In the face of massive opposition to the water charges, the government have made several clumsy attempts to placate us, while their partners in the media seek to frighten us off the streets. The latest attempt, delivered by Alan Kelly, Minister for the Environment, Community & Local Government in the Dáil on the 19th of November, is the plan to charge us €160 per year for our water and to give ‘eligible households’ a water conservation grant of €100.
It is time for every one of us to take responsibility for trying to turn things around. We have to stop referring to ‘the union’ as something outside of ourselves and begin to see that our unions are OURS. We have to stop seeing ‘head office’ and ‘the officials’ as anything other than employees of the union - our employees who should be taking their instruction from us. And we have to convince our fellow-workers that there is a benefit to engaging with the union structures and organising to resist.
Shell to Sea have released a very detailed report into the GSOC 'investigation' of the Garda at the center of the 'Corrib Cops Rape Tape' which first came to public attention one year ago today. The report reveals that the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) engaged in spin and misinformation that misled the public over the Corrib ‘rape’ recording incident of March 2011 and undermined the case against Gardaí. The report details GSOC’s attempts to serve the interests of An Garda Síochána by undermining the women who made the recording public, while deflecting attention from the behaviour of Gardaí. The document was prepared by Shell to Sea with one of the women about whom the ‘rape’ comments were made and seven academics at NUI Maynooth. It has been made available online as a PDF and we are republishing it here.
From the 1850s onwards, against a background of great new wealth in society and a working class that was more independent and resourceful, the 'problem of democracy' became urgent for the rich and powerful. In general wealth was rising throughout society, but so was the greed of those who owned the new factories, mines and plantations. The key question was: what was to be done about the general demand for democracy, and about the incessant clamour for political rights which, during the revolutions of 1848, had almost got completely out of hand?
In 1887 four Chicago anarchists were executed. A fifth cheated the hangman by killing himself in prison. Three more were to spend 6 years in prison until pardoned by Governor Altgeld who said the trial that convicted them was characterised by "hysteria, packed juries and a biased judge". The state had, in the words of the prosecution put "Anarchy .. on trial" and hoped their deaths would also be the death of the anarchist idea.
Radical health reform, in terms of creating equality and accessibility, and stopping the agenda of privatisation and for-profit medicine, is one of the great challenges facing Irish society.
In this pamphlet, anarchists explain the reasons why such change is needed, give examples of important first steps in creating change, and describe the type of struggle that is necessary if we are going to win.
This pamphlet was produced by the Workers Solidarity Movement in the weeks before the 1986 referendum on whether or not to remove the constitutional ban on divorce. The vote was lost by a margin of almost 2:1, with 935,843 (63.48%) voting to keep the ban and 538,279 (36.52%) to remove it. A second referendum in 1995 saw the ban finally scrapped, with a result of 818,842 (50.28%) to 809,728 (49.72%).
Alone on the far left, the WSM was heavily involved in this campaign and had two members elected to the National Executive of the Divorce Action Group. At the time they described their motivation as being to “increase personal freedoms” and “challenge the power of the Catholic bishops”. Read the full text of the pamphlet in the article.
There is massive opposition across the country to the government’s attempt to impose water charges on us. Not least because we already pay for water through our taxes. This is simply yet another austerity tax. We have put up with years of austerity, cutbacks and extra taxes – all imposed on us to pay off the gambling debts of bankers and financial speculators. Hundreds of thousands of people are now saying ‘No More!’.
People also realise that this is an attempt to prepare our water service for privatisation, which will ultimately end in multinational companies owning it, charging us exorbitant prices and making super profits.
But we don’t have to accept this new charge. We CAN defeat it. To achieve that, there are a few things which we will all have to do:
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.
Welcome to Issue nine of the Irish Anarchist Review, published for the 2014 Dublin Anarchist Bookfair.
We've been hearing scare stories about the damage being done to the environment by co2 emissions for decades now. Terms like “climate change”, “greenhouse effect”, “the ozone layer” (more importantly, the holes in the ozone layer) and “global warming”, are part of everyday language. We know that the polar ice caps are melting, causing sea levels to rise and we know that the weather is doing crazy things in parts of the world that are usually temperate. And, we know that all this is being caused by the stuff we produce and how we produce it. What has our response been?
By and large, we've done nothing. In fact we've done the opposite. We've continued to create stuff. More and more stuff. We produce enough food to feed the world at least twice over and a third of it is wasted. We produce gadgets we don't really need, war machines to subjugate people, we plan obsolescence so that we have to keep producing things to replace other things so that the wheels of the global economy keep turning and profit keeps accumulating. Billions of humans, across the planet, spend a large chunk of every day, doing things they'd prefer not to to produce things they don't need in a process that is making the planet unfit for their habitation.