January 2017

Homelessness: Shouldn't We Just Look After 'Our Own'?

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When it comes to housing, most of us just want to sort everyone out because everyone needs a home regardless of who they are. However, occasionally an issue is raised about who the homeless are:

'Are all the homeless people Irish? And if so how can the government find houses for the refugees coming into Ireland and not their own people?'

There are lots of people in high places who benefit from us thinking that the reason for homelessness in Ireland is refugees and other migrants. Or that these people are causing 'us' a big problem. It's understandable why some people believe that, after all the media spreads this message constantly, but it's just not accurate.

Pope to visit Ireland as part of drive to shame women ahead of referendum

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In case you missed it, the pope is set to visit Ireland in 2018. Archbishop Eamon Martin has said that this visit will be used to campaign against abortion, and that the church will run a much stronger campaign against it than what they did on marriage equality.

When the pope came to power in 2013 he was hailed and celebrated by liberals as some sort of radical who was single handedly going to bring the church into the 21st century. With statements such as the now famous "who am I to judge?" in regards to LGBT+ people you could almost have been fooled that the liberals were right.

Arlene Foster hides behind misogyny claims after burning 400 million

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The northern Ireland parliament, Stormont, is in one of its usual crises.  In this latest instance we’re talking about a massive fuck up by the DUP whereby Arlene Foster introduced a Renewable Heating Initiative scheme in 2012 which would pay businesses £1.60 for every £1 they spent on heating. This lead to companies heating up empty sheds and barns through the scheme which has amounted to almost half a billion pound being squandered by the so-called political elites. This is one of those crises that has gotten out of control and Stormont is struggling to get a grasp back on things so they’ve rolled out a bit of sectarianism in the hope that we get outraged about that and not the £490 million that has gone up in smoke.

Amazingly, after watching almost half a billion quid go up in smoke, and branding calls for her to step down after such a monumental fuck up as misogynistic - insulting women who have felt the very real consequences of her and her's party's misogynistic policies - Arlene Foster has put a meme on her facebook page of a guinea pig wearing pink heart shaped sunglasses with the words "can't see all the haters with my love glasses on".

Minister for homelessness says beware of neighbours filling swimming pools in piss poor divide and rule move

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You can tell a lot about someone from what they worry about. The Housing Minister Simon Coveney isn’t so much worried about people sleeping on the streets at the moment. He is losing sleep about the thought that other people might fill their swimming pools with free water!

Video - support & solidarity to Apollo House occupation

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Ireland is in the depths of a severe homelessness crisis, with 7,000 people without a home. With the government refusing to act, some activists in Dublin did.  Apollo House was occupied by Home Sweet Home Eire on the 15th December, to intervene in the housing crisis and to save lives.

There are around 190,000 vacant buildings in Ireland, that's 27 houses for every homeless person.

Minister Simon Coveney fails to deliver on Apollo House promises - protests today

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It emerged overnight that housing minister Simon Coveney has failed to deliver on the terms he agreed in order to get Home Sweet Home to vacate Apollo House. Protests are taking place outside Apollo house and across the country in response to this betrayal.
Like many other TDs Coveney is a landlord, we know he earns at least 2600 a month from landlordism - it could be a lot more, TDs are only required to declare that there are landlords if they earn more than that figure, they are not required to say how much more. For landlords homelessness plays an essential role in keeping tenants in a state of insecurity and fear, it makes us feel we have no other choice but to pay rent increases.

Hundreds form protection ring around Apollo house as High Court demands evictions

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Hundreds of people responded to the High Court demanding the eviction of Apollo House by linking arms to form a protective ring around it.  The judge  refused the residents an extra week to find accommodation despite the housing minister failing to deliver what had been promised.

Fascists fail to stir hate as Ballaghaderreen says welcome to refugees

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The small town of Ballaghaderreen recently found out that it would be welcoming some 82 refugees in the near future.  About half of these are minors and most of those are under 12 including 13 under the age of 4.  There were the predictable attempts by neo-nazis to whip up hate online and someone even distributed about 80 British fascist leaflets in the town.  But rather than hate taking hold the town held a standing room only welcoming meeting last Thursday.  We asked one of the organisers, Jessamine O Connor,  to tell us how this happened.

Apollo House - well worth fighting for

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Yesterday hundreds of people turned out to support the imaginative action which is known to all as Apollo house. Apollo House is the single point of light that emerged from an otherwise dismal year, a centennial year of significance, which gave us so little to be proud of. Homelessness, in spite of being a significant symptom of all that is wrong in our society, is both ignored and tolerated. Fortunately the sight of the homeless masses did not get in the way of the centenary celebrations of what a great little republic we have grown up to be.

The actions of the Irish Housing Network and the alliance of supporters which has become known as Home Sweet Home, has taken over an ugly brutalist building and former dole office on Tara Street, and gave homeless people hope of a fresh start. What it has also done is shone a light on the inhumane bureaucratic approach of this to dealing with people who live on the streets. Getting people who have no bed for the night, to phone a free phone number in order to secure one for a single night, only to be thrown back out into the dark pre-dawn streets to do it all again the next day. Apollo House is the golden lamp that emerges from 2016 – and that’s why it has touched the people of Ireland, and been so massively supported. It is an example of what this state should do to support the dispossessed, and would have been a far more fitting tribute than having parades or concerts.

Revolution in Rojava - audio of Dublin launch and discussion by author

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Revolution in Rojava” is an eye-witness account on the experience of creating a bottom up social order which actively challenges all forms of oppression and exploitation. The struggle in Rojava (a mostly Kurdish region north of Syria), despite the extent of counterrevolutionary and imperialist forces aligned against it, continues to nurture an autonomous, grassroots resistance across its multiply ethno-religious communities.

Lessons from the Barricade Inn squatted social centre - audio discussion

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The Barricade Inn was a squatted social centre in the centre of Dublin.  During the peak of its activity over the summer of 2015 hundreds of people were involved in putting on events in the space that thousands of people attended.  In this audio we talk to three WSM members who were involved in opening up and running The Barricade about what happened there and what lessons they drew from the experience. 

Meaningless election looms at Stormont

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With Martin McGuinness resigning as Deputy First Minister and Sinn Fein declining to nominate a deputy first miniter an election is almost certainly going to be called and the electoral circus will once again come to town.  

Please excuse this writer's election fatigue - with this being the third election in 12 months on this island - as I begin this short post off with a well used phrase: "Never be deceived that the rich will allow you to vote away their wealth".

The Green and Orange politics of the north almost guarantees us that we will be returned with a Sinn Féin - DUP government, meaning that, yep you guessed it(!), if voting changed anything here it would be illegal.

After the coup - a visit to Istanbul & north Kurdistan - interview with activist researcher

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Farah recently visited Istanbul and Northern Kurdistan around Amed / Diyarbakir to interview feminist and Kurdish activists.  In this interview on her return to Ireland we talk about the massive repression against the left and Kurdish movement that has seen tens of thousands fired from their jobs and thousands including many of the HDP MPs jailed. 

A referendum on the 8th or #strike4repeal on March 8th

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Feminists in Ireland are upping their game against the 8th amendment and indeed against the Irish state. The newly formed group, Strike for Repeal, are preparing to ‘strike’ if a date is not set for a referendum to repeal he 8th Amendment by International Women’s day on March 8th.

In a press release the group has said “The strike will not be an industrial strike in the traditional sense but could include taking an annual leave day off work, refraining from domestic work for the day, wearing black in solidarity or staging a walkout during your lunch break. We also encourage any business owners in a position to close their services at no cost to workers, to do so for all or part of the day as a solidarity action.”

Trump hates whistle blowers and attacks Chelsea

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Meanwhile on Twitter Trump is losing it again. It's really not surprising he'd hate whistle blowers, is it?

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