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A piece written for the WSM web site and quickly edited by our newsroom

Sindo front page belies ESRI report: Austerity for Most, Good Life for Some

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The Denis O'Brien media published a remarkably badly considered Sunday Independent magazine cover story trying to convince us the good times were back. The reality as demonstrated by a recent ESRI report is that while Budget 2015 did indeed make those on high incomes richer it made most people poorer and hit the poorest 10% hardest of all.

The years of crisis have been used to impose a shock doctrine of neo-liberal restructuring of society in Ireland. Our health services have not just been destroyed but it's become all too common to see people trying to fundraise for needed surgery through online fundits. People are sleeping on the streets in freezing conditions right beside buildings which have remained empty for years after being bought up by property speculators. Tens of thousands of young people have been forced to emigrate, tens of thousands more forced onto Jobsbridge - a scheme that provides a massive subsidy to employers at our expense.

Disobedience is Humanity's Original Virtue says Oscar Wilde

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'Disobedience, in the eyes of anyone who has read history, is man's original virtue' - Oscar Wilde.

However, there is a prevalent perception counter to Wilde's view which considers conformity and compliance to be virtuous traits. This perception is quite clearly held by most of those at the top our society's hierarchies - be they politicians, top business people, or religious leaders - or at least they want us to embody these passive 'virtues'.

But as Wilde points out, a reading of history clearly shows that it has been disobedience, rebellion, and heresy, which have driven progress over the millennia. It seems almost too obvious to say, because the absence of resistance will obviously lead to nothing changing for the better.
 

RTÉ Primetime Parrots State Propaganda on Water Charges

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On Thursday night RTE Primetime presented what many have described as a 'regime broadcast', an utterly transparent hatchet job of the anti-Water Charges campaign. This featured, supposedly, an anonymous water meter installer describing being accosted by knife, hatchet, baseball bat, and golf club wielding maniacal protesters – the sinister fringe. The core message transmitted in the program was 'you can protest, but don't protest effectively'. If you watched it (link below), what did you think?

 

Smear Them! Indo Hypocrisy in Vilification of Anti-Water Charges Campaign

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'Smear Them' - Indo makes shocking newspaper vilification of anti-Water Charges campaign



The conveyor belt of smears against Water Charges protesters has lurched back into Full-Speed Mode, with Denis O'Brien's Irish Independent deciding to run this incendiary headline: ''Shoot him' - Protester makes shocking Facebook threat towards Taoiseach'.

This story, featuring in one of the largest publications on the island, is based on some Facebook comment a person seemingly made in anger: 'Shoot him make a martyr haven't had one in a long time'. This headline is ludicrous for a few reasons.

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.

 

Kelly Banks on Jobs for the Boys

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So during a press event yesterday, Alan Kelly (Minister of Environment, Community & Local Government) said that he has other career opportunities if the whole water charges initiative ends his political career. We would certainly believe that, considering the fact that former political insiders can be valuable assets to wealthy individuals.

For example, former Taoiseach Brian Cowen went on to become an employee of Denis O'Brien. He was appointed to the board of fuel supply chain Topaz Energy Group as part of a team of seven new directors. Earlier this year Topaz won a €20m contract to supply fuel charge cards to the Gardaí, the Irish Prison Service and the Office of Public Works.

 

Visa Hopefuls Receive Frosty Welcome - Why is this necessary in 2014?

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We think its a disgrace that people are being to forced to queue in freezing temperatures overnight at the Garda National Immigration Bureau in Dublin.



We met up with a North American student to ask her why this was happening and how we could help.

Q. Why are people queuing over night on Burgh Quay in the middle of winter?
A. There are 39,000 international students at present in Ireland, whereas there are only about 7,000 here on work visas (including new applications and renewals). All non-EU students, with a few special programme exceptions must register annually. The queues are huge, so now people are now *queuing overnight*, from 8 pm, until 8 am the next morning. 

It’s appalling to realise that those of us queuing in the freezing cold are amongst the most privileged immigrants in Ireland. This shows the depths of indignity people bear against fortress Europe.
 

We are a Vision From the Future: Turkish Anarchists in Solidarity with Fallen Comrades in Greece, Mexico and the USA

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DAF, an anarchist group in the Turkish state held a demonstration for the anarchist prisoner Nikos Romanos who is in hunger strike for 29 days in Greece and for our sisters and brothers who has been murdered while resisting in Greece, in Ferguson, in Mexico, in Kobanê.

Nikos is a 21-year-old who has been on hunger strike at a prison near Athens since Nov. 10 after authorities rejected his demand for educational leave. He had managed to win a place at Athens’ School of Business Administration. His father has told the Guardian “He is a fanatical lover of life. He wants to live But this is his 27th day without food and his condition is deteriorating. He is getting weaker.” On Saturday 6000 protesters clashed with police in Athens in the aftermath of occupations of municipal, university and union buildings 
 

Galway Feminists Banner Drop off Cathedral

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A few days ago the catholic bishops yet again dared to lecture people in Ireland with their statement against marriage equality. This morning Díobháil, a new Galway feminist group, has used Galway cathedral to speak out for and help the women trapped in unwanted pregnancies because of the bishops' role in another referendum, the 1983 anti choice referendum. 

In the years since 1983 it emerged that the same bishops had conspired to hide priests who had raped children, not just on one or two but on many occasions. Despite that this same group of supposedly celibate men still continue to bother us with lectures opposing sexual freedom, bodily autonomy and even same sex relationships. The same bishops still have de facto control over most of our schools and many of our hospitals and community centres. 

Kobane: YPG/J have ISIS on the Back Foot

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The latest news from Kobane indicates that the YPG/YPJ have continued to slowly push ISIS out of the town and are now conducting regular ambushes in the surrounding towns including one 10 km south where the YPG reported that "Our forces ambushed &killed ISIS emir [leader] Abu Khansaa & bodyguards in Tel Ghazal south of Kobani." 

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