Report of Anarchism vs Militarism Public Meeting in Cork


Around thirty people attended an Anarchist meeting, in Cork, on war and the ongoing use of Shannon Airport for US military purposes.Shannon airport has become an integral part of the US army transport infrastructure. Anarchists and others interested in the anti-war movement gathered in Cork city on Wednesday May 10th. The meeting was organised by the Cork branch of the Workers Solidarity Movement. James Mc Barron of the WSM addressed the meeting covering the history of anarchist involvement in the struggle in Cork and elsewhere. He pointed out that anarchists had been vocal in advocating a focus on Shannon airport and its use as a US stop over and refueling point and had been key in promoting demonstartions at the airport. The important work of Shannon plane spotters was lauded by the speaker and this was echoed from the floor. The crucial role of direct action, and the threat of same, in bringing the issue of Shannon to the centre of debate on many occasions and forcing the state to mobilsed in numbers to prevent a major incident was pointed out. Amongst those at the meeting were several who had suffered arrest and been through the courts as a direct result of putting themselves on the line in this camapign.

The major focus of the talk and of the meeting was the future. After outlining the current state of play internationally and in Ireland the speaker emphasised the imporatnt role to be played by anarchist s in the rebuilding and rejuvenation of the the broad anti-war movement. He welcome the initiative taken by An Cosaintoiri Siochain in the series of meetings they had arranged between various strands of the broad anti-war movement and encouraged those present to support this project.

The anti-war movement must be built on the basis of democratic participation and respect for diversity of tactics. we cannot allow ourselves to go back down the road of infighting and undermining as happened previously. It is unlikely that in the short term that one big organisation that can claim the allegiance of all anti-war activists can emerge and maybe this is not particularly desireable. What is important is that we work together respect each other and not undermine one anothers work.

After a period of open floor debate,the meeting broke up into three sub groups, wher everyone had their say about the way forward. The ideas are too many to list, but some highlights

1 Solidarity with people before the courts
2 A clear direct action strand to the movement
3 Large Public events, meetings, marches etc. as part of the process of rebuilding
4 Support for initiatives underway
5 Building a public profile leaflets, badges etc.