International

Turnips, hammers & the square - why workplace occupations have faded.

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What if we build it and they don’t come? That was the experience of the left during the crisis - decades had been spent building organisations and a model of how crisis would create revolution, but when the crisis arrived the left discovered that the masses weren’t convinced. The expected pattern of crisis leading to small strikes and protests, then to mass strikes and riots and then perhaps to general strike and revolution didn’t flow as expected. Under that theory the radical left would at first be marginal but then as conditions drove class militancy to new heights, the workers disappointed by reformist politicians and union leaders, would move quickly to swell its ranks.
 
In 2008 and 2009 that was the expectation of the revolutionary left organisations across Europe and North America, but that cycle of growth never materialised. In 2011 revolts did break out, but not in the manner expected and so the left could only spectate and criticise. Beyond that the period of struggle from 2008-2014 suggests that there is less strength in building struggles around broad ‘bread & butter’ issues than we imagined and a suggestion that diversity proved more useful in sustaining progressive struggle.
 

Anarchism, Oppression & Exploitation - WSM position paper

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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.”

The British Miners strike of 1984-85 -Video & Audio from DABF 2014

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At this session at the Dublin anarchist bookfair Dave Douglass talked about his experiences of 1984 - the year the British mines almost defeated Thatcher. "That fight in 84-85 involved the whole community, it was not only about unions. It was partly about unions but it was about an industry, it was about a way of life. The miners were almost an ethnicity, with father to son for hundreds and hundreds of years in the same miner family. And we had a very strong revolutionary and radical tradition. So, all of the politics of power, fuel power was about political power and not just about energy. It was about more than that. It was about "Who rules ?""

Radical Cooperatives: homes without landlords, workers without bosses - DABF2014 audio

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A presentation from the 2014 Dublin anarchist bookfair on the role of radical co-operatives in social change, based on the experience of Radical Routes in the UK.

My Life in Activism : Women speak at 2014 Dublin Anarchist Bookfair - Audio

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Women Activism panel at Dublin Anarchist Bookfair

The 2014 Dublin anarchist bookfair hosted a panel of women activists who informed us about how they became involved in the movement, what drew them into this life of campaigning for social justice, rights and attempting to change the world in which we live. They inform us of how they remain motivated, inspired and sustained in active political life.

 

My Life in Activism : Women speak at 2014 Dublin Anarchist Bookfair - Audio by Workers Solidarity on Mixcloud

 

An End to Growth? Beyond the productivist bias of the historical left

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Capitalism is making you fat. Capitalism is also destroying the environment. These two things are more closely connected than you might think. Not all growth is good. Certainly the growth of people’s waistlines and indexes of body fat have lead scientists and health professionals to warn of a global obesity epidemic. 65% of the world’s population now live in countries where being overweight kills more people than being underweight. Worldwide obesity has nearly doubled since 1980 and 1.4 billion adults over 20 are now overweight.

Bread and Robots: Automation, urban farming and the abolition of wage labour.

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“Let us be lazy in everything, except in loving and drinking, except in being lazy.”
- Gotthold Ephraim Lessing

Horizons of our imaginations: Anarchism and Education

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Tom Murray looks at anarchist principles of education and argues that autonomous, co-operative learning is central to our finding new ways of challenging authority and dis- covering freer, more equal ways of being in the world.

Interview with an organiser from the Quebec 2012 mass student strike & movement.

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Having recently completed a seven stop all Ireland speaking tour, Vanessa Gauthier Vela answers some questions on the nature of the 2012 Quebec student uprising.  This interview is a longer version of the one that appeared in the print version of Irish Anarchist Review 8.  Audio from Vanessa's talks in Ireland will also be available soon.

 

Beyond the "solidarity of the same” - Solidarity, class and empowerment

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Solidarity is a word that fills the songs, slogans and even names of movements in the anarchist, socialist and left tradition. Yet the meaning of the term is often assumed to be common knowledge that needs no further explanation or enquiry. In line with the theme of this issue of the Irish Anarchist Review this article aims to look a little deeper into the history and meaning of this term and how it should inform our activity today and the problems we face. Particularly in situations when equal empowerment between all the participants in the solidarity relation cannot be assumed as a starting point. Clearly solidarity, class and equality are all in some way intertwined, but the question is how, exactly?

 

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