WE ARE BACK. It is almost a year since the last issue of Workers Solidarity and you want to know what happened. Ireland has little or no anarchist tradition so rather than just learning from those who went before us we had to make a fair few mistakes while we were developing our politics and building the Workers Solidarity Movement. The biggest mistake we made was putting too much emphasis on day-to-day activities at the expense of achieving a deeper and clearer understanding of the anarchist idea; it's libertarian values as well as its socialist goal.
THE "DEFEND THE CLINICS Campaign" is running out of steam. The recent Information Picket on Dublin's O'Connell Bridge attracted only 20 people. It is unable to mobilise large numbers. Even those political parties with a pro-abortion policy are running scared of even raising the issue. It is not too surprising. It is only five years since the "pro-life" amendment to the constitution was voted through 2:1, and it is debatable how many of those who voted against were actually voting in favour of abortion rights. Since then there has been a further shift to the right in Ireland. Even the promotion of condoms as a means of preventing the spread of AIDS was a matter of great controversy.
Is Sinn Féin swinging to the left? It is as clear as day that there have been huge changes in the Republican Movement since the 1981 Hunger strike. What do these changes add up to, what sort of party is Sinn Féin today, what are its politics, what is its goal?
ALEXANDER BERKMAN was no mere theorist. All his life he was an active anarchist militant. Born in Russia, by the age of fifteen he had been expelled from school for membership of a group which met to read radical books. By the age of nineteen he was in America and active in a revolutionary anarchist group.