Saturday, 12 July 2014

Margaretta D'Arcy statement from Global Women's Strike

Free Margaretta D’Arcy, Free Shannon
Statement to the Press and the Public

We are outraged to learn that our dear sister and colleague Margaretta D’Arcy has been jailed – again! – for two weeks for protesting the use of the civilian airport at Shannon for US wars. And we are furious that the state ignores the possible effects on her health and well-being as a cancer patient .  This is how they think of those of us who are elderly or ill or have disabilities or are female and insist on protesting injustices, the greatest of which is war.

To underline her case against Irish complicity in war, Ms D’Arcy has also now taken the principled step of abstaining from food in solidarity with prisoners everywhere and all of those who have lost their lives, homes and communities destroyed as a result of US military action, and the actions of their political and military partners, beginning with Israel and its slow genocide of Palestinians. One of the many public services Ms D’Arcy has performed is to protest the Irish government’s many years of complicity in US war crimes and its destruction of Irish neutrality, the precious legacy of our great struggles, where Ireland leads the world. She has been dedicated to highlighting that the most devastating impact of war is on women and our children, both directly from the bombs that rain down on us, and by paying with our poverty and overwork for the horrendous weapons of massive destruction that threaten us all.

Ms D’Arcy is a veteran of Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp, which opposed the US military placing cruise missiles on common land in England, and won – the camp is no longer a military base. To dissent from a perspective of permanent war and austerity, and demand the protection of life and the planet, is increasingly labelled subversive and even criminal behaviour. While war criminals are allowed to pass through Irish airports and financial criminals go unpunished, the Irish State in thrall to the US, UK, EU and IMF Masters of War has imprisoned a pensioner who has dedicated herself to highlighting and preventing war crimes.

An attack on courageous and principled Margaretta D’Arcy is an attack on us all.
We demand the immediate release of Margaretta D’Arcy and free Shannon airport from the US military!  We want our neutrality back!

Invest in Caring Not Killing.

Please see and their facebook page for further details:

Friday, 27 June 2014

World Social Forum 2015, Tunisia - call for social movements

Call for Social Movements to mobilize for the upcoming World Social Forum
(Tunisia, 2015)

Dear friends,

During its last meeting held in Casablanca in December 2013, the International Council decided to organize the upcoming World Social Forum 2015 once again in Tunisia.

This decision was made based on an evaluation of the proceedings of the WSF 2013, and a common assessment of the situation of struggles marshalled by different social movements in the region, and the world, as well as the new geopolitical context and the evolving nature of the neoliberal crisis.

Indeed, it is now imperative to realize that since 2011, and after Arab revolutions have represented a source of hope to uplift the region from its status-quo, and a source of inspiration for the entire world to change, the Arab region is currently undergoing deeply worrisome dynamics. Governments in power over the past three years have yet to put in place the necessary policies and programs which respond to the claims of young people seeking freedom and employment, women seeking equality, social movements seeking social justice. On the contrary, throughout the region the flows of weapons and violence abound, and religious extremism is deepening its reach, neo-liberal policies dictated by the World Bank and the IMF are presented as the only solution and the social movements and democratic movements are criminalized. External political and military interventions have become the rule, each time instrumentalizing internal instability to facilitate interventions by the United States, Europe, Turkey and the Gulf countries.

Beyond the Maghreb and the Mashreq, the African continent has become the primary source of raw material, present as the “new economic frontier”, it too a frontier ravaged by violent extremism, the plundering of its resources, and the devastating violence inflicted by structural adjustment programs and the militarization of its territories.

Everywhere in the world, including in Europe, Asia, Latin America, and North America, social movements find themselves facing aggravating economic, social and environmental crisis, as well as a systemic attack on their rights. New tensions, directly related to hegemonic practices to appropriate resources and conquer markets, threaten to bring the worst in Europe, Asia and Africa.

The World Social Forum remains, more than ever, a vital space for social movements which struggle to preserve people’s dignity, so that they remain masters of their own destiny, able to fight for and acquire new economic, social, cultural and environmental rights, and able to construct alternatives to the neoliberal world order.

The social movements of Tunis, as well as of the Mashreq and Maghreb invite (24 to 28 March 2015) you to join their efforts in the construction of a more just world, where justice, equality and peace prevail, and where alternatives for the current world order, to which countless populations aspire, are discussed and debated.

Together, we would like to work to put together an open, participatory and democratic mechanism for the organization of the World Economic Forum 2015.
Another Maghreb Mashreq is possible
Another Africa is possible
Another world in possible
Tunis, June 20, 2014
The Organizing Committee of the World Social Forum 2015
Opening of the website: June 25, 2014
International Council of the World Social Form: Ottawa, August 2014
1st international seminary and meeting of the International Council: end of October 2014
2nd international seminary: February 2015
Liste mailing
People with disabilities

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Call for a public inquiry into the policing of Shell / Corrib Gas protests

There is an excellent call for a public inquiry into the policing of the Shell / Corrib Gas protests in Erris, Co. Mayo, supported by a wide range of local organisations, campaigners, academics, journalists, politicians, artists and others.

The call can be viewed here (AfrI), here (Human and here (Shell to Sea).

See also this Sociology news item.

Monday, 16 June 2014

CEESA year 5 celebration scholarship

The MA in Community Education, Equality and Social Activism (CEESA) is now entering its fifth year. To celebrate we are offering a €2,000 scholarship awarded on the basis of practitioner excellence in community education, action for equality and / or social movements. The award is given on the basis of a personal statement of no more than 1,000 words and the names of two referees who may be contacted if needed.

Full details are here and the deadline is July 7th.

Please forward this to anyone you think may be interested.

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Scholarships and bursaries - deadline extended to June 16th

Deadlines for the taught MA scholarships (€5,000, for NUI graduates) and bursaries (€2,000, for any SUSI recipients) have been extended to June 16th. Full details here.

While the official deadline for CEESA applications is May 30th we are usually happy to accept applications after this date, and certainly up to the 16th.

Monday, 26 May 2014

Adíos Subcomandante Marcos

A fascinating change of tack in Chiapas, Mexico: the Zapatistas are abandoning the image of "Subcomandante Marcos" (but without losing the person). There's a good explanation of what this means over on ROARmag. A wee bit different from the world of Irish political parties where the question of "who's in and who's out" is all about getting away from thinking politically...

Update: Here's a translation of Marcos' farewell speech, with pictures.

Monday, 12 May 2014

New CEESA video - please share

Ace social media activist soundmigration has done this video about the CEESA MA. Please share it with anyone you think might be interested!

Friday, 25 April 2014

MA CEESA - a masterclass in changing the world

Are you

  • active in social movement struggles but need space to stand back, reflect, recharge?
  • involved in community and voluntary activism but feel trapped by the structures?
  • politically minded but don’t know how to turn that into an effective and radical practice?
  • clear that social change is central to you but unsure how to build a life around it?
  • interested in spending a year with your peers and experienced practitioners?

Around the world today, movements and communities are making history – or trying to. The need for change is huge and the outcome is still all to play for. We see apparently-unstoppable movements squashed and apparently-hopeless ideas winning against all the odds. What makes the difference, and how can our movements find a way forward and even change the world?

The MA in Community Education, Equality and Social Activism (CEESA) at NUI Maynooth responds to the crisis by helping us learn from each other’s struggles in dialogue between different movements, different communities, different generations. The course is not tied to any single movement and participants come from many different communities and countries. Some are experienced activists who want to go back to education; others are less experienced people who are keen to get involved in movements. This mixture of ages, backgrounds, experiences and questions is an integral part of what makes the course so rewarding. Together we are building a diverse network of movement activists, radical educators and campaigners for equality and creating new alliances for change.

The course team are experienced practitioners and engaged scholars working on equality, radical education and movement struggles. The course combines social analysis, bottom-up organising methods and political strategy with a wide range of pedagogies and a focus on knowledge for change, taking a practical but radical look at the problems facing movements today. Our small-group classes run on Mondays and Tuesdays to facilitate participants, over two 12-week terms followed by work on a project aimed at developing your own movement practice.

Often we are told that we have to choose between our politics and “real life”. This course shows how to integrate the two with confidence, practicality, solidarity, emotional resilience, seeing the bigger picture, taking time out to reflect and supporting each other for the long haul. Participants go back to their own movements refreshed, set up new projects, find work in movement organisations, go on to further education - and bring back what they have learned to their own struggles.


Closing date for applications: May 30, 2014