On Saturday 120,000 workers marched through Dublin demanding the the public sector pay cut ('pension levy') be withdrawn, that jobs cuts be opposed and that all the other attacks on the working class be ended. Over the last couple of weeks there have been dozens of local union meetings of workers in the public sector demanding strike action to halt the cuts. The march was a chance not only to put pressure on the government but also to demand that our unions do the only thing that can halt the cuts, call a national strike.

The WSM met up to leaflet the march at 1.30 at the Parnell monument, and then joined the demonstration with a banner demanding a National Strike. Here we present reports, interviews with and photos from WSM members who took part on the demonstration and the leafletting as well as background articles on the nature of the crisis

The WSM on the demonstration

On Saturday 120,000 workers marched through Dublin demanding the the public sector pay cut ('pension levy') be withdrawn, that jobs cuts be opposed and that all the other attacks on the working class be ended. Over the last couple of weeks there have been dozens of local union meetings of workers in the public sector demanding strike action to halt the cuts. The march was a chance not only to put pressure on the government but also to demand that our unions do the only thing that can halt the cuts, call a national strike.

The WSM met up to leaflet the march at 1.30 at the Parnell monument, and then joined the demonstration with a banner demanding a National Strike. Here we present reports, interviews with and photos from WSM members who took part on the demonstration and the leafletting as well as background articles on the nature of the crisis
 

Momentum Builds for National Strike
From late morning yesterday (Sat. 21st February) it was clear that the Irish Congress of Trade Unions’ National Demonstration was going to be huge. It was also clear that those marching were from all over the country and from all types of employment – both public and private sector.

Audio and images from the ICTU march
An interview with Dermot who was at the demonstration leafletting for the WSM on the atmosphere of the demonstration and what is to come along with images from Saturday's ICTU demonstration against the pay cuts & job losses


This DCTV footage samples the WSM audio file above


ICTU National Day of Action
from DCTV on Vimeo.


ICTU march - No recovery on the back of the workers
Report from Cork WSM member on the ICTU demonstration
These are a selection from the many shots I took on a day when our class re-discovered a little something of its old combative spirit, and the numbers marching are more comfort to ordinary working folk than to those who would misinterpret this monster attendance as endorsement of their strategy of appeasement towards IBEC and the government. I saw David Begg walk up Parnell Sq. East towards the Garden of Remembrance a half-hour or more before the march started. He was alone and he looked downcast

Background material on the demonstration

Below is the text of the leaflet we distributed, personal opinion pieces from members on the growing resistance to the cuts and background articles and education video on the crisis.

Pay cuts, job losses - Organise the Fightback - WSM leaflet distributed on Saturdays march
As soon as possible we need a unified day of strike action across the entire public sector to demand withdrawal of this pay cut. One day of strike action is unlikely to be enough to force a change of government policy. So this needs to be followed up with an ongoing campaign of strike action.

Was ICTU behind the pensions levy?
Report from the national meeting of public sector workers the previousSaturday. Did the idea of the so called 'Pensions Levy' come from some of the very Irish Congress of Trade Unions leadership who are supposed to negotiate on behalf of workers. This is one revelation that emerged on Saturday morning at a meeting of over 100 public sector trade unionists and two delegates from the Waterford Glass occupation.

Fight cuts in the private sector - all workers must stand together

Thoughts on the crash and the alternatives - Based around a review of the SIPTU alternative plan
Our government has become more and more open about their plans for us. Cowen wants to drive down our living standards by 12% and has already cut all our wages through the tax levy and slashed the wages of workers in the public sector further through the so called ‘pensions levy’.

Support Industrial Action by the Bus Workers!
Dublin Bus is slated to see huge cuts in both staff and services. As many as 290 workers and 100 buses will be cut. This means fewer routes and less frequent service. If the Dublin Bus workers go on strike, it will mean an inconvenience for a few days. However, if they take action and force the company to back down, it will in the long run save us all time and money and will help the environment.

Audio: Waterford Crystal Workers Speak Out
Noel Atkins and Pat Phelan, Waterford Crystal workers and Unite Shop Stewards, travelled to Cork last night to speak out against the attempted closure of the plant. They spoke from the heart as workers tossed on the scrap heap after decades of service.

Support workers occupying Waterford Glass
Workers occupied the Waterford Glass factory in Kilbarry after the receiver was unable to borrow further funds to keep the plant operating. At the start of the month as 150 workers continued the occupation members of the Cork WSM visited the plant and interviewed Joe Kelly

Forthcoming events

Dublin meeting of grassroots education workers - Feb 28
The savage cuts already announced at primary and second level appear to be just the first steps in what will be a sustained attack on the public sector in general and education in particular – both from the point of view of the provision of the service and the wages and working conditions of those employed in it. 2pm Teachers Club, Parnell square, Feb 28th

Recessions and Cutbacks - how do we fight back? - March 6th
As part of the 4th annual Dublin Anarchist Bookfair, WSM hosts a discussion on how workers should respond to the government attacks on us. Speakers will include a Waterford Crystal worker, Denis Keane (Executive member Civil and Public Services Union), Julian Brophy (Free Education for Everyone) - all in personal capacity - and a speaker from Workers Solidarity Movement. Liberty Hall, Dublin, 3p.m. Saturday 7th March

WSM articles on the recession, its causes and the fightback

Articles from the WSM that analysis the crisis in capitalism

WSM videos on the capitalist crisis
An Anarchist (libertarian Socialist) analysis of the credit crunch and the crisis in global financial markets of 2008. This is a recording of a public presentation given to the Workers Solidarity Movement in October 2008 about the crisis. It looks at the crisis from a historical and economic point of view A very detailed talk on the cause of the current world financial crisis that starts off by explaining the background economics in an easy to understand manner, moves on to the role the war and other events apart from the sub-prime crash played and concludes with a look at what opportunities have been created for anarchist by this sequence of events.

Crisis, What Crisis? - Pyramids not houses
The official story is that the origins of the current crisis lie in the collapse of the US subprime mortgage market - i.e. poor people not paying their mortgages. Although this may have been the trigger event, it is not the real cause. The real cause lies in pyramids not houses. Specifically the enormous debt pyramid built up by the Western countries

Capitalism is not collapsing
If the 'economists' who turned up on every news programme this Autumn really didn’t know there was going to be a crash at some stage they should think of changing jobs

Moving from Protest to Success
The Education Cuts announced in October’s Budget have unleashed a wave of protest across the country. During the months of November and December approximately 120,000 people took to the streets. What the government is now hoping of course is that we’ve all done our protesting and they can get on with implementing the cuts.

Lower pay, less jobs - Whose National Interest
WSM member Joe King, a clerical officer in the public sector, responds to the calls for pay cuts and redundancies.

Make Them Redundant
Billionaire investor Warren Buffett commented on the US financial crisis that “it’s only when the tide goes out that you learn who’s been swimming naked, and Wall Street now looks like a nudist beach.” Well when it comes to Ireland, the receding tide of the global economy has revealed that not only were our business and political elites swimming naked, they were engaged in a great big orgy as well.

A Quick Guide to Social Welfare for the Newly Jobless
Workers Solidarity’s Vincent O’Malley spoke to his local Citizens Information Centre about some of the obstacles facing people who have lost their jobs.

Financial Weapons of Mass Destruction
Written months before the banking crash of the Autumn of 2008 this is the first part of a series of articles investigating the capitalist financial markets from a critical perspective. It explains in some detail what the various financial instruments are that were to be blamed for the crash and what implication they have for class struggle.

The historical development of the global financial order under US hegemony
The follow up to Paul Bowman's 'Financial Weapons of Mass Destruction' charts the story of the historical development of the regime of global financial order under US hegemony. It examines how the centre of capital accumulation shifted from Europe to the US in the first half of the twentieth century, and how following World War II the global financial order became centred around the US through the Bretton Woods system

The system works...for the rich
Unemployment has risen by a third in the last year and everyone agrees that worse times are ahead. Worries about losing jobs and not being able to pay the mortgage are growing. Whose fault is it? Is it the politicians administering the economy, or is it the capitalist economy itself?

Time for profit restraint
Working people in the Irish Republic have been hearing a lot from the representatives of their exploiters lately about the need for us to exercise ‘pay restraint’ and to ‘moderate our demands’ in these difficult times.

Why Ireland stands to lose €400 billion in natural gas and oil deposits
Concerns about the safety of Shell’s pipeline in Rossport are well known. But that’s not all that’s at stake. Not by 400 billion euro. The oil companies exploiting Irelands west coast have got some of the sweetest deals in the world and that doesn’t happen by accident. This article looks at how the Irish state has been busy rolling over for the last thirty years so the multinationals can grab the riches that should belong to us all.

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