• #ARTSBLACKOUT - Boycott the COVID-19 Art Schemes, Demand Support for Every Arts Worker
    Link to full statement and list of demands: https://tinyurl.com/swe4f8p How to support: > Pledge to boycott the awards & the awards’ outcomes online > Support the boycott by usings our images on your social media > Share the boycott using the hashtag #ARTSBLACKOUT #COVIDARTSCRISIS Twitter - @BLACKOUT_ARTS Instagram - @Arts_Blackout In place of the schemes proposed by the Department of Culture, Heritage, and the Gaeltacht, we are issuing the following demands. We have formulated these in consultation with artists and arts workers across the sector and invite artists participating in the boycott to submit their own demands. Please email artsblackout@gmail.com DEMANDS 1. For the Department of Social Protection to streamline access for artists and arts workers to the COVID-19 Unemployment Payment. A letter of reference from any Irish cultural organisation or venue should be accepted as evidence of working in the sector. 2. For the Government to begin setting up a Universal Basic Income Scheme through a pilot scheme for sole traders, arts workers, the underemployed, the unemployed and the community volunteering sector. 3. For at least a €10 million COVID-19 emergency fund to be made available to the Department of Culture, Heritage, and the Gaeltacht. 4. For the Department of Culture, Heritage, and the Gaeltacht to seek out sustained and meaningful consultation with artists from across the sector. To initiate a far-reaching debate on the current nature of the status of the artist with a view to ensuring the sustainability of artists' careers, practices and activities, as well as artists’ freedom of expression, social and financial recognition, and individual well-being. 5. For all publicly funded COVID-19 Art Schemes to take into account the different circumstances of artists in regards to space, time, materials and favour no particular medium, style, or type of practice. For equality and inclusion to be at the centre of decision making. 6. For all publicly funded cultural organisations to honour artist payments that were contracted to take place during the COVID-19 emergency measures, regardless of the status of work 7. For the Arts Council of Ireland and Local Authority Arts Offices to introduce non-competitive awards during the crisis and distribute funds to applicants equally. 8. For the Arts Council of Ireland to release funds to finance rent on studios, rehearsal spaces, and vital production spaces, to ensure that artists are not charged rent during the COVID-19 lockdown.
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  • Protect student renters during COVID-19 Crisis
    We need these measures implemented immediately. Students have been laid off, many cannot survive off their maintenance loans alone, while others do not receive maintenance support. They cannot apply for universal credit and university Hardship/Support Funds are only limited pots of money that cannot support students through the entirety of this crisis. Landlords and letting agencies are still expecting students renters to pay their rent, and a number of students have received emails threatening court action if they cannot afford to pay their rent. One letting agent suggested that students not paying their rent would contribute to the collapse of the global economy. Many students simply cannot pay their rent, and they cannot be left behind during this pandemic. We deserve clarity and protection from this Executive. #NoStudentLeftBehind
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  • Pay rise for ALL essential workers in Ireland (not just Dunnes, Aldi & Tesco)
    Every person that has to go out to work at this time is putting theirs and their families health at risk for the sake of others needs. 10% pay rise backdated from March 9th is a very small compensation for that but at least shows SOME appreciation for staff during this time.
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  • Allow Remote Abortion Provision in NI
    In the next 13 weeks as the pandemic reaches its peak, hundreds of women and pregnant people in Northern Ireland will need an early medical abortion. The government must ensure that both patients and medical staff are not placed at unnecessary risk during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are all being asked to stay at home for the safety of the whole country. It is unacceptable that the health of patients and healthcare workers in NI will be put at risk by enforcing unnecessary travel to clinic appointments. We know that there is the capacity to provide a telemedicine in NI immediately. Millions of women around the world have successfully used abortion pills, which the World Health Organisation states are a safe and effective means of early medical abortion. Additionally other governments have recognised the need for abortion care at home during this crisis. Failure to provide a telemedicine service will leave many women and pregnant people unable to access essential abortion care and may lead them to other unsafe means. It will also place unnecessary strain on healthcare services and put staff in danger during an already extremely difficult time. We are calling on the NI Health Minister to; (1) introduce remote consultations for abortion and no criminalisation for any nurse, midwife or doctor who provides remote abortion care during this emergency (2) allow patients to take both abortion medications in the safety of their own home (3) recognise there is no safe way to access abortion care in England during the crisis
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  • Support Palestine, Continue Support for the Occupied Territories Bill
    This Bill provides the Irish government with an opportunity to uphold international law and ban the import of goods and services from any illegal settlements. This would establish a framework to hold offending governments accountable for human rights violations, which is currently not the case. It is imperative that this legislation is passed, to promote trade justice for any marginalised people suffering the oppressive impacts of illegal settlements.
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  • Keep Ireland's Health System in Public Ownership after COVID-19
    Following the 2017 Dáil committee, on the future on Health in Ireland, it was agreed by all parties that a single-tiered healthcare system, called Sláintecare, was the best way forward. (2) Fine Gael agreed to implement this but dragged their feet, lacking the commitment to fully fund the programme and not making it a priority. (3) Now, in the face of a global pandemic it is evident that Sláintecare is necessary to protect and care for the people of Ireland. 1) (https://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/election-2020-exit-poll-confirms-health-housing-homelessness-of-most-concern-to-voters-1.4167030) 2) (https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/committees/32/future-of-healthcare/) 3) (https://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/social-democrats-implementing-sl%C3%A1intecare-health-plan-a-red-line-for-coalition-1.4142849)
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  • Let employers top up the COVID-19 Unemployment Payment
    Nobody should be forced into poverty because of COVID-19. But, right now, employers will be penalised for topping up the poverty payment of €203 per week that temporarily laid of staff are entitled to during the pandemic. If they give their employers extra money, the company won't be entitiled to any refunds. That's why we're calling on Regina Doherty to allow employers to pay their staff their full wages - and reimburse them for the full cost.
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  • Introduce remote consultations for abortion during covid-19
    Both the Abortion Rights Campaign and the Government want to keep people safe during this emergency. It is in all of our interest to minimise the strain on our healthcare system and to prevent people who are not sick from coming into contact with those who are. Remote consultation is already in use in Ireland by, for example, VideoDoc and Spectrum Health, and more recently, by individual GPs as they adapt to the current crisis. Providing abortion consultations remotely has proven safe, effective, and acceptable in other jurisdictions. We urge the Minister for Health to clarify that an in-person visit is not required in order to satisfy the Act and put appropriate protocols in place. We urge the Minister for Justice to assure doctors they will not be prosecuted if they offer medical abortion remotely at this time. Sign the petition and let the Government know you support those who need to access abortion services, healthcare workers and all those working in the health sector.
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  • Demand Randox release Covid-19 tests
    Randox received £23 million in public funds through Invest NI in 2018, and benefited from a research partnership with our two universities QUB and UU. Now they are selling at an extortionate price (£120 per test) at a time when people are worried about food and job security and how they'll keep a roof over their heads. Meanwhile our NHS is struggling as they don't have enough tests so that key healthcare professionals can continue to do their vital work on the frontline of the fight against this global pandemic. Demand that Randox releases the Covid-19 tests free of charge to the NHS and stops profiteering from this crisis. See: https://www.randoxhealth.com/product/coronavirus-covid-19-home-testing-kit/ and: https://www.randox.com/tag/invest-ni/
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  • Emergency Call for Universal Basic Income
    Universal Basic Income will reach all members of society and will fill the many gaps in current provisions. It will fund basic living costs, help everyone to spend money in the real everyday economy and facilitate people to do essential caring and voluntary work. [1] The payment will promote stability in the crisis. It will also serve as an investment that will help society and the economy to recover and flourish when the immediate crisis has passed. This petition calls for a Universal Basic Income of *at least* €203 per week, because this is the current maximum rate of Jobseeker’s Benefit and other core social welfare benefits. Basic Income Ireland has always maintained that current benefit levels are inadequate and that the level of UBI should be based on the real cost of living. Although some people will receive higher payments during the current emergency, these are temporary. Universal Basic Income is universal, unconditional, and permanent, and so provides basic financial security to everyone. In introducing Universal Basic Income, the Irish government will lead the way in valuing all members of society as active participants in working through the Covid-19 crisis and beyond. For more details, please visit https://basicincome.ie/covid19 NOTES: [1] David McWilliams, ‘This is the time for economics with a human face’, Irish Times 21/3/20. https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/david-mcwilliams-this-is-the-time-for-economics-with-a-human-face-1.4207017 Daniel Susskind, ‘Universal Basic Income is an affordable and feasible response to coronavirus’, Financial Times 18/3/20. https://www.ft.com/content/927d28e0-6847-11ea-a6ac-9122541af204?fbclid=IwAR0NAlBBfia_KzFrId6BZykOR5GHKgUv4Ari4y1G4SRvf8DdnPDKAAvscrc House of Commons Early Day Motion #302: Temporary universal basic income. https://edm.parliament.uk/early-day-motion/56765/temporary-universal-basic-income ‘Calls for UK basic income payment to cushion coronavirus impact’, The Guardian 19/3/20 https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/19/calls-for-uk-basic-income-payment-to-cushion-coronavirus-impact ‘Why more than 500 political figures and academics globally have called for universal basic income in the fight against coronavirus’, Independent 18/3/20. https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/letters/coronavirus-universal-basic-income-ubi-poverty-economy-business-migrants-a9408846.html
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  • URGENT: Save Ben from deportation after living in Ireland for 14 years
    Ben and Bernie have provided invaluable support to asylum seekers in Direct Provision over the years, particularly those in emergency Direct Provision centres without adequate material supports. They have been collecting donated items from members of the public and distributing them to asylum seekers. Ben and Bernie are longtime Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland supporters. They have stood with us and now it is time for everyone to stand with them. Benjamin Akhile received a deportation order on the 16th March 2020. He has been residing in Ireland for 14 years. Seven of those years he has been in a relationship with Bernie D'Arcy. During his time in Ireland Ben has completed many courses right up to Fetac 6 and told to apply for university next. His chosen profession was journalism and he has a degree in Mass communication. To be deported means that he would be sent back to a country where he has neither family or friends left. But he has the support and love of his partner Bernie and a wide circle of friends here in Ireland. As he suffers from diabetes 2, hypertension and high blood pressure Ben needs adequate access to medical care equivalent to the access here in Ireland. If deported back to Sierra Leone at 54 he will suffer greatly. He has enriched lives here in Ireland through his daily life and he's has been enriched. Revoke the deportation order Minister Helen McEntee
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  • Close Northern Ireland schools, colleges & early years now!
    This is a major challenge to the health well being of all our communities. It is crucial to stop the spread of the infection. It is recognizing the right of all to health and life.
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