January - February 2010 Edition of the Workers Solidarity freesheet.
Trade Unionists betrayed by leadership
Women and children attacked
Climate change – the business connection
Noam Chomsky visits Ireland
Thinking About Anarchism: Anarchism and Human Nature
A People’s Historian - Howard Zinn
Click on one of the links below for a PDF version of Workers Solidarity 113.
Although the period in the run up to Christmas is generally a quiet one for political activity, WSM members were busy in their unions organising for the national public sector strike of November 24th last, and there are extensive reports of our members’ experiences that day at http://www.wsm.ie/story/6241. We were also involved in the budget day protests outside the Dáil on December 9th. While the initial battle may have been lost, we realise that the resistance to attacks on working conditions, both in the private and public sectors, and to attacks on public services will be a long one.
To this end, we held a national training day for our newer members in union organising and campaigning in December. To round off the year, this was followed later that evening with approximately 150 members and supporters attending our 25th anniversary celebration in Dublin’s Central Hotel.
Meanwhile the WSM Cork branch has opened an office and bookshop at 43 Douglas Street. It’s the place to go to in Cork for your socialist and anarchists books; open from 11-6, Monday to Saturday. Evenings often see film shows and public discussions, you can keep up to date with coming events at their Facebook page (Solidarity-Books).
2010 will present many challenges for anarchists in Ireland as the economic situation continues to deteriorate. Many people are now looking for an alternative to the status quo and we will be hoping to spread the anarchist message to as many as possible. If you are interested in finding out more, we would be delighted to hear from you!
On Tuesday 24th November 2009, 250,000 public sector workers took strike action in opposition to the government policy of public service pay cuts. This was a potentially massive show of defiance and the first time in more than 20 years that the trade union movement had flexed its collective muscle.
Recent events amongst the North’s political elite show that mainstream politics has changed a lot over the past 15 years. Amidst all the tabloid frenzy it’s easy to forget where we came from. Corruption at the highest levels of government and salacious affairs may be preferable to war on our streets, but it isn't democracy and we know it.
As this is being written we are currently in one of the coldest snaps of winter weather the country has seen in a long time. Temperatures reaching -15 and below have been recorded and stocks of grit & salt for ensuring safe travel are at an all time low. The government has ordered that schools remain closed for almost a week. This is replicated right across the UK and continental Europe.
Workers Solidarity reporters met America’s most famous dissident for breakfast during his recent visit.
“Human nature being what it is, you could never have an anarchist society – not one in which both individual freedom and co-operation exist anyway”. How often have you heard something like that?
Howard Zinn is an American historian best known for his book ‘A Peoples History Of The United States’, however he was written much more on the subject of American working class history. He is also a World War II veteran, a playwright and, to this day, remains a political activist.
The new Financial Regulator at the Central Bank, Matthew Elderfield, will be paid more than €400,000 a year - almost €150,000 more than his predecessor. He starts work this month.