March for Repeal - watch entire march leave Parnell square - video

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March 8th 2017 and International Womens Day sees an enormous mobilisation in Dublin to demand repeal of the eight amendment to the Irish  Constitution.  Thousands of people blocked O’Connell street bridge as part of #Strike4Repeal and then in the evening 11,000 marched on the Dail.

How many took part in #Strike4Repeal and #March4Repeal - up to 8k and 11k

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The packed in nature of the #Strike4Repeal on O'Connell bridge made it impossible to do an actual count. So we've done the next best thing, used the area occupied to calculate how many people could have fitted into the space photos show was occupied.  We also did the same thing for the later #March4Repeal

Strike for Repeal went well this morning blocking O'Connell bridge - video report

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International Woman's Day March 8th and the continued refusal of the Irish government to introduce the referendum to remove the hated 8th amendment results in an enormous mobilization peaking at unchtime blocking off O'Connell st bridge is

An enormous and militant protest was called under the title of Strike For Repeal. The purpose is to try and force the government to immediately introduce a referendum to get rid of the Eighth Amendment. This amendment passed in 1983 makes it illegal for abortion to be carried out in Ireland under all almost all circumstances. 

Thousands of children were starved to death in Tuam and other state funded homes run by nuns in Ireland

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It is emerging that thousands of children were starved to death in state funded homes run by nuns in Ireland. The Daily Mail today carries a detailed report which quotes Philip Redmond, a survivor of Sean Ross Abbey Hospital, Roscrea, Co. Tipperary where of the 167 babies born in 1942, there were 72 deaths. Mr Redmond says "As far as Bessborough is concerned, there is little doubt in our minds that as many as 2,000 died while we believe another 1,200 died in Sean Ross Abbey" This figures are to be added to the estimated 796 bodies found in a waste tank in the grounds of then Tuam home - see the earlier piece on this page.

A magnificent gesture - women fighting ISIS in Rojava take time out for #strike4repeal solidarity

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In what is by any measure a wonderful mark of solidarity the women fighting ISIS in Rojava have taken the time to send solidarity greetings to next Wednesdays #strike4repeal in Ireland.

Irish Times publishes manipulative poll days ahead of 8th of March ‘Strike for Repeal’ actions

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The Irish Times has yet again made an entirely cynical intervention in its bid to force its agenda on the campaign to get rid of the hated 8th Amendment.  This time in the form of an opinion poll constructed to reinforce the idea that abortion is a constitutional issue rather than a medical one.

Opinion polls using complex questions have become a common method of political manipulation in our time.  The method is simple, the questions are used to frame the way the subject considers the issue and so direct the answer they give.  That directed answer is then presented as some ‘objective truth’ discovered by the person or group who framed the question.  A poll that simply asks ‘Should women control their own bodies’ is liable to get one response, today’s poll that instead gives a long set of options around the degree women should be judged under law was designed to give another.

8 reasons to 'Strike for Repeal' this 8th March

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The WSM are supporting and taking part in the ‘Strike for Repeal’ events on March 8th, intended to demand the government stop stalling and introduce a referendum to repeal the hated 8th amendment that denies access to abortion.  We have been fighting Ireland’s anti-abortion access laws since the 1980’s, a period when they meant books and magazines were being banned because they had contact details for clinics in Britain.  We continue to demand that access to termination be an option to be decided on by a pregnant person as part of a free health service.  The 8th amendment should never have been introduced, the referendum to repeal it should be delayed no longer. 

What follows are 8 of the reasons to take part in ‘Strike for Repeal’ events near you Wednesday followed by links to all the Facebpok event notices across Ireland and elsewhere.

Traveller Ethnicity: The end of the denial

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This evening, when Enda Kenny makes an announcement to the Dáil recognising the identity of Irish Travellers as a distinct ethnic group, it will be an historic moment for Irish society.  This recognition, which has been a very long time coming, marks the end of a campaign that has been fought for decades by Travellers to be recognised in their home country as an ethnic group.  So what’s being done today is formally ending the long denial of Traveller ethnicity that has taken place in the Irish state.

As the statement that from the Joint Oireachtas Committee admitted
“Travellers are, de facto, a separate ethnic group. This is not a gift to be bestowed upon them, but a fact the State ought to formally acknowledge….”

Hitting Tesco where it hurts: Strike sees sales fall more than 80% leading to back down

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Tesco agreed Friday to suspend its attempt to impose a worsening of pay and conditions on its long term workers and to return to the Labour Court, leading to the suspension of the strike.  Monday’s Irish Times carries a report on just how hard Tesco have been hit by the strike action, the Finglas superstore saw a massive 80% decline in takings.  These leaked figures stand in stark contrast to the attempt by Tesco PR to suggest the strike was ineffective and unpopular.

The figures reveal that even those stores which had not yet voted to strike, and which subsequently did not have pickets, saw a decline of 30% in sales.  According to Conor Pope’s report in Tesco Clearwater on the Monday before the strike “sales were €165,901, while a week later they were under €35,000, a drop of €130,916 or nearly 80 per cent” and “The fall between the two Mondays across 29 stores of all sizes totalled €827,896. .. A daily loss of that scale would suggest the cumulative impact of the 11-day strike came close to €50 million” 

Disney’s Moana - an individualistic neoliberal spin on the old reactionary princess tale

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Just because Disney characters look cute doesn't mean Disney films are inoffensive. In fact, they should be recognised as a powerful propaganda weapon, meant to inculcate neoliberal ideology in the earliest years of life. Thus, by virtue of self-defense, the authors of this article, who work in the industry, will not be bothered to avoid spoilers.

Disney’s Moana is set in Hawaii. Moana, the daughter of the Island’s chief, is meant to become the first woman to rule. But the island faces ecological imbalances which threaten the survival of the islanders and lead Moana on an adventure that she will share with a demi god named Maui.
If the title of Disney’s feature is the name of its main female character, one wouldn’t go so far as to say that Moana is the central character of the story. Indeed, as soon as Maui appears on the screen, a shift of focus occurs and Moana becomes no more than Maui’s side-kick. This is neatly illustrated by the memorable “go save the world” addressed by Moana to Maui as he is about to face Te Ka the lava demon. A closer look at Maui’s character can help us understand why this failed attempt at creating a strong heroine might have happened.

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