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Water Charges & Civil Disobedience: Unjust Laws are to be Broken

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What is important is that we do what is right, not what is legal. Sometimes these things overlap, often they are in conflict. What the struggle against the water charges has shown clearly is that a slave mentality of blindly obeying the law will never lead to a better world. We must attend to real justice, not the judicial system.

There's a famous quote from US historian, author, and activist Howard Zinn:

Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience. Our problem is that people all over the world have obeyed the dictates of leaders …and millions have been killed because of this obedience …Our problem is that people are obedient allover the world in the face of poverty and starvation and stupidity, and war, and cruelty. Our problem is that people are obedient while the jails are full of petty thieves … [and] the grand thieves are running the country. That’s our problem.
 

Housing Activists' Cases Dismissed From Court

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Today 8 housing activists from An Spreach Housing Action Committee and from D8HAC were up in court. All 8 were charged with trespassing on the 29th of July 2014 in a vacant flat in Charlemount Street in Dublin’s south inner city. All charges were dismissed by the court. This is a small victory for the housing groups, but the struggle continues it is not the end of the campaign to highlight the homeless and housing crisis.

Water Charges Protesters are Living 'Anarchy Fantasy' Says Irish Catholic Editor

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On Newstalk's Pat Kenny show Michael Kelly, editor of the Irish Catholic, said: 'There are some people who are kind of living ... anarchy fantasy through a lot of this, these ... kind of ... Irish Water protesters. There's no question of that'.

Mr. Kelly is surprisingly correct. The principles of anarchism are to be seen everywhere you turn in the struggle against the water charges.

People coming together in solidarity, building community spirit through the initiative of individuals, practising real democracy to organise against the injustice of the powerful, so that we may free ourselves from the burden of toil and arbitrary authority and live contentedly - this is the anarchy fantasy.

Shame on Labour for Opposing Fatal Foetal Abnormality Bill

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Tonight members of the Labour Party voted against a bill which would allow abortion in situations where the foetus has no prospect of survival.

Once again, the Labour Party vote against abortion legalisation on petty political grounds. Once again they promise that they will introduce legalisation. The first time they did this was in 1991, 22 years before the promised legalisation had not materialised. Labour lie, women die.

The second time they did this was after Savita Halappanavar died in October 2012. Within months of this they again voted against abortion.

Burton Trapped in Car, Generations Trapped in Banking Debt

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We have had months of outrage from media & politicians over the last months about the 2 hours Joan Burton spent stuck in a luxury car. This morning we saw a wave of Garda raids at dawn on political activists involved in that protest, one of whom faced 8 Garda barging into his house to arrest him while he tried to get his two young kids ready for school.

That's the nature of policing in this country, one law for the rich and powerful, and another for anyone who dares to stand up to the powerful.  The laws are written to protect those with wealth and power, to allow them to keep the rest of us down and desperate. It fast it turned out almost none of their scams that caused the crisis were even illegal (under the laws they paid politicians to draft).

The French proto anarchist Pierre-Joseph Proudhon wrote over 150 years ago that
“To be GOVERNED is to be watched, inspected, spied upon, directed, law-driven, numbered, regulated, enrolled, indoctrinated, preached at, controlled, checked, estimated, valued, censured, commanded, by creatures who have neither the right nor the wisdom nor the virtue to do so.
 

Right to Plunder the Economy, Not Right to Protest

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This morning squads of Garda around Dublin mounted dawn raids on the houses of water charges protesters over a sit in 3 months ago in Jobstown. At the same time across the city bankers and other speculators named in the HSBC Geneva Private Bank leaks slept soundly in their beds knowing no one was going to be knocking down their door. If you want to understand the nature of power the contrast provides an excellent example.

The raids this morning were all about what the politicians' spin doctors like to call optics. Politicians, media and the Gardaí are on a drive to criminalise and marginalise those resisting the imposition of water charges. Sit ins and blockades have been part of political protest in Ireland for decades, the IFA routinely has far more militant protests.

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State Repression of Anti-Water Charges Movement as Jobstown 4 Arrested

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Photo: State repression in action - Anti water charge protests Paul Murphy being arrested by 6 Garda at 7am this morning

Shocking news this morning as we hear that Garda have arrested four anti-water tax protesters this morning in connection with the sit down protest three months ago that kept Joan Burton in her car for a couple of hours. The Jobstown 4 are Paul Murphy, Scott Masterson, Mick Murphy and Kieran Mahon.

The arrests were made just before 7am this morning when teams of Garda arrived at the homes of those targeted. Eirigi have described the arrest of Scott as follows
"‘At around 7am this morning up to a dozen Gardaí in five vehicles arrived at Scott Masterson’s home. Scott was the only adult in the house getting his two young daughters ready for primary school and pre-school. When Scott’s partner returned to the house, having earlier gone to work, there were eight Gardaí in the house along with Scott and the two children. Scott was then arrested and made to stand in handcuffs on a public road for a number of minutes before being transported to Tallaght Garda barracks.’
 

Brutality in Maghaberry Prison - the Background

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Earlier today over 50 people protested outside Amnesty International HQ, in Dublin, against the brutal treatment of republican prisoners in Maghaberry prison in Antrim. This has flared up again with, for instance, republican prisoner Martin Kelly having his arm broken and face stomped on by the riot squad only 5 days ago. Here is the background to the struggle of these political prisoners for basic human rights.

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When the H-blocks closed as a part of the peace process in 2000, republican prisoners were put into Maghaberry prison because it is the only high security prison in the North of Ireland. But anti-Good Friday Agreement republicans were getting imprisoned in Maghaberry from the late 90's. The prison administration straight away treated all political prisoners as “criminal”. The rights that were gained from the prison struggle in the late 70's early 80's were taken away.

End The Abuses in Maghaberry – Solidarity with Political Prisoners

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The violence that erupted within the confines of Maghaberry Prison this week was the accumulation of ongoing tensions directed at political prisoners by Prison Authorities who are continuing to implement a punishing regime within the confines of Roe House, which houses around fifty Republican Political Prisoners. That's why we are saying End The Abuses in Maghaberry – Solidarity with Political Prisoners!

Since the end of January the Republican wing was put on lock down, 23 hour lock up, controlled movement and regular brutal forced strip searching despite an agreement brokered in the summer of 2010 to address these issues.

At the height of the violence, white-line pickets and protests occurred in both Belfast and Derry, as well as outside Maghaberry Gaol itself in an effort to highlight the abuse of human rights within Roe House. Reports coming directly from Maghaberry have been reminiscent of the horrors inflicted on Political prisoners in the H Blocks and Crumlin Road Gaol during the 1970’s and 1980’s. Prisoner representatives and their families have stated that several prisoners within Maghaberry’s Roe House have been attacked and beaten with one prisoner requiring hospital treatment after sustaining a broken arm. Legal challenges have also taken place as solicitors for those prisoners assaulted have been denied access to their clients who were initially refused immediate medical treatment as a result.

Will Syriza Pull Down Temple on ECB?

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Do we live in an economy or in a society? Last night Europe's central bankers sent the clear message they expect us to be the well behaved slaves of an economy rather than equals in a society. Less then two weeks after the Greeks had elected an anti-austerity government the ECB in effect told them they intended to block the promises of change that government was elected on.

Last night the ECB stopped the use of Greek sovereign bonds as collateral in borrowing from the ECB. In doing so they were sending a clear message that they expect the new Syriza/ANEL government in Greece to completely abandon the anti-austerity promises they were elected on. If they fail to obey the unelected central bankers then this policy change was intended to indicate a willingness to allow the collapse of the Greek banking system, something that would have disastrous effects in Greece but also across the rest of the EU.

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