Tomás Ó Flatharta

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Postponed : Ireland-Ukraine : International Solidarity of the Left – Public Meeting Tuesday October 4 2022

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Our ‘Ireland-Ukraine: International Solidarity of the Left’ public meeting in Dublin on Tuesday 4th October is postponed due to the illness of the principal speaker Yuliya Yurchenko. Our apologies to all for any inconvenience. We will announce the date for a re-arranged meeting as soon as possible. We wish Yuliya a speedy recovery.”

Irish Left With Ukraine

Yuliya Yurchenko – an active supporter of the European Network for Solidarity with Ukraine (ENSU) – speaks at this Dublin meeting along with Irish trade union speakers and others. https://ukraine-solidarity.eu/

Yuliya Yurchenko, author of Ukraine and the Empire of Capital: From Marketization to Armed Conflict (Pluto, 2018). She is a Lecturer in International Business and Researcher at the Public Services International Research Unit, the Centre for Business Network Analysis, and the Political Research Centre at the University of Greenwich.

An extensive interview with Yuliya is here : https://tomasoflatharta.com/2022/04/12/fighting-for-self-determination-yuliya-yurchenko-explains-for-ukrainians-its-an-existential-fight-our-countrys-identity-territorial-boundaries-and-our-very-existence-is/


Latest News from the ENSU :

Open the borders for Russians refusing military service!

Latest news from the anti-conscription movement in Russia : https://ukraine-solidarity.eu/9c8950df16724719b875eece066b3912?v=3bc1cb6bcdb84da2b0a88fdb3783cfdc

Putin’s attempt to conscript up to a million young Russians to fight in Ukraine is failing. In less than one week, more than 300,000 young Russians have sought refuge in neighbouring countries like Georgia and Kazakhstan. Hundreds of thousands are expected to seek exile in the next few weeks. We call on West European countries to open the borders to these courageous and principled young Russians, in the name of peace and justice.

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Cost of Living Coalition March in Dublin, September 24 2022 – How Big Was The Crowd? The Irish Times Estimate was 3000!

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In the company of Des Derwin and many others I walked from Parnell Square to Merrion Square in the Cost of Living Coalition Dublin march on Saturday September 24 2022. Exhausting!

I helped Des and other comrades carry the Dublin Council of Trade Unions banner. An Irish Times report claimed 3000 people were with us – I was flabbergasted! 😕! It seemed like a lot more people were on the Dublin streets that day.

John Meehan, September 29 2022


Des Derwin investigates :

Physician, Heal Thyself. The back page of this morning’s ‘Irish Times’ is almost completely given over to an advertisement for Specsavers.

Finbar Geaney and Des Derwin carrying the Dublin Council of Trade Unions Banner

On page two the paper carries a report of the Cost of Living Coalition march on Saturday (24th September). Grand, and such reports are by no means guaranteed in that newspaper these days. The print report doubles down on its original online piece ‘estimating’ 3,000. The experts are wheeled in: “Use of the online crowd calculator Map-Checking gave an estimate for the crowd of about 3,000 people…” The caption to the photograph repeats the 3,000 people ‘estimate’, just in case, I presume, any reader might get the impression that the peasants were actually stirring. I think the ‘Times’ might benefit from a trip to Specsavers themselves, or at least a trip out to ‘the field’ to count the marchers passing within yards of their office, or even to view some of the videos and photographs of the event.

Maybe it wasn’t 20,000. Who came up with that anyway? Maybe it was half that. (One video based calculation on Twitter comes out at c.16,000). But 3,000?! That byline will become a byword.

Des Derwin September 29 2022


It’s a sunday and I like maths so I thought I would get an actual estimate of the Cost of Living march yesterday, and disprove figures given by the Irish Times. (the latter was actually very easy!)

Darragh’s Twitter Page https://twitter.com/Taiwo_Oifigiuil/status/1574031121792520193?t=Ve3zSg_rEgmTrvpaBqw-1g&s=19&fbclid=IwAR2BBhaDfZk8JAUWjT74eu-OiwdV4_JOMfeG8wReH8BSusspc8FQy_RU9j8

with the width of one side of O’Connell street (8.8m excluding paths), and a very conservative estimate of 2.6 people per sqm this gives 16,085 people. Adding other numbers discussed gives an absolute minimum of 16,710 The 20,000 estimated by the organisers is more than possible

Perhaps the Irish Times should add Darragh to its list of reporters?

Ireland should welcome Russians who don’t want to kill Ukrainians – North and South

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The article below comes from Sweden via the USA based Ukraine Socialist Solidarity Campaign.

Link : https://www.facebook.com/groups/307530784861174/?ref=share

The same issue arises in the Irish state – like Sweden, a member of the European Union, which is under pressure to draw down a new Iron Curtain partitioning the European continent.

See Also, from the European Network for Dolidarity With Ukraine :

Open the borders for Russians refusing military service!

https://ukraine-solidarity.eu/

Latest news from the anti-conscription movement in Russia : https://ukraine-solidarity.eu/9c8950df16724719b875eece066b3912?v=3bc1cb6bcdb84da2b0a88fdb3783cfdc

OPINION: Sweden should welcome Russians who don’t want to kill Ukrainians

In a situation already tragic beyond the imagination, banning Russian draft dodgers would only add to the tragedy in Europe.

An iron curtain is descending across Europe. But in contrast to the beginning of the Cold War, the curtain is being drawn down by EU countries – not Russia.

Any day now, Finland is poised to ban Russians from entering the country on tourist visas, to keep out men who want to avoid being drafted to fight in Ukraine. Announcing the policy, the country’s foreign minister said Finland was becoming “a transit country for Russians who want to leave their homeland for fear of being forced into war, and this traffic could harm Finland’s international position”. Opinion polls put 70 percent of the public in favour of a ban.

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Protests Spanning Decades – 1969 – 2018 – 2022 : Take Back the City : Cost of Living Coalition Demonstration, Saturday September 24 2022, Garden of Remembrance, Parnell Square, Dublin, 2.30pm

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Des Derwin Michael Taft and Mick O’Reilly squatting on O’Connell Bridge, at a protest supported by Dublin Council of Trade Unions about the Housing Crisis in Ireland – Friday September 23 2018.

Three comrades on a Dublin Bridge : Des Derwin, Michael Taft, Mick O’Reilly

On Saturday September 24 2022 the same people, the same Trade Union organisation, will be at a Dublin Cost of Living Coalition demonstration in Dublin.

From Michael Taft : “A Protest Spanning Decades” :

Des Derwin and I sat down at today’s Take Back The City protest on O’Connell Bridge on the very same spot that Mick O’Reilly sat down in January 1969 when he was participating in a sit-down protest with the Dublin Housing Action Committee. The issue then, as now, was homelessness and housing need.

And we will continue to protest – Des, Mick and myself along with thousands of others – until the Government acts on the most important social issue of the day.”

One of many media reports – this is from Hot Press, one of Ireland’s leading rock music and culture magazines

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“Thousands Expected at People-Power Protest in Dublin over the Cost of Living” – Interview with Eddie Conlon

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Des Derwin reports :

Something good, as well as Gene Kerrigan, in the ‘Sunday Independent’:

Sunday Independent interviews Eddie Conlon, Cost of Living Coalition and PBP activist

‘A ‘people power’ movement hopes to see thousands of demonstrators take to the streets of Dublin next weekend, in protest over the spiralling cost of living.

The number of rallies has increased around the country in recent weeks — but next Saturday’s planned demonstration is expected to be by far the largest.

Organised by the Cost of Living Coalition, which is supported by over 30 national organisations, it is sending a clear message to the Government: people cannot afford looming energy bills, and should not be forced to pay them.

The coalition was set up in March by Eddie Conlon, TU Dublin (formerly DIT) sociology lecturer and a long-time activist for People Before Profit.

The Crumlin native was previously involved in the anti-nuclear movement.
“I’ve been politically active since the 1970s, but I’ve never seen such unity in any campaign as this one,” he said.
“It has support from so many organisations and from every generation. This is a huge issue in society. People are frightened. People are worried about the bills that are due to arrive.”

In the UK, a movement called ‘Don’t Pay’ has urged people to cancel their gas and electricity direct-debits from October 1, with over one million people already pledging support. Is the Cost of Living Coalition poised to make the same call to people living in Ireland?
“The coalition is not at this point calling on people not to pay.
“But the reality is that some people just won’t be able to pay these bills. What we need from government is a clear ban on people being cut off for not paying a bills if they cannot afford it,” he added.

The coalition is supported by People Before Profit, with TD Paul Murphy recently throwing his weight behind it.
Sinn Féin and the Social Democrats are backing the movement, as are the Union of Students Ireland (USI) and the Irish Senior Citizens Parliament, among many others.

“As people prepare to turn on their heating in the coming weeks, the cost of energy is about to become more critical than ever,” said Conlon.
“This is about people power. It’s about people coming together to say ‘enough is enough’. We expect thousands of people at the demonstration next weekend.

“I think, since Covid, people have really started to see the cracks in our society and need their voices to be heard.”

The extremist far-right in Ireland have recently tried to associate themselves with the Cost of Living Coalition, making occasional appearances at rallies.

“They have nothing to do with us,” Mr Conlon said. “We have nothing to do with the far-right. We are about unity. What they do is seek to divide people.
“People want to be able to lead a decent life and have their basic needs met without having to pay through the nose for it. The premise of this coalition is to give ordinary people the opportunity to say, ‘we can’t put up with this.’”

They’ll sit in the cold themselves — but they won’t do that when they’re minding the grandkids’

Sue Shaw, CEO of the Irish Senior Citizens Parliament, a member of the coalition, said she has “no doubt” that “momentum is building” around how unaffordable energy bills are becoming. She said older people are particularly worried about the cost of heating their homes in the coming months.

“Two-thirds of older people in this country are solely reliant on the pension. Over the past two years, we have already seen heating oil, coal and turf increase by 137pc.

“The Government is trying to pitch old against young during this situation. But we have decided to all come together in this coalition.

“The accommodation crisis is impacting younger generations more — students in particular, and people who can’t afford to buy their own homes because of high rents. This coalition is about bringing every generation together and being united in saying: ‘We will not put up with this.’”

Ms Shaw said her organisation has already begun to receive calls from worried older people, who have been buying warmer duvets in preparation for the winter, in the hope it will reduce the need to switch on the heat.

Others talk about plans to spend large parts of their days in the coming months in public libraries, as these facilities turn on the heating.

“The anxiety is building. Some older people who mind their grandchildren, because their own children can’t afford childcare, are worried about their bills. They’ll sit in the cold themselves — but they won’t do that when they’re minding the grandkids.”
Ms Shaw advised the Government to “start listening” to the public mood.

“The coalition is not right now advocating people should not pay their bills. But if people don’t have the money, what can they do?

“Older people might be retired — but let’s not forget how much we contribute to society. As well as childcare for their families, older people make up a huge part of our voluntary sector.

“And of course, the Government should also remember that older people are the generation who vote.”
Both Ms Shaw and Mr Conlon criticised “profiteering” by energy giants, who they say are making millions in the midst of this crisis.

“We need price controls on energy. There is major profiteering going on. The ESB are making a lot of money right now,” Mr Conlon said. “There needs to be taxes on the energy companies. The Government just need to start listening to the people. Because the people must be heard.”

The coalition’s protest is due to get underway in Parnell Square, Dublin, at 2.30 pm next Saturday.’


End of article. Note I’ve corrected the time for the march which the Sindo got slightly wrong – Des Derwin

English Queen Kicks Bucket : Loyal Mass Media Bans Joke: “the shocking death of a 96-year-old woman from natural causes” – London Forelock-Tugging Mocked

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American Columbia Journalism Review retaliates – reporting the Sky multinational media corporation

removed jokes including a reference to the Queen’s passing as “the shocking death of a 96-year-old woman from natural causes.”

New York based Irish-American Correspondent Joan McKiernan circulates real news :

These are just some of the things that have been canceled—or stopped, or banned, or discouraged, or quietened, or postponed, or revoked—somewhere in the UK since the Queen died last week, out of respect or to facilitate other people paying theirs. (When the British network Sky rebroadcast the latest episode of Oliver’s US late-night show, it removed jokes including a reference to the Queen’s passing as “the shocking death of a 96-year-old woman from natural causes.” Sky declined to comment to Deadline about the changes.) Beside those that have affected the media directly, all the cancellations have provided the press with a running storyline this week, alongside a packed calendar of official mourning. They have occasioned much comment on social media, too. A Twitter account called @GrieveWatch has grown in popularity, highlighting not only cancellations but overbaked expressions of public grief. Currently pinned to the top of its feed is a video posted by a prominent right-wing commentator—who once mocked Meghan and Harry for attending a “personal” remembrance event with a photographer present—showing him engaging in some “quiet reflection” outside Buckingham Palace. “The important thing is that you filmed it,” @GrieveWatch wrote.

Correspondent Jon Allsop decided to sacrifice 12 hours of his life – the things some people must do to earn a crust – life is often cruel :

Of course, the packed calendar of official mourning has been themajor storyline this past week across major news organizations. It’s been a huge deal globally, including in the US, with networks dispatching staff to London, cutting into programming to broadcast the latest ceremony, marveling at British “pomp and circumstances” (sic), and lining up plummy-voiced royal commentators straight from British-stereotype central casting. But British news outlets, as is only right and proper, have shown the way.

Yesterday, I settled in at 8am local time with the intention of watching twelve consecutive hours of British TV news coverage; the mourning calendar was relatively empty—King Charles III took the day off—but Britain’s mourning period still had days to run, and I was curious to see if major networks had run out of things to say yet. Reader, I did not quite make it twelve hours, though I gave it my best shot. I started on the BBC, where news from the outside world (the war in Ukraine, the retirement of the tennis great Roger Federer) occasionally punched through, but where the biggest story, to begin with at least, was the real-time progress of a line—soon known to Brits simply as The Queue—that snaked for miles through central London as mourners waited hours for the chance to observe the Queen’s casket lying in state. (The BBC is also livestreaming footage of the casket, “for people who want to pay their respects virtually.”) Reporters queued up themselves to interview people in The Queue. Some particularly intrepid journalists joined it themselves and reported back, including a science correspondent at The Times of London, who was the twenty-second person in line. His boss had decided there was “nothing happening in science,” he wrote. Nothing at all.

Back on the BBC, a reporter was talking to two women who had brought loved ones’ ashes to see the Queen. Half an hour later, the Archbishop of Canterbury appeared on-screen in a high-vis jacket and started to interview people in The Queue as a reporter tried to interview him. At 10:47am or so, the BBC cut away from The Queue for a video interview with a man who edits a newsletter called Our Corgi World. The man batted away concerns that the Queen’s death could tank the popularity of corgis as pets while shoveling treats into his own dogs’ mouths. “Edward, Mungo & Barney, corgis,” the on-screen chyron read. After that, I cut away from the BBC to watch Sky News, which was also interviewing people in The Queue: a woman with a net over her face in tribute to the Queen’s love of horse-riding; a man who was born on the same day as King Charles and claimed he’d received extra milk rations and similar “goodies” from the palace as a result. “There’s been a royal vein through my life from day one,” the man said. If he seemed happy to talk at length, the same couldn’t be said for interviewees in a different, faster-moving section of The Queue, with a reporter having to gallop to keep pace with them as if she were staking out a recalcitrant politician. (Talk about queue anon.)

Marty. Turner, Irish Times, September 17 2022

Reader, if you can bear it, click the source for more :

Source : https://www.cjr.org/the_media_today/queen_mourning_media_coverage.php?utm_source=CJR+Daily+News&utm_campaign=7bcb053024-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2020_11_11_06_33_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_9c93f57676-7bcb053024-174914994&mc_cid=7bcb053024&mc_eid=b33e596e19

“When more than 70,000 demonstrators gathered in Prague on 3rd September, two different stories immediately emerged” – The Art of Telling Stories and A Wake-Up Call for the Left

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In 2022, Previously stable political certainties have been shredded on the European Continent. One example comes from Prague, capital city of the Czech Republic. It is dramatic. The far-right : anti-vaxxers, anti-Ukrainian racists, fans of ultra-racist imperialists Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin – led the demonstrators. Vivek Prokop explores “a wake-up call for the left”

Source : http://www.europe-solidaire.org/spip.php?article63953

Czechia: the crowd on Wenceslas Square

Sunday 11 September 2022, by  PROKOP Vítek

Czech Republic/Czechia

They say that politics is an art: the art of compromise, the art of getting along with people, but also the art of telling stories. When more than 70,000 demonstrators gathered in Prague on 3rdSeptember, two different stories immediately emerged. According to one story, it was an action by the Russian fifth column, according to the other story, it was a protest by desperate citizens. So what was really happening on Wenceslas Square?

At first glance, it seems that everything important about this “Czech Republic First “protest has already been said. For example, the fact that one of the organizers, Ladislav Vrabel, has big debts, and that the money to organize the protest was sent to a non-transparent account belonging to his wife. Another key organizer, Jiří Havel, has become famous for recommending chlorine dioxide, which is otherwise used as bleach, for the treatment of covid. Both men are members of the anti-globalisation movement “Restart World Freedom,” which was launched by the American investment banker and Donald Trump supporter Catherine Austin Fitts.

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Whiteys Mourn an English Queen at Buckingham Palace, London

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Whiteys gathered at a London Palace because the English Queen died..

“Throngs of mourners gathering outside Buckingham Palace on a rainy day saw a rainbow form over the palace. This is being taken as some kind of divine omen rather than a natural phenomenon related to rain. Some are crying & the crowd broke spontaneously into an off-key “God Save the King” even after it was announced she was dead. The whole scene would be touching if it didn’t signify that too many Brits have a dysfunctional relationship with a woman they only knew from her hand-waving on TV. It’s not surprising that as far as the eye can see that crowd is lily white, kind of Tory-like, way too many white people in a single location for anyone else to feel safe.”

Mary Scully

We can all do better than this.

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“Humanity isn’t losing anyone special” – English Queen Kicks Bucket

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Irish-American Activist Mary Scully reports :

Betty Windsor finally kicked the bucket today. She died peacefully in her bed surrounded by her mutant feudal offspring of free-loaders & supremacists. We’ll spare the moment of silence in respect to the millions of human beings who were/are terrorized, brutalized, tortured, dismembered, raped, bombed by agencies of the government which Betty represented for 70 years.

Judging from the crocodile tears on Twitter, many people–& not just Brits–either had a mummy thing going with her or identify with British colonialism in a way they don’t normally admit to. Her death has brought out the worst in them. The chorus of bereavement crescendoes by the hour until now it resembles nothing so much as the braying of jackasses.

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After over 6 months of war Ukrainian workers need to hear our voices of support

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Irish Left With Ukraine (ILWU) distributed this leaflet at an Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) Global Solidarity Summer School.


After over 6 months of war Ukrainian workers need to hear our voices of support

Irish Left with Ukraine are a recently-formed group of trade unionists, socialists and anarchists who have come together to help to amplify voices of support from the Irish Left for Ukrainian workers and trade unionists in their desperate attempts to repel the Russian invasion of their country. We believethere is absolutely no excuse for the savagery, destruction and death that hasbeen unleashed on the people of Ukraine. Claims that Putin is trying to remove fascism or ‘denazify’ Ukraine are palpably false. He is in fact one of the biggest supporters of the far right and it is clear that this is an attempt by Russian imperialism to expand the territory under Russian control.

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