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The expulsion from office of Mariano Rajoy and the PP is good news.
It would have been better had they not been the biggest party at the last elections. It would have been better had they fallen as a direct result of mass mobilisation in the street, or a general strike (or a socialist revolution!). It didn’t happen like that, but the current political environment, influenced by different social struggles, was an essential factor in turning the court’s condemnation of the PP’s corruption into a no confidence motion. After all, the parliamentary arithmetic is the same as a year ago and the PP’s corruption is hardly a novelty.
The massive women’s mobilisations of recent months, the protests over pensions, the struggle for the right to decide in Catalonia, the strikes that continue to take place… have all contributed. The fall of Rajoy — Aznar’s Sancho Panza; the man who referred to the disastrous oil spill in Galicia as “little threads of plasticine”; the person responsible for the gag law, for the police brutality on 1 October, for corruption… — his fall is partly our victory and we must celebrate it.
However, different sectors of the movement insist, for different reasons, that nothing has changed, that there is nothing to celebrate. Let’s look at their arguments. Seguir leyendo Bye, bye Rajoy: what now?
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On Friday 25 May 2018, people living in Ireland voted overwhelmingly to remove the 8th Amendment from the Irish Constitution. In a wonderfully fitting reversal of history, 66% voted last week to remove the Amendment – 67% had voted to insert it in 1983.
Women in Ireland have lived under the shadow of the 8th Amendment for 35 years: not only did it constitute an effective ban on abortion for any reason, equating as it did the life of the unborn to the life of the woman, it also embodied decades of state and church shaming and criminalisation of women.
For all of these 35 years, grassroots feminist movements have campaigned for contraception, for abortion, for the right to information about abortion, for the right to travel to other countries to have an abortion while it was still illegal in Ireland. This weekend, the conservative government in Ireland took centre stage in claiming this victory, despite the fact that they voted in a 14 year jail sentence for women who procured or took abortion pills in 2014 and despite the fact that as recently as September 2017 our Taoiseach (prime minister) publicly stated reservations about the introduction of abortion legislation. Seguir leyendo People power removes blanket ban on abortion in Ireland
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Finally, about six months after the elections of 21 December, 2017, the Catalan parliament has invested Quim Torra as the 131st president of Catalonia. This article deals with some of the debates there have been and the challenges we are now facing.
This shouldn’t have happened
If the Spanish government had respected the referendum and the unionist parties had run a campaign of “vote no”— instead of “there’ll be no vote” — we would have had an unquestionable result… that would certainly have been “Yes” to independence, with a smaller majority but less abstention. (That’s why they boycotted the referendum instead of campaigning for “No”.)
If article 155 had not been applied, suspending the government; if the scarcely independent judicial system had not sent the government to prison or exile; in short, if democracy had been respected… In that case, Carles Puigdemont would now still be president, and the Spanish and Catalan governments would be negotiating the terms of independence in a civilised manner. And we would not have had the 21 December elections or all this investiture debate. Seguir leyendo The new Catalan president: An investiture that should not have been