Alan MacSimóin

A collection of articles by the Irish anarchist writer Alan MacSimóin

A walk through the history of radical Dublin

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There are the notes about six locations in central Dublin of historical importance to the left.  You would walk the route between them in about 30 minutes.

Is non-extraction the answer?

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In response to growing discussion of ‘zero growth’ ideas among some environmentalists, Alan MacSimoin asks Is non-extraction the answer?

In recent years, with climate change dominating headlines regularly, it has become popular among some environmentalists to propose non-extraction of fossil fuels as a viable way to reduce the effects climate change. But if this idea was taken up what would be the result? Less oil & gas being processed means what is available will rise in price. That’s the logic of capitalism. And having to pay even more for home heating and cooking is not going to change the habits of the wealthy but would have a big impact on most of our pockets. Making things even more expensive than they are at present will not exactly endear environmentalists to most people.

Workers Occupation of Reilly Bookbinders in Wicklow Pays Off

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The boss is shown the door and the workers take over. That’s what happened for a month at Reilly Bookbinders on the Murrough Industrial Estate in Wicklow town.The company had been in Wicklow for 30 years. Then four years ago it was taken over by Dunne and Wilson (Ireland) Ltd.. Two years later the building from which the company operated was sold to the Wicklow Enterprise Centre for over €900,000. It is understood to have been acquired by Dunne and Wilson for between €400,000 and €450,000. Then, this summer, boss Richard Geraghty told staff that the lease was up on August 1st and their work was being relocated to the Czech Republic.

Why Ireland never got nuclear power

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The debate has started. One of the ESB unions, Unite-Amicus, wants the government to build nuclear power stations. We are told that it’s a “clean technology” that will reduce climate change.

Report on anti-war march to HMS Ocean

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Just over 150 people marched down to HMS Ocean to protest the presence of this British warship which was involved in the invasion of Iraq in Dublin port Thursday June 29. Although some will be disappointed with this turnout in reality it was a significant number for a wet mid week demonstration. Also on the positive side there was a real effort to overcome some of the divisions that have characterised the anti-war movement.

James Connolly on Direct Action

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At the Dublin May Day rally, the guest speaker from the Belfast & District Council of Trade Unions quoted from an article, Direct Action in Belfast, written by Connolly and published in the Irish Worker, September 16th, 1911.

“We have just had, and taken, the opportunity in Belfast to put into practice a little of what is known on the Continent of Europe as ‘Direct Action’.

“Direct Action consists in ignoring all the legal and parliamentary ways of obtaining redress for the grievances of Labour, and proceeding to rectify these grievances by direct action upon the employer’s most susceptible part – his purse. This is very effective at times, and saves much needless worry, and much needless waste of union funds.

“Direct Action is not liked by lawyers, politicians, or employers. It keeps the two former out of a job, and often leaves the latter out of pocket. But it is useful to Labour, and if not relied upon too exclusively, or used too recklessly, it may yet be made a potent weapon in the armoury of the working class.”

Wal Mart: Cut Price Employees?

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The supermarket giant Asda, a subsidiary of Wal-Mart, has recently taken over 12 Safeway stores in Northern Ireland. It has also been ordered to pay £850,000 in compensation to staff at their huge distribution centre at Washington in the north east of England

Irish Ferries: Time to break the law

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The dispute at Irish Ferries is about greedy bosses, very greedy bosses who want to replace their staff with modern day galley slaves. Eamonn Rothwell, Managing Director of Irish Ferries, plans to get rid of 543 workers and replace them with migrants on e3.50 per hour. Rothwell earned e687,000 last year. That's e338.00 an hour. But there is no talk about replacing him with a yellow pack boss from Eastern Europe!

Anarchism and a moneyless economy

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Anarchists are usually pretty good at listing the things we are against: capitalism, racism, religious sectarianism, authoritarianism and so on. We are usually pretty good at explaining how best to struggle: direct democracy and mass direct action.

Where we often fall down is in explaining what we want at the end of the day, and convincing our listeners that it is a realistic alternative rather than a utopian pipe dream.

David Begg condemns bin tax campaign

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ICTU general secretary David Begg condemned the anti-bin tax campaign. He did this at the same time that the state was jailing protesters and refusing to collect rubbish from thousands of households in Dublin.

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