The Garden of Delight re-opened as a self-managed space in January. After a couple of months of getting our act together we are now ready to reach out a bit more. Hopefully this publication will be the first of many. An agreed statement of what we are about makes up the centre of this bulletin.
GOD now has about 38 members, all working on a voluntary basis to create a space in which a wide variety of events can happen. Right now our home is 5 Castle St. (across the road from Christ Church Cathedral) but it is likely that over the summer we will be moving to a larger space.
Most of our members are involved in activity outside GOD from Pirate Radio to Trade Unions to Mail Art to the Anti- Water Charges Federation to whatever. The wide range of activities and exhibitions planned and held so far reflect this and hopefully will break down some of the barriers that exist amongst radical people in Dublin by providing a meeting point. GOD is in part inspired by the experiences of some of its members in the Berlin and London squatting movements, the social centres of Italy and Spain or even the armed rebellion of the Zapatistas in Mexico. Alongside this people from France, Germany, Italy, England, Finland, USA and the various parts of the Spanish state have or are working in GOD. And of course we've had our visit by the Special Branch who sent an armed squad into the bookshop in response to the hanging of a banner proclaiming "Europe 2000 = Fourth Reich" on the roof of the building during the European summit.
This month in what could be seen as an exploration of the differences between the 'European Unity' favoured by the Special Branch the rest of us we're staging an exhibition of photographs from the "1st Intercontinental Gathering against Neo-Liberalism and for Humanity" . This was held by the rebel army known as the EZLN in Chiapas, Mexico last year. Two GOD members attended this (along with 4,000 people from 43 countries) and its hoped to get a good delegation from Ireland along to the one in the Spainish state this year.
All that remains to be said is 'call in an see us' if you haven't already. If you have an idea for using the space contact the events committee. If you love the general idea of GOD then ask at the counter about getting involved.
The Dublin Alternative Radio Collective is a group dedicated to the establishing and maintenance of an alternative to mainstream and commercial radio. We believe that everybody should have free uncensored access to that airwaves and that pirate radio is a legitimate expression of that right. DARC has been broadcasting on 99FM and 107.9FM mono since February 17th.
At the moment of writing (first week of April) broadcasting is somewhat disrupted for technical and security reasons (although we are still broadcasting on 99Fm). However two of our stated aims, firstly to broadcast a 6 week season, and secondly, to be in a position after that time to upgrade the quality of our transmission, have been successful. Upgrading the quality of our transmission is still an ongoing concern of DARC and equipment remains a major drain on our resources. Because we are totally opposed to commercial media DARC refuses to accept advertising or sponsorship of any kind.
Income comes from a weekly membership subs and from benefits. Currently we are organising gigs in Charlies on Georges St. - the Slippies, Blackbelt Jones and Jackbeast on Wednesday 9th - and open mic Kaberetts in the Garden of Delights on the 1st Friday of every month. In the background somebody has just qualified all of our attempts at manifestos by stating that the primary aim of Darc is to promote French noise hardcore. Which of course is true. More generally though we wish to try and get as diverse a representation of music and ideas on the air as possible. We'll be putting out a new schedule before the end of April so ideas and contributions are more than welcome.
In particular we are interested in hearing from groups who feel that they could use the airtime. Although the schedule of the first 6 weeks consisted primarily of music shows it did include shows by the Garden of Delight, the Hope Collective, an open mic mail show and a somewhat erratic DARC show which among other things included interviews with Amnesty, various writers and a native of East Timor. It is this side of the schedule, i.e. talk and info. based programmes that we wish to develop in the next schedule and we would love to hear from people interested in helping produce such shows, do interviews, contact groups, etc., etc.
Finally DARC is collectively owned and run. All decisions concerning policy and the running of the station are made collectively. Members simply have to share a committment to running the station collectively, to getting as many ideas on the air as possible, to the d.i.y. ethic and to the ultimate goal of creating a true alternative to the mindless vacuum that is commercial radio.
DARC - PO BOX 3327, DUBLIN 8.
- e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Over 40,000 people are employed on FAS Community Employment schemes in Ireland (land of the Celtic tiger). The rate of pay on these schemes is miserable just above that paid on the dole.
A single person on CE earns £81.30 for a 20 hour week (though tax and PRSI usually bring this down to about £78). The government recently introduced the full class A insurance stamp for CE workers but, despite this, they still do not receive the full rights and entitlements. For example they can only receive one weeks sick leave, no paid maternity leave (you can get 14 weeks unpaid but what are you supposed to survive on?) and often work under extremely poor conditions. There is supposed to be a training element involved in schemes but this is limited to schemes with 11 participants.
The Scheme Worker's Alliance has been in operation since 1989 to establish and maintain rights for workers on schemes. They have been active in many schemes and have won several cases for unfair dismissal off schemes. At present they are involved in a major campaign for an immediate pay increase of ten pounds a week. This tenner was whipped off shortly after the schemes were first introduced as Social Employment. The SWA views an immediate restoration of this money as a first step towards equitable pay for the massive contribution of scheme workers. to arts and community projects throughout Ireland.
Further down the line they are pledged to fight the massive cut backs in schemes expected after Ireland's EU money is cut in 1999. The SWA is also extremely concerned about the idea of work fare where people would be forced onto schemes. This is already in operation with the Job Seekers Allowance in England where you have to accept a shit job or lose your dole. The SWA is also active in trying to encourage scheme workers to join a union. One Irish Union the Amalgamated Transport and General worker's Union has over 300 members in it's scheme Worker's Branch.
The SWA is also co-ordinating with the Irish National Organisation of the Unemployed (INOU) to send a delegation of marchers to European March Against Unemployment. This is to set out from Belfast on June 1st and travel down through the country with rallies in various towns and leave Cork on June 5th to arrive in Roscoff by June 6th. The Irish section will travel through France and Belgium to reach Amsterdam by June 12th. Up to 30,000 people are expected to converge for this final stage in Amsterdam.
The SWA can be contacted by writing to the
secretary Martin Walsh at 55 Middle Abbey St., Dublin 1 or
telephoning: 8734577 or 8734023.
GOD members in Derry for the Bloody Sunday commeration helped prepare and carry a banner demanding "Justice for Roísín McAliskey". The young Tyrone woman has been imprisoned for five months without charge by British authorities on foot of a German extradition warrant. Both governments have jointly claimed she took part in an IRA attack on a British Army base near Osnabruck. McAliskey is eight months pregnant and in frail health but has been continually denied bail despite an obvious lack of evidence against her.
In Scotland on Friday 4 April, the German consulate in Edinburgh and the Lufthansa office in Glasgow were picketed by supporters of the Roisin McAliskey Justice Group there. Human Rights Watch-Helsinki, The International League for Human Rights, and Amnesty International have also protested Roísín's treatment.Write to Roísín McAliskey at: TE 2456 HMP Holloway Parkhurst Road, Holloway London, England N70NY