Today in Dublin, there were three solidarity protests with the Black Lives Matter movement in the United (Disunited) States.
Ireland’s activist community was left in deep shock as news spread of Bob Kavanagh’s sudden and untimely death in late December. Bob is remembered as both a committed political activist, a very talented musician, a great friend and loyal comrade. Many of us got to know Bob from the pivotal role he played in the long running Shell to Sea campaign from 2005 onwards. The campaign which pitched a rural community against a global oil company took place in Erris in western Mayo. Bob was one of the first who took the decision to move to Erris to stand with the local community against Shell. Those involved in the campaign will always remember Bob’s political dedication which was offset by an often needed wry sense of humour on picket lines on cold Mayo mornings.
Book length histories of the Repeal referendum have started to appear. That this second one is an autobiography is in itself a testament to how long the 8th Amendment ruled over us. The 8th amendment takes up about half the space of Peter Boylan’s ‘In the Shadow of the 8th’. Boylan was an obstetrician who retired from Holles St in 2016, he was a prominent spokesperson for Repeal in the referendum of 2018 and was then central to the implementation of abortion access in the aftermath of winning that referendum. In telling the story of his medical career he tells the story of how the 8th shaped it.
The 2019 annual March for Choice in Dublin was smaller than the previous two marches as many assumed the abortion referendum that Repealed the hated 8th amendment had settled the issue. In fact the legislation brought in by the Fine Gael government in the months after the referendum left some groups behind, in particular migrants and forces everyone to go through a medically useless 3 day waiting period. Despite being warned about this and other issues including the trans exclusive language Fine Gael went ahead with the flawed legislation so some still have to travel and not everyone has the papers or resources to be able to do so. The legislation is up for review in 2021 and the anti-choice organisations are gearing up to try and roll back the legislation, the pro-choice movement needs to not only stop them doing so but needs to try and force whoever is in power to remove the flaws in the legislation. [Video]