Video - all of 2018 March for Choice as it passes down the Dublin quays


This video shows all of the 2018 March for Choice pass down the quays in Dublin.  This year we had won the refrendum but much is left to fight for in terms of the details of the legislation and standing down the inevotable anti-choice attempts that will be made once the lefislation comes in to intimidate doctors,  as welll as women and pregnant who will finally be able to access free, safe and legal abortion in Ireland. [video]

[Approximate transcript] This video shows the seventh annual March for Choice passing through Dublin. The March is organised every year by the Abortion Rights Campaign. This year it happened in the context of winning the referendum to overturn the ban on abortion that was in the Irish constitution but it's happening right before the legislation is introduced that will implement that and allow for abortion access in Ireland. 

We have major issues with this proposed legislation because the intention is to restrict access despite the fact that 2/3 of the people voted for abortion access in that referendum.  In particular the government intends to insist on a three day waiting period between when a woman first visits the doctor and between when she gets abortion pills prescribed.  That waiting period is going to affect some to the extent that abortion won't be accessible to them. Especially those who are in abusive relationships.

Doctors should not be allowed to refuse to refer a women to other doctors for an abortion if they are not willing to do so themselves. In fact something like this situation already exists, some consultants refuse to prescribe contraception and indeed the anti-referendum campaign included some of those consultants as spokespeople. But what they do is they simply refer the person to the doctor down the corridor and they do their job.

Many people who voted yes in the referendum are unaware of these issues, indeed the turnout for the march this year was probably about a quarter of last year's match but last year's happened in the context of pressure really building for a referendum and a lot of people sensed that and so had a strong reason to turn out. As it was the five thousand people who did showed there is a very strong core to the pro-choice movement one that will be demanding legislation and will be combating shortcomings in it.

In all accounts it's important to acknowledge just how far we've come since the dark days of 1983 when the eighth amendment was passed. In the years after that the antichoice people tried to ban travel, they tried to ban books from libraries and magazines that carry abortion information and they prosecuted the students unions that continue to provide information on that basis.

They were relentless in their hounding of pro-choice activists, indeed the student union leaders who continued to publish information were taken to court and had at the time a massive judgement of costs awarded against him in the region of 90,000 which would've bought two houses in Dublin in that time period.

In the early 1990s in the aftermath of the X case when the state attempted to stop a 14-year-old girl who was pregnant as a result of rape from travelling it was huge mobilisations  that forced the courts to allow her to go. Pro-choice activists were physically attacked by antichoice campaigners several times on the streets until they gave up that tactic because of it resulting in there own marginalisation.

The recent referendum saw all sorts of disgusting lies and smears used by the same forces some of them just on Twitter and hard to track down exactly who is responsible for them, these were some of the nastiest, but also they were able to use their huge access to the Irish media including opinion pieces in all major Irish papers to continually represent a point of view that today almost nobody continues to hold.

And in the last weeks we have witnessed them and other major spokes people starting to make pretty obvious racist dog whistles and indeed make a turn towards what could be called Alt-right politics in other countries like the US and Britain. That's probably because they've looked at the exit poll results that show between 8 and 9 out of every 10 young people voted yes in the referendum and so their only constituency among the youth are going to be angry young white man who turn to racism. It's quite shocking on the one level to see them go to this position but then it's also not very surprising. The antichoice movement was always a movement very much connected to the far right with some prominent people even going as far as to speak at fascist rallies elsewhere in Europe!

The majority of the leadership with a hard right politics was sensible enough to recognise that the outward trappings of fascism, seig heil salutes etc, included lots of the stuff that wasn't going to help them but they are very much aligned to a more respectable Catholic hard right across Europe and indeed reaching into the United States. Something that looks much more towards Franco in Spain and the sort of repressive politics there then Hitler's Germany but is part of fascism all the same.

What has been noticeable and encouraging in the post referendum period is the number of activists have now got involved in the housing struggles and indeed reference to the recent violent eviction was made by one of the speakers from the north on the stage when she threw a balaclava into the crowd at one point. We have video of the different speeches going up over the next few days and you'll be able to catch up on them here.

The important thing is even though legislation is coming the struggle is far from over. The exact way it will be implemented and trying to improve it will become important as will monitoring the anti choice forces which will shutdown and limit access. We highly recommend getting involved with the Abortion Rights Campaign, they very much lead the struggle since 2012, and that was the group that more than anything else was behind the successful winning of the referendum.

As for us we been involved in pro-choice struggles since we founded in 1984 in the aftermath of the referendum and will be continuing that sort of activity into the future.

As anarchists we are involved in the struggle for the horizontal society, one without bosses and politicians, not one where everyone goes to work and faces a dictator with very little say or control over your own working life, what you do you or indeed what is produced.

Late stage capitalism has become a massive threat to the future existence of humanity particularly the threat of uncontrolled climate change that they seem incapable and now even unwilling to actually try and impact. At the same time we are seeing things like the housing crisis situation which is making landlords and property speculators richer than ever but which is creating misery for probably 80% of the population. The context now is one where if you don't already have a home it's almost impossible for 80% of people to get one by payment of a reasonable rent, reasonable been perhaps 20% of income. People working in Dublin at the moment and the other major cities are paying up to 50% or more of their income out in rent.

The successful campaign to demand a referendum was one that demonstrated that electoral politics isn't the way forward, after all when Labour was kicked out in the last election multiple commentators said that was there was no hope for a referendum, leaders on the left and the right joined in that particular chorus but they turned out to be wrong. Rather the reality is that mass movement on the streets and taking action like Strike for Repeal that threatened disruption were able to force the most conservative Irish government, Fine Gael are that, to go ahead and call a referendum after the pressure brought about by the citizens assembly and its recommendations.

This can be and should be a general model for change, a model that says that rather than looking to political parties to introduce change for us, and to be honest they never will, we can organise ourselves and bring pressure through protest action to direct action and change things. But our ultimate goal  is the abolition of capitalism and the introduction of a society that doesn't have bosses and doesn't have politicians, where we will be all are in control of our own lives. 

Do you want to find out more check out

Or for a detailed look at anarchism Google anarchist FAQ and you will find pretty much all your questions answered.

 Video & words: Andrew Flood (follow Andrew on Twitter)