January 2016

N. Ireland has it's First Female First Minister - 5 Reasons Why This Won't Advance Feminism

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December saw the promotion of Fermanagh & South Tyrone MLA, Arlene Foster to the position of DUP leader and the North of Ireland’s First Minister.

Foster is a woman who was once described to have “learned a lot from the likes of Thatcher when it comes to dealing with men in politics."

It is not coming as much of a surprise that some middle-class, career-focused feminists have made claims of this being some sort of an advance of feminism. Many are claiming that this represents a great change in northern Irish society, as a move away from the male dominated arena that we understands politics here to be (the same could be said throughout the World of course).

Dublin protest in solidarity with 21 year old Belfast woman charged for using abortion pills - 15 Jan 6pm, the GPO

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A 21 year old women in Co Down has been charged with 'using a poison to procure her own abortion', that is using the Mifepristone and Misoprostol pills which are legal across most of the EU but illegal in Ireland, north and south. Under the 1861 act in the north she faces life in prison if convicted, in the south under the legislation recently introduced by the Labour Party and Fine Gael she would face 14 years in prison.

A world to change in 2016

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We awake to news that more towns in Ireland are under water due to storm flooding. And that perhaps the sea ice at the north pole might melt due to temperatures rising above zero. The first story is given a lot more prominence in Irish media than the second but strangely at the same time another story is being celebrated. The start of yet more greenhouse gases being pumped out of their safe place far below the sea off the Irish shore to be processed and then released into the atmosphere via the Corrib refinery.

Global inequality is escalating rapidly - let’s end concentrations of wealth and power, completely

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Oxfam has just released a report that shows global inequality has escalated rapidly over the last 6 years.  The particular measure they used is a very important one.  First they calculated the wealth held by the poorest 50% of the planets population, which is about 3.6 billion people. And then they asked how many of the richest people held the same amount of wealth.

Better to Squat Than Let Homes Rot

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On the merits of Squatting as a tactical response to the permanent housing crisis.

 

Video from the Villa Park eviction in Dublin with interview

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Monday saw an eviction without court order in Dublin involving Garda and private security / builders at Villa Park, Dublin 7.  The house had been left abandoned for at least two years according to  neighbours before being brought back into use last October by people who needed a home.  One of them told us that it was a “Beautiful house that was to be demolished in order to make a new route to warehouse / bakery behind it but neighbours objected and planning permission was refused.  The person claiming ownership seemed to be very wealthy and is listed as a director of over 28 companies.”

Traveller and Homeless Families in Ireland: Dignity and Decent Housing for All!

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We built our cities and the houses of our cities. They are ours not to slave in but to master and to own.
 
Last night’s RTÉ programme, My Homeless Family, explored the lives of three homeless families living in emergency accommodation. They provided an insight into the appalling housing and living conditions faced by a large number of people at the moment.
 

Dublin marches against water charges on 23 Jan 2016

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January 2016 and once more thousands of people across Ireland take to the streets to protest against the introduction of the water charges. Our footage is from the Dublin demonstration but similar demonstrations happened in most of the major towns and cities.

Numbers were down considerably on previous protests, particularly in Dublin but this is because a general election is imminent, its expected the date of the election will be released any day. Parliamentary elections like the one coming up in Ireland are set up to cause division and rivalry between groups that in fact have very similar policies, its a consequence of a system of decision making that tries to force us to choose between various leaders, self-proclaimed or otherwise.

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