Alan MacSimóin

A collection of articles by the Irish anarchist writer Alan MacSimóin

Anarchism & Elections - your questions answered

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The Workers Solidarity Movement, along with anarchist organisations throughout the world, refuses to take part in parliamentary elections. Is it not downright weird, or even hypocritical, when anarchists claim to want more democracy than anyone else? Is this a rejection of democracy? Alan MacSimoin tries to answer some of the questions that arise again and again.

A history of the struggle for abortion rights in Ireland

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A detailed history with photos of pro-choice struggles in Ireland from the 1980's to 2007 and the involvement of Irish anarchist in those struggles. Includes the 1983 referendum (and those in 1986, 1992 & 1995) as well as the X-Case, the D-case and the Women on Waves ship. Written by a participant in almost all (if not all) of the events described.

IMAGE: DAIC picket at Dail with the then illegal abortion information number

About the Organizational Platform of the General Union of Anarchists

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Anarchists are constantly thinking about how society is and how it could be. We strive towards the ideal of a free and democratic society. We know that, in order to get there, it will be necessary to tear down the present authoritarian system of government. Our struggle for freedom throws up many areas of controversy and debate. One of these has always been, and always will be, how do we get to a revolution? How do we organise for change? An important contribution to this debate was the Organisational Platform of the Libertarian Communists*, a document which was written in 1926 by a group of exiled Russian and Ukrainian anarchists, and which still has much to offer to today's debates around the question of organisation. 

Syndicalism : Its strengths & weaknesses

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The main organisational form in libertarian politics in 1994 was syndicalism. Alan MacSimon, a delegate to Dublin Council of Trade Unions who has also attended a European gathering of revolutionary unions looked at the potential, and limits, of syndicalism.

The Dublin Lock-out of 1913 and the ITGWU

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In 1913 militant trade unionism had a tremendous task ahead of it. The poverty of manual workers was appalling. The death rate in Dublin, 27.6 per 1OOO, was as high as Calcutta's, The slums were the worst of any city in either Ireland or Britain. 20,108 families were recorded as living in a single room. An Irish Times editorial commenting on a report about Dublin housing wrote that "28,000 of our fellow citizens live in dwellings which even the Corporation admits to be unfit for human habitation. Nearly a third of our population so live that from dawn to dark and from dark to dawn it is without cleanliness, privacy or self respect. Sanitary conditions ruled out ordinary standards of savage morality''

Alan MacSimoin - Rest In Power

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The WSM are shocked and deeply saddened to learn of the death of Alan MacSimoin, one of our founder members, a friend, and a key central figure in building the anarchist movement in Ireland for over four decades. Alan had not been a member of WSM for some years but remained politically active right to the end. His last Facebook post on November 29th was supporting the locked out bricklayers at Mary’s Mansions. Alan will be sorely missed by all in the WSM and we offer our heartfelt condolences to his family and friends.


Alan (right) leading a small pro-choice march in 2002

Snouts in Anglo Irish Bank trough

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A pay cut, a ‘pension levy’ and a refusal to pay agreed wage rises has been the lot of public sector workers.   Well, not quite all of them.

Former Fine Gael leader Alan Dukes has refused to give up his €100,000 Dáil pension despite earning even more as the state-appointed chairman of the nationalized Anglo Irish Bank.  He was directly appointed by Finance Minister Brian Lenihan in March.

Dublin Bus sacks union representative

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The sacking of Eugene McDonagh by Dublin Bus management and his simultaneous suspension by the National Bus & Rail Union from its national executive shows the true face of ‘social partnership’.  Eugene has been a bus driver for 21 years and has an unblemished work record. The bosses and the senior union bureaucracy have come together to attack effective trade unionism in Harristown garage. 

What’s happening in Bolivia?

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Big Business doesn’t like what’s happening in South America. The election of reforming governments in Peru and Ecuador might have been a bearable irritant but that Chavez guy in Venezuela has really got up their noses. In Bolivia sections of the local ruling class got so riled up that they tried to overthrow President Morales in September. The US ruling class, in collusion with local bosses, is trying to destabilise political and economic reforms. As they see it, too much is going to workers and peasants, and not enough into their own coffers.

An introduction to the WSM

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Meeting The WSM believes that the world can be made a much better place, and that millions of ordinary people like ourselves can take on that job. And that puts us into conflict with the bosses.

We are anti-capitalists because capitalism can never satisfy the needs of the majority. It is locked into a cycle of boom and slump. It is based on a division of society into bosses and workers, order-givers and order-takers. Its unwritten motto is ‘greed is good’.The world we live in is capable of feeding, housing, clothing and providing for the leisure and scientific needs of the world's population yet capitalism means that there can be a shortage of good public housing while building workers are unemployed. It means tax reliefs for the super-rich while public services like hospitals and schools suffer spending cuts.

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