History

Don't Mourn, Organise: Derry Anarchists Mark 100 Years Since Joe Hill's Death

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November 19th marks the 100th anniversary of the execution of activist and labour organiser Joe Hill by the hands of the state.

A Swedish immigrant, a songwriter, Joe Hill was a worker and a member of the Industrial Workers of the World, the Wobblies. He was a prolific songwriter for his union, which contributed to the IWW’s growth in the early 20th century.
 

Three Years On, We Remember Savita Halappanavar

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Today marks three years since the brutal and needless passing of Savita Halappanavar.

Quick interview at Jigsaw about Dublin to Calais refugee solidarity

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One of our reporters was using his van to help transport refugee solidarity donations to Jigsaw, one of the Dublin sorting points of this grassroots initiative. He took a moment to shoot this quick video explainer showing the volume of materials that has poured in.

The 'X to Calais' solidarity groups formed in cities, towns and villages right across Ireland in order to collect needed supplies, form convoys and drive them to the migrant camps across Europe starting with the inspiring site of consistent self organised resistance at Calais.

The limits of ‘One Ireland, One Vote’.

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Since their emergence a few years ago, the 1916 societies have emerged across Ireland in most towns and cities solidifying themselves within anti-GFA (Good Friday Agreement) republicanism. It is a broad church catering for every shade of republicanism based on the central pillar of the 1916 Easter Proclamation and seeking an All-Ireland referendum free from all external influence. Their main activities involve talks, commemorations, history tours and aiming for an All-Ireland referendum.

The 1916 Easter Proclamation remains a core pillar of Irish republicanism today and the 1916 Societies are no different. However as we approach its 100 year anniversary next year it is important that we begin to reflect on its relevance today in an every changing global capitalist society in an Ireland that is culturally and ethnically diverse. What do we mean by ‘freedom’ and ‘equality’?

The proclamation is ambiguous by nature and offers nothing in terms of what an independent Ireland would look like and how to get there. Irish republicans are always keen to highlight the loaded terms such as ‘equality’ but what does this mean given all progressive political traditions claim they believe in ‘equality.’

Did you know Oscar Wilde was an anarchist?

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Happy Birthday to Oscar Wilde! Born this date - the 16th of October - in 1854 in Dublin, he studied at Trinity, then Oxford, moved to London, living mostly there, and died in penury in Paris 1900. He was a very successful playwright (as well as a journalist, poet, and lecturer), a London celebrity, and is most famous for his play 'The Importance of Being Earnest', novel 'The Picture of Dorian Gray', epigrams, and, sadly, his persecution for being gay which was his ruination.
 

Though eminently quotable, there was more to Wilde than his turn of phrase and artistic flair. Many know his remark that 'to live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all', but few know its proper context. It is quoted from an essay entitled 'The Soul of Man Under Socialism' in which Wilde espouses his politics - those of libertarian socialism. Commonly understood as an apolitical aesthete, Wilde's radical political views are quite a well kept secret - like George Bernard Shaw's socialism, and to a lesser extent George Orwell's socialism. In fact, he signed Shaw's petition for a pardon of the anarchists arrested, and later executed, after the Haymarket Affair in Chicago, 1886. Wilde was a huge admirer of the famous Russian anarchist communist Peter Kropotkin, describing him in De Profundis as 'a man with a soul of that beautiful white Christ which seems coming out of Russia'.

Review: 100 Years Later: The Legacy of the 1913 Lockout.

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History has traditionally been viewed through the prism of ‘great leaders’ or ‘powerful men’ (and it usually is men).  In recent years, however, the importance of community or local history – and the contributions of ‘ordinary’ people to great events – has been recognised.  To paraphrase Jim Larkin “The great leaders only appear great because of the commitment, sacrifice and energy of ordinary people”.
 
“100 Years Later – The Legacy of the 1913 Lockout”, edited by Mary Muldowney and Ida Milne and published by Seven Towers, is a strong and powerful contribution to shining a light on the “hardship and heroism that was part of that epic struggle.”
 

Britains secret dirty war in Ireland - the MRF & FRU

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The recent BBC  documentary 'Panorama: Britain's Secret Terror Force' may have once again put a spotlight on the extent of British state sponsored terrorism in the North and the activities of its various shadowy forces; but the level of orchestration, impunity, collusion and cover up is yet to be truly uncovered. The documentary revealing the activities of the Military Reaction Force (MRF) was aired just a day after Northern Irish Attorney General John Larkin called for an amnesty on atrocities committed during the Irish troubles. He may be right to break this taboo, but was he lobbied by British soldiers and their friends who fear justice taking its course as this evidence comes to light?
 

Shadows of a revolution - Nick Lloyd's Spanish civil war walking tour reviewed

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Ask an anarchist for an example of a time and place where their ideas were put to the test and they will most likely reply with “Barcelona, 1936”. In July of that year, the workers of Barcelona, mainly organised around the anarcho-syndicalist Confederación Nacional del Trabajo (CNT; "National Confederation of Labour") rose in opposition to the fascist generals' coup that was gripping the south of the Spanish state.

Building an effective anarchist movement in Australia

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This post- Melbourne Anarchist bookfair conversation took place in the Melbourne Anarchist Club (MAC) which has a history stretching back to the 1890s.  While visiting the premises which contains a library, meeting space and infoshop I caught up with Brendan and Ben two active members of the collective and Kieran from Anarchist Affinity which is seeking to build a similar organisation to the WSM, based on theoretical and tactical unity and collective responsibility.

Topics discussed included the history of MAC, opinions on the third Melbourne bookfair, struggles engaged in by anarchists, and the potential for building a viable anarchist movement in Australia.  Other areas discussed included Australia's treatment towards refugees, it's history built on the genocide and dispossession of its indigenous people and ongoing land struggles.

The Soul of Man under Socialism - Oscar Wilde 1891

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The chief advantage that would result from the establishment of Socialism is, undoubtedly, the fact that Socialism would relieve us from that sordid necessity of living for others which, in the present condition of things, presses so hardly upon almost everybody. In fact, scarcely anyone at all escapes.

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