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

Irish Chamber of Commerce Puts Profit Before Right to Protest

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The spokesperson for the Irish Chamber of Commerce has said 'We'd never deny people the right to protest - but the protest has to be done and managed in a way that causes minimal disruption to businesses', citing revenue lost by the massive anti-water charges demonstration on December 10th.

We cannot tolerate such anti-democratic statements. The crux of this position is that we can have some semblance of democratic rights and freedoms, but we have to remember that money comes first. The essential condition is that businesses have the maximum ability to make profits, even if it means curtailing protest.

Operation Pandora: Demonstrations in Solidarity with Spanish Anarchists

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After an international call for protests on January the 16th, anarchists in Belfast, Cork, and Dublin demonstrated in solidarity with the anarchists arrested in the Operation Pandora raids in the Spanish state, along with Basque political prisoners (16 lawyers of Basque activists recently being arrested, and tens of thousands of euro in donations stolen by police).

11 anarchists were arrested back in December in Operation Pandora without any evidence being presented, but the Judge Presiding Judge Bermúdez said “I am not investigating specific acts, I am investigating the organization, and the threat they might pose in the future.”

In a letter of protest which was handed to the Spanish ambassador in Dublin, D. Freeman for the Workers Solidarity Movement said:
Of course the current prime minister of Spain, Mario Rajoy, was front and centre in Paris for the staged photo-op around the Charlie Hebo march for freedom of expression, whilst back in Spain people are being arrested for being who they are.

Not much evidence there of freedom of expression. In fact what we are seeing now in Spain is the opposite; we are seeing people targeted because of the ideas that they hold are deemed unacceptable to the Spanish State.

Irish Ministers Pose for Charlie Hebdo Free Speech, While Blasphemy Law Remains

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'Je suis Charlie. Vive la Liberté (mais le blasphème est interdit!)'

More members of the hypocrite's identity parade. If these politicians were serious about protecting free speech, beyond posturing in photo-ops, they would be fast-tracking a referendum on abrogating the blasphemy law and not fast-tracking redundant 'anti-terror' legislation (which has been used all over the world to stifle dissent).

The greatest irony is that while they make a spectacle of defending the blasphemous Charlie Hebdo against Islamist violence, repressive Islamist governments use the Irish blasphemy law as justification for their persecution of blasphemers, and advocate the exact wording of 'our' law to the UN as international best practice to spread blasphemy laws to other countries.

In fact, this is the most important reason that the Irish blasphemy law must be abolished immediately. It will likely not be applied in Ireland, though it is certainly unjust and ridiculous. Although Dr. Ali Salem, of the Islamic Cultural Centre of Ireland, has warned that he will invoke it against blaspheming Charlie Hebdo cartoons if they are re-printed here.
 

Only Those Without Democracy and Freedom Need To Be Told They Have Them

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In the wake of the Charlie Hebdo attack we have been inundated with reminders from our 'leaders' of how glorious our society, our civilisation, is. Liberty, Equality, Fraternity - these are the principles which supposedly animate our political life.

But only those who aren't free, and don't live in a democratic society, need to be told they are free and live in a democratic society. To those who are free, it is obvious. Billionaire Denis O'Brien knows he is free. We, au contraire, have to be convinced. And real democracy is a way of life, it is not something hard to spot.

We want a society where liberty, equality, and solidarity, aren't just words, but are the ubiquitous and palpable features of every day life - that is to say anarchism.

In our society, Democracy is like a marble statue in an art gallery. It is dead and motionless, put on a pedestal, you view and admire it, then go home and don't take it with you. The professionals will curate it - return to your plebeian wont.
 

Sweeping 'Anti-Terrorism' Legislation Due Soon Before Dail

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REMAIN INDOORS, TERRORISTS ARE COMING FOR YOUR FREEDOM

Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan has said Ireland is on alert for terrorist attacks and that sweeping zero-tolerance anti-terrorism legislation will be soon before the Dáil.

Enough hysteria. In Ireland we've prided ourselves for not indulging such wacky 'anti-terrorism' mania to the extent the US and UK have post-11/9. 'Terrorism' is an ill-defined nonsense term and this is as true as ever.
 

Charlie Hebdo: Taoiseach Enda Kenny's Gold and Liliaceous Statement

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Politicians love to take the high moral ground, especially because they spend most of their time lying and implementing the unethical agenda of the masters. Events like the Charlie Hebdo massacre are excellent opportunities for them to declaim from the pulpit, and distract from their own malfeasance. 'Murdering journalists is bad! Those people are savages, how could they trample on our exquisite Democracy? Why do they hate our Liberty, which we love so dearly?' It is an opportunity to further reinforce the mythology of a Free Society, and Enda Kenny - the ambitious statesman that he is - is not one to let it pass.

In our solidarity we show the agents of such destruction that to us their actions are anathema, their propositions absurd ...
Together, as Europeans, may we nourish our democracy, protect our liberty, cherish our way of life.
” - An Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Paris, January 2015.

How wearisome is it when we are more accustomed to our most beloved ideals being used as soundbite seasoning than being expressed in earnest - let alone actually being embodied by the society we live in? Political life is fake, and we expect it to be fake. The politicians are just so shocked that anyone would do such a thing. Where did it even come from? Well don't ask that, but they had nothing to do with fomenting the conditions for its expansion anyway. Iraq, Afghanistan, Abu Ghraib, (Shannon), speak not of it. The barbarians are on the loose and there's no time.
 

Spanish PM Postures about 'Freedom of Expression' Despite Repression at Home

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The question isn't which of these countries' governments isn't truly committed to freedom of expression, as the Picket Line of Justice would suggest, but which is. Today Spanish police arrested at least 16 lawyers of Basque political prisoners. Three were arrested on their way to the Spanish Special Court for the first day of a mass trial against 35 pro-independence activists. This is only two days after a 80,000 person protest for the rights of Basque political prisoners.

Also, on December 16th 2014 we saw 11 anarchists in Barcelona area detained in what has been known as "Operation Pandora". All 11 detainees (4 of them were released on charges on December, 18th) are anarchist activists. Solicitors for the accused have stated that they have been arrested for being organised; evidence against the accused is non-existent and desperate. Presiding Judge Bermúdez said “I am not investigating specific acts, I am investigating the organization, and the threat they might pose in the future”, presumably having to stop himself before saying 'Anarchy is on trial'.
 

Céad Míle Fáilte to Rough It Outside the Garda National Immigration Bureau

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Some International Students & Workers organised a solidarity gathering to stand up and speak out against the humiliating treatment of international students and workers required to register at the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB).

Many have seen the recent reports and photographs of students and workers queueing overnight at the GNIB in order to obtain required visa permissions to remain in the state. Under huge pressure from students, workers and allies the Department of Justice (DoJ) were forced to temporary alleviate the situation by placing more resources into processing claims, especially for re-entry visas.
 

Demonstrations in Spain as Police Crack Down on Anarchist Movement

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Demonstrations took place overnight across the Spanish state against the series of police raids targeting the anarchist movement. The Barcelona demonstration of 2000 people was led by a banner proclaiming "If you touch one; you touch all".

Demands include "Freedom for those arrested for struggling", "Down with prison walls" and "Social war against the state of capital".

Media reports say that the raids took place in 15 locations in Barcelona, Sabadell, Manresa and Madrid and that 11 have been arrested. The usual excuse is given, 'terrorism', but the same reports reveal that all that the raids have discovered are "computers, mobile phones and notebooks found during searches"
 

Sunday World Story More Incendiary than Starring Petrol Bomb

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We have an easy winner for the WTF example of media bias this week in relation to the water charge resistance. The Sunday World journalists have pulled out all the stops in the service of Denis O'Brien as illustrated below. In case you miss the small print under the photo we have underlined it in yellow 'How it Could have Looked'.

The non exploding Drogheda 'petrol bomb' was a weak story in any case, a scare that felt manufactured before the Sunday World got creative with its photographs of a burned out van from somewhere else altogether. But really what sort of excuse can be offered up for such transparent bias?

 

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