July - August 2011 Edition of the Workers Solidarity freesheet.
In This Issue
Household & Water Tax Can’t Pay, Won’t Pay
The government has made it clear that it is determined to press ahead with its attempts to impose not one but two new taxes on us. Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan is preparing to bring plans to government for a household tax, probably starting at €100 per year, from 1st January. This tax will be added to by a water tax, expected to be introduced within the next couple of years
The Coming Attacks
After the hyperbole of the election campaign, we have started to realise that rumours of a new day in Irish politics were greatly exaggerated. Somewhat deflated, we now sink back into the same old crisis. While the limited exposures of the Moriarty tribunal have shown us how politics works for the rich, we are about to learn exactly how it works for the rest of us.
Minister for Education Backs Down in Face of Threatened Protest
Minister for Education Ruairi Quinn backed down in mid-June on his threat to amend Section 30 of the Teaching Council Act, which would have had the effect of allowing unqualified personnel to continue to work as teachers in primary school classrooms. The Minister made his decision less than 48 hours before a protest organised by members of the Irish National Teachers Organisation (INTO) was due to be held.
The Gardai & “Facilitating Protest”
About 250 people took part in the Eirígí-organised march on the banquet for the British Queen staged in Dublin castle on May 18th last. WSM members joined the demonstration but Gardai intercepted the person transporting our flags and banner to the protest, leaving us somewhat invisible. This was part of a pattern of suppression of visible protest that occurred throughout the visit of the British Queen, despite Garda claims that they would “facilitate protest” in advance of the visit. It turns out the unnamed Garda source quoted by the Irish Examiner in advance of the visit, who claimed “reasonable protest will be allowed - a peaceful protest - but up to a point”, had about as much value as unnamed Garda sources making vague statements ever do. This was despite Eirígí making major efforts to ensure their protests remained peaceful. Before the march, at least two of the speakers stated that anyone not willing to be peaceful should leave the demonstration. Stewards removed a couple of people they judged to have become too rowdy.
The Spanish Revolution: A New World in their Hearts
The 19th of July marked the 75th anniversary of the beginning of the Spanish Revolution. For a brief time, capitalism and the State were replaced by solidarity, mutual aid and respect for others. Workers and peasants, who were deeply influenced by anarchist ideas, ran society collectively and gained control over their lives, industry and land. A central part of the revolution was the struggle against a fascist attempt to take over Spain. We remember both the magnificent triumphs and tragedies of the Spanish revolution and attempt to learn from our comrades’ mistakes.
Review: Dublin Anarchist Bookfair 2011
Wind and rain, a city in lockdown due to the upcoming royal visit and the best efforts of An Garda Siochana (who, despite the WSM gaining the correct permit to advertise the event on lamp-posts around Dublin, removed approximately 100 of our posters), the sixth annual Dublin Anarchist Bookfair continued the trend set by its predecessors in being one of the largest annual events on the calendar of Dublin’s Left.
Thinking About Anarchism: Anarchism & Internationalism
The euro zone crisis, and the mainstream opinion formers’ response to it, raises the question of nationalistic understandings of the way the world works, and how these understandings frame our perception of where our interests lie.
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