Ireland has an indigenous revolutionary tradition that successfully mobilized tens if not hundreds of thousands in the struggle for more freedom over the 200 years since 1798. Irish republicanism has always included a radical democratic and leveling element and which continues to provide part of the culture of resistance of the most down trodden sections of the working class. Many believe this makes it the best base to build from, at the fifth Rethinking Revolution meeting Andrew Flood asked if they are right? This article contains the draft text of the talk and the audio recording of the meeting.
The Workers Solidarity Movement is calling for a No vote in the Lisbon referendum. It is a treaty for the rich, people in Ireland can do a lot better than a choice between the clowns in the Dáil or those in Brussels.
We oppose the EU's policies of privatisation, militarisation and attacks on workers' conditions but don’t insult people’s intelligence by saying that our current society in Ireland with its severe recession, diabolical public services and corruption is anything better. The major lack of democracy in our lives is not between us and the EU but between the Irish government and us.
The upcoming Lisbon vote is one of the rare occasions that the people get a direct say. But it’s only a very limited say. We get to choose between either a gombeen republic or an embryonic European state, neither of which makes for an exciting prospect.
Whichever way the vote goes, there is no indication that either a yes or a no vote will substantially alter the exclusion of the public from major public decisions. That requires a rethinking of the kind of society we want.
The problem is not the treaty alone but the EU as an institution.We call on people to Vote No to Lisbon but also to organise to take more control of our lives and to build real democracy in our communities and our workplaces.
This is a collection of articles published in Workers Solidarity Movement publications about Palestine over the last decade, articles written by our members for publication elsewhere and material re-published elsewhere in publications our members edited. Together they provide the start of an anarchist analysis of the roots of the conflict and paths out of it.
On the June 2007 Hamas against Fatah conflict in Palestine, the possibilities of the liberation struggle ahead and the responsibility of the international solidarity movement. Those who think that they’ll break the will to struggle through black mail, through carrot and stick, through hunger forget the fact that, as very few people in the world, the Palestinian people literally have nothing to lose but their chains.
The Workers Solidarity Movement position paper on Capitalist Globalisation and Imperialism, as ammended at July 2004 National Conference
WSM position paper on the partition of Ireland. Last debated and updated at the April 2009 conference.
Across the globe millions of people mobilised against the war in Iraq. On February 15th 100,000 people marched through the streets of Dublin in the biggest political protest in Southern Ireland for over 20 years. Around 15,000 demonstrated in Belfast on the same day.
The turnout on these demonstrations showed that the battle for public opinion had been won. Massive numbers of people opposed Bush and Blair's drive to war and the Irish government's role in it. But they seem to have had very little effect on the war. The governments concerned simply ignored them. In every country the anti-war movement was thus faced with the question of what to do next. After February 15th we should have expected to see the various movements internationally working on ways to stop the war despite the fact that their respective governments were ignoring them.
Imperialism is one of those words that often seems to be little more than an effective way of making people stop listening to you. However, despite the frequency with which it is thrown around by left wing groups, with little or no explanation of the ideas behind it, it does have real meaning and is something that we can all recognise in the world around us - especially in this age of US wars against third world regimes.
Riot police battling youth. Armed forces locking down a major American city. Tens of thousands under anti-capitalist banners. Western youth and workers physically battling the WTO and imperialism. These potent images of the 'battle of Seattle', November 30, 1999, were seared into the minds of militants the world over, inspiring millions upon millions fighting against the class war from above that some call 'globalization'. Followed by further mass protests in Washington and Davos, and two massive international coordinated actions on May 1, 2000 and September 26, 2000, Seattle marked, by any measure, an important turning point for the global working class and peasantry.
Until the Real IRA blasted the heart out of Omagh and its people, the Northern "peace process" appeared to be close to achieving the impossible. Loyalists and Republicans alike signing up to the "Good Friday Agreement", its acceptance by large majorities on both sides of the border, Gerry Adams and Ian Paisley sitting down in the same room as part of the new Assembly - it seemed as if what had appeared for decades to be impossible had been overtaken by the realpolitik of the pragmatic. All sides in the "conflict" - we were led to believe - were looking to a new beginning. Countless column inches in the popular press had been written eulogising the "statesmanship" of David Trimble and Seamus Mallon, the "peacemaking skills" of Tony Blair and Bertie Ahern and the "pragmatism" of Gerry Adams and David Ervine.