Dublin Pride 2016 Reflections - Queer liberation, not rainbow capitalism

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I had mixed feelings attending Pride, but mostly felt bewildered and pissed off. I was looking forward to this year's Pride for quite some time. It was my second ever Pride, and I came to march with the Radical Left Bloc, one of two radical blocs attending, which was organised by others. Like last year, I was shocked – somehow again – by the level of corporate infestation and toothlessness.

Here is an important question for everyone: what's the point of Pride?  From being there, I know clearly that people's answers to this question vary hugely.

Theresa May elected but there can be no such thing as a feminist Tory

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Theresa May has just become the UK’s latest Prime Minister and the second ever woman Prime Minister. She’s certainly a decent orator paired with a comedian of a speech writer who wrote a statement filled with faux concern about making the “UK a country that works for all and not just the privileged few” – it’s as if she thinks we don’t know she’s a member of the privileged-few-loving Conservative Party, or as she reminded us, Conservative and Unionist Party (I’m not sure that’s supposed to make us feel better about the Tories…).

Why we say Black Lives Matter and not All Lives Matter

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Black Power salute in front of Black Lives Matter banner outside GPO in DublinThere's a funny glitch in both US and Irish society that whenever 'Black Lives Matter' (BLM) is said, inevitably there's an echo of 'All Lives Matter' (ALM). Like good social technicians let's try and fix that glitch.

Black Lives Matter is variously accused of being 'racist', 'divisive', and 'distracting' from what's 'really' happening and 'real' issues. But this is mistaken.

'Black Lives Matter' is not a statement made in a vaccuum, out of nowhere - 'Black Lives Matter' is a response. It's a direct response to every killing of a black person by the police, as agents of the white supremacist state. Every killing, and the subsequent indifference of (white) society and impunity of the killers, is a message: BANG, BANG, 'Black Lives Don't Matter'. 'No' is the reply, 'Black Lives Matter'.

Video documentary on the Belfast Rally for Choice 2016

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This year Belfast saw its largest pro-choice demonstration when about a thousand people took to the streets for the Rally for Choice.  This was a significant achievement and to mark it we’ve put together this brief documentary featuring footage from the march, some of the speakers and interviews with both organisers and participants.

Wealth and the working poor - you'd have to work 703 years to earn what O'Reilly takes

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Roughly over one hundred thousand workers in Ireland are currently working on the minimum wage-thats 9.15 an hour or under 400 euro a week,working 40 hours a week. Around 90% of those on social welfare payment and out of work earn less than they would in work. The old proclamations of our leaders that 'were all middle class now' and the lies spread about those on social welfare are shown to be what they actually are from these facts. They are mere propaganda slogans aimed at convincing us that we live in a more or less equal society and that we should keep quiet about the enormous wealth of corporations and business owners.

What's the Incentive to Work in an Anarchist Society?

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One of the most common arguments against the establishment of Anarchist Socialism is that there would be no incentive to work in a new, future society - leading to widespread apathy and laziness among the general population, with a few carrying the burden of the overwhelming majority at best and at worst nothing will be done at all. The aim of this piece is to highlight that the opposite is instead true - that in a socialist society there will even more of an incentive to work productively (in the capitalist sense) and to contribute to the communal pot which we can all then draw from.

Firstly we should reject the capitalist ethos of what is productive labour. To summarise under capitalism productive labour is valued by how much profit can be made in a transaction of goods, services or ficticous capital - not by how valuable it is on a human level. Take for instance stock brokers who get enormous pay checks for betting on and moving currency or goods around the world, while mothers and the care givers of children get next to nothing, becoming slaves to charity, the state or their partners (possible all of these) to support them in the rearing and socialisation of children, so arguably one of the most important jobs in society gets no remuneration.

Thoughts on Squatting & Social Centers

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Over the previous year myself and a small number of comrades have been involved in housing activism in Dublin, specifically in relation using squatting or using occupation as a tactic. This is meant to be a short piece on some of the lessons learnt to inform activists who wish to get involved in this sort activity.

At the start of our career as squatter/housing activists over a year ago occupying buildings seemed like the primary logical option available to us. Not only was it an available and sensible form of direct action, which informed by our Social Anarchist politics was invariable the best and most effective tactic to use, it was also an easy way to alleviate the housing crisis.

What is 'Self-Organisation'? A Basic Introduction

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What is 'self-organisation'?

Listen to anarchists for long enough, and you'll hear us praising the 'self-organisation' of various movements or groups and insisting that political activity needs to be more 'self-organised'. But what does this mean? Why is this important?

It can be an odd-sounding term, but basically 'self-organisation' is doing stuff without relying on or waiting for external leadership or a central authority. A 'self-organised' movement doesn't wait for parties, unions, or whatever leader, to give it orders. A 'self-organised' group isn't controlled from the top-down. Self-organisation – like a related idea, 'self-management' – is at the core of anarchism. It makes us more effective, and gives us an opportunity to practice real democracy.

Nuit Debout - the failure of parliamentary politics in France

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Since the worldwide recession in 2008, we have seen governments around the world make neoliberal reforms, states hammering through austerity measures. In Ireland we know only too well the extent of austerity, the state has cut everything from healthcare to social housing. We have seen the struggle communities have been fighting against the privatization of water. We have seen the ever rising number of people being made homeless, mothers and fathers having to sleep in cars and parks with their children. We have seen massive unemployment, our loved ones having to emigrate to the other side of the world to find work.

Solidarity & self-organisation at the Dunkirk refugee camp - A better world is possible

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Around 1000 people currently live in a camp near Dunkirk in France.  Many of them are Kurdish, fleeing either ISIS in Syria, the Iranian state or the Turkish states war against the Kurdish part of its population.  Some families have already spent 10 months in the camp.

Many hope to get to the UK just a short and very famous journey away across the sea.  There is a motorway near the camp and when traffic slows down some in desperation try and leap onto passing lorries.  Sometimes people get killed doing this.

It’s an all too familiar story and there is a liberal tendency to paint the people living in these conditions as victims requiring our charity.  What we want to talk about here is how this isn’t the case, that instead people in the camps are self organising with solidarity activists and in the most difficult of circumstances taking some control back over their lives. It's solidarity we need to talk about, not charity.

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