Workers Solidarity 118


November - December 2010 Edition of the Workers Solidarity freesheet.

PDF of Workers Solidarity 118 Web Edition 2.28 Mb

1% of the Population, 34% of the Wealth
Democracy in Brazil
Attacks on Welfare Continue
Sacking of Socialist Nurse Overturned
That's Capitalism!
Thinking About Anarchism: Dual Organisation Film Review: Made in Dagenham

PDF of Workers Solidarity 118 Web Edition 2.28 Mb

Anarchism and the WSM

As the economic crisis goes from bad to worse, we have been active in a variety of efforts to resist the attacks on our living conditions. Together with Éirígí, Seomra Spraoi social centre and the Irish Socialist Network, we organised the One Percent Network walking tour and Halloween treasure hunt. We also helped organise a demonstration on the reopening of the Dail on 29th September, in conjunction with a Europe-wide day of action against austerity called by the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC). 100,000 attended a similar protest held in Brussels while a general strike in Spain on the same day brought most of the country to a standstill.

At a more local level, we attended a community sector forum in Liberty Hall organised by the unions to fight cuts in community services and were present at the “Claiming Our Future” conference held in the RDS in Dublin on October 30th. Finally, we were amongst those protesting warmonger Tony Blair’s book signing in Dublin, which persuaded him to cancel two similarly planned events in the UK.  

In July we reported on the Northern Ireland bill which would have criminalised protests of over fifty people unless they gave police at least thirty-seven days notice. We are happy to report that, after a short campaign by trades unions and community groups, this part of the Assemblies and Parades bill has been withdrawn.  Before it was scrapped we had the farcical sight of Sinn Fein members joining protests against a bill drawn up by a joint Sinn Fein and DUP committee at Stormont, and introduced by a Sinn Fein and DUP coalition Executive.

Within the WSM, twenty of our members attended a successful educational weekend in Tipperary, where we discussed strategies for continuing the struggle for anarchism as well as the practical skills required in running our organisation and other campaigns. In the south, our Cork branch continues to operate Solidarity Books on Douglas St, which aims to spread the anarchist message in the city. A successful fundraiser for the bookshop, “Chaos Cabaret”, was held in September while we continue to participate in the anarchist forum, an open discussion group, in Cork.

Also, the Cork branch is running a weekly series of talks on radical and revolutionary politics and history during October and November:

  • 19th October - Tadhg Barry & Revolutionary Cork (1907-1921)
  • 26th October - The Lost Revolution
  • 2nd November - The Spanish Revolution
  • 9th November - Labour Militancy (1917 - 1923)
  • 23rd November - The Land War
  • 30th November - Kropotkin: The Anarchist Prince

With governments North and South now lecturing us on the need for four years of further cuts, we need as many people as possible to join the various campaigns against such measures if we are to maintain any type of civilised society on this island. WSM members are committed to being involved in this process and, if you are also, then we would love to hear from you.

In This Issue

1% of the Population, 34% of the Wealth
Countless walking tours make their way around Dublin daily; generally educating the masses of tourists on the lives lived on these streets before us. It was a different kind of walking tour, comprising around 200 people, that hit the streets around Stephen’s Green on October 9th last.

Democracy in Brazil
As this issue of Workers Solidarity goes to print, Brazil is about to elect a new president. After eight years, the Workers’ Party (PT) incumbent, Lula, must step down. His chosen successor, Dilma Roussef, is poised to become Brazil’s first female president, as she holds a 46.9% to 32.6% lead over her closest rival after the first round of voting. Roussef is a former urban guerrilla who was tortured by the western-backed military dictatorship (1964-1985) before throwing her lot in with electoral politics, joining the PT in 2000.

Attacks on Welfare Continue
We spoke with Vincent O’Malley, a community sector employee who advises and advocates for social welfare applicants and recipients, about the effect the recession is having on the operation of the social welfare system.

Sacking of Socialist Nurse Overturned
Yunus Bakhsh, a psychiatric nurse from the north east of England has won a four year battle against his bosses. Sadly his union, the public service giant UNISON, was about as much use as a tailor in a nudist camp. This should be of interest to the 39,000 workers in Northern Ireland who are in Unison.

That's Capitalism!
Last year the Exchequer lost €7.4bn as a result of the tax break regime, over three times the EU average. According to the government’s own Economic and Social Research Institute, 80% of the tax relief available on pension contributions goes to the wealthiest 20% of earners.

Thinking About Anarchism: Dual Organisation
The society we live in is a long way off the kind of society that anarchists advocate. So the question that anyone interested in creating a better society has to answer is: how best to act for positive change? The question of how anarchists should organise is one that has been debated over and over. It is clear that anarchism, rooted in ideals of equality, freedom and democracy, needs to adopt organisational practices which foster rather than stifle these ideals.

Film Review: Made in Dagenham
If you like ‘feel good’ films this is for you. Leaving a cinema feeling both entertained and optimistic is rare enough, and this film scores highly on both points.

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