National

From apathy to rebellion: the water war in Ireland.

Date:
No one saw this coming, not even the veteran activists. Hundreds of thousands resisting neoliberal economic policies would have been difficult to imagine even at the height of the Campaign Against Home and Water Charges. Although that campaign, primarily fighting against the regressive Household Charge and the subsequent Property Tax, was nationwide, it never quite built the momentum that we’ve seen with the anti-water charges campaign, though not for lack of effort on the part of activists. The CAHWT failed in its objective of defeating the Property Tax, the resistance effort however was not in vain; it prepared the ground for the current phase of struggle.
 

Homelessness: Shouldn't We Just Look After 'Our Own'?

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When it comes to housing, most of us just want to sort everyone out because everyone needs a home regardless of who they are. However, occasionally an issue is raised about who the homeless are:

'Are all the homeless people Irish? And if so how can the government find houses for the refugees coming into Ireland and not their own people?'

There are lots of people in high places who benefit from us thinking that the reason for homelessness in Ireland is refugees and other migrants. Or that these people are causing 'us' a big problem. It's understandable why some people believe that, after all the media spreads this message constantly, but it's just not accurate.

Towards Womens Freedom

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The WSM's collectively agreed position on women's freedom as amended by the July 2017 WSM National Conference. This position paper sits under the Sex, Gender, and Sexuality paper and does not repeat that material here.

Towards Women's Freedom

        A Workers Solidarity Movement Position Paper

 


 

Report on WSM National Conference 2016

Date:

The Workers Solidarity Movement had our Autumn national conference in Dublin on the 22nd October. What follows is a brief report on the days proceedings.

What is WSM National Conference?

National Conference is the ultimate decision-making body for WSM members. It happens every six months and takes place over a day or two. We discuss motions on collective policy, reflect on the past six months of activity and map prospects for the next period.

Conference normally begins with reports of activity from all branches, officers and working groups.  This might cover areas like current campaigns, publications, education, engagement and administration as well as organising Dublin Anarchist Bookfair. We then move on to an open discussion of our perspectives before discussing amendments to our position papers.

We interrupted National Conference this year in order to take part in a demonstration outside the Central Bank in support of a 17 year old water charges demonstrator from Jobstown. 

This is direct democracy in action. If this appeals to you, you might consider finding out more about the WSM and what we anarchists are up to. (Not on our contact system? Self register here)

Not wanting Apples billions? The landlords agent is not our friend

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The native Irish ruling class have long been prone to parasitical activity, enriching themselves by acting as agents of absentee landlords or today as law firms for multinationals keen to avoid and evade paying taxes.  As landlords agents that involved breaking down the doors to evict those who were literally dying of starvation.  The modern form is less hands on but the repercussions are similar, the 13 billion they don’t want to collect from Apple are the same billions whose absence has people dying on hospital trolleys.

Wealth and the working poor - you'd have to work 703 years to earn what O'Reilly takes

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Roughly over one hundred thousand workers in Ireland are currently working on the minimum wage-thats 9.15 an hour or under 400 euro a week,working 40 hours a week. Around 90% of those on social welfare payment and out of work earn less than they would in work. The old proclamations of our leaders that 'were all middle class now' and the lies spread about those on social welfare are shown to be what they actually are from these facts. They are mere propaganda slogans aimed at convincing us that we live in a more or less equal society and that we should keep quiet about the enormous wealth of corporations and business owners.

What is 'Self-Organisation'? A Basic Introduction

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What is 'self-organisation'?

Listen to anarchists for long enough, and you'll hear us praising the 'self-organisation' of various movements or groups and insisting that political activity needs to be more 'self-organised'. But what does this mean? Why is this important?

It can be an odd-sounding term, but basically 'self-organisation' is doing stuff without relying on or waiting for external leadership or a central authority. A 'self-organised' movement doesn't wait for parties, unions, or whatever leader, to give it orders. A 'self-organised' group isn't controlled from the top-down. Self-organisation – like a related idea, 'self-management' – is at the core of anarchism. It makes us more effective, and gives us an opportunity to practice real democracy.

The making of an anarchist in Portlaoise prison

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In 2010 I was sentenced to 6 years for having possession of 20 grams of explosive powder.  I was to serve 4 years and 8 months in Portlaoise prison.  This is not an in-depth study into prison and jails, and it is not an academic piece. It is simply an experience. My experience of jail will be different than other people’s experience because no two people’s experience will ever be the same. The other person’s experience will always be different no matter how great or small.   

My experience started with 3 days questioning in a Garda station in Mountjoy. After the questioning was over I was charged with having an explosive substance, having materials used to build explosives and membership of an illegal organization.

From the Garda station I was brought straight to the special criminal court which was in Green Street courthouse at the time. I was brought to the holding cell, which resembled something out of a cowboy film or a medievil film. There was no door on the cell, there was a gate made from bars. On the wall of the cell were messages written on the wall by people that have come through here, messages of support, people's names with numbers beside their name indicating how many years the person got, names of different republican groups, pictures of soldiers with guns, symbols such as the hammer and sickle.

Remembering 1916 Together: Anarchist Perspectives - video from #DABF 2016

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A century ago, an armed insurrection took place in Ireland to end British rule and to establish an independent Irish Republic. The 1916 Rising was soon accompanied by major popular revolts against World War One across Europe and later emulated by anti-colonial movements across the Global South.

When it comes to remembering the 1916 Rising, why do conservative politicians and historians want to convince us that it would have been better for us if Pearse and Connolly had stayed at home? Why did the state parade lots of military equipment and personnel down O’Connell Street to mark the centenary? Why did so many people turn out to watch it?

This panel attempts to think through the meaning of 1916 for us today, and the politics at stake in how these events are remembered, forgotten, and mis-remembered.

Remembering the Green Party betrayal while they held power - why trust them again?

Date:

Green Partuy Leader Eamonn Ryan with Rossport solidarity sign outside Dail - Photo William Hederman indymedia.ieWe are in the midst of another full on election cycle. Eamonn Ryan, leader of the Green party, and former minister in the preceding government, was annoyed at not being one of the leaders involved in the TV debate. But let us not forget what happens with the little party in the coalition government. We can witness it in the performance of Labour in this government, but the previous government, lest we forget, was a Fianna Fail and green alliance, with the little party being the greens.

Bertie Ahern appointed on the 14th of June, Eamon Ryan to the newly created portfolio, of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources. This was a big test for the greens who had aligned themselves with the Rossport campaign, and their leader, Trevor Sargent, at the time spoke at a Shell to Sea press conference and said that the Greens “supported an independent commission” as proposed by the campaign. The party were also aware of the great oil and gas giveaway, and said that it needed to be reviewed.

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