Tomás Ó Flatharta

Looking at Things from the Left

“Legal Abortion in Poland Now” – Dublin Demonstration Report, June 23 2022

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The political party Razem is proposing legislation in the Warsaw parliament to make abortion legal in Poland. Solidarity events events were held in various locations. In Dublin pro-choice activists protested outside the Polish Embassy at 4-8 Eden Quay. Supporters included two PBP TD’s (members of the Dáil, Irish parliament) Bríd Smith and Paul Murphy.

Link to Razem : https://partiarazem.pl/aktualnosci/2022/02/27/enough-with-the-struggle-of-superpowers-voices-from-central-and-eastern-europe

Statement issued by the Ukrainian left-wing organization Sotsialnyi Rukh :

Today our comrades from “Razem” party in Poland will be at a hearing during the parliamentary sessions concerning abortion legalization in Poland.

What is the background?

One challenge of immediate concern in Poland is the access to safe and legal abortion. Since January 2021, Poland’s new law on abortion bans all pregnancy terminations except in cases of rape, incest, or if the mother’s life is at risk. Under this law, abortion is permissible only in the case of rape, incest or a threat to the mother’s health and life.
As a consequence of social and political pressures, doctors often refuse to perform the procedure. This directly causes the suffering and deaths of many women.

“Razem” together with national feminist movements drafted the bill “Legal Abortion. Without compromises”. This is a citizen’s bill for which Razem gathered thousands of signatures, forcing Parliament to bring it to a vote.
So here we are and today “Razem” will fight for women right to to decide on their own bodies and life.

Important : many Ukrainian women and children fleeing the war seek refuge in neighbouring Poland where abortion is criminalised and access to contraception is ranked the worst in Europe. Taking into account that in Ukraine we have no problems with this. So it’s a shock for them not to have and access to abortion and be forced to choose between carrying an unwanted pregnancy to term in precarious circumstances or facing significant risks associated with clandestine abortions.

Regarding this Sotsialnyi Rukh underline that abortion legalization in Poland is our our common aim to reach.


We are in solidarity with Razem and women in Poland!

We stand for immediate legalization of abortion in Poland and rights for safe abortion!

legalnaaborcjabezkompromisów

Source : https://www.facebook.com/100064840535229/posts/pfbid0M3jBmZZgWUEQkHdiRL7jjjVje2394wJNS29aEMXFPPFkVjHXNujLYLu9VkmpCHyal/

Legal Abortion in Poland Now – Dublin Protest, Polish Embassy Office, 4-8 Eden Quay, Thursday June 23, 1.00pm

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The Polish political party proposing abortion law reform is Razem which works with the European network in solidarity with Ukraine and against war –

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Poland : Access to Safe and Legal Abortion – Polish parliament debate, June 22 and 23 2022

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In Ireland – especially during the dark days of the anti-abortion 8th Amendment to the Irish Constitution ((1983-2018) – women had to travel abroad to get an abortion. In Ukraine today many women raped by invading Russian soldiers flee to Poland where they cannot get an abortion. The left wing party Razem is proposing legislation in the parliament to end the abortion ban in Poland. We must extend solidarity and support.

Razem reports :

A great challenge of immediate concern in Poland is the access to safe and legal abortion. Women’s rights to decide about their own bodies have been extremely limited in our country. Under current laws, abortion is permissible only in case of rape, incest or threat to the mother’s health and life. Additionally, as a consequence of social and political pressures, doctors often refuse to perform the procedure. This directly causes the suffering and deaths of many women.

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“Macron’s Régime in Disarray” – French Parliamentary Elections Destabilise the government run by President Emmanuel Macron

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The June 19 2022 French parliamentary election has destabilised the government of president Emmanuel Macron. Dave Kellaway offers an initial assessment. We also recommend other assesments available at the Europe Solidaire Sans Frontières website http://www.europe-solidaire.org/

http://www.europe-solidaire.org/spip.php?article62985

http://www.europe-solidaire.org/spip.php?article62984

Coalitions and parties2017 seats2022 seats
Macron coalition*345246
NUPES**60142
Rassemblement Nationale (National Rally) Le Pen889
Les Republicans (LR)-UDI10064
Left (non-Nupes.13
Others.23

2022 Abstentions: 53.77 of registered voters

* The presidential coalition includes LREM-Renaissance (160 MPs), François Bayrou’s Modem (48 MPs) and Edouard Philippe’s Horizon (28 MPs).

** New Popular, Social and Ecological Union (NUPES) : La France Insoumise (LFI, France Unbowed ) 72, Socialist Party (PS) 24, EELV (Greens) 23 Communist Party (PC) 12 plus independent lefts (mostly overseas).

Figures updated by ESSF taking into account the labeling done by Le Monde.

There are 13 independent deputies from the left and 9 from the right who may join a parliamentary group in the next few days.

Please join Anti*Capitalist Resistance on Thursday, June 23 2022 at 19:30 BST for a discussion with Penny Duggan of the New AntiCapitalist Party on France After the Elections. Please register here.

All elections reflect political and social reality. Normally this is distorted and does not immediately reveal the relationship of class forces in society due to the power and ideological systems of the ruling class. Undemocratic electoral systems can under-represent or over-represent different political forces. Sometimes elections reveal a lot more of a political crisis or of the conflicts in society. Often the election does not have a very direct impact on the class struggles of society. Yesterday in France the parliamentary elections both exposed the political crisis of the Macron regime and made a difference in the ability of working people to defend their interests.

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For an Ireland Where Trans and Non-binary People are Equal Safe and Valued

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Both states in Ireland – formally independent in the South, controlled by Britain in the North – have a vile creepy history : child abuse, suppression of women’s rights, reactionary religious control of health and education. This “Carnival of Reaction” has deep strong foundations, built following the reactionary partition of Ireland in 1922. In recent decades, especially in the formally independent part of Ireland, popular rebellion has attacked the reactionary carnival – most notably when a constitutional abortion was repealed in a May 2018 referendum.

In days gone by a “Belt of the Crozier” firmly struck by Archbishop John Charles McQuaid was enough to kill Noël Browne’s 1950 Mother and Child Scheme. These days, after a tsunami of child abuse scandals and clerical criminal convictions, far-right causes such as transphobia are, at the popular level, rightly seen as a thin edge of the wedge. They remind us of dark periods we Irish experienced in the recent past.

A media outlet, the Joe Duffy RTÉ Liveline Show, have a mass audience. It is not directly associated with the religious far-right in Ireland. However, it has started to offer an often uncontested platform to government anti-feminist propaganda, targeting the publicly funded National Women’s Council of Ireland.

The broadcaster is not backing down : “I found it deeply disturbing after my 25 years of presenting here to be told that a debate on Liveline was ‘incredibly irresponsible’ in the context of increasing transphobic and homophobic attacks,” the presenter says, referring to a statement from the Irish Council of Civil Liberties, before adding that the censuring was “insulting” to his programme staff and, indeed, his listeners.” (Source Irish Times, June 17 2022).

A coalition Trans Equality Together led by TENI (Transgender Equality Network Ireland), BeLonG To and LGBT Ireland was launched last week with the aim of creating an Ireland where trans people are equal, safe and valued. Pictured: (L-R) Tiernan Arnup from AMACH! LGBT Galway, Jayson Pope, an LGBTQ+ youth activist and Matt Kennedy, of BelongTo. Picture: Julien Behal (Source Irish Examiner)

A number of human rights organizations have come together opposing the reactionary anti-trans offensive. In very measured language they state :

On 9th, 10th and 13th June, RTÉ Radio 1′s Liveline show discussed matters of gender identity. Trans Equality Together, and our members, share a common concern about these episodes, and we support Dublin Pride’s decision to terminate its media partnership with RTÉ and its consultation with Trans Equality Together about this decision.

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Palestine, Tel Aviv : “There is no Pride in the Occupation”

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Thanks to Joan McKiernan for circulating this report.

Source : https://mailchi.mp/refuser/refusers-solidarity-15034809?e=2a6ffdecef

My name is Ayelet. I’m a 16 years old trans teen and an activist in the Mesarvot network, an Israeli Network supporting war resisters and political objectors. Last Friday (June 10th), at the Israeli pride parade in Tel Aviv, I was arrested for holding the Palestinian flag with the slogan “there is no pride in the occupation” in Hebrew (see below picture of my sign).

“There is no Pride in the Occupation”

I made this sign not only to show my objection to the Israeli occupation of the West bank and the Gaza strip, but also to protest the way the Israeli government uses the LGBTQ+ community to justify the occupation. The government uses Pinkwashing – displaying superficial support for LGBTQ+ rights in order to justify horrible actions. In actuality, Israel supports gay rights only when people from our community are supportive of the state’s actions. For example, a trans woman who is a soldier will be able to receive hormonal treatment, but a trans woman who is an army refuser will be sent to a men’s prison for her refusal.

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Marriage Advice for Young Ladies – From a Suffragette – 1918 – Reflections on Bloomsday 2022

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“ Marriage advice for young ladies from a suffragette, 1918. The pamphlet is on display at the Pontypridd Museum in Wales. The suffragette is unknown.”

Source : Bernadette McAliskey’s fb page :

This is Bloomsday 2022 :

A favourite married man is fictional : Dublin’s “Everyman” Leopold Bloom, who had some roots in Hungary, the (anti) hero of James Joyce’s Ulysses, a tale of Baile Átha Cliath in one day.

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Written by tomasoflatharta

Jun 16, 2022 at 9:05 am

BBC limits TV Coverage of 2022 Orange Order July 12 Marches in Northern Ireland – welcome move does not go far enough

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The left-wing Irish organization Éirígí has issued a very clear statement about the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) decision to limit live coverage of 2022 Orange Order marches in the north of Ireland. The BBC decision has provoked a furious unionist reaction, which might force the broadcaster to back down. https://www.belfastlive.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/twelfth-july-unionists-slam-bbc-24191452?utm_source=belfast_live_newsletter&utm_campaign=breaking_daily_newsletter2&utm_medium=email.

These events occur after a video emerged in the public arena celebrating the murder of Michaela MacAreavy (daughter of the high-profile Gaelic Athletic Association [GAA] Manager Mickey Harte of Tyrone). The Irish Times reported that footage of the ‘vile chant’ was “understood to have been filmed” at an “Orange hall in Dundonald, Co Down”. (June 3 edition). In fact, there is no doubt that the “vile chant” was performed during Orange Order celebrations. Damage limitation continues, as the Orange Order, numerous Unionist politicians, and weasel-word forelock-tuggers pretend


Éirigí Statement :

It has emerged today that the BBC will no longer broadcast live daytime coverage of the main Orange Order ‘parade’ in the Six Counties on 12th July. #OrangeOrder

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War in Ukraine – a view from Greece – “Support the Ukrainian people in their resistance against the war!”

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The Russian invasion of Ukraine has divided opinion on the left in all parts of the world. Here is an interesting contribution from Greece. Source : https://tpt4.org/2022/06/09/support-the-ukrainian-people-in-their-resistance-against-the-war/?fbclid=IwAR2MG80aYrYE17qsDzgSVrVao4Do8wy-Ga4rfNRpkTsPexhGPIaiVal0LsE

War in Ukraine – a view from Greece

Support the Ukrainian people in their resistance against the war!

by Tassos Anastassiadis

[Αναδημοσίευση από το International Viewpoint, 1/6/2022]

[Το πρωτότυπο, στα ελληνικά, στο site μας και στο site της Αναμέτρησης]

Tassos Anastassiadis is a member of “Anametrisi”’s leadership and also a member of the TPT-“4” (part of the Greek section of the Fourth International). Anametrisi (=confrontation), founded in March 2022, is a product of radical left recomposition process in Greece these last years. [1] This text was submitted to the leadership of Anametrisi on 19 May 2022. The original Greek text is published on Anametrisi’s site.


Positions on the Ukrainian war and our stand

1) The Russian invasion of Ukraine is an “imperialist” attack. [2]. Analyses may differ on the source of this “imperialism” [3], on the extent of its dynamics, on the causes of this particular invasion, and even on its function in the capitalist world arena. But what is fundamental is that it is an unjust war of the strong against the weak. [4] And in particular, it is a “national” type of oppression – that is a challenge at gunpoint to the right of a population to exist as a political entity and to decide for itself and freely about its own existence.

2) From this point of view it is a matter of principle [5] for the left to take a clear position on the war being waged: It must place itself on the side of the weak, those who are under attack and fighting back i.e. on the side of the Ukrainian people. The right of a people, a population, a nation, to define itself is a fundamental component of an emancipatory programme.

3) This means that in this war the left cannot be indifferent: it is not a “war” that is simply taking place somewhere out there, without subjects and without responsibilities. It is a military attack and there is contestation and resistance to it. The left must take a stand against the war being waged by Russia, and consequently, in favour of those who oppose it, basically the Ukrainian people but also the Russian left. That means in favour of the war being waged by the Ukrainian people.

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Sinn Féin’s wannabe Stormont boss Michelle O’Neill praises British monarch’s “contribution to peace in Northern Ireland” to mark “Platinum Jubilee celebrations” – Silence from Sinn Féin leaders about royal child abuse crime.

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The British monarch currently shields her “favourite son” Prince Andrew, who actively collaborated with convicted child abuse criminals Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell.

Michelle O’Neill has written to the Queen ahead of the monarch’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations. The Sinn Fein vice-president referred to Her Majesty’s 70 years of “dedicated public service to the British people”, and praised her “significant contribution” to the peace process.

https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/sinn-feins-michelle-oneill-writes-to-the-queen-praising-her-contribution-to-peace-in-northern-ireland-ahead-of-monarchs-platinum-jubilee-celebrations-41711625.html?fbclid=IwAR1t5xzGGTVugxYL9ESfYGY4svygEiY9zR7r4pMSxO5hDu4OHwPV-bXNGj0

Forelock-tugging must stop : https://tomasoflatharta.com/2022/01/14/convicted-criminal-ghislaine-maxwell-low-media-standards-an-irish-link-and-a-prince-of-england/