Opinion

The opinion of a WSM member. This piece has not been reviewed by any WSM editing body

Anarchist reflection on the Repeal campaign

Date:

For the future of all our movements and struggles, the experience of a confident, well-organised and winning campaign is hugely important. Who knows where we might go with a victory in the Repeal referendum?

 

Savita was one of us - we owe her our Yes to Repeal this Friday

Date:

At the start of the referendum campaign in March, I took this photograph showing the poster image of Savita, who died because of the 8th amendment, and in the background a huge billboard with a CGI / cartoon of what is meant to be an 11 week old foetus.  Both have the common slogan ‘one of us’ - the photograph invites us to consider if the life of this 31-year-old woman of colour, who was denied a life-saving abortion, really has the same value as an anonymous and unknown 11-week-old foetus.

This is the question we will be voting on this Friday, indeed beyond that we are voting on whether a doctor who gives a life-saving abortion in a Savita-like case should have the threat of a 14-year jail sentence hanging over them - as the 2013 law lays down - whether any of the hundreds of pregnant people taking abortion pills at home in Ireland should be doing so under the risk of that 14-year sentence.  That is the law as it stands - to change it, the 8th must be repealed.

'You Throw the Word Fascism around, but What is it?'

Date:

Whenever the topic of fascism arises, whether it's a fascist group being prevented from meeting, or a gang of far-right thugs attacking someone, often someone will demur in the following way:

'You like to use the word fascism, what is fascism in your mind? That word is used to scaremonger.'

Jobstown Not Guilty verdict exposes Garda, Labour and class rule in Ireland

Date:

THE JOBSTOWN SIX have been found NOT GUILTY - a disastrous outcome for the Labour party and Garda in what has been the biggest political show trial for some decades. It is impossible to have followed the details of the arrests and trial and walk away with the impression that the Garda were not acting on government instructions, even if just on the basis of the ‘nod and a wink’. The verdict may well catch anyone relying on the mainstream media as a surprise because right across that media the reporting of the trial was highly selective, reflecting the interests of those who own and control it.

*** A summary for anyone following this from outside Ireland, six men were on trial accused of falsely imprisoning the then Tanáiste and Labour TD, Joan Burton, and her colleague in Jobstown on 15 November 2014. The charge of false imprisonment carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. All six men claimed that they were exercising their right to protest, and that the protest was peaceful. Following a nine week trial, the six have been found not guilty. ***

There's Not Enough Time in the Day

Date:

There’s not enough bloody time in the day. I find the more my life goes on, the less time I have to live. I wake up around 6am to go to work, and after my commute home, cooking dinner, and attending to other errands, I have 1 hour to myself if I’m lucky. Often by the time I do these basic tasks it’s late enough that I know I’ll be shattered tomorrow and I’ll have to drag myself through the day. After five days I clamber to the shore of the weekend, but often find I’m so drained and conditioned by the work week I’m not myself. It’s a cycle which has no end in sight. Time is constantly on my mind. ‘Can’t do that, not enough time. Sorry, not enough time. Not enough time. I wish I had more time. Where does the time go?’ Checking my phone, what time is it, checking my phone, checking my phone. It does my head in and it’s not going to improve.

 

An account of how #Strike4Repeal went in Dublin

Date:

Andrew spent the day of March 8th 2017 recording #Strike4Repeal and has edited this 20 minute video account of how the day went down in Dublin.  Below you will also find a  text transcript of his account.

I headed into Dublin early on #Strike4Repeal day because a little birds had told me of the plan to cover up and alter some of Dublin’s statues in the early morning.

Three futures: Barbarism, UBI Warehousing or Anarchism

Date:

Our global society is broken. Donald Trump & Brexit are symptoms along with the rise of the far right elsewhere in Europe. In an old pattern, fundamental economic crisis often results in society becoming very much more brutal for most people.  In the age of nuclear weapons this current crisis could be our last.  And with a somewhat longer countdown to disaster we are also facing climate catastrophe.

The crisis is fundamental rather than temporary because there are two underlying factors that are irreversible.  The first is the end of the era where the environmental costs of growth could be mostly discounted in the belief that dilution would neutralise pollution.  For much of the industrial revolution the poisonous effluent dumped into the ecosystem had only local severe effects with the vast oceans and atmosphere diluting the pollutants enough that global effects were minor.  This is no longer the case with climate change being the most talked about of several examples where the pollution generated by growth can no longer be absorbed without serious global consequences. 

[As this is a long read we have also made
the entire piece available on audio,
listen as you are doing the dishes 
or you can download a PDF version]

Class and Exploitation

Date:

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

 


 

Perspectives for Struggle and Revolution

Date:

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

 


 

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

Date:

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.

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