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A Blog About Human Rights
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8 reasons anarchists are voting Yes to Repeal the hated 8th
WSM position on May 25th Irish abortion referendum
On May 25th we in Ireland finally get to vote to Repeal the hated 8th amendment. Here we present the 8 reasons WSM members are voting Yes to Repeal along with many of the articles we have published on the issue in recent months.
Repeal has been our major activity since March with every member of WSM involved at some level. We took the decision to direct almost all of this involvement through Together for Yes (T4Y) so you won't have seen WSM printed material, e.g. posters, and we are not doing our own public meetings, and so forth. All that sort of work and help with organising tasks is instead being done as volunteers with Together for Yes, a range of work from organising local groups to packing merch in HQ to leafletting and canvassing, you'll find some reports from this work towards the end.
It's not too late to get involved, in the Marriage Equality campaign the largest canvasses were in the closing days, volunteer to canvass with T4Y now and those already doing so will be delighted by fresh faces. With less than 14 days to go the weekend saw huge canvass teams take to the streets with many first timers along and its expected they will continue to grow right up to the eve of the vote.
The exception to this is our online media. This is because we have built up a huge reach with 100,000 followers across our various social media platforms. We have been using our considerable online reach to amplify T4Y messaging. It also allows us to say the things that T4Y as a broad campaign might have difficulty expressing, for example explaining that the referendum comes from an anti-establishment revolt that forced the politicans into calling it.
Our online campaign started on the 7th of March, the eve of International Womens' Day and between then and May 9th our own tweets appeared 1.7 million times on peoples feeds. We probably added at least twice that, through retweeting, to T4Y reach as well as other campaign groups including Termination For Medical Reasons, Amnesty, MERJ etc.
Our top Tweet was sent on March 20th, reaching 60,000, it warned about the dark ad campaigns that were coming and provided examples later used by journalists from The Times, C4 News and other publications in their coverage leading to the decision by Facebook & Google to ban online referendum advertising.
The 2nd most popular Tweet was from March 11th where we proved that only 9,000 people had taken part in the 'Rally 4 Life' and not the 100,000 claimed by organisers. This reached 51,000 and was important in establishing early on that claims from the No camp needed to be investigated rather than reported as fact, as much of the media were doing.
Both our facebook pages have been busy posting unique content written by our members about the referendum, some of which is now archived here on our website. Solidarity Times had 46,000 engagements last month alone, reaching 72,000 people in Ireland. Our Workers Solidarity Movement page had 65,000 engagements over the last month. An engagment is a like, share or comment. We've also been providing photography and video coverage, with video we have shot appearing in several Yes campaign related videos including this great version of Phil Och's When I'm Gone by Shift Work.
You can read a selection of those articles below. We are not running paid ads so we are entirely reliant on people engaging with our articles to reach people. So if you like one be sure to Like, Share, Retweet or comment to get it out to more people, we estimate each time you do that has a similar extra reach to us spending 1-10 euro on paid ads.
How we got a referendum
Questions of the referendum campaign
Looking at the No campaigns
Dark ads & other dirty tricks
Lessons from elsewhere
Some activity reports from our members