May 1998

WSM activity in the Spring of 2008

Date:

IDEAS & ACTION was a day of anarchist discussions hosted by the Workers Solidarity Movement last March. Forty people came from Belfast, Cork, Galway, Dublin, Coleraine and Lurgan to share ideas and experiences. Speakers were anarchists involved in trade union, environmental, abortion rights and anti-racist struggles. Participants felt it to be both interesting and useful, with the Belfast-based 'Organise' group offering to host a second such event early next year.

That's Capitalism: Workers Solidarity #54 1998

Date:

'Social partnership' gets better and better. In 1987 the lowest paid tenth of the workforce paid 3.14% of their earnings in direct taxation. By 1995 this had risen to 11%.1

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In Dublin, Mexican ex-president Carlos Salinas was quizzed by French officials over drugs money linked to his brother, but an Irish judge ordered a media blackout on the case - which was obeyed by all the papers.2

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International News Shorts

Date:

Irish Mexico Group peace camp attacked in Chiapas

THE MEXICAN state of Chiapas has seen further violence, with large-scale military invasions into indigenous communities who sympathise with the Zapatista rebels. In particular, the army and police have focussed on removing foreign human rights observers from the region. 15 people were deported in April. Three of them were taken from the Irish-run peace camp of Diez de April.

Business as usual for the Robber Bankers

Date:

National Irish Bank used to have an advertising slogan which said "We're different because we care". Following recent revelations about tax-dodging offshore accounts and their robbing of money from customers' accounts, perhaps they should change it to "We're different because we got caught". Or maybe even "We're not different at all because we care (about our profits)".

1000 march against racist deportations

Date:

Saturday April 25th saw over 1,000 people marching through Dublin, 400 in Cork and 150 in Limerick to protest against racism and deportations. There were also activities in Galway and Roscrea, and cross-border trains were leafleted in Belfast. This was combined with demonstrations at about 10 Irish embassies and consulates throughout Europe and the USA.

Stuck in a traffic jam every day - It's... Carmageddon!

Date:

There's nothing worse than waiting for a Dublin bus at 8.10 on a rainy November morning. Well possibly one thing, getting a nice big muddy splash from a passing 98 D Volvo or Merc as it trundles by to join on to some tailback on the Rock Road or the Firhouse roundabout.

Bricklayers show how to win

Date:

THE DUBLIN BRICKIES' strike against the big construction firm, Cramptons, showed the rest of us a thing or two about the media. Because they were victorious, the newspapers and RTE gave scant coverage to the dispute - and no report of the victory. The last thing they want is the rest of us following a good example.

Ryanair: Airport closed down but SIPTU leaders run away from victory

Date:

MARCH 7th saw Dublin airport closed down. Clerical staff, loaders, fire fighters, mechanics, catering staff, cabin crews, computer operators, even the airport police walked off the job. When the 39 Ryanair baggage handlers who have been fighting for recognition of their union, SIPTU, were effectively locked-out; thousands of workers from all the different airport companies came out in a great display of solidarity. Taxis, buses, An Post, delivery vans refused to pass the pickets. The airport was completely shut down, for the first time ever.

Building local campaigns

Date:

We live in a world where we are encouraged to be passive. We can either accept things as they are or, at best, we can ask someone else to do things for us. That someone can be a politician, a 'community leader', or even a full-time union official. The 'experts' will look after the important stuff and we can stay at home feeling dependent and powerless. Just as there are bosses and workers, there are also leaders and led; and we are supposed to accept it as somehow natural.

The media & the Propaganda Model

Date:

When the Watergate Scandal brought down the Nixon Government in the States in the mid-70s, it was heralded as one of the finest examples of media power in modern times. Nixon's fall from grace, along with the story of corruption in high places, was the stuff of drama. In no time, the journalists at the centre of the Watergate exposé - Bernstein and Woodward - became celebrities. They went on to win Pulitzer Prizes for their journalistic endeavours and even became the subject of a Hollywood touch-up in All The President's Men.

Massive strike shakes Denmark

Date:

ALTHOUGH YOU WOULD hardly know it from the media, the end of April and the start of May saw a massive strike wave in Denmark. Almost half a million workers went on strike, including almost all industrial workers and most workers in transport and building. It was so powerful that the police and other emergency services had to ask the unions whenever they needed petrol.

Remembering the anarchist resistance to fascism

Date:

On February 3rd 1931, Italian police arrested Michael Schirru in a hotel room in Rome. He was Italian by birth but had become a US citizen. He had returned to Italy with one purpose, to kill Mussolini. Schirru was just one of many anarchists in the pre-war years who put their lives on the line in the fight against fascism.

Dublin Dockland to be developed - But Who will benefit?

Date:

The Dublin Docklands, from Ringsend to Sheriff Street, are starting a very major re-development which will take place over the next fifteen years. A Master Plan has been produced and a Dublin Docks Development Authority (DDDA) set up. Already the property developers are in the area buying up the land, a lot of which is owned by state and semi-state companies.

Mujeres Libres

Date:

Mujeres Libres (Free Women) were a group of women anarchists who organised and fought both for women's liberation and an anarchist revolution during the Spanish Civil War. The work they did is truly inspirational. Their example shows how the struggle against women's oppression and against capitalism can be combined in one fight for freedom.

As anarchists they rejected any relegation of women to a secondary position within the libertarian movement. In the 1930's feminism had a narrower meaning than it does now, and they rejected it as a theory which fought for 'equality of women within an existing system of privileges'. They argued "We are not, and were not then feminists. We were not fighting against men. We did not want to substitute a feminist hierarchy for a masculine one. It's necessary to work, to struggle, together because if we don't we'll never have a social revolution. But we needed our own organisation to struggle for ourselves".

Dockers are fighting back internationally - Liverpool passes the baton to Australia

Date:

The Liverpool dockers were forced to end their dispute after 28 months in January of this year. But they were unbowed, the letter explaining to their supporters why they had ended the dispute ended with a quote from Jim Larkin "Who is it to speak of defeat? I tell you a cause like ours is greater than defeat can know. It is the power of powers".

Peace deal offers sectarian war or sectarian peace

Date:

The huge vote, North and South, in favour of the 'Good Friday Agreement' shows that the vast majority do not want a return to pre-ceasefire violence. Can this agreement get to the root of the sectarian problem and deal with the hatreds, fears and suspicions that have bedevilled our country? Andrew Flood looks at the prospects.

Comment on Issue 4 of Red & Black Revolution

Date:

Welcome to Issue 4 of "Red and Black Revolution"

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