MLK quote gets perfectly applied to #blacklivesmatter but also can be used for other struggles against injustice

In the latest Best of the Left podcast there is a segment taken from Dave Zirin’s “The Edge of Sports” where he deals with the reaction to American football player Colin Kaepernick’s refusal to stand for the US national anthem in support of the #BlackLivesMatter movement.

Zirin uses a quote from Martin Luther King to describe the reaction of several influential people from the sport’s community to the protest, whereby they essentially say “I support the ends but not the means”.

I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the white citizen’s Councillor or Ku Klux Klan-er, but the “white moderate”, who is more devoted to order than to justice, who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice.

Who constantly says “I agree with you in the goal you seek but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action”.

Who paternalistically believes they can set the timetable for another man’s freedom, who lives by a mythical concept of time. And who constantly advises the negro to wait for a more convenient season.

Personally I have more respect for someone who bravely stands up for what he believes in than I do for someone who blindly stands up for a song and a waving piece of cloth.

But I also believe the quote is significant for wider issues around the world.  Take what we have here in Ireland, like #RepealThe8th #Right2Water and #StopTTIP.  Please understand that I appreciate the many differences between those struggles and those of the African American community in the US.

What I do mean is that such struggles should not be fought against the extremists at the far end of any ideological argument.  It should instead be directed at those in between who stand with their backs to the resistance because while they do appreciate the injustice, they don’t see the point in resisting…at least not right now.  “Maybe that day will come, but it is not today”, is essentially their argument.

They should be shown that not only can it be today, but it can also be done peacefully.  If enough people believe, it can be so.



March in Dublin for #Right2Water & other causes on Saturday September 17

Here at FPP we certainly believe in social media activism but not at the expense of actually getting out there on the street and peacefully congregating to register public protest against government wrongdoing.

So we hope to see you in Dublin for the #Right2Water march this Saturday…there are also protests planned against TTIP, Justice for Mary Boylan among others but the water charges appear to be the main focus.

Find out more on the Right2Water National Demonstration Facebook page.

One month before the Troika entered Ireland, Fianna Fail had plans to introduce water charges. Now, after all the demonstrations and resistance, the party have reversed their water policy.

This is what happens when you have a strong movement of people power. But the fight isn’t over, not by a long shot. Water is fast becoming THE most profitable industry in the world and some of the most powerful and wealthy corporations in the world will continue to pursue our water, until we get our referendum – even if they have to do so through the EU and the #TTIP and #CETA agenda.

“Secrets of a Global Super Court” : essential reading to understand why we need to #StopTTIP

In the ongoing #AppleTax debacle one of the most common themes used by both Apple and the Irish government is that the ruling of the European Commission is essentially an “attack on our sovereignty”.   If they truly believe that, they must also surely be unified against the ISDS courts due to be used by the TTIP and other such proposed treaties should they come into effect.

According to reports, resistance from both France and Germany could ensure the TTIP doesn’t go ahead, but still I reckon it’s vitally important that the wider public appreciates just exactly what the proposed treaty entailed because I very much doubt the multinationals corporations are going to give up and not try to force something similar through down the line.

Thanks to the latest episode of the excellent Democracy@Work podcast featuring Richard Wolff, we have discovered a series of articles by Chris Hamby on Buzzfeed which expose exactly what these so-called super-courts are all about, who comprises them, and what kind of rulings they have made in the past.

The series kicks off like this :

Imagine a private, global super court that empowers corporations to bend countries to their will.

Say a nation tries to prosecute a corrupt CEO or ban dangerous pollution. Imagine that a company could turn to this super court and sue the whole country for daring to interfere with its profits, demanding hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars as retribution.

I urge you to read on.  There are four articles in total.  The third one is about Sri Lanka but should still be of particular interest to Irish readers.

Inside The Global “Club” That Helps Executives Escape Their Crimes

The Secret Threat That Makes Corporations More Powerful Than Countries

How Big Banks Bled A Tiny Island Nation

How America’s Gift To Trade Treaties Can Come Back To Hammer It

Has an Irish media outlet conducted a similar investigation?  A Google search of “ISDS” under the “Country : Ireland” setting produces nothing from national newspapers, if that means anything.

#StopTTIP movement can work together with anti-TPP activists in the US

Thanks to my regular listening to progressive American podcasts (he said, as if there were progressive Irish ones with which to compare) I knew about the TPP about two years before I ever heard of the TTIP which actually affects the place where I live.  The media silence here has been deafening.

It was good to hear the latest episode of Best of the Left which featured segments on the TTP but also included mentions of the #StopTTIP movement in Europe, like the one above from

In the coming months, those Europeans who have campaigned against TTIP should surely reach out to their American counterparts – even if TTIP is defeated, we still live in a world in which major corporations often have greater power than nation states.  

Only organised movements that cross borders can have any hope of challenging this unaccountable dominance.  From tax justice to climate change, the “protest never achieves anything” brigade have been proved wrong.  Here’s a potential victory to relish and build on.

Next up here from the Irish #StopTTIP movement is a march on September 17.  Unfortunately there is also a #Right2Water march in Dublin the same day…I’d love to know how or why that came about they really do seem like causes that much of the same people would support and thus should have protests on different days.

Anyway…we’ll deal with the water issue in other posts…here’s some info on the #StopTTIP and their Autumn of Action…

STOP CETA! Join us for a day of action on the 17th of September at 2pm at Christ Church.
This will be a solidarity march with Germany and other parts of Europe on the same day ..we hope to meet as a CETA/TTIP block group and join the RIGHT TO WATER march that will be meeting at Heuston Station AND Connolly Station also at 2pm.Bring your STOP CETA/TTIP BANNERS/POSTER or RED BALLOONS WRITE ON THEM STOP CETA.KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR MORE STOP CETA EVENTS OVER THE COMING WEEKS.

We are civil society, grassroots organizations, labour movements, farmer, environmental and social groups from all across Europe, Canada and the U.S. We want to put an end to secretive trade deals like CETA and TTIP, and any that follow; and we want to create an alternative trade policy, one that puts people and planet first and ends corporate impunity.

We are calling, not for a single day of protest, but for an Autumn of Action – because together, our actions will speak louder to those who need to hear us.
Right now – social movements and civil society are fighting against CETA: TTIP through the backdoor.

The process around CETA was EVEN MORE secretive than TTIP. No MEP or politician saw the texts until they were already finalised. CETA is ready to sign and the European Commission and many governments are pushing hard to get it through.

CETA means less democracy in favour of extensive investor rights, it endangers our public services, our small and medium businesses, our workers rights, our environmental and food standards and our planet. The biggest threat is that CETA is a blueprint for TTIP and allows already US corporations to use the ISDS system to sue us for democratic decisions. If CETA is passed it will be hard to oppose TTIP, we need to stand now together to ensure that we do not let our rights get sold off to multinational corporations.

Over the past few years a powerful movement against unfair trade policies has emerged in Europe and beyond. Farmers, judges, local business, trade unions, municipalities and many more stand up against CETA and TTIP.

We protest the way current trade policies profit the few, while the planet and the people suffer.
We reject a trade policy that undermines our hard won labor rights, that forces privatisation of public services and that is dependent on the exploitation of our natural resources and creating the destructive climate change that people across the globe are fighting
We won’t accept a trade system that perpetuates poverty in the global south and produces extreme wealth among the few.
It’s time to face our planetary limits and to share the wealth we can produce between everyone, this is simply impossible with trade agreements giving the opportunity to the most wealthy to win even more.

We therefore stand in solidarity with social movements and civil society in the global south that is fighting for a more just trade system also against our governments and corporations. Just like in Europe people in the Americas, Asia and Africa are going to take action against free trade agreements like TPP (Transpacific Partnership).

Now is the time to act!

This autumn of action will see a massive wave of actions, protest and disobedience in Europe and beyond. This autumn we will show the millions of voices that demand the suspenssion of CETA and TTIP. We are determined to defeat CETA and to win. Stoping CETA opens the space for alternatives. We call on organisations, individuals and alliances to participate by organising autonomous, decentralised actions across Europe. We welcome a diversity of tactics and solidarity actions from across the world that will help inform, engage and mobilise people locally. We will win against CETA because future and current generations deserve it.

Autunm of Action – September to November 2016
#stopCETA and #TTIP

There is also CETA/TTIP. Public Meeting. 
Hosted by Cllr Ray McHugh. With .
MEP Lynn Boylan.and TD Aengus OSnodaigh.
Wednesday 7th September 7/30 pm
Transport Club Clogher Rd.
All Welcome.