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By Estelle Birdy
We, my friend Orla and I, were out for a meal. It was early winter in 2012. I know that because I remember the main topic of conversation. Savita Halappanavar. It wasn’t too long after her death and we’d both been at the protests in the aftermath. We were angry for her and for us and for our children. We were upset for her husband and we were bowled over by his dignity and strength. Green 19, on Camden Street, was the location for our dinner. For those of you not as hip as myself, it’s a trendy café/restaurant on Camden Street,with reasonably priced food and friendly staff. At the time, they had main meals for a tenner. Camden Street is probably the biggest ‘going-out’ street in Dublin now. They bring in Portaloos on Saturday nights. At 4am, it’s like…
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We Won’t Back Down
On Monday the 24 November 2014 we expect four of our friends and neighbors to be committed to prison for exercising their right to peaceful protest. They are to be punished for failing to abide by a High Court injunction granted to GMC Sierra which requires them (and any other protester) to, among other things, remain at least 20 meters away from workers installing unwanted water meters.
This injunction, in spite of the High Court Judges claims to the contrary, obliterates any meaningful right to protest against the installation of water meters. For that reason protesters throughout Dublin, and the rest of the country, have rejected this illegitimate interference with their right to protest, and have continued their dignified resistance to the installation of water meters, and the water charges regime.
This injunction, and the expected imprisonment of our friends and neighbors on Monday, represents another…
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Yesterday’s Irish Times editorial refers to the ‘barbarous’ execution of journalist Steven Sotloff and the ‘calculated brutality’ of his death at the hands of Isis, calling it ‘almost medieval’. It might be worth thinking about how something can be at once ‘almost medieval’ and ‘in public on social media’, as if satellite and fibre optic technology and smartphones were part of everyday life in the Middle Ages.
It sure is convenient to cast the designated enemy as emanating from a different time, like some kind of Ozymandias. Doing so casts oneself –and usually, by association, the US military- on the side of progress and modernity, as part of the forces of enlightenment amassed to drive back the barbarian hordes. I suppose it would have been too much to hope that the disaster unleashed by the US and its allies in Iraq and Afghanistan would have put paid to such imperialist…
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Paint my views as out there to paint me insane,
but the only picture you paint is one that is patently framed
The deal struck by the GAA with Sky Sports is causing a lot of consternation, and receiving a lot of media attention. I am not the biggest GAA fan in the parish by any stretch of the imagination. The last time I was at a match was maybe nine or ten years ago. I only went to Armagh matches when they were good. I watch the championship sporadically and have no idea what happens in the national league from year to year. I played football and hurling at school and was very mediocre, lacking variously the drive, the physical prowess or the desire to beat people up that might make a fine player. Normally I don’t say anything about GAA matters because there are millions of people far better informed about them than me, and I would only make an arse of myself if I started discussing team selections and…
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Thomas ‘Tommy’ Wood (1919-1936), aged just seventeen, was the youngest Irish volunteer to fight and die with the International Brigades. A Dubliner from a staunch Republican family, he left for Spain with Frank Ryan on 11th December 1936 and was mortally wounded just eighteen days later at the Battle of Cordoba.
Wood (often misspelt as Woods) joined Na Fianna Eireann at the age of seven and was later active with B Coy, 2nd Battalion, Dublin Brigade IRA. Before leaving, he wrote a letter to his mother:
I am very sorry for not telling you where I was going. I am going to Spain to fight with the International Column. Please forgive me for not letting you know. I got my wages in the Gas. Co. alright. I left a message to be delivered on Sunday. We are going out to fight for the working class. It is not a religious war…
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The attempt by the Conservative Party in Britain to rebrand itself as the ‘Workers’ Party’ will provoke both mirth and dismay from people who can remember the long, distinguished and continuing history of that party in destroying the lives of working class people.
But such a rebranding is not intended to win the hearts of all workers. Rather, what it seeks is a mainstay of Tory policy for decades: winning over just enough working class people in order to maintain political hegemony, as part of the striving towards the dream of a bourgeoisie without a proletariat.
What is perhaps new is the way the opposing pole of ‘Worker’ in this system of signs is not ‘Capitalist’ (there are no longer capitalists, only entrepreneurs) but those who do not work – the ‘workshy’, those who are dependent on benefits to survive, those culturally represented as ‘chavs’. The division between the…
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