Solidarity Times is now only visible if you are in Ireland

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A few minutes ago we made Solidarity Times Facebook page invisible to people who are outside of Ireland. This post explains why we did this, but remember you can still see all the content by following our WSM Ireland page so don’t panic!

Housing is a Human Right march attracts thousands

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Saturday 7th April saw 3000 people take to the streets of Dublin for the Housing is a Human Right march. Some 10,000 people are in emergency accommodation, 3700 of them children.  Meanwhile landlords & property speculators pocket a massive portion of the wages of those who are working either via rent or if post 2000 'homeowners' through massive morgage payments.

A trip into the anti-choice mind

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You'd be hard pressed to find an issue riddled with as many lies, myths, inaccuracies etc. as abortion particularly in Ireland. You'd also be hard pressed to find a more ridiculous poster as that which some members of the anti-choice brigade have produced in the run up to referendum.

How the government were forced to call a referendum to repeal the 8th

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Now that we have a definitive date of May 25th 2018, the date on which we will get to vote to repeal the 8th Amendment it is timely for us to remember how this opportunity to change Irish society into a fairer one came about. 

History is written by those in power, therefore this referendum has comes with a heavily constructed backstory that goes like this. Leo Varadkar, our funky sock wearing leader, with all his social media savvy got together with his wing of the Fine Gael party to progress social change in Ireland. Repeal was the next obvious step. The line continues that having witnessed the historic popular vote on the marriage equality referendum, the government decided to tackle the thorny issue of the 8th amendment. They had not the courage to devise a plan themselves so they gave it to the Citizens assembly, hoping that if they came back with something grossly unpopular then it was the assembly that could be blamed. I diverge from the script here, but it is important to recognise that there is a distinct lack of courage with the elected ones. Now, they are now fully enacting the recommendations, because the Citizens assembly came back with the obvious solution to deal with the issue. That was to repeal the 8th amendment and legislate for safe abortion in Ireland.

The Fenian Proclamation (1867) vs the 1916 Proclamation - the lost radicalism of Irish republicanism

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Considering the fact the Anarchist Communism as a coherent and easily transmutable ideology only came to be during the 1870’s and 1880’s the Fenian Proclamation of 1867 is striking in its progressiveness and clarity of thought. A product of the Irish Famine, English economic and military Imperialism in Ireland and a tradition of insurrectionary attempts against Imperialist rule, the original Fenians of 1867 should be viewed as proto socialistic in their values and analysis.

This is not to say they were Anarchists or close, they were most definitely Republican statists, who organised for an almost purely military strike against Imperialism, as opposed to the destruction of the state and working class/farmer self-activity for the destruction of exploitation and Imperialism and the creation of a cooperative society.

Repealing the 8th - what the opinion polls are telling us

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The Sunday Times with Behaviour & Attitudes have run two very useful polls that give a strong sense of how the campaign to Repeal the 8th Referendum is going.  The overall story the poll results tell is bad for the Vote No campaign and promising for the Vote Yes campaign.  If the referendum had been held at the time of the March poll then Repeal would have been carried by 64% to 36%, almost 2:1.  The polling data also shows No has a soft vote that is very much larger proportion than the equivalent soft Yes vote.  This means if anything between now and referendum day the polls are likely to drift towards repeal.   

None of this is a reason for complacency, what the No side lacks in terms of numbers and support they make up for in terms of funding.  Before the campaign had even started they were spending hundreds of thousands on online advertising, billboards, leaflets and free buses to what had to be their disappointingly small March 10th national march.  Together for Yes may have far more support and more people out canvassing but will it have enough to defeat all that paid advertising? 

As this is a long read we are also making an audio version available

Kildare turns out for Repeal

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There was a solid turnout at the TogetherforYes public information meeting in Newbridge Kildare the evening of 26th March. Great venue too. 

#TakeBackTrinity sees occupations spread across the college leading to abolition of resit fee

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14 March saw 40-50 students in Trinity College Dublin occupied the dining hall there to protest the introduction of a 450 euro fee for those who have to sit supplemental exams. Such a fee while trivial to wealthy students would be a major barrier to continuing their eduction to most. Having to work minimum wage jobs to earn it would reduce their chances of passing supplemental exams, further reducing meaningful access to 3rd level education.  After college locked them in a solidarity protest gathered on the steps which then occupied two further buildings.  The college realising that their attempts to repress the protests had backfired then changed track and tweeted that they agreed with the students and would seriously consider alternatives, a week or so later they announced the fee had been abolished.

The Turkish invasion of Afrin

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This is a collection of four pieces we wrote during the Turkish invasion of Afrin and the two month defence of the tiny canton against NATOs second biggest army.  A desperate struggle in which almost 900 SDF fighters were killed by Turkish airpower and military trying to defend the Rojava revolution.  These reports were originally published on our Facebook page and are presented here as published.

Together for Yes launched to campaign for Yes vote in Repeal of 8th referendum

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There are times when you walk into a room, and you sense that this is the exact space that you should be, something special is about to take place. It was that way, when Solidarity Times attended the launch of the Together for Yes campaign in the Pillar Room of the Rotunda Hospital last Thursday [22nd of March]. The room was filling up fast and there was excited chatter in all quarters. You need a crowd, and progress and movements come from crowds assembled and pushing in a direction. Together for Yes, is as broad an alliance as I have ever witnessed for a campaign, and all the disparate groups where represented, covering a spectrum that ran from activists, feminists, anarchists, socialists, republicans, through to the most established of establishment political parties, Fianna Fail and Fine Gael included.

Together for Yes is a broad alliance, very broad because it unites all of the people who see this law for what it is, and the time has come to address it, by repealing it. This is issue which has blighted this island, and will continue to do so, even after we win the vote to repeal the 8th amendment, as we cannot forget about the active denial of reproductive rights that exists in Norther Ireland. But in the room last Thursday, the atmosphere crackled with static, there was anticipation to get this started, to enact the campaign, and to repeal the 8th amendment, to move towards free safe medical reproductive care for people in the republic of Ireland.

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