RTE outrageously reports 10s of thousands at so called 'March for Life'

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Saturday saw the annual anti-choice parade and yet again RTE reported a grossly inflated figure of the number marching.  They headlined it as ‘tens of thousands’ and in the body of the article quoted the organisers claiming 70,000 without further comment, appearing to endorse it.  As we are going to show below at the very least that’s a tenfold exaggeration, in fact by our count about 5300 people took part.  And while that estimate might be out by 10 or even 20% its physically impossible for it to be out by up to 1500% as that would require ten people too fit into a one meter square space.

We use the same counting methodologies (see below) for almost every demonstration that takes place in Dublin, from huge anti water charges protests to smaller but still significant ones on a huge range of issues.  We do these sorts of counts more than a dozen times a year.  We don’t always publicise the numbers we reach - organisers always tend to overestimate somewhat, most often guessing a figure that is twice what actually attended.  Generally we agree with what the demands of a demonstration are so we don’t want to appear to undermine it by publicly providing real numbers.  But we do count, we do use those counts internally in the WSM and we often communicate them directly to organisers. 

Practical Guide: How to Make a Good Banner

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This is a detailed guide on how to make a political banner for a demonstration or banner drop. It uses 3 real examples to illustrate. [Download as PDF]

These 3 banners are:

  1. The May Day banner. Made for the anarchist bloc called by the WSM for Dublin's May Day march 2017.
  2. The Pride banner. Made for the Working Class Queeroes "Fucking Dregs" bloc on Dublin LGBTQ Pride 2017.
  3. The Drop banner. Made for a banner drop by the Working Class Queeroes in the morning of the same Pride.

Jobstown not Guilty points to a Garda conspiracy

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The outraged media reaction to a jury doing its job and finding the Jobstown defendants not guilty is quite extraordinary.  Rather than do the right thing and launch an investigation as to how 180 cops could produce evidence that was directly contradicted by video evidence, the media have gone on a rant against Twitter!  Rather than finding it suspicious that nearly 3 million in public funds was spent by the DPP on a case that any proper check of available evidence should have indicated was never likely to convince a jury, the media suggest instead that the problem lay in the exact charges brought.

As we look across our newspapers, TV channels and radio stations and see what appears to be coordinated messaging from politicos, journalists and other elite figures we should take this as a teaching moment.  This isn’t some exception, this is how it works.  It’s only visible in this instance because so many of us followed the trial in considerable detail, and that was only possible because of the large number of activists who provided court updates, mostly in a voluntary role. Those activists with access to social media allowed a collective challenging of the media framing. Hundreds of people not only read what they posted but shared and retweeted it.

Jobstown Not Guilty verdict exposes Garda, Labour and class rule in Ireland

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THE JOBSTOWN SIX have been found NOT GUILTY - a disastrous outcome for the Labour party and Garda in what has been the biggest political show trial for some decades. It is impossible to have followed the details of the arrests and trial and walk away with the impression that the Garda were not acting on government instructions, even if just on the basis of the ‘nod and a wink’. The verdict may well catch anyone relying on the mainstream media as a surprise because right across that media the reporting of the trial was highly selective, reflecting the interests of those who own and control it.

*** A summary for anyone following this from outside Ireland, six men were on trial accused of falsely imprisoning the then Tanáiste and Labour TD, Joan Burton, and her colleague in Jobstown on 15 November 2014. The charge of false imprisonment carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. All six men claimed that they were exercising their right to protest, and that the protest was peaceful. Following a nine week trial, the six have been found not guilty. ***

7 Lies for the 7th 'Rally for Life' - July 1st

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On Saturday July 1st, people who advocate the right to choose will gather at the Spire at 2pm for the counter demonstration to the 'Rally for Life', which is organised by Precious Life / Youth Defence. The first year of the All Ireland Rally of Lies was 2007. This year, the event is in Dublin. In alternate years, it is held in Belfast. Since 2011, Rally for Choice has been a counter presence. For those on Facebook, find the event page here.

To mark the 7th Counter Demo, here are 7 lies from the Rally for ‘Life’ website.

 

1 - They Don't '#SaveLives#

 

 

Working Class Queeroes "Fucking Dregs" Bloc on Pride Dublin 2017

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Footage of the Working Class Queeroes bloc on Dublin Pride 2017 including the banner drop before Pride and the bloc smoking up the rainbow flag prior to crossing the river Liffey.

 

Absolute boy - The Youth Revolt that led Corbyn to a victory of sorts

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Corbyn’s strong showing in the June 2017 UK elections has given a big morale boost to the left.  A considerable youth vote, self-mobilising in larger part as a reaction to the ‘me and mine’ selfish society revealed by the Brexit vote seriously set back Tory plans for a fresh wave of Brexit required austerity.  Activists used social networking to overcome what had previously been seen as an all powerful smear machine of the billionaire print press.  Very few outside the radical left expected this outcome, what drove it and more importantly where can it lead?
[ This is a long read so you can also listen to an audio of the text ]

This piece is not going to answer that in terms of assumptions and assertions but as far as possible through hard numbers.  66% of 18-24 year old’s voted Labour, only a quarter of that, 18% voted Tory [p4].  27% of those 18-24 year olds said the NHS was the most important issue for them, even though they are least likely to need it [p40].  For the over 65 age group this was flipped, only 23% voted Labour and over twice as many (58%) voted Tory [p4].  In fact, given the way the UK election system works, if only 18-24 year olds had voted, Labour would have been heading for 500 seats.  If it had only been those over 65 voting the Tories would have had over 400 seats.

Grenfell fire - our live coverages as news of the atrocity become available

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With at least 12 confirmed dead at the London towerblock fire this morning (14th June) it has emerged that repeated warnings to the landlord and council of a fire hazard were ignored.  Early reports indicate that tower was home to 120 families, many drawn from poor migrant communities. 

The Grenfell Action Group this morning posted "we have posted numerous warnings in recent years about the very poor fire safety standards at Grenfell Tower and elsewhere in RBKC." - they had previously called KCTMO "an evil, unprincipled, mini-mafia" in their blog where 8 warnings about this tower had been posted.

Anarchists, Is It Really Our Duty To Vote?

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Voting has just ended in the UK election. Many people are consumed with hope that Corbyn could win and implement his reforms “for the many, not the few”. For those of us who work with the broad left, it is inevitable that the topic of elections and voting will come up. Heated debates can occur between those of us who would rather ignore the electoral circus and those who strongly believe in using it as a vehicle on the road to a new society.

 

Before beginning, it is important to clarify the misconception that anarchists are against voting. We have absolutely no problem with voting - how else could we make decisions? We are against a system that allows for us to tick a box every four or five years which gives whoever received the most X’s to make decisions that affect our lives in a fancy building miles away from us. Politicians once elected do what they like because we can neither mandate nor recall them.

The pay restoration con the politicans, media and union leaders are trying to impose - Even a decade on its far from full restoration to 2007 levels

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Details of the latest national plan agreed between the government and union leaders have appeared in the media today, as usual well ahead of the union leaders bothering to tell their membership anything. Then union leaders intention is to present workers with a ‘take it or leave it’ choice accompanied by dire warnings that there is no choice.

The deal as expected is pretty rotten and in effect ensures that the pay cuts imposed on public sector workers from 2009 will at least partially be in place for some workers a full decade and a year later in 2020. What’s even worse is that the worse pay and conditions imposed on workers employed after 2012 are being set in stone rather than overturned. This despite it seeming an essential basic demand of a union that workers doing the same work should receive the same pay.

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