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Articles from the WSM paper Workers Solidarity

Workers Solidarity 128 - Nov/Dec 2012

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The November / December issue of Irelands anarchist paper Workers Solidarity.  This is issue 128

A round-up of WSM activity at the start of 2013

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Our members in Cork and Dublin have been active at local, regional and national levels in the Cam- paign Against Home and Water Taxes, helping with stalls, leaf- letting and demos, and arguing for greater grassroots democracy within the campaign. WSM members were also invloved in occupations of council offices and TDs offices in Cork and Dublin as part of the campaign.

Only mass action can defeat Austerity - WS129 Cover story

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Five years into an austerity program that is only working to make the rich richer, most of us are very unhappy about the lack of resistance from the unions. During the Croke Park campaign the SIPTU National Executive Council released a statement that included: "There is, of course, a wider issue of fairness in the Country as a whole because the wealthy are not contributing to the degree that they can or should. This is a consequence of the political choices made by the voters at election time.”

CAHWT – inspiring people to demand participatory democracy

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At a public meeting of the Campaign Against Home and Water Taxes (CAHWT) in Kildare last month, a query was raised from a woman anxious about the upcoming local elections. She explained her complete frustration with the austerity policies of the Fine Gael-Labour Government, and described her despair at not having the power to challenge policies that were ravaging her community, stating there “really is no one legitimate left to vote for.”

Fighting for abortion rights in Northern Ireland

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In the North of Ireland, abortion is prohibited under the Offences Against the Persons Act (1861) - with some common law exceptions.  If continuation of the pregnancy threatens the life of the woman, or would adversely affect her mental and physical health where the effects are ‘real and serious’ or ‘long term’, are two such examples.

Review of Paul Mason, 2013, Why It’s STILL Kicking Off Everywhere

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A question. If depression is the inability to construct a future, does depression not appear very like the world’s prevailing mood or zeitgeist right now?  As I write, the immense working majority faces into continued hierarchy, exploitation and polarisation, characterised by, among other things, ecological catastrophe, austerity without end, technocratic governance, nuclear annihilation, escalation of war... Compounding these dilemmas is our collective inability, real or illusory (I am not sure which), to construct an alternative future.

Today, it is easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism.  And yet. Something else is stirring. 2011 occasioned a shared, transnational impulse of ‘outrage’, ‘indignation’ and ‘enough’ against the cruelties of global financial institutions and the petty thuggery of enthralled states. The occupation of the world’s squares was simultaneously an impulse of ‘hope’, ‘solidarity’ and ‘the commons’, directed towards a dimly perceived yet somehow more just, more humane future. Tracking their emergence, evolution, fading, and re-emergence around the world – now in Cairo, then in Syntagma, here in Zuccotti Park, there in Puerta del Sol - Paul Mason, BBC journalist and author, has provided an insightful record and (somewhat more questionable) analysis of these revolts.

The Human Cost of Cuts to Public Services - Thoughts of a Public Sector Worker

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The following text was sent to us by a reader who works in a social welfare office. It illustrates just one aspect of the human cost of the Croke Park agreement and of the furhter deterioration that will occur under the "extension", if it is passed. 

Life in a social welfare office can be heartbreaking sometimes. Sitting there, behind the glass, you have a very limited range of available responses available to a broad expanse of problems. As the crisis deepens, people’s problems become more serious and varied and our responses and the time available to respond narrow.  

West Belfast - 2nd highest levels of child poverty in the UK

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The recent report commissioned by the ‘End Child Poverty’ campaign has found that out of 650 parliamentary constituencies, West Belfast has the second highest levels of child poverty in the UK. Manchester Central being the only constituency to record higher levels of child poverty and deprivation. 43% of children within the West Belfast constituency grow up in poverty. And while this is a reduction on the previous year from 46%, other areas saw a greater percentage drop in poverty levels over that year.

An Irish emigrant in Sydney - life, work & radical politics

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In Sydney's Sun Herald there's a graph of unemployment in Europe with the title "Painful Recovery" it has percentages from Greece, Spain, Portugal, Ireland and the overall EU.It says "Monthly unemployment. Ireland's unemployment is no longer surging but that is largely because 1600 people emigrate every week to find work". So apparently all that guff about how generous social welfare is in Ireland is a lie, as thousands seek work elsewhere and quite a few in Australia. (Sunday March 10th page 29).

Austerity is working - for the rich!

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Austerity IS working – it’s working for those at the very top of society. During the last 4 years, while the rest of us have suffered pay cuts, job losses, increased taxes and decimation of our social services, the very wealthy in Irish society have thrived.

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