Mark Hoskins

The Sunday Independent is an attack on Democracy

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The Sunday Independent hasn't changed one bit since William Martin Murphy used it to vilify Jim Larkin and the locked out workers of 1913. These days, the anti-working class rag, now owned by Denis O'Brien's Independent News and Media group, uses it's influence to attack anti-water charge protesters. 

Today's front page couldn't be topped for sensationalism, "Attack on democracy" screams the headline. Yesteryear, Jim Larkin was "Looking for Trouble". Both headlines legitimise state violence against protesters. Both headlines present opponents of the state and big business as a danger to society. 

The real attack on democracy however, is the implementation of a water charge that no government has a mandate to introduce; It is the ripping up of streets to install water meters against the wishes of communities; It is the use of state police and private security to threaten, intimidate and assault protesters; and it is the control of the means of mass communication by a small group of super wealthy individuals. 

Water Charges Protest - Regime Media Numbers Just Don't Add Up

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Sometimes the media don't do a very good job of hiding their agenda. Wednesday's mass protest against water charges in Dublin city centre was a prime example. While anyone who was present could see that this was one of the biggest demonstrations in recent times, despite being on a workday afternoon in the middle of winter, the media tried to downplay the numbers.

While initially, the Garda press office said it wouldn't be releasing an estimate of the crowd numbers, within the hour, it backtracked, and said gave a number of 30,000 "plus". Of course, that is technically correct, the crowd did number over thirty thousand, but citing that figure insinuates that there might have been one or two thousand more, not the massive numbers that people who experienced the demo for themselves witnessed. It was as if they plucked a number out of the air.

 

Homeless Nightmare Won't be Resolved by Government Response

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You'd think Enda Kenny had never seen a homeless person before. In the wake of the sad death of Jonathan Corrie, who was sleeping rough in the shadow of Dáil Éireann, Ireland's parliament, the Taoiseach went walk about in the city centre to meet Dublin's homeless. In an interview with the media, he said he was "taken aback" by what he saw. 

Like Ebeneezer Scrooge, whisked around the capital by the ghost of Christmas present, he got a first hand view of the conditions that people without homes or hostel places have to endure. He saw the effects of addiction, the sleeping bags and the syringes, that dominate the lives of those who have been left at the margins. But, it's hard to believe that he didn't know this was happening; It's difficult to imagine, that after three and a half years in power, he has suddenly had a Scrooge like epiphany, and is going to pull out all the stops to transform the lives of the country's homeless people. 

Irish Anarchist Review Issue 10

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Welcome to the tenth instalment of the Irish Anarchist Review, published for the 2014 London Anarchist Bookfair.

Five years ago, the Irish Anarchist Review replaced Red and Black Revolution as the magazine of the Workers Solidarity Movement. It’s mission was to fill a vacuum in Irish radical circles, to be a publication that raised questions and provoked debate, rather than laying out blueprints for success, as had been the norm in the more theoretical work of the left. It was established at a time where a fightback was believed to be imminent, when the expectation was that as the (economic) beatings continued, morale would improve.

 
The intervening years produced a series of false starts. The big ICTU demonstrations in the infancy of the crisis proved to be safety valves for the expulsion of steam from the rank and file, and were tightly controlled by the bureaucracy. The Occupy phenomenon was a reaction against that type of protest, and it did release a wave of creative energy, but it’s structurelessness ultimately had the same effect, and that energy escaped into the ether. There have also been strikes and occupations, the Unlock Nama campaign, the campaign against household and water taxes (CAHWT) and a massive resurgence in the campaign for abortion access.

 

 

Mainstreaming Ethnic Cleansing and Genocide in the Israeli Media

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The Jerusulem Post carried an opinion piece today with the sub-heading: 



"The only durable solution requires dismantling Gaza, humanitarian relocation of the non-belligerent Arab population, and extension of Israeli sovereignty over the region." 



This echoes the words of Moshr Feiglin, deputy speaker of the Knesset, and a member of the ruling Likud Party, who, only two weeks ago said that "Israel must attack Gaza even more mercilessly, expel the population and resettle the territory with Jewish settlers". 

The expression of these views are not isolated, they represent a significant section of mainstream Zionist thinking and could not be freely aired if they did not. In reality they are the honest expression of the Zionist project to create an ethnically pure state, permanently rid of the native people. 

Warsaw 1942 to Gaza 2014 - Walls, fences and ethnic cleansing

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On this day in 1942, the Nazi's began the mass deportation of Jews from the Warsaw Ghetto to the death camps, putting into practice the policy known as "the final solution". Over the next two months, over 250,000 residents were sent to Treblinka. 


The ghetto itself, was established in 1940, while Warsaw was occupied by Nazi forces, and 400,000 Jewish people lived here, in an area of 3.4 square kilometres. 
 

Review: Iain M. Banks' The Culture series.

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When Iain Banks shuffled off this mortal coil in June of last year, sci-fi geeks in general and lefty sci-fi geeks in particular, mourned the fact that there wasn't a backup copy of his personality stored somewhere. In the universe he created in his acclaimed The Culture series of sci-fi novels, that almost certainly would have been the case. Transplanted into a new body, biological or artificial, or even brought back in virtual reality or as an adjunct to the mind of a Culture ship, he could have continued writing the books we've come to know and love for another few hundred years.
 

Tuam kids home mass grave revealed - End Catholic Conservative control in Ireland

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Almost a century ago, "800 years of oppression" at the hands of the Anglo-Normans and the British monarchy came to an end on three quarters of the island, but it wasn't the end of oppression in Ireland. The baton was eagerly taken by the Catholic Church and the southern Irish state, and in eight years they will be celebrating one hundred years of kidnap, torture, murder and sexual abuse. (content warning: Mentions sexual abuse, child abuse, kidnapping, neglect)

 

Religion in the Irish education system

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“Father Ted: It’s not as if everyone’s going to go off and join some mad religious cult just because we go off for a picnic for a couple of hours.
 
Father Dougal: God, Ted, I heard about those cults. Everyone dressing in black and saying our Lord’s gonna come back and judge us all!
 
Father Ted: No... No, Dougal, that’s us. That’s Catholicism.”
 

Irish Anarchist Review 9

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Welcome to Issue nine of the Irish Anarchist Review, published for the 2014 Dublin Anarchist Bookfair.

 

 

EDITORIAL: 

 

We've been hearing scare stories about the damage being done to the environment by co2 emissions for decades now. Terms like “climate change”, “greenhouse effect”, “the ozone layer” (more importantly, the holes in the ozone layer) and “global warming”, are part of everyday language. We know that the polar ice caps are melting, causing sea levels to rise and we know that the weather is doing crazy things in parts of the world that are usually temperate. And, we know that all this is being caused by the stuff we produce and how we produce it. What has our response been?

 

 

By and large, we've done nothing. In fact we've done the opposite. We've continued to create stuff. More and more stuff. We produce enough food to feed the world at least twice over and a third of it is wasted. We produce gadgets we don't really need, war machines to subjugate people, we plan obsolescence so that we have to keep producing things to replace other things so that the wheels of the global economy keep turning and profit keeps accumulating. Billions of humans, across the planet, spend a large chunk of every day, doing things they'd prefer not to to produce things they don't need in a process that is making the planet unfit for their habitation.

 

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