If you hoist the green flag - Middlemen and the rule of market forces in Ireland
An interview with Conor McCabe
The following is an edited transcript of an interview cum dialogue with Conor McCabe, author of the 2011 book “Sins of the Father” on the economy of Ireland since independence and researcher on financial shenanigans and corporate misdeeds in the Republic. I keeping with the theme of this issue of IAR on the institutions of power in Ireland, we wanted to explore how money and market forces operate through the specific structures and class composition of Irish society.
Gustavo Esteva is an independent writer and grassroots activist. He has been a central contributor to a wide range of Mexican, Latin American, and international nongovernmental organizations and solidarity networks, including the Universidad de la Tierra en Oaxaca and the Zapatista Army of National Liberation. The WSM's Tom Murray caught up with Gustavo at a recent public lecture at the Kimmage Development Centre to discuss hope, friendship and surprise in the zombie-time of capitalism, and how people are taking initiatives, reclaiming control of their lives and creating vibrant, autonomous alternatives here today.
Welcome to the tenth instalment of the Irish Anarchist Review, published for the 2014 London Anarchist Bookfair.
Five years ago, the Irish Anarchist Review replaced Red and Black Revolution as the magazine of the Workers Solidarity Movement. It’s mission was to fill a vacuum in Irish radical circles, to be a publication that raised questions and provoked debate, rather than laying out blueprints for success, as had been the norm in the more theoretical work of the left. It was established at a time where a fightback was believed to be imminent, when the expectation was that as the (economic) beatings continued, morale would improve.
The intervening years produced a series of false starts. The big ICTU demonstrations in the infancy of the crisis proved to be safety valves for the expulsion of steam from the rank and file, and were tightly controlled by the bureaucracy. The Occupy phenomenon was a reaction against that type of protest, and it did release a wave of creative energy, but it’s structurelessness ultimately had the same effect, and that energy escaped into the ether. There have also been strikes and occupations, the Unlock Nama campaign, the campaign against household and water taxes (CAHWT) and a massive resurgence in the campaign for abortion access.
Saturday last, 11th October, saw tens of thousands take to the streets of Dublin in a powerful, colourful and vibrant display of opposition to the Irish government’s attempts to impose water charges.
The numbers who turned out were so large and took everybody by surprise to such an extent that nobody – media, gardai or organisers – could give an accurate estimate of actual numbers. Estimates varied from 30,000 to 100,000, but whatever the exact figure was it was clear that this was the start of something huge.
It was an energising and invigorating protest to be part of. From well before the start time, people were arriving in their droves at Parnell Square. To see groups of people arriving in by bus from all over the city and from around the country was inspiring and should have a huge impact on the political confidence of all those who took part.
The WSM considers the struggle for Kobane and the autonomous zones of Rojava to be crucial for the development of a political alternative for the region. We view Daesh as the toxic excrescence of the results of global and regional imperialist intervention in Syria and Iraq.
OLINTLA is a small village in the Sierra Norte, a remote, mountainous region to the east of Mexico City. The landscape there is dramatic, green and beautiful, mostly sunlit jungle, rivers and wildlife. The hillsides are occasionally populated by farming towns and villages, mainly indigenous communities whose way of life is constantly threatened. In recent years, the Mexican state has accelerated plans for the development of a vast hydroelectric power plant in the area, directly impacting the people in Olintla and about a dozen or so neighbouring communities. What appears on the surface to be a ‘green energy’ project is in fact closely bound up with community displacement and the aggressive extraction of local oil and gas reserves, primarily to the detriment of the region’s water resources and wider capacity to sustain life. Unfortunately, Olintla is far from an atypical case but represents how indigenous communities in Mexico, as in Latin America more generally, tend to bear the brunt of the state’s creation of opportunities for private capital accumulation, called ‘development’ by those in power and ‘projects of death’ by the communities affected.
1. To popularise the idea that an anarchist society is desirable and that it is reachable if enough people organise for it.
2. To encourage the use of anarchist methodologies in day to day organising efforts.
3. To expose the class nature of capitalist society and to argue that class organisation is fundamental to overthrowing capitalism and creating a new society.
4. To demonstrate the links between the issues that people struggle around and how these struggles often do not stand in isolation from each other.
1. The WSM Constitution’s core point of unity number 7 states:
“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.”
This position paper outlines WSM membership and how we engage with spheres of people interested in the WSM
Protests took place in cities across Mexico yesterday following the disappearance of 43 student teachers in the southern state of Guerrero almost two weeks ago, with many of those having gone missing after the police arrested them. Thousands of people blocked streets and roads, chanting “They took them alive; we want them back alive"!
The students, who studied at Ayotzinapa, a radical teacher training college in Guerrero, went missing on the night of 26 September. Iguala’s municipal police fired on the students’ buses and, an hour later, unidentified gunmen fired upon them again. The attacks left three students and three others dead in the city, as well as at least 17 wounded. 43 students remain unaccounted for, a significant number of whom were seen being driven away in police vehicles after the first attack. A mass grave has since been found in a nearby location, but the charred remains have yet to be identified.