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Eoin Griffin writes about the history of May Day and how we can use this focal point to reassess our own goals. The blog would like to draw attention to two very important events happening next week. On Monday the 29th of April our friends over at 1913 Unfinished Business are hosting a public meeting at 7pm in Wynn’s hotel on Abbey St. in Dublin under the title “We’re not leaving – Public meeting of young people to fight forced emigration”. Learn more about that here. Then on Wednesday DCTU’s May Day march will leave Parnell Square at 7pm. What was it Oscar Wilde said about socialism and evenings?
May Day holds a mythical position among the international workers and union movements. Its origins can be traced back to Australia in 1856 when stonemasons and builders in Melbourne downed tools on the 21st of April and marched on Parliament to demand an eight hour working day without any deterioration in pay. In 1884 the Chicago Labour Movement adopted the eight hour working day as their core demand, declaring that May 1st 1886 would mark the beginning of the 8 hour working day being a standard. They famously campaigned for this using the slogan “eight hours of work, eight hours of sleep, eight hours of recreation”. This slogan had first appeared in the UK during the Industrial Revolution. Read the rest of this entry »
Kate O’Sullivan is a Communications Intern with Nasc Irish Immigrant Support Centre, Cork. Nasc is an NGO working for an integrated society based on the principles of human rights, social justice and equality. This originally appeared in the Cork Independent, here – http://corkindependent.com/20130417/news/the-campaigner-end-institutional-living-campaign-S63453.html on the 17th April 2013
A National Day of Action is taking place on 23 April to raise awareness for the ‘End Institutional Living’ campaign which hopes to put an end to Direct Provision centres where asylum seekers are kept while awaiting a decision on their application to call Ireland home. Read the rest of this entry »
(This entry was originally posted on Irish Left Review – a blog all of you should be following!(twt – fb) It is reposted here with the permission of the author because we think it’s really, really good. There is already a discussion going on in the comments section on ILR, so post your contribution there. )
A Call to Educate – via Irish Left Review
The following will focus on the relationship between planned political education and left activism. If there is a justification for this, it lies in the history of the worker’s movement itself. Almost every significant step toward the self-emancipation of the working class has rested on a deep and thoroughgoing emphasis on the educational development of those indispensably involved.
Careful planning and organisation of political education among activists and workers, within and without their respective organisations, is always centrally important. In an attempt to provoke discussion, some questions are raised about the different strategies for the development of educational forms worthy of the movement the present generation of socialist activists hope to build.
This Saturday(tomorrow!) at lunchtime, the #Apr13 ‘Stop the Robbery’ protest takes place.
Called by the Campaign Against Home & Water Taxes and organized in conjunction with some of the anti-CrokePark2 trade unions and various other campaign groups, it begins at 12.30pm on Parnell Square in Dublin. The plan is to march to Dublin Castle where EU Finance Ministers(like a mega-Troika) are meeting as part of Ireland’s EU presidency.
They will be discussing the usual; how to put a presentable face on looting and pillaging the most vulnerable in society and tossing vast swathes of the continent onto the fire to keep banks and industry warm. Lucifer himself is rumoured to be attending to collect the souls of everyone under 25 that have been promised to him(yiz never read the Austerity Treaty, did ye??).
So slap together some witty homemade banners(enough with the Fr. Ted ones though..), work out how you can march with the 4 different blocs you said you’d march with, and make sure you get there! It’d be damn great if thousands of us turn up and showed the rest of Europe that, actually, we’re indignant too and we’re ready to do something about it.
The Irish government is halfway through its Presidency of the Council of the European Union. The Presidency Programme targets “stability, jobs and growth” and picks a round of “fights”, namely: the fight against poverty, the fight against hunger, the fight against the effects of climate change, and the fight against tax evasion and tax fraud.
The fight against poverty
In the ‘fight against poverty’, the programme makes reference to the Europe 2020 Strategy, which aims to lift 20 million people out of the risk of poverty or social exclusion by 2020. No mention is made of the fact that, last year, the Irish government reduced its target from eliminating consistent poverty by 2016, to reducing it to 4% by 2016. The European Anti-Poverty Network expressed alarm at this reduction. In its key message on the overall target, the organisation said: “Austerity policies are generating poverty and undermining an inclusive recovery.” Far from reducing poverty, European and Irish policy, through austerity, is concentrating wealth and thereby increasing poverty. Ireland, at the helm of the EU, is presiding over poverty.
James Falconer, has done a lot of travelling this year. Here’s what he experiences on a recent trip to Stockholm…
When we think of Sweden we are likely to think of a country which is affluent, democratic and liberal. On a recent visit to Stockholm I noticed that police were asking “suspected” illegal immigrants for their papers on public transportation. I was curious as to how they decide who is a possible illegal, but the police refused to comment. One is left to wonder, is the selection process purely racial?
– Aisling Gallagher writes about her recent experience of having her delegate status revoked at USI Congress because she voted for two pro-choice motions. Aisling is Women’s Officer for NUS-USI and a student at Queen’s University Belfast. This post originally appeared on Aisling’s personal blog here.
Last week I went to Ballinasloe for USI Congress 2013 as part of the QUBSU delegation. We were all student councillors, elected at the start of the year. We weren’t elected separately as delegates for the Congress (there is never as much interest within QUBSU about attending USI in comparison to attending NUS-USI), but rather expressed our interest and as councillors were all allowed to attend. This is the first important thing to remember. We weren’t elected. Our mandate came from our election as councillors, months ago, in October.