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Showing posts from April, 2018

The desperate cry of a people calling out for help

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They feel as though the wider world has forgotten about them. They live in what has been described as the world’s biggest open-air prison camp, 1.8 million of them crammed into a tiny strip of just 140 square miles, and they want the world to remember that they exist – and that they are finding it almost impossible to breathe. For 11 years now, they have been blocked into an area which is smaller than County Louth by fences, bullets, and occasional bombs. Travel is an impossible dream for most of them, a life-saving hospital visit can become a logistical nightmare, and even the fishermen risk being murdered if they dare to venture just a few miles offshore. Gaza is a humanitarian catastrophe in the making and yet when the local people protest, as they have done in their thousands over the past three weeks, they are demonised, dehumanised, and gunned down. Shot at by snipers located behind a fortified fence, murdered, or hospitalised, for daring just to protest, even if they are unarmed. …

Rallying the troops for a divisive campaign

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Two meetings in the same city, but they felt like different worlds. As campaigning begins in earnest ahead of Ireland’s abortion referendum on May 25, the battle lines were drawn this week when both sides of the debate launched their respective campaigns at a series of regional events and rallies throughout the country.
Two very different events took place in Galway within 48 hours of each other which underlined the strong feelings in both camps and the intense battle expected to win the hearts and minds of undecided voters over the next seven weeks of canvassing.
Ireland has one of the most restrictive abortion laws in Europe and the legislation, known as the Eighth Amendment, which acknowledges the equal right to life of the mother and unborn child was passed by referendum after a bitter, divisive debate in 1983.
Most of those who will vote on the issue next month would not have been around or entitled to vote 35 years ago.
It was notable at the launch of the ‘Together For Yes’ cam…