May 2010

Anti-Capitalist Protest in Dublin - May 18th 2010

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In the context of previously reported Gardai violence against bank bail out protests the WSM decided to mobilise for the Right to Work protest on May 18th and published a call for an "anti-capitalist block" on the demonstration, to assemble on Stephen's Green, a few hundred metres away from the Dail and a half an hour earlier than the scheduled time for the RTW march.  This was done for a couple of reasons - firstly because the announced starting point for the RTW march was the Dail, which was also the march's destination. Thus it seemed that a static rally with speeches from notables was to be the order of the day and these are normally felt to be fairly grim and turgid affairs to anyone who has attended a few.  Secondly because the WSM wanted to differentiate itself from the SWP-controlled RTW event and create an alternative pole of attraction for radicals.

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Capitalist crisis and union resistance in Ireland

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Reading a SSN leafelt at the GPOLate 2008 saw the Irish capitalist class wage a major ideological struggle against the Irish working class. They called for workers to bear the brunt of the capitalist crisis. Print media, TV and radio carried segment after segment where well-paid commentators argued that workers, in particular public sector workers, were earning too much, had overly generous pensions and that the public had unrealistic expectations of public services.

Dub:Protest at Shell HQ to Mark 100 days of Pat being in Prison

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On 21st May next Erris fisherman and Shell to Sea campaigner Pat O’Donnell will be spending his 100th day in prison. Pat’s alleged ‘crime’ was to stand up for the right of his community to live in peace and safety. For this he was sentenced to seven months in prison.

Joe Duffy Highlights Makeup at Protest

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Joe Duffy invited two protesters, Holly, and Leah, who were at the protest at the Dáil on Tuesday the 18th of May, on to his Radio show on RTE.  These two protesters were contacted because they had been wearing fake blood, in an attempt to highlight that the Gardaí had taken quite violent action, including bludgeoning protesters with steel batons, against people who were fighting against public service cuts - indeed fighting against the very cuts that the Gardaí themselves will suffer. 

Mayday had become like a funeral - interview with Alex Foti

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Cleaners looking at Euro Mayday posterIn August of 2008, Italian media activist Alex Foti visited Dublin. In the middle years of this decade, Alex Foti became known across activist circles for involvement in the Euromayday Parades. In a special themed issue of Green Pepper, Foti and the Chain Workers Collective sketched a very attractive understanding of the work discipline of contemporary capitalism. In their understanding, society had found itself in a situation of profound disjuncture with our working pasts - life today was defined by contingent employment rather than the traditional job for life.    

Working through Chainworkers, Foti and others developed the Euro Mayday Parade as an opportunity for this sentiment pool to express itself in European cities, along the way they developed a graphical tool set and pioneered a new vision of a combatative class movement that drew huge attention to the question of workers marginalised from the traditional unions.

Checkout: Life On The Tills

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Graphic for review of Checkout a life on the tills“Anna Sam”, as you might guess, is a pseudonym, the handle of a French blogger who decided to put her years behind the till to good use on a website describing the day-to-day experience of supermarket workers in all its tedious glory. In a way it’s refreshing to discover that the psychology of the checkout girl / boy appears to be the same wherever you go - my own days at Centra and the like are well imprinted on the brain, but they could have been an atypical reflection of my general misanthropy, grumpiness and ill will towards the rest of the species. But Anna reports more or less the same irritations - the only difference being that, on account of her gender, she must also bat away the sleazy or sheepish advances of French manhood on a daily basis.

Dublin Shell to Sea protesting at Shell HQ

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Dublin Shell to Sea is protesting today at Shell's HQ on Leeson street to mark the 100th day that fisherman Pat O'Donnell has spent in prison for resisting Shell's experimental gas pipeline. Pat was joined in Castlerea jail 31 days ago by another Shell to Sea campaigner Niall Harnett.

Report on occupation of Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources

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On May 21 2010 campaigners with Shell to Sea entered the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources drapped in chains and locked together to mark the 100th day of the imprisonment of Erris fisherman Pat O'Donnell.  This action is part of a national day of protest which includes a protest outside the HQ of Shell on Leeson street, only 50m from the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources. A public protest starts at 5pm tonight at Shell HQ just across the road from the department.

Workers Solidarity Movement to join Anti-Capitalist Bloc in march to Dáil on Tuesday night.

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Members of Anarchist organisation, Workers Solidarity Movement (WSM) will assemble at the Wolfe Tone Statue, St. Stephen’s Green on Tuesday evening at 7p.m. as part of an Anti-Capitalist Bloc jointly organised with left republican organisation Eirigi.

Dub: Anti Capitalist Bloc 2 for Dail demonstration

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Last Tuesday the Gardaí attempted to stop the Anti-Capitalist Bloc marching to join up with the Right to Work Campaign at the Dail protest. Despite riding horses into the march they failed to either deny us our freedom to protest or to provoke a response as we pushed through and around them. Join us this week, same time and same place as we once more assert our freedom to protest.

Results of the PSA / Croke Park Deal ballot

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The sequence of tables shows the results of the ballots in the Trade Unions on the 'Croke Park Deal' as of the 24 May.  We will be updating these tables as new results become available. The tables show the number of members in each union, what the executive recommended and how the members voted (where this is known).

The unions after the celtic tiger

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A rather strange figure is moving to centre stage in Irish politics, that of the trade unions - absent from mass struggles until recently and weakened over the decades of social partnership, they are now the only possible source of a movement that can confront attemps to transfer the cost of the recession to working people. This statement does not come with out some qualms. Already this year we’ve seen the union movement back away from its role in galvanizing its members in the run up to planned day of action on March 30th when resistance was taking shape among the public sector unions.

Anarchists urge united campaign against cuts

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Anarchist organisation, Workers Solidarity Movement (WSM), has called on “workers, the unemployed, trade union branches, community organisations and all who are angry with the government’s economic slash and burn policies to come together and build a united campaign against the cuts.”

The IWW and The Making of a Revolutionary Working Class Counter culture

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The book can be read in a number of ways; on one hand it rescues the IWW from Stalinist critics that fashionably flounced after Russian Bolshevism; it gives insight to the politics and personalities of the union itself and rescues Hill the man. But as suggested by the subtitle, it’s Rosemont’s treatment of how the IWW built a counter hegemonic working class culture that is the most interesting facet of this brick thick work.

Irish Anarchist Review Issue 1

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Welcome to the first issue of The Irish Anarchist Review, the new political magazine from the Workers Solidarity Movement. This magazine will explore ideas and practical struggles that can teach us about building a revolutionary movement today. We decided to cease printing Red & Black Revolution, and start this project, aimed at provoking debate and discussion among anarchists and the left. For this purpose, we will be pursuing a non-sectarian approach, taking ideas from various left currents, mainstream discourse, and reflections on experiences of life and struggle. We will take, print, and discuss, anything that we find useful for our needs. We hope that readers will have a similar attitude, and will use the magazine to discuss, debate and develop ideas. We will also welcome submissions and responses to articles.

Dub: Launch of Irish Anarchist Review

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The first copies were distibuted as Gardai attacked the Anglo Irish bank occupation and then attempted to stop the anti-capitalist bloc march but this is the formal launch of the new WSM magazine Irish Anarchist Review much of the content of which looks at the fight against the capitalist crisis in the workplace. Authors & editors will introduce the articles, there will be some formal discussion and lots of hanging out and informal discussion. BYOB event, Friday night - 20:00 - Seomra Spraoi

2nd anti capitalist bloc march on Dail

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Around 200 people took part on the anti-capitalist bloc which marched to the Dail last night, meeting up with the 400 or so people who had already gathered for the Right to Work demonstration.  Unlike the previous week there was no attempt by the Gardai to prevent us marching although once more a large force was deployed both at our gathering point at the Wolfe Tone Statue and at Anglo Irish Bank where Gregor Kerr of the WSM and Brian Leeson of éirígí addressed the crowd.

Dublin Anarchist Bookfair – Something for every radical

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Since the first Dublin Anarchist Bookfair 5 years ago, this event has grown to be one of the biggest left wing political events in Dublin every year,” said Ciaran Murphy, a member of Workers Solidarity Movement and one of the Bookfair organisers.  “This year’s event promises to be an exciting and interesting occasion, bringing together a wide variety of anarchists, activists and just ordinary people who are looking for new ideas.

Hundreds demonstrate in support of Connolly Shoes strikers in Dun Laoghaire

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The Mandate Trade Union reported that hundreds joined the rally it had called for lunchtime today in Dun Laoghaire in support of Connolly Shoes workers who have been on strike for almost two months.