmental and other anarchist based protests and events, from the various UK climate camps to Rossport Solidarity Camp. 

Nebulous in its nature, its promise of ways of claiming back power from the state is clearly seductive. Indeed, on a superficial level, it even looks quite like anarchism in action. The aims of the Freemen movement is to use a particular interpretation of the legal system against the government in the name of gaining back freedoms and advantages.

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.

Review: Zapatista Spring

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Editors’ Note:  In this issue of the IAR we have the all too rare pleasure of reviewing a book by a fellow Irish anarchist. It’s Ramor Ryan’s Zapatista Spring, one of the most honest books yet published about the Zapatistas.

While Ramor Ryan’s “Clandestines” detailed the myriad adventures of a peripatetic revolutionary, his follow up book, “Zapatista Spring”, concerns itself more with the minutiae, and frequent tedium, of weeks spent in Chiapas demonstrating “practical solidarity”. In his own words, he is “attempting to portray the Zapatistas as they are at the grassroots, beyond the mythologizing of [Subcomandante] Marcos and the public face of the rebellion.”

Interview: Conor McCabe on Sins of the Father

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Journalist and writer Conor McCabe’s book ‘Sins Of The Father’ attempts, in the author’s own words, “…to shine a light on the reasons why Ireland has the businesses it has, and why banks and speculators yield so much power and influence.”  The book has been acknowledged as a significant contribution to the analysis of the political and economic decisions that have brought the Irish economy to ruin.  James McBarron interviewed McCabe for Irish Anarchist Review  

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