Archive for June, 2013

anglo protest

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People must take to the streets to demand jobs, fairness and the jailing of gangster bankers

rbb launchIn a statement, Richard Boyd Barrett TD, Finance spokesperson for People Before Profit/ULA, has responded to the latest CSO economic figures, showing that the Irish economy has moved back into recession, saying the figures expose the “abysmal failure of the government and Troika austerity policies” and the “continuing cost to ordinary people of bailing out “gangster”banks, like Anglo-Irish bank.”

Deputy Boyd Barrett said the figures confirmed the need to abruptly abandon the discredited policy of bank bail-outs and austerity in favour of policies focused on direct public investment to generate growth and jobs.

Deputy Boyd Barrett added that the “Anglo tapes” provided “further evidence that Irish citizens had no moral responsibility to pay-off the debts run-up by the private banking system and that the government should immediately repudiate those debts and use the billions currently being paid out in debt interest to fund a major public investment and jobs programme.”

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Conditions which are ‘incompatible with life’ can be legislated for within existing constitutional framework

At a press conference this morning, convened by Deputies Richard Boyd Barrett and John Halligan, at the request of the TFMR (Terminations for Medical Reasons) the details were announced of an amendment to The Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill 2013. The deadline for amendments for the committee stage of the bill was today at 11am.

The amendment (attached) seeks to allow for terminations in cases where a foetus is diagnosed with a fatal foetal abnormality.

A number of TDs have agreed to support the amendment which was drafted by the TFMR group with advice from legal experts.

Speakers at the press conference included; Sarah McGuinness, TFMR, James Burke TFMR, Jennifer Schweppe, Law lecturer, University of Limerick, Richard Boyd Barrett, John Halligan, Clare Daly and Patrick Nulty.

All TDs and Oireachtas members were invited to attend the press conference.

rbbRichard Boyd Barrett TD said “There is no excuse for the exclusion of fatal foetal abnormalities from this bill. There is no good reason why this legislation should not contain the right for women to terminate their pregnancy when they receive a devastating ‘incompatible with life” diagnosis.

It is utterly appalling that women who have to endure that heartbreak, also face the stigma that the treatment they were forced to seek abroad is a criminal offence in this country. I call on all TDs who support these women to support the amendment.”

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                                                                           People Power Works!

Parents of children with special needs and teachers are absolutely right to protest against cuts.

The ‘Anglo tapes’ have exposed the blatant disregard the bankers have for the people of this country.  The Fianna Fáil-Green government colluded with them and now the current Fine Gael-Labour are doing the same – paying off the promissory note and bondholders and inflicting brutal cuts on vulnerable sections of our society and ordinary citizens.

But we can fight back – In the last two weeks alone, there have been two major victories for campaigns fighting back.

Protests forced the government to abandon plans to sell the harvesting rights to Coillte forests after thousands of people across the country joined walks in woods in Avondale and elsewhere.

Just yesterday the quick response by the INTO, Parents Associations and other groups involved in the area of Special Needs, forced the Minister to concede on one aspect of the proposed cuts, Resource allocation.

As the numbers of primary school pupils are increasing, funding and resources desperately need to be increased – not brutally cut! Cuts to Special Needs Assistants will now be down to 75% of the allocation of 2011.

Not only have these children had to face these cuts over the past three years, but there is an increase of some 10 per cent in children entitled to support, with 4,100 more children requiring teaching supports than last year. There will be 42,500 children receiving additional teaching supports against some 38,400 last year.  This means that these limited supports will be even stretched further.

Both the Government and the National Council for Special Education (NCSE) are denying that these are cuts.  They are saying that the current levels are being maintained.  The fact that Ruairi Quinn has conceded on the Resource Allocation shows that to be a lie. In reality, this means that new entrants to primary schools who have special needs will either get no allocation or the overall allocation in a school will be diluted, so that everybody will suffer.

Quinn’s u-turn and the recent victory on Coillte show that when people organise and resist they can win. Everyone has to come out together otherwise they will pick people off group by group. We need to build a unified people’s movement of resistance to unjust cuts and austerity. 

Join the protests when the Dail re-opens in September

Read more about today’s protest here:


In a statement, Richard Boyd Barrett TD for the People Before Profit Alliance, has described the government’s announcement that it is abandoning its plan to sell-off the harvesting rights of Ireland’s publically owned forests as a “stunning victory for people power and public protest.”
Minister Howlin said at the Finance committee this afternoon that “now is not the appropriate time to proceed with the sale of harvesting rights in Coillte”.

rbb x caseDeputy Boyd Barrett, who has been involved in organising a series of protests opposing the privatisation plan, including a 4000 strong demonstration in Avondale, Co Wicklow in April, had previously described the plan to privatise the harvesting rights to Ireland’s state forestry as “an act of cultural and economic sabotage.”

Deputy Boyd Barrett said it was clear that the government’s decision to roll back on the privatisation plan was a direct result of the scale of popular protests and campaigning, pointing out that the first indication that the government was re-considering the plan to sell Coillte’s harvesting rights, came in a comment from Minister Pat Rabitte, two days after the hugely successful Avondale protest.

Deputy Boyd Barrett paid tribute to the Natural Resources Protection Alliance, the Woodland League, Keep Ireland Open and whole range of other environmental, walking and community groups that had campaigned and protested over recent months on the issue.

However, Deputy Boyd Barrett said major questions still remained over the future of Irish forestry, pointing out the fact that successive government’s had “failed spectacularly in developing Irish forestry to its full potential, particularly in terms of meeting afforestation targets and realising Irish forestry’s enormous economic potential.”

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protest 6Richard Boyd Barrett TD, People Before Profit TD has said that the government must listen to the voice of the public and campaigners in making, what Minister Coveney has just said in the Dail is the, imminent cabinet decision on the proposal to sell the harvesting rights to Ireland’s public forestry.

During minister’s questions today in the Dail, Minister Covney signalled that he will bring a report to cabinet today on the mooted Coilte privatisation plan and that a government announcement will follow.

Deputy Boyd Barrett urged the Minister to listen to the voices of the public and those who have protested across the country over recent weeks against the proposed privatisation of Coilte’s harvesting rights.

Richard Boyd Barrett, who has played a prominent role in organising recent protests against the harvesting rights privatisation plan said: “I would urge the government to do the right thing and listen to the voice of the public and those who have protested in recent weeks. They must abandon this scandalous proposal to sell-off the harvesting rights to our public forests.”

“There have been positive signs over recent weeks, particularly in the aftermath of the big demonstration we organised in Avondale, Co Wicklow, that public opposition to the privatisation plan was having a real impact on the government. So, let’s hope that people power wins out and that the government is listening to the people.”

“If the government decide to press ahead with the plan to sell-off our public forests they can be assured that the protests we have seen to date, will be nothing compared those that will follow.”

“Even if they do abandon the plan to privatise the harvesting rights, we will need to look closely at what they are proposing as an alternative and demand that there is now proper public investment to develop Irish forestry to realise its enormous potential to generate jobs, revenue and to help tackle the crisis of climate change.”

g8 posterThe G8 are the leaders of the eight richest countries on earth – the USA, Germany, Britain, France, Japan, Canada, Italy, and Russia. This year the G8 summit will take place near Enniskillen on 16 and 17 June. They will gather to co-ordinate policies for defending privilege and inequality. The G8 and its associates represent the pillar organisations of corporate globalisation.

It will be a focus for protestors to gather and voice demands for global justice. So far, the ICTU is planning a march in Belfast on Saturday 15 June. A counter summit is being organised by G8 Alternatives on Sunday 16 June in Belfast. And a major protest is scheduled for Enniskillen on Monday 17 June.

There will also be public meetings around the country to help mobilise for the G8 protests. If you want to get involved contact 085 858 5292.

Download timetable for G-8 Counter Summit here

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Walks took place in over 20 locations on June 9th to Save Our Forests. Pictures include images from Dublin, Clare, Wicklow, Cavan, Galway, Louth walks and more.

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