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1 of Indymedia - Thu Nov 24, 2016 03:56
Original article by Stephen Donnelly TD
We are republishing this article by Stephen Donnelly TD who has been doing great work in exposing how Fine Gael have gone out of their away to facilitate vulture funds who are now preying on ordinary people by charging exorbitant rents and fueling the current property and are replacing the English absentee landlord of centuries past, with ruthless vulture funds capitalists of this era and essentially introducing a form of neo-fuedalism as increasing huge swaths of the population are either priced out of buying homes, or are signing up for debt that last close to a lifetime.

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We are republishing this article by Stephen Donnelly TD who has been doing great work in exposing how Fine Gael have gone out of their away to facilitate vulture funds who are now preying on ordinary people by charging exorbitant rents and fueling the current property and are replacing the English absentee landlord of centuries past, with ruthless vulture funds capitalists of this era and essentially introducing a form of neo-fuedalism as increasing huge swaths of the population are either priced out of buying homes, or are signing up for debt that last close to a lifetime.

Related Links: Stephen Donnelly, TD submission for a detailed proposal to target ?20bn in future avoided taxes. | Update on the work of NAMAleaks.com


Proposed new tax breaks in the Finance Bill will fuel an existing commercial property bubble in Dublin.

They?ll do this by making commercial property investment, mainly by large foreign landlords, entirely tax free. This will drive up commercial rents, suppress residential development, put Irish banks at risk, and deprive the State of much-needed funds.
As far as I can tell, no other European country offers a tax-free environment on commercial property.

And in light of our recent property bubble, fuelled by foreign capital, it?s difficult to understand why it?s being proposed.
Particularly because we already have a bubble in commercial property in Dublin. Surveys by CBRE and Knight Frank show Dublin to be the second most expensive city in the Eurozone to buy high-quality office property.

This isn?t due to build costs ? international surveyors provide comparative data showing Dublin build costs in line with other Eurozone countries.

It isn?t due to demographic or geographic pressures ? Dublin?s population density is low, and the city is surrounded by suitable development land.

And yet, grade-A commercial property currently sells for 6.4 times more than it costs to build.
In Europe, only Paris and London have higher multiples. And that, in anyone?s book, is a bubble. Well, almost anyone?s.

Commercial Property from Stephen Donnelly

Large real estate agents who sell commercial property are paid as a percentage of sales price. So high volumes of sales, at high prices, make them a lot of money. Some will insist there?s no bubble, that it makes perfect sense for this small city on the edge of Europe to have some of the highest prices on Earth.

They?ll point to yields from commercial property as being very reasonable. Exactly the arguments we?ve heard before, from about 2004 to 2008. This bubble damages the economy. Commercial rents have been spiralling in the capital, nearly doubling in the past two years. That?s bad for business, and bad for consumers. Residential development is being suppressed. Right now, decent commercial property in Dublin is selling for more than ?1,200 a sq ft, while residential property sells for about ?500 a sq ft.
So naturally, developers and owners of zoned land are highly incentivised to build offices, rather than homes.

The bubble also puts the Irish banks at risk. There are numerous new safety valves in place since the Crash, but the last thing anyone wants is for our domestic banks to be lending into another property bubble.
Part of what?s driving this bubble is a raft of recent tax breaks.

Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) were introduced in the 2013 Finance Act.

As one international fund puts it on their website, Irish REITS, ?unlike other property companies, distribute their income in a highly tax-efficient manner?.
Irish Collective Asset-Management Vehicles, ICAVs, were introduced in 2015.

They are described as follows by a leading law firm: ?The ICAV is treated, for Irish tax purposes, as a corporate vehicle which is fully exempt from Irish tax on its income and profits.?

Qualified Investment Funds (QIF) are another legal vehicle used by property investors to ensure tax efficiency, allowing profits be rolled up for several years.
And Section 110 status is used by many so-called vulture funds to lawfully pay minimal or no taxes in Ireland.

What the lawyers and accountants have figured out is that if you combine various tax-efficient mechanisms (let?s say a QIF with a Section 110, or an ICAV with non-domiciled status), then property investors can move from being tax efficient to completely tax-free.

The Finance Bill should be targeting this behaviour to ensure taxes are paid, rather than avoided. Up to now, commercial property in Ireland hasn?t generally been marketed to foreign landlords as tax free.
Many people in the sector believe that, while tax-free status might be possible, it?s not what was intended.

But that?s all about to change.

The Finance Bill creates a new legal classification known as an Irish Real Estate Fund, IREF.

Once investors hold property for five years, they?ll be exempt from all capital gains taxes. It goes on to state that IREFs will, however, pay 20pc dividend withholding tax, DWT. However, it then exempts from this almost every domestic and foreign landlord who buys Irish commercial property.

The era of the so-called vulture funds is coming to an end, as the ECB?s negative yields policy has made most EU real estate too expensive for them. According to CBRE, more than 80pc of all future Irish commercial property investment will come from foreign pension funds, life assurance funds and other Collective Investment Undertakings (CIUs) which includes REITs. All of these will be exempt from DWT.

Irish pension funds are already exempt from taxes in Ireland. However, notwithstanding some exceptions, they don?t get exemptions from taxes when they invest in other countries. Generally, countries don?t give tax breaks to each other?s pension funds, and DWT cannot be reclaimed. It?s unclear then, why Ireland would now choose to give such tax breaks to foreign pension funds investing here.

Similarly, Irish life assurance companies were never exempt from Irish taxes. They do make use of tax deferral mechanisms such as QIFs, but pay their taxes at exit from those schemes.

But not for long. The Finance Bill makes genuine efforts to stop tax avoidance by the so-called vulture funds. This could bring in ?10 to ?20bn in new taxes to the State in the coming decade. Industry sources working with the vulture funds are confident they can still bypass these new measures, but some additional changes can make this much more difficult. However, it would be a great tragedy to win the battle and lose the war.

As it stands, the Finance Bill will effectively take commercial property, one of our biggest asset classes (possibly our biggest), outside the tax net. There?s no obvious reason for doing this. Other countries don?t. We?re already experiencing a bubble. It?s making things worse for the business community and for people looking to buy homes.

It would cost the State billions in coming years in foregone taxes.

1 of Indymedia - Thu Jun 23, 2016 00:18
People's News - No. 148 12 June 2016 Issue -covering Brexit and TTIP
The People's Newsletter from the People's Movement in their bi-monthly newsletter carry an article on Brexit which is topical given that the British go to the polls on it this Thurs 23rd June. The various opinion polls show it to be relatively close.

The article here from the People's Movement puts forward good Left wing arguments why Britain should leave and they are good reasons for Ireland to leave too. The impression given is that the Brexit referendum was agreed to because of political pressure from the people. It is likely though that there are considerable powerful interests within the elite want to leave as they see their chances to be better off in the long run, yet those arguments not discussed here would be more issues within national capitalist faction.

The other article in this months newsletter is
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The People's Newsletter from the People's Movement in their bi-monthly newsletter carry an article on Brexit which is topical given that the British go to the polls on it this Thurs 23rd June. The various opinion polls show it to be relatively close.

The article here from the People's Movement puts forward good Left wing arguments why Britain should leave and they are good reasons for Ireland to leave too. The impression given is that the Brexit referendum was agreed to because of political pressure from the people. It is likely though that there are considerable powerful interests within the elite want to leave as they see their chances to be better off in the long run, yet those arguments not discussed here would be more issues within national capitalist faction.

The other article in this months newsletter is

Related Links: Latest PEOPLE?S NEWS covers TTIP and Brexit | 10 Reasons Irish People in the North of Ireland, & Britain, Should Vote "Leave" | People Before Profit Call for Left Exit from EU | WSM: Observations on Brexit and Lexit in the UK EU membership referendum | Socialist Party: Brexit: Reject this club of bosses & bankers


PEOPLE?S NEWS - News Digest of the People?s Movement

Why a vote for Brexit is a progressive act

The People?s Movement is urging Irish people in Britain and Northern Ireland to vote ?leave? in the referendum on 23 June. Here is a link to the case for a vote to leave the European Union: Exit 6: Northern Ireland, Democracy, and the EU Referendum outlines the Brexit case from the democratic and internationalist viewpoint that is central to the People?s Movement?s opposition to the EU.

The European Union now has its own government, with a legislative, executive and judicial arm, its own political president, its own citizens and citizenship, its own human and civilrights code, its own currency, economic policy and revenue, its own international treaty - making powers, foreign policy, foreign minister, diplomatic corps and United Nations voice, its own crime and justice code and Public Prosecutor?s office. It already possesses such state symbols as its own flag, anthem, motto, and annual ?Europe Day.?

The constitution of the EU ? the Treaty of Rome and its amending treaties ? is in reality the first state or quasi-state constitution in modern history to be drawn up without the slightest democratic element, entirely in the interests of transnational Big Business.

The EU process is for shifting a myriad of government functions from the national level, where they have traditionally been under the control of democratically elected parliaments and governments, to the supranational, where the bureaucrats of the EU Commission have the monopoly of legislative initiative and where technocracy rules. It gives explicit primacy to EU law over national law.

In most years nowadays arguably the majority of laws that are put through the national parliaments of the EU member states come from Brussels, although most people do not realise this.

Most cases before the EU Court of Justice are concerned with enforcing the EU?s foundational ?four freedoms?: free movement of goods, services, capital, and labour. These erect the basic principles of classical laissez - faire into constitutional imperatives. No government or elected parliament may legally violate or change them, regard less of the wishes of their voters.

Any move entailing changes to the EU treaties requires the unanimous agreement of the governments of all twenty eight EU member states. Any changes to the other rules require either unanimity or a qualified majority. This is the practical problem facing those who contend that ?another Europe is possible? by reforming the EU at the supranational level in the hope of making it more democratic, or who think that the EU can be transformed into a so-called ?Social Europe.?

Successive EU treaties have also laid down a deeply right - wing economic agenda. This has resulted in the interests of the banks and big corporations being put before those of the people. The most glaring examples of this have happened in the Republic and in Greece.

*******************************************************************************

Thinking strategically about TTIP and CETA

There is widespread opposition throughout the EU and the United States to TTIP and CETA. Both trade agreements could open the way for business corporations based in the EU to take legal action against entire states whose national regulations on health, labour or environmental standards are regarded as ?barriers? to trade, or affect corporate profitability, and would amount to a takeover of fundamental powers of government by representatives of corporate capital, operating, in the European context, in conjunction with the EU bureaucracy.

For the remainder of the text on this see the PDF below...

A PDF copy of the People's Movements newsletter is available at the link below.

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From No. 146 8th May 2016 Issue http://www.people.ie/news/PN-148.pdf
The UK referendum on 23 June:
Why you should vote to leave the EU

The European Union now represents the biggest threat to workers? rights, public services, and the right of nations, including the Irish nation, to have control over their own affairs.

It is no longer an area of economic cooperation but an emerging superstate, where people?s interests and welfare are subordinated, by law, to those of the market and big business.

A British withdrawal would force a re-evaluation of all existing EU treaties and would encourage the growing Europe-wide popular opposition to the denial of national democracy and independence that is at the heart of the EU.

EU in disarray
The EU is an inward-looking shrinking market, mired in recession, with a dysfunctional currency and high unemployment. The Greek and refugee crises have exposed the ?solidarity? on which the EU is supposedly based.

But EU rules, laid down by various treaties, mean that the EU cannot be reformed from within, because just one state, such as Germany, can veto reform.

How does membership of the EU threaten the NHS?
Continuing EU membership means that two transatlantic treaties, TTIP and CETA, being negotiated in secret by the EU, would allow the privatisation of the NHS. Privatisation would then be impossible to reverse.

TTIP and CETA would also enable companies to sue governments where policy measures might harm profits.

A British withdrawal from the EU would create a major obstacle to the adoption of TTIP and CETA.

But will a British withdrawal re-establish a border between North and South?
No. Both right and left in Britain recognise the importance of trade between Ireland and Britain, and no-one wants to obstruct that.

Equally, the existing Common Travel Area predates either country joining the EU, and will survive British withdrawal, just as Norway, a non-EU country, has kept its common travel area with Sweden and Denmark, which are in the EU.

Will we lose EU funding?
Inside or outside the EU, the North?s funding has been under threat by the Tory government; but Britain itself gives more money to Europe than Europe sends back, so the money the North gets from the EU will still be available in the event of withdrawal.

Regional Grants, Structural Funds, Farm Payments and ?Peace Process? funding are in fact taxpayers? money that is just recycled through Brussels.

Human rights
The European Convention on Human Rights and its human rights court at Strasbourg ? not the EU ? guarantee our human rights. Voting ?Leave? will not affect existing human rights protections.

Trade
Only a tenth of the of the British economy is involved in trade with the EU. A country does not have to be a member of the EU to trade with it; so trade with the EU and with the world outside it will continue in the event of a ?Leave? vote.

The choice
? Remain tied to a failing experiment in building a European superstate run by non-elected Brussels bureaucrats; or
? Have confidence in your own democratic achievements and assert the right of peoples to decide their own laws and international policies as the only basis on which to build a truly progressive society in Ireland.

From: Socialist Party: Brexit: Reject this club of bosses & bankers ....this sums up the EU nicely .....

Could we not stay in and reform the EU?

The EU has almost no mechanisms of democratic accountability, with central decision making in the hands of the European Council ? the heads of government of the 28 member states ? and an increasingly powerful, unelected European Commission. Those running them are contemptuous of democracy. Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström?s attitude to anti-TTIP campaigners sums this up: ?I do not take my mandate from the European people.?

The elected European Parliament is little more than a rubber stamp without the ability to initiate legislation. The majority of MEPs are at the beck and call of an army of 20,000 corporate lobbyists.

T - Sun Mar 27, 2016 01:23

On the centenary anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising it is worth reflecting on what has happened since then and the aspirations of the proclamation to guarantee equal rights and equal opportunities to all its citizens and cherishing all of the children of the nation equally.

The Rising itself was doomed to failure from the start but as with life itself often the most unpredictable and unexpected things happen because despite the lack of initial public support, after the executions sympathies swung the other way and as they say the rest was history and the ripples spread out, because it has been said the fight for independence of India was inspired by the Irish Rising.
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The 1916 Proclamation


On the centenary anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising it is worth reflecting on what has happened since then and the aspirations of the proclamation to guarantee equal rights and equal opportunities to all its citizens and cherishing all of the children of the nation equally.

The Rising itself was doomed to failure from the start but as with life itself often the most unpredictable and unexpected things happen because despite the lack of initial public support, after the executions sympathies swung the other way and as they say the rest was history and the ripples spread out, because it has been said the fight for independence of India was inspired by the Irish Rising.

External Related Links: See also: 1916, left republicanism, anarchism and class struggle | Revolutionary Experiments In Ireland 1917-1923 | Reclaim the Vision of 1916 | Ireland 2016 | Official Centenary Programme
Historical: James Connolly - Labour in Irish History (1910)



It is hard to imagine the context of events at that time because the empire probably seemed so permanent, the poverty of the Irish, great. Perhaps one of the biggest ironies must be that so few were involved in the Rising yet when World War I broke out in 1914 over 200,000 Irish men fought for the British Empire with, depending on how the counting is done, anywhere from 30,000 to 50,000 died. Granted many who fought for the British were basically economic conscripts.

The anniversary must be tinged with a tiny bit of regret for Sinn Féin because in 1918 they formed the first government of "Dáil Éireann", having won most of the seats in the Irish General Election of 1918, then refusing to attend Parliament in Westminster and instead forming a revolutionary parliament in Dublin and now one hundred years later they have come as close as ever to being part of the Irish government again but not quite.

The text of the proclamation is quite liberal but this notion didn't last too long and the conservatism of the catholic hierarchy soon had opportunity to increase its role and dominance of Irish social life and influence. The church effectively ran the education system and played a large role in the health system through ownership of most of the hospitals and their role in running them and their presence as nuns were worked as nurses. The rise of Fianna Fail probably owes is closely tied with the support it got from the catholic church and it is unclear what role leading capitalists of the day in America had through the church and education system as it is not widely realized that in the early 1900s, Carnegie one of the richest men in America, paid for the construction of over 100 libraries in Ireland which even today would represent a massive infusion of charity. Money like that is not spent without something in return and the question still to be asked is what influences were at work behind the scenes with the catholic church given that this era was when communist and socialist ideas were to the fore and were threatening the capitalist system. It can only be concluded that some effort must have been made to ensure Ireland was steered clear of liberal ideas for fear these become socialist ones. It would seem that from the 1930s right up to the 50s and early 60s Ireland became even more conservative and repressive of progressive thought and it is no coincidence this corresponds to the awful period of the Magdalene laundries, the industrial schools, religious institutes like Sisters of apparently no Mercy and the whole package of forced adoptions and clerical abuse but slowly from the end of the 1960s their power was pushed back.

On the economic front the country was very poor, had virtually no industrial base and struggled although the construction of the Shannon hydroelectric scheme in 1925 at Ardnacrusha quickly followed by the establishment of the ESB proved to be very positive developments and effectively kicked off electrification of Ireland because this had an immediate impact on the social, economic and industrial development of Ireland. Despite this the 1930s and again in the 1950s there were large waves of emigration. From 1945 onwards into the 50s the telephone network was greatly expanded throughout the country and undoubtedly contributed to the development of Ireland. In the same period an effort was made from 1932 to clear the urban slums and an ambitious programme of building social housing more or less continued from then right up to the 1960s. Up to the late 1950s social housing output accounted annually for between a third and a half of total house building. This was the era when the suburbs of Crumlim, Drimnagh, Finglas and many others were built. Other state firms were formed during this time, for example, CIE in 1945 dealing with Rail and intercity bus and Dublin Bus all contributing to the economy through the provision of services, Irish Sugar, Bord Na Mona (1946), Aer Lingus (1936), Agricultural Credit Corporation (1927), Cement Limited (1936)

However towards the end of the 1950s the economic strategy of protectionism and building our own industrial firms was abandoned by Fianna Fail in favour of encouraging foreign direct investment which has been more or less the policy ever since. Some would argue this amounted to offering up our resources to foreign multinationals and providing the labour population as a form of resource as relatively cheap labour for pretty much the same firms. The other significant development was in 1973 when we joined what was then called the EEC, now called the EU. This opened up markets for Ireland and it seemed to accelerate the liberalisation of Ireland and it seemed to generally almost force Ireland into adopting more progressive, liberal ways and pushing it to protect its own environment including sending wads of money towards Ireland for rural development and infrastructural aid. It is then easy to see why people were for so long strongly pro EU and favorable towards it. It has gone largely unnoticed that we surrendered our fisheries for all this EU money and it has been estimated the value of fish from Irish waters has been of great value than the many billions we received from the EU over the same period and it largely goes to drive home the point that when you appear to be getting something for free you are not really.

And so from the 1970s onwards into the 80s and 90s and right up the Celtic Tiger we see a different type of Ireland appear as the country had now changed significantly both economically and in daily life. There was also a generation growing up who had little knowledge or connection with the early years of the state and all of that history. What we see is that a great change occurred in the decade of the straddling the 70s and 80s and the emphasis seems to have changed from doing things to build up the country and the nation to lining one's own pockets as much as possible and looking after oneself. People who grew up prior to the 1980s would have memories of strong communities and people knowing many of their neighbours well. In earlier years it was common for communities in housing estates to have common street parties/picnics or outings to the beach in the summer. In these latter years the vast majority hardly know their next door neighbours and we seem to live in anonymous neighbourhoods with little sense of commonality and in some ways the attraction of Facebook for people is that it superficially fulfils this human social need but unfortunately directs it in a narcissistic way for commercial gain.

Jumping to the present we can now see that this shift in the 1980s has reached it's end point where today we are actually going backwards socially, as we are immersed in a full blown crisis of nationhood and what it means to be Irish as thousands and thousands have been made homeless, there is a massive housing crisis creatinga generation who will never been able to escape renting unable to save up to buy their own home, absentee British landlords have been replaced with capitalist vulture funds all the while protected by the main establishment parties, a chronic health system which purposely is not fixed so as to drive frightened people into the hands of private health insurers, attacks on the rights of working conditions, zero contract hours, looming privatisation of our water system and the almost certain long term privatisation of all state services once the undemocratic EU-US TTIP agreement is signed. At the same time suicide is at an all time high and mental illness is a major issue.

We must not forget the massive bailout of the banks, foreign bond holders, developers and generally members of the 1% and how we have transferred huge private debt onto the banks of the public and all this time not a hint of justice served. Forgotten too has been the handing over for free of Corrib gas field to Shell who will not have to pay any royalties to Ireland. How this all happened is documented through a series of clearly treasonous actions by our politicians over a number of years to steadily reduce the royalties to nothing up to recently.

The soul of Ireland is being sold off. It is undemocratic and we are becoming the defenceless prey of multi-national corporations and our successive government and main political parties have facilitated this. British colonalism has been replaced by corporate colonalism and is driving not just Ireland into a form of neo corporate fuedalism of a modern form of debt slaves. It is fitting really that it has all come to a head at the 100th anniversary because the effects of all this has been built on the backs of years many corrupt deals, practices and politics.

What is really strange is that today we are told the country can't afford this and that and yet when the country was a heck of a lot poorer than it is now, we managed to electrify the country, rollout the telephone system nationwide and build 10s of 1000s of social houses for years on end.

This leads to the question then of what is there to celebrate? Perhaps it is to celebrate that we actually had people who were willing to sacrifice their lives for the general good and who can still inspire us. Despite all the corruption, and the selfish and ideological beliefs of certain groups, institutions and others working against the people, a lot has been achieved and importantly we have hung onto our culture, particularly of music, literature and the arts but if we want to get anywhere close to the ideals of the proclamation which amounts to controlling our own destiny for the benefit of the people, then it is the people themselves who have to force the change and make it happen just like the men of 1916 got fed up waiting for the British and decided to speed up things.

POBLACHT NA hÉIREANN
THE PROVISIONAL GOVERNMENT
OF THE
IRISH REPUBLIC
TO THE PEOPLE OF IRELAND

IRISHMEN AND IRISHWOMEN: In the name of God and of the dead generations from which she receives her old tradition of nationhood, Ireland, through us, summons her children to her flag and strikes for her freedom.

Having organised and trained her manhood through her secret revolutionary organisation, the Irish Republican Brotherhood, and through her open military organisations, the Irish Volunteers and the Irish Citizen Army, having patiently perfected her discipline, having resolutely waited for the right moment to reveal itself, she now seizes that moment, and supported by her exiled children in America and by gallant allies in Europe, but relying in the first on her own strength, she strikes in full confidence of victory.

We declare the right of the people of Ireland to the ownership of Ireland and to the unfettered control of Irish destinies, to be sovereign and indefeasible. The long usurpation of that right by a foreign people and government has not extinguished the right, nor can it ever be extinguished except by the destruction of the Irish people. In every generation the Irish people have asserted their right to national freedom and sovereignty; six times during the past three hundred years they have asserted it in arms. Standing on that fundamental right and again asserting it in arms in the face of the world, we hereby proclaim the Irish Republic as a Sovereign Independent State, and we pledge our lives and the lives of our comrades in arms to the cause of its freedom, of its welfare, and of its exaltation among the nations.

The Irish Republic is entitled to, and hereby claims, the allegiance of every Irishman and Irishwoman. The Republic guarantees religious and civil liberty, equal rights and equal opportunities to all its citizens, and declares its resolve to pursue the happiness and prosperity of the whole nation and of all its parts, cherishing all of the children of the nation equally, and oblivious of the differences carefully fostered by an alien Government, which have divided a minority from the majority in the past.

Until our arms have brought the opportune moment for the establishment of a permanent National Government, representative of the whole people of Ireland and elected by the suffrages of all her men and women, the Provisional Government, hereby constituted, will administer the civil and military affairs of the Republic in trust for the people.

We place the cause of the Irish Republic under the protection of the Most High God, Whose blessing we invoke upon our arms, and we pray that no one who serves that cause will dishonour it by cowardice, inhumanity, or rapine. In this supreme hour the Irish nation must, by its valour and discipline, and by the readiness of its children to sacrifice themselves for the common good, prove itself worthy of the august destiny to which it is called.

Signed on behalf of the Provisional Government:

THOMAS J. CLARKE
SEAN Mac DIARMADA THOMAS MacDONAGH
P. H. PEARSE EAMONN CEANNT
JAMES CONNOLLY JOSEPH PLUNKETT


T - Wed Feb 24, 2016 18:26
Ask candidates about TTIP agreement. It is a corporate agreement which will lead to mass privatisation and gutting of our social and environmental protections
The election cycle has come around yet again it is time to take a look at some of the issues being discussed and more importantly those not discussed and have a quick look at the economy.

For this election there are more independents going up than ever before, although people should be warned that a certain fraction of them are closet FFers and FGers so if it is change you are looking for, they may not be the candidates to vote for. Sometimes people seemed to assume Independents tend to be more to the Left. There is no inherent reason this should be the case and statistically one would expect them to evenly spread to the Left and Right. So if voting for an Independent then be sure you have checked what they really stand for and their previous record if any.
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Parties for a Left Dail

The election cycle has come around yet again it is time to take a look at some of the issues being discussed and more importantly those not discussed and have a quick look at the economy.

For this election there are more independents going up than ever before, although people should be warned that a certain fraction of them are closet FFers and FGers so if it is change you are looking for, they may not be the candidates to vote for. Sometimes people seemed to assume Independents tend to be more to the Left. There is no inherent reason this should be the case and statistically one would expect them to evenly spread to the Left and Right. So if voting for an Independent then be sure you have checked what they really stand for and their previous record if any.

Related Links: TTIP is a full frontal assault on democracy | Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Signed in New Zealand amid Mass Protests | Co. Clare TTIP Free Zone! | Over 2 million People sign European Citizens? Initiative against EU-US TTIP trade deal | Galway meeting highlights the insidious agenda of TTIP | Lacking Trasparency: The Transatlantic Trade And Investment Partnership (TTIP) | Wikileaks Publishes Secret Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) | connolly group TTIP video | Investor-State Attacks: Empowering Foreign Corporations to Bypass our Courts, Challenge Basic Protections | Blog of ISDS Case Summaries | Top 10 Most Pernicious Investor-State Dispute Settlement Lawsuits | Sean Kelly (FG) MEP has betrayed his responsibility to defend the interests of the Irish people - Liadh Ní Riada MEP
Party Manifestos: Green Party Manifesto | Labour Manifesto | FG Manifesto | FF Manifesto | SF Manifesto | People Before Profit -see Policies | Anti Austerity Alliance Manifesto | Workers Party Manifesto | Direct Democracy Manifesto | Social Democrats Manifesto | ReNua Manifesto | Independent Alliance
Party Manifestos: ElectionsIreland.org: For list of candidates in your constituency.

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TTIP is the greatest single threat to our
democracy. Both FG and FF support it.
It is a EU-US wide corporate power grab.
Find out more before you vote !!

Probably the most important thing looming over this country and all of Europe too is the secret negotiations on the EU-US TTIP treaty. It is by far the most undemocratic power grab ever seen and yet none of the mainstream parties are talking about it. It will set up corporate courts allowing corporations to sue States presided by corporate lawyers and held in secret with no right of appeal. The decisions will be binding and will overrule national law. It will allow corporations to force the privatisation of water, resources, health, education and anything else. It will be used to attack workers right, like sick pay, benefits like health and pension and reduce and eventually eliminate holidays by forcing an 'equalisation' of standards. This means we could end up with the same working conditions as people in Vietnam or Mexico who are signatories to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TTP) agreement which if TTIIP is passed with be cross linked to it. Fine Gael (FG)and Fianna Fail (FF) are strongly in favour of TTIP and these ISDS courts. If you value your freedom, do not vote FG or FF!

Fine Gael's betrayal of the Irish People by their support for TTIP and ISDS

A statement from Deirdre Clune's (FG) website:

MEPs Seán Kelly, Mairead McGuinness, Brian Hayes and Deirdre Clune support the negotiations between the EU and US which aim to establish a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

From MEP Seán Kelly FG Press Release 6th May 2015 showing that Kelly is either clueless or is a complete corporate shrill who has absolutely no regards for the people of this country.

MEP Seán Kelly has welcomed today's announcement by the EU's Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström who has called for the establishment of an International Court dealing with investor dispute [ISDS] cases in the context of TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) between the EU and US....

And this has to be the most dishonest statement ever made:

...."The establishment of the [ISDS] Court in Ireland would also bring about new, high quality jobs and I will work hard to promote our country as the best place for such an institution..."

FF Support TTIP too but pretend to have some doubts but ideologically they are completely for it.

From Séamus Kirk (Louth, Fianna Fail) | Oireachtas Jan 21st 2016:

I am pleased to have an opportunity to contribute briefly to this most important debate. The Fianna Fáil Party supports the principles of the TTIP......

The FF strategy then would be to raise some objections but still let it through. They would have no hope of getting any changes and the party whip would lash them all into line anyhow. It's just a way of covering themselves.

Across the country there are 40 constituencies down from 43 in 2011 with some changes in constituency boundaries. There are 13 3-seaters, 16 4-seaters and 11 5-seater constituencies . The 3 seaters tend to favour the larger parties because you need 33% of the vote whereas for a 5-seater you only need 20%. So for example a party with 10% or even 15% of the national vote might never get a seat if they were all 3-seaters. So you can end up with a situation for all of the smaller parties, the number of seats they get is, in percentage terms of seats, less than their vote while for the larger parties they can and often do have more seats in percentage terms than their vote nationally.

The number of Dail seats up for grabs this election is down from 166 to 158 seats. The breakdown of candidates by party or alliance attempting to get in are:

People Before Profit (PBP) 18
Anti Austerity Alliance (AAA) 13
Labour 36
Sinn Fein 50
Green Party 40
Social Democrats (SD) 14
The Workers Party (WP) 5
Fine Gael (FG) 89
Fianna Fail (FF) 71
ReNua 26
FisNua 2
Direct Democracy Ireland (DDI) 18
Independent Alliance 20
Independents 140

Despite what either FG or FF are saying, if they need the numbers FF and FG will go into coalition. And the reason is simple, they are the two main capitalist parties, their policies differ very little and they are completely subservient to corporate power, influence and it's dictates. Currently FF are running a fairly populist strategy, appearing to have shifted to the Left slightly but this is change is very shallow and there would be no actual commitment to following a policy of running the country for the benefit of the people. Anyone who thinks Fianna Fail have changed just because they have got rid of most of the old crowd and have a whole new bunch of fresh faces are forgetting that it is the policies of the party and what it stands for determines what they do and the party whip is there to enforce the core values of running the economy for the capitalist elite. The party whip has been used extensively and will continue to be to basically whip TDs into line. It is a form of party dictatorship and acts to nullify what the mandate to candidates from the people. FG are the same in this regards but even more so obedient to the interests of the wealthy elite. In some ways the rising popularity of Independents who are not under the control of a party whip reflects this concern amongst the people.

As for the election promises from any of the status quo parties (FF, FG & Lab), one should completely ignore what they are saying because they will either flat out do the opposite or there is a catch. FG are saying they will get rid of the USC but are shy about saying they will increase PRSI and other taxes instead.

As we can see from the last 4 years, Labour were a sellout. They have done the same numerous times over the past four decades, each time they have suffered massively at the polls and it takes years to build up their support only to do it again.

Sinn Fein, having not being in power yet in the South remain a promising prospect for many SF voters. However it would be worth examining how they were forced to go along with austerity in the North. So this does not bode well although perhaps they would still be better than either FF or FG assuming for a moment they became the party with the largest share of the vote even though it is unlikely but there is still an outside chance they could end up in coalition. Given the year in it and the huge positive role Gerry Adams had in the peace process, it would be fitting if he was Taoiseach just in time for Easter 2016.

All that can be said of ReNua is that they appear to be very right wing at their core once you look at the heart of their policies which is the ridiculous flat tax proposal of 23% across the board. They probably belong in the libertarian right wing end of the spectrum where the Progressive or should that be Regressive Democrats used to live.

The Green Party are too small in terms of percentage of national vote to have any major influence. Their main problem is that they tend to promote some small green initiatives with little to say on the big issues of economy or social policies. Since the shift of the party to the Right in the last decade signalled quite well with the departure of Patrica McKenna, they have completely sold out to corporate/free market thinking and are hostages to it. During the Bin Tax campaign a decade ago, they foolishly were on the side of bin charges thinking it was about polluters pays when they completely failed to push for a tax on excessive packaging which is where the chain of waste really starts. With the recent announcement that we will have to pay for getting rid of recyclable waste which is likely to cause a huge drop in recycling and the diversion of the same waste to the massive incinerator now under construction in Ringsend Dublin, it just shows how hollow and naive their strategy was. They were completely duped. You would expect the Greens to be constantly driving home how the structure of our economy is the problem in terms of sustainability but they only talk of tweaking around the edges. Never anything radical that challenges the status quo. And any discussion of the economy that asks for change would need to address social and justice issues, but again this Left thought process has long vacated the party.

Direct Democracy Ireland don't seem to have got much attention or support they have interesting things to say in their manifesto and most importantly are against TTIP and other corporate influences like the push for water privatisation. Also good on the environment and our civic rights. In terms of the political spectrum they are more to the middle as the candidates themselves are quite diverse. If there is no actual Left candidate in your area then they're strongly worth considering.

The Workers Party who were at their height in the late 1980s then suffered the split to Democratic Left which long since merged with Labour. In recent years the party has been reviving slowly and also have their LookLeft magazine. They are have good Left policies on the important issues of banking, water, housing, health, education and the environment where in the latter they strong oppose Fracking which wrecks the environment. They are rightly against TTIP seeing it for what it is. However they have only 5 candidates so need all the support they can and if they got 1 or 2 TDs would help build up the Left block.

The Social Democrats were propelled into the limelight with Catherine Murphy's defense of the citizens against the antics of Denis Oligarch Tax Exile O'Brien. Stephen Donnelly has been doing well and seems to really understand finance and banking and would be a welcome match against bankers and their elk. The party has the haven for a few of the candidates who fled Labour once they started going against their own ideals. There is a good mix in this new group and would definitely make a change. They are against TTIP and Water charges.

People Before Profit (PBP) and the Anti Austerity Alliance (AAA) both are strong on Left policies being both against Water charges, both oppose TTIP, strong on housing and health. On the environment they oppose Fracking. At this point PBP are probably the bigger grouping of the two, fielding more candidates. In the Dail Richard Boyd Barret has had a good track record and among many things successfully via campaign opposed the sell-off of our forests to vulture funds -at least for now.

Both PBB and AA have formed a voting pact and it will be interesting to see how many seats they do get. They form the core of the real Left in Ireland and have become more visible since the collapse of the economic bubble. It is probably too much to ask or hope that they do extremely well and in conjunction with the Social Democrats and Sinn Fein form a government along with various independents like Clare Daly and Mick Wallace. Supposing this did actually happen then the question becomes would they deliver and stick to their policies and would the range of capitalist forces put pressure on them. If such a coalition were to ever get into power you could safely bet the O'Brien media via its key mouthpiece the Independent relentlessly attack it. This would be joined by various think tanks and neo-liberal economic lobbies, the billion oligarchs, bankers, bondholders, bailed out developers, the legal profession, and many others from the top 10% to 15% of the population who own the vast majority of the wealth and control the resources to shape the economy and mould public opinion.

It is worth reminding ourselves the legacy of the FG/Lab government and of FF before them and some of the changes since then.

  • Introduction of the USC Tax.
  • Increase in VAT
  • Home Tax / Property Tax
  • Water Charges with Privatisation to go through if and when EU-USA TTIP agreement is signed. FG & FF are in favour of TTIP
  • Green / Recycling waste to be charged from June 2016 onwards. Will destroy recycling and divert waste to new incinerator.
  • Doubling the number of homeless
  • Bailout of bankers and developers with no bankers jailed
  • Massive increase in property rents leading to biggest homeless crisis since foundation of the State.
  • Transfer of bailed out NAMA properties to foreign vulture funds that are now screwing the population for rent. This is a new form of landlordism in neo-liberal corporate form. Very few residential properties sold to the public. Instead most sold at low prices to hedge funds.
  • 17,000 house reprocessed waiting in the courts.
  • FG & Lab changed the Conveyance Act which change the law allowing bankers to massively increase evictions.
  • At least 250,000 people have emigrated since 2009
  • Huge spike in unemployment although it has reduced but figures are massaged.
  • Increase in wealth for the top 1%, 5% and 10%. More millionaires in Ireland than before
  • Decrease in wealth by loss of earnings and social benefits to the bottom half.
  • Big decreases in child benefits and back-to-school grants
  • Increase in the 'Administration fee' for third level college students to €3,000 per year
  • Cuts to public transport.
  • Massive cuts to disability services people and their carer's.
  • Privatisation of community services
  • Massive cuts to single parents
  • Continuation of scheme to let large corporations pay below the 12% corporation tax with the use of the "Idea Box" introduced by Michael Noonan. This retains our place as Banana republic.
  • And many more.....

FG have decided they are going to get back into power by sticking to the mantra of a recovery. There is a recovery alright and it is for corporate and banking profits and for probably the top 20 to 25% of the population. It has barely trickled down to the rest and once outside Dublin there is now much evidence. In fact for any gains people might have made, it has been soaked up through increased rents. Much of the statistics in the national figures are a bit cooked and distorted. For instance last year NAMA decided to sell off huge tranches of their property portfolios to vulture funds who bought up thousands of commercial and residential units and have either resold them for a tidy profit or are renting them at exorbitant rates. The word on the street is that the property rental market is now being controlled by these large real-estate owners and they are forcing prices up. Ireland has already headed back to a modern day form of neo feudalism where people cannot afford property and are at the mercy of property owners.

A couple trying to buy a home today are not competing against people like themselves in the so called 'free' market. They are competing against huge financial firms with hundreds of millions to billions of Euro behind them and what's more these firms have all sorts of tricks for tax write offs on their own loans and expenses and no doubt pay little if any tax. What has happened in the last 8 years is that you the tax payer have subsidized via NAMA the transfer of vast amounts of property to faceless capitalist enterprises who are now preying on large swathes of the population many of whom are permanently trapped renting as they have zero chance of ever saving enough to get out of it. For that you can thank FF, FG and Labour.

So where is it all going next? By far the biggest elephant in the room is the Transatlantic Trade in Partnership (TTIP) agreement between the EU-USA. It is a supposed to be a so called free trade agreement but is nothing of the sort. It is by far and away the most undemocratic corporate power grab ever witnessed and it is no exaggeration to say it literally threatens to roll back all the social, environmental and legal gains of the past 100 years are more.

None of the status quo parties talk much about it and when they do they imply it is just about jobs and economic growth and are very much for it. The talks for TTIP have been going on for a few years and all the discussions are in secret and the contents of the agreement although WikiLeaks revealed some of it and it wasn't pretty. It is a corporate wish list and essentially the idea is reduce standards, tariffs and social, economic, legal and environmental protections to that of the lowest player. The TTIP agreement will join up with a version for the Pacific region countries called TPP and another called for CETA for Canada. It means if some country has really lax standards for workers rights or environmental protection, TTIP can say it's uncompetitive to have the stronger ones and enforce the lowest standard. It gets worse though because a central plank of TTIP is something called Investor State Dispute Mechanism ISDS which is a corporate court, presided by corporate lawyers and it is proceedings are secret and, there is no recourse for appeal, ordinary people cannot use the court only corporations and it's finding are legally binding on all TTIP members and above the law of all countries. In others the Supreme court cannot even challenge it, let alone reverse or affect any of its' decisions. Oh and corporations can take member states to these courts to sue them for things like environmental or social protection laws that interfere with corporate profits.

What most people do not know is that ISDS has already been introduced or should I say sneaked in undemocratically into some countries and there have been around 500 cases. In every case the corporations won and in many of them this result hundreds of millions and billions have been handed over from cash strapped states to corporate coffers.

In the UK, groups who got access to the secret text of TTIP and analyzed it have come to the conclusion that TTIP would result in the end of the National Health Service (NHS) and lead to complete privatisation. The same would happen throughout all other spheres such as education. And the exact same would happen here. This is why FG and FF are reluctant to hold a referendum over keeping Irish water as a national resource in the public domain yet they say they will not privatise it. The reason is that ISDS through the TTIP agreement will take the decision out of their hands and force it's privatisation. They know that. Actually FG are such a sellout and really should be tried for treason because they actually want to have the ISDS courts in Ireland. Our sovereignty would be zero!

The take home message then is: Ask any and all of your candidates about TTIP and see if they know anything, what their position is and see what lies they tell you. Don't vote for FF or FG because they strongly support TTIP.

How ISDS has already been used to challenge legislation on land and water contamination, nuclear power, fracking and public health

A number of existing bi-lateral agreements already have ISDS in them. TPP (Pacific region) and the EU-US TTIP contain ISDS. These examples only cover up to 2013. Its got worse.

Vattenfall vs Germany: In 2009, Swedish energy company Vattenfall started an ISDS procedure against Germany, based on the Energy Charter Treaty, an international agreement protecting investments in the energy sector. Vattenfall had engaged in the construction of a coal fired power plant in Hamburg-Moorburg, located on the Elbe river. When Hamburg?s Environmental Authority issued a licence imposing quality standards for the waste waters released by the power plant, Vattenfall claimed that those standards made the investment project unviable. Using ISDS provisions, the company asked Germany for compensation totalling ?1.4 billion. Vattenfall and the city of Hamburg eventually settled the case with an agreement that foresaw the issuing of a ?modified water use permit?, which lowered the environmental requirements previously set by the Hamburg Environmental Authority.

Vattenfall vs Germany II: In May 2012, Vattenfall initiated a second international arbitration under the Energy Charter Treaty, this time asking for financial compensation with respect to Germany?s decision to immediately close its oldest nuclear power plants and gradually shut down the remaining ones by 2022. This decision was taken in response to public concerns about the health and environmental risks of nuclear energy that followed the Fukushima accident in Japan. According to press sources, the claim for compensation by Vattenfall could amount up to ?3.7 billion.

Lone Pine vs Canada: Based on provisions of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) between the US, Canada and Mexico, US company Lone Pine Resources Inc. is asking for financial compensation from Canada following Québec?s introduction of a moratorium on fracking. The moratorium introduced in May 2013 responded to concerns about the environmental and health risks posed by the new extraction method. The claim by Lone Pine amounts up to US$ 250 million (?191 millions). The case is still pending.

Chevron vs Ecuador: After years of litigation in Ecuador?s national courts, Ecuador?s indigenous people and farmers won a historic victory over Chevron (the court ruling requested that Chevron pay back US$18 billion to clean up the contamination of land and water that resulted from its operations). The company then turned to the investor-state mechanism under the US-Ecuador Bilateral Investment Treaty to overturn the national judgement and evade compliance. That arbitration tribunal ordered the President of Ecuador to block enforcement of the previous court orders. Subsequent rulings repeated this demand, arguing that Ecuador had violated the treaty further by allowing plaintiffs to try to seize Chevron?s assets through courts in Argentina, Brazil and Canada. These rulings set a dangerous precedent, allowing corporations to challenge the functions of a country?s domestic court system and the decisions of its duly-appointed judges ? and it could violate Ecuador?s constitutional separation of powers.

Occidental vs Ecuador: Ecuador terminated the contract of an oil concession with Occidental after Occidental sold 40% of its production right to another company without complying with its obligation to seek governmental approval for doing so, as specified in the concession contract. Occidental then challenged the decision, again under the ISDS provisions in the US-Ecuador Bilateral Investment Treaty. This resulted in the highest compensation ever awarded to an investor (US$1.77 billion), and demonstrates the vast power that tribunals wield.

Pacific Rim Mining Corp vs El Salvador: After failing to complete the environmental protection steps required to obtain a mining permit in El Salvador?s main watershed region, Canadian gold mining company Pacific Rim Mining Corp. reincorporated a Cayman island subsidiary in Nevada and then filed an investor-state suit against El Salvador under the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA). The company is now claiming several hundred million dollars in compensation for its =lost profits?, challenging El Salvador?s national mining laws. As an imminent jurisdictional ruling drags out, violence and threats against local environmentalists in the region where Pacific Rim wants to run a cyanide-leach gold mine continue.

Philip Morris vs Uruguay: After having transferred its international headquarters from the US to Switzerland for legal reasons, tobacco giant Philip Morris initiated a case against Uruguay in 2010 under the Switzerland- Uruguay bilateral investment treaty. In spite of the fact that this treaty stipulates that it shall not be used to challenge public health measures, Philip Morris has used the agreement?s ISDS to challenge several provisions of the recent Uruguayan tobacco regulations. The company has questioned health warning requirements for tobacco packages (including the graphic and size requirements) as well as the provision that prohibits marketing more than one tobacco product under each brand. While the case is still pending, it is a good example of the use of investment rules and ISDS as part of a strategic drive to oppose restrictions on tobacco marketing.

Philip Morris vs Australia: In 2011, Philip Morris Asia used the ISDS mechanism in the bilateral investment treaty between Australia and Hong Kong to challenge Australia?s newly introduced tobacco regulation (the Tobacco Plain Packaging Act 2011). The tobacco giant has claimed that the new legislation deprives it of the real value of its investments in Australia and that Australia is treating them in an unfair and inequitable way. Philip Morris has demanded that Australia be ordered to suspend the enforcement of the plain packaging legislation and provide the company with billions of dollars of financial compensations for the losses incurred. The case, which is still pending, could have detrimental impacts on regulatory efforts to curb the lethal effects of smoking well beyond Australia. For example, the EU, which is cur

TTIP and ISDS will permanently force privatisation of the National Health System (NHS) in UK. Same could happen here.

Read this below carefuly because what is it saying is US 'Health and Social Care Act' effectively through TTIP will mean it is binding on all members and therefore it will force the complete and permanent privatisation of the Irish health system. FF & FG strongly support TTIP! In this article from the NewStatesMan Benedict Cooper says:
A key part of the TTIP is 'harmonisation' between EU and US regulation, especially for regulation in the process of being formulated. In Britain, the coalition government?s Health and Social Care Act has been prepared in the same vein ? to 'harmonise' the UK with the US health system.

This will open the floodgates for private healthcare providers that have made dizzying levels of profits from healthcare in the United States, while lobbying furiously against any attempts by President Obama to provide free care for people living in poverty. With the help of the Conservative government and soon the EU, these companies will soon be let loose, freed to do the same in Britain.

Linda Kaucher is a leading expert on trade agreements. She has written and spoken extensively on the topic, most recently in an article in Chartist. In it, she lays out a disturbing truth about what is going on behind the scenes in Brussels, arguing that while on the surface the EU is a bastion of protections and rights, its true agenda is far more tenebrous.

It is, she says, to "permanently fix corporate-driven neo-liberalism, within the EU and internationally, via trade agreements. Any reassertion of democracy within the EU structure or member states is prevented by legally binding international trade law." She also states that the agenda is "driven and effectively controlled by transnational corporations, especially transnational financial services corporations."

How does this affect the NHS? It?s painfully simple. The agreement will provide a legal heavy hand to the corporations seeking to grind down the health service. It will act as a Transatlantic bridge between the Health and Social Care Act in the UK, which forces the NHS to compete for contracts, and the private companies in the US eager to take it on for their own gain.

Kaucher says: "[The Health and Social Care Act] effectively enforces competitive tendering, and thus privatisation and liberalisation i.e. opening to transnational bidders - a shift to US-style profit-prioritised health provision."

The TTIP ensures that the Health and Social Care Act has influence beyond UK borders. It gives the act international legal backing and sets the whole shift to privatisation in stone because once it is made law, it will be irreversible. Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) laws, fundamentals of the agreement, allow corporations legal protection for their profits regardless of patient care performance, with the power to sue any public sector organisation or government that threatens their interest.

Once these ISDS tools are in place, lucrative contracts will be underwritten, even where a private provider is failing patients and the CCG wants a contract cancelled. In this case, the provider will be able to sue a CCG for future loss of earnings, thanks to the agreement, causing the loss of vast sums of taxpayer money on legal and administrative costs.

Even more worrying is that, once the TTIP is enacted, repealing the Health and Social Care Act in the UK will become almost impossible. As Kaucher explains: "Even if outcomes of the NHS changes are disastrous, ISDS will effectively disallow any attempts by any future UK government to reverse the changes."

Full text available at New States Man at: http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/2013/12/how-eu-making-nhs-privatisation-...

There are other agreements which will all interlock. The main two are CETA and TTP. TTP is The Trans-Pacific Partnership and the signatories are Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, United States and Vietnam.

CETA is The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between Canada and the European Union and can be thought of as a fail safe option if they can't get TTIP through. CETA is to be signed this year and should also be stopped.

T - Tue Feb 02, 2016 23:11
Alternative Analysis and Conclusions to the Report of the Joint Oireachtas Committee of Inquiry into the Banking Crisis By Joe Higgins TD
Forget the official Banking Inquiry report because Joe Higgins has written a much more better one and it asks the rights questions and gets to the heart of the matter by putting the whole saga in its proper context -something which the official report couldn't thing as it would mean asking fundamental questions. Indeed the inquriy itself and official report have been steeped in controversary with allegations of coverup because of numerous reports of key officials and whistleblowers in the regulator office and central bank were ignored and their evidence never making into the inquiry. The whistleblower made a formal complaint under the Protected Disclosures Act and (Village Magazine) "outlining a range of detailed concerns about how the Central Bank and some of its legal representatives were omitting huge swathes of vital documents, redacting many of the most crucial pieces of evidence, and delaying release of vital material until it was too late to use them in briefings for public hearings ? in at least one case handing them over 24 hours before a scheduled interview about them."
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Trajectory of Irish Banks

Forget the official Banking Inquiry report because Joe Higgins has written a much more better one and it asks the rights questions and gets to the heart of the matter by putting the whole saga in its proper context -something which the official report couldn't thing as it would mean asking fundamental questions. Indeed the inquriy itself and official report have been steeped in controversary with allegations of coverup because of numerous reports of key officials and whistleblowers in the regulator office and central bank were ignored and their evidence never making into the inquiry. The whistleblower made a formal complaint under the Protected Disclosures Act and (Village Magazine) "outlining a range of detailed concerns about how the Central Bank and some of its legal representatives were omitting huge swathes of vital documents, redacting many of the most crucial pieces of evidence, and delaying release of vital material until it was too late to use them in briefings for public hearings ? in at least one case handing them over 24 hours before a scheduled interview about them."

Related Links: Joe Higgin's Banking Inquiry Report - Jan 2016 | VillageMagazine: Cover-up upon cover-up. Banking Inquiry to be blown apart | Joe Higgins website | Indy Links: The Fake Banking Enquiry. More Cynical Theatre For The Downtrodden Irish Masses? | Inside the Anglo Irish - The secret tapes | Audio from Conor McCabe on Banker and Rancher Interests in the Modern Irish Economy


There was also reports of PR firms hired to coach officials on how to avoid difficult and probing questions and phrase answers for damage limitation. It seems there were also key legal firms guiding the whole process. The Village magazine (http://www.villagemagazine.ie/) last month reported on much of this.

Nevertheless, coverup aside and if there was to be at least one major article you wanted to read about the property bubble and banking crash in order to truly understand the dynamics and forces at work, then this report would be the one to read whether you are Left leaning or not.

Joe Higgins who was on Oireachtas Banking Inquriy Committee, released his report on Weds 27th Jan and at 146 pages long it is a huge amount of work and it is clear this has been a very important topic to Deputy Higgins and goes to the core of what Joe sees wrong with the capitalist system.

The first 10 pages of the report consists of basically a summary of facts and findings of the inquiry itself and Joe Higgins analysis of what happened and why. However the meat of the report is contained in the 6 chapters.

Introduction ?
Chapter 1 ? The Irish bubble in a Global Context
Chapter 2 ? The Bubble and the Banks
Chapter 3 ? The Relationships beneath the Bubble
Chapter 4 ? The ?Soft Landing? to the Crash
Chapter 5 ? The Slow Road to the Guarantee
Chapter 6 ? After the Guarantee: the Cost of the Crisis

Here are some of the headings in a few bullet points from the summary of JH's Report


  • Extreme Profiteering driven by corporate greed drove the property bubble and caused the crash
  • Bubble Governments of Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, Tánaiste Mary Harney, Finance Ministers McCreevy & Cowen served the interests of bankers/developers Not those of ordinary people
  • Enda Kenny, Fine Gael Leader, was a silent non Opposition
  • Dismal failure of Central Bank/Financial Regulator rooted in deregulation mindset of Fianna Fail/PD Government; Regulator must take full measure of responsibility but political establishment must not be allowed to scapegoat
  • Government supposed to put interest of ordinary citizens first but FF/PD Government betrayed that trust to serve interest of bankers/speculators
  • The Reckless Behaviour that inflated the bubble and caused the crash should have been criminalised
  • Politicians, Bankers, Bondholders and Developers responsible for the bubble should have been facing jail instead of golden pensions:
  • Banking & Home Provision should not be subject to exploitation and profiteering but should be public services
  • The soft landing alibi - a big lie
  • Significant sections of the Media not only glamourised and cheerled the bubble but were actors in it


And rather than paraphrase the report here are some important extracts.

Witness after witness at the Banking Inquiry, including bankers and developers themselves, attested to the kind of cut throat competition between them for profit that drove the reckless lending practices that inflated the property/banking bubble and led to the disastrous economic crash. Dermot Gleeson, the Chairman of AIB from 2003 to 2009 testified as to how his bank aped the methods of Anglo Irish Bank which was lending recklessly to developers and raking in major profits. He maintained that they had a problem of: Anglo being held up to us as an exemplar?Commentators in Ireland and abroad repeatedly said,
?Anglo is the best bank. Why can?t you be more like Anglo?? It was determined by one international consultancy to be the best bank of its size in the world. It was the darling not just of the Irish but of European stock exchanges generally?

Ethna Tinney, who was an independent Non-Executive Director of EBS 2000-2007, told the Inquiry:
The belief that there were substantial profits to be made for the society from these developments led us to emulate our peers?There was a sort of feeding frenzy as the banks clambered over one another to get a piece of the action, especially as new foreign banks had entered the market as competitors?There was a sense that we were becoming a minnow as INBS expanded its lending and started to post profits that were up to five times the profits we were posting.

Ms Tinney was highly critical of practices such as securitisation referring to herself having an image of it ?as a shark eating its own entrails? She further claimed that ?The banks have absolutely no sense of guilt about what they have done. And if left unchecked, they are going to do it all over again.?

The extreme drive for profits was encapsulated in the figures given to the Inquiry whereby the six banks eventually covered by the Guarantee, increased lending exponentially from ?120 billion in 2000 to almost ?400 billion by 2007, raked in ?25 billion in profits from 2002 to 2008 and paid those banks Chief Executives an astounding total of ?71 million in salaries and bonuses. This was then adversely mirrored in the disastrous ?65 billion these banks lost in the crash.

The political leaders of the Fianna Fail/ Progressive Democrat Government 1997 -2007 relentlessly pushed the deregulation in financial services that resulted in this competitive race to the bottom in banking standards as major banks vied for profits. Taoiseach Bertie Ahern told an Irish Banking Federation lunch in March 2006; ?the Government is very conscious of its role in assisting you to maintain a healthy bottom line . . .there is a need to be more balanced and less negative about the essential services you provide.?

In March 2007, Mr Ahern was positively touting Ireland as a deregulated state for bankers when he told a breakfast meeting of the Financial Services Industry in New York, ?Our commitment to supporting foreign direct investment is absolute. Ireland is very lightly regulated compared with most of our European colleagues.?

Brian Cowen who became Finance Minister in 2004, was as enthusiastic as his Leader. In a speech to the Institute of Bankers in Ireland annual dinner on 2 November 2006, he said:
But, in my view it is the innovation coming from within the sector which is the most remarkable driver of change. Increasingly sophisticated derivative products seem to be arriving daily as a sector seeks to become ever more professional in the way it manages and hedges its risks and chases after that elusive higher yield.

Billionaire Warren Buffet described the same derivative products as ?time bombs? and ?weapons of mass destruction.

Brian Cowen continued in what can only be described as an embarrassingly obsequious tone:
Of course, not all of these brave new initiatives are successful. It?s a hard game, but there?s all to play for. Of course, that?s easy for me to say because you are players on the field and I?m just an ardent supporter on the sidelines. I will continue to wear your colours. Mr Cowen?s predecessor, Charlie McCreevy, who was Finance Minister from 1997 to 2004 agreed at the Inquiry that he was a ?champion of the free capitalist markets?. He told the Financial Regulator in 2005 (now as EU Commissioner): Don?t try to protect everyone from every possible accident. . . .many of us in this room . . . were part of the ?unregulated generation? ? the generation that has produced some of the best risk takers, problem solvers and inventors.

The biggest political party in opposition in the Dail during the bubble was Fine Gael. At his appearance at the Inquiry, Enda Kenny, Fine Gael Leader from 2002, wasn?t in a position to point to a single instance where he had demanded restrictions or regulation on the profiteering that was rampant in the property market.


The Reckless Behaviour that inflated the bubble and caused the crash should have been criminalised
Politicians, Bankers, Bondholders and Developers responsible for the bubble should have been facing jail instead of golden pensions

It is often bemoaned that a miniscule number of former bankers - and no developers - have been charged with any crimes arising out of the blowing up of a gargantuan bubble of property speculation up to 2008 that saw six Irish banks shovelling out massive loans and reaping massive short term profits before an inevitable and catastrophic crash that devastated the lives of countless people in this State.

This is usually put down to a lack of any will among the political, economic and legal establishment to call former bastions of the same establishment to account. While this is undoubtedly true, the much more fundamental reason is that the vast majority of transactions that inflated the bubble over more than ten years, and saw fabulous short term profits for speculators and bankers, were quite legal. It was, and still is, legal to engage in the most outrageous speculation in urban building land. It was quite legal, as Quinlan Private did in 2001, to buy 11 acres of building land in Stillorgan for ?32 million on behalf of a group of rich individuals and, without putting a brick on top of another, to sell it four years later for ?85 million, a speculative gain of ?53 million.

It was perfectly legal to put such speculative profits on the shoulders of young people buying homes and shackle them into mortgages of thirty five or forty years duration with an horrific level of monthly mortgage payments. Because this was how ?the markets? worked and a consistent majority in the legislature politically prostrated before those markets, powerful institutions and individuals were fully within the law in profiteering at will even if this meant that one of the most basic human needs, a modest place to live, was denied to very many and, for others, came at an appalling cost in human terms including the stress of trying to pay for the speculative gains of developers and bankers and beyond them the bondholders and the financiers in the European financial markets, - faceless, unelected and unaccountable to those they exploited.

The actions of the bankers, developers and the bondholders who financed them to inflate the bubble were blatantly anti-social. They caused enormous stress to a generation of young home purchasers during the bubble. They skewed the economy toward parasitic speculation and away from productive investment. As the bubble inevitably crashed they caused traumatic dislocation with savage cuts in public services, massive unemployment, the forcing out of their country of hundreds of thousands of working people.

The actions that caused this massive destruction were largely legal. By any standards they should have been seriously criminal. Had these activities been subject to laws that would have protected the big majority in society, all the central actors in the inflation of the bubble from bankers to developers to financing bondholders and the politicians that facilitated them, would have been facing criminal sanction and imprisonment instead of enjoying gold plated pensions.

As the Public Hearings were broadcast and the wide cast of bubble and crash actors came before the Committee, it was remarked to me again and again by ordinary people who were the victims of their actions, how much it galled to see how utterly immune they were to any legal sanction because the whole system had been legally rigged in their interests.


Banking & Home Provision should not be subject to exploitation and profiteering but should be public services

The disaster of the bubble and crash scream out that critical industries such as banking and the provision of homes should not be the subject of speculation, exploitation and profiteering by private interests. Hundreds of thousands of people are still suffering very severe hardship because that was, and is, the case until now. The horrific current housing and homelessness crises is a direct result. Banking and the provision of homes should be public services run in the interest of the needs of society as a whole.

The soft landing alibi - a big lie

The major excuse given to the Inquiry by developers, regulators, establishment politicians and international agencies for not taking strong action at any stage to stop the madness was that one and all expected a ?soft landing? to the property boom. The implication is that had such an end to the boom occurred, the policies and practices they followed would have been vindicated. That means it would have been fine to gouge a generation of young workers with a fourfold increase in the price of a new home in ten years necessitating them taking out 35 to 40 year mortgages with draconian levels of monthly repayments - all for the basic human right of a modest home.

More fundamentally, however, to believe that all expected a ?soft landing? is to believe a big lie. To believe this, you have to ignore all the past history from all over the world of previous property bubbles and busts, including recent crises in the US, UK and Scandinavia, as well as models used by the industry itself of the property market cycle. An alternative explanation is that bankers and property speculators did know on some level that a crash was inevitable but were so blinded by the huge profits they were making that hardly any of them ?got out on time'. Evidence presented to the Inquiry showed some estate agents were warning their clients off Irish commercial property from 2005, while from 2004 many of the big developers were diversifying outside of Ireland ? which was one reason a third of the loans that ended up in NAMA were for commercial property overseas. Even Anglo made some half-hearted efforts to rein in Irish development lending in 2006.

Meanwhile an elite consensus was constructed around the fairy-tale of a ?soft landing? by property and banking interests and their political supporters, with the eager assistance of a media dependent on property advertising. This encouraged first-time buyers to keep taking out huge mortgages and helped keep the bubble going for bankers and developers until the last possible minute. Dissenters who called the crash were pilloried as unpatriotic ?merchants of doom? ?talking down the economy?. Taoiseach Bertie Ahern even said they ?should go off and commit suicide?.

The Central Bank was less crassly offensive but equally committed to not ?frightening the horses?. Imprisoned by the ?pro-cyclical boom/bust nature of capitalism, all concerned downplayed the crash for fear that taking their heads out of the sand and admitting the truth would cause a loss of ?confidence?, spread ?contagion? and undermine profits. This profoundly undemocratic aspect of the capitalist economic cycle is of course treated as the natural order of things, no more avoidable than the weather. Like ancient peoples prayed for the coming of the rains or the ending of the floods, today we pray the ?confidence fairy? will charm the gods of the markets.

Our Analysis and Conclusions Causes of the Crisis - International context, Chapter 1
  • *A key context in the creation of the massive financial/property bubble in Ireland up to 2007 and subsequent crash was the policy of successive Irish governments in developing the State as an international haven for capital from higher tax and intrusive regulation. This allowed the ballooning of loans from the European financial markets into the Irish banks as they competed with each other in reducing credit control as these funds were passed on for speculative development.
  • *The debate about whether the crisis was primarily home-grown or international in nature is misconceived. The crash resulted from Ireland?s peripheral insertion in the global capitalist system at a time of crisis. Ireland was particularly badly hit because of its over-reliance on Foreign Direct Investment and underdevelopment of the indigenous economy, which led it to deregulate finance to attract in foreign capital and also to over-investment in non-productive areas of the economy i.e. property.

The Property Bubble, the Banks, and the Relationships Beneath the Bubble Chapters 2 & 3
  • * The fundamental basis of the property bubble was that greed for super profits by major landholders, bankers and developers was facilitated by the capitalist ethos underpinning the legislation governing banking, land speculation and construction development. *Private corporations, land speculators and speculators on the financial markets were enabled to put profit maximisation before the needs of the majority in society.
  • *The constant of a right wing majority in Dáil Éireann, ideologically committed to the capitalist market system, before and during the bubble, meant that legislation enacted facilitated private greed at huge cost to social needs.
  • *The crisis was primarily caused by profit-seeking, speculation and profiteering by banks, builders and property developers, both in Ireland and internationally. This led to reckless lending and a giant credit bubble that drove up the cost of development land, construction costs and house prices
  • *Commercial property lending to developers, builders and property investors rather than borrowing by ordinary owner-occupier mortgage holders was what brought down the banks. AIB, BOI & Anglo had combined commercial property loans of ?8.63 billion in 1998. By 2008 the combined total was ?146.7 billion ? an increase of 1,600%
  • *Profit-seeking led to destructive competition between banks as they sought to win market share from each other. Competition led to banks cutting interest rates and making lower margins so that the only way to compensate was to recklessly increase the volume of lending and make riskier loans. All this was exacerbated by the entry of foreign banks into the Irish market whose large overseas businesses meant they could afford to make a loss temporarily in the Irish market to enable them to win market share.
  • *Competitive deregulation within the financial services sector was an aggravating factor. This was pushed by government to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) and boost the profits of domestic banks and Irish capital. The banks themselves progressively cut their lending standards to compete with their rivals.
  • *Lobbying by the financial institutions had a strong influence on deregulation. The banks in general had excessive influence over government and Central Bank/Financial Regulator policy
  • *The dominant neoliberal ideology dictated that the government should not interfere in markets apart from encouraging competition between financial institutions. As the Nyberg Report puts it: ?. . .the paradigm of efficient markets provided the intellectual basis for the assumption that financial markets, left essentially to themselves, would tend to be both stable and efficient.? This led to light touch regulation also referred to a ?principles based? regulation. This really meant ?trusting? the banks to regulate themselves ? all leading to the promotion of even fiercer competition, thereby facilitating the banks? profit-seeking and the growth of a credit bubble.
  • *Ireland?s peripheral status within the European Union was shown by successive government?s subservience to the ECB even when its diktats placed a huge burden on working people.
  • *A small group of capitalists profited from the bubble and caused the crash.
  • *An excess of liquidity ? cash ? on global money markets because of rising wealth inequality fuelled the property bubble and then caused the crash by giving banks the funds with which to recklessly expand their lending in pursuit of higher profits. *Excessive government spending was not a cause of the crisis. Ireland had the lowest rate of public spending as a percentage of GDP in the EU-27 throughout the pre-crisis period.
  • *Property-related tax breaks which were really just tax shelters that incentivised investment in unproductive activity, sucking investment away from economically or socially useful purposes were an important direct factor in the bubble and the crash. Neither the bubble nor the crash would have been as large without them but there would still have been a bubble and a crash, as happened internationally.
  • *Over-reliance on property-related taxes was another factor in the severity of the crash. However, the restructuring of the tax base since has shifted this cost onto workers and the poor, rather than increasing taxes on corporations and the wealthy, which are more ?sustainable? sources of taxes from the perspective of the majority of the population. *The media?s dependence on property advertising, capitalist ownership, neoliberal ideological conformity and shared interests and identification with capitalist interests led it to cheerlead the bubble and to largely ignore signs of the oncoming crash.

Contents of the Report
  • Introduction ?       pages 1-11
  • Chapter 1 ? The Irish bubble in a Global Context       pages 12-39
    • Globalisation
    • The EU?s role in globalisation
    • Financialisation
    • Increasing Inequality
    • Neoliberal ideolog

  • Chapter 2 ? The Bubble and the Banks       pages 40-67
    • Introduction
    • Bill Black?s Recipe: How Banks Make Profits and Bankers Get Rich
    • Grow like Crazy!
    • ?through property lending
    • ?Make Terrible Quality Loans?
    • The Growth of Commercial Property Lending
    • ?especially development lending
    • Use Pathetic Underwriting! Cut costs & credit standard

  • Chapter 3 ? The Relationships beneath the Bubble       pages 68-95
    • The Property Industry: Where did all the money come from and Who was Getting Rich?
    • Land speculation is central to developers? profits
    • The property investment pyramid scheme
    • Boom & Bust: The Capitalist Property Cycle
    • Too Blinded by Profit to See the Bubble
    • The Structural Influence of Elite Relationships
    • Lobbying & Direct Policy Influence
    • The Influence of Banks
    • The Influence of the Property & Construction Sector
    • Negative Impacts of the Bubble on ordinary peopl

  • Chapter 4 ? The ?Soft Landing? to the Crash       pages 96-108
    • The Tipping Point in 2005
    • The authorities ignore the bubble
    • ?Don?t frighten the horses? ? ?Pray to the Confidence Fairy?
    • The Media
    • Late Summer/Autumn 2007: The Crisis Begins

  • Chapter 5 ? The Slow Road to the Guarantee       pages 109-132
    • The state prepares for a crisis
    • August 2007
    • October:
    • November
    • December
    • January 2008
    • February
    • March
    • April-September: The Golden Circle goes into Overdrive
    • September 200

  • Chapter 6 ? After the Guarantee: the Cost of the Crisis       pages 133-146
    • NAMA
    • The Troika Bailout & Not Burning the Bondholders
    • The Cost of the Banking Crisis
    • Austerity
    • Restructuring the tax system to take more from workers and less from capital
    • The Impact of Austerity Cuts and Tax Increases

And From - Chapter 2 ? The Bubble and the Banks

From the late 1990s to the crash, a ?world-beating property bubble?116 was blown up in Ireland based on an enormous expansion of credit, particularly from 2003-2008 (Figures 2.1 & 2.2), and growing inequality of wealth. The one and only motive for this lending growth was profit. According to the Nyberg Report:
High profit growth was the primary strategic focus of the covered banks?Since the potential for high growth (in assets) and resultant profitability in Ireland were to be found primarily in the property market, bank lending became increasingly concentrated there.
Within property lending, it was commercial property lending118 to builders, developers, landowners, commercial landlords and other property investors that caused the banks to fail. By 2008, the banks had given out an incredible ?158bn in commercial property loans119 ? equivalent to Ireland?s entire Gross National Income in 2008120. Traditionally, mortgage lending had been the largest activity for Irish banks but by 2008, commercial property lending had become predominant (Figures 2.3-2.6)121. This was where the vast majority of the banks? losses came from and where the vast majority of the bank bailout went. The banks with the most commercial property loans made the biggest losses and got the biggest bailouts


The full PDF Report is attached at the end of this article or alternatively is also available here:
http://antiausterityalliance.ie/wp-content/uploads/2016...y.pdf

See also Village Magazine for Jan 12th
Cover-up upon cover-up. Banking Inquiry to be blown apart
http://www.villagemagazine.ie/index.php/2016/01/cover-u...er-up

1 of Indymedia - Thu Jan 28, 2016 20:38
March from Liberty Hall to Moore Street - #SaveMooreStreetfromDemolition
#SaveMooreStreetfromDemolition This is an important call to you to take part in this crucial show of support of the 1916 Moore Street Markets Battlefield site, on this Saturday. We are asking people to come in 1916 uniform or clothes, to bear one of the flags of the 1916 Easter Rising, to tell and bring your friends and comrades. #SaveMooreStreet Please share this post.

The march assembles at Liberty Hall at 1pm on Sat 30th and then proceeds to Moore Street.

Government sides with Corporate Creed to wipe out our revolutionary memory for good. Later this year or next they will sign away ALL our sovereign rights via the EU-US TTIP treaty
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#SaveMooreStreetfromDemolition This is an important call to you to take part in this crucial show of support of the 1916 Moore Street Markets Battlefield site, on this Saturday. We are asking people to come in 1916 uniform or clothes, to bear one of the flags of the 1916 Easter Rising, to tell and bring your friends and comrades. #SaveMooreStreet Please share this post.

The march assembles at Liberty Hall at 1pm on Sat 30th and then proceeds to Moore Street.

Related Links: Ministerial Direction. -No Access to Moore Street | Save Moore Street Campaign Facebook | Save Moore Street From Demolition - Twitter | Minister officially refuses to give independent conservation experts access to inspect Moore St. terrace | Moore Street dispute erupts | ?We want the Republic?: Rally to support Occupy Moore Street protesters | Minister's Moore St plan does not protect entire historic 1916 terrace
Previous Indy coverage: Development To Spell The End Of Moore Street Market? -Nov 2007 | James Connolly's Grandson In Fresh Call To Save 16 Moore Street -Aug 2005 | through streets broad & narrow: crying five for 50, and ten for a pound. The end of Moore Street? -May 2005


We urge as many people as possible to attend to event because this probably the last chance we have not to turn this into another Wood Quay episode where our history was destroyed and concreted over. A huge shopping centre is planned for the Moore Street site by developers -the same kind of people who helped wreck the country and put their own greed and profit first and they are being facilitated by the FG government who for once and for all want to bury any memory of the rebels and their revolutionary ideas.

Indeed it this era of consumerism and corporate control and the impending TTIP agreement between the EU and US that has central to it something called Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) which are special courts presided over by corporate lawyers, for use by corporations and are ABOVE our national sovereign and there is no right to appeal and are in secret. They will allow corporations to sue the state for non-competitive activities, such as labour laws, environmental protection, safety and will be able to force the privatisation of everything from health, education, prisons, water, forests and any other public entities. -It is to stop such monstrosities as this that we need revolutionary spirit and ideas and you can be absolutely sure that the rebel leaders of 1916 are turning in their grave that the hard won sovereignty for which they gave their lives is about to be given away in this TTIP treaty. Indeed no less than leading members of FG have actively promoted and encouraged that Ireland have these ISDS courts. This is amounts to treason.

So please show your support for the Moore Street campaign and lets start first by preserving our heritage.

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We include an recent article by Maureen O'Suvillvan TD on the saga of Moore Street and which includes a timeline of events so far.
Src: http://maureenosullivan.ie/latest-news/minister-officia...race/
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Minister officially refuses to give independent conservation experts access to inspect Moore St. terrace

Since 2009, when it was first acknowledged that this historically significant area could in fact be destroyed and built over as Wood Quay was and Kilmainham Gaol very nearly had been in the 1950s, we have fought to make sure we don?t lose Moore St but for a fitting historical quarter to be put in it?s place preserving the buildings and the street. Eventually the struggle resulted in the Government purchasing 14-17 Moore Street as a National Monument which is a tiny portion of the full historic terrace. In recent weeks this issue escalated when word was received that buildings either side of the 1916 Monument were being demolished.

For those who haven?t been following the saga we have created a Moore St. timeline:

Dec 16th 2015: Government coalition vote against saving Moore St from total demolition by outnumbering opposition TD?s in the 1916 Quarter Development Bill 2015.

Jan 5th 2016: Construction workers recommenced work, erecting scaffolding and hoarding. A commencement notice had been granted for surveying building features in the National Monument but the works seem to be far more extensive.

Jan 7th 2016: Moore St. Dáil Group raise the issue in the Dáil with the Minister once again; Minister doesn?t back down.

That evening I get word that building fronts are being removed and the interiors are being left open to elements. Seemingly a plan to demolish buildings either side of the National Monument is being put into action.

Jan 8th 2016: A protest takes place on Moore St and the groups in support of Save Moore Street occupied the buildings to prevent demolition of a number of buildings as there was no other choice.

Jan 11th 2016: The High Court puts a temporary stop to demolition on Moore St until a full hearing of the case taken by the 1916 relatives on the 2nd of Feb.

Jan 12th 2016: The groups overwhelmingly agreed by a show of hands to vacate the site after a meeting of the groups in the Moore Street Terrace, as the immediate threat of demolition was averted.

Jan 15th 2016: After a number of protesters who occupied the buildings raised the damage they had witnessed inside the buildings a group of TD?s and the Lord Mayor sought access to the site with independent conservation experts to inspect the work that was carried out and to see if any structural damage had taken place along the terrace.

After initially being told we would be allowed access, every 5 minutes we were told it would be another 5 minutes. Eventually the two conservation experts were refused entry by the foreman and no reason was given.

Jan 20th 2016: After sending a formal request to the Minister for access and following up with calls on Monday and Tuesday I eventually received a response from the Minister with no indication that a visit would be granted, instead she says she has arranged for an inspection by ?a senior official of the City Council?s Planning Department, accompanied by the City Archaelogist, who can afterwards provide you directly with the information you have sought about the current status of the works.? We?ll see what becomes of that review; City officials are to report on work to the National Monument at a Lord Mayor Forum at 2pm tomorrow (26th January) at City Hall.

I will be making an application through the Chief State Solicitor?s Office for access and on February 2nd we will find out the High Courts? decision whether the works on the buildings are allowed to continue or not. We sincerely hope that the High Court decision will reflect the huge outcry of support the campaign has received and that a new vision for the entire area will be realised. The irony of what the men and women in 1916 fought for and what is going on now, these men and women fought not only for Irish independence but for an Ireland of Equals and they would be dismayed that the ordinary people have to campaign and fight against a Government and council that puts corporate interests ahead of the will of the people. We live in hope that the decision will go our way but if it doesn?t the fight will continue as this is too important to let go. We will not let 1916 Dublin be built over in the same way Viking Dublin was with the Civic Offices in Wood Quay.

Great photo included of Moore St in 1974 long before is was allowed fall into it?s current state.

T - Sun Dec 13, 2015 23:43
For the past year, there have been numerous reports that ISIS have been transporting the oil they have stolen from Iraq and Syria, to Turkey and this has been greatly facilitated by the Turkish state at the highest levels. It is widely known the oil was being sold and exported by BMZ Ltd owned by Bilal Erdogan, President Erodgan's son. It is extremely unlikely that they are doing this for nothing and tens of millions have probably been siphoned off by the Erdogan family and other key officials and the Turkish economy has no doubt benefitted from an injection of cheap stolen oil sold below world market rates. The Russian Defense Ministry on Dec 2nd revealed the vast scale of the oil smuggling operation which somehow was missed by the NATO/US in the past 2 years.
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The three routes used by ISIS to transport stolen oil to Turkey

For the past year, there have been numerous reports that ISIS have been transporting the oil they have stolen from Iraq and Syria, to Turkey and this has been greatly facilitated by the Turkish state at the highest levels. It is widely known the oil was being sold and exported by BMZ Ltd owned by Bilal Erdogan, President Erodgan's son. It is extremely unlikely that they are doing this for nothing and tens of millions have probably been siphoned off by the Erdogan family and other key officials and the Turkish economy has no doubt benefitted from an injection of cheap stolen oil sold below world market rates. The Russian Defense Ministry on Dec 2nd revealed the vast scale of the oil smuggling operation which somehow was missed by the NATO/US in the past 2 years.

Related Indymedia Links: Syrian Refugees, ISIS / Al Nursa Butchers and Their Not So Secret Backing by Western Powers | The Paris Attacks -What's Going On ? | The French Republic taken hostage
Related External Links: Where will the Ukrainian bombs explode? (Hint: In Syria and blamed on Russians) | ?The Art of War? The strategy of chaos | Why does France want to overthrow the Syrian Arab Republic ? | Why did Turkey shoot down the Russian Soukhoï 24 ? | More than 500 jihadists cared for at the Ziv Medical Centre | The method behind the madness in Syria | Turkish Special Services behind Terrorist smuggling, training: Whistleblower | Erdogan sends 'Grey Wolves' to Crimea - A History Lesson | What is the US cooking up for Turkey, Iraq, Syria, and Iran? "Divide and conquer" on a whole new level | Why?s The US Hanging Turkey Out To Dry? | The Race For Raqqa And America?s Geopolitical Revenge In ?Syraq? (I) | The Race For Raqqa And America?s Geopolitical Revenge In ?Syraq? (II) | ?US seek to control the EU elites via refugee crisis? | Turkey Made Plans to Shoot Down Russian Su-24 a Month in Advance - Assange | Erdogan Blackmails NATO Allies | Massacre Proves Turk, Washington Complicity in Syria Terror By Finian Cunningham | Oil Smuggling and Syria: Is NATO No Better Than Turkey? | dA321 Crash: The Qatari Trace | ISIS-Linked Autocrats to Host British Navy | What Stinks in Saudi Ain?t the Camel Dung | You Cannot Fight Terrorism While You Are Supporting The Terrorists - Full Interview with President Bashar al-Assad by Czech TV - 1/12/15 | The Radar Recordings of the Turkish Attack on the Russian Su-24 | The Shaping of American Character | How the US Helped ISIS | In Plain Sight: Coalition Forces Routinely Air-Drop Military Supplies to ISIS Fighters In Syria | 10th Dec - 100,000 foreign troops incl. Americans to be deployed in Iraq, MP claims | EXCLUSIVE: Israeli Colonel Leading ISIL Terrorists Captured in Iraq | Syria's Assad blames France as Arab world condemns Paris attacks


Less well known is that Erdogan's daughter Sümeyye supervises a secret hospital setup by Erdogan in Sanliurfa to look after Daesh jihadists.

For the past year the US has banged on about it fighting ISIS / Daesh and at the same time the mainstream media has made it known that ISIS was being financed by stolen oil to the tune of hundreds of millions, possibly a billion per year. Yet somehow the entire US intelligence state with it's satellites, global intercept capabilities, advanced surveillance technologies of the US air force with it's fleet of drones, AWACs and other planes, never seemed to find any of the oil tanker trucks shipping this oil nor has a single one up to very recently been attached.

However over the past two months with the start of the Russia air campaign attacking targets things have changed. The regime plans of Turkey, UK, France and USA for Syria have been upset temporarily and their blatant support for ISIS exposed and completely embarrased and made obvious to the public how ineffective the US & co campaing was in light of the huge success of Russia in the space of a few weeks doing inflicting a lot of damage on ISIS.

After the Paris attacks, the US had to do something and finally attacked over 100 ISIS oil tankers. There are reports that a leaflet drop was done 45 mins in advance to advise everyone to run away as an attack was immiment. It's a pity the 2,000+ civilians (and these are US military figures) killed by drone strikes over the last few years never got the same warning.

In the same week though Russia upped it's air campaign and destroyed over 500 ISIS oil tankers and have since gone on to destroy many more including oil storage tanks so as to disable the infrastructure to enable the large scale looting of the oil. While the US attack was a token gesture to keep up appearences, the Russian attack hurt the Erdogan's badly and he was mad that the Russians would dare disrupt his criminal entreprise.

It was widely speculated by many commentators that the shooting down of a Russia SU-24 aircraft in Syria by a Turkish F16 fighter was in retaliation for the attack on the oil tankers and attempt to warn Russia, although it had the opposite effect because they intensified their air campaign against the ISIS monsters. It should be pointed out that on a surface level this may have been how it played out, but taking in the larger geopolitical context, driving a wedge between Russia and Turkey plays to the advantage of the US, because it means the loss of trade with Russia while hurting Turkey, hurts Russia too. Also the Turkish Stream gas pipeline from Russia to Turkey and onwards to the Balkans is at best now on hold or possibly cancelled. The Balkans are traditional allies of Russia and undoubtly one of the objectives of Turkish Stream was to help strength those again. While the US has in public supported Turkey in the whole affair they still let it be known through a leak reported to Reuters news agency by an anonymous American military official that the Russian plane was downed while over Syrian airspace which is another way of the US saying to Russia we know. This suggests something deeper to that particular event and may relate to the speculation of a coming civil war in Turkey where so far Erdogna has been the fall guy and the planned end result is the setup of a Kurdish state -aka Kurdistan. This has been the goal of the neo-cons from the early 2000s. The general idea was to smash up all the larger states and fracture them into smaller ones, each then more easily controllable. Iraq is defact more or less on the way to being divided into three states. Libya is a failed state. Syria is the present target and Iran is the main target, at least in that part of the world.

But for the moment, the focus of this article is on the presentation made on Weds 2nd Dec 2015, the Russian military presented comprehensive and devasting evidence (for the Turks at least) of the large scale of the ISIS oil smuggling through Turkey and the complicity of the Turkish state in this massive criminal entreprise and for their support of these butchers who have ruthlessly murdered tens of thousands, beheaded people and destroyed some of the greatest archaeological that were treasures of all humankind.

In the presentation they illustrated the scale of the operation and how the oil is transported to Turkey. It goes via three routes (see map), the Western, Northern and Eastern route. There are thousands of oil tanker trucks (8,500 per day) used which are driven at night over the Syrian-Turkish border where they let through without any hinderance. It is reckoned they were making approximately 3 million dollars per day which works out at around 3x365 = 1 billion+ dollars per year. Some of the oil is exported through the ports of Dörtyol and Iskenderun on the South coast of Turkey and the rest sold within Turkey with the Turks taking their cut for services rendered.


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Russian military reveals details of ISIS-Turkey oil smuggling

In the presentation a series of aerial and satellite photographs illustrated each point. On the Eastern route, one satellite image, dated the 14th November 2015, shows the presence of 3,220 tanker trucks crossing the border into Turkey via the crossing point at Zakho.

So far Russia has carried out air-strikes on 32 petrol complexes, 11 refineries, 23 pumping stations and 1,080 tanker trucks transporting petroleum products. The result for the IE is a loss of 1.5 million dollars per day yet ISIS are still receiving money, arms and munitions from their sponsors abroad.

Meanwhile ....'Great partners': Pentagon rejects Russian evidence of Turkey aiding ISIS
Src: https://www.rt.com/usa/324377-usa-russia-turkey-isis/

A Pentagon spokesman rejected Russia?s evidence of Turkey?s involvement in oil deals with Islamic State militants, calling Turkey a ?great partner? just a day after his boss complained to Congress that Ankara was not fighting ISIS enough.

?Let me be very clear that we flatly reject any notion that the Turks are somehow working with ISIL,? said Colonel Steve Warren, spokesman for the US-led coalition fighting against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL). ?That is preposterous and kind of ridiculous. We absolutely, flatly reject that notion.?... ...


Isn't that incredible after all the coverage in the Western press about ISIS?? Does that not wake up some people from the incessant propaganda covering up their role in the creation of ISIS?

And on Nov 24 head of Turkey's Intelligence says we must stop Putin from crushing the Islamic revolution
src: http://fortruss.blogspot.com.au/2015/11/turkish-intelligence-chief-isis-is.html

Hakan Fidan, the head of Turkey's National Intelligence Organization, known by the MIT acronym, has drawn a lot of attention and criticism for his controversial comments about ISIS.

Mr. Hakan Fidan, Turkish President's staunchest ally, condemned Russian military intervention in Syria, accusing Moscow of trying to 'smother' Syria's Islamist revolution and serious breach of United Nations law.

?ISIS is a reality and we have to accept that we cannot eradicate a well-organized and popular establishment such as the Islamic State; therefore I urge my western colleagues to revise their mindset about Islamic political currents, put aside their cynical mentalité and thwart Vladimir Putin's plans to crush Syrian Islamist revolutionaries,? - Anadolu News Agency quoted Mr. Fidan as saying on Sunday.

Fidan further added that in order to deal with the vast number of foreign Jihadists craving to travel to Syria, it is imperative that ISIS must set up a consulate or at least a political office in Istanbul. He underlined that it is Turkey?s firm belief to provide medical care for all injured people fleeing Russian ruthless airstrikes regardless of their political or religious affiliation.

T - Sun Nov 01, 2015 01:27
In the last two months, the dramatic and sad photographs of 3 year old Aylan Kurdi, and his brother lying dead on the shores on a beach in Turkey have finally opened the curtain very slightly on the horrors and terror of war in Syria. It is hard to conceive the trauma of this family first seeing one of their other brothers beheaded by ISIS jihadists, then to flee and then for this man's wife and two remaining young children to drown in the sea whilst attempting to escape. If you were to listen to politicans from the UK all the way up to the present prime minister, you would think they were doing this so they could scab off the social welfare but as anyone knows, this was the act of a family desperate to flee the terror in their home country and get to safety at all costs. However Aylan Kurdi and his brother and mother aren't the only ones to drown or being killed in war, there are tens of thousands dead.
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In the last two months, the dramatic and sad photographs of 3 year old Aylan Kurdi, and his brother lying dead on the shores on a beach in Turkey have finally opened the curtain very slightly on the horrors and terror of war in Syria. It is hard to conceive the trauma of this family first seeing one of their other brothers beheaded by ISIS jihadists, then to flee and then for this man's wife and two remaining young children to drown in the sea whilst attempting to escape. If you were to listen to politicans from the UK all the way up to the present prime minister, you would think they were doing this so they could scab off the social welfare but as anyone knows, this was the act of a family desperate to flee the terror in their home country and get to safety at all costs. However Aylan Kurdi and his brother and mother aren't the only ones to drown or being killed in war, there are tens of thousands dead.


Up to now the corporate media has kept us distracted with titlation, celebrity and other inane stories; for it was social media that led to these pictures going viral and the media then just had to pick up the story. Previous to that, thousands have already drowned this year alone in the Mediterranean Sea fleeing from Libya -bombed out by NATO, and other war torn countries like Iraq and Afghanistan where Western powers dropped their democracy inducing bombs, invaded and occupied for over a decade, tortured people (Abu Ghraib anyone?), ran night raids terrorizing and murdering thousands, formented civil war, armed warlords and so forth. It is funny how we hear about all these conflicts and consider them remote and happening to others while the life of middle class consumerism continues but in fact we are vaguely aware of it in our sub-conscious and it disturbs us greatly when we are forced to focus on it to actually pay attention to reality. We know that we should be doing something but content ourselves with the fact that our lives are just too busy to allow us to do anything about it.

Neverthless at the height of this crisis before the Russians stepped in, it was the ISIS jihadists who were firmly center stage in the news and were the target witha rising chorus, to send a force to Syria to remove them, but this is simply another justification for war and hides the fact that previous attempts over the last 3+ years by the Gulf States primarly Saudi Arabia and Qatar and by the US, UK, France and Turkey, have failed at regime change despite the fact that they are 100% responsible for formenting the war and financing, training, arming and sending in thousands of mercenaries and jihadists extremists. And this means they are responsible for the wave of refugees and deaths such as Aylan Kurdi. So the narrative was that ISIS are so bad and out of control which is true, that they need to send in the troops. In other words they have previously failed to swing public opinion to commit a full scale assault and hopefully this can do it. This is what all the beheadings were about in the last year and destruction of some of humanity's greatest archaeological treasures was for and firmly aimed at the Western middle classes. Again though this has changed since the Russians started bombing ISIS and caught the Western powers by surprise and ruined their narrative at least to those paying attention.

So Who backs ISIS?

When one looks there is quite a lot of evidence for who backs ISIS. First off, lets start with a Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) Aug 2012 report recently declassifed that Judical Watch managed to obtain through a FOIA request. The report was widely circulated through the US government. The report points out that the key event in the rise of ISIS was the corresponding rise of the insurgency in Syria which the USA with its allies fully supported. It confirms that reactionaries dominated the opposition from early on.

"The Salafist, The Muslim Brotherhood, and al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) are the major forces driving the insurgency in Syria" and in the next sentence says:

The West, Gulf Countries and Turkey support the opposition; while Russia, China and Iran support the regime. -so there you have it -the West & Co. support the terrorists. Later in the report it states:

If the situation unravels there is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist principality in Eastern Syria (Hasaka and Der Zor) and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime, which is considered the strategic depth of the Shia expansion (Iraq and Iran).

The deterioration of the situation has dire consequences on the Iraqi situation and are as follows:

1. The creates the ideal atmosphere for AQI to return to return to its old pockets in Mosul and Ramadi, and will provide a renewed momentum under the presumption of unifying the Jihad among Sunni Iraq and Syria, and the rest of the Sunnis in the Arab workd against what it considers one enemy, the dissenters. [Islamic State in Iraq] ISI could also declare an Islamic State through its union with other terrorist organizations in Iraq and Syria, which will create grave danger in regards to unifying Iraq and the protection of its terrority.

And this is what more or less happened. In June 2014 a few thousand ISIS fighters took over the northern Iraq city of Mosul with a population of 2.5 million and gained access to the oil revenues and at the same time looted a few hundred million dollars from the bank and picked up a vast amount of weaponry provided by the US to the Iraqi army. Around this time there was lots of media coverage showing ISIS in fleets of Toyota trucks advancing on different areas. Yet how come the US didn't attack them? The US had their famous 'turkey' shoot after the first Gulf War on the road from Kuwait to Iraq where they massacred the retreating Iraqi army. So why didn't they attack these very visible convoys? They rendition people from all over the planet to Guantanamo and other secret detention sites, and launch drone attacks in other countries like Afghanistan and Pakistan which even the US admits has killed over 2,000 civilans so far in the form of colateral damage -all to kill a few Al Qaeda leader -assuming they really did. Their radar and signals intercept satellites can pick up all movements and radio signals in vast areas and would be particularly focused on the entire Middle East -yet they were claim they were surprised. The whole episode looks more like tacit support by virtue of not intervening.

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The US for the past year as part of it's cover story has been claiming it has been bombing ISIS but it has carried out very few sorties and in fact the Russians did more damage to ISIS in the first 3 weeks of their recent campaign than the US has in the last year. The US is likely dropping their bombs in the sand and have used it as a way to bomb infrastructure in Syria which harms Assad and the people rather than ISIS. Just recently they bombed the main power plant in Aleppo and cut power to 2.5 million people, yet when ISIS held parts of Aleppo there was a tacit agreement that neither side would damage the plant since both sides needed it. See Putin Cites US Bombing Attack on Aleppo Power Station as ?Strange?

And just recently 50 intelligence analysts working in US Central command (CENTCOM) have said ISIS intelligence was cooked by senior officials in order to make it appear ISIS was weaker than they actually were. Src: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/09/09/exclusive-50-spies-say-isis-...

Additionally there were several cases of weapons drops that were supposed to be for other fighters such as the Kurds fighting ISIS in the town of Kobane which were dropped 'accidently' into the hands of ISIS. Once is a mistake, but this has happened several times and even got reported in the mainstream news. There are other reports such as these which say the US has been dropping weapons to ISIS on a regular basis. See for example: In Plain Sight: Coalition Forces Routinely Air-Drop Military Supplies to ISIS Fighters In Syria and in March 2015 Terrorists Supported by America: U.S. Helicopter Delivering Weapons to the Islamic State (ISIS), Shot Down by Iraqi ?Popular Forces?

Last week, Head of the Iraqi Parliament?s National Security and Defense Committee Hakem al-Zameli announced that the helicopters of the US-led anti-ISIL coalition were dropping weapons and foodstuff for the ISIL terrorists in the Southern parts of Tikrit.

He underscored that he had documents and photos showing that the US Apache helicopters airdropped foodstuff and weapons for the ISIL ....

Last Monday, a senior lawmaker disclosed that Iraq?s army had shot down two British planes as they were carrying weapons for the ISIL terrorists in Al-Anbar province.

?The Iraqi Parliament?s National Security and Defense Committee has access to the photos of both planes that are British and have crashed while they were carrying weapons for the ISIL,? al-Zameli said, according to a Monday report of the Arabic-language information center of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq.

He said the Iraqi parliament has asked London for explanations in this regard.

The senior Iraqi legislator further unveiled that the government in Baghdad is receiving daily reports from people and security forces in al-Anbar province on numerous flights by the US-led coalition planes that airdrop weapons and supplies for ISIL in terrorist-held areas.

The Iraqi lawmaker further noted the cause of such western aids to the terrorist group, and explained that the US prefers a chaotic situation in Anbar Province which is near the cities of Karbala and Baghdad as it does not want the ISIL crisis to come to an end.

When we consider other aspects of ISIS like the fact that they are said to be excellent at social media and regularly use Facebook and Twitter to get their messages out, we have to wonder how the powerful NSA and cyber army of the US seems unable to close down their websites. They do it very quickly and easily when people are breaking copyright, or downloading free music. Likewise we are told ISIS are well financed and rich. So how come their banks accounts and assets aren't frozen? They managed to do this quite easily against Gadaffi at the time and recently against a range of Russia oligarchs with regard to the sanctions there.

Moving onto the arming of the "resistance" in Syria the evidence is much more in the open about the Gulf states' and Western backing of those fighting Assad and when it became increasingly clear the only 'Syrian resistance' was ISIS, the US media then pushed the line that it was US allies (-i.e. not the USA itself) supporting them. In Sep 2014 General Dempsey told the Senate Armed Services committee that their "Arab allies" were funding ISIS. Later in Oct 2014 Vice President Joe Biden publicly criticized US allies again for backing ISIS. Biden even apologized to Turkey and the United Arab Emirates for saying Middle Eastern allies are partly to blame for the strengthening of ISIS. At an appearance (Oct 2014) at Harvard University, he said the militant Islamist group had been inadvertently strengthened by actions allies took to help opposition groups fighting against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

"They poured hundreds of millions of dollars and thousands of tons of weapons into anyone who would fight against Assad. Except that the people who were being supplied were al-Nusra and al Qaeda and the extremist elements of Jihadis coming from other parts of the world," Biden said.

You don't just hand over millions of dollars and tonnes of weapons to anybody. If you try and claim on the social welfare for alot less you are checked and cross checked and have to make multiple verifications as to who you actually are. You also have to wonder why Biden came out in public and said this. It suggests that different factions of the elite in the US empire are at odds at how things should be happening. And yet the narrative they tried to push that their allies do thing outside of their control is not right either. It is said that Saudi regime can't take a pee without the US say so as they are joined at the hip. Without the US protection and security, the royals in Saudi would be overthrown in weeks if not days.

To help those still in doubt, an ISIS leader, Abu Atheer in 2013 stated: "We have good relations with our brothers in the FSA," and said ISIS bought anti-aircraft missiles and anti-tank weapons from the FSA.

Then we have the killing of US ambassador Stevens in Benghazi, Libya in Sept 2012. Stevens was killed by some faction of Al Qaeda and was funneling weapons seized from Gadaffi Libyan army stockpiles after his downfall and were shipped to the terrorists in Syria. Officially Stevens was killed by a faction of Al Qaeda but it is not actually clear who did it. The Steven's killing itself is interesting as once again it seems to shine a light on divisions in the US elite. There is also speculation that elements of lower ranks of special forces and Navy are so appalled at the actions of the CIA & politicos that despite having a unit nearby, none was sent to rescue Stevens. Regardless anyhow, according to documents obtained by Judical Watch:

Weapons from the former Libya military stockpiles were shipped from the port of Benghazi, Libya to the Port of Banias and the Port of Borj Islam, Syria. The weapons shipped during late-August 2012 were Sniper rifles, RPG?s, and 125 mm and 155mm howitzers missiles.

During the immediate aftermath of, and following the uncertainty caused by, the downfall of the ((Qaddafi)) regime in October 2011 and up until early September of 2012, weapons from the former Libya military stockpiles located in Benghazi, Libya were shipped from the port of Benghazi, Libya to the ports of Banias and the Port of Borj Islam, Syria. The Syrian ports were chosen due to the small amount of cargo traffic transiting these two ports. The ships used to transport the weapons were medium-sized and able to hold 10 or less shipping containers of cargo....

...The numbers for each weapon were estimated to be: 500 Sniper rifles, 100 RPG launchers with 300 total rounds, and approximately 400 howitzers missiles [200 ea - 125mm and 200ea - 155 mm.]

Reports say that Britain's MI6 cooperated with the CIA on this weapons rat-line to Syria.

And just recently a trial in the UK of a Swedish man accused of terrorism in Syria, collapsed after according to this report:

The prosecution abandoned the case, apparently to avoid embarrassing the intelligence services. The defence argued that going ahead with the trial would have been an "affront to justice" when there was plenty of evidence the British state was itself providing "extensive support" to the armed Syrian opposition. That didn?t only include the "non-lethal assistance" boasted of by the government (including body armour and military vehicles), but training, logistical support and the secret supply of "arms on a massive scale" See Guardian June 2015 Now the truth emerges: how the US fuelled the rise of Isis in Syria and Iraq

Indeed it has been suggested that all the Jihadists going to Syria over the last year or two from Britain were helped in their efforts by the MI6 despite the media scare stories horrified that this was happening and clamouring for more police and surveillance powers. To spell it out, the British state uses the angry young Muslem men in Britain to put in the meat grinder to promote extremism and carry out terrorism abroad and at the very same time to scare the home population into accepting more draconian powers and ratcheting up of the police state. This is all about controlling the folks at home. You need to be made scared and confused all the time. What's even better for the neo-liberal capitalist system is that the waves of refugees and immigrants are the perfect tool for driving down labour costs and undermining working conditions and rights. It's a win-win.

This article from Voltaire network http://www.voltairenet.org/article188650.html

For months it was in the news that 400 Britons had joined the jihadis in Syria. Foreign Secretary William Hague himself said so. However, the number of these British jihadis is much larger and it has been revealed that some of them were trained to be Sunni jihadists by a jihad-seeking Saudi mullah in a British mosque under the watchful eyes of the MI6.

The Independent in June 2014 reported Birmingham MP Khalid Mahmood saying at least 1,500 Britons, if not more, have joined the terrorist-led jihad in Syria and Iraq [6], rejecting the 400 figure handed out by Hague, and 500 such jihadis referred to by U.K.?s anti-terror chief Sir Peter Fahy [7]. ?I imagine 1,500 certainly would be the lower end. If you look across the whole of the country, there?s been a number of people going across,? Mahmood said.

Does anyone think there is no mosque in Britain that is not under surveillance?

For yet more coverage of how Western powers are backing the ISIS terrorists in Syria see this report from the Guardian in 2013. Notice how it is always couched in terms of helping moderates even though it should be absolutely clear there aren't any and the various governments and intelligence agencies know that too.

From West training Syrian rebels in Jordan Exclusive: UK and French instructors involved in US-led effort to strengthen secular elements in Syria's opposition, say sources

Western training of Syrian rebels is under way in Jordan in an effort to strengthen secular elements in the opposition as a bulwark against Islamic extremism, and to begin building security forces to maintain order in the event of Bashar al-Assad's fall.

Jordanian security sources say the training effort is led by the US, but involves British and French instructors.

The UK Ministry of Defence denied any British soldiers were providing direct military training to the rebels, though a small number of personnel, including special forces teams, have been in the country training the Jordanian military.

But the Guardian has been told that UK intelligence teams are giving the rebels logistical and other advice in some form.

British officials have made it clear that they believe new EU rules have now given the UK the green light to start providing military training for rebel fighters with the aim of containing the spread of chaos and extremism in areas outside the Syrian regime's control.

According to European and Jordanian sources the western training in Jordan has been going on since last year and is focused on senior Syrian army officers who defected.

"As is normal, before any major decision is taken on this issue, the preparations are made so that when that decision is taken, everything is in place for it to go smoothly. That is what these groups [special forces] do. They go in in advance," a European diplomat said.

Reading between the lines, it is clear they have been blatantly training, arming and providing intelligence to the terrorists, which would include locations and movements of Assad's Syrian army. The sentence about maintain order in the event of Bashar al-Assad's fall is a laugh because if we check with what happened in Libya, it has gone from the African country with the highest standard of living and tolerance to a completely failed state, with infrastructure built over decades destroyed, and over-run with marauding gangs of Jihadists and criminals who have murdered literally tens of thousands since Gadaffi's fall.

For another angle on this, the former Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki warned that the war in Syria could engulf Iraq, yet the United States and its allies kept supporting the insurgency. The American bombing of ISIS, relatively light and sporadic, has only intensified the belief of many Iraqis that the United States doesn?t want to defeat the group. Maliki has been publicly accusing Saudi Arabia and Qatar of funding ISIS for months. He also blamed both countries for launching Syria's three-year civil war through al Qaeda-linked groups that now operate on both sides of the Iraqi-Syrian border, next to Anbar province.

"They are attacking Iraq through Syria indirectly. They absolutely started the war in Iraq, they started the war in Syria," Maliki said. ISIL has been one of the biggest fighting forces in Syria's civil war. Regarding Saudi Arabia: "Saudi Arabia supports terrorism against the world, Syria, Iraq, Egypt and Libya. See March 2014 Iraqi PM Maliki says Saudi, Qatar openly funding violence in Anbar province

Finally not forgetting the role of Turkey which is actually huge because without them it would have been much harder to supply, train and generally prop up ISIS and it affiliates. In this article Links between Turkey and ISIS are now ?undeniable? some of the details are exposed although many more can be found quite easily elsewhere. For example:

..Documents and flash drives seized during the Sayyaf raid reportedly revealed links ?so clear? and ?undeniable? between Turkey and ISIS ?that they could end up having profound policy implications for the relationship between us and Ankara,? a senior western official familiar with the captured intelligence told the Guardian.

NATO member Turkey has long been accused by experts, Kurds, and even Joe Biden of enabling ISIS by turning a blind eye to the vast smuggling networks of weapons and fighters during the ongoing Syrian war....
...In November, a former ISIS member told Newsweek that the group was essentially given free reign by Turkey?s army.

?ISIS commanders told us to fear nothing at all because there was full cooperation with the Turks,? the fighter said. ?ISIS saw the Turkish army as its ally especially when it came to attacking the Kurds in Syria....

?You have a lot of people now that are invested in the business of extremism in Turkey,? Schanzer added. ?If you start to challenge that, it raises significant questions of whether? the militants, their benefactors, and other war profiteers would tolerate the crackdown.

...A Western diplomat, speaking to the Wall Street Journal in February, expressed a similar sentiment: ?Turkey is trapped now ? it created a monster and doesn?t know how to deal with it.?

Ankara had begun to address the problem in earnest ? ..when an ISIS-affiliated suicide bomber killed 32 activists in Turkey?s southeast on July 20.

A bit more about the not so moderate Free Syrian Army openly supported by US, UK, France, Turkey, Saudi & Qatar

The Free Syrian Army (FSA) is a terrorist organization responsible for indiscriminate killings, imposition of sharia law, murders, rapes, cannibalism and more. Even one of the FSA commanders, Bassel Idriss, recently admitted to openly collaborating with ISIS and al-Nusra, revealing yet another example of the fact that the ?moderate rebels? are not moderate at all.

In an interview with the Daily Star of Lebanon, Idriss stated ?We are collaborating with the Islamic State and the Nusra Front by attacking the Syrian Army?s gatherings in . . . Qalamoun . . . . Let?s face it: The Nusra Front is the biggest power present right now in Qalamoun and we as FSA would collaborate on any mission they launch as long as it coincides with our values.?

Idriss also admitted that many FSA fighters had pledged allegiance to ISIS. He said, ?[ISIS] wanted to enhance its presence in the Western Qalamoun area. After the fall of Yabroud and the FSA?s retreat into the hills [around Arsal], many units pledged allegiance [to ISIS]?.

Abu Fidaa, a retired Syrian Army Colonel who is now a part of the Revolutionary Council in the Qalamoun, corroborated Idrisss? statements by saying that ?A very large number of FSA members [in Arsal] have joined ISIS and Nusra. In the end, people want to eat, they want to live, and the Islamic State has everything.?

Not only the FSA, but also the Syrian Revolutionary Front has also openly admitted to working with Nusra and al-Qaeda. The leader of the SRF, Jamaal Maarouf admitted that his brigades coordinate with Nusra and al-Qaeda regularly.

Salem Idriss, one of the men seen in the photograph with John McCain, is the commander of the FSA, the ?opposition group? touted as a ?moderate rebels.? In reality, of course, the FSA is nothing of the sort.

Former US Ambassador Robert Ford has admitted as much, saying that "for a long time, we have looked the other way" as US-backed groups worked with al-Qaeda?s affiliate, the Islamic State of Iraq spinoff al-Nusra Front. Many "moderate" rebels - "entire CIA-backed rebel units" - have joined al-Nusra Front and ISIS. Earlier this year, the main US-backed group, Harakat al-Hazm, couldn?t beat al-Nusra Front -- so it joined them

However as the rebels gained strength, the reports of war crimes and atrocities that they were committing began to create a bit of a public relations problem for Washington. It then became standard policy to insist that U.S. support was only being given to what they referred to as "moderate" rebel forces. This distinction, however, had no basis in reality.

Reuters had reported in 2012 that the FSA's command was dominated by Islamic extremists, and the New York Times had reported that same year that the majority of the weapons that Washington were sending into Syria was ending up in the hands Jihadists.

And the FSA's ties to Al-Nusra are just the beginning. In June of 2014 Al-Nusra merged with ISIS at the border between Iraq and Syria.

So to review, the FSA is working with Al-Nusra, Al-Nusra is working with ISIS, and the U.S. has been sending money and weapons to the FSA even though they've known since 2012 that most of these weapons were ending up in the hands of extremists but even that is too gentle a conclusion because as we know and cited above, they have been doing weapons and food drops directly to ISIS.

Former presidential candidate John McCain's meeting with ISIS leader

In April 2013 former presidential candidate John McCain made an illegal visit to Syria and had a meeting in a rebel safe house with the heads of the "Free Syrian Army" in Idlib, Syria. Present was the top Al Qaeda terrorist leader Ibrahim al-Badri (aka Al-Baghdadi of ISIS, aka Caliph Ibrahim of the recently founded Islamic Empire) demonstrating the farce that is the so called War on Terror. We have to let the magnitude and significance of this sink in. This is the same group the American army were 'hunting' down in Iraq, the key brand name in the 14 year War on Terror but really War of Terror by the US and it's allies on Arab and Middle East states.
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(Courtesy VoltaireNet.org)
n the left foreground, top al Qaeda terrorist leader Ibrahim al-Badri (aka Al-Baghdadi of ISIS, aka Caliph Ibrahim of the recently founded Islamic Empire) with whom the Senator is talking. Behind Badri is visible Brigadier General Salim Idris (with glasses), the former military chief of the FSA, who has since fled to the Gulf states after the collapse of any semblance of the FSA.

The meeting and photograph also demonstrates that the FSA and ISIS are very very close and largely one and the same and underscores that supplying arms and support to the FSA is effectively supporting ISIS. Even if they were truly separate, the very fact that you are arming one faction, diverts Assads forces away from dealing with ISIS and takes the pressure off them and thereby allowing them to advance and take over territory and of course to carry out their butchery.

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U.S. Senator John McCain meeting illegally
in 2013 with chiefs of the Free Syrian Army (i.e. ISIS)
Also present in one of the pictures with John McCain is Abu Sakkar a member of the Farouq brigade. This is the famous rebel videotaped cutting the heart out of a Syrian soldier and biting into it as reported here: http://www.activistpost.com/2013/05/syrian-rebel-eats-soldiers-heart-paid.html

The New York times attempted to run a story to deny the visit and claim it was rumors, but the only other offering in the way of McCain?s defense is a statement by his own Communications Director, Brian Rogers, who claims that the man in the picture was not Baghdadi but another individual associated with the Northern Storm Brigade, ironically a terrorist organization in its own right. Northern Storm was famous for kidnapping a group of religious pilgrims crossing through Syria in September, 2012. Nevertheless, the comparisons of the photographs and the individuals in them lean toward the idea that the terrorist in the picture is Baghdadi. Regardless of who it was, the individual was a terrorist since McCain?s defense is that it was a fighter/commander with Northern Storm.

It should also be remembered that McCain traveled to Libya during the assault against Ghaddafi in order to meet with terrorists in that country and promote the barbarism which they would ultimately bring.

It should be noted that McCain is extremely close to the color revolution apparatus organization, the International Republican Institute, a wing of the National Endowment for Democracy and USAID. He is the current Chairman of the IRI.

It Was All Planned Years Ago.

There are still more sides to this story because all this mayhem was planned years ago. For those who don't know, U.S. General Wesley Clark was Supreme Allied Commander Europe of NATO from 1997 to 2000. In an interview with Amy Goodman on March 2, 2007, Clark (Ret.), explains that the Bush Administration planned (in 2001) to take out 7 countries in 5 years: Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Iran. -See here It has all taken a little longer than expected but it is making good progress. Here is the latest update.

  • Iraq -done [2003]
  • Afghanistan -done [2001]
  • Libya -done [The fall of Gaddafi 2011.]
  • Sudan -done [Divided last year in two states after US sponsored terrorism.]
  • Somalia -done [US puppets in government.]
  • Lebanon - [In progress right now. The Syrian war has already spread across the borders.]
  • Syria - [In progress right now. US financed terrorism.]
  • Iran - The final stage. And it will be loud. .

The Wave of Refugees

So it should be quite clear that the current wave of refugees to Europe is directly as a result of the actions of the sponsors of terrorism in Syria. While the numbers are trying to enter Europe are in the hundreds of thousands, there are in fact several million in the countries directly bordering Syria. It is likely that the poorest are in places like Lebanon and Turkey while the ones reaching Europe had more money to pay the traffickers. The ideal solution is that the war would end and resources could be made available to rebuild the country and people's lives but this is not likely to pan out.

So far the refugee crisis is causing all sorts of political problems in Europe. Germany had said it will take 850,000 and Sweden expects to accommodate around 190,000 by the end of the year. For a country like Sweden this is a huge number and even for Germany too and one can only conclude that this is going to greatly fan the flames of the far right.

The Left in general seems to take the approach that we should let everyone in and it will all be fine but it won't. Nor do the Left say an awful lot about who has caused all the butchery or make any real effort at trying to understand what is going on. The Left simply play the role assigned to them. In the Libyan war they were fooled and thereby helped with the pretext for the justification for the NATO bombing of Libya. Then again in the Syrian war, they were fooled for a while into believing the FSA were Left wing rebels and again enabled the pretend game. And now in this instance by just reacting and not analysing and controlling their own narrative, they instead allow the mainstream media to get away with the lies that the refugees are the result of Assad. They are not. They are the result of terrorism. We also have to step back and see what is the bigger picture. For instance, Ulrich Grillo, the boss of Germany?s heavy industry and obviously a capitalist not a leftist, has welcomed the refugees. Why you would wonder? -because big business has profited from the occasion to abolish the minimum wage in several German federal states and is getting a huge influx of cheap labour. This is and will cause resentment from the German population. There has been suggestions that this was planned up to a year in advance primarily with President Erdoğan of Turkey who controls the 'valve' and therefore the flow of refugees from Syria through Turkey and onwards to Europe via the Balkans. Erdoğan in the last few weeks has managed to extract a promise of several billion euros from the EU to deal with refugees on Turkish soil. In this article Who is twitter-luring refugees to Germany? the author cites a study that shows the bulk of tweets inviting refugees to Germany and welcoming came not from the Germans but an army of bots operating from UK, USA and Australia. What exactly then is going on and what is the effect on Syria? It looks like the action by Erdoğan to readily accept refugees from Syria on the one hand and allow them to pass through Turkey to Europe is essentially an exercise to drain Syria of it's people and thereby dismantle the country. As more people leave and remember it is more likely to be the young, it tends to reinforce itself and trigger more to leave. These are the very people that are needed to both defend the country and rebuild it. And this crisis comes out a time when the efforts to topple Assad have failed and they are probably running out of fighters. The logic is that they terrorists sponsors will tap into the flood of refugees to recruit, arm and send back in a new fresh wave of bodies to the war. Traditionally refugees have been widely used for this sort of thing in all conflicts.

For the European side of the equation the benefit for the USA which after all is really the boss amongst the sponsors of this awful war (i.e. Saudi, Qatar, Turkey, France, Britain) is that if they can create enough problems in Europe it bogs them down and stops any reapproachment with Russia. For the US who incidentally fund 70% of the NATO budget, the role of NATO in Europe is one of occupation and control in the military and foreign policy sphere and America only remains strong so long as others are weaker. The geography of Europe and Russia would suggest that they should form a natural alliance and strong trading relationship, but if this was to occur, then combined an independent economic region extending from Europe into Russia would be far stronger than the USA. This can never be allowed to happen and the Ukraine war is part of the poison to disallow that. But so too must the present crisis be related to it, especially when you consider the vast majority of refugees are heading to Germany.

Links / References

http://www.judicialwatch.org/press-room/weekly-updates/the-truth-about-bengha... These documents also show connections between the collapse in Libya and the ISIS war ? and confirm that the U.S. knew remarkable details about the transfer of arms from Benghazi to Syrian jihadists

How Neocons Destabilized Europe

How the US Helped ISIS

The Covert Origins of ISIS?

In Plain Sight: Coalition Forces Routinely Air-Drop Military Supplies to ISIS Fighters In Syria

March 2015 Terrorists Supported by America: U.S. Helicopter Delivering Weapons to the Islamic State (ISIS), Shot Down by Iraqi ?Popular Forces?

http://tarpley.net/new-york-times-fails-to-cover-up-extensive-links-to-isis-b...

EXCLUSIVE: Israeli Colonel Leading ISIL Terrorists Captured in Iraq

Links between Turkey and ISIS are now ?undeniable?

Germany seeks to extract itself from the Syrian conflict

General Clark reveals that Daesh is an Israeli project

Why does France want to overthrow the Syrian Arab Republic ?

Middle East: The predictable defeat of France

New Western Info Fronts Against Syria: Refugees, Russia, And The Balkans

US to give arms, air support to Islamist militias in Syria - 10th Oct 2015

Paul Lynch - Fri Jul 17, 2015 00:57
Day 4 of Corrib Gas Trial, Castlebar Circuit Court 10th July 2015
The trial of two Mayo men accused of violent disorder and damaging property at the Shell Corrib gas project tunneling site in June 2013 continues in Castlebar circuit court.
On Friday four Shell security guards gave evidence to the court and were cross examined by the defence.
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The trial of two Mayo men accused of violent disorder and damaging property at the Shell Corrib gas project tunneling site in June 2013 continues in Castlebar circuit court.
On Friday four Shell security guards gave evidence to the court and were cross examined by the defence.

Related Links: ShellToSea.com | Radio reporter claims he lost his job over coverage of Corrib Gas controversy | Irish Times: Top criminologist calls for inquiry into Corrib policing | Archbishop Tutu calls for independent inquiry into policing of Corrib gas project | Court Report On ?rape-tape? Sergeant Being Awarded ?33,0000 | Business as usual for Gardaí ? trying to smear women in ?rape tape? controversy | Join the continuous protests against Shell | 22 TDs gather at gates of Dail to demand reversal of Corrib pipeline consents


"They are good people" - Shell security boss on protestors

Jim Farrell - part owner and director of the Shell contracted IRMS security firm - was first to give evidence.
He gave evidence that he was on site at the time of the alleged incident and that it was around the time of the G8 summit so decided to be there.

During interactions with protestors he said that: ?... My entire PPE with the exception of my gloves got torn from my body?.

In what appeared to be a Freudian slip he said that he contacted the Gardaí "by way of instructing them ... asking them" to attend the scene. This is notable as there have been consistent allegations of collusion between Shell security forces and the Gardaí since IRMS took over security on the Corrib gas project.

On cross examination the defence SC Dignam for Liam Heffernan asked Mr Farrell to explain the corporate structure of his security company.
Mr Farrell outlined that the company is called Business Mobile Security Services Ltd and that Senaca and IRMS are trade names.

It also emerged that the Aughoose tunnelling site had about 20 -25 cameras but footage from only 8 of these were submitted to the Gardaí.

When questioned about how many security personnel were employed on the Corrib gas project at the time he answered that there were over 200 security working on the Corrib project at the time and about 25 to 30 on during the day at the Aughoose site

There was a period during cross examination after which the defence barrister accused Mr Farrell of being deliberately evasive:

SC Dignam: ?Do you know why the protestors were protesting??
Farrell: ?If you have three people in a row, all have three different answers?.
SC Dignam: ?For example??
Farrell: "I don?t know... I don?t feel I need to speak for anyone else...It?s all hearsay...Do I have to answer that?"
(Judge nods yes)
Farrell: ?I don?t know... They are good people?
SC Dignam: "You are being deliberately evasive"
Farrell: "I?m not...To me it doesn?t matter what the reasons are...The only single reason, I think, is that they don?t want it there...I don?t get into local politics"

Mr Farrell continued to be questioned over the Shell surveillance operation around Aughoose. Mr Farrell said that there are privacy zones that blacked out homes from view programmed into the system by the camera installers.
Later during cross examination Mr Farrell said: ?I?ve been on the front line of virtually every protest since 2008.?

SC Nix continued the Cross examination of behalf of his client Gerry Bourke. He put it to Mr Farrell that before his company got involved in the Corrib project in 2008, that there was no problem with the protests.
He then probed into Mr Farrell?s military past, confirming that he had been a member of the elite Irish Army Rangers. When asked what is the difference between the Irish Army Rangers and the defence forces he outlined that they were ? More heavily armed, better trained, more mobility? and that only 2 - 5 % of applicants pass the admittance test.

SC Nix: ? It?s the Irish Equivalent of the SAS?
Farrell: ?Some people say that?
SC Nix: ?Or the Seals 6 Unit??
Farrell: ?Yes?

When questioned, Mr Farrell confirmed that there existed a sort of Olympics between special forces and that the Irish Army rangers consistently score highly, even higher than the Israeli Defence Forces. He also didn?t deny that the they learn things from each other at these competitions.

When asked if Mr Farrell had learned anything else from the IDF such as the martial art Krav Maga he replied: ?I don?t know anything about it?, but then agreed that it is a martial art invented by the Israeli Special Forces.

SC Nix then asked why IRMS re-branded to Senaca, to which he replied: ?Don?t know?
SC Nix asked if his website had offered: ?International armed and unarmed security?
Farrell: ?If it says it there that would be without my knowledge?, and that his company has never provided armed security.
SC Nix asked then if so would that advertising be misleading.
Farrell: ?It probably is?

SC Nix then put it to Mr Farrell that this advertisement was deleted after the ?Bolivian Fiasco? where former IRMS employee Michael Dywer was shot dead in Bolivia. He was accompanied there by another IRMS employee Tibor Revez.

SC Nix asked Mr Farrell what kind of background checks were performed during recruitment?
Mr Farrell: ?Up to 2009 there was no method to check other than go to previous employers?
SC Nix: ?Were you aware that Tibor Revez was a Neo-Nazi??
Farrell: ?Not to my knowledge?

SC Nix then quizzed Mr Farrell about the ?Operation Solitaire Shield? Nazi-style badges that commemorate the 2008 and 2009 IRMS operations to facilitate the offshore pipe-laying by the ?Solitaire? on the Corrib Gas Project in Mayo.
Farrell: "I had seen it only on the Shell to Sea website or Indymedia"

SC Nix asked if it was coincidental that these IRMS employees show up in Bolivia 3 months after President Morales nationalised gas that Shell have a 25% stake in, and then your website goes down to be updated.

SC Nix then asked about the background of Terry Downes, another IRMS director.
Farrell: ?Bombs and military?

SC Nix: ?Are you familiar with Shell?s operations in Nigeria??
Farrell: ?No?

Towards the end of the questioning Mr Farrell said of the Corrib project: ?Its heavily regulated, all the permits are in place I?d have no problem with it?
To which SC Nix replied: ?And the Titanic was unsinkable and the banks were regulated!?


Evidence from former Westport Garda Superintendent who signed up for Shell security


The second prosecution witness called was Patrick Doyle, an IRMS security guard.
For the prosecution he outlined events of 23rd June 2013 at Aghoos similarly to Mr Farrell.

On cross examination he was asked about his background. He said that he joined the Gardai in 1974 and served in various locations including Sligo & Blacklion on the Border with Northern Ireland.
He was asked if he had at the time access to army backup to deal with insurgents.

SC Nix asked him if he has daughters, and then asked (referring to the 2011 incident where Gardai unknowingly recorded themselves after arresting two female protestors) ?What would you think about men laughingly discussing raping your daughters??
Doyle: "I?m aware of media coverage only in relation to this incident"
SC Nix: ?You?ve never heard any of this apart from media coverage??
Doyle: ?Yes?

Mr Doyle said that he retired from the force on 15th May 2009 and joined IRMS late July 2010
When asked, he confirmed that he would have been the prosecution officer of some of the protestors on behalf of the DPP.
To which SC Nix said: ?And you brought your life experience and knowledge of protestors with you into IRMS?
Doyle: ?No I didn?t?

SC Nix asked him if he heard coverage about booze being delivered to Belmullet Garda station or the allegation that in 2006 a Garda made sexual remarks to a protestor about his wife.

SC Nix: ?Do you consider it appropriate for a member of An Garda Siochana to do this??
Doyle: ?I don?t think it?s appropriate?

SC Nix put it to Mr Doyle that the protests changed when IRMS got involved in Corrib Gas
Doyle:? I don?t agree with that?
SC Nix: ?How many arrests were made while Gilmore security were working on Corrib??
Doyle: ?I don?t know?
SC Nix: ?You don?t know because there weren?t any!?

SC Nix asked Mr Doyle if he knew that between May 2007 and Nov 2009, 111 complaints were received by the Garda Ombudsman Commission.
Mr Doyle said that he was not aware of that.

SC Nix: ?78 were deemed admissible, 7 went to the DPP and there were 0 prosecutions?
Doyle: ?I?m not aware of that?
SC Nix: ?That?s right, nobody gave a damn about them, nobody was interested in their concerns, no one was prepared to hear them.?
Mr Doyle: ?I don?t know what their concerns are... there are licences in place.?
SC Nix: ?There were licences in place for banking and regulators in place ? they haven?t worked very well!?

Mr Nix referred to earlier testimony from Mr Dickson - the onshore pipeline construction manager, who admitted that he doesn?t even have an engineering degree, and asked Mr Doyle: ?What do you think my clients concerns are??
Doyle: ?I wouldn?t have any concerns... if I wanted to buy land there I wouldn?t mind.

SC Dignam: ?He wasn?t physically aggressive, would you agree?? Shell security guard: ?Yes?

The defence called two more former IRMS security guards as prosecution witnesses whose testimony and cross examination were much shorter than that of Mr Farrell and Mr Doyle.

Paul Kileen - who was on duty for IRMS - said of the alleged incident:
?There was a lot of pushing and shoving, they were trying to gain entry and we were trying to keep them out.?
?It?s all a blur it all happened so quick?
He also said he heard someone say ?Jim get your men inside before they get hurt?

On cross examination, referring to his client, SC for Liam Heffernan asked: ?He wasn?t physically aggressive, would you agree??
Paul Kileen: ?Yes?

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The state expects to finish with prosecution witnesses today. The defence will then call witnesses for a number of days to prove that the protest was reasonable, possibly extending into next week.

Grangegorman squat - Mon Mar 23, 2015 22:56
Scenes turn ugly later as baliffs and hired thugs attack the residents, driving a van into the crowd -see comments for updates
A massive eviction is underway in Dublin. It is at the complex of occupied houses and former factory spaces in Grangegorman. Reports indicate that at 7am in the morning a very large number of private security angle grinder their way through one of the metal gates, invaded the area en massed and are erecting barriers (pictured) inside and trying to evict the occupants.
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Baliffs, hired thugs and Garda try
to force their way in. Later they turn violent.

A massive eviction is underway in Dublin. It is at the complex of occupied houses and former factory spaces in Grangegorman. Reports indicate that at 7am in the morning a very large number of private security angle grinder their way through one of the metal gates, invaded the area en massed and are erecting barriers (pictured) inside and trying to evict the occupants.

Related Links: Squatting Eviction Underway in Grangegorman | Aljazeera: Residents resist eviction, clash with police in Dublin suburb | From May 2014: Eviction attempt defeated in Grangegorman | Squat's the Story? Political squat facing eviction in Grangegorman
See also: https://www.facebook.com/SolidarityTimes -where this story was first reported.
https://www.facebook.com/resistgg Facebook Page - Resist Grangegorman's Eviction


At 6.30 am this morning, around 30 workers broke into a squatted complex on the lower Grangegorman Road that is home to about 30 people. (The space is home to a flourishing community with homes, community gardens and a strong cultural base; including art exhibitions, poetry nights, a circus space and a community kitchen.)

Although no court order had been issued to residents, the gardai assisting in the eviction. One of the houses in the complex has been fenced off by workers, illegally imprisioning some of the residents.

This is yet another example of how the government would prefer empty buildings to stay empty, while the number of families on the streets increases daily. So far the eviction is being resisted by the community.

Update: Grangegorman éviction resistance is still underway with more people arriving down to support all the time.

The residents have managed to get a chain on and lock this huge gat limiting the access bailiffs have to the site. However the electricity has been cut off to their houses so they are asking that people bring down hot food if they can. Raingear and warm clothes are also sought so that people can maintain the roof and gate top occupations.

All sorts of support are welcome, even simply turning up and letting the Garda and bailiffs know that their actions are being monitored.

The footage and interviews we uploaded to https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=347131162142993 will give you a good sense of what is happening. Please share that video out

Src: https://www.facebook.com/SolidarityTimes

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People are asked to make their way to the area, its on the street behind the Cobblestone pub at the top of the Smithfield square

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