• Activist Charged for Standout on Gender Violence : Defend the Right to Protest!
    In the first known charge of its kind under Covid health regulations, members of ROSA, Socialist Feminist Movement, have been fined up to 500 euro and face prosecution over safe, outdoor protests highlighting gender violence during the pandemic. A recent report found Gardai failed to respond to thousands of domestic violence 999 calls — yet advocates and activists are being taken to court. A Limerick woman is the first to face court for being an “organiser” of a small socially distant standout calling for emergency action against rising levels of violence against women, known as the ‘shadow pandemic.’ Aislinn O’Keeffe, a Limerick ROSA member, is being charged with being an “Event Organiser” on Thomas Street under the Public Health Act. The ‘Event’ was in fact a stationary protest involving 10 people, mainly women, following the murder of Sarah Everard, which highlighted the restrictions women must self impose to avoid violence and the stark increases in the incidence of gender based violence worldwide. The standout was the smallest of five called by ROSA in a number of cities. Aislinn O’Keeffe explained : “ROSA fully supports public health measures — but the shocking rise in violence against women is in itself a public health emergency. “Since the ROSA protests at least three women on this island have been victims of femicide. During the pandemic, gender violence soared worldwide and in Ireland calls to Gardai increased by 25% in one quarter and to Women’s Aid by 43% . It was already extremely difficult for women to leave abusive relationships due to lack of supports and a housing crisis, but they had no escape in lockdown. “Services nationally are at breaking point. Refuges such as ADAPT in Limerick are at full capacity and must fundraise to maintain services. We protested that day for the 19 women SAFE Ireland says sought help for the first time, for the seven women turned away from refuges that day. What about their safety in the pandemic? Speaking on behalf of ROSA, former TD Ruth Coppinger, said it was incredible that of all the gatherings that caused public outrage during Covid, the state is choosing to use the Public Health Act to prosecute ROSA for highlighting a public health and safety issue for women. “No prosecutions were taken by Gardai under this law for Golfgate, an indoor event attended by the well-connected in society. Nor was any taken against far right covid deniers who marched without any health precautions. Dublin footballers who gathered for training have also been told there’ll be no prosecutions. Instead, the state is prosecuting women and young people who took part in stationary and socially distant standouts that were fully Covid19 compliant and on an essential issue of the huge spike in gender based violence. “When this legislation was introduced, it would clearly have been seen as designed to target dangerous, indoor or crowded events where public health was being flagrantly ignored, not a symbolic standout on gender violence. . “Two young people are also being fined for attending the standout at the Spire in Dublin under the non essential travel grounds. Ironically, they were two young men acting as covid safety stewards on the day. No other ‘event organiser’ charges have thus far been received for the larger protests in Dublin, Cork and Galway. “ROSA will mount a full challenge to these prosecutions. We will seek support, including financially, from the public. We call on the state to withdraw these charges. We also want answers from the political establishment as to why legislation designed to protect public health is being completely misapplied when clearly no threat to public health existed. “The government is maintaining this legislation til November. There has to be a constitutional right to protest, as long as it’s done safely. Are we stay hidden and silent on important issues throughout the pandemic?
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  • #LETUSWORK
    #Letuswork! Who are we? We are the people who make your special days memorable. We are the piano player in the corner, the band in your local bar and the singer who brought solemn grace to your loved one’s funeral. We are the band who will forever feature in your wedding day memories, and the two piece act that learned and played those special songs for your parent’s wedding anniversary. We are the people who entertain you on New Year’s Eve in the bar down the road and the trad players lauded by Bord Fáilte to woo tourists. And we are sinking. We are not the ticketed events industry- we are Ordinary Working Musicians. We ask you the public for your solidarity to highlight our plight. It is estimated that more than 850,000 performances were lost in 2020. Please show us your support by signing our petition or by joining one of our nationwide protests on June 23rd. We need our government to allow us to work and to support us until the time comes when we can earn our living again and to include musicians over 66 years who paid their taxes prior to the pandemic. We need subsidies for licenced premises so that they can afford to employ us. Collectively we make up the largest part of the entertainment sector, yet we are persistently overlooked. We’re tired of talking. We want to sing.
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  • Hosting Agreement for All Non-EU/EEA PhD Students in Ireland
    1. We understand that Non-EU/EEA PhD students conducting research in Ireland can access the hosting agreement scheme but on condition that they have an employment contract as captured in the first Hosting Agreement FAQ on the Euraxess website here: https://www.euraxess.ie/ireland/fast-track-work-permit-non-eu-rd-hosting-agreement-scheme/i-wish-research-university it states: 'Can I have a Hosting Agreement if I am a PhD student in Ireland? Yes, providing you have an employment contract with your university or research-active organisation in Ireland. Contact the Hosting Agreement office of EURAXESS Ireland by emailing ***@iua.ie for more information.' 2. It is typical that many Non-EU/EEA PhD students are supporting Irish research projects without employment contracts because most universities do not employ PhD students but hire them on scholarship contracts which disqualifies them from accessing the hosting agreement. This is an affordable way of hiring early stage researchers to conduct research while not considering the impact it has on their immigration status in Ireland and to their dependants. (Only those who get employment contracts qualify to apply for the hosting agreement) 3. Denying access to Non-EU/EEA PhD students on research scholarship contracts while giving those on employment contracts brings about inequality among Non-EU/EEA Early Stage Researchers in Ireland. 4. Lack of access to the hosting agreement to most Non-EU/EEA PhD students means that their time in Ireland is not reckonable & creates potential red tapes to access employment in the future. Those on hosting agreement can apply for stamp 4 VISA after 21 months and their time is reckonable while those who do not have are on stamp 2 VISA status throughout their PhD program. 5. The lack of access for many PhD students to the hosting agreement means that their spouses have no direct access to employment in Ireland despite their qualifications and experience. On the other hand those on hosting agreements have their partners access employment with no restrictions. This makes the families of PhD students without hosting agreements to be vulnerable and therefore it means more stress to the researcher. Treating these researchers differently brings about inequality among them. 6. It is only fair that the contributions of all Non-EU/EEA PhD students to research in Ireland is equally recognized, valued, and given credit without looking at their contractual terms. Those PhD Students on hosting agreement and those not on hosting agreement are equally qualified and hold same responsibilities in Research and Development in Ireland. Treating these two groups differently based on the terms of their contracts creates inequality and is unfair. 7. The eligibility criteria for accessing the hosting agreement should be reviewed not to rely on types of contracts researchers are hired on but their contribution to Research and Development in Ireland. References http://www.inis.gov.ie/en/inis/pages/registration-stamps https://www.euraxess.ie/ireland/fast-track-work-permit-non-eu-rd-hosting-agreement-scheme/i-wish-research-university#:~:text=Can%20I%20have%20a%20Hosting,iua.ie%20for%20more%20information. http://www.inis.gov.ie/en/inis/pages/researchers https://www.citizensinformation.ie/en/employment/migrant_workers/employment_permits/spousal_work_permit_scheme.html
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    Created by Non-EU/EEA PhD Students Society-Ireland
  • Convene a Citizens Assembly on the Biodiversity Crisis!
    More than two years ago - on 9th May 2019 - the Dáil declared a climate and biodiversity emergency and called for the Citizens’ Assembly to examine how the State can improve its response to the issue of biodiversity loss. Since then, no visible progress has been made, despite the Programme for Government's commitment to “progress the establishment of a Citizens’ Assembly on Biodiversity." We are now calling upon the Irish Government to treat this like a real emergency and announce the date for a Citizens' Assembly on Biodiversity Loss before July 16th. In addition, we want to ensure the Citizens' Assembly's agenda includes the possible recognition of a constitutional right to a safe, clean, healthy, and sustainable environment environment and the principles of a Just Transition. Why? In March 2021, Ireland - alongside 68 other countries - submitted a statement to the UN Human Rights Council stating that “a safe, clean, healthy, and sustainable environment is integral to the full enjoyment of human rights. Therefore the possible recognition of the right at a global level would have numerous important implications on what we leave to our future generations...We are committed to engaging in an open, transparent and inclusive dialogue with all States and interested stakeholders on a possible international recognition of the right to a safe, clean, healthy, and sustainable environment.” Given the Irish Government’s support for the possible recognition of a right to an environment at the international level, for consistency the Government should also support such dialogue at the national level, and the forthcoming Citizens’ Assembly on Biodiversity Loss provides an opportune occasion for this to happen. The principles of a Just Transition should be included on the Citizens' Assembly's agenda to ensure that action taken to address the biodiversity crisis is consistent with these principles.
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  • Tell Us Where Our Clothes Come From Dunnes Stores!
    Fashion chains are responsible for ensuring their workers are paid living wages, work in a safe environment and receive sufficient rest periods between work. However, fast fashion chains like Primark and H&M are notorious for sourcing their clothes from factories that provide none of the above. Dunnes Stores has a similar fast fashion model, yet unlike many other large retailers, has no information on its website regarding where it's clothes come from and how their garment workers are treated. The Clean Clothes Campaign estimates that garment workers in India and Bangladesh are paid, on average, 2-5 times less than is needed to live with dignity. Poor working conditions also endanger the lives of workers. In the case of the 2013 collapse of the Dhaka garment factory in Rana Plaza, Bangladesh, over 1,000 people died due to shockingly poor implementation of building safety standards. Some of Dunnes' clothes are made in Bangladesh yet it was one of the few retailers who failed to sign the Fire and Safety Accord in 2013 to improve factory conditions in the country. The sustainability of fast fashion retailers is also coming under increased scrutiny as the climate crisis accelerates. The fashion industry produces 10% of the world's carbon emissions. Two key factors in this are clothes waste caused by excess production and use of unsustainable fabrics. Retailers like Dunnes must take responsibility for sustainably and ethically sourcing the clothes they sell. If not, we as consumers must hold them responsible for the sake of our future.
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  • National Charter for Postgraduate Workers' Rights and Reform
    Postgraduate work at Irish Universities is systematically precarious and low paid, despite substantial financial barriers to accessing courses and degrees. These conditions allow Universities to generate large profits at the expense of those carrying out work and research in the sector. While rent and college fees have continued to increase, stipends and the conditions of postgraduates have remained mostly static, despite a pressing need for change. We are calling for an end to unethical treatment of postgraduates across institutions, and demanding reform for better working and research conditions. We ask for your support in achieving these reforms through signing this petition. If you want to keep up to date with our campaign, be sure to follow us on Twitter (https://mobile.twitter.com/pgwa_ie) and/or Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/pgwa_ie), or drop us an email at pgwaireland@gmail.com. This charter was signed on behalf of the Postgraduate Workers Alliances of TCD, NUIG, and UCD.
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  • UBI for the Arts
    A recent Ernrst and Young (EY) report for The Arts Council stated that at the end of August 2020, 58% of workers in the sector were wholly reliant on the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) or the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS). The EY report also stated that in 2020 the recession in the Arts sector was expected be around -55% compared with -11% in the Irish economy on a whole. In the live performance and events sector there are 35,000 full time employees. Of 343 firms surveyed in June 2020 by Event Industry Ireland, 57% of companies have laid-off staff on a temporary basis and a further 8% have let staff go permanently. The Programme for Government – Our Shared Future contained a commitment for a Universal Basic Income (UBI), in the lifetime of the Government. This commitment was consolidated by recommendations from the Arts Recovery Task Force which stated “Pilot a universal basic income scheme for a three-year period in the arts, culture, audio-visual and live performance and events sectors”. Point 11 commits to the introduction of a Universal Basic Income pilot in the lifetime of the Government. Universal Basic Income is defined as an unconditional State payment that each citizen receives. The payment is designed to provide enough to cover the basic cost of living and provide a modicum of financial security. All other income would then be earned separately and subject to taxation. The scheme should be ‘opt in’ and other workers from these sectors who do not opt in can be used as a control group against which to measure the pilot. I am seeking your support in the delivery of these commitments by Government as a matter of urgency. I would be grateful if you would confirm your support and if you would advise of the steps you have taken to assist in the delivery of the promised pilot scheme for a UBI.
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  • Support The Debenhams Bill
    We want to build support behind the Debenhams Bill - we are calling on people to support the Bill, sign the petition and email your TDs and Senators and urge them to vote in favour of the Bill. Over the last year the Debenhams workers have been fighting for their owed redundancy. They have faced organised strike breaking with the use of Gardaí to aggressively break pickets, and a government that has not taken real action. @ 𝟓𝐩𝐦, 𝐖𝐞𝐝𝐧𝐞𝐬𝐝𝐚𝐲 -𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝟏𝟐𝐭𝐡 𝐨𝐟 𝐌𝐚𝐲 the Dáil will debate and vote on The Companies (Protection of Employees' Rights in Liquidations) Bill 2021, better known as the Debenhams Bill. The Bill seeks to boost the rights of workers' in two simple ways: - The Bill would ensure that workers are treated as priority creditors so any monies generated from the sale of assets would go to paying workers first ahead of other creditors. - The Bill would ensure that collective agreements covering redundancies would be given the status of a debt owed to workers and would therefore be more likely to be paid in a liquidation. This important for the future of ALL workers who may find themselves in similar situations.
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  • Covid19 Car Drivers 50% Insurance rebate
    So many are suffering because of the Covid19 pandemic. Most people have used their cars 50% less than normal because of Lockdown rules. Why should they pay the full insurance premium to the insurance companies?
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  • Improving support for at home carers during COVID-19
    The aim of this petition is to highlight that there is a need for more support for at home carers. These are people who have been caring around the clock to support a loved one who may be ill, have additional needs or are elderly during the COVID-19 pandemic. Although they do receive carers allowance which can range from €219 - €385.50 and additional monies depending on how may dependable children there is. This petition would be used to highlight not only do they need financial support but they also need a form of relief from the general day to day strenuous tasks they encounter not only physically but also emotionally. Since the start of the pandemic last March the supports they heavily relied on for relief were reduced or simply taken away. They had and still have very little relief as many of the people they are caring for would be very high risk if they contracted COVID-19. With the help of these signatures it will highlight that more support needs to be given to carers and will hopefully facilitate in implementing a change that will ultimately support these people more effectively and efficiently.
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  • Don't allow Texaco to Use Our Children
    Courts in Ecuador found that Chevron-Texaco had deliberately dumped 16 billion gallons of cancer-causing toxic oil waste into the rainforest, causing a cancer epidemic that has killed thousands and has decimated five indigenous nations who are teetering on the brink of extinction. They inflicted death and devastation on communities of people and wildlife that no fair-minded Irish person would ever tolerate. “The oil companies came to these pristine forests, backed by our own government. They took what they wanted and wiped-out cultures, completely disregarded the Indigenous people, killed animals and ruined sacred places. In the end, the people couldn’t do anything about it because they couldn’t speak the language of the people destroying their lives! The same destruction is still going on to this day.” Nina Gualinga, Indigenous campaigner for Ecuador Amazon Watch. Nina Gualinga, an indigenous environmental and human rights warrior from Ecuador. https://amazonwatch.org/news/2016/0718-toxic-tour Then, they fled Ecuador after a court had ordered them to pay $US9.5 billion in compensation to local communities. Ever since, they have threatened the communities they violated with a ‘lifetime of litigation’ unless they dropped the case. They have attacked their victims with retaliatory lawsuits. In the face of their inexcusable and catastrophic impact on the planet, fossil fuel companies like Chevron-Texaco are desperate for a ‘social-licence’ to operate. In parallel with their human-rights abuses in the Ecuadorian Amazon, Texaco were cynically running a ‘Children’s Art Competition’ here in Ireland while at the same time they were destroying children’s lives in the Amazon. The legacy of that destruction continues to this day. There can be no place for fossil fuel companies like Texaco in Children’s Art or Sports in Ireland. Join the growing number of major arts institutions and museums around the world who have severed their ties with major oil companies like Texaco.
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  • CETA Free Zone: Wicklow Says No To Corporate Courts
    Investor Court System (ICS) is a dispute settlement tribunal where foreign investors and corporations can take a case against Ireland for 'perceived' breaches in CETA’s investment protection standards. It allows investors to go straight to these special tribunals and sideline domestic courts and those of the European Union. Once CETA is ratified, investor court decisions cannot be challenged by either the State or the EU - this is the equivalent of handing corporations a blank cheque! Local communities and businesses across Ireland are fighting back. Together we are showing government parties and politicians that this form of corporate takeover is going to cost them dearly in the next election. And we need our local politicians to stand with us by supporting this. For more info on CETA ICS, check out this fact checker: https://comhlamh.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/CETA-ICS-Fact-Checker.pdf
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    Created by Meghan Roe