March - April 2010 Edition of the Workers Solidarity freesheet.
Public Service Work-To-Rule
Haiti: Intervention and Imperialism
Solidarity Books opens its doors in Cork
European anarchists meet in Paris
Keep Water Free
Review of An Anarchist FAQ
Thinking About Anarchism
Click on one of the links below for a PDF version of Workers Solidarity 114.
With the big freeze over, the WSM recommenced activities early in 2010. As well as the activities mentioned in the article on Solidarity Books in this paper, our Cork branch has also commenced a 12-week discussion series on anarchism at that venue. Thus far, this has covered topics such as ‘Parliament or Democracy’, ‘Nationalism and Imperialism’, ‘Oppressions’ and ‘Lessons from Russia and Spain’.
The WSM also organised well-attended public meetings in Cork and Dublin on Haiti titled ‘Catastrophe and the Legacy of Imperialism’ with a Paris-based Haitian journalist and representative from the Latin American Solidarity Centre speaking. We have also been busy preparing a new ‘Radio Solidarity’ show, which will hit the airwaves on Dublin’s Near FM in the coming weeks.
Elsewhere, we held, in conjunction with Organise! from Belfast, a picket of the German embassy in Dublin in support of the Free Workers Union (FAU), which has been prohibited by the courts in Germany from calling itself a union. The FAU has been in dispute with the Babylon Mitte cinema in Berlin on behalf of the workers there for a number of months. The WSM also sent two delegates to the European Anarkismo conference of affiliated anarchist organisations in Paris in February. The aim of this event was “to improve communication between our different organisations, to develop common understanding and strategies with regards to workplace organisation, migration and the European Union” (see www.anarkismo.net for more details).
WSM members continue their involvement in their unions, the Seomra Spraoi social centre (www.seomraspraoi.org), Shell to Sea (www.corribsos.com) and Haiti Solidarity Ireland, a newly set-up “broad-based coalition to support Haitians in their struggle against foreign intervention and for an inclusive, democratic and equitable Haiti”. We attended protests in support of strikers in Green Isle in Naas and in solidarity with Pat O’Donnell, jailed for his role in opposing the Corrib Gas project.
Internally, the WSM has reorganised our structures so as to try and devote more time to particularly important projects, such as organising in the trade unions, Shell to Sea, fundraising, combating unemployment and the upcoming struggle against water charges. We hope that these new structures will improve our efficiency and increase our impact but there is no substitute for power in numbers so if you are interested in getting involved, get in touch!
Since the middle of January civil and public servants have engaged in a work-to-rule in an attempt to force a reversal of the pay cuts announced by the government in the December budget. Across the country workers in government offices, colleges, schools, hospitals etc. are taking action, which they hope will result in a change of government policy.
The horrific death toll from the earthquake in Haiti briefly focused the world’s attention on the plight of the Haitian people. The earthquake was a natural disaster coming on top of decades of human disasters imposed upon the people as its economy has been forced to transform to suit the needs of transnational corporations. This is the reason so many people were packed into substandard accommodation in Port-au-prince.
This is a plan to secure “efficiencies” by getting people to work harder and for longer, meaning that some existing jobs can be scrapped. Of course there are some sensible suggestions for improving services, but they mask an agenda for getting rid of jobs.
Cork has a tradition of being open to alternative ideas, a tradition reflected in our name as 'the rebels' and in the history of Barracka Books and other radical bookshops which have popped up in the city over the years. Solidarity Books, though, is the first of its kind to be set up and organised by Cork anarchists. That's Capitalism
Tullow Oil chief executive, Aidan Heavey, took home a total pay package of €25,962,983 last year.
Over the weekend of February 5th the Workers Solidarity Movement sent delegates to Paris for a conference of European groups involved in Anarkismo.net. This multi-lingual news and analysis website is supported by 31 organisations around the world.
The ruling class strategy of making working people pay for the crisis has seen public and private sector pay cuts, job losses, welfare reductions and slashing of important services like special needs assistants for children with physical and mental problems. Coming soon, if Cowan and Gormley have their way, is the return of a domestic water tax.
This is easily the most comprehensive FAQ on anarchist theory, history and practice available today. The Anarchist FAQ provides the answers to questions as straightforward as “What is Anarchism?” but also responds to inquiries about what an anarchist society would look like. It first appeared online as a rebuttal to claims that “anarcho-capitalism” was a form of anarchism but its scope has since been hugely expanded.
The word anarchy has its’ origins in the Greek an-archos, meaning absence of a ruler. Since the mid-1800's, anarchism has developed as a definite political theory which aims to create a society without bosses and without authoritarian rule.