March 2015

March 13th: Unions Strike Across North of Ireland, but One Day isn't Enough

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On the 13th of March, unions across the north of Ireland will be striking against another round of service cuts and job loss proposals including the introduction of prescription charges.

The Minister for Health would like to introduce prescription charges across the 6 Counties. The DUP’s Jim Wells claims that this is to be done in order to provide a “cash injection” to his department to create a specialist drug fund which would pay for drugs that are either too expensive or too specific to be licensed right now. In doing so he is proposing £3 per item and hopes to raise between £5m and £10m per year claiming that this is not “unreasonable”. But it is unreasonable; the rich should be taxed for this.

Abortion: Bodily Autonomy, Capitalism, Misogyny

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In this society we are told that we have certain rights; the right to vote, the right to protest, the right to bodily autonomy (i.e. the right to decide what happens to our bodies). All of these rights can be taken away in a flash at the whim of those in power. But you cannot take away from a pregnant person that which they don’t have: bodily autonomy.

Abortion is extremely restrictive on this island, with the southern state not acting on the prohibitive legislation that is in place – as was highlighted with Ms. Y in August 2014 – and the northern state only allowing abortion when the pregnancy endangers the mother’s life (read: not health).
 

Workers self management at occupied Greek Radio-Television (ERT)

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The capitalist crisis saw the closure of Greek Radio-Television (ERT) but workers not only resisted they took ERT into collective self management and continued broadcasting. 21 months after its closure the striking workers still ran 17 radio stations (15 regional, two national) and a single TV channel (ET3).

The translation of the texts below has been sent to us by Thanasis, a worker at the ERT and outline how the workers restructured ERT and what they want Syriza to respect if funding is returned.

Thanasis writes " Actually, and in simple words, they fired us but we never left the building and of course we never took an  advance to earn money (publicity etc) respecting the fact that all these buldings and technical stuff belong to the Greek people.  The new government after having recognized our struggle decided to re-open the Public Radio-television. Lets hope they will also incorporate our ideas, those we fought for over the last 2 years. What you will read is not a dream. Is what we already do everyday and we simply propose it for the future. "

Galway University: First Students' Union in Europe to Support Legalisation of Cannabis

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Great news as students in Galway University have voted to support the legalisation of cannabis. NUI Galway Students' Union now supports the "legalisation & regulation of the cultivation, sale and possession of cannabis for adults age 18 and over" and is the first SU in Europe to do so. 68% of students voted in favour of the motion (1796 'yes', 838 'no').

Of course this does not mean that cannabis is legalised in Ireland, Galway, or even the university, but it does exhibit the rapidly changing attitudes toward drug prohibition and that this change is happening right here in Ireland.

Sinn Féin: Green, White, and Orange Capitalism

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There has been quite an air of arrogance about Sinn Féin lately. They are convinced that they will be in government, north and south, by 2016; that Adams will be President, that McGuinness will be the north’s First Minister and that McDonald will be the first female Taoiseach. Let’s get a few things straight here, all of these institutions are oppressive and we don’t need to be, nor do we want to be, ruled by anyone. As well as that, there is nothing revolutionary about a female Taoiseach – female participation in the same old rotten patriarchal institutions will not advance the feminist cause and will only further ensure oppression and exploitation.

It cannot be denied that Sinn Féin are a pragmatic party that wishes to be all things to all people – from the poorest in our society to the richest (not at all grasping that this is impossible and fundamentally wrong). But for now let’s focus on the three main tell-tale issues of Sinn Féin’s lack of principles and wishy-washy politics that ultimately are harmful: Abortion, Water Charges and Capitalism.

100+ Drugs Decriminalised by Accident, Users Shrug as Prohibition Ineffective

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Over 100 drugs have been temporarily decriminalised by accident due to a legal loophole, including MDMA ('ecstasy'), Ketamine, Benzodiazepine, Methamphetamine, and many head shop 'legal highs'. The Dáil will pass emergency legislation tonight to re-ban these substances, which will be before the Seanad tomorrow.

Of course people who use illicit drugs will merely laugh and then shrug as drug prohibition doesn't actually stop people from consuming them.

 

Post Syriza Election - Markets Demonstrate Futility of the Electoralist Road

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The election of the radical left party Syriza in Greece has demonstrated how democracy and the capitalist market are enemies of each other. Far from accepting the democratic result of the election the response of the markets has been to try and make the mild anti-austerity measures on which Syriza was elected impossible.

Coverage of the massive M21 Water Charges demonstration

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March 21st saw tens of thousands of protesters take to the streets of Dublin once more for 3 marches from different points of the city that converged in O'Connell st. This video attempts to give a sense of the huge size of the marches by mixing footage taken from among the marches on the streets with that taken from overhead during the huge rally at the end.

Our coverage started early in the morning on our new Solidarity Times page with "19 buses are leaving Donegal as we write for the long trip to Dublin and the massive M21 protest marches against the Water Charge"

 

Grangegorman resists Eviction

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We covered the attempted eviction of the squatted complex at Grangegorman during the week of via our new Facebook page, youtube and Twitter.  

For those not familar with Dublin the attempted eviction is happening just 100m north of Smithfield Square.  The complex consists of a mix of residentical, industrial & commercial premises that had been left derlict for up to 15 years.  There had been a couple of eviction scares previously but at 6.30am on the morning of Monday 23rd March the residents were suddenly worken by the sound of a gang of over 30 men smashing their way into the compound and in at least one case into their houses.  

One of our reporters was awoke shortly afterwards to a text message sayiong this was happening and they made their way down, the coverage that follows is a result of their work and the work of other WSM reporters.  We've edited the updates together and improved their readibility.

Dublin Solidarity with Australians against Mandatory Detention

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Dublin was one of many cities that saw a protest today (29 March 2015) called by the local Australians and Allies Overseas against Mandatory Detention as part of an international day of action involving 28 cities across 6 continents. The protest also drew attention to the terrible Direct Provision centres Asylum Seekers in Ireland are subjected to.

It took place outside the Australian embassy where those gathered demanded:

Shut down Manus Stenton Centre for asylum seekers!
Shut down Nauru detention centre!

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