Thursday, 20 November 2014

Raising expectations and raising hell - video

Radical US labour organiser Jane McAlevey spent a week in Dublin recently doing training workshops with union and community activists, co-organised by CEESA together with unions (Mandate, CWU, IBOA), community groups (Spectacle, MRCI) and TCD Sociology.

The final event was a public discussion about her book "Raising expectations and raising hell", filmed by USi Ireland (Trade Union TV as was), with ex-Migrant Rights Centre director Siobhan O'Donoghue and trade union activists. The video is now online here.

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Radical slideshows from the 1920s

Anarcho-syndicalist, communist, Trotskyist and adult educator Henry Sara put together an archive of over 1500 "lantern" slides in the 1920s and 1930s which he used to illustrate his talks on things like the Easter Rising in Ireland, spiritualism, the 1926 general strike, the Chinese revolution of 1927 and the history of the British labour movement. They've been digitised and can be viewed online here - an amazing resource.

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Public transport fares - dodging the flak?

Over the last couple of weeks we have been warned of (yet another) increase in bus, train and LUAS fares due to take effect on November 1st. Those of us who've been on the receiving end of these for several years now were ducking in anticipation.

And then ... nothing. Fares just the same as they always were on Monday. On Tuesday I asked a bus driver if the new fares had come in yet. "No, December 1st" was the answer. But I haven't seen any formal indication of this, let alone a reason, anywhere.

I was left wondering if the actual reason might have anything to do with the popular fury we have seen these last two weekends over water charges, and the feeling that the next bite to be taken out of people's ever-tighter margins should come when they are less inclined to make an issue of things and have gone back to accepting whatever is thrown at them (or taken away from them)?

Third Level Workplace Watch talk: Casualisation in Irish Higher Education

Third Level Workplace Watch will deliver a talk entitled 'Fast Food Academy: Casual Labour In Ireland's Higher Education System.' This will be followed by an open discussion.  

Third Level Workplace Watch is a collective of precarious workers fighting for fair pay and working conditions in higher education.

The collective will present results from their recent online outreach survey on the working conditions of staff in the third-level sector, followed by a discussion.

It will take place on the 11th of November from 2-4pm in the Iontas Conference Room at Maynooth University.  All welcome.

For further details contact

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Resistance to tar sands is savaging the industry

A new report shows that production revenues from the ecologically devastating tar sands resources in Canada are down by over $30 billion between 2010 and 2013, with 55% of this fall being due to the massive campaigns which have delayed Keystone XL and delayed or defeated other projects (3 were cancelled in 2014 alone). There's a Common Dreams article on the subject here.

In Ireland too, popular resistance has massively slowed the Corrib Gas project and escalated costs astronomically while resistance to fracking is just gearing up. Who knows - maybe our grandchildren will still have an island to live on after all?

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Radical Routes housing co-ops network tour of Ireland

Radical Routes Ireland presents

How to set up a housing co-operative

All-Island speaking tour 2014:
Cork Oct 25th, Dublin Oct 26th, Galway Nov 1st, Derry Nov 2nd.

Today in Ireland we find ourselves with an acute housing crisis, but the general discourse implies that all the power to affect change lies with private business and government.
We want to promote and encourage the ideas of a grassroots-led approach to solving the housing crisis.

People can empower themselves by working together in their communities to make housing a collectively-owned resource rather than an asset to be speculated on by developers.
Co-operative housing could offer a way out of the precarious rental market and the trap of long-term mortgage debt.

Established in the 1980's, the Radical Routes network has over 35 member co-ops throughout the UK which are residential projects of all shapes and sizes as well as a number of workers co-operatives. Member co-ops work together in legal, financial and planning working groups, providing advice and support to eachother as well as new members. The idea is based on mutual aid and solidarity, and a determination that access to housing is a right and not a privilege.

Radical Routes begin an all-island speaking tour on Saturday October 25th in Cork, and continue to Dublin (October 26th), Galway (November 1st) and Derry (November 2nd). The Events are free and open to the public to attend. Please contact 086-3614554 or for more details or find us online at or on our facebook event pages.

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Frankfurt Blockupy festival, November

  • Resistance in the Heart of the European Crisis Regime
  • Frankfurt Blockupy Festival

  • We will not wait for the appointments of the rulers – we will set our own agenda. Even if it will be 2015 before the ECB holds its hors d’oeurve event of prominent faces to inaugurate its new tower, Blockupy will be in Frankfurt this fall. 

    Now, after the “May of Solidarity” across Europe and before the blockade of the ECB inauguration next year, is the right time: we will discuss, we will bring together our struggles and make plans. We will meet to music, with a beer, at a film. And, of course, we will be present in those places where we disrupt normal activities: on the streets, over the fence.

    Blockupy – we refuse to adapt! “Austerity kills!” still applies. The rulers are intensifying their structural measures, even if they are more “softly” packed. They are transforming the crisis politics of the Troika into “business as usual” – mini-jobs, Hartz-IV, authoritarian policies and social cuts, racist deportations, militarized borders, and privatization of public goods, ruined healthcare systems, appear to be the answer to unemployment, precarity and nationalist reflexes. The crisis should become a form of life…

    Democracy comes from our many struggles. Blockupy attempts, together with others, to create a platform in Europe at a slow moment – against austerity and exploitation, for solidarity beyond borders. Europe is not a question of passport or origins for Blockupy – Europe is the region in which we are starting to struggle together. We are expressing a collective refusal of all nationalist, sexist and racist “crisis solutions”.

    #talk – and listen/what to do. Together in workshops, podium discussions and assemblies we want to ask questions that we can answer in collective action: how do we find the cracks in the capitalist cement? How do we guarantee an unconditional welcome to all refugees and migrations? How do we take back our cities, which are selling themselves? How can we find each other so as to live and work with dignity? We will talk about what we must do, what we want to do, to develop alternatives, to bring our struggles together and become stronger.

    #dance – grooves and resonances. The festival will bring a different light to many places in the city – spaces of self-managed culture, projects of other ways of living and taking residence, pubs and cafes, theatre, cinema or bookshops. We will met, listen, confuse and explain. We will dance, eavesdrop and be in the squares. A sustainable politics of protest cannot abstain from bringing disorder and confusion to the ruling order.

    #act – beyond borders. Factually and symbolically, collectively and publicly we will go beyond borders. We will find places that stand for policies of impoverishment. We are convinced that mass disobedience is a very appropriate answer to the scandal of the becoming-normal of the ‘crisis policies’ and ‘reform’ of European capitalism. Even as a dress rehearsal: so that we can more clearly imagine the days and nights of the ECB blockade in 2015 and break through the ‘expected’.

    From networks, Blockupy platforms, groups, organizations and NGOs in Europe we will come together at the Blockupy festival. “The blue will remain gray until it has been reinvented.”

    We should all meet in November!
    Blockupy coordination

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Two fascinating exhibitions

In Dublin,

"Women to Blame: 40 years of struggle in Ireland for abortion and contraception. A multimedia exhibition which opens Friday November 7 in Film Base in Dublin’s Temple Bar, will visually represent the events before, during and after 1983 when article 40.3.3 was inserted into the Irish Constitution via referendum."

In London,

"Disobedient Objects is an exhibition about the art and design produced by grassroots social movements. It will show exhibits loaned from activist groups from all over the world, bringing together for the first time many objects rarely before seen in a museum." There are downloadable PDF guides for making some fascinating activist tools on the V&A's site(!)

Both links from the always-well informed Cedar Lounge Revolution blog.