Here is the thirteenth show of Science and Non-Science: Relief from Belief in which I talk about Christopher Hitchens, who passed away on the 15/12/11. I talk about his life and rise to prominence interspersed with […]
(Originally Published on Indymedia.ie in January 2011)
This time two years ago, Gaza was being bombarded ceaselessly, from land, sea and air, by the forces of an illegal occupying force. Civilians were deliberately targeted along with schools, power stations, and other non-military targets. Overall, the occupying forces managed to kill 1,416 Palestinians, of which 926 were civilians and 255 were police officers. The occupying force which I am speaking of is of course the Israeli Defence Forces. The supposed reasoning behind this illegal, three week long incursion into Gaza, was in order to stop rocket attacks when in matter of fact it was simply an exercise in military domination. As testimony from Israeli soldiers who took part in the offensive, dubbed Operation Cast Lead, shows, Israel “used insane amounts of firepower”; firepower used indiscriminately against a civilian population. This is the kind of existential but also very real threat that the Palestinian people have to live with on a day-to-day basis.
(Originally Published on Indymedia.ie in December 2010)
A new report from Human Rights Watch once again clearly, and succinctly, lays forth the discriminatory and downright apartheid laws which the Palestinian people daily have to live under. The 166 page report, entitled Separate and Unequal, describes in detail the “two-tier system of laws, rules and services that Israel operates for the two populations in areas of the West Bank (and East Jerusalem) under its exclusive control, which provide preferential services, development and benefits for Jewish settlers while imposing harsh conditions on Palestinians.”
(Originally Published on Indymedia.ie in November 2010)
The last week will be remembered in Ireland as one of the most tumultuous periods in Irish history. We are hurtling downwards at an ever increasing speed. Future generations of Irish people are to be burdened with the debt of the bankers and the entire Irish banking industry. What was once unthinkable is now likely to pass and all of this is down to the actions of the government and their friends. In the two years since the banking guarantee was enacted, there have been no major steps taken to sort out the financial mess that the banks have gotten the country into and now that problem is having its final and fatal effects on the future of the country; a political party with no mandate from the people is in the process of turning Ireland into a debt serving nation and nothing more. The leader of said party is doing nothing more than cling onto power for as long as he can in order to serve out his own agenda, whatever that may be, and no “hair shirt budget” is going to change the fact that Ireland is both an economic and political basket case.
(Originally Published on Corkstudentnews.com and Indymedia.ie in November 2010)
After closely following the events of today’s student march in Dublin from the relative comfort of my small abode in Cork, for reasons which I will get into a later date, I believe that students in Ireland, and Irish society at large, have reached a turning point in its relationship with the Government and its various arms. For students, today was all about voicing their protestations at the Government due to upcoming budget which is undoubtedly going to put even more financial pressure on the majority of third level students. What most of us did not expect is that it would turn violent and riot police would be deployed. This is the turning point to which I am referring. In reality, what took place today was a microcosm of Irish society contained within small group of students/activists who decided that they needed to make a statement of some kind in the hope that someone, somewhere in the Dáil will pay attention. Whether or not their motives were pure is irrelevant to the point i’m trying to make.
Everywhere you go in this country, someone is angry at the Government while others are simply scared. The overriding emotion however is anger. Anger at paycuts, increased taxes, cutbacks in vital services; the list goes on and this is even before the upcoming draconian budget. But none of this has been shown on the streets. The only thing that the majority of people have done is complain yet, as I have mentioned, they are furious with the Government. Today however showed that this anger can in fact reach the streets and actually, quite literally, reach into the heart of the Government; in particular the Department of Finance. As I was watching it unfold via the internet, it was as if all of the anger in this country had finally shown itself in the form of a small group of students/activists.