Organising

Articles about organising methods and campaigns and the technical details of carrying out tasks

Home Taxes - We’re beyond elections; time for direct action - vote down electoralism on Saturday

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This article is a plea to campaign members and activists to vote down proposals that have been put in to this Saturday's CAHWT conference to endorse a slate of candidates in elections and to instead concentrate our collective energies on building the mood of political protest that is necessary to defeat the property tax in the immediate future. The WSM will be distributing this text as a leaflet on Saturday, let us know if you would like to help.

Failing to unveil Capitalism at Occupy - Paulo Freire’s Theoretical Framework

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The Occupy movement may have come into our lives just over a year ago with a bang but it went out months later with a whimper. Cathal uses the benefit of hindsight to look at the phenomenon as it manifested itself on these shores and what anarchists could have done to make it work better. The difficulties as Cathal argues did not lie in making arguments for democracy has been the case in so many other campaigns but in that the occupiers “didn’t see this conception extending to the realm of economic production” and in developing the 99%/1% analysis into a deeper class analysis. Recognising problems with current modes of consciousness raising, he utilises Paulo Freire’s pedagogical framework in an attempt to subject “our own political strategies, methodologies and theories to critical scrutiny”.

Single Issue Campaigns, Community Syndicalism & Direct Democracy

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There’s been a lot of talk lately about participatory and direct democracy. Renewed interest in alternative forms of organising society has arisen from increasing dissatisfaction with mainstream politics and the domination of the economy by a few corporations. This dissatisfaction has found its expression in the Arab spring, the May 15th movement in Spain and the Occupy movement in the English-speaking world. Where the anti-capitalist movement of the last decade focussed almost exclusively on the power of the corporations and finance capital, this current tendency is to also focus on politics and the state. 

Revolutionary Organization in the age of Networked Individualism

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The revolutions and revolts that swept the world in 2011 took almost everyone by surprise. One of the first strong attempts to explain why they happened is Paul Mason’s ‘Why It’s Kicking Off Everywhere.’  He argues that “the materialist explanation for 2011...is as much about individuals versus hierarchies as it is about rich against poor.”    By far the most provocative element of his book is the idea that communications technology, in particular the internet, is transforming the way people behave and that a significant contribution to the revolts of 2011 lie in these changes.  If he’s right it had profound consequences for the form and structure of revolutionary organisations including anarchist ones. 

This article also availale on audio & video, see end.

Household Tax- planning to win - democracy is the key

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The National Conference of the Campaign Against the Household and Water Taxes in May made some key decisions. The ultimate objective of our campaign should be to ensure that everyone who gets involved in it can have an equal input into our decision-making. This will make for a more democratic and far more efficient Campaign which large numbers of people will feel direct ownership of. That will mean a far stronger Campaign and one capable of winning.  On Saturday we distributed this text which explains the case for direct democracy as a leaflet to those attending the conference.

What YOU can do in your local Household tax campaign group to make it more effective

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Local Participation - Get involved with your local campaign group, ensure that it meets up regularly and that decisions are made democratically and through discussion, so that people really have a sense of ownership of the campaign. This method of organising actually encourages participation, as people being asked to carry out tasks such as leafleting through an email or text message is disempowering and feels much like being given orders as opposed to a group of people working towards a common goal to benefit themselves.

How the DEIS cuts were reversed in primary schools

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Following his announcement that many of his proposed cuts to teacher numbers in schools serving areas of social disadvantage (“DEIS schools”) are to be reversed, Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairi Quinn, has admitted that protests work and that he made the decision because of the huge protests faced by himself and his colleagues on the government backbenches. “[I]n relation to the area where all the pressure was coming from and all the protests was [sic] coming from …. I reflected on the impact on those schools…. and I reversed that decision,” he said.

Your rights when stopped and/or arrested by a garda

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This is a useful guide written by a barrister for Shell to Sea on what your rights are when stopped, and / or arrested by Garda.  Garda seeking information or to frighten you will often mislead you as to what your rights are, its a good idea to have a basic understanding so that they quickly understand such methods are unlikely to work.

Using the Organiser Model to Beat the Household Tax

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The new year brings a new tax from the Irish government and a new fight in the shape of the campaign against this household tax.  Although we have beaten such taxes in the past, past victories are no guarantee of future success. In the light of the current low level of organisation and self-confidence amongst our class, we need to re-assess our methods of organisation if we aim to achieve the levels of mass participation needed for a victory. The argument of this article is that the existing traditional models of building local campaigns are not sufficient to the task and that we need to look to a new model of organising - the organiser model.

Interview with Larry Wheelock: “No Justice, Just Us”

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In what will be widely seen as a part of an ongoing cover up the the Gardai Ombudsman has released a report which claims Terence Wheelock was not mistreated in Store street Gardai station (where he died). Here we reproduce a long interview with his brother Larry who, along with the rest of the family, has spent years campaigning for justice for Terence.

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The family and friends of Terence Wheelock are still waiting for a credible and complete account of what happened in the station from the Garda [1] . In 2005 they launched a campaign demanding an independent inquiry into the case.

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