March 1998

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Look Who's Talking Now

Date:

A SCORPION is a creature which stings first and asks questions later. When a boy and a girl scorpion meet and wish to "pursue a wider agenda" they first have to go through a long and elaborate ritual dance until they can establish each others' bona fides. One might think that something similar is happening in the present multi-party talks in Belfast. According to the Irish Times "the talks must be shifted into higher gear if the process is to retain credibility". An Irish government source was quoted by the Sunday Tribune (16/11/97) as saying "there is a feeling that more boldness is required". [In French]

Scrooge bosses named

Date:

Workers Solidarity reporter Joe King spent a couple of hours each month up to last Christmas tracking down the bosses who pay a pittance. Giving himself a good Leaving Certificate, some shop and restaurant experience and a false name he set about answering advertisements, phoning personnel officers and going to interviews. He did his job hunting in Dublin. The story in other cities and towns is, if anything, even worse.

Campaigning for a minimum wage - Let's show them we are serious

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CHRISTMAS IS well behind us but Scrooge refuses to go away. Bosses in many shops, restaurants, garages are still paying wages as low as £2.50 per hour. Civil Servants in junior clerical posts are still so badly paid that they qualify for the Family Income Supplement. Thousands of home helps employed by the Health Boards get as little as the £1.40 an hour paid by the Southern Board (incidentally this is a body packed with politicians and their friends).

World Anarchist News

Date:

Liverpool dockers refuse to sell jobs
International solidarity actions continue

Crime does pay

Date:

BY 1993, as Shell's spin-doctors were teaching budding executives that "ignorance gets corporations into trouble, arrogance keeps them there", 300,000 Ogoni peacefully protested against Shell's operations (i.e. massive pollution and employment of paramilitary gangs as 'security'), only for 2,000 to be butchered, and countless others raped and tortured by the Nigerian military.

Letter...Muck, Brass and Green Bans

Date:

Dear comrades,

In your review of "Where There's Brass there's Muck" in Workers Solidarity no.52, you mention the successful "Green Bans" of the Builders Labourers Federation of New South Wales. The BLF was a remarkable union (it no longer exists having been destroyed in NSW by Maoist intrigues) not just for its Green Bans, but for its policies on sexism, the Aborigines, involving migrant workers, and more.

WSM activity in the first months of 1998

Date:

'IDEAS AND ACTION' is a day of discussions happening in Dublin on March 28th. Anarchists active in the successful anti-water charges campaign in the South and in the struggle against the Job Seekers Allowance in the North will share their experiences. Anarchist trade unionists will talk about building workplace organisation and the opposition to 'social partnership'.

That's Capitalism: Workers Solidarity #53 1998

Date:

A few results of the 'social partnership' deals have been published by the government's own Economic & Social Research Institute. In 1992 profits accounted for 39% of all national income. By last year they had risen to 42%, and are expected to be 46% by 2003. At the same time the share of national income going to wages was 52% in 1995 and is expected to fall to 48% by 2003. In 1987 wages accounted for 60% of national income.

*****

Thinking about Anarchism: Organising & Agitating

Date:

Educate, agitate, organise. The phrase has been around for years but the ideas it encapsulates are still radical. We live in a world where we are encouraged to be passive. We are all consumers. We watch, we read, we observe, and some of us wait, hope and dream. These words go against the grain. You can't build a revolution by watching from a distance. There comes a point where many decide that they are tired of sitting on the sidelines.

New abortion rights campaign formed

Date:

Before Christmas, abortion, once again was in the Irish headlines. Once again it was a teenager who suffered because successive governments have continually avoided introducing legislation which would allow abortion in Ireland.

Review: Anarchists, elections and democracy

Date:

A spectre (to paraphrase Karl Marx) was haunting the ruling class of most European countries in the aftermath of the French revolution in 1798. That spectre was democracy. The "problem with democracy" was that if it was conceded then the ordinary poor people, being much more numerous than their rulers, would surely swamp them.

Oscar Wilde's socialism

Date:

Paris has had its fair share of famous people die in it. Most of them have ended up in the Pere La Chaise cemetery and Oscar Wilde is one of them. Of all the people buried there, that was the one grave I had to see when I entered that cemetery on a brisk March morning. I admire him because he was the master of that Irish pastime of extracting the Michael.

Beware the Bolsheviks

Date:

80th anniversay of the Russian Revolution....
 

IN 1922, after seeing the product of the Russian revolution first hand, the anarchist Emma Goldman described how "Soviet Russia had become the modern socialist Lourdes". Eighty years after the revolution in Russia a reflection on that period has more than just historical value. Many left wing organisations still hold up this era as the model for future revolution. In order to challenge this Bolshevik conception of organisation and revolution we look at what the consequences of this model were.

Young, Queer and Proud

Date:

Most young people start to become aware of their sexual identity from the age of 11 or 12 onwards. However for young lesbians, bisexuals and gays this can be the beginning of a lot of trouble. They will have to listen to almost constant homophobic (anti-gay) crap from their school mates and will often feel very isolated by the strong emphasis placed in youth culture on the importance of who-is-going-out-with-who.

Biography of Mexican anarchist Ricardo Magon

Date:

INSIDE MODERN MEXICO the name of Ricardo Flores Magon is well known, and is regarded in a somewhat similar way to that of James Connolly in Ireland. But outside Mexico few have heard of him. Born to a poor family in 1873, he became a journalist on the opposition paper 'El Demócrata' after finishing school. In 1900, along with his brother Jesús, he founded "Regeneración', a radical paper opposed to the dictatorship of Porfirio Diaz.

Corruption, Planning permissions, Donations from developers, Tax amnesties

Date:

Corruption, corruption, corruption, everywhere you go. No matter where you turn these days, it seems to jump right up into your face. Lowry. Haughey. Brown paper bags. Wads of cash. Bank Drafts. Favours. Planning permission. Rezoning. The Cayman Islands! You name it - it seems to have gone on in truly staggering proportions. Yet, for all the revelations, one of the more interesting things that has come to light is not the scale of corruption in Ireland as the varieties and degrees of it.

The Celtic Tiger .......who's doing the roaring?

Date:

The closure of Seagate in Clonmel with the loss of 1,600 jobs underlines the knife-edge on which the Celtic Tiger economy is balanced. But, particularly in the greater Dublin area, there is an economic boom and for many - though not all - this boom has brought jobs and hope for the future. Where did this boom come from and how long will it last?

Free speech and the litter act

Date:

ON SATURDAY 18th October, a number of Anti-Racism Campaign members were distributing leaflets, advertising an anti-racist public meeting, at the junction of O'Connell St. and Henry St. in Dublin's city centre. The leafletters were approached by a Dublin Corporation Litter Warden, who was accompanied by a garda.

Anti-racism campaign on the streets

Date:

Over the past few months, members of the Anti-Racism Campaign (ARC) have been involved in a number of public activities aimed at highlighting and promoting the anti-racist message.

About Anti Racism Campaign (ARC) - Building the anti-racist resistance

Date:

In response to growing racism against refugees and asylum seekers, recent months have seen the beginnings of an anti-racism campaign in Dublin. This campaign had its public 'launch' at a very successful public meeting, attended by over 80 people, last October.

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