Where is the #Spycops statement @CharlieFlanagan ?

The security forces here would be very concerned about agents from an another country operating in this jurisdiction…. I can confirm to the Deputy that the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade will meet with the Secretary of State, James Brokenshire, here in Dublin next week to discuss this matter. I do not have any further details I can put before the House now. The Minister will make a statement following his meeting.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny, 8th Feb 2017

I find it shocking that via my solicitor Darragh Mackin of KRW Law I have informed the Minister of Justice about such issues via legal letters dated 17 May 2016 and again on 20 December 2016,4 yet to date I have received no reply although both letters were even reported in the media.

Sarah Hampton in email to Enda Kenny, Charlie Flanagan and Frances Fitzgerald 12th Feb 2017

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Its been a fairly rough fortnight for the individuals in government, the ‘leaders’ dealing with the fallout of what happens when the nature of policing as it exists in the state today becomes ongoing public conversation.

Nowhere near as rough as its has been over the years to those seeking simply to make public what the institution of An Garda Siochana get up to. Lost somewhat in the mix is the momentum building for the Irish state to open up about the role of secret British undercover policing units working in Ireland.

There are of course distinctions to be made between vindictive, inter-agency retaliations against police whistle-blowers from within the force -such as we now know was meted out to Maurice McCabe and David Taylor and others yet to come to light – and the specific vindictive secret political policing waged against people involved in political, environmental and social justice struggles.

What they have in common is though it the deep desire of institutional power centres such as police forces to keep secret what it is they are doing. At all costs police forces want to stay outside and beyond transparency and specifically beyond anything even resembling democratic control.

Precisely because they know that when all is out in the open, public revulsion turns to demand for institutional change. The first instinct of any power center is to defend its own power merely to retain it.

In police forces, this becomes coded in cultures of omerta. Loyalty to the organisation comes first, and all who show disloyality shall be treated accordingly.

So if this is what happens to those whistle-blowers inside police forces, how much more difficult is it for those outside police forces, trying to both raise public consciousness and achieve personal and collective justice around police abuses?

 

mk-dublin

Sarah Hampton (far left) with British undercover Mark Kennedy in Ireland 2005

And this brings us to the start of last week where a press conference was held around questions arising from British undercover officers working in Ireland. A report from that press conference is here. There is a tactic acceptance by previous and current governments that British officers did indeed work in Ireland.

Several TD’s including Clare Daly, Jonathan O’Brien and Paul Murphy as well as MEP Lynn Boylan have raised questions to the present government and at the European Parliament.

It was in response to questions by Paul Murphy on Wednesday March 8th that Enda Kenny stated the quote at the top of this piece.

However the press statement sent out by Mininster from Foreign Affairs and Trade Charlies Flanaghan following his meeting with the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, James Brokenshire, made no reference to raising the issue of British undercovers working in Ireland.

Earlier this week an email was sent to Enda Kenny, Charlie Flanagan and Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald by one of the women deceived into a long term relationship with Mark Kennedy. As with all correspondence sent directly to members of the government, there has been no reply.

Kennedy was British officer with the secret National Public Order Intelligence unit. Sarah Hampton first met Kennedy whilst on holiday in Ireland. Kennedy at the time was using the persona Mark Stone, pretending to be an environmental activist. Sarah has already received a written apology from the Metropolitan police who ran the secret police unit. However, she, like hundreds of other caught up in British secret policing operating it seamlessly across national borders, she has many unanswered questions. Saying sorry is easy if all the other actions you come up against are deliberate obstacles, or as is the case in from the Irish government, simply ignoring your correspondence.

Here is that email to Kenny, Flanaghan and Fitzgerald in full.

Dear Taoiseach Enda Kenny,

Dear Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charles Flanagan TD

Dear Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality, Deputy Frances Fitzgerald TD

My name is Sarah Hampton, you may have first heard my name when I was quoted on theParliament floor by TD Paul Murphy on 8 February 2017.

In 2005 I was on holiday on Ireland when I met Mark Kennedy. I subsequently went onto have a one year relationship with the man I then knew as ‘Mark Stone’ without any idea of his true identity. In 2010 I found out that he was a British undercover police officer working in Ireland as a member National Public Order Intelligence Unit.

Finding out that Mark was an undercover police officer brought about a deep depression that seemed impossible to navigate, there were times I have almost given up completely. The process of seeking justice on this case has felt at times belittling, intimidating and downright scary. I felt I had been raped, I never consented to sleeping with a police officer.

On the 3rd February 2017 I received a written full apology from the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS).3 Assistant Commissioner Fiona Taylor wrote me to acknowledged the pain and stress I have endured as the result of the deceitful relationship. The MPS Assistant Commissioner stated, “The relationship between you and Mark Kennedy was abusive, deceitful, manipulative and wrong.” ”The relationship should never have happened.” “I recognise that what happened in your case was an abuse of police power that resulted in a violation of your human rights, a breach of your privacy and trust, and the source of significant trauma to you.”

I note the Parliamentary Answer that TD Clare Daly received from the Tánaiste, 8th February2017, stating “should anything emerge from the findings of the UK’s Undercover Policing Inquiry (UCPI) that would be relevant to policing in this jurisdiction I will consider it fully and take any action that may be required.”

However at this point the UCPI excludes Ireland completely, so this Parliamentary Answer is illogical and does not satisfy my concerns in the least. We don’t need to wait for the findings of the UK undercover policing inquiry to know that there are significant grounds for taking action on this matter. I am a US citizen, I was on holiday in Ireland when our relationship began, and despite the British MPS apology I have received, I have many unanswered questions regarding Ireland. I want to know if Irish authorities knew what Mark Kennedy wasdoing, and I want details about his operations in Ireland.

– Did you allow him to develop intimate relationships with women in your jurisdiction?

– Was he operating with the full permission of the Irish authorities?

– Do you have police files on me?

– To what extent has my right to privacy been invaded by the Irish authorities?

It is my belief that Police and government are supposed to be here to serve the people and they need to be held responsible when they themselves have even admitted to being negligent and violating human rights. I believe that by not taking action on this matter you are perpetuating the trauma I have experienced and that my human rights are continuing to be violated.

Further I find it shocking that via my solicitor Darragh Mackin of KRW Law I have informed the Minister of Justice about such issues via legal letters dated 17 May 2016 and again on 20 December 2016,4 yet to date I have received no reply although both letters were even reported in the media.

On 8 February the Taoiseach stated in Parliament that he would have his Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charles Flanagan TD, raise the issue with British officials within the coming week. I firmly request that you take action to insist to British officials that the UCPI be extended to include the activities of undercover activities in the Republic of Ireland.

Yours sincerely,

Sarah Hampton

Core Participant in the UK Undercover Policing Inquiry

The demands are clear from Sarah and others seeking truth and answers. The first one is very simple.

The Irish government needs to officially ask that the UK government extend Pitchford to include the role of British undercover units working in Ireland. It quite simple. If you don’t ask you don’t get.

The government of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Germany have all asked for this extension. This government needs to own up and say why it refuses to do so so far. There is not question that British undercover units were working here. That is already established. Sarah Hampton other questions need answering to. And to those we should add the opening up of files of people living in Ireland – citizen and non citizen, adults and children, – arising from coming into contact with British undercover police operating here and providing information to An Garda Siochana.

Because this isn’t going away.

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Reporting On The Refugee Crisis : Daniel Trilling

Recording of a talk by Daniel Trilling in Dublin in March 2016 organised by Solidarity Against Racism and Fascism. For the past 2 years Daniel Trilling, has been reporting on irregular migration at the borders of the European Union. His previous reporting focused on right-wing extremism in the United Kingdom, and he published “Bloody Nasty People: the Rise of Britain’s Far Right” (Verso Books) in 2012.

 

Daniel Trilling, racism, fascism, refugee crisis

 
The arrival of a record number of refugees from outside the continent has been met with a small but significant wave of violent actions by far right groups and their sympathisers. Others have attempted to build broader anti-immigration protest movements, with varying degrees of success. How has media coverage of immigration and the far right affected the development of these groups? And what approaches can journalists take when reporting on such sensitive topics? Is it right, for example, to take a “netural” position when far-right groups clash with their anti-racist opponents?

 

Facebook has a global outage from 1pm GMT

FB images

 

UPDATE 3 : People take to streets to shout update status in Dublin. Bonkers mate….

UPDATE 2: 15:19 GMT Seems some people are able to post again but commenting is patchy blah blah blah.   We really should get a life…………….. But since we are where we are, the Newsticker still isnt working for many and also reports that chat can’t be turned off.  OK do we still have the will to live?

UPDATE 1  The following chart from the Developers FB page show a pretty steep rise in number of errors ( as well as accompanying response time increases) but that seem to be dropping off a little.  People commenting on blog site etc show that this is indeed a global service bust up.

FB chart coiunt

error chart

Seems there has been a global service disruption on Facebook this afternoon, with users unable to post status updates, photos, files etc to their profiles or groups and pages they like. The chat function seems to be working but little else. The website tracking service Down Right Now shows a pretty big drop off. The site lost functionality at almost exactly 1pm GMT which might suggest a organised maintence, though no announcement has been made.  At present it is also not possible to log into accounts if you try. 

FB chart

I’ll update as more info comes in. Theres not much point in sharing this on FB right now as you can’t, but maybe tweet it out using the buttons at the bottom if you found it useful. Cheers.

What you see when you try to update

What you see when you try to update

The “Anglo” Promissory Deal Story through Memes.

Update 1: Still not sure what the update is

Deal-or-No-Deal

Yesterday senior figures within the Irish Government/Civil Service initiated “Code Red”. It’s kicked off with a planned leaking of details of an legal accounting trick designed to created a sense of political chaos and thus spring the dumber backbenchers of FF, FG and Labour into voting for the IRISH BANK RESOLUTION CORPORATION BILL 2013

Conspiracy Code Red

The co-ordinated “leak” was part of the strategy of Code Red. that the State was to liquidate IBRC/Anglo allowed Noonan to give the impression that an emergency now existed, since IRBC/Anglo assets would plummet in value this morning without this emergency legislation. Its a bit like shooting someone in the face and them shouting at passer bys that if they didn’t give you a tissue now, you’d be responsible for their death.

Noonan Suckers.

The Minister of Finance wanted the late night debate to begin at 10.30pm, a whole 15 minutes after the draft bill was given to TD’s in the Dail. The bill is 59 pages and involves between €28-45 Billion euro the people in Ireland have yet to generate through their own labour.  The Dail bar was still open so the debate was pushed back until 00.00am on Thursday.

slavery

MIDDLE OF NIGHT

Noonan informed TD’s that he handed all power to  in KMPG, one of the Big Four accounting firm that rubberstamps the cooked books of banks across the globe for a significant slice of the pie.

MORTGAGE

The bill in Section 17 also allows Noonan and future finance minsters to issue government bonds (read bind your future labour to even more debt)

sECTION 17

Its now up to the unelected 21 men of the ECB to rubberstamp the Code Red plan. And in doing so will turn the private debts from banks under criminal investigation (by supposedly the Irish state) has been “transformed” into fully legal, yet still illegitimate, debt that you, your children and your childrens children will have to pay out for.

TO DO WITH YOU

Most people now understand that this is not an economic crisis, but a crisis of democracy.

DEMOCRACY

How this actually pans out is up to you.

make sure and follow @notourdebt

Social Media and the Virtual Reality of the Irish Political Class: No 1

FearTo learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticise” Voltaire.

We don’t see the people who are doing real things getting enough props. We often see politicians who are everywhere but nowhere at the same goddamn time. You know the kind of person: You see them everywhere on television but nowhere in front of your face. ” Chuck D

“Modern industrial civilization has developed within a certain system of convenient myths. The driving force of modern industrial civilization has been individual material gain, which is accepted as legitimate, even praiseworthy, on the grounds that private vices yield public benefits, in the classic formulation. Now, it has long been understood, very well, that a society that is based on this principle will destroy itself in time. It can only persist, with whatever suffering and injustice that it entails, as long as it is possible to pretend that the destructive forces that humans create are limited, that the world is an infinite resource, and that the world is an infinite garbage can. At this stage of history either one of two things is possible. Either the general population will take control of its own destiny and will concern itself with community interests, guided by values of solidarity, sympathy and concern for others, or alternatively there will be no destiny for anyone to control. As long as some specialized class is in a position of authority, it is going to set policy in the special interests that it serves. But the conditions of survival, let alone justice, require rational social planning in the interests of the community as a whole, and by now that means the global community. The question is whether privileged elite should dominate mass communication and should use this power as they tell us they must — namely to impose necessary illusions, to manipulate and deceive the stupid majority and remove them from the public arena. The question in brief, is whether democracy and freedom are values to be preserved or threats to be avoided. In this possibly terminal phase of human existence, democracy and freedom are more than values to be treasured; they may well be essential to survival.” Noam Chomsky

It has been apparent to many people in this state, across Europe and much further afield that the professional political class are living in a sort of virtual reality. We have political system that has been described as corrupt in all areas of public life in the Mahon report. We have elected government ministers who come onto the state broadcaster stating clearly that lying is an electoral strategy, and we have political organisations that opportunistically use the massive rise in suicides in the state to try deflect the role their decisions play in the rising tide of material and emotion misery of our society. We have successive government ministers beholden to finance capital, and we live within a neoliberal politcal system where the power of capital continues to squash the possibility of genuinely democratic equality. We live is a state where tax laws are written by the same Irish legal firms that benefit from Ireland position in the global tax dodging network. The main political organisation in government, Fine Gael was explicit in saying any tax rises on the rich and on private corporations cannot be countenanced unless the most impoverished in our society got kicked a lot more so as not to upset universal kamra, the ever vague but omnipotent entity know as the “confidence of the market”.  Few professional political commentators ever seems to point out that if ‘confidence’ is the only thing holding this system up, perhaps the system itself is a fundamentally flawed concept and we need something completely different.  I dunno this might be a bit out there, but something founded upon care, compassion, social need might be a start. But I would say that being a left wing anarchist extremist. Maybe Im a dreamer. But Im not the only one.

Meanwhile back in the real world we have a government minister Kathleen Lynch, with responsibility for mental health saying she will consider setting up a support system funded by us to help TDs and Senators ‘deal’ with increasing levels of public anger, whilst at the same time slashing public resources funded by us on our public mental health. Then we have FG TD Mary Mitchell O Connor releasing a press release saying “It is impossible to quantify how many deaths have been caused or contributed to in this country by the negative elements of social media. The unconstrained venom being directed at individuals on Twitter, FaceBook and YouTube is undoubtedly doing untold damage.” The contradicitions may not be immediately obvious, but if suicides due to social media are “impossible to quantify” how can they be “undoubtedly doing untold damage”

No one can condemn serious attempts to look at how peer abuses amongst school kids affects them and to try to reduce harm, however people like Pat Rabbitte etc have specifically conflated bullying within younger kids with people being completely pissed off at the structural failings of our political and economic system.

There are no government press releases on suicides relating to the indignity, social stigma and powerless that often comes from being forced into poverty or unemployment, or from the multiple and complex fears causes by threatening letters sent by private money lending banks and organisations. Using the framework and logic of the public pronouncements made on social media as factors in death, perhaps we should ourselves should be creating our own counter narratives. Would the possibility of change and equality in our society be better served by properly describing many of the deaths as “assisted suicide” since banks and government decisions have help facilitate peoples decisions to take there own lives. Or should we follow the lead of people in Spain who now reframe suicide caused by the macro political-economic system as murder.

Its hard to know whether the attitudes and statements from government are founded on intellectual incoherency or collective psychological dishonesty, but it is as if the present political class feel that they have some intrinsic right to live behind a firewall of their own victimhood, sealed off from the social consequences of their actions on our lives. However their attitude to peoples ability to use social media tools and comment public spaces afforded us via Twitter, blogs, comments sections etc is telling. Nor is it restricted to Ireland. Its a global issue with very real consequences. This week Rashid Saleh al-Anzi was sentenced to jail in the ‘friendly’ dictatorship in Kuwait for sending a tweet calling for political reform and an end to corruption. This got reported in the Irish Times. Last week noted right wing ‘economist” Jim Power called for ‘less democracy and more benign dictatorship’ on Newstalk. His interviewer let this without exploring any of the implications for such proto-facist free marketeerism. Once again it was ordinary folks using social media technology that took up that baton.

We are basically being told to shut the fuck about our own existences, about our material poverty and our individual and social fears for the future. Even as we are being pissed upon, we are being spoken too ask the rabble, the mob, the motley children, to be scolded and put in our place by our more learned others. The instinctive response to that is a simple and clear “No. Fuck Them.”

Is it ‘polite’? Is its ‘nice’? No its not. Of course its not. There is nothing polite about introducing charges for people needed chemotreatment, there is nothing polite about hiding 25 years worth of meeting minutes of the Clearing House Group, there is  nothing polite about poverty or house eviction. Theres nothing polite or nice getting legal letters from money lender taking you to court whilst the coked up fuckers in global high finance and the Irish professional legal firms who screwed us over indemnify themselves with law and corporate structures they designed precisely for that purpose. So excuse us if we lose our decorum a little. There’s a war going on outside and its a war on our lives. Its a war of inequality and a war against democracy and justice.

Fuck’em for evening daring to demand I/you/we ‘be nice’ as I/you/we watch people around hurting and fearful. Fuck’em for trying to encourage us to internalise their bullshit worldviews and values and lack of social imagination. Fuck’em for being so stupid as to think we are not aware of what goes on around us. But saying Fuck’em is merely an emotional indicator, and on it own it is just a temporary release. The refusal to be bound by the logic of market democracy is an orientation. If we aim only to be able to criticise, rather than to change, if the limits of our desire are only to be able to tweet or make comment, rather than to act together to assert full authority over the decisions that affect our lives we will remain in an echo chamber of our collective dispairs. What we have now is the ability to be visible to each other in ways previously impossible. It will take more than 140 characters to really challenge unjust power but making a new meanings, new social imaginations from our own narratives, about our actual existences as they are now, is central to making what previously seem impossible possible.

That Sunday Business Post/RED C Poll & “objective journalism”

Red C Poll Cover

So the Sunday Business Post commissioned a poll by RED C. I’ve embedded the full report below.

Nothing out of the ordinary in the questions. It looked at attitudes to abortion, and the state of popular support in the population for the political organizations that jockey to be the Troika managers of your lives.

Some results got lots of airtime and covered by all the mainstream media outlets. However as noted by the good folks over at Rabble the  mainstream media ignored a  very significant section of the poll.

Within the part ignored (page 11 below), results showed that of those polled, 88% wanted to see a rise in taxation of incomes of €100,000 and over.  This was the highest figure for any of the questions posed by RED C, and yet not one journalist in Ireland has bothered to report on this in the context of Wednesdays forthcoming blood bath budget. The Sunday Business Post, which commissioned the poll, didn’t even bother mentioning it or expanding on the implication of such high support for tax increases on the rich.  67% of those polled are against any cuts to welfare support such as child benefit or  to state pensions. Again this hasn’t been reported.

It says lots about the interests of corporate media when statistics directly relating to the upcoming budget are sought from the public, only to become airbrushed out of mainstream media’s conversation. Why did they bother their hole getting RED C to ask the questions in the first place….

Online privacy and security across our communities.

This 392 page, Creative Commons licensed handbook is designed to help those with no prior experience to protect their basic human rights to privacy in networked, digital domains. By covering a broad array of topics and use contexts it is written to help anyone wishing to understand and then quickly mitigate many kinds of vulnerability using free, open-source tools. Read it, act on it and share. Follow @cryptoparty for updates etc.

A Note From Below To The Yes Voter.

“WE, the working poor, the unemployed, the people with the material least have a functional value is neoliberal society. We aren’t just blackmailed or threatened. We are the blackmail, we are the threat. We are Ghosts. You might see us, you might recognise us, Shit, you might even tweet us.  But we will remains Ghosts to you, the see-through collateral damage of a state that is told by its owners that it must be the economy of their desire rather than it be a society of our desire.

Like an inverse cruelty lottery, our growing numbers, our visibility, our actual existence,  is blackmail writ large. Ghosts seen but without voice as Ghosts with voices are people.  “Take the hit, vote Yes, suck up this policy”  they say, “or you will join the growing ranks”.  The professional PR teams from Merrion Row place such incendiary rhetorical devices carefully yet irregularly. To talk solely of ‘bombs’ and ‘guns to our head’ is a dangerous game in Irish politics. They know that, we know that.

Instead explicit vocal threats are wrapped up for consumption with phrases such as “the benefit of the country” or “patriotism” that melt away like ‘the body of christ’, sticking to your mouth and the back of your gullet. The swallowing is hard because you know it to be untrue, you know yourself that this emanates from mouths within opportunistic political organisations,  and is scripted by professional liars, both that have been part of the fabric of abuse and corruption since the states inception.  Our health must suffer for the collective health of Mythical Mother Ireland is seems.

Irelands new middle classes, our ‘relatively secure’ – a few paychecks away from an economic cliff themselves –  are taught to see us as a manifestation of their own fears.  They/you act like scaffold and window dressing to an empty pyramid of injustice and power-over that has no moral legitimacy in our eyes. Drape what you like on the scaffolding, but the Wizards of Oz has bolted. Long live the Wizard of Oz. We reject the legitimacy of other human beings to treat our lives as the waged slaves of the gambling rich. We reject their authority to make our futures dependent upon the protection of the institutionally corrupt. We will burn their debt before we let them burn our futures with their debt.

Your/our elected ‘leader’ even refused to come on to TV to debate and discuss financial dictates and capitalist desires inherent in this referendum. This in a time where the internet has been around for the life time of some voters! The PR teams manage this man – supposedly who put himself before us to serve us – to not talk about the referendum. They may mange their reality, but they will never manage ours.

So yes today in this Yes vote we recognized our function. Our function today is to remain materially impoverished so that the possibility of you joining us keeps you in your place. We are the humans that manifest the PD matra that inequality is necessary. We are the Ghosts of neoliberalism and representative ‘democracy’. Today you may even celebrate a Yes because it reduces your fear of becoming one of us. The gun remains at your head, but the finger was lifted off the trigger. Are we stable yet?

We give a warning based in care, solidarity and an expression simply of another humanity and another way of doing this. We are not Ghosts to each other. We will continue to dig at the foundation of this disgusting economic and political system and its immoral arithmetic. It was with our bodies that we built ghost estates only to become Ghosts ourselves. But Ghosts have memories. Ghosts know how to care for each other. Ghosts know how to love as they fight for a society that places the eradication of social injustice as its primary function. As we dig at the foundations to build something new we make sure with give encouragement to you in the middle but really, like us, outside. We carry you, whilst you carry fear. The burden is heavy. Let go of the scaffolding, Let go off your fear. Say out loud “I’m afraid of no Ghosts”, see us as humans to struggle with and beside and we will catch you.”

An unemployed labourer.