February 2012

Become a WSM supporter

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The work of the WSM is often limited by the resources available to us, both in terms of finance and labour. And although our members bring a wide range of knowledge and experience into the organisation for collective discussion there are also wide areas where we have much less knowledge and experience than we would want. The solution to this would be to have more members, and we are always seeking to get new people to join.

But we recognize that the time & financial commitments of WSM membership are not for everyone. And that some people who broadly agree with a lot of our work have significant differences with us in particular areas that would stop them joining. So we offer a Supporter Status for people who broadly like what we are doing but who for one reason or another can't commit to membership.

The Austerity Treaty: Is the call for a referendum a sensible strategy?

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The fiscal treaty, as agreed by EU governments, is clearly an austerity treaty and will impose serious levels of economic and financial pain on Irish workers for years to come.  In his blog ‘Notes On The Front’ Unite economist Michael Taft says “The Government, in signing the Fiscal Treaty, has effectively committed itself to introducing up to €6 billion more in tax increases and spending cuts in the medium-term, over and above what it has already planned”.[1]

70 blockade Shell compound during day of Solidarity

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Seventy campaigners from all around Ireland this morning blockaded Shell's Aghoos compound in Erris, Co. Mayo. The 7am protest is intended to demonstrate support for the local community whose lives are being increasingly disrupted by Shell's haulage and construction works.  Last week Shell began hauling materials along this road in convoys (usually 4 or 5 large trucks together) in order to setup the Glengad compound. The convoys have so far all been heavily escorted by Gardaí, usually with 2 Garda cars infront and 2 behind along with another Garda van bringing up the rear. The roads are extremely unsuitable for this haulage but Shell and the Gardaí seem intent on trying to use brute force to get Shell's job done.

Household Tax: Cork keeps up the pressure

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Cork continues to organise against the household tax. Fermoy, Hollyhill, Macroom, Douglas and Mallow all had successful meetings this week with groups established in each area. Mallow was the biggest meeting with 250 people crowding into the town's Hibernian Hotel. Tonight the campaign rolls on with meetings in Charleville, Gurranabraher, Carrigaline and Bishopstown.

20 years of inaction after the x-case - Action on X launched

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20 years ago this month details emerged of the X-case, when the Irish state injuncted a pregnant 14 year old who had been raped to prevent her traveling of England for an abortion. The x-case was the culmination of a decade of fundamentalist anti-choice hysteria that had flowed from the 1983 referendum designed to make it impossible to ever legalize abortion again in Ireland.

(Pic: Press launch - taken by RAG)

Anti-Household Tax Campaign - Dun Laoghaire area gets organised

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Following a series of 4 public meetings across the area (attended by a total of about 100 people), the following activity is planned by the Dun Laoghaire Campaign Against Household And Water Taxes in the next couple of weeks:

A community stands against punishment attacks in Derry

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Several hundred people from both sides of the community gathered today despite arctic conditions outside Annie’s Bar, in Derry’s Waterside.  They came together united in their outrage at last weeks brutal murder of local man Andrew Allen.

What is Direct Action and can it deliver change?

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The idea of direct action is sometimes simply understood as meaning anything violent, anything from a brick through a window to a full-scale guerrilla war. Our political opponents and enemies go out of their way to spread confusion because they know that in a “battle of ideas” they would lose. Firstly the fact that we are sitting in this room now having this teach in is a result of direct action being taken, doing it for ourselves and not relying on any politicians or anyone else to sort out homelessness or the building social centres.

19 Shell to Sea campaigners facing 80 charges in special sitting of Belmullet court today

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On Monday February 20th the Belmullet courthouse in Co. Mayo will be full of campaigners opposing the Corrib Gas Project. Nineteen people are facing 80 charges between them for civil disobedience, and this week has been set aside as a special sitting for the campaigners.

Six Shell to Sea Campaigners convicted as community block Shell's haulage in Mayo

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In Belmullet district court on Monday 20th February, 6 campaigners were convicted of a total of 13 charges between them with fines totaling 3,035  euros. While this went on, local residents blocked Shell's haulage route  between Bellanaboy refinery and the compound in Glengad.

Hundreds attend Action on X meeting in Dublin to demand Abortion Legalisation in Ireland

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A meeting calling for abortion legalisation in Ireland, at the Gresham Hotel in Dublin, was filled to capacity last night as hundreds crammed into the room. The meeting marked 20 years from the X-case and the failure of all the political parties in the years since to legislate for the limited abortion provision required by the X-case court judgement.  The clear message was that it was time for Action on X.

The first speaker, journalist Vincent Brown described the long fight for abortion rights in Ireland, from the so -called 'pro-life' referendum in 1983, to the X-case in 1992 and the referendums afterwards.

‘Protests Work’ says Minister: How the DEIS Cuts were reversed at Primary Level

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Following his announcement that many of his proposed cuts to teacher numbers in schools serving areas of social disadvantage are to be reversed, Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairi Quinn, has admitted that protests work and that he reversed his decisions because of the huge protests faced by himself and his colleagues on the government backbenches.

“…in relation to the area where all the pressure was coming from and all the protests was [sic] coming from …. I reflected on the impact on those schools….and I reversed that decision,” he said. 

Garda caught on film smashing windows of Erris residents car at Shell roadblock

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Shocking video has emerged of a Garda attack on a local resident, John Monagahan, at a roadblock the police were operating on behalf of Shell. The video shows the car being stopped at the roadblock and then you can hear the Garda smashing in the drivers window of his car with a baton before threatening to pepper spray him.  John had just left his home some 500m away.

Bernadette: One women's journey from mass protest to hunger strikes to the peace process

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The end of the 1960’s in northern Ireland were a unique time when, as elsewhere around the world, mass popular protest emerged onto the streets with ordinary people doing extraordinary things. The unique circumstances of northern Ireland and the particular form the state backlash took there resulted in a military conflict that lasted some 30 years and dominated politics on the entire island and to a much lesser extent in Britain. Although tens if not hundreds of thousands of people made this history it can also be told as the history of some of the prominent individuals involved, including the Irish republican socialist activist Bernadette Devlin McAliskey.

Community Anger Against Household Tax at meeting in Cabra

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A lively and energetic meeting took place in the local community hall in the Dunard estate in Dublin 7 on Wednesday night.  The meeting was addressed by Councillor Cieran Perry and local resident and campaigner Dermot Sreenan about the upcoming Household Tax and the campaign against it.

UNITE union back non payment of household tax

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"The UNITE trade union has formally pledged its support to the Campaign against the Household Charge. It will urge its members not to register and support national and local protest movements where it has a density of members around the country. - "The following comes from the UNITE circular today 24/2/12

Dangerous, false & misleading ‘legal advice’ on household tax exposed as fake

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An email which has been circulating widely and has appeared on facebook and on many other social media sites, claiming to be from McCann Fitzgerald solicitors has been exposed as being fake.  The email claims that people won’t get a bill for the household tax because “the charge is a statute”.  It goes on to claim that because the tax is a statute it “only carries the force of law upon you if you consent to it” and that “If you do not consent [it] cannot affect you in any way whatsoever.”  

Mayo marches against school closures - 1000's demonstrate in Castlebar

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Anger at threatened closure of smaller rural schools

 

 

Thousands rallied and marched through the streets of Castlebar on Saturday 25th to protest the governments plan to further destroy rural life by closing small schools.

Household Tax Campaign welcomed by County Mayo locals - Campaign Grows in Mayo

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As part of the National Day of Action activists from various towns and villages across Co.Mayo gathered in Castlebar on Saturday to host an information stall in the county town center. The mood from passers by was one of defiance and fear. The vast majority of people stated the had not registered and do not wish to do so.

Cork: Government Tax Put In The Bin!

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In Cork the mobilisation for the National Day of Action against the Household and Water Tax saw a lively and noisy crowd of over 500 hundred march through the centre of Cork City.  At the rally beforehand members from some of the local areas involved in the Campaign in Cork took advantage of the open mic forum to explain why they opposed the tax.  Speakers from Farranree, Bishopstown and Cobh declared their intention not to register or pay the tax.  The fact that the tax is unjust and will rise sharply in a short period of time was highlighted.  It was also pointed out that the proposed Water Tax which will follow shortly on the heels of the Household Tax is also a major threat.  The proposed Water Tax in itself will be a major burden and one that will hit the majority households harshly.

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