Making sense of the Brexit tide of reaction and the reality of the racist vote

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The Leave / Brexit vote in the referendum came in the end as a surprise, a narrow win for Remain was expected. This may be because the core Leave vote was in the run-down white working class communities of the now desolate English and Welsh industrial zones. A population trapped in conditions of long-term unemployment and poverty who no one really pays much attention to anymore.

Some on the left have seized on the makeup of this core vote to suggest that there was some progressive element to the Brexit vote despite the campaign being led by racist hatemongers and wealthy US-oriented neoliberals. Mostly that’s a mixture of wishful thinking and post hoc justification for having called for a Leave vote in the first place, but it is true that a section of the working class, C2DEs in marketing speak, voted to Leave in close to a 2:1 ratio. Is the class composition of that vote enough to automatically make it progressive regardless of content? And what does it tell us that a section of the radical left seems to think the answer to that question is yes, that it is enough to be anti-establishment?

10 point guide for post Brexit resistance as racist right wins EU referendum

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1. The Brexit vote for the UK to leave the European Union demonstrates that even weak parliamentary democracy is incompatible with escalating neoliberal inequality.  In the UK as elsewhere a tiny segment of the population have taken a larger and larger share of total wealth in the last decades.  Particularly under austerity almost everyone else has seen their share of the wealth they produce decline massively.

2. The Remain campaign was headed up by the political class of the neoliberal establishment and backed by model neo liberal corporations like Ryanair.  But because the anger against rising inequality was successfully diverted through scapegoating already marginalized people, in particular migrants, the Leave campaign was also lead by wealthy elitist bigots whose variant of neoliberalism looks to the former colonies and the US rather than Europe.

The Political and Personal Landscape of Choice in Ireland

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It is all but impossible, both in theory and in practice, to legally obtin an abortion on the island of Ireland, both north and south of the imaginary border that divides this island. It is completely impossible to safely and legally obtain an abortion anywhere in Ireland;  the legal framework in the south specifically requires that in order to obtain an abortion without being criminalised for so doing, the woman who needs it must be ill enough to die; thus it is rendered impossible for her to be safe in access to legal abortion.

 

Orlando means fightback - there is absolutely no room in our gay agenda for Islamophobia

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Our hearts ache for the victims of the homophobic hate crime that took place over the weekend in Orlando, Florida where a gunman attacked an LGBT+ club killing 50 and wounding over 50 more.  Much has been asked by us and by other left queers about the LGBT+ community, whether it exists and if it exists why don’t we feel a part of it. Sadly it is at times like these that we become aware of its existence. When people are considered deviants and deserving of a murderous assault for their sexuality, a trait all of us in the community share, we cannot but come together in sadness and in mourning.

A City in Common: The Radical Potential of Ireland’s Eco-Transport Struggles

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Could climate change become a catalysing force for radical social transformation in Ireland? Recent struggles around public transport in Ireland prompt us to think along these lines.

During the spring of 2016, Luas workers went on strike for decent pay and for terms and conditions similar to workers in other public transport services [1]. Similarly, in Autumn 2015, Irish Rail workers went on strike, primarily in opposition to the EU Commission and the Irish government’s gradual moves towards privatisation [2]. Previously, in Spring 2015, Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann workers went on strike over plans by the National Transport Authority to tender out 10% of public routes to private operators. SIPTU’s banner at Liberty Hall outlined why: ‘Say No to Privatisation; privatisation results in fare increase, reduced services, a threat to free travel, a bad deal for taxpayers and job cuts’.

The making of an anarchist in Portlaoise prison

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In 2010 I was sentenced to 6 years for having possession of 20 grams of explosive powder.  I was to serve 4 years and 8 months in Portlaoise prison.  This is not an in-depth study into prison and jails, and it is not an academic piece. It is simply an experience. My experience of jail will be different than other people’s experience because no two people’s experience will ever be the same. The other person’s experience will always be different no matter how great or small.   

My experience started with 3 days questioning in a Garda station in Mountjoy. After the questioning was over I was charged with having an explosive substance, having materials used to build explosives and membership of an illegal organization.

From the Garda station I was brought straight to the special criminal court which was in Green Street courthouse at the time. I was brought to the holding cell, which resembled something out of a cowboy film or a medievil film. There was no door on the cell, there was a gate made from bars. On the wall of the cell were messages written on the wall by people that have come through here, messages of support, people's names with numbers beside their name indicating how many years the person got, names of different republican groups, pictures of soldiers with guns, symbols such as the hammer and sickle.

Eyewitness Rojava Revolution - accounts from participants and Janet Biehl - #DABF video & audio

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In Northern Syria ISIS has been driven back by people fighting for a society based on principles of direct democracy, gender equality, and sustainability. From the their revolution in 2012 they have created a de facto autonomous region in which this ideas are being implemented.

At this opening session of the 2016 Dublin Anarchist Bookfair we heard from eyewitnesses to the revolution including those from the region.

Remembering 1916 Together: Anarchist Perspectives - video from #DABF 2016

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A century ago, an armed insurrection took place in Ireland to end British rule and to establish an independent Irish Republic. The 1916 Rising was soon accompanied by major popular revolts against World War One across Europe and later emulated by anti-colonial movements across the Global South.

When it comes to remembering the 1916 Rising, why do conservative politicians and historians want to convince us that it would have been better for us if Pearse and Connolly had stayed at home? Why did the state parade lots of military equipment and personnel down O’Connell Street to mark the centenary? Why did so many people turn out to watch it?

This panel attempts to think through the meaning of 1916 for us today, and the politics at stake in how these events are remembered, forgotten, and mis-remembered.

Why elections fail to bring about real change - the 10 filters that make them ineffective for the radical left

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Why can’t the 99% simply vote in a government that acts in their interest and not that of the 1%

At a simple level parliamentary elections sound like the ideal way for the mass of the ‘have nots’ to use their numbers to overcome the power and influences of the tiny number of have’s.  Occupy talked about this division in the language of the 1% and 99%; a crude approximation that does reflect a reality where the number of wealthy decision makers is actually very tiny, indeed less than 1%.  So, why can’t the 99% simply vote in a government that acts in their interest and not that of the 1%? [Listen to this article]

Barricade Inn - Trials and Tribulations

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Two weeks ago, at the judge’s discretion, the high court issued an injunction to make the occupation of the Barricade Inn illegal, coming into effect from tomorrow. It seems this may bring an end to one of the most ambitious projects the anarchist squatter movement has yet attempted. A radical, anti-capitalist social centre in the heart of Dublin, open to the public and right next to one of the city's main thoroughfares. A valuable resource for activists to organise and engage with the public. A focal point for outreach, with the hope of spreading the dreams and ideals of anarchism that were its inspiration.

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