Irish Medical Council seeks to silence pro-choice doctors


THE 'PRO-LIFE' MOVEMENT argues that abortion is never medically necessary to save the life of a mother. They justify this by inventing a distinction between direct abortion, where the intention is to terminate pregnancy and 'indirect' abortion where the intention is to avoid some life threatening condition. In both cases the medical procedure followed is the same, in both cases the pregnancy is terminated. It is crucial to the 'pro-life' movement that they convince the public that abortion is never medically necessary. Therefore they continue to create this totally semantic distinction between 'direct' and 'indirect' abortion. Some doctors fear that under these terms, medical decisions could be brought through the courts. They would have to consider the threat of disbarment if their 'intention' is interpreted incorrectly. It would be difficult to practice as a doctor under such conditions.

Strikes free bricklayers from jail - the sort of trade unionism we need


TWO BUILDING WORKERS were jailed in Dublin last October. They had refused to obey a High Court order not to picket O'Connors/Capel Developments' sites at Conyngham Road and Ballsbridge. A campaign of strikes by bricklayers against sub-contractors had forced big firms like Cramptons to directly employ a lot more workers; giving them the entitlements of PRSI, sick pay, holiday pay and pensions. The bosses decided to strike back.On Wednesday October 21st William Rogers was arrested at the picket in Ballsbridge. Dave McMahon had been arrested at dawn the same morning. Word spread and bricklayers from other sites began walking off the job and heading down to the High Court. By the time the two strikers were brought into Court in handcuffs there were about 300 building workers in the building.

Thats Capitalism WS56


Bertie Ahern cried foul when RTE broadcast a radio quiz with candidates in last October's Cork South Central by-election. Fianna Fáil's Sinead Behan scored just 1 out of 10. She didn't know how many Cork people were unemployed, or which paramilitary organisation had not called a ceasefire. The one question she was able to answer correctly was "What salary does a TD earn?"

Tremendous victory for anti-racism campaigners - Deportations halted


THE GOVERNMENT'S PRO-DEPORTATION policy has been severely dented. Members of the Anti-Racism Campaign, in the immediate pre-Christmas period, halted at least four potential deportations.

US 1998 Air War against Iraq - This is Terrorism


WHEN THE US government resumed the bombing of Iraq last year, the media put forward two reasons: it was to get rid of Saddam Hussein or it was just a cynical manoeuvre to divert attention from Clinton's impeachment. Because the TV and newspapers went out of their way to avoid telling us the background to the conflict in the Gulf, it is not surprising that most people accepted either one of the above as the reason for the bombing.When the Shah of Iran's dictatorship was toppled in 1979 the US took fright. They weren't too worried about Iran being governed by an Islamic fundamentalist dictatorship (after all they were busy arming the barbaric Taleban in Afghanistan at the very same time). What worried them was the possibility of popular revolts sweeping the region. If Iran could get rid of their old regime, others might try to follow their example; and might go a lot further than simply replacing one gang of dictators with another.

That's Capitalism: Workers Solidarity #55 1998


A man who saved two co-workers from an explosion and fire in Nike's Garuda factory in Indonesia and who suffered extensive burns in the process was fired for his efforts. Instead of a hero's welcome, Mr. Kusnadi received a reprimand when he returned to the plant after hospitalization. The supervisor told him "it's not our business if you try to help your friends".

Government workers to spy on asylum-seekers ?


This July on a talk show on FM104 in Dublin, one refugee joked; "I had one yellow card, I have just been given another and we all know what this means in football" . Few of the hand picked audience of taxi drivers, private security guards and the likes were laughing, very few "got" the joke. The card referred to is the ID card now issued to all asylum-seekers. These are now automatically renewed through the post (you may remember last February refugees were made to queue in the rain outside the Department of Justice - presumably the government didn't want to repeat such a spectacle which could have damaged "our" summer tourist industry).

Mayday letter from the new unemployed network


Dear friends,

A meeting took place in Portlaoise, on July 8th, attended by people concerned at recent statements by Ms Mary Harney, Tanaiste and Minister for Enterprise & Employment. It called for a campaign to defend welfare rights and oppose the low wage strategy of recent governments.

Unions Against Racism


The fight against racism has many fronts. Trade Unionists form a very important section of the fighting force - especially those in the public sector who are in daily contact with refugees and asylum-seekers.

Activists in the Irish National Teachers Organisation have taken a number of important initiatives in recent months.

Abortion Rights - We had the referendum, so where is the law?


In November 1992, a full six years ago, there was a referendum on abortion. Then the population voted to allow abortion to take place in Ireland, when there was a threat to the life of the mother. The government said legislation would soon follow. Since then nothing.

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