CONTENTS 03 Introduction from Chair 04 Introduction from Editor 05 Remembering 1913 06 The Danger of Jobs at any Cost Approach 07 Public Enterprise Must be at the Heart of Economic Recovery 08 Solidarity is at the Core of Labour 10 The Life and Times of Rosie Hackett 12 South Africa: Democratic state, apartheid economy. 14 Encouraging Hate in Russia 15 Labour and the X-Case 16 Interview with Jane Horgan-Jones 17 Justice for Magdalenes 18 Chelsea Manning-Hero and Victim 19 End Institutional Living Campaign.
Declan Meenagh Editor in-chief @declancabra
Rory Oâ€™Donoghue Deputy Editor @ODRory
SiobhĂĄn de Paor Design Editor @shivface
MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIR Comrades and Friends, It has been an eventful year since our last college recruitment season, with many highs and lows. But it has been a year which I am sure I will never forget as an activist with Labour Youth. Shortly before Christmas of last year the nation was rocked with the devastating news of the unnecessary death of Savita Halappanavar. What followed was months of protests, vigils and rallies to call for legislation that would finally deal with the issue of the X-Case. The most moving of these was the initial candle light vigil and march which took place shortly after Savita’s death. Tens of thousands of people, many of whom rarely attend these rallies, were on the streets to express their solidarity with the Halappanavar family and show their dismay at the fact that a young woman, in 2013, could die as a result of not being able to access a termination. I am proud that Labour Youth attended all these protests in large numbers. It was a particularly moving experience to have stood outside Leinster House until the small hours of the morning, as the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill passed from the Dáil to the Seanad. We witnessed a piece of history together and, although the Bill was far from reflecting the staunchly Pro Choice views of Labour Youth, it was encouraging to see our parliamentarians stand up to the conservative forces in Irish society that would see a woman die before being able to access a termination. This year also saw one of our most successful Tom Johnson Summer Schools ever, organised by our Education and Policy Officer, Lisa Connell, in the city of Cork. The theme, From Lock-Out to Left-Out: Focusing the Dialogue on to Present Day Ireland, explored the fact that although it has been 100 years since thousands of workers in Dublin were locked out of their employments by the city’s business class, we still face many of the same problems in 2013 Ireland albeit in a slightly different context. Labour Youth honoured and remembered the anniversary of the 1913 Lock-Out in many ways. We hosted a commemorative seminar in honour of the event, which examined the historical aspect of the event, the role of women in what took place and how some of our citizens are, to this day, being excluded from our society. We took a group trip to The Dublin Tenement Experience, organised by various historical groups, trade unions and Dublin City Council, in order to gain a better understanding of what life must have been like in the tenements of Dublin in the early part of the 20th century. We must never forget the lasting affect that events such as the 1913 Lock-Out have had on Irish society and use it as a constant reminder of why we have decided to join and become active in Ireland’s labour movement. Our activists have achieved great things over the past year. We instigated a campaign which sawDublin’s newest Liffey Bridge being named after one of Dublin’s greatest unsung heroes, Rosie Hackett. We have also made great advances in strengthening Labour Youth’s relationship with Ireland’s migrant groups and were even the first ever political organisation to be invited as guests to Africa Day. But most of all, we have never lost sight of what is important to us. Despite much dialogue being focused on fixing the country’s finances, Labour Youth has consistently spoken out about a long term vision of the economy and Irish society, one in which every citizen is given the opportunity to participate and isn’t locked out due to poverty and deprivation. It’s for this reason I am proudest of Labour Youth as an organisation. Long may it continue. In solidarity, Aideen Carberry National Chairperson 2012-2013
MESSAGE FROM THE EDITOR This year, our summer school had the theme From Lock-Out to Left-Out, and in this magazine we try to outline groups Labour Youth feel are still being locked out in Ireland and around the world. We talk about the treatment of LGBT people in Russia, and how 100 years on, we still haven’t given workers all the rights they fought for in 1913. We talk about the shameful system of direct provision as well as issues around internet freedom and security in the Chelsea Manning Case. I have truly enjoyed my time in Labour Youth so far. The things I have been able to do have been amazing experiences, from representing Labour Youth in our European group, the Young European Socialists, to campaigning for Michael D Higgins to be elected President of Ireland. I have also learnt a lot along the way about policy-making and campaigning. The year I have spent as Communications Officer has been a privilege. I have worked with a great team, and hope that I have helped to communicate the passion of the members and our fight for a more equal society. We’re moving into a year of campaigning in which it may prove difficult to get young candidates elected. But this is our chance to push for the policies we want to see implemented and the change we want to make a reality. It is very important that we, as young activists, contest elections to promote these ideas. I’d like to thank Rory O’Donoghue for being a great Deputy Editor; making sure the articles were all in order. I’d like to thank the National Youth Executive for their support and all members of Labour Youth for contributing. It’s great we have a TD, and some external people writing for this magazine as well. Marty O’Prey has done a great job as Youth and Development Officer. Last of all I’d like to thank Siobhán de Paor for her excellent work in designing this magazine- without her work it would not have happened. I believe in an equal society and part of that is equal access to information. The Left is about realizing something is wrong with society and fixing it. To do this effectively, it is really important that we have free access to information. The internet is an amazing tool which we need to protect and use to help build a socialist future. Many have been critical of Labour for what we have done in government, and on some issues, I have joined them, but I firmly believe as we exit the bailout and move back to growth that we need Labour ideas to help build the fair society we all want. Labour Youth will play an important role in this process and we need new people, so please join your local branch and be the change you want to see Yours in solidarity, Declan Meenagh
MESSAGE FROM THE DEPUTY EDITOR I have been a full Labour Party member in Ireland since the beginning of the 2011 election campaign. I have been an active member of Labour Youth since starting college in 2012, and became communications co-ordinator shortly after that. I have really enjoyed being involved in what has been a very busy year for Labour Youth. Ireland right now finds itself in a position of transition. The way financial and social policy adapts to coming out of the bailout is critical to how the new Ireland develops. The Labour Party has had to do a lot of counter-intuitive things in government. As the climate moves on, it is now time for the party to stand up and put its own distinctive stamp on policy. As the country gets its destiny back in its own hands, the party must do the same. At a time of change and uncertainty, society will always look for a leader. The Labour Party that I believe in should take that leadership role. The articles in the magazine show that we can lead and drive a new vision and direction for the country. When we look back on this period in the parties history, I hope we look back on tangible achievements rather than simply moral victories. Rory O’Donoghue Deputy Editor
REMEMBERING THE 1913 LOCKOUT Ciara Galvin As I write, the name for the new bridge at Marlborough Street in Dublin has just been announced. It will be named after Rosie Hackett, an early 20th century Dublin Trade Unionist and Labour Youth’s proposed candidate. The tribute could not have been more fitting or timely. This year Dublin commemorates the centenary of the events of the 1913 Lockout - an event in which Hackett was heavily involved. The general narrative of the Lockout is reasonably well-known, at least in left-wing circles. It goes something like this - Big Jim Larkin led the tram drivers of Dublin on strike over a) pay and working conditions and b) the right to be a member of a union. Meanwhile William Martin Murphy (Boo! Urns!), who owned Dublin United Tramways Company, attempted to squash the budding trade union movement by organising a mass lock-out of workers via the Dublin Employers’ Federation (a forerunner to modern day IBEC). Perhaps less well known is how dire living conditions in Dublin were for workers in the early twentieth century. Inner-city tenements housed approximately 26,000 families, 20,000 of these families packed into single rooms. Extreme poverty was rife, with all its incumbent dangers for life and health. Workers had no rights at the time, no welfare system outside of the ill-reputed ‘poorhouses’ and pensions for the over 75s since 1908. Families of unskilled workers in particular depended on intermittent casual labour for their income, relying on insufficient charity and pawnbrokers to make up the short-fall. Children, often a dozen or more in each family, were expected to leave school at a young age to supplement the family’s income, while women sought low-paid but regular work in factories.
In 1913, almost 3,000 women and girls worked in Jacobs biscuit factory in conditions which Larkin remarked were “sending them from this earth 20 years before their time”. It was in this context that James Connelly founded the Irish Labour Party in 1912. But while Connolly and Larkin’s roles are well-known, less attention has been paid historically to the role of people like Hackett, who - at 18 - was instrumental in bringing out women workers of Jacob’s factory on sympathy strike with the tram workers. The Lockout stand-off lasted from the summer of 1913 until early 1914, when it became apparent that no supporting strike would happen in England and the starving workers had little choice but to return to work. The principles of trade union organising, however, had been firmly established. Over the past 100 years living conditions have drastically improved for most of us, often thanks to the Labour movement flexing its muscle. Having said that, unpaid internships and short-term, precarious (even zero hour) contracts are on the rise in Ireland - particularly for young and ‘unskilled’ workers. It is not enough to attend 1913 commemorations and applaud politely. Now as much as ever, we need to stand up to the William Martin Murphy types, and fight (as Hackett et al. did) for “a fair day’s work for a fair day’s pay”. Ciara is a graduate of NUI Maynooth. She is freelance journalist and communications consultant. You can read her past work on ciaragalvin.wordpress.com.
THE DANGER OF ‘JOBS AT ANY COST’ APPROACH Aideen Carberry One of the biggest global trends in recent years has been in the rise of precarious employment. In an economy that is obsessed by ‘jobs at any cost’, people welcome the announcement of jobs being created, understandably. However, the part-time, fixed term, flexible contracts, once thought to have been a temporary measure conceived of by employers to deal with the economic slowdown, have now become entrenched in our labour markets. Employers are using every available opportunity to make these types of contracts the norm. Few questions are being asked as to the quality of these jobs as they come on the market. Are they the types of employment that people can live independently on? Are they enough to sustain a decent quality of life? Are they the types of employment that one could build a future on? Are they jobs that offer career advancement and the opportunity to develop as an individual? The reality is that many of these jobs are none of the above. They are just enough to keep someone off the Live Register, yet too little to give an individual the means to live an independent life. Flexible work affects collective bargaining rights. As the ILO symposium on Policies and Regulations to combat Precarious Work, 2011 stated “while more countries formally guarantee core labour rights, less workers can exercise these rights due to the rise in precarious work.” There is a link between precarious work and the erosion of workers’ rights. This is particularly true of young people. The number of underemployed 15 to 24 year olds in the OECD countries is at its highest since the organisation start-
ed collecting data. The current climate means young people are coming to expect less and less from their employment. They are entering the workforce after college or school with the impression that they should be glad to find themselves in these types of employments. Their generation’s mantra ‘A job is a job’ is affecting their will and desire to organise in their workplace. They dare not claim the hard fought for labour rights generations before them have secured. The beginning of one’s working life tends to be the most formative. A young person who finds it difficult to find work at the beginning of their career suffer from what is known as a ‘wage scar’, meaning they are likely to earn less than their peers who find work immediately after school or college for a large part of their career. Studies from the UK and America show that this can persist in to middle age. In the USA studies have shown that employers seeking new recruits for quality jobs generally preferred fresh graduates (of school or university) over the unemployed or underemployed, leaving a cohort of people with declining long-term job and wage prospects: “youth left behind”, in the words of a recent OECD report. Japan’s “lost decade” workers make up a disproportionate share of depression and stress cases reported by employers. Suggestions to solve the crisis in youth unemployment and underemployment are few and far between. Jobsbridge, while it may have been well intentioned, has led to abuses for interns. It also ignores the fact that internships and further education are useless if there is no stimulus package to create jobs. There is little point in driving down the
economy with austerity measures on one hand, and attempting to educate young people for jobs that don’t exist on the other. There is also the fact that internships may not be a necessary part of preparing a young worker for the workplace for some types of employments; and they have replaced training that could be completed while the worker is in employment. It is up to all of us, as union activists, to be keenly aware of the types of employments our friend and family take up; and how it affects their lives. And, more importantly, it should be up to each of us to educate younger workers that they should not be taken in by the prospect of a job at any cost. Our young workers need to start expecting more for themselves and their peers. Only then can they begin to organise and campaign to maintain the workplace rights past generations fought for. This article first appeared in ‘Shopfloor’, the newspaper of Mandate Trade Union, in May 2013 Aideen is the current chair of Labour Youth. She previously studied at University College Dublin and Dublin Institute of Technology. She has previously been Recruitment Officer for Labour Youth and Chairperson of the UCD Branch. You can follow her on Twitter @AideenCarb
PUBLIC ENTERPRISE MUST BE AT THE HEART OF ECONOMIC RECOVERY Osal Kelly At the last Labour Party conference, delegates voted to retain existing public enterprises in the hands of the Irish people. This was a clear affirmation of the extent to which members still identify with the core principles of the Party and are willing to defend them. It is not necessary, however, to look just through the prism of Labour values to appreciate the economic benefits of public enterprise. Newly independent Ireland had a largely agrarian economy and was of little interest to foreign investors. It took radical government measures – the establishment of the Agricultural and Industrial Credit Corporations, Aer Lingus and Irish Life – to fill the gap, providing credit and stimulating economic activity, paving the way for the full industrialisation of the Irish economy. The contribution of the semi-state assets to the economy is as visible as ever, when we see their resilience in the face of the economic crisis. The sector operates very profitably and its profits are returned to the Irish people in the form of a dividend. The McCarthy Review on State Assets showed ESB/Electric Ireland leading the way in earnings, posting profits of €580 million, which alone was enough to cover the losses of the four largest loss-making companies more than three times over. The fact that the semi-state sector consistently runs a surplus enables it to subsidise expensive but crucial services, for example, public transport to reach out to people in remote areas, and gives the government additional money to develop the infrastructure which the economy requires to thrive. By contrast, private ownership would sharply curtail the strategic vision and objectives of the companies. Divided up and each motivated by profit, there would be no mechanism enabling the
largesse produced by the wealthiest companies to be used to support vital services provided by the smaller and less profitable. The privatisation of Éircom provides an example of the catastrophic effects of relinquishing public control. It was passed from owner to owner; each one stripping it of capital. Having been debtfree when publicly-owned, as a private company it racked up €4 billion in debt. Ireland now has one of the worst levels of broadband provision in the EU owing to the lack of co-operation from privatised Éircom is an indictment of the strategic myopia of for-profit companies. Rather than selling flagship public enterprises for amounts that would only keep the country going for days, we should prioritise the country’s long-term economic future. There is no sign of a let-up in the investment strike which has characterised the private sector. Investment has fallen by €21 billion since 2007. Although 2012 saw a tiny increase, it was from a point so low that it has been estimated that it would take an entire century at current levels for investment to return to prerecessionary levels. As recent economic figures have shown that Ireland dipped back into recession in the second half of last year even that may be optimistic.
would do so include a national roll-out of broadband and an expanded role for the State in the extraction and sale of our natural oil and gas reserves, whose known worth alone is estimated at €750 billion, but little of which currently goes to the State, which can currently be charged full market prices for its own resources by private corporations It is not only the will of the Party membership but also in the interests of the country that our semi-state assets remain in the hands of the public. Public enterprise enables strategic economic planning, and represents the most potent instrument we have to create jobs and put the economy back on its feet. Osal Kelly is in his fourth year in Trinity College, where he has served as Treasurer of Trinity Labour. He is also involved in anti-war activism.
There is no incentive for firms to invest in a bankrupt country. Trying to make the country more “competitive” by reducing labour costs and refusing to raise the corporate tax rate has had the reverse effect: less money for people to spend on goods and services and less money for the government to use to upgrade infrastructure will not attract investment. We should instead turn to the economic resources we do control. Increased investment in public enterprise would have the dual benefit of generating employment and stimulating further economic activity. Examples of public investment that
SOLIDARITY IS AT THE CORE OF LABOUR Derek Nolan TD We are Labour. We are proud to be Labour. Nobody joins our party for personal wealth or power for its own sake. There are other parties that offer much greater success in those quarters. To be Labour means to identify with terms like left, socialist, social democratic and so on. But for me, the term solidarity has always had the greatest resonance. The idea that we concern ourselves not just with our own welfare and needs, but the well-being of others, particularly those who need a helping hand. Implementing solidarity requires constant progress and societal change. Those values, while seemingly difficult to contradict, are not universally held. They have always been attacked by those who do not want to participate in the cost of solidarity. The elite, the cliques, the golden circles thrive and profiteer on individualism. And so since our foundation we have been attacked by conservative forces in the media, in institutions, in certain sections of professions and so on. That attack will never cease, for as long as we exist we are a threat to those who vigorously preserve the status quo that has served them so well. We seek to achieve public support for our values and agenda through politics. Politics is a messy business – and it’s supposed to be. It is the venue for airing differing views passionately, sometimes irrationally. And democracy ensures that a myriad of representative voices are heard, regardless of the realism of their argument or the truth of their assertions. Those who engage in politics are immediately attacked. Only those with resolve and a thick neck will survive. That is the nature of the system and we should not be surprised by it, be offended or hide from it. We should engage and win the argument. Being Labour today is not easy. Right across the world from the UK, to Germany, to Australia the left is finding it difficult to gain traction. The economic crisis, the product of right wing ideology, has rather ironically reduced the appetite for solidarity. And in Ireland, we are unpopular for cleaning up Fianna Fail’s bankrupting of our country. In February 2011 Labour got 19% of the vote and a record number of seats. But we did not win the election 8
– Fine Gael got twice our vote. We formed a coalition government in what I sincerely believe was the overriding national interest, with Labour policies and Fine Gael policies. There are those who argue that we are having little impact. That is nonsense. I have no doubt that a Fine Gael government on its own: - Would have left the cut in the minimum wage - Would have gutted protections for workers in the JLC/ REA sector - Would have slashed social welfare payments to the poorest in society - Would have left 330,000 of the poorest workers paying the USC - Would have introduced full 3rd level fees, instead of increasing registration charges - Would have decimated the public service through substantially higher public spending cuts - Would have sold off State assets with no regard to the strategic national interest - Would have minimised increases in wealth taxes and prevented a mansion tax - Would not have negotiated a public sector pay deal, nor genuinely attempted to. - Would not have legislated for women’s rights in the X Case, and would have kept marriage equality off the agenda.
￼ There are countless more decisions on education, mental health, stimulus, publictransport and planning where Labour is making real and valuable differences. Wehave been very effective in government. But that is not what people read about in newspapers. Instead we read of “broken promises”, without an explanation as to what they are. We read about those in our ranks, who find cleaning up Fianna Fail’s mess uncomfortable, and who put their political careers, and not the country, first. The inevitable tough decisions that have to be made to reduce the deficit, are lambasted, rather than contextualised as necessary to protect the viability of our public services, the livelihoods of our citizens and the future for next generations. And what’s worse, we take no credit ourselves for our accomplishments. We take no credit for stabilising our country’s finances – the greatest economic challenge ever faced by the nation – even though it is Labour Minister Brendan Howlin who is leading the charge. We take no credit for increasing employment, for returning to the bond markets, for securing international investment, restoring our reputation as a country and preparing the ground to throw out the troika. All of these issues were seemingly impossible when we entered government. Yet against the odds we have done it. And yet we take no credit.
presents new and different challenges, and I will intend on presenting ideas and thoughts on that soon. But right now, we need to assert that which we have achieved. Be proud that at a time of genuine national crisis Labour has played a huge role in rescuing our State. Acknowledge that we have put Ireland ahead of easy popularity and be confident that our message and values are strong – and that with passion and self belief we can easily persuade a public thirsty for honesty and truth. But we must fight for it. Those forces that opposed the lock out, oppose trade unions, oppose employment rights, opposed equal pay, opposed equal rights, oppose women’s rights – who therefore oppose solidarity – will never make our case for us. They will always attack us. Let’s fight back. Derek is a TD for Galway West. Prior to the 2011 he was a member of Galway City Council
The next period of government and the exit of the troika
THE LIFE AND TIMES Rosie Hackett was a trade unionist, a 1916 veteran and a woman who was far ahead of her time. She helped change the working conditions for thousands of women, as well as contributing to Ireland’s fight for Independence. She should be remembered. Rosie, christened ‘Rosanna’ was born in Dublin in 1892. She lived in Abbey Street in Dublin’s north inner city. At the time of the 1911 Census, she was a resident in house 3 Abbey Street at the North Dock. She lived with her mother, sister, stepfather, stepbrothers and a lodger. Rosie worked as a packer in a paper store and then got a job as a messenger for Jacob’s Biscuits. The working conditions in Jacobs Factory at the time were awful to say the least. Jim Larkin himself described the conditions for the biscuit makers as ‘sending them from this earth 20 years before their time’. On the 22 of August 1911, Rosie helped to galvanise and organise more than 3,000 women working in the factory. They withdrew their labour and the women were successful. They received better working conditions and an increase in pay. Rosie was just 18 years old at the time.
Metropolitan Police attacked the crowd with batons and the day became known as ‘Bloody Sunday’. Two men died and hundreds were injured. Rosie was part of the crowd on Bloody Sunday. The employers retaliated by locking their employees out of work. This began the 1913 Dublin Lockout which lasted from August to January 1914. There was widespread hunger and poverty in Dublin city centre at the time. Rosie, along with other members of the IWWU, worked tirelessly during the Lockout providing the strikers with adequate physical and moral support. A soup kitchen was set up in Liberty Hall by the women who were involved in the IWWU. Rosie worked here during the Lockout, providing the strikers and their families with basic food supplies. In 1914, Rosie lost her job in Jacobs for the part she played in the Lockout. She took up a full time post working as a clerk in the IWWU. She then went on to train as a printer. Following the Lockout, Rosie continued to work in Liberty Hall. It contained a work room and a small shop that she worked in alongside Delia Larkin and Helena Maloney. It was here that she became connected with the Irish Citizen Army.
When the Irish Transport and General Workers Union was founded in 1909, Rosie joined it. Two weeks after the famous Jacobs Strike, Rosie cofounded the Irish Women Worker Union (IWWU).Along with Delia Larkin, the IWWU was set up to protect women from the horrendous conditions which they were expected to work in. In 1913, being actively involved in the trade union movement, she once again helped to organise the women in Jacobs to strike and protest against poor working conditions. When the tram workers went on strike against their employers, the Jacobs Factory workers came out on strike in support.
On Sunday the 31st of August a large crowd of workers and trade unionists gathered on Dublin’s Sackville Street (which is now O’Connell Street) to hear James Larkin speak. When he appeared at the window of the Imperial Hotel (now Clearys) he was immediately arrested and a riot broke out. The Dublin 10
One day in 1916, Rosie was working alone in the shop when it was raided by the Dublin Metropolitan Police. The shop at the time was selling left-wing, nationalist papers, such as ‘Spark’ and ‘Nation’ and these were illegal at the time. When the police raided, Rosie went to get James Connolly. When the two got back to the shop Connolly told the policemen to drop the papers because they didn’t have a warrant. According to Rosie’s statement from the Bureau of Military History, Connolly said “Drop them or I will drop you”. The police were quick to leave. They were quick to return that night with a warrant to search the premises. By then, Rosie had hidden all the evidence.
OF ROSIE HACKETT
Rosie said that the raid was a catalyst to the 1916 Easter Rising, which took place just three weeks later. Rosie describes those three weeks, how they were constantly on guard and working around the clock. She talks about how she took part in practice night marches and was thought first aid lessons by Dr. Kathleen Lynn. Rosie was among the small group, along with Constance Markievicz and Michael Mallon, who occupied Stephen’s Green during the Rising and then moved on to the Royal College of Surgeons. Rosie was involved with the group that printed the 1916 Proclamation and gave it to James Connolly. They were able to print it off on a faulty printing press and they handed it to him, still dripping wet. She later said that when she went to bring it to Connolly, all of the men in the room were giving out and wondering why Connolly had let a woman into the room. Following the surrender of the rebels at the Royal College of Surgeons, the group, along with Rosie, were brought to Kilmainham Jail. They were in prison for ten days and then freed on general release. She was then involved in getting the soup kitchen in Liberty Hall running again. In 1917, on the anniversary of Connolly’s death, the ITGWU decided that it needed to be commemorated. So, they hung a sign from Liberty Hall that said ‘James Connolly, Murdered May 12th, 1916’. It was up no time at all, when the police took it down. Rosie, along with Helena Maloney, Jinny Shanahan and Brigid Davis, decided that it was important that everyone knows that it is the anniversary. So they printed out another poster, climbed to the roof of Liberty Hall and barricaded themselves in. They nailed the doors shut and put coal up against the windows, so no one could get in. Rosie said that police mobilised from everywhere, but it took them almost an hour to get in. she said that the poster was up until six in the evening and lots of people saw it. Rosie later bragged that it took four hundred policemen to take down
four women. ‘We enjoyed it at the time- all the trouble they were put to’. Following these events, Rosie re-founded the Irish Women Workers Union with Louie Bennett and Helen Chenevix. At its strongest, the union organised over 70,000 women and was successful in gaining one extra paid holiday leave per year. She then went on to work in the Eden Quay Co-Operative where she worked for over 40 years. In 1970, Rosie was awarded with a gold medal for giving 60 years of her life to the Trade Union Movement. Rosie passed away in 1976, aged 84.
There are currently 16 bridges over the river Liffey in Dublin’s city centre. 13 of these bridges are named after men and not one of the bridges is named after a woman. The Rosie Hackett Bridge Campaign are calling on Dublin City Council to name the new Marlborough Street bridge the Rosie Hackett Bridge. They believe that in this, the 100th anniversary of the 1913 Dublin Lockout, we should pay tribute to the many women who made a huge contribution to the labour movement. By naming the bridge for Rosie Hackett, we would be doing just that. Jeni Gartland has just completed her masters in Social Policy and Rights in NUI Maynooth. She is currently the Equality Coordinator for Labour Youth. You can follow her on Twitter @JeniGartland On September 2nd 2013, Dublin City Councillors voted in favour of naming the Marlborough St bridge the Rosie Hackett Bridge.
ANGELINA COX AND JENI OVER THE SITE OF THE ROSIE HACKETT BRIDGE 11
SOUTH AFRICA: DEMOCRATIC STATE, APARTHEID ECONOMY Lisa Connell The end of apartheid in 1990 was of huge significance internationally. Boycotts of South African products were held throughout the world in order to voice opposition to the apartheid upholding National Party government. In Ireland, Dunnes Stores workers were sacked for their refusal to handle South African products. However, 18 years since the election of the African National Congress (ANC), very little positive change has actually occurred. This has become more evident with the killing of over forty mineworkers in their attempts to negotiate and strike for a higher wage. Despite the levels of poverty which still exists for much of the black population, South Africa is an extremely resourceful country. South Africa extracts 80% of the worldâ€™s platinum output while also remaining a major international figure in sourcing other natural resources. South Africa is a hot spot for international mining industries who seek to extract as much profits as possible. This is due in large to South Africaâ€™s constitutional provisions on property which are particularly problematic. The international platinum mining company Lonmin, who profited greatly out of racial segregation, have continued to exploit black South African workers, despite the formal end of apartheid. But now, the shooting of over one hundred miners and the death of over forty in strikes over higher pay has put the international spotlight back on South Africa. The strikes by the Marikana miners were the result of a number of factors; ranging from the demands for higher wages by workers frustrated at the slow pace of change since the end of apartheid, the rejection of union representation
from the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), as well as the upstart of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) who have been actively recruiting as an alternative to the NUM â€“ seemingly spurring intraunion clashes as the two unions battle for membership. A lot of attention both in South Africa and internationally has been focused on the clashes between the unions and the constructed hostility between the NUM and AMCU, which is being blamed for the deaths of those involved in the strikes. Little attention, in comparison, is being afforded to Lonmin and the astronomical profits it extracts from South Africa on a yearly basis. Nor have large levels of attention been afforded to the use of a racialised and generally impoverished work-force, which allows Lonmin to pay these workers at a rate similar to that during the apartheid era. These workers continue to live in settlements which they were forced into in the 20th century to ensure the racial segregation of the population. Because of the low-rates of pay afforded to black workers in South Africa, the economic legacy of apartheid has yet to be broken despite the political liberation of the nation almost 20 years ago. The very basic demand which these workers have called upon, an increase of their wage and the right to organise within the workplace, would allow these workers and their families a pathway out of the poverty which is still entirely disproportionate from the white population. For those workers old enough to remember the struggle against the apartheid regime, this is the continua-
tion of the old fight. However despite the old liberation organisation, the ANC, being in government, it is the international financial institutions and trading companies which hoard most of the power in South Africa. Despite the enactment of one of the most progressive and egalitarian constitutions in the modern world, South Africa seems to have lost perspective on the proper balance between protecting capital investment and promoting state projects in order to advance the economic well-being of its citizens. This is due in large because of the inclusion of property rights in the 1996 constitution, which has allowed transnational institutions such as Lonmin, to operate outside of the control of state power. Because transnational institutions have become so powerful, and continue to orchestrate so much power, it is people who are forced to endure the brute end of their reign. Financial profit is put ahead of human interests experienced through harsh governmental policies, which continue to attack those least well-off in order to protect both the rich and the interests of foreign capital. This sadly does not differ much from our own case, where severe austerity policies are attacking those least well-off in society in order to suit foreign interests. Lisa is the Policy and Education Officer for Labour Youth. She has been involved in both University College Dublin Labour and Dublin South Labour. You can follow Lisa on twitter @LisaConnell15
ENCOURAGING HATE IN RUSSIA Aisling Twomey Russia has hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons in the past weeks. Accused of further marginalising the LGBT community, the country is facing increasing international outrage. Homosexual activity was decriminalised in Russia in 1993, at around the same time as Ireland made the same policy change. In 1999, homosexuality was finally removed from the national list of mental illnesses. Yet, in 2013, almost three quarters of Russians feel that homosexuality should not be accepted by society. The Russian constitution clearly states that marriage is between a man and a woman. There is no debate on the topic because the constitution won’t be changed. There is no right to adoption for same sex couples. There is no civil partnership.
They voted to make it illegal to equate straight and gay relationships. They voted on the same day to approve jail sentences of up to three years for offending religious feelings. If these laws pass through the second parliamentary house, they will become an active and awful reality of Russian life. Smaller, local legislatures already carry these laws. It has been a spreading trend throughout the federal Russian system. In 2012, Moscow’s top court upheld a ban on gay pride marches within Moscow for 100 years. The issue is due to come before the European Court of Human Rights, but the reality for now is that pride marches, widely accepted on the streets of Ireland, are a deviant, dissident operation in Russia. Almost 12 million people live in Moscow; over twice the population of Ireland is being censored in the name of furthering hatred.
Russia operates an unofficial ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy in its one million strong military. Officially, gay people are allowed to serve on a par with heterosexuals, but the practical reality is entirely adverse to that policy.
The Russian Orthadox Church has been vocal in its criticsm of gay marriage in other states, going so far as to state that gay marriage would lead to “the collapse of the West within 50 years.” Since gay marriage and gay rights appear to be so offensive to the Church, it is easy to see how an LGBT activist could face three years in jail for offending religious feelings. It sounds ridiculous, but it’s reality and it’s a perversion of human rights and freedom of speech. The Russian Duma did not forget about the power of the internet and the cultivated spread of social media. Any person using the media or internet to promote “non traditional relations” can be fined. Organisations can be closed down for months at a time. Foreigners who make efforts to further the LGBT movement can be detained, fined and then deported. With a government that repudiates the gay rights movement and a Church swollen with power, the fact is that being gay, bisexual or transgender in Russia is now to be in a dangerous position. The LGBT movement in Russia, though targeted so completely by their own government, is unafraid. Their activists will continue to fight; they will continue their struggle for equality.
Hostility against the LGBT community in Russia is hitting a peak. The deep conservatism of the government is spreading through Russian society, previously seen in the censorship of Pussy Riot and the charges laid against members of the band for “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred.” On June 11th, the Russian Duma unanimously passed a law banning gay “propaganda”, further enshrining those same deeply conservative values. 436 members of the Parliament, with one abstaining member, voted to ban the distribution of material on gay rights.
gay rights organisation can result in hefty fines.
Aisling is a former student of Universiry College Cork where she recieved a LLM in Criminal Justice. She currently works in communications. You can follow her on Twitter @taisling. Being gay, bisexual or transgender in Russia was already a reason to be targeted for hatred. Now, mere mention of gay rights or participation with a
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LABOUR PROUD TO HAVE DELIVERED ON X CASE Billie Sparks The Labour Party is proud to have delivered on its commitment to legislate for X during the lifetime of this government. Twenty-one years after the X Case, on 30th July 2013, President Michael D Higgins signed the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill into Law. This legislation allows for a termination of a pregnancy to be carried out where there is a real and substantial risk to the life as opposed to the health of the mother and crucially it outlines the processes that will be used to establish whether that risk exists. The Act provides much needed legal clarity to doctors in Ireland and legal protection to pregnant women in life threatening situations. This legislation will protect women’s lives and provide legal clarity to what has been a grey area for over two decades, allowing women to access abortion in cases where her life is at risk. Labour Women have been campaigning and lobbying for this legislation for over two decades and this is a real victory for all women across Ireland. However, while this legislation is a huge leap forward in terms of women’s’ rights in Ireland, it is not without its flaws. We cannot forget the women whose lives will not be protected by this legislation. This legislation does not allow for terminations in cases where a foetus is diagnosed with a fatal foetal abnormality and will not help women who have been the victims of rape or incest. These women will continue to be forced to travel abroad for a termination, causing them further trauma and heartache. We know that huge majority of over 80% of Irish people support access to abortion in these situations for women living in Ireland. It’s now time for the majority to have an opportunity to have their voices heard democratically and for a referendum to be held to remove the 8th Amendment so that these women and their families can be cared for and respected in their own country. The journey is not over and Labour Women will continue to campaign for choice for Irish women. Until we repeal the 8th Amendment thousands of Irish Women will continue to travel to the UK to access the medical care that they need - women who receive a diagnosis of fatal foetal abnormality, women who have been raped, women whose health is in danger. Labour Women will continue to campaign and fight for the reproductive rights of all women in Ireland until we repeal the 8th Amendment. Bille Sparks is the Women’s and Equality Officer for the Labour Party
YOUNG CANDIDATE PROFILE: JANE HORGAN-JONES Labour Youth believes in supporting young candidates. Every year the National Youth Executive fundraise in order to help fund campaigns for young candidates. In the past we have funded campaigns of Cíara Conway, Derek Nolan and many more. Jane Horgan-Jones is a young councillor who sits on Dublin City Council.
Why did you get involved in politics? I got involved in politics when I started college in 2003. I went to UCD and Labour Youth were by far the most active political student society on campus at the time. They were running campaigns on social justice, human rights and feminist issues that interested me so it seemed like a natural political home. During my time at UCD I was also Students’ Union Education Officer and ran campaigns on access to third-level, reforming the grants system and against the university’s plans to impose wide-ranging changes to students’ degrees without proper consultation. What made you decide to run? After UCD I became involved in my local constituency, Dublin North Central. I was involved in successful campaigns there in the 2009 locals and the 2011 General Election. I wanted to become a councillor because I felt I had something positive to contribute to shaping the community in my area, and also because I had always been aware growing up of the underrepresentation of women in politics (especially young women!). The recession has been particularly tough on young people and many of my own friends from school and college have emigrated – I think young people have a huge role to play in building a recovery both locally and nationally and ensuring those voices are heard at every level of decision-making. What was the campaign like? I was co-opted after the general election in 2011 so it was a short campaign exclusively focused on members in the Fairview and Clontarf branches. It was difficult because I was running against two friends from the local organ-
isation, and also because party members really put you through your paces often more than in a normal canvass! What is your proudest achievement as a councillor? Being part of the local campaign that defeated Dublin City Council’s plans to build a “flood wall” on the promenade in Clontarf. When it started, officials were telling us that there was no way the work wasn’t going ahead – by the end of it the 52 councillors unanimously supported my motion to scrap the plans. We’re now working with local residents and businesses to come up with a flood defence scheme that protects and enhances the amenity of the seafront while protecting those at risk from flooding. How would you like local government to be reformed? Local government hasn’t been properly funded since the abolition of domestic rates. We need increased autonomy and a reliable, sustainable funding model that makes local government and local politicians directly accountable to those who elect them. I often get an impression from people when I knock on doors that they feel local government doesn’t affect them unless they have a specific problem – we need to change that. I want people to see local government as a positive vehicle for change and new initiatives in their communities rather than just for fixing a pothole or a leak.
GET INVOLVED IN #LE14 Several young candidates are now gearing up to contest the 2014 Local Elections! There are many ways to get involved, ranging from leafleting and canvassing, to managing a campaign. If you want to get involved, email youth@labour. ie
JUSTICE FOR MAGDALENES WIN JIM KEMMY AWARD Speech by Dr Katherine O’Donnell (Women’s Studies Program, School of Social Justice, UCD) on behalf of Justice for Magdalenes at the Tom Johnson Summer School, Saturday 15 June 2013. The annual Jim Kemmy ‘Thirst for Justice’ Award is selected by Labour Youth members to mark social justice efforts and is presented at the Tom Johnson Summer School.
I want to acknowledge the leadership role that the Labour Party has played in seeking justice for Magdalene women. Labour Women gave early, strong and practical support to our campaign, Michael D. Higgins advised us to go to international human rights tribunals; Kathleen Lynch in opposition was tireless and stalwart. And on the night of the apology the speech of An Tánaiste, Eamon Gilmore, was exemplary. Rather than content himself with the misty poetics of apology he gave substance to why we must apologise: and it’s simple - An Tánaiste used the phrase ‘human rights’ - the girls and women of the Magdalene laundries suffered profound abuses of their human rights. They were denied basic recognition of their humanity. They were systematically treated as less than human: they were methodically degraded, and many became institutionalised - a benign sounding word but it means even their capacity to be agents - to make decisions and choices to act on their own behalf - basic, intrinsic, human capacities were brutally destroyed. International human rights conventions recognise this treatment as torture and these same conventions tell us that has long as there is no adequate redress scheme in place this degradation continues. An Tánaiste, Labour Party TDs, Labour Party Senators, Councillors, Party members and supporters - you have power and influence: please recognise that with this power and influence you have a responsibility to ensure that the redress scheme for Magdalene women is all that it could, should and must be. It is so important that we get this scheme right - and not just for the Magdalene women - we need as a culture, society, and body politic to come to terms with the legacy of a pernicious national system of institutionalisation of poor children and poor and vulnerable girls and women. We need to sensitise ourselves to how we create the categories of the ‘mad, bad and dangerous suspect’ in our current time - and how we treat those people - contained in our prisons, our psychiatric hospitals, our centres of direct provision. Getting the redress scheme right for the Magdalene women is an important first step in this process of creating an ethical, inclusive Ireland, that supports diverse expressions of humanity. JFM has recently signalled that we retired from political advocacy to focus on developing research and educational programmes. Our retirement from political advocacy has come
about for a number of reasons - not least because we felt we needed to signal that we no longer have political leverage or influence - we are calling on all Irish citizens to become vigilant and concerned on the issue of redress for Magdalene women. The Justice For Magdalenes Campaign is now Justice For Magdalenes Research and we are working on what we call transitional justice projects focused on collecting oral histories, developing educational modules for transition year students, developing a virtual museum and we are continuing to liaise and work with Human Rights bodies such as the UN Committee Against Torture that has formally expressed grave dissatisfaction with the so-called McAleese Report - echoing concerns that JFM has expressed over the past two years.
JFM Research is looking forward to the follow-up report by the Irish Human Rights Commission on the McAleese-chaired enquiry into State involvement in the Magdalene Laundry System. The IHRC is due to launch this report and we believe that this promises to be another important intervention by the IHRC into the issue of justice for Magdalene women. Thank you for this award - we accept it humbly on behalf of the girls and women - living and dead - of the Magdalene Laundries. And in accepting this reward we remind the Labour Party that in giving this award to JFM you underscore your responsibility to ensure that the as yet to be realised redress scheme is all that it must be - justice still remains undone. 17
CHELSEA MANNING- A HERO AND A VICTIM Declan Meenagh
“Look at those dead bastards” “Nice” Commentary from US soldiers during the Baghdad airstrike, July 12th 2007. The helicopter then asked permission to engage the man picking up the wounded. He literally asked permission to engage (kill) the truck picking up the wounded. They realized that two children were injured in the truck, and refused to bring them to a US military hospital. This doesn’t really get across the horror of the situation, the sheer inhumanity of what happened or the casual nature in which it occurred. What would you do if people who worked for your company massacred civilians, journalists, and children? Chelsea Manning was in this situation and reported it. Manning followed procedure and was ignored. This was at a time when she was forced to live in the wrong gender because her employer would have fired her if she told the truth about who she was under don’t ask don’t tell. When she was first detained, Manning was put in solitary confinement which meant she was forced to stand naked in front of guards every night. This was intentional torture and humiliation. Obama pushed a charge of aiding the enemy against her because the enemy accessed the material on the Internet. This is worrying because it sets a very dangerous precedent. What if terrorists use Google Street View to plan an attack? Will Google be prosecuted? The argument used by the US government was that sending documents to
Wikileaks was different to sending documents to any other newspaper. This is dangerous because more and more newspapers are going online. What happens when journalists publish all their sources online, rather than just writing a short article? Will they then lose all protection? What is a newspaper in the digital age, do you need to work for an old news organisation to be protected? Where do blogs fit in here? The sickening thing is that Chelsea was sentenced to 30 years and this is talked about as a good thing. Obama wanted her sentenced to 90 years. The 30 year sentence is a disgrace, not a victory. Manning is a hero and deserves to be set free. While working for the American National Security Agency, Edward Snowden discovered the extent to which the government was illegally spying on people from all around the world. He decided to risk everything and go on the run to avoid jail for blowing the whistle on this illegal spying. A journalist uncovers a government’s illegal spying on its citizens. This journalist’s partner is illegally held up for 9 hours in an airport. This sounds like something that could happen in China, however it happened in the UK. The Miranda Affair, as it is being called is really frightening. Under current law, anyone crossing the UK border can be detained for 9 hours without a lawyer, and refusing to answer any questions is illegal. This was clear retaliation for his partner’s reporting of illegal spying by the NSA and GCHQ. The days of governments having impunity are now truly over. Governments need to operate with openness and if they don’t want something splashed across the papers, they shouldn’t be doing it!
The worrying part for us as Irish and European citizens is that anyone who isn’t American doesn’t have protection. It boils down to a system where if you are American the NSA can get your data very easily, but if you are not American they just assume you are a terrorist and obtain it without any oversight. I’ve already set up encrypted email with PGP, and I’m working on more secure ways to communicate. The next time I cross the border of a rogue state, like the UK and USA, I will be wiping everything off my mobile phone, getting a friend to put a new password on my account and then having them securely send it to me when I get safely through the airport. Everyone needs to fight back by crippling these rogue governments’ assaults on our freedom. Declan is a Computer Science graduate from NUI Maynooth. He is the current communications officer for Labour Youth. You can follow him on Twitter @declancabra
END INSTITUTIONALISED LIVING CAMPAIGN Sharon Waters Imagine sharing one room with your entire family. Imagine that in this room you do homework, sleep, dress, argue, play and store all of your belongings. Imagine having to eat in a canteen every day or prepare food in a bathroom. Imagine queuing up for toilet paper and soap. Imagine sharing a bathroom with 3 or 4 other families. Imagine having to accompany your younger siblings each time they want to use the bathroom. Imagine being taken from your foster family on your 18th birthday and sent to live in a hostel in another county. This is life for young people in asylum seeker accommodation, known as Direct Provision. The Irish Refugee Council and Doras Luimni recently held an exhibition of a typical family bedroom for Oireachtas members. Having heard me talk about Direct Provision for years, my 50+ year old mother decided to come for a look. Her first reaction was ‘it’s just like the tenements!’ Anyone who is a fan of James Plunkett’s wonderful novel ‘Strumpet City’ or the plays of Seán O’Casey will understand what she means. I pointed out to her that in the tenements of the early 1900s, people would usually have 2 rooms to a family and would have an area to cook and eat. The tenement dwellers would also have the opportunity to look for work. They would be surrounded by neighbours, family, church and community. They would have the option of moving to a new location. Asylum seekers in Direct Provision centres in 2013 have none of these. Asylum seekers are forced to live in a
particular centre, or transferred with little notice. They are forbidden from providing for themselves and their children. They often describe living in Direct Provision as like being condemned to prison with no idea how long their sentence will be. You may say that they have food and shelter, which is more than some Irish people. But this is not just about poverty; although asylum seekers experience the symptoms of poverty: malnutrition, poor physical health, social exclusion, broken schooling, low rates of progression to further education. The inhumanity of the Direct Provision system lies in the prolonged institutionalisation of vulnerable people and children, in circumstances where as a direct result of a Government policy they are deprived of the opportunity to provide for themselves; of the choice of where to live, when to move, when or what to eat, and even with whom their children are in contact. Unsurprisingly, rates of physical and mental ill health are high in centres, with one study finding that asylum seekers were five times more likely to have a psychiatric condition. Following the publication of the McAleese report earlier this year, a nun from a former Magdalene laundry tried to defend their system. She said the laundries provided an important social service: they provided a food and shelter for women who had no place else to go (Irish Times, 8 March 2013). It was not that long ago that this was the prevailing view of the laundries in Irish politics and Irish society. It took the report of the UN Committee Against Torture, informed by the excellent work of groups like Justice for Magdalenes, for Ireland to really look into the hidden reality of life in the laun-
dries. Speaking at the End Institutionalised Living Day of Action, coordinated by the IRC, former Supreme Court judge Catherine McGuinness warned that the next State apology would be to asylum seeking children. She described the system as ‘highly damaging to children’ and called on us as a society not to allow this system to continue. The IRC, working with asylum seekers, refugees and other NGOs, around the country are calling for an investigation into Direct Provision and reform of the reception system.
The End Institutionalised Living Campaign is coordinated by the Irish Refugee Council and supported by Nasc Ireland, Doras Luimni, Mayo Intercultural Action, the Tralee International Resource Centre, the asylum support group in Galway and asylum seekers and refugees around the country. Sharon Waters is Communications and Public Affairs Officer with the Irish Refugee Council.
LABOUR YOUTH’S DEIRDRE, CIARÁN AND DECLAN AT AN END DIRECT PROVISION PROTEST 19