December 2016

Trump & the myth of the progressive but misled 'white working class' voters

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Once it became clear that Trump was going to become the president of the USA, my Facebook feed became cluttered with attempts to understand how that could possibly happen.  How could a white supremacist, misogynist and utterly transparent snake oil salesman accumulate so many votes?  Those on the left both inside and outside the borders of the USA struggled to understand what had happened.

[Listen to the audio of this entire article]

A common conclusion in too many of these pieces is that the left needs to reach out, and listen to the concerns of, those who voted for him as a priority.  In a similar fashion to how sections of the left evaluated Brexit, they see a working class anti-establishment rebellion in the Trump vote from what they term the ‘white working class’. They believe that component was won by Trump because it has been neglected by the left - often, they will assert, because the rest of the left was distracted by what they call identity politics.

Radical bookfair to be held in Derry 28th January

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This coming January in Derry, activists will be holding its first evert Radical Bookfair. In a statement on their web page organisers said: On Saturday 28th January 2017 the first ever Derry Radical Bookfair will take place in Pilots Row Community Centre, Rossville Street, Derry, BT48 6LP.

The event takes place on one of the busiest days of the political calendar in the city which is during the Bloody Sunday week of events. Each year the same venue itself hosts the annual Bloody Sunday events such as talks, films and discussions around contemporary social justice issues.

Anarchism, Oppression & Exploitation - WSM position paper

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What is this?

This paper outlines how we the intersections of exploitation and oppressions and what approach the WSM takes in relation to this.  Our collective theoretical understanding is framed in the WSM Constitution’s core point of unity number 7: “We actively oppose all manifestations of prejudice within the workers' movement and society in general and we work alongside those struggling against racism, sexism, [religious] sectarianism and homophobia as a priority. We see the success of a revolution and the successful elimination of these oppressions after the revolution being determined by the building of such struggles in the pre-revolutionary period. The methods of struggle that we promote are a preparation for the running of society along anarchist and communist lines after the revolution.” 

That theory is informed by the individual and collective experiences of WSM members over 30 years and our adaption of anarchism to our local contexts which includes specific experiences of oppression and personal & historical experiences of the anti-colonial struggle in Ireland and elsewhere.  The development of this paper involved our own experiences being placed alongside our discussions of the broad set of writings and observations emerging from the anarchist and feminist study of the relationship between gender, class and race and in particular what is often referred to today as ‘Intersectionality’.

Anarchism, Oppression, and Exploitation

        A Workers Solidarity Movement Position Paper

 


 

Saoradh, Irish republicanism and the politics of Unfinished Revolution

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The launch of Saoradh in the Canal Court Hotel in Newry is the latest republican project to have emerged but is it a fresh departure a break from past mistakes or just simply a re-packaged version of the pre ceasefire Provies?

Since its inception, Saoradh has faced increasing state repression on both sides of the border as it has attempted to establish itself. Many will look upon this crackdown as evidence of a real threat to the status-quo and therefore acclaim the revolutionary potential of Saoradhs’ version of republicanism, confusing revolution with the reality that the state will always repress those who they perceive question their monopoly over violence.

Author launching Revolution in Rojava across Ireland - Cork, Dublin, Cavan, Dungannon, Belfast

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Next week sees an exciting speaking tour around Ireland when author Ercan Ayboga who spoke at the Dublin anarchist bookfair will be launching  “Revolution in Rojava.”  Dublin WSM has been running a reading group* on this book over the last month and we highly recommend it as an account of the nuts & bolts of the Rojava revolution essential to anyone who wants to transform the world.

Cork: O’Rahilly Building (ORB 132), UCC, 12th December, 6pm

Dublin: Connolly Book (43 East Essex Street, Dublin 2), 13th December, 6pm
Cavan: Bridge Street Centre, Bridge Street, 14th December, 6,30pm
Dungannon: Éalú Centre, Shamble Lane, 15th December @ 6:30pm
Belfast: Just Books (22 Berry Street, Belfast, BT1 1FJ), 19th December @ 6:30pm

Perspectives for Struggle and Revolution

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What this Paper is
What we summarise below is what the WSM has collectively agreed are the prospects for struggle in the short and medium term both in terms of global and local capitalism but more importantly of the existing movements and struggles and those we think are coming into existence.  It should be read in conjunction with ‘The Role of the Anarchist Organisation’ which is the long term strategic view within which these short and medium terms considerations are shaped.  Fundamentally we think ‘kick it till it breaks’ leads to burnout and inactivity. Sustained organising over decades requires a collective understanding and identification of the moments of opportunity scattered through the periods of preparation and experimentation.

 

Perspectives for Struggle and Revolution

        A Workers Solidarity Movement Position Paper

 


 

Class and Exploitation

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Collectively agreed by WSM National Conference, Oct 2016.

What this paper does
The left talks about class in ways that are often contradictory and confusing. This paper represented our collective use of class and how we understand exploitation. The scope of what we cover means that it necessarily makes sweeping generalisations but the goal is to sketch what our collective perspective is around these, not to be an educational resource in itself.

Class and Exploitation

        A Workers Solidarity Movement Position Paper

 


 

Report on WSM National Conference 2016

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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)

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

 


 

RTE Drivetime's hostile click bait against Apollo House falls flat on its face

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RTE Drivetime engaged in some shameful clickbait trolling on Twitter last night to try and get a few more listeners. While they have congratulated posh schools for engaging in token sleep outs they decided to directly attack the occupation of Apollo house and its bringing into use as an emergency shelter for homeless people.

And boy did it fall on its face. Normally far far more people will like a Tweet than reply to it. In this case though 201 people have posted angry replies and only 19 liked it. A far stronger message though had already been sent out when the occupiers Home Sweet Home Eire page attracted over 27,000 followers in 6 days and over 1500 people have actually volunteered to help keep the shelter open. Likewise so many donations of materials were received that within a couple of days out had to be announced that there was no room for more.

Apollo house receives eviction by injunction notice

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About an hour ago the Apollo house occupation received a finally crafted piece of legalistic bullshit designed to divide homelessness activists from the professional services on 'Health & Safety' grounds. Health & safety has become the go to excuse for pushing people onto the streets, when the Halston street (ex) prison was occupied over the summer we say the same 'concern' this time over the fact that the pigeon shit found in that building was a health and concern safety. As we observed then there is plenty of pigeon street on the cold, wet streets of Dublin but now its winter and those streets are very much colder.

Video tour of previous Dublin eviction by injunction sites on the morning of Apollo House hearing

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This video was shot on the morning of the Apollo House injunction hearing at the High Court, 21st December.  As well as footage from outside the courts on our way there we had earlier visited the sites of other occupied buildings evicted in the last 20 months. We discovered all of them were still vacant and in most cases no visible work at all had been done on them.

Support the occupation of Apollo house

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A high court judge yesterday granted an injunction that directs the Home Sweet Home occupiers of Apollo House to vacate the building by noon on January 11th. This means that the occupiers will remain in the building until after Christmas which is some good news but it still means that the State is quite willing to forcibly eject people from safe accommodation back out onto freezing streets or into unsafe, sub standard accommodation.

Editor of anarchist paper in Turkey jailed for 15 months

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The wave of repression unleashed by the Turkish state against the left and the Kurdish freedom movement that has seen tens of thousands fired from their jobs and thousands jailed, including many HDP MPs,has also hit the anarchist movement there. We heard last night that Hüseyin Civan has been sentenced to 15 months for editing the anarchist paper Meydan Gazetesi.

Apple owes 13 billion to the Irish state - solidarity means abolishing the tax avoidance 'republic'

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A bit of great news as the year closes - Apple have been told they owe 13 billion to the Irish state. Great news now in terms of housing, healthcare and eduction where that money is badly needed. But also great news in the long term for workers everywhere as its a blow against corporate tax avoidance.

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