Routes to freedom - the platform, its shortcomings and the WSM practise - does it remain relevant?

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The anarchists Makhno & Berkman in swim wear from a background over which a rainbow star burst is laid and then a routing diagram laid on top of all three.One of the key foundation documents for the Workers Solidarity Movement is the ‘Organizational Platform of the General Union of Anarchists (Draft)’   This text was written in Paris in 1926 by a group that included exiled Russian and Ukrainian anarchists and was very influenced by the lessons they drew from the Russian Revolution.  Three of the authors -- Nestor Makhno, Ida Mett, Piotr Archinov -- were then and now very well known anarchists, the remaining two -- Valevsky and Linsky -- I know relatively little about. 

In this article I intend to examine whether this text has any relevance to anarchist organising today, some 90 years after it was drafted. In addition, what can we say about its shortcomings? Finally, I will look at some of the confusion the WSM ran into when trying to follow it.

Summer of evictions in Dublin - video interview

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An interview about the wave of occupations and evictions that took place in the first half of 2015 in Dublin.

A Brief Introduction to Modern Day Irish Republicanism. What Can Anarchists learn from Modern Day Republicanism?

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Republican Sinn Fein and the Continuity IRA

 

Republican Sinn Fein (RSF) and the Continuity IRA were established due to a split within Provisional Sinn Fein (PSF). At PSF's 1986 ard fheis, members supported the proposal to drop abstentionist policy (not recognizing the Irish state) in the 26 county state. Those at the ard fheis who were opposed to the policy walked out of the ard fheis and out of the Provisional movement. They went on to create Republican Sinn Fein. The split was a political one so it was mainly members of PSF that left - not many members of the Provisional Irish Republican Army (PIRA) left. They saw the need to create a new organization because they believed PSF had broken from the Republican tradition of abstentionism. The Provisional Movement was created for the exact same reason. The same people that created the Provisionals went on to create Republican Sinn Fein.

 

An attempt to liberate a vacant council flat for a homeless mother and her children

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Myself and some comrades were approached by a young mother from Coolock that recently became homeless. The woman and her children became homeless a few weeks previous. While her kids are in school during the day the mother either walks the streets or calls into friends or family member’s homes. When school has ended for the day they have to rely on family and friends to let them stay in their homes. Sometimes the mother has to split her children up so that she’d definitely have a roof over all her kid’s heads for the night.

She had to leave the house she was renting because of the condition the house was in. She went to Dublin City Council (DCC) and because of the advice given to her by the council she registered herself as being homeless. She asked the council to be put up in one of the state’s homeless hostels or money for a hotel room or a B&B. She was told there is no more spaces left in the hostels, but the council would give her money for a hotel room or B&B. The young mother spent days then weeks trying to get a room in a hotel or B&B that would be suitable for her and her children, but to no avail. She had to survive from the good will of her friends and family.

Border rebellion - Two different futures are fighting to be born in this moment

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Two different futures are fighting to be born in this moment.

One the future of more effective border guards, of dragging refugees off trains and herding them into camps, of war without end, of hatred for the 'other', of wealth for a privilege few and immiseration for the masses.

The other future is glimpsed in the people quietly organising our own aid convoys to Calais, of solidarity with Rojava, of fighting for an equality that will be global in scope and from which no one will be locked out.

Which of those futures will you choose to feed?

Stop the drownings - send ferries not gun boats - stop visa checks

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A photo of the body of 3 year old Aylan Kurdi, drowned on the beaches of Fortress Europe has gone viral and appeared on the front pages of many papers across the world.  Aylan died with his brother and his mother.  All were apparently fleeing the murderous ISIS onslaught on Kobane

Let's not send gunboats to rescue the drowning, let's send ferries to provide safe crossings for the living.

Let's not build detention camps on Greek islands, let's remove the requirement that airlines check visas before people can board.

Why the media is biased - understanding the propaganda model

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When the Watergate Scandal brought down the Nixon Government in the States in the mid-70s, it was heralded as one of the finest examples of media power in modern times. Nixon's fall from grace, along with the story of corruption in high places, was the stuff of drama. In no time, the journalists at the centre of the Watergate exposé - Bernstein and Woodward - became celebrities. They went on to win Pulitzer Prizes for their journalistic endeavours and even became the subject of a Hollywood touch-up in All The President's Men.

Ever since, Watergate has acted as a sort of beacon. No single news story did as much for the prestige of the media or the profession of journalism. No other single news-story seems to have offered such overwhelming evidence that under capitalism "the press is free". For a newspaper to be able to have the power and freedom to bring down a US President of Nixon's stature - well, what more can you say?

Solidarity Times leaflet for August 29th Water Charges march

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We are the crisis of Irish Water! We do not want to have our water commodified, metered, and privatised. We know why this is happening – to increase the wealth and privilege of a global financial capitalist class and their political servants in the EU and Ireland.

We refuse to bow to them. We have gotten up before dawn to stop water meter installation on our streets. We have organised meetings in our communities. We have marched in our thousands and in our hundreds of thousands, shouting “Enough!” and “No way, we won’t pay!” and “Shove your meters up your arse!” We are not just angry, we are determined. 

We have forced this government into climb-downs and concessions, and we will do the same to the next one. We have decided to boycott Irish Water. We are encouraging our friends, co-workers and neighbours to do the same. Our community of communities is strong and growing stronger. We will keep on growing. When we break Irish Water, we will clear the rubble and grow real solidarity, real co-operation and real community in its place.

Refusing to Wait: Anarchism and Intersectionality - "Without justice there can be no love."--bell hooks

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Anarchism can learn a lot from the feminist movement. In many respects it already has. Anarcha-feminists have developed analyses of patriarchy that link it to the state form. We have learned from the slogan that "the personal is political" (e.g. men who espouse equality between all genders should treat the women in their lives with dignity and respect). We have learned that no revolutionary project can be complete while men systematically dominate and exploit women; that socialism is a rather empty goal--even if it is "stateless"--if men's domination of women is left intact.

Why capitalism can't sort out the worlds problems

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The list of jobs to be done in Ireland is endless. Houses need to be built, roads need to be repaired, hospitals and schools need to be adequately staffed. At the same time large number of pople are looking for work but unabkle to find it. Why can't these jobs be given to those who want them?

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