We are very proud and excited about the new issue and we'd like you to
come along and celebrate with us.
The launch party will be this Saturday, November 14th, in Seomra Spraoi, 10
Belvidere court, just behind Mountjoy Square.
It will start at 6pm with tasty food, chilled out music, and is
child-friendly until 9.
At 9 we will have some live music starting, Djs and more. We'll be
partying away until 2am.
Entrance is €6 including food and a copy of the magazine!
Hope to see all you good folks there
Lots of love
Two filmakers are on tour with films they have made on the subject of abortion. The first one is called The Coat Hanger Project http://www.thecoathangerproject.com/
and the second is Abortion Democracy: Poland/South Africa http://www.abortion-democracy.de/
The film makers will be there to talk about the films so there should be some great discussion afterwards.
Friday night, 7pm onwards in Housman's bookshop - a launch of The Rag no.4 in London. More details on the sites below.
All day Saturday RAG stall at the London Anarchist bookfair. Hope to see you over the weekend.
Invitation to meeting Saturday 3rd Oct
Job losses, wage cuts, cuts in essential public services, pension levies..... Our living standards and our social services are under huge attack.
Mainstream media commentators and some politicians would have us believe that there is no alternative, that we have all been living beyond our means and that we have to tighten our belts in these recessionary times.
But we do not have to accept their reality. We do not have to accept that people on minimum wage, unwaged workers, those on social welfare, low-paid civil servants or working class people in general should be the ones who pay for the economic crisis. We do not have to accept that our health, education, infrastructure and social welfare services should be slashed in order to bail out the banks and the property developers.
Huge numbers of people recognise that we are being sold a lie. Huge numbers know that the attempts to create divisions between public and private sector workers and between different groups of ordinary people are an attempt to weaken us.
Communities all over the country have organised to resist hospital closures, cuts in hospital services, education cuts and other attacks on social services. Senior citizens fought valiantly, and ultimately victoriously, to retain the right to a medical card for over 70's.
Communities and workforces all over the country are organising resistance to threatened attacks and cutbacks. Groups such as Waterford Crystal workers, Visteon workers in Belfast, Thomas Cook workers, Custom House cleaners in Dublin, Marine Terminals Ltd. Workers (Dublin port) and Mr. Binman workers (Co. Tipperary) and many more have fought back against job losses and attacks on working conditions.
The Social Solidarity Network is coming together to provide a forum for workers and communities to unite to resist the attacks, and to build links across the many struggles which will break out over the coming months. On Saturday 3rd October we are holding a meeting which will provide a chance for people to come together and share their personal experiences, explore the economics of the crisis and plan ways in which we can build resistance.
We have identified 3 main areas for discussion – Workplace Resistance; Unemployed/Unwaged/Community Resistance; Education Cuts resistance. In each of these areas we want to explore how opposition to government cuts can be encouraged and co-ordinated. These are of course only our ideas and we are open to suggestions for alternative or additional workshops.
We hope that you will come along on the day, share your views and help to build a network which can share skills, knowledge and experience and which can help to bring reality to the old maxim that ‘Unity is Strength’.
Social Solidarity Network
Building a Network of Resistance
Saturday 3rd October 2009
Seomra Spraoi, 10 Belvidere Court, Dublin 1 (off Gardiner Street - see http://www.seomraspraoi.org:8080/Plone/ ... contact-us for map)
Support your local ragsters and stuff your face
BBQ Fundraiser for RAG and Seomra Spraoi
Veggie and Vegan Food Burgers, Salads, Skewers and yummy bits
Top it all off with Party Tunes followed by Kareoke fun
4 July 2009
5 / 8 euros
At: Seomra Spraoi
10 Belevedere Court, Off Gardiner St, Dublin 1
Well it's that time of year again - where we have to concentrate on trying to get our articles written and edited and magazine together in time for the autumn! So we are suspending our monthly open meetings for the next few months. However, if you live in
Queer Politics: Mainstream or Revolutionary?
Queer Spraoi/RAG/Seomra Spraoi Open Workshop
Wednesday 10th June sharp, Seomra Spraoi (map)
The contemporary Euro-American LGBT movement emerged out of the gay and lesbian liberation struggles associated with the radical politics of the 1960s, which in turn were inspired by mass revolutionary movements prominent at the turn of the twentieth century. Yet today the majority of men and women active in LGBT politics seek not revolutionary social change but inclusion within the boundaries of mainstream liberal culture. They tend to organise as a single-issue interest group seeking legislative reforms (for example, amendments to marriage laws), and unlike their forebears pose no radical challenges to either capitalism or the state.
In this workshop, sponsored jointly by Queer Spraoi, RAG, and Seomra Spraoi, we will explore the controversial question of whether contemporary queer politics can and ought to pursue a more ambitious political agenda. If so, what form might such a politics take, and how would it relate to its more conservative cousin?
This is a public and free event, and everyone is welcome! The workshop will be followed by a queer café and social night.
Congrats to RAG member Eve, who has been busy producing documentaries for local station Dublin Community Television (DCTV). Here is a link to the programme she produced on Seomra Spraoi,
Congrats also to our fellow
Shell To Sea
Resistance has stepped up in Mayo, where Shell continue with their plans for an onshore gas refinery in Rossport/Glengad. A local man, Willie Corduff, was badly beaten by shell security staff last month and many protestors have been arrested and prosecuted. Shell are planning for the return of the pipe laying ship, the Solitaire, next month, and the Irish government are sending in navy ships to help them. Retired schoolteacher, Maura Harrington, who last year went on hunger strike when the Solitaire entered Irish waters was yesterday jailed again for non-payment of fines. Now is a good time to consider visiting the solidarity camp in Mayo, organising solidarity protests where you live or getting involved in those in
Network to Fight Cuts
In the coming months RAG will be working with the long established Irish anarchist organisation the WSM to help form a network to organise around the issue of the recession and the cutbacks that are currently affecting us all. More details to follow.
Participatory discussion-based workshop on anti-racism and discrimination
RAG Open Meeting Monday 6th April
Anti-racism and discrimination
You are invited to a participatory discussion based workshop (no pressure!) exploring participants attitudes on the themes of anti-racism and discrimination.
When: Monday 6th April
What time: 7.30 pm
Where: Seomra Spraoi, 10 Belvedere Court, off Gardiner St
Thanks to all who came along to the Feminist Walking Tour - it was a great day. Thanks also to whoever organised the sunshine!
If anyone has any more good photos from the day, and wouldn't mind sharing, could you please email them to feministwalkingtour AT yahoo.ie.
(photo opposite thanks to Andrew Flood)
To those who would have liked to make it but couldn't: if you would like a booklet, (and/or activity sheet / colour-in map) you can send us a self addressed envelope (A5 - 55cent should do it in Ireland) to PO box 10785, Dublin 1. We can also email the pdfs.
A big thanks to Seomra Spraoi (Dublin's social centre) & to our guest speakers Bernie and Niav, and singer Cormac - and to co-organisers Choice Ireland and Lash Back.
Here we all are afterwards out the back of Seomra Spraoi. Photo by Karla Healion.
If anyone wants more details about any of the organising groups - or to be put on any of our mailing lists, you can drop us a line individually - or through feministwalkingtour AT yahoo.ie. (see links below)
colour-in map =)
At 4pm, there will be a talk from American historian and feminist Martha Ackelsberg. Who wrote the wonderful book "Free Women of Spain". Her talk is entitled, “The Trials of Theory and Practice: Spanish Anarchism, Mujeres Libres, and the Struggle for the Emancipation of Women”
RAG will also have a stall at the bookfair, selling anarchist and feminist books, zines and other goodies.
For more info about the bookfair, see http://www.wsm.ie/blogs/bookfair09/
Seomra Spraoi: The new building is at 10 Belvidere Court, off Gardiner Street in Dublin 1. Just north of Mountjoy Square. See map at:http://www.seomraspraoi.org:8080/Plone
Join Choice Ireland, the RAG collective and the Lashback collective to celebrate International Womens Day
1pm Sunday March 8th 2009, International Women's Day
Meet at the The Custom House, Custom House Quay, Dublin 1
On March 8th 2008 over 150 people took to the streets to take part in the first Feminist Walking Tour of Dublin to mark International Women's Day. Following the enormous success of last year's tour, we are once again stepping out to tell the often forgotten stories of the Dublin women who have shaped the world we live in.
"The tour will tell the stories of women throughout our history from Granuaile to the women of the Ladies Land League and Irish Women Workers’ Union to today's women activists who work to reduce poverty and exclusion in our city," comments Sinead Ahern
Commenting further Anne Lynott says "The walking tour is an educational and entertaining way to celebrate the courage and achievements of women past and present and an ideal way to mark International Women's Day."
The Feminist Walking Tour will follow a new route this year and will incorporate different aspects of women in Dublin’s history. The tour will finish with a social lunch where soup and sandwiches will be provided.
There will be a free booklet to accompany the tour with a map and information about each stop.
This event is free of charge and is open to all ages and genders. Please contact us if you have any accessibility or other needs.
For a report of last years tour see http://ie.indymedia.org/article/86643
For further information please contact
feministwalkingtour AT yahoo.ie
Sinead Ahern +353 (0)86 398 3189
Anne Lynott +353 (0)87 910 9147
Feminist Walking Tour 2008
All wishing to attend are invited to meet at Custom House quay and the tour will kick off at 1pm.
It is being co-ordinated by Choice Ireland, Lash Back, RAG and other feminists. Watch this space - more information will be posted shortly.
The Dublin Anarchist Bookfair 2009, organised by the WSM, will also be held the same weekend - on Saturday 7th March. Promises to be a really great event. More details to follow.
Keep the 7th and 8th of March free in your diary!
See www.seomraspraoi.org for directions.
Email us for more details/ accessibility info etc.
The introductory round of the discussion invited the women present to state their general ideas about anarchism and feminism. All the RAG women present identified as anarchafeminist, although each had come to anarchafeminism from different perspectives. One member said that while feminism was a given for her, she realised that we can’t have meaningful liberation with capitalism intact; thus her belief in anarchism.
Another held that it was easier for her to identify herself to others as a feminist than as an anarchist – or at least to defend her position. She felt that people who have not considered the concepts before tend to be more willing to accept the premise that women and men should have equality than to question the core of the economic and political systems in place.
Others noted that they were unable or unwilling to identify as feminist for many years due in part to the negative connotations associated with “the F word!” (There was mention that perhaps Anarchism was also seen as a dirty word – the mis-association between anarchy and chaos etc.) There was discussion around the fact that the capitalist system in place is very effective in muddying the meaning of concepts which pose a clear threat to that system.
Coming to Consciousness/ Global Consciousness
We spoke about our experiences of becoming conscious as both feminists and as anarchists, and how surprising it is that we can live happily blind to the oppressive systems around us until this change in consciousness begins to take place. It was noted that it takes a certain level of understanding to find real conviction about feminist and anarchist ideas – as to do so we must expand our view of the world to look at the global systems of oppression in place. We have to identify our own somewhat limited struggles with the very struggle for existence of many of those in the global south for example. There was more talk of migration issues and how traditionally feminine economic roles, such as care, childrearing and even sex-work are being filled by a new generation of migrant women travelling to Ireland to escape poverty in other countries. Thus greater equality for western women does not mean greater equality for all.
The Radical Feminist Threat
While feminism seems to be a more accessible concept than anarchism – or less threatening for many, it is in fact multi-layered and multi-disciplined. Even though, in recent years there has been a growth in feminist academia, it is a ghettoised thing, and little in the way of truly radical feminist ideas have seeped out into the public consciousness. Yet real feminism requires complete social restructuring which can be equated with anarchism.
What is Anarchism?
There were some women present who were unfamiliar with the term anarchism. While no “definition” was offered, it came out during the discussion that the ultimate aim of anarchism is total democracy – that each person would have equal say in every aspect of their own lives. This requires the destruction of state, hierarchy and class society, and the construction of bottom-up systems to replace it. There was some discussion around the idea of Revolution, and the need for strong grassroots action and organisation in preparation for radical change. Ultimately this would lead to an ability to take control of our resources and to defend that right. While the site for this has often been the work-place in traditional anarchist dialogue, it was noted that from a feminist perspective, the family and the body are additional sites of conflict (our literal “means of production” which we determined to seize!)
There was an aside which noted that while as anarchists we attempt to be the change we wish to see, creating non-hierarchical structures and modes of working for example. As one participant noted, however, it is not enough to try to create a utopian present, but we must remain conscious of the broader political and worldwide struggle and attempt to engage with it, not ignore it in order to work on own small circle.
Equality not Sameness
It was pointed out that one of the misconceptions of the feminist movement so far has been that for women to be equal to men, we had to be the same. Thus we have joined the rush into the workplace to have, as one participant put it, “equal access to exploitation.” We also have the added bonus of the double day at work – both outside and inside the home. The value system of capitalism is profit-driven. Only that which produces profit is seen as productive, and women’s work in producing and caring for children, in keeping the home and in caring for the sick and the old, is not valued under capitalism.
The question was placed whether capitalism would ever be able to fully adapt to feminism. It was observed that although feminism has made progressive changes for some women in the west, it cannot succeed in creating global equality under capitalism: a complete overhaul is in order. While patriarchy (the system of male dominance over women) has existed thousands of years longer than capitalism has, capitalism has made effective use of it and in some ways it may be reliant on it – for example on the nuclear family. It was suggested that capitalism would never arrive at complete equality. For it, the perception of equality is as good as actual equality. It would only concede enough to give a convincingly muddied image of equality. As the nature of capitalism is exploitation, it would be naïve to chase an equality ideal within it.
There was some debate around the value of “reformist” feminism. No-one doubted that very real changes had been made in women’s lives due to feminist efforts. These range from the right to vote to the right to work outside of the home, equal pay legislation, anti-domestic violence legislation, etc. Unlike anarchism, feminism can and has been accepted into capitalist reform. Yet it is the socialists and anarchists who have always been behind meaningful reform – through the trade union movements, anti-racism work, community work, and women’s liberation movements. It was questioned how much has been lost to the ultimate aims of those working to create these reforms. Their achievements have been co-opted into seeming like the achievements of “democracy” when in fact they are the small rights pulled back by those who have fought against the oppressive systems in place.
It was mainly agreed that while we would always fight for meaningful reform (for abortion rights and free childcare for example), we also want to remain completely clear about why we are fighting – due to a belief not just in women’s equality – but in absolute equality. For us, the ultimate endpoint of feminism is anarchism. Yet this endpoint would never be an endpoint in itself. Someone mentioned the need for a constant state of revolt – that the reality of anarchafeminism in action would be a continual striving to do better. There can be no hand-book on how life would be after the revolution!
Patriarchy and Men
Threatened systems of oppression have always been adept at misrepresenting that threat, or causing arguments to be framed in a certain way. Thus the fight for women’s equality has been framed as a “battle of the sexes”. Certainly, male privilege is a reality, and one which feminists have focused on in the past. Yet abolishing male privilege is not the end-goal of feminism (and certainly not of anarchafeminism!) Feminism has led to a growing consciousness of male oppression under patriarchy. For example: strict adherence to masculine gender roles, duty to “provide” in the realm of work and lack of equal rights to active parenthood. Male-oppression has been misconstrued as either a product of the feminist movement, or an oversight of it. Yet it is through feminist dialogue that a space has opened up for discussing these aspects of men’s lives and experiences. At the moment, it is only anti-feminist “backlash” groups which are addressing these specifically male issues. It is only through pro-feminist solidarity between men and women that meaningful inroads into these issues can be made. This would be truly revolutionary anarchafeminism! Yet there seems to be an unwillingness, or unreadiness as yet for anarchist men to take this on.
There was a question about the link between feminism and queer theory - or what anarchafeminism could offer queer people (queerness might be roughly defined as gender or sexuality non-conformism.) We talked about anarchism as the freedom to be yourself within only the confines of not harming others. The destruction of the systems of capitalism, state and patriarchy would lead to an explosion in different ways of being – sexualities, gender identities, family structures etc. Presently, although there has been some acceptance by wealthy capitalist countries of difference, ultimately difference is acceptable only as a lifestyle choice, not as a revolutionary force, which (with anarchafeminist analysis?) it should ultimately be.
The meeting finished with a closing circle where all acknowledged the value of the discussion, some professed to have found nothing new, and some everything! Yet most were somewhere in-between. Certainly it provided food for thought and opened the way for further debate.