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Posts Tagged ‘ protest ’

News in Brief – IMF Here To Stay As Anti-Semites Attack Shatter

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Our Troika days may be numbered but the IMF won’t be leaving just yet, according to the Mission Chief (a misleadingly exciting title if ever there was one). Nope, officers of the IMF could be here well into 2015 to make sure we don’t be bold with our budget again. It’s reported they’ve all developed a taste for the Guinness and can’t remember the way home, that’s the official line anyway, reality is they want to keep their eyes on Enda et. al. to make sure we’re still paying back every bit of bailout we owe. The Mission Chief (seriously, sounds like an astronaut or something) has said we could still be settling our debts up to 2023 but for now, he’ll only be checking in for sixth monthly visits. Byyeeee!

There’s been some particularly troubling protesting going on in West Limerick after a selection of anti-Semitic posters were put up across Sugar Hill Bridge. The posters, that appeared overnight, largely carry the sentiment that Alan Shatter is some kind of cartoon Jewish villain that’s trying to turn our country into Palestine. Whilst this kind of attitude is not acceptable in contemporary society, points are awarded for imagination, what Shatter’s faith has to do on his role in government is undefinable. Laughable really, like the poster that uniquely referred to the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill and called Enda Kenny, Enda Herod. Honestly lads, he’s a big enough head already without thinking he’s a king! Continue reading

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News in Brief-Irish Lap Up Weather As Boris Rejects GAA Invite

ORANGE WARNING: IT’S too hot! The EU has ruled Ireland must enter Summer austerity as the heat wave continues leaving some parts of the Island hotter than popular holiday destinations and a severe shortage of paddling pools. Met Eireann’s expert Harm Luijkx accounted for the heat, it’s due to : ’long periods of sunshine every day.’ Tax the sun, tax the sun! NIB warned this day would come! Continue reading

News in Brief- McGuinness & Healy Rae Slip Up As C Word Banned From The Dàil

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So last week we were feeling optimistic, this week we find out burglary, extortion and hijacking offences are up 34 per cent. But murder is down! Hurrah! But let’s not dwell . . .

In an online report ’controversial’ politician Michael Healy-Rae has apparently called for rural dwellers to be allowed to own guns to protest themselves. No that wasn’t a typo by News in Brief. But presumably a rather large one online. Else the austerity protests are about to take a nasty turn. Continue reading

Once Again, the Many Bear the Burden of the Few

‘A Government of the people, by the people, for the people.’ These were the now iconic words spoken by Abraham Lincoln at Gettysburg, nearly 150 years ago. An ideal we wish was still in use today.

The Irish cabinet has met, discussing changes which would see a drop of €8 in social welfare and €10 in child benefits. This drop has been casually referred to as only a pack of cigarettes. Such a description only serves to demean further the worst off in our society.

€8 less means one meal less. Less paid off a bill, a loan, a mortgage.  One commentator said, “That €8 is the difference between whether or not I can light the fire for next few days or whether or not I have the money to get the bus into town to go to my next hospital appointment or not.” There are undoubtedly those in Ireland today who live off the system as leeches, who see a life on social welfare as a desirable path. But today, with such job losses as Ireland has seen, more often than not the queues at the dole office each week are packed with fathers and mothers who have lost their jobs and can barely pay the rent, the mortgage, the ESB. And for what? For the continued payments to Europe, the ever increasing measures of austerity, ensuring the survival of the elite class, whose actions threatened that of those beneath them?

Madness has entered the country and our psyche. Wages and benefits are falling rapidly as prices rise. In the background, politicians like Mary Harney have the gall to feebly attempt to justify thousands of euro in salaries and pensions, for their ‘services to the country.’ Services which, when history has finished judging, will amount to little more than a paragraph of brown envelopes and evening soirees with bankers and builders. It’s really surprising that our streets aren’t filled with protestors, mobs baying for blood, the likes of which Paris and Cairo have and are continuing to see. What is it about our country that sees us take cutbacks and austerity measures with little more than a moan or a whimper, after which we roll over and accept, conceding that it may be hard, but sure isn’t it in the best interests of us all? Sure, the students come out in force every once in a while against the student fees. And yes, the Occupy Movement has taken root in Dublin’s Dame Street, slowly spreading across the country. But however noble their intentions, however justified they are, such efforts will never succeed.

I don’t condone violence. Violence, it has been said, is the recourse of the uncivilised man. I also don’t say that violence has never succeeded. The Easter Rising was not fought with placards and tents pitched across the city. Michael Collins did not wage the War of Independence camped out in front of Dublin Castle’s gates.

We can blame Europe. We can curse the names of Merkel and Sarkozy and the day they were born. We can even blast the IMF and those who seek our money and took our sovereignty. And we would be right too. It’s very cathartic. But really we need look no further than Dáil Éireann. Parties come and go, but as is our way, the ethos will never change. Change is never more than skin deep. Those in power will only do what they must to retain that power.

€8 is more than a pack of cigarettes. It’s an indication of where or who the government places value these days. It tells us once again who the government is willing to sacrifice in order to fix the mistakes they and their kind have made. History repeats itself. The sacrifices are forced upon the many by the few.

The 1916 Proclamation set in place the values upon which our country was built. The Republic, it stated, ‘declares its resolve to pursue the happiness and prosperity of the whole nation and of all its parts, cherishing all the children of the nation.’

Think about Ireland today. Does that ring true?

Not anymore.

Egyptians Flock to Their First Free Election in Eight Decades

Voters queue at a polling station in the wealthy Cairo suburb of Zamalak

Egyptians flocked to the polls in their droves yesterday as Cairo played host to the country’s first free parliamentary election in over 80 years. A tentative sense of hope is evident in a nation who hopes the ballot will enable them to finally move forward following the collapse of Hosni Mubarak’s three-decade-long dictatorship in February of this year.

Despite predictions to the contrary, the election was a largely peaceful event. This was in stark contrast to the violent protests which took place in Cairo’s Tahrir Square in the ten days preceding the vote. Many of the demonstrators had urged a boycott of the vote as they felt it was a stunt aimed at merely appeasing the electorate. These calls were largely ignored.

Journalist and public speaker, Mona Eltahawy – who was arrested and beaten by Egyptian security forces during last week’s protests – voted in Zamalek. She said, “For 30 years my parents’ generation said they were denied a voice. So I’ve come here on behalf of my family. If we don’t vote we lose.” Ms Eltahawy has been extremely outspoken regarding her dissatisfaction with the current political and social situation in her country, particularly via her Twitter account.

The social media website has provided a platform for protesters during the recent uprising. However, in a case of poor timing in the extreme, the company that provided free mobile phone encryption to dissidents in Egypt, Whisper Systems, suddenly suspended its services on Monday so that Twitter could update some of its privacy enabling technology. As a result of this, many protestors who relied on the service to encrypt phone calls abruptly lost the ability to protect their identity from government-controlled eavesdroppers.

The Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt’s largest political group, is expected to poll well when the election’s preliminary results are announced later this week. However, a number of rival liberal candidates including Amr Hamzawy, founder of the liberal Egypt Freedom party, alleged several irregularities were evident at voting booths, which they fear will boost votes for the religious organisation.

Two further rounds of voting will take place in other areas of Egypt, the last on 3 January, before a 498-member lower house of parliament is elected. Their main order of business will be to form a committee and draft Egypt’s new constitution. The country is currently being governed by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF).

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