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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Imperialism Today : Victory to Ukraine, Defeat for Russia – Responses to Paul Murphy TD

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In an article of 19 September 2022, Paul Murphy, an Irish TD and member of RISE, offered an analysis that attempted to bridge the position between those supporting Ukraine’s right to resist the invasion and those in the west who see NATO, not Putin, as the main enemy here. See https://rupture.ie/articles/imperialism-today?fbclid=IwAR0w3tMJhsTnHFO-FHlJ3j-RC7H-pkG3NaTno2w92aT0ThTNckw1jYIyagg.

There are several problems with this analysis, which places itself within a camp accurately described by Irish Left With Ukraine (ILWU) activist Conor Kostick as “Left Evasionist” See https://independentleft.ie/ukraine-evasions/

We offer two immediate responses. The first is from Conor Kostick :

Both Anti-Imperialist and Inter-Imperialist?

Paul Murphy’s conclusion was :

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Germany’s Die Linke on verge of split over sanctions on Russia

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Russia’s imperialist invasion of Ukraine is re-shaping the left across Europe and other parts of the globe. In Germany, the die Linke party (the Left) seems on the verge of a damaging split.

For continuous coverage of these events see this and other articles on the ESSF site : https://www.europe-solidaire.org/spip.php?article64000

Leftwing party’s future in balance after series of resignations, as former co-leader calls coalition ‘stupidest government in Europe’

Germany’s Die Linke could split into two parties over the Ukraine war, as the ailing leftwing party’s indecisive stance over economic sanctions against Russia triggered a series of high-profile resignations this week.

The German Left party’s future has hung in a precarious balance since it snuck into the national parliament last autumn under a special provision for parties that win three or more constituency seats. Should three of its 39 delegates resign from the party, Die Linke would lose its status as a parliamentary group and attached privileges over speaking times and committee memberships.

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“If you hate the royal family clap your hands”

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You can’t fool Celtic Soccer Fans :

Celtic fans disrupt minute’s applause for Queen Elizabeth II with anti-Royal chanting and banner.

From CNN :

“CNN

Supporters of Glasgow-based football team Celtic FC chanted anti-royal sentiments during a planned minute’s applause for Queen Elizabeth II ahead of the team’s match against St. Mirren in Paisley, Scotland, on Sunday.

The minute’s applause had been organized after the home team, St. Mirren, chose to pay tribute to the late monarch, but Celtic fans unfurled a banner reading “If you hate the royal family clap your hands” and chanted the same words throughout the planned homage.

The Scottish FA said in a statement on Monday that “as a mark of respect and in keeping with the period of National Mourning, home clubs may wish to hold a period of silence and/or play the National Anthem just ahead of kick-off, and players may wish to wear black armbands.”

Sky, who was broadcasting the match, confirmed to CNN that it turned down the stadium microphones to limit the audibility of the chants during its broadcast of the minute’s applause.

After the applause ended, commentator Ian Crocker said, “Apologies if you were offended by anything you might have heard. Most people showed respect, some did not.”

It is the second time this week that groups of Celtic fans have expressed anti-royal feelings, with the club currently subject to an investigation by European football’s governing body UEFA after displaying a banner reading “F**k the crown” during Wednesday’s Champions League match against Shakhtar Donetsk.

CNN has reached out to the Scottish Professional Football League and Celtic FC for comment but did not immediately get a response.

Though Celtic is based in Scotland, its traditions are intertwined with those of anti-monarchist Irish republicans since it was founded with the aim of alleviating poverty in Glasgow’s Irish Catholic immigrant population in the 1880s.

Its crosstown rival Rangers, meanwhile, is traditionally more aligned with Protestantism and royalist unionism, heightening the antagonism between the two sides.

The Scottish FA, the governing body for football in the country, said to CNN that it didn’t have “any jurisdiction over fan behaviour at league matches.”

Booing during the minute’s silence was also audible in other matches held in the Scottish Premiership this weekend.

Dundee United released a statement, acknowledging that “a small section of the crowd chose to not respect the minute’s silence” ahead of its match against Rangers at Ibrox on Saturday.”

https://edition.cnn.com/2022/09/19/football/celtic-anti-royal-chants-scottish-football-spt-intl/index.html

“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

“Putin is talking about the desire for peace again? Amazingly. Because ‘conflict resolution’ is extremely simple. Immediate withdrawal of Russian troops from the entire territory of Ukraine.” – Mykhailo Podolyak, Senior Adviser to Ukraine’s President Zelensky

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Allowing for the fog of war and incomplete exaggerated or inaccurate media reports – convincing evidence suggests that the invading Russian army is losing the war in Ukraine :

Mykhailo Podolyak, a senior adviser to Mr Zelenskiy, said in response: “Putin is talking about the desire for peace again? Amazingly. Because ‘conflict resolution’ is extremely simple. Immediate withdrawal of Russian troops from the entire territory of Ukraine.”

The astute analyst Mary Scully notes that Russia’s few powerful allies, Modi and Xi Jinping – leaders of India and China, are offering grim advice to Kremlin boss Putin :

“Supporters of Putin’s war are looking pretty damn foolish now that no less a war criminal than Modi publicly confronted Putin telling him to end the war against Ukraine & Putin acknowledged that China’s Xi Jinping privately expressed the same position. Russia has been able to sustain western sanctions only because India & China provided a financial lifeline by increasing trade, especially the purchase of oil & natural gas, from Russia.

It will be interesting to watch the song & dance of the war mongering progressives as they try to coordinate their apologetics with China & India’s realpolitik.”

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“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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