Déardaoin, Nollaig 22, 2011

Minihan Condemns Ballyfermot Local Drugs Task Force Cuts
Louise Minihan
éirígí councillor Louise Minihan
éirígí spokesperson Councillor Louise Minihan has described cuts of 2.4 per cent to the Ballyfermot Local Drugs Task Force [BLDTF] as a disastrous decision.
Cllr Minihan, who is a member of the BLDTF, said the ‘slash and burn’ cuts are yet another savage attack against local community.
Speaking from Ballyfermot, Cllr Louise Minihan said, “The Ballyfermot Local Drugs Task force provides a vital local service, tackling issues related to the scourge of drugs, and provides much needed funding to a number of important community projects in the Ballyfermot area. That the Fine Gael/ Labour Coalition would cut the funding to such an essential service demonstrates how they have absolutely no concern for the welfare of the people of Ballyfermot or the Irish working class.
“At a time when Ballyfermot has one of the highest rates of drug users in this state, and when drugs abuse is on the rise, cuts to funding for community drugs services has a real potential to cost lives.
“This decision could have disastrous consequences, and must be reversed.”
Minihan concluded, “éirígí in Ballyfermot are in the middle of a campaign against cutbacks, organising resistance to austerity at a local level. In the coming weeks and months we will bring the anger in our community to the doors of Fine Gael and Labour, who have acted against the interests of the people they claim to represent. The people of Ballyfermot will not take attacks on our community lying down.”

Dé Máirt, Nollaig 13, 2011

éirígí Ard-Fheis November 2011 – Full Report
Saturday, November 26, saw upwards of 150 people participate in Ard-Fheis éirígí, November 2011. The daylong event, which took place in the Teachers Club on Dublin’s Parnell Square, saw activists from across the country come together to rededicate themselves to the struggle for a free Ireland.
An Ard-Fheis opened with an organisational report for 2011 delivered by Runaí Ginearálta éirígí Breandán Mac Cionnatith. Reports then followed from Daithí Mac An Mháistir, Ciaran Heaphey and Pádraig Ó Meiscill, the respective heads of éirígí’s Membership, Finance and Publicity Departments. A question and answer session then completed the organisational section of An Ard-Fheis.
Next on the clár was a discussion on the issue of abortion, which saw many members give their views on this potentially divisive issue. The hour-long discussion was particularly useful as it gave party activists the opportunity to hear the views of comrades from all parts of the country. The issue will now be discussed further within the party’s local Ciorcal (branches) before the membership will decide éirígí’s position on abortion.
The head of éirígí’s Irish language department, Ursula Ní Shionnain, then presented a comprehensive draft Irish language policy paper to An Ard-Fheis, before taking questions and comment from the floor. A number of activists took the opportunity to stress the importance of the Irish language in the wider struggle for a free and independent Ireland. As is the case with all important policy and strategy issues the draft language paper will be further discussed within local Ciorcal before a vote will be taken on the adoption of same.
The second item but one before lunch saw An Ard-Fheis discuss, and vote on, motions covering a wide spectrum of issues including International Solidarity, the British occupation of the Six Counties, the current economic crisis and the cutbacks to vital public services on both sides of Britain’s border in Ireland. The full text of all motions carried by An Ard-Fheis can be accessed here.
The final business of this morning session saw the seven national party positions filled as follows, Brian Leeson (Cathaoirleach), Rab Jackson (Leas-Chathaoirleach), Breandán Mac Cionnaith (Rúnaí Ginearálta), Ciaran Heaphey and Micheál Mac Neighill (Cisteoirí x 2), Pádraig Ó Meiscill (An tOifigeach Caidrimh Phoiblí) and Daithí Mac An Mháistir (An tOifigeach Ballraíochta).
After a short lunch break An Ard-Fheis resumed with the first of three external speakers, Hugh Corcoran of Na Croisbhealaí workers’ cooperative café in Belfast. Hugh spoke of the process of establishing a co-op, of the role played by co-ops in wider political struggles internationally, and of the importance of supporting such grassroots’ worker-led initiatives.
Daithí Mac An Mháistir then took to the stage to give a short presentation on the establishment of éirígí’s new supporters organisation, Clann éirígí. Daithí explained that Clann éirígí had been established to provide a relatively easy access point to the struggle for people in Ireland and overseas. He went on to detail how membership of Clann éirígí will targeted at four main categories of people, namely, those living outside of Ireland; students in universities and colleges across Ireland; those living in Ireland in areas as where there is no established éirígí organisation and finally those who wish to formally align themselves with éirígí but who are not in a position to commit to full party membership. More about Clann éirígí will follow on this website in the coming weeks.
The second external speaker addressing the packed hall was Phil Ferguson from New Zealand. In his contribution Phil explained his own background as a political activist who came to Ireland in the 1980s to play an active role in the Irish republican struggle. He talked about this, the developments and setbacks in republicanism over the past 30 years and how pleased he was to see a new socialist republican party emerge to carry on the struggle.
The second éirígí presentation of the afternoon saw John McCusker give the rationale behind the recent launching of a fundraising drive for an éirígí national headquarters building. He explained that the party intends to purchase a premise which will become the physical centre for a resurgent militant Irish republicanism, a base within which a wide range of administrative, campaigning, publicity and educational activities can take place. Further details of éirígí’s National Headquarters Fund will follow on this website over the coming weeks.
The third and final external speaker, Irish language activist Tomás Ó Conghaile, then spoke to An Ard-Fheis. He spoke about the work of the Irish language movement, and the importance of the language in the context of the struggle for the reconquest of Ireland.
The final speaker of the day, Cathaoirleach éirígí Brian Leeson, was then introduced to An Ard-Fheis by éirígí Dublin City Councillor Louise Minihan. In his address, Brian looked back on the local elections in the Six Counties and the state visit of Elizabeth Windsor, both of which took place in May of this year. He congratulated and thanked those who voted for éirígí and those who took to the streets of Dublin to oppose the British royal visit.
Brian then went on to talk about the current state of republicanism and the socio-economic crisis that is gripping all parts of Ireland. He asked those present to consider the possibilities that the current situation might hold for the building of a revolutionary socialist republican movement and the role that they might play in realising that potential.
When Brian’s speech completed a rendition of Amhrán na bhFiann brought a memorable and successful Ard-Fheis to a close.

Dé hAoine, Nollaig 09, 2011

éirígí challenge McGinley over Support for Savage Budget Cutbacks


éirígí Tír Chonaill spokesperson, Micheál Cholm MacGiolla Easbuig, has challenged the Fine Gael TD for Donegal South West, Dinny McGinley, to publicly explain his reasons for supporting the savage cutbacks imposed by Fine Gael and Labour in Budget 2012. 

Fine Gaels Micheal Noonan presenting
Budget 2012
Mac Giolla Easbuig has demanded that McGinley, the Minister of State for Gaeltacht Affairs, hold a public meeting to explain his actions to the people of Gweedore, Gortahork, Falcarragh, the Rossesand the wider constituency. 

Mac Giolla Easbuig said ‘At a time when this community is suffering from mass unemployment, mass emigration and ever increasing poverty levels, Dinny McGinley must explain why he supports a budget that will add further injury to communities and cripple the most vulnerable in our society.' 

‘It is totally unacceptable for an elected representative of the people to support a budget which acts against the interests of those same people.  I am calling for McGinley to hold a public meeting, where he can put his case before our community in a public forum and be held accountable.  I would further call for him not to hide behind radio interviews, as has been the case in the past.’ 

Mac Giolla Easbuig concluded:  ‘Now is the time for the people of this area to make their anger heard and to demand that McGinley explain why he has voted to pay faceless bondholders and private banks in place of defending the interests of the communities he has been elected to represent.'

Dé Luain, Nollaig 05, 2011

 International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People
In one of many actions taking place across the world, éirígí activists took to the streets of Dublin on Tuesday 29th November to mark International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.
Freedom for Palestine
As internationalists we are committed to do all we can to bring attention to and help keep focus on the reality both of the ongoing occupation of the historical lands of Palestine and the day and daily oppression of the Palestinian people.
Posters bearing the slogan ‘Freedom for Palestine’ and the image of Comrade Leila Khaled of the Popular Front For the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) were erected at various locations across the city, with particular attention being paid to the areas immediately adjacent to both the Israeli and US embassies.
Freedom for Palestine
On this day of international solidarity éirígí once again takes the opportunity to express its sincere and continued support for the people of Palestine in their struggle for freedom and self-determination.
From the centre to the sea, Palestine will be free!

Déardaoin, Nollaig 01, 2011

éirígí Pre-Budget Protests Announced
Budget 2012For the first time in history the Twenty-Six County Government will announce its annual budget on two consecutive days. The details of the latest ‘slash and tax’ budget will, therefore, be revealed on Monday December 5th and Tuesday December 6th. Despite the change of format the budget is certain to continue in the same vein at the last number of normal and ‘emergency’ budgets, delivering crushing blows to workers, their families and their communities.
éirígí has organised a number of public protests in advance of the budget. Announcing details for three such protests Dublin City Councillor Louise Minihan said, “Since the last budget the government may have changed but the policies have remained the same. The Fine Gael/ Labour coalition, despite election promises to the contrary, are committed to a programme of austerity, designed to make the working class pay for a crisis they did not create.
“Funding for communities, healthcare, education, social welfare and other important public services are all in the firing line in what promises to be a savage attack on our standards of living and our quality of life.
“The fight back against the austerity measures and the agenda of the Dublin government and their masters in the EU and IMF must be built street by street, community by community right across this state. People need to mobilise in huge numbers to show that they cannot and will not take Budget 2012 lying down.”
Below are the details of three upcoming éirígí anti-austerity protests. All welcome. Bígí linn.
  • Constituency office of Catherine Byrne, Fine Gael TD, Inchicore Village, Dublin, 4.30pm Friday December 2nd.
  • Constituency office of Billy Timmins, Fine Gael TD, Main Street, Arklow, 5pm, Friday December 2nd.
  • Northside Shopping Centre, Coolock, Dublin, 11am, Saturday, December 3rd.

Déardaoin, Samhain 24, 2011

Building for November 30
Twenty trade unions representing around 175,000 public sector workers in the Six Counties have voted to strike next Wednesday, November 30. They will join million of workers in Britain for what union leaders there believe will be the biggest strike action since 1926.
This mass strike has been declared in response to the assault by the Tory-led government in London on the pensions of workers in the public sector.
This assault has come in a number of ways. The first is that the Tories wish to change the way pensions are adjusted each year for inflation. They want to change the way this is measured from the retail prices index (RPI) to the consumer prices index (CPI), which will cut 15 per cent from the value of public sector pensions.
The second is that the Tories will increase the pension contribution public sector workers make by 3.2 per cent by 2015. This is taken from workers’ wages and amounts to a new tax directly solely at public sector workers. Traditionally pension contributions are agreed through negotiation but in this instance the British government has decided to ram it through unilaterally.
The Stormont executive voted in September to follow the Tory line and introduce this measure to the Six Counties, though its Scottish counterpart has opposed the increase as long as the pay freeze remains in effect in the public sector.
The third measure is that the age of retirement in the public sector will be increased. So, the Tory-Lib Dem plan for the future of pensions is that workers will have to work longer and contribute more for pensions that are worth less.
Attacking the conditions of public sector workers is merely the thin edge of the wedge. The agenda of the Tories is ultimately to attack all public services – health, education, public transport, social welfare, and more – services that are of no use or importance to the millionaire-filled British cabinet and their capitalist masters.
November 30 will see teachers, classroom assistants, lunchladies and principals stepping out of school to join other public sector workers in rallies all over the Six Counties. Marches and rallies will take place in Belfast, Derry, Newry, Ballymena, Cookstown, Downpatrick, Magherafelt, Omagh, Portadown and more.
These rallies will send a strong message, but more will be needed. The trade unions have all voted in favour of further action beyond the strike on November 30. This ongoing campaign will include work-to-rule actions, lunchtime protests and more, with the possibility of more all-out strike action in the future.
In the end, only a concerted effort by public sector workers and the working-class communities who depend on their services will defeat the anti-social policies being implemented by the London government and its Stormont administration.

Dé Céadaoin, Samhain 23, 2011

The Experience of Unemployment in Ireland
Dole queueIn August 2011, The Geary Institute at University College Dublin published a discussion paper entitled The Experience of Unemployment in Ireland: A Thematic Analysis.
With unemployment standing at 14.4% in the Twenty Six Counties and continuing to rise, this paper could not be more relevant. The Authors explain their aim in writing the study is to examine “how material, emotional, psychological, social and physical well-being is being affected by unemployment”.
As the Fine Gael/ Labour Coalition prepare to cut an estimated €700 million [£600 million] from the social welfare budget for the coming year, this well researched and hard hitting paper takes an axe to the root of an idea, popular amongst the government and its cronies, that living on social welfare benefits is a lifestyle choice.
Parts of the paper make for harrowing reading as the authors document the sense of social isolation, political powerlessness and depression experienced by many unemployed people. The paper highlights how demoralising struggles to pay rent or mortgages, battles to find money for food or to pay household bills, combined with a guilt associated with spending money, all to often lead to a range of physical and mental health difficulties for the unemployed. This is the daily reality of life for the almost 510,000 Irish people on the dole, North and South.
Despite the Dublin Government constantly raising the idea that those on the dole are out to cheat the tax payer through rampant welfare fraud, participants in the study reveal how they are regularly faced with the choice of whether to eat or pay bills, whether to attend the doctor or to suffer in pain as they cannot afford the medical fees.
The experiences of life on the dole documented by the paper exposes the sick nature of the ruling class in Ireland that would attack the most vulnerable sections of our society to maintain their own comfortable position.
The testimonies of participants in the study serve as a stark warning to the Dublin government that cutting the social welfare budget will only result in the further impoverishment of hundreds of thousands of Irish Citizens and their families who are already struggling to survive. The type of cuts widely expected under this year’s budget are highly likely to have an all to real human cost.
The Experience of Unemployment in Ireland: A Thematic Analysis is a must read for all concerned about the issue of unemployment in Ireland and the impact it is having on wider Irish society and can be read in full at:

Dé Sathairn, Samhain 19, 2011

éirígí Condemn Attacks on Education System
Daithí Mac An Mháistiréirígí spokesperson Daithí Mac An Mháistir has slammed the Dublin government’s plans to cut funding to the education system. Speaking ahead of last Wednesday's (16th Nov) student demonstration in Dublin Mac An Mháistir said:
“The last number of months has witnessed a steady drip-feed of leaks from the government about its intentions for the education system. As recently as last weekend we had media stories about plans to cut grant and maintenance funding for post-graduate students. It is clear to the dogs on the street that the Dublin government are preparing the ground for major changes to the entire education system in this state. It appears that these changes will see class sizes at primary and secondary level increase whilst those attending third and fourth level will be forced to pay astronomical sums of money to complete their studies.
“When taken together these attacks on the education system represent a very significant blow to the very idea of free education for all. Without such a system the inequality gap in Irish society will continue to widen. Without access to a high quality free education system those from less well off backgrounds will face very real difficulties in attaining secondary level education, never mind third or fourth.
“The reason behind all of these attacks on the education system is, of course, the IMF/EU deal which the government has signed up to. The very idea of a free lifetime education system is anathema to the neo-liberal ideologues that run the IMF and the EU. They claim that austerity measures, including the slashing of education spending, are necessary for economic recovery – something which even the densest of Fine Gael and Labour ministers must be able to see through. How can the downgrading of an education system help with economic recovery? Where is the much talked about ‘smart economy’ going to come from if only the rich can access the higher levels of the education system?
“Cutting the budget of the education system is an act of social and economic vandalism which will be regretted for generations to come. A quality education system isn’t like a tap that can be turned on and off at will. It takes years of proper funding and planning to build the appropriate physical infrastructure and to develop the necessary pool of skilled and experienced teachers, academics, administrators and so forth. Cuts that take one budget to introduce could take decades to recover from.”
Mac An Mháistir concluded: “We in éirígí believe that a state-funded lifetime education system is an essential element of a just and stable society. We believe education to be one of the key drivers for the breaking down of class barriers as well as the ending of discrimination and inequality. We commend those students that are willing to bring the fight for a free education system directly to the government and encourage students and non-students alike to join the fight-back against the cuts to the education system.”

Students March Against Attacks on Education
At least twenty thousand students took to the streets of Dublin during Wednesday's protest against government plans to drastically increase third level student fees in Budget 2012.
A section of the marchThe government intends to reintroduce tuition fees and decrease the student grant, as well as further increase the registration fee which presently stands at €2,000 [£1,720]. Just last weekend further government plans to cut grant and maintenance funding for post-graduate students were revealed.
Increased fees will mean that fewer people will be able to continue their education into or beyond third level. Families are already struggling with job losses and cuts; many will simply not be able to find the money to support someone in college.
Education: Your Right – Your FightIt must be reiterated that cutting education funding will not lead to economic recovery. We will not achieve growth by frustrating the potential of young Irish people and consigning them to emigration and the dole.
The attack on education funding is being driven by the EU/IMF. The commercialisation and privatisation of education is a key component of their neoliberal creed.
By taking to the streets, Ireland’s students showed they would not simply be another passive victim of EU/IMF ideology.
The body of students marched from Parnell Square towards Leinster House. The atmosphere was upbeat and assertive. Members of éirígí walked behind a banner with the slogan ‘Education: Your Right – Your Fight’.
Protest at Fine Gael HQAt Merrion Square a section of students broke away from the march and made their way towards the Fine Gael Headquarters on Mount Street. This section was made up of students who had become disillusioned with the passive and meek tactics of the USI [Union of Students in Ireland] leadership over recent years. Under the banner of the student group FEE [Free Education for Everyone], this group of students staged a sit down protest outside the Fine Gael HQ.
After this short protest the students found their route back up Mount Street blocked by lines of USI Stewards. The USI stewards stood with linked arms in front of lines of Gardaí, and refused to allow the students to proceed up the road without confrontation.
Members of the Special Branch wearing USI t-shirts were also spotted among the crowd.
USI working for the GardaíThe USI leadership choose to work with the Gardaí to ensure that the student march remained merely a passive speechmaking affair for the USI leadership rather than a real expression of student dissent. The attitude of the USI leadership is nothing short of disgraceful, especially when one considers the number of students who were injured by Gardaí during last year’s march against fees.
The USI leadership would do well to reflect on the words of the Salvador Allende: “to be a student and not a revolutionary is a contradiction.”
Nevertheless, regardless of the position of the official union leaderships, Irish students and teachers will continue to resist the ever increasing attacks on education. Education is right, not a privilege.

Dé Luain, Samhain 14, 2011

Resistance to Shell continues – Shell to Sea Day of Solidarity
Last Friday [11 November], over 100 people gathered at the gates of the Ballinaboy gas refinery in Erris, County Mayo in solidarity with the local community and in memory of Nigerian activist Ken Saro Wiwa and his eight comrades, executed in November 1995 by the Nigerian dictatorship for resisting Shell’s destructive operations in the Niger Delta.
In the early hours of 10 November 2006 Gardaí baton charged campaigners at Ballinaboy bridge who had gathered to protest against the building of the gas refinery. It was a violent illustration of the nature of the state and its defence of corporate interests. Young and old were beaten, flung into ditches and trampled underfoot. It was a harrowing experience, particularly for those who until then had believed the state would act in the interests of the people.
Having handed over the people’s resources to multinational oil corporations; sold 400 acres of state forestry for the building of an onshore refinery to process high pressure raw and odourless gas; legislated for corporations to compulsory acquire private land; ensured planning permissions were granted for a highly dangerous and environmentally destructive project and jailed those who dared to protest at this affront to democracy, the state resorted to deploying its police force in an attempt to violently quell continued and determined resistance.
At the time, Bertie Ahern, the mafia like Don who led a government in the pocket of corporations, not surprisingly, defended the gardaí’s violent actions and cheered on Shell, “the negotiations are over, the rule of law has to be implemented and the work goes on. And if there are those who try to frustrate that, they’re breaking the law and it’s a matter for the gardaí to enforce it.” His comments displayed the arrogance of a government that oversaw rampant corruption in the banking sector and took bungs from property speculators. ‘Laws’ it seemed were for the ‘little people’ while corporate corruption was supported and facilitated.
The cracking of heads on the bridge at Ballinaboy was simply an extension of that belief. If considered necessary, the interests of Shell would be enforced at the butt end of garda batons. Yet five years on from that violent attack, the community and the Shell to Sea campaign continues to resist the corporate takeover of our gas reserves and the environmental destruction of Erris.
The Day of Solidarity commenced at 7am with several dozen activists, many of whom had travelled from Dublin to stand in solidarity with the local community, standing on the road at Aughoose to block workers accessing the site. Having remained in place for several hours and forced numerous work vehicles to turn back, activists made their way to the gates of the Bellinaboy refinery. Here they were joined by dozens of local people. Carrying crosses bearing the names of the Ogoni Nine: Ken Saro-Wiwa, Barinen Klobel, John Kpuinen, Baribor Bera, Saturday Dobee, Felix Nuate, Nordu Eawo, Paul Levurah and Daniel Gbokoo; the crowd walked from the gates of the refinery to the Bellinaboy bridge where the garda baton charge of 2006 was recalled.
On return to the refinery gates, and in solidarity with the global Occupy movement, an Occupy ‘Shellenaboy’ camp was erected and banners hung from the fencing surrounding the refinery site. The crowd was addressed by local Shell to Sea activists Terence Conway and Maura Harrington with proceedings monitored by the garda Special Branch and IRMS, Shell’s private security goon squad.
In a powerful address Maura thanked all those who attended and emphasised the fact that the campaign has always been about local, national and international concerns, illustrated by the fact that many had travelled from different parts of the country to stand with the local community and the remembrance of the Ogoni Nine. Maura highlighted the importance of defending place, recalled that the community had been resisting this project for eleven years and castigated the corrupt ruling elite in the Twenty Six Counties for its continued support of corporate interests. Those who had passed away during the course of the campaign were recalled some of whom had died as a result of the toll the campaign had taken on them. In conclusion, Maura vowed that the resistance to state and corporate power would continue.
Since its inception, the Twenty Six Counties has been dominated by powerful private interests whose every need has been catered to by a pliant state. The recent issuing of 13 licencing options for exploration in the Atlantic Margin, where vast oil and gas reserves lie, demonstrates that the new government is simply an extension of the old. The great oil and gas giveaway continues and will do so until sufficient numbers actively resist the corporate takeover of our natural resources.
The Erris community and Rossport Solidarity Camp have been to the forefront in resisting Shell and the corrupt corporate state of the Twenty Six Counties. But they cannot do it alone. The demand that our oil and gas reserves are utilised in the interests of the people must be central to the campaign of opposition to austerity and the EU/IMF takeover. The people of Erris need your support to continue their 11 year campaign of resistance. Their struggle is our struggle. For more information on the campaign and how to get involved check www.shelltosea.com andwww.rossportsolidaritycamp.org

Dé Sathairn, Samhain 05, 2011

Colombia: the new wave of social protest and the dirty war against the people
ColombiaWhile much is known about the shocking human rights situation in Colombia, little is known about the Colombian resistance movement and popular struggle against neo-liberalism and imperialism. This year has witnessed a dramatic increase in popular struggles all over the country: students, oil workers, peasants, poor communities, indigenous groups. As a result, the dirty war waged by the system has become even dirtier. Massacres are on the rise and so are military actions all over the country.
In February 2010 a human rights delegation from Asturias visited Colombia for the sixth time to record the humanitarian crisis in the country. They were harassed by the army and were denied access to interview political prisoners in the infamous prison of Valledupar, La Tramacúa, where a number of political prisoners have died this year out of ill-treatment, torture and deprivation. They did manage to cover the situation in the departments of Antioquia, Caquetá, Cauca, Cesar, Putumayo, Bolívar y Cundinamarca. In all of these places, they corroborated the dramatic humanitarian situation and the systematic abuse of the military and their death squads against the population. Most importantly of all however, they give a voice to those who day to day struggle for a just Colombia, for a new country which belongs equally to all of its offsprings.
The results of the mission and many interviews were recorded in a documentary (subtitled to English for the first time). This will be screened to open up a debate on the situation in Colombia.
The coordinator of this commission, Javier Orozco, a person with a deep knowledge of the Colombian conflict and with an international reputation for his work for human rights, will present the documentary and will be available for questions and answers from the public.
Javier Orozco Peñaranda (50), is an ex-member of the national executive of Colombia's main trade union (CUT), ex-member of the national council of peasant and indigenous organisations of Colombia. He has been a refugee in Spain since 2001 (after a death squad put a price on his head) and now he's the coordinator of the programme for temporary asylum for Colombians victims of violence in Asturias.
  • Derry: Saturday 5th November. Sandino's bar, Water Street, 7pm
  • Belfast: Monday 7th November. Red Devil bar, Falls Road, 7pm
  • Galway: Tuesday 8th November. Galway Public Library, Augustine Street, 7pm
  • Cork: Wednesday 9th November. Solidarity Books, Douglas Street, 8pm
  • Dublin: Thursday 10th November. Pearse Centre, Pearse Street, 7pm

Dé Máirt, Samhain 01, 2011

Zionists Resume Isolation of Ahmad Sa’adat
Ahmad Sa’adatAddameer, the Palestinian Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, revealed on Thursday October 27 that an Israeli court has decided to extend the isolation of PFLP general secretary Ahmad Sa’adat for another year.
The ruling is in direct violation of an agreement between Israeli prison authorities and Palestinian prisoners a week earlier that ended a mass hunger strike by detainees held in zionist jails.
The Israelis had promised that detainees would be released from isolation immediately after 477 prisoners were freed in exchange for captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit on October 18. A further 550 detainees are to be released in the near future.
Around 20 prisoners continue to be held in isolation, and several prisoners have been in isolation for a number of years, including Sa’adat.
Sa’adat was transferred to Ramle prison hospital when his health deteriorated after three weeks on hunger strike. He was brought to the court in Bir Saba on Thursday for the ruling.
éirígí representative John McCusker said, “We’re disappointed but not at all surprised by this recent development. It’s no shock to hear that the zionists have increased the punishment of Palestinian prisoners after the deal was struck to release 1,000 detainees.
“We welcome the release of the prisoners but we can’t take our eyes off the fact that over 6,000 Palestinians continue to be held captive by the Israelis, and they are susceptible to punishment and torture.
“We in éirígí reiterate our call for the freedom of all Palestinian prisoners held by the zionists, and we say again that ultimately only a free Palestine offers a just solution to the prison issue.”

Déardaoin, Deireadh Fómhair 27, 2011

Lives Will Be At Risk


Donegal spokesperson for éirígí has criticised the HSE for its plans to reduce the NoWDOC service in the county, stating that the plans will endanger the lives of people in Donegal. The plans by HSE management would see a redeployment of NoWDOC staff to other HSE work in Ballybofey in a further cost cutting measure in the health services in the county.

The NoWDOC service which was set up in 2007 provides access to GP doctors outside of normal practice hours and operates in the North West region. Working on a rota system of GP's in the area where one doctor covers specific areas at any one time, the service caters not only for large towns like Letterkenny, but also for outlying regions from four centres such as Derrybeg and Carndonagh. If the planned reduction is implemented it could see the service reduced to one centre operating out of Letterkenny meaning only one vehicle covering the whole of the county.

Speaking in relation to the planned cuts, éirígí spokesperson Micheál Cholm Mac Giolla Easbuig called for the cutbacks to be abandoned immediately. “These planned cuts are a disgrace and should be roundly condemned by everyone. The setting up of this service was itself a cutback from previous access people had to their GP outside of practice hours and now we see more plans for further reductions purely as a cost cutting measure.

“People living across the whole of Donegal, many who live in very remote areas, rely on having access to a GP outside of practice hours. Such cuts in a service like the NoWDOC are a direct attack on the people and families of Donegal and most importantly on the most vulnerable in our society such as the elderly, infirm and those with babies and young children. It is not sensationalism to suggest that a move to reduce this service will endanger the lives of many people in the county."

Calling for action against any proposed cuts the éirígí spokesperson said “The HSE managers clearly have no regard for the well-being of the people of County Donegal when they can plan cutbacks which will endanger life purely in the interest of saving money just so the government can redirect that money to paying off the debts of reckless bankers and a greedy elite. These plans must be resisted and it is important that the ordinary people act now by contacting their local HSE offices to voice their objections and by asking their GP if they support such cuts. People need to put pressure on both to resist further reductions to healthcare services in Donegal. If such cuts are allowed to go ahead the HSE and the government will continue to put more lives at risk in the interest of saving money.”

Dé Céadaoin, Deireadh Fómhair 26, 2011

Plight of Palestinian Prisoners Highlighted in Belfast
Members of éirígí erected a camp at the former Andersonstown barracks site in Belfast over the weekend of 21-23 October and engaged in a 48-hour fast in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners who had undertaken hunger strike action against conditions in Israeli jails.
The solidarity activities also included two evening vigils and the distribution of leaflets to raise awareness of the current situation, especially that of PFLP leader Ahmad Sa’adat who was moved to Ramle prison hospital after three weeks on strike. Despite the poor weather, hundreds of people visited the camp over the course of the weekend.

Déardaoin, Deireadh Fómhair 20, 2011

Solidarity Call for Hunger Strikers in Palestine
Support the Palestinian Hunger StrikeThe socialist republican party éirígí has announced it will establish a camp at the former Andersonstown barracks site in Belfast and engage in a 48-hour fast in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners currently on hunger strike in Israeli prisons.
Prisoners began a hunger strike on Tuesday 27 September. They are calling for an end to the policy of isolation for all prisoners, for an end to the three-year-long solitary confinement of Ahmad Sa’adat, the General Secretary of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and for an end to the systematic humiliation of Palestinians at checkpoints and crossings as they visit the prisons.
Over 500 Palestinians are currently on hunger strike in jails scattered throughout the Israeli state.
éirígí representative and former Belfast chair of the Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign John McCusker said, “Republicans recently marked the 30th anniversary of the end of the 1981 hunger strike, and now we find it necessary to draw attention to what is currently happening in Palestine.
“Palestinian prisoners have for years experienced degrading treatment and humiliating conditions at the hands of the Israeli Prison Administration. Their friends and families on the outside have to also endure shameful treatment just to get to visit their loved ones, and sometimes even this can’t happen as detainees are routinely moved from one prison to another with little notice.”
McCusker continued, “While we engage in our fast in support of our comrades in Palestine, we will also engage in a leafleting campaign to raise awareness of the situation, and our camp will be open to anyone who wants to come and find out more about the hunger strike.
The solidarity fast by members of éirígí will commence at 1pm on Friday [21 October] and will conclude at 1pm on Sunday with a rally at the barracks site. The rally will be addressed by former protesting Irish republican prisoners, as well as veterans of the Turkish hunger strike solidarity campaign and Palestine solidarity activists. There will also be candlelit vigils at the site on Friday and Saturday evening at 7pm.

Dé Domhnaigh, Deireadh Fómhair 16, 2011

Féile Dlúthpháirtíochta na mBascach i mBÁC
Tar éis rath an imeachta anuraidh, tá Coiste Dlúthpháirtíochta na mBascach in Áth Cliath ag tabhairt Fhéile Dlúthpháirtíochta na mBascach ar ais chun na hardchathrach don dara bliain i ndiaidh a chéile Dé Sathairn 22 Deireadh Fómhair.
Tugann an fhéile deis do rannpháirtithe fáil amach faoi ghnéithe éagsúla de shaol na mBascach, ó spórt agus ceol traidisiúnta, go bia, agus ar ndóigh go dtí an streachailt pholaitiúil leanúnach ar son na saoirse ón stát Spáinneach.
Tosaíonn sé ag 4in i gClub na Múinteoirí, Cearnóg Parnell le taispeántais ar chultúr na mBascach agus ar chur faoi chois polaitiúil agus frithbheartaíocht. Beidh bia agus deoch ar fáil freisin agus roinnt stalla eolais.
Ag 7in beidh caint ar an scéal polaitiúil faoi láthair i dTír na mBascach agus ina dhiaidh beidh daoncheol traidisiúnta Bascach ag 8in le Taberna Ibiltaria. Leanfaidh an ócáid ar aghaidh don oíche le rogha de cheol punc, ska agus rac Bascach.
Dé Domhnaigh [23 Deireadh Fómhair] beidh kantupoteo (raimleáil cheolmhar thraidisiúnta) ann, ag tosnú ag 12.30in agus faoi stiúr Taberna Ibiltaria.
Is annamh a fhaigheann ceist na mBascach aird ó na meáin, ach cé go bhfuil cur faoi chois stát na Spáinne dian go fóill, tá an iliomad bealach nuálach aimsithe ag na Bascaigh le frithbheartú agus le haistroid. Tá Fhéile Dlúthpháirtíochta na mBascach i mBaile Átha Cliath ag ofráil deis den scoth chun tuilleadh a fhoghlaim faoi streachailtí na mBascach agus chun dlúthpháirtíocht a léiriú le muintir aiséirithe eile san Eoraip.

 Basque Solidarity Festival in Dublin
Following the success of last year’s event, the Dublin Basque Solidarity Committee is bringing the Basque Solidarity Festival back to the capital for the second year running on Saturday 22 October.
The festival gives participants the opportunity to find out about various aspects of Basque life, from traditional music and sports, to food, and of course to the ongoing political struggle for independence from the Spanish state.
It begins at 4pm in the Teachers’ Club, Parnell Square with exhibitions on Basque culture and on political repression and resistance. There will also be food and drink available and a number of information stalls.
At 7pm there will be a talk on the current political situation in the Basque Country followed at 8pm by traditional Basque folk music with Taberna Ibiltaria. The event will continue on into the night with a selection of Basque punk, ska and rock music.
On Sunday [23 October], a kantupoteo (a traditional musical pub crawl) will take place, beginning at 12.30pm and led by Taberna Ibiltaria.
The Basque question rarely gains attention from the media, but while Spanish state repression remains severe, the Basque people have found diverse and innovative means of offering resistance and fighting on. The Dublin Basque Solidarity Festival offers a great chance for finding out more about the Basque struggles and for expressing solidarity for another of Europe’s risen people.

Dé hAoine, Deireadh Fómhair 14, 2011

Dozens join éirígí anti-EU/IMF Protest
Up to forty people last night joined an anti-EU/IMF protest outside the 26-County Department of Finance in Dublin. The picket was organised by éirígí to coincide with the latest visit by representatives of the EU/IMF/ECB ‘troika’ to Ireland’s capital city.

The colourful protest attracted the support of passing motorists and pedestrians alike. The presence of the republican protesters cannot have been missed by the troika delegation staying in the exclusive Merrion Hotel directly across the road from the Department of Finance.
Speaking at the protest éirígí Dublin City Councillor Louise Minihan said,
“When the EU and IMF first arrived in Ireland many people welcomed them in the vain hope that they might represent a better option than the then Fianna Fáil/Green Party government. But with every passing month more and more people are coming to the realisation that this is not the case. The so-called troika are nothing more than a pack of wolves in sheep’s clothing.
“It is a simple fact that the EU and IMF are now in complete control of economic and social policy in the Twenty-Six Counties. And they are using this position of power to implement a draconian neo-liberal agenda of cutbacks, privatisation and increased taxation. That agenda needs to be steadfastly resisted in the workplace, in the community and on the streets.”
Louise continued with the promise of further protests against the EU and IMF, “Irish republicans have resisted foreign interference and aggression for centuries. The fight against British imperialism is the same fight as the one against EU and US imperialism. There are now clear signs that the honeymoon period for the EU and IMF is coming to an end.
“Tonight’s protest put down a marker for future opposition by éirígí and the wider socialist republican community to the dictates of Brussels and Washington. I would encourage anyone who cares about the very notion of Irish self-determination to join with us in building mass opposition to the politics of the EU and IMF.”