Movement of Freedom - An overview of the current situation in Lesvos

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Tensions have been growing amongst the migrant communities in Lesvos since the beginning of January when the new right-wing government (New Democracy) implemented more aggressive migration policies with a view to “decongest” the Aegean islands and to stem the flow of migration. Deputy minister Stelios Petsas announced that “the government, from the first moment, followed a different policy on the refugee-migration issue. With a comprehensive plan based on four axes: guarding the borders, speeding up asylum procedures, increased returns and closed pre-departure centers.” What this translates to is increased spending on border controls, a staggering backlog of asylum claims, fast-track border procedures that fail to protect people (including children) from deportation if they are rejected in the first instance, even if they appeal, along with large scale confinement and detention.

People protest against the Pre-Removal Detention Centre in Moria Camp after an Iranian migrant was found dead, hung in his cell.

People protest against the Pre-Removal Detention Centre in Moria Camp after an Iranian migrant was found dead, hung in his cell.

Cork shows fascism the door in Rally for Peace

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Cork showed the far right the door on January 4th as about 300 anti-fascists turned up at city hall to face down a  far right rally of about that peaked at about 70.  The anti-fascist rally was called by Cork Rebels for Peace, "a broad spectrum of left political & community activists from across the city and county and we’ve called upon a celebration of diversity, inclusiveness and solidarity.  We have come together to show the far right that Cork city will not succumb to intolerance."

Dec 14th Rally for Peace - Dublin says No to Fascism & the politics of hate

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A very successful anti-fascist Rally For Peace took place December 14th as 100s of anti-fascists occupied the planned site at the Dail of a far-right rally. Stewards did a great job of containing far-right provocations throughout the rally.  The 1st group of far right agitators that appeared were visibly bewildered to find the site of their rally occupied. This group included masked members of Generation Identity, the group linked to the New Zealand mass killer & two of whose Irish members were jailed recently. [see video]

Remembering Bob Kavanagh

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Ireland’s activist community was left in deep shock as news spread of Bob Kavanagh’s sudden and untimely death in late December. Bob is remembered as both a committed political activist, a very talented musician, a great friend and loyal comrade. Many of us got to know Bob from the pivotal role he played in the long running Shell to Sea campaign from 2005 onwards. The campaign which pitched a rural community against a global oil company took place in Erris in western Mayo. Bob was one of the first who took the decision to move to Erris to stand with the local community against Shell. Those involved in the campaign will always remember Bob’s political dedication which was offset by an often needed wry sense of humour on picket lines on cold Mayo mornings.

An establishment view of the referendum that won Repeal - In the Shadow of the 8th review

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Book length histories of the Repeal referendum have started to appear. That this second one is an autobiography is in itself a testament to how long the 8th Amendment ruled over us. The 8th amendment takes up about half the space of Peter Boylan’s ‘In the Shadow of the 8th’. Boylan was an obstetrician who retired from Holles St in 2016, he was a prominent spokesperson for Repeal in the referendum of 2018 and was then central to the implementation of abortion access in the aftermath of winning that referendum. In telling the story of his medical career he tells the story of how the 8th shaped it.

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