Turn off the Red Light: Should we advocate it?

  • user warning: Table './external/cache_views_data' is marked as crashed and last (automatic?) repair failed query: SELECT data, created, headers, expire, serialized FROM cache_views_data WHERE cid = 'audio:block_1:results:ff0db4c55a037059c3695f66cdcd5d34' in /var/www/public/includes/cache.inc on line 27.
  • user warning: Table './external/cache_views_data' is marked as crashed and last (automatic?) repair failed query: UPDATE cache_views_data SET data = 'a:3:{s:6:\"result\";a:6:{i:0;O:8:\"stdClass\":3:{s:3:\"nid\";s:4:\"6337\";s:10:\"node_title\";s:41:\"Audio from the 2011 Feminist Walking Tour\";s:7:\"_random\";s:19:\"0.01850750019634841\";}i:1;O:8:\"stdClass\":3:{s:3:\"nid\";s:4:\"5232\";s:10:\"node_title\";s:56:\"Thinking About Anarchism: The Politics of Climate Change\";s:7:\"_random\";s:20:\"0.037487431464239426\";}i:2;O:8:\"stdClass\":3:{s:3:\"nid\";s:4:\"4849\";s:10:\"node_title\";s:45:\"Martha Ackelsburg on the Mujeres Libres audio\";s:7:\"_random\";s:20:\"0.039518979414849525\";}i:3;O:8:\"stdClass\":3:{s:3:\"nid\";s:4:\"4754\";s:10:\"node_title\";s:65:\"Interviw from ICTU Feb 2009 march against job losses and pay cuts\";s:7:\"_random\";s:19:\"0.03990385126313553\";}i:4;O:8:\"stdClass\":3:{s:3:\"nid\";s:4:\"6001\";s:10:\"node_title\";s:40:\"Launch of Irish Anarchist Review - audio\";s:7:\"_random\";s:19:\"0.07999912004917778\";}i:5;O:8:\"stdClass\":3:{s:3:\"nid\";s:4:\"4848\";s:10:\"node_title\";s:23:\"What is anarchism audio\";s:7:\"_random\";s:19:\"0.08365073807877557\";}}s:10:\"total_rows\";i:151;s:5:\"pager\";a:5:{s:9:\"use_pager\";s:1:\"0\";s:14:\"items_per_page\";i:6;s:7:\"element\";i:0;s:6:\"offset\";i:0;s:12:\"current_page\";i:0;}}', created = 1498211941, expire = 1498212241, headers = '', serialized = 1 WHERE cid = 'audio:block_1:results:ff0db4c55a037059c3695f66cdcd5d34' in /var/www/public/includes/cache.inc on line 112.
  • user warning: Table './external/cache_views_data' is marked as crashed and last (automatic?) repair failed query: SELECT data, created, headers, expire, serialized FROM cache_views_data WHERE cid = 'audio:block_1:output:03013e804ddb47a306329366374df50f' in /var/www/public/includes/cache.inc on line 27.
  • user warning: Table './external/cache_views_data' is marked as crashed and last (automatic?) repair failed query: UPDATE cache_views_data SET data = 'a:4:{s:4:\"head\";s:0:\"\";s:3:\"css\";a:0:{}s:2:\"js\";a:0:{}s:6:\"output\";s:1948:\"<div class=\"view view-audio view-id-audio view-display-id-block_1 view-dom-id-2\">\n \n \n \n <div class=\"view-content\">\n <div class=\"views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first\">\n \n <div class=\"views-field-title\">\n <span class=\"field-content\"><a href=\"/c/audio-2011-feminist-walking-tour\">Audio from the 2011 Feminist Walking Tour</a></span>\n </div>\n </div>\n <div class=\"views-row views-row-2 views-row-even\">\n \n <div class=\"views-field-title\">\n <span class=\"field-content\"><a href=\"/c/anarchism-politics-climate-change\" title=\"Thinking About Anarchism: The Politics of Climate Change\">Thinking About Anarchism: The Politics of Climate...</a></span>\n </div>\n </div>\n <div class=\"views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd\">\n \n <div class=\"views-field-title\">\n <span class=\"field-content\"><a href=\"/c/martha-ackelsburg-mujeres-libres-audio\">Martha Ackelsburg on the Mujeres Libres audio</a></span>\n </div>\n </div>\n <div class=\"views-row views-row-4 views-row-even\">\n \n <div class=\"views-field-title\">\n <span class=\"field-content\"><a href=\"/content/audio-ictu-march-feb-2009\" title=\"Interviw from ICTU Feb 2009 march against job losses and pay cuts\">Interviw from ICTU Feb 2009 march against job...</a></span>\n </div>\n </div>\n <div class=\"views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd\">\n \n <div class=\"views-field-title\">\n <span class=\"field-content\"><a href=\"/c/launch-irish-anarchist-review\">Launch of Irish Anarchist Review - audio</a></span>\n </div>\n </div>\n <div class=\"views-row views-row-6 views-row-even views-row-last\">\n \n <div class=\"views-field-title\">\n <span class=\"field-content\"><a href=\"/content/what-anarchism-audio\">What is anarchism audio</a></span>\n </div>\n </div>\n </div>\n \n \n \n \n<div class=\"more-link\">\n <a href=\"/anarchism/audio\">\n more </a>\n</div>\n \n \n \n</div> \";}', created = 1498211941, expire = 1498212241, headers = '', serialized = 1 WHERE cid = 'audio:block_1:output:03013e804ddb47a306329366374df50f' in /var/www/public/includes/cache.inc on line 112.
  • user warning: Table './external/cache_views_data' is marked as crashed and last (automatic?) repair failed query: SELECT data, created, headers, expire, serialized FROM cache_views_data WHERE cid = 'wsm_only:block_1:results:692e0a14e0b7ab966d18830fa49232e2' in /var/www/public/includes/cache.inc on line 27.
  • user warning: Table './external/cache_views_data' is marked as crashed and last (automatic?) repair failed query: UPDATE cache_views_data SET data = 'a:3:{s:6:\"result\";a:6:{i:0;O:8:\"stdClass\":5:{s:3:\"nid\";s:4:\"8499\";s:10:\"node_title\";s:46:\"Elections: Shouldn\'t We \'Fight on All Fronts\'?\";s:21:\"node_revisions_teaser\";s:1445:\"<div data-contents=\"true\">\r\n <div data-block=\"true\" data-editor=\"c9jab\" data-offset-key=\"cfk4-0-0\">\r\n <div class=\"_1mf _1mj\" data-offset-key=\"cfk4-0-0\">\r\n <span data-offset-key=\"cfk4-0-0\"><span data-text=\"true\">Anarchists are in favour of grassroots organising rather than engaging in electioneering. <span data-offset-key=\"cfk4-0-0\"><span data-text=\"true\"><em><img alt=\"\" src=\"/sites/default/files/strike.png\" style=\"width: 400px; height: 321px; border-width: 1px; border-style: solid; margin: 3px; float: right;\" /></em></span></span>Some crticise this position, stating something along the lines of:<br />\r\n <br />\r\n &#39;<em>But what about social housing, free education, and an increased minimum wage? That&#39;s change which will make a big difference to people&#39;s lives. And electoralism and grassroots organising aren&#39;t mutually exclusive. We shouldn&#39;t concede that ground to the right, we should fight on all fronts&#39;.</em></span></span><br />\r\n <br />\r\n <span data-offset-key=\"cfk4-0-0\"><span data-text=\"true\">Social housing, free education, increased minimum wage - there are worthwhile reforms which might be achieved by a left wing government, or might not, but they&#39;re fairly beside the point. It&#39;s worth remarking though that the best way even to achieve reforms through the state is by having strong social movements which can apply pressure to politicians.</span></span></div>\r\n </div>\r\n</div>\r\n\";s:21:\"node_revisions_format\";s:1:\"2\";s:12:\"node_created\";s:10:\"1497286800\";}i:1;O:8:\"stdClass\":5:{s:3:\"nid\";s:4:\"8470\";s:10:\"node_title\";s:73:\"WSM Points of Unity Explained: 1 - Class Struggle and Leadership of Ideas\";s:21:\"node_revisions_teaser\";s:778:\"<p><em>&#39;1. Anarchism will be created by the class struggle between the vast majority of society (the working class) and the tiny minority that currently rule. A successful revolution will require that anarchist ideas become the leading ideas within the working class. This will not happen spontaneously. Our role is to make anarchist ideas the leading ideas or, as it is sometimes expressed, to become a &#39;&#39;leadership of ideas&#39;&#39;.&rsquo;</em></p>\r\n<p>We&#39;re usually told that class society is a thing of the past. After all, aren&#39;t we all middle class now? But this is false, and there still very much exists a severe division between people based on property and work, a hierarchy which is a basic fact of the economic system known as capitalism.</p>\r\n\";s:21:\"node_revisions_format\";s:1:\"2\";s:12:\"node_created\";s:10:\"1491552000\";}i:2;O:8:\"stdClass\":5:{s:3:\"nid\";s:4:\"8471\";s:10:\"node_title\";s:51:\"WSM Points of Unity Explained: 2 - Power Structures\";s:21:\"node_revisions_teaser\";s:560:\"<p><em>&#39;2. We reject the idea that society can be changed through &#39;good people&#39; gaining control of the power structures. This means we reject both the electoral strategy of the social democratic and green parties and the &#39;revolutionary&#39; strategy of the various left groups.&#39;</em></p>\r\n<p>The WSM is working towards a free, equal, democratic society. We believe the only way to achieve this is by people taking their destinies into their own hands, forming grassroots mass movements, and creating new truly democratic institutions.</p>\r\n\";s:21:\"node_revisions_format\";s:1:\"2\";s:12:\"node_created\";s:10:\"1491552000\";}i:3;O:8:\"stdClass\":5:{s:3:\"nid\";s:4:\"8472\";s:10:\"node_title\";s:50:\"WSM Points of Unity Explained: 3 - Platformism (1)\";s:21:\"node_revisions_teaser\";s:495:\"<p><em>&#39;3. We identify ourselves as anarchists and with the &quot;platformist&quot;, anarchist-communist or especifista tradition of anarchism. We broadly identify with the theoretical base of this tradition and the organisational practice it argues for, but not necessarily everything else it has done or said, so it is a starting point for our politics and not an end point.&rsquo;</em></p>\r\n<p>The WSM practices a form of anarchism which strives to be highly organised and coherent.</p>\r\n\";s:21:\"node_revisions_format\";s:1:\"2\";s:12:\"node_created\";s:10:\"1491552000\";}i:4;O:8:\"stdClass\":5:{s:3:\"nid\";s:4:\"8473\";s:10:\"node_title\";s:50:\"WSM Points of Unity Explained: 4 - Platformism (2)\";s:21:\"node_revisions_teaser\";s:1238:\"<p>&#39;<em>4. The core ideas of this tradition that we identify with are the need for anarchist political organisations that seek to develop:</em></p>\r\n<ol>\r\n <li>\r\n <em>Theoretical Unity</em></li>\r\n <li>\r\n <em>Tactical Unity&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </em></li>\r\n <li>\r\n <em>Collective Action and Discipline&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </em></li>\r\n <li>\r\n <em>Federalism&rsquo;</em></li>\r\n</ol>\r\n<p>Federalism is an organisational structure based on &ldquo;the free agreement of individuals and organisations to work collectively towards a common objective&rdquo;. It is finding the best balance between independence and coherence. All decisions are made by those affected by them as opposed to centralism, where decisions are made by a central committee for those affected by them. This means, for example, that while all WSM branches are united under a common national policy, they are also autonomous, i.e they can make their own local decisions. It also means that we have no leaders or officials with higher authority than others. Rather, we have &#39;officers&#39; who are delegated temporary authority to perform certain tasks as mandated by the membership (for instance, to be treasurer).</p>\r\n\";s:21:\"node_revisions_format\";s:1:\"2\";s:12:\"node_created\";s:10:\"1491552000\";}i:5;O:8:\"stdClass\":5:{s:3:\"nid\";s:4:\"8474\";s:10:\"node_title\";s:57:\"WSM Points of Unity Explained: 6 - (Other) Mass Movements\";s:21:\"node_revisions_teaser\";s:1309:\"<p><em>&#39;6. We also see it as vital to work in struggles that happen outside the unions and the workplace. These include struggles against particular oppressions, imperialism and indeed the struggles of the working class for a decent place and environment in which to live. Our general approach to these, like our approach to the unions, is to involve ourselves with mass movements and within these movements, in order to promote anarchist methods of organisation involving direct democracy and direct action.&#39;</em></p>\r\n<p>While the workplace is of course a critical site of political activity, there is a much broader terrain on which to strive for our liberty. Ultimately, we want a world where people are free and content. So, everywhere that we are ripped off, suppressed, attacked, sidelined, or degraded, is a place for us to fight back and band together with others. In a social order which thrives on us keeping our heads down and being passive, resistance in its many forms is to be encouraged and supported. Whether or not that resistance is as radical or as &#39;pure&#39; as we&#39;d like we should engage, of course with our anarchist heads screwed on. While being a purist sect on the sidelines can feel satisfying to the initiated, ultimately it is a redundant way to make change.</p>\r\n\";s:21:\"node_revisions_format\";s:1:\"2\";s:12:\"node_created\";s:10:\"1491552000\";}}s:10:\"total_rows\";i:1531;s:5:\"pager\";a:5:{s:9:\"use_pager\";s:1:\"0\";s:14:\"items_per_page\";i:6;s:7:\"element\";i:0;s:6:\"offset\";i:0;s:12:\"current_page\";i:0;}}', created = 1498211942, expire = 1498212242, headers = '', serialized = 1 WHERE cid = 'wsm_only:block_1:results:692e0a14e0b7ab966d18830fa49232e2' in /var/www/public/includes/cache.inc on line 112.
  • user warning: Table './external/cache_views_data' is marked as crashed and last (automatic?) repair failed query: SELECT data, created, headers, expire, serialized FROM cache_views_data WHERE cid = 'wsm_only:block_1:output:1b6bdc458dfffb7fd6fd165c992f4d81' in /var/www/public/includes/cache.inc on line 27.
  • user warning: Table './external/cache_views_data' is marked as crashed and last (automatic?) repair failed query: UPDATE cache_views_data SET data = 'a:4:{s:4:\"head\";s:0:\"\";s:3:\"css\";a:0:{}s:2:\"js\";a:0:{}s:6:\"output\";s:3309:\"<div class=\"view view-wsm-only view-id-wsm_only view-display-id-block_1 view-dom-id-4\">\n \n \n \n <div class=\"view-content\">\n <div class=\"views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first\">\n \n <div class=\"views-field-title\">\n <span class=\"field-content\"><a href=\"/c/elections-shouldnt-we-fight-all-fronts\" title=\"Elections: Shouldn&#039;t We &#039;Fight on All Fronts&#039;?\">Elections: Shouldn&#039;t We &#039;Fight on All Fronts...</a></span>\n </div>\n \n <div class=\"views-field-teaser\">\n <span class=\"field-content\">\n\n\n Anarchists are in favour of grassroots organising rather than engaging in...</span>\n </div>\n </div>\n <div class=\"views-row views-row-2 views-row-even\">\n \n <div class=\"views-field-title\">\n <span class=\"field-content\"><a href=\"/c/wsm-point-unity-1-class-struggle-leadership-ideas-anarchism\" title=\"WSM Points of Unity Explained: 1 - Class Struggle and Leadership of Ideas\">WSM Points of Unity Explained: 1 - Class Struggle and...</a></span>\n </div>\n \n <div class=\"views-field-teaser\">\n <span class=\"field-content\">&#39;1. Anarchism will be created by the class struggle between the vast majority of...</span>\n </div>\n </div>\n <div class=\"views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd\">\n \n <div class=\"views-field-title\">\n <span class=\"field-content\"><a href=\"/c/wsm-point-unity-2-power-structures-state-anarchism\">WSM Points of Unity Explained: 2 - Power Structures</a></span>\n </div>\n \n <div class=\"views-field-teaser\">\n <span class=\"field-content\">&#39;2. We reject the idea that society can be changed through &#39;good people&#39;...</span>\n </div>\n </div>\n <div class=\"views-row views-row-4 views-row-even\">\n \n <div class=\"views-field-title\">\n <span class=\"field-content\"><a href=\"/c/wsm-point-unity-3-platformism-1-especifismo-anarchism\">WSM Points of Unity Explained: 3 - Platformism (1)</a></span>\n </div>\n \n <div class=\"views-field-teaser\">\n <span class=\"field-content\">&#39;3. We identify ourselves as anarchists and with the &quot;platformist&quot;,...</span>\n </div>\n </div>\n <div class=\"views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd\">\n \n <div class=\"views-field-title\">\n <span class=\"field-content\"><a href=\"/c/wsm-point-unity-4-platformism-2-especifismo-anarchism\">WSM Points of Unity Explained: 4 - Platformism (2)</a></span>\n </div>\n \n <div class=\"views-field-teaser\">\n <span class=\"field-content\">&#39;4. The core ideas of this tradition that we identify with are the need for...</span>\n </div>\n </div>\n <div class=\"views-row views-row-6 views-row-even views-row-last\">\n \n <div class=\"views-field-title\">\n <span class=\"field-content\"><a href=\"/c/wsm-point-unity-6-mass-movements-resistance-anarchism\" title=\"WSM Points of Unity Explained: 6 - (Other) Mass Movements\">WSM Points of Unity Explained: 6 - (Other) Mass...</a></span>\n </div>\n \n <div class=\"views-field-teaser\">\n <span class=\"field-content\">&#39;6. We also see it as vital to work in struggles that happen outside the unions and...</span>\n </div>\n </div>\n </div>\n \n \n \n \n<div class=\"more-link\">\n <a href=\"/all\">\n more </a>\n</div>\n \n \n \n</div> \";}', created = 1498211942, expire = 1498212242, headers = '', serialized = 1 WHERE cid = 'wsm_only:block_1:output:1b6bdc458dfffb7fd6fd165c992f4d81' in /var/www/public/includes/cache.inc on line 112.
  • user warning: Table './external/cache_views_data' is marked as crashed and last (automatic?) repair failed query: SELECT data, created, headers, expire, serialized FROM cache_views_data WHERE cid = 'not_wsm:block_1:results:6f171fd0922b167e997398452392a596' in /var/www/public/includes/cache.inc on line 27.
  • user warning: Table './external/cache_views_data' is marked as crashed and last (automatic?) repair failed query: UPDATE cache_views_data SET data = 'a:3:{s:6:\"result\";a:6:{i:0;O:8:\"stdClass\":5:{s:3:\"nid\";s:4:\"8414\";s:10:\"node_title\";s:108:\"Minister for homelessness says beware of neighbours filling swimming pools in piss poor divide and rule move\";s:21:\"node_revisions_teaser\";s:288:\"<p>You can tell a lot about someone from what they worry about. The Housing Minister Simon Coveney isn&rsquo;t so much worried about people sleeping on the streets at the moment. He is losing sleep about the thought that other people might fill their swimming pools with free water!</p>\r\n\";s:21:\"node_revisions_format\";s:1:\"2\";s:12:\"node_created\";s:10:\"1483808884\";}i:1;O:8:\"stdClass\":5:{s:3:\"nid\";s:4:\"8403\";s:10:\"node_title\";s:23:\"Class and Exploitation \";s:21:\"node_revisions_teaser\";s:440:\"<p><strong>What this paper does... &nbsp;</strong><br />\r\n The left talks about class in ways that are often contradictory and confusing.&nbsp; This paper represented our collective use of class and how we understand exploitation. The scope of what we cover means that it necessarily makes sweeping generalisations but the goal is to sketch what our collective perspective is around these, not to be an educational resource in itself.</p>\r\n\";s:21:\"node_revisions_format\";s:1:\"2\";s:12:\"node_created\";s:10:\"1481573672\";}i:2;O:8:\"stdClass\":5:{s:3:\"nid\";s:4:\"8402\";s:10:\"node_title\";s:40:\"Perspectives for Struggle and Revolution\";s:21:\"node_revisions_teaser\";s:891:\"<p><strong>What this paper is</strong>&nbsp;<br />\r\n What we summarise below is what the WSM has collectively agreed are the prospects for struggle in the short and medium term both in terms of global and local capitalism but more importantly of the existing movements and struggles and those we think are coming into existence.&nbsp; It should be read in conjunction with &lsquo;<a href=\"http://www.wsm.ie/c/role-anarchist-organisation-policy\">The Role of the Anarchist Organisation</a>&rsquo; which is the long term strategic view within which these short and medium terms considerations are shaped.&nbsp; Fundamentally we think &lsquo;kick it till it breaks&rsquo; leads to burnout and inactivity. Sustained organising over decades requires a collective understanding and identification of the moments of opportunity scattered through the periods of preparation and experimentation.</p>\r\n\";s:21:\"node_revisions_format\";s:1:\"2\";s:12:\"node_created\";s:10:\"1481573217\";}i:3;O:8:\"stdClass\":5:{s:3:\"nid\";s:4:\"8398\";s:10:\"node_title\";s:70:\"Saoradh, Irish republicanism and the politics of Unfinished Revolution\";s:21:\"node_revisions_teaser\";s:819:\"<p><img alt=\"\" src=\"/sites/default/files/SaoradhUnfinished.jpg\" style=\"width: 400px; height: 400px; margin: 3px; float: right;\" />The launch of Saoradh in the Canal Court Hotel in Newry is the latest republican project to have emerged but is it a fresh departure a break from past mistakes or just simply a re-packaged version of the pre ceasefire Provies?</p>\r\n<p>Since its inception, Saoradh has faced increasing state repression on both sides of the border as it has attempted to establish itself. Many will look upon this crackdown as evidence of a real threat to the status-quo and therefore acclaim the revolutionary potential of Saoradhs&rsquo; version of republicanism, confusing revolution with the reality that the state will always repress those who they perceive question their monopoly over violence.</p>\r\n\";s:21:\"node_revisions_format\";s:1:\"2\";s:12:\"node_created\";s:10:\"1481125350\";}i:4;O:8:\"stdClass\":5:{s:3:\"nid\";s:4:\"8376\";s:10:\"node_title\";s:78:\"Report on “Kurdish Resistance in Turkey and Syria” meeting (November 2016)\";s:21:\"node_revisions_teaser\";s:631:\"<p><img alt=\"\" src=\"/sites/default/files/Rojava%20Solidarity%20meme.jpg\" style=\"width: 350px; height: 263px; border-width: 3px; border-style: solid; margin: 3px; float: right;\" />About 50 people gathered in the Teacher&rsquo;s Club on Monday evening for a public meeting organised by Rojava Calling.</p>\r\n<p>Speaking at the meeting were Faysal Sariyildiz, People&rsquo;s Democratic Party (HDP) MP in Turkey, and Calvin James, a Dublin born DJ and activist who spent 6 months as a volunteer medic in northern Syria in 2016. Faysal joined the meeting by Skype from Brussels as the Turkish state recently cancelled his passport.</p>\r\n\";s:21:\"node_revisions_format\";s:1:\"2\";s:12:\"node_created\";s:10:\"1480328230\";}i:5;O:8:\"stdClass\":5:{s:3:\"nid\";s:4:\"8359\";s:10:\"node_title\";s:82:\"Rojava revolution - Co-operatives & assemblies - video with commentary in the text\";s:21:\"node_revisions_teaser\";s:1445:\"<p><img alt=\"\" src=\"/sites/default/files/DecisionMaking.jpg\" style=\"width: 400px; height: 300px; margin: 3px; float: right;\" />As they have driven ISIS back in northern Syria / Rojava the Kurdish YPG and their allies in the SDF have won increasing visibility in western media. While such reports often mention the key role in this fight played by women in the YPJ, there is otherwise little examination of the revolution happening behind the front lines in Rojava. That revolution is why they stood and fought ISIS rather than fleeing. This can be true of a lot of alternative media coverage. In part this is due to the limited amount of information on what this revolution involves. but it&rsquo;s also in part because photographs of women with guns are judged to be more striking than women workers in a co-operative bakery or a community assembly.</p>\r\n<p>We&rsquo;ve tried to address this imbalance somewhat, both in our coverage and through bringing a number of Kurdish and other speakers over to talk at the Dublin Anarchist Bookfair. They spoke about what is happening behind the front lines. What is it that is being constructed that so many have judged is worth going to the front lines to defend against ISIS? Our speakers this year included Erjan Ayboga author of &lsquo;Revolution in Rojava&rsquo; and US academic Janet Biehl who has visited the region twice since the revolution to investigate what is happening on the ground.</p>\r\n\";s:21:\"node_revisions_format\";s:1:\"2\";s:12:\"node_created\";s:10:\"1474896093\";}}s:10:\"total_rows\";i:716;s:5:\"pager\";a:5:{s:9:\"use_pager\";s:1:\"0\";s:14:\"items_per_page\";i:6;s:7:\"element\";i:0;s:6:\"offset\";i:2;s:12:\"current_page\";i:0;}}', created = 1498211942, expire = 1498212242, headers = '', serialized = 1 WHERE cid = 'not_wsm:block_1:results:6f171fd0922b167e997398452392a596' in /var/www/public/includes/cache.inc on line 112.
  • user warning: Table './external/cache_views_data' is marked as crashed and last (automatic?) repair failed query: SELECT data, created, headers, expire, serialized FROM cache_views_data WHERE cid = 'not_wsm:block_1:output:0e62dee48a5034a26a4ce1b357473427' in /var/www/public/includes/cache.inc on line 27.
  • user warning: Table './external/cache_views_data' is marked as crashed and last (automatic?) repair failed query: UPDATE cache_views_data SET data = 'a:4:{s:4:\"head\";s:0:\"\";s:3:\"css\";a:0:{}s:2:\"js\";a:0:{}s:6:\"output\";s:3422:\"<div class=\"view view-not-wsm view-id-not_wsm view-display-id-block_1 view-dom-id-5\">\n \n \n \n <div class=\"view-content\">\n <div class=\"views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first\">\n \n <div class=\"views-field-title\">\n <span class=\"field-content\"><a href=\"/c/minister-homelessness-neighbours-filling-swimming-pools\" title=\"Minister for homelessness says beware of neighbours filling swimming pools in piss poor divide and rule move\">Minister for homelessness says beware of...</a></span>\n </div>\n \n <div class=\"views-field-teaser\">\n <span class=\"field-content\">You can tell a lot about someone from what they worry about. The Housing Minister Simon...</span>\n </div>\n </div>\n <div class=\"views-row views-row-2 views-row-even\">\n \n <div class=\"views-field-title\">\n <span class=\"field-content\"><a href=\"/c/class-and-exploitation\" title=\"Class and Exploitation \">Class and Exploitation</a></span>\n </div>\n \n <div class=\"views-field-teaser\">\n <span class=\"field-content\">What this paper does... &nbsp;\n The left talks about class in ways that are often...</span>\n </div>\n </div>\n <div class=\"views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd\">\n \n <div class=\"views-field-title\">\n <span class=\"field-content\"><a href=\"/c/perspectives-struggle-and-revolution\">Perspectives for Struggle and Revolution</a></span>\n </div>\n \n <div class=\"views-field-teaser\">\n <span class=\"field-content\">What this paper is&nbsp;\n What we summarise below is what the WSM has collectively agreed...</span>\n </div>\n </div>\n <div class=\"views-row views-row-4 views-row-even\">\n \n <div class=\"views-field-title\">\n <span class=\"field-content\"><a href=\"/c/saoradh-irish-republicanism-unfinished-revolution\" title=\"Saoradh, Irish republicanism and the politics of Unfinished Revolution\">Saoradh, Irish republicanism and the politics of...</a></span>\n </div>\n \n <div class=\"views-field-teaser\">\n <span class=\"field-content\">The launch of Saoradh in the Canal Court Hotel in Newry is the latest republican project...</span>\n </div>\n </div>\n <div class=\"views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd\">\n \n <div class=\"views-field-title\">\n <span class=\"field-content\"><a href=\"/c/kurdish-resistance-turkey-syria-meeting-nov2016\" title=\"Report on “Kurdish Resistance in Turkey and Syria” meeting (November 2016)\">Report on “Kurdish Resistance in Turkey and Syria...</a></span>\n </div>\n \n <div class=\"views-field-teaser\">\n <span class=\"field-content\">About 50 people gathered in the Teacher&rsquo;s Club on Monday evening for a public...</span>\n </div>\n </div>\n <div class=\"views-row views-row-6 views-row-even views-row-last\">\n \n <div class=\"views-field-title\">\n <span class=\"field-content\"><a href=\"/c/rojava-revolution-co-operatives-assemblies-video-commentary\" title=\"Rojava revolution - Co-operatives &amp; assemblies - video with commentary in the text\">Rojava revolution - Co-operatives &amp;...</a></span>\n </div>\n \n <div class=\"views-field-teaser\">\n <span class=\"field-content\">As they have driven ISIS back in northern Syria / Rojava the Kurdish YPG and their allies...</span>\n </div>\n </div>\n </div>\n \n \n \n \n<div class=\"more-link\">\n <a href=\"/all\">\n more </a>\n</div>\n \n \n \n</div> \";}', created = 1498211942, expire = 1498212242, headers = '', serialized = 1 WHERE cid = 'not_wsm:block_1:output:0e62dee48a5034a26a4ce1b357473427' in /var/www/public/includes/cache.inc on line 112.
  • user warning: Table './external/cache_views_data' is marked as crashed and last (automatic?) repair failed query: SELECT data, created, headers, expire, serialized FROM cache_views_data WHERE cid = 'video:block_1:results:d1bd4a9bdf0c592395306e39f5452d02' in /var/www/public/includes/cache.inc on line 27.
  • user warning: Table './external/cache_views_data' is marked as crashed and last (automatic?) repair failed query: UPDATE cache_views_data SET data = 'a:3:{s:6:\"result\";a:3:{i:0;O:8:\"stdClass\":3:{s:3:\"nid\";s:4:\"8322\";s:10:\"node_title\";s:54:\"Video documentary on the Belfast Rally for Choice 2016\";s:7:\"_random\";s:22:\"0.00021994859000663142\";}i:1;O:8:\"stdClass\":3:{s:3:\"nid\";s:4:\"4416\";s:10:\"node_title\";s:49:\"60k protest in Dublin over Education cuts - video\";s:7:\"_random\";s:20:\"0.004550131973391522\";}i:2;O:8:\"stdClass\":3:{s:3:\"nid\";s:4:\"7795\";s:10:\"node_title\";s:66:\"The British Miners strike of 1984-85 -Video & Audio from DABF 2014\";s:7:\"_random\";s:20:\"0.005116312769349956\";}}s:10:\"total_rows\";i:158;s:5:\"pager\";a:5:{s:9:\"use_pager\";s:1:\"0\";s:14:\"items_per_page\";i:3;s:7:\"element\";i:0;s:6:\"offset\";i:0;s:12:\"current_page\";i:0;}}', created = 1498211942, expire = 1498212242, headers = '', serialized = 1 WHERE cid = 'video:block_1:results:d1bd4a9bdf0c592395306e39f5452d02' in /var/www/public/includes/cache.inc on line 112.
  • user warning: Table './external/cache_views_data' is marked as crashed and last (automatic?) repair failed query: SELECT data, created, headers, expire, serialized FROM cache_views_data WHERE cid = 'video:block_1:output:53c5fec37f6409a15eb153477ad7ff24' in /var/www/public/includes/cache.inc on line 27.
  • user warning: Table './external/cache_views_data' is marked as crashed and last (automatic?) repair failed query: UPDATE cache_views_data SET data = 'a:4:{s:4:\"head\";s:0:\"\";s:3:\"css\";a:0:{}s:2:\"js\";a:0:{}s:6:\"output\";s:1216:\"<div class=\"view view-video view-id-video view-display-id-block_1 view-dom-id-6\">\n \n \n \n <div class=\"view-content\">\n <div class=\"views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first\">\n \n <div class=\"views-field-title\">\n <span class=\"field-content\"><a href=\"/c/video-belfast-rally-choice-2016\" title=\"Video documentary on the Belfast Rally for Choice 2016\">Video documentary on the Belfast Rally for Choice...</a></span>\n </div>\n </div>\n <div class=\"views-row views-row-2 views-row-even\">\n \n <div class=\"views-field-title\">\n <span class=\"field-content\"><a href=\"/c/teachers-protest-dublin-education-cuts\">60k protest in Dublin over Education cuts - video</a></span>\n </div>\n </div>\n <div class=\"views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd views-row-last\">\n \n <div class=\"views-field-title\">\n <span class=\"field-content\"><a href=\"/c/british-miners-strike-1984-video\" title=\"The British Miners strike of 1984-85 -Video &amp; Audio from DABF 2014\">The British Miners strike of 1984-85 -Video...</a></span>\n </div>\n </div>\n </div>\n \n \n \n \n<div class=\"more-link\">\n <a href=\"/anarchism/video\">\n more </a>\n</div>\n \n \n \n</div> \";}', created = 1498211942, expire = 1498212242, headers = '', serialized = 1 WHERE cid = 'video:block_1:output:53c5fec37f6409a15eb153477ad7ff24' in /var/www/public/includes/cache.inc on line 112.
  • user warning: Table './external/cache_views_data' is marked as crashed and last (automatic?) repair failed query: SELECT data, created, headers, expire, serialized FROM cache_views_data WHERE cid = 'Random_PDF:block_1:results:d701b49486a84d4cd29efe1b1fbdd8e3' in /var/www/public/includes/cache.inc on line 27.
  • user warning: Table './external/cache_views_data' is marked as crashed and last (automatic?) repair failed query: UPDATE cache_views_data SET data = 'a:3:{s:6:\"result\";a:2:{i:0;O:8:\"stdClass\":5:{s:3:\"nid\";s:4:\"7203\";s:10:\"node_title\";s:52:\"Household tax - What would it mean to win? - leaflet\";s:21:\"node_revisions_teaser\";s:367:\"<p><img alt=\"\" src=\"/sites/default/files/MeanToWin.jpg\" style=\"margin-left: 3px; margin-right: 3px; margin-top: 3px; margin-bottom: 3px; float: right; width: 300px; height: 175px; \" />The Campaign against the Household Tax is in a prime position to win. Mass non-registration is now a reality, and the Campaign has been established in every part of the country.</p>\r\n\";s:21:\"node_revisions_format\";s:1:\"2\";s:7:\"_random\";s:19:\"0.00996291265819493\";}i:1;O:8:\"stdClass\":5:{s:3:\"nid\";s:4:\"6802\";s:10:\"node_title\";s:59:\"Sex, Class and Women\'s Oppression - Anarchist PDF pamphlet \";s:21:\"node_revisions_teaser\";s:116:\"<p>A 14-page pamhlet, made up of compilation of articles from Workers Solidarity. Compiled and edited in 2001.</p>\r\n\";s:21:\"node_revisions_format\";s:1:\"2\";s:7:\"_random\";s:19:\"0.01755533369030369\";}}s:10:\"total_rows\";i:71;s:5:\"pager\";a:5:{s:9:\"use_pager\";s:1:\"0\";s:14:\"items_per_page\";i:2;s:7:\"element\";i:0;s:6:\"offset\";i:1;s:12:\"current_page\";i:0;}}', created = 1498211942, expire = 1498212242, headers = '', serialized = 1 WHERE cid = 'Random_PDF:block_1:results:d701b49486a84d4cd29efe1b1fbdd8e3' in /var/www/public/includes/cache.inc on line 112.
  • user warning: Table './external/cache_views_data' is marked as crashed and last (automatic?) repair failed query: SELECT data, created, headers, expire, serialized FROM cache_views_data WHERE cid = 'Random_PDF:block_1:output:52fb7451c79bf42871c07cf31dfc358e' in /var/www/public/includes/cache.inc on line 27.
  • user warning: Table './external/cache_views_data' is marked as crashed and last (automatic?) repair failed query: UPDATE cache_views_data SET data = 'a:4:{s:4:\"head\";s:0:\"\";s:3:\"css\";a:0:{}s:2:\"js\";a:0:{}s:6:\"output\";s:1893:\"<div class=\"view view-Random-PDF view-id-Random_PDF view-display-id-block_1 view-dom-id-7\">\n <div class=\"view-header\">\n <p>Download, print out and distribute these PDF\'s</p>\n </div>\n \n \n \n <div class=\"view-content\">\n <table class=\"views-table cols-2\">\n <thead>\n <tr>\n <th class=\"views-field views-field-title\">\n </th>\n <th class=\"views-field views-field-teaser\">\n </th>\n </tr>\n </thead>\n <tbody>\n <tr class=\"odd views-row-first\">\n <td class=\"views-field views-field-title\">\n <a href=\"/c/household-tax-what-mean-win-leaflet\" title=\"Household tax - What would it mean to win? - leaflet\">Household tax - What would it mean to win? -...</a> </td>\n <td class=\"views-field views-field-teaser\">\n <p><img alt=\"\" src=\"/sites/default/files/MeanToWin.jpg\" style=\"margin-left: 3px; margin-right: 3px; margin-top: 3px; margin-bottom: 3px; float: right; width: 300px; height: 175px; \" />The Campaign against the Household Tax is in a prime position to win. Mass non-registration is now a reality, and...</p> </td>\n </tr>\n <tr class=\"even views-row-last\">\n <td class=\"views-field views-field-title\">\n <a href=\"/c/sex-class-and-womens-oppression-anarchist-pdf-pamphlet\" title=\"Sex, Class and Women&#039;s Oppression - Anarchist PDF pamphlet \">Sex, Class and Women&#039;s Oppression -...</a> </td>\n <td class=\"views-field views-field-teaser\">\n <p>A 14-page pamhlet, made up of compilation of articles from Workers Solidarity. Compiled and edited in 2001.</p> </td>\n </tr>\n </tbody>\n</table>\n </div>\n \n \n \n \n<div class=\"more-link\">\n <a href=\"/anarchism/pdf\">\n more </a>\n</div>\n \n \n \n</div> \";}', created = 1498211942, expire = 1498212242, headers = '', serialized = 1 WHERE cid = 'Random_PDF:block_1:output:52fb7451c79bf42871c07cf31dfc358e' in /var/www/public/includes/cache.inc on line 112.
Date:

“In Turn off the Red Light – Should We Advocate It?”, T.J., explores the problems faced by sex workers in gaining recognition by those who normally fight for workers rights and outlines how criminalisation of demand has created new problems in countries where that has been introduced.

The subject of prostitution is becoming part mainstream discourse again as a number of European countries look to legislate to curb demand, whereby the punter rather than the prostitute is criminalised. Ireland has also been looking to write this into law since the high profile campaign Turn off the Red Light (TORL) was launched.

The demand approach which TORL are advocating is an abolitionist approach to sex work. The aim of abolitionism is to end prostitution by criminalising those who profit from sex work, such as brothel owners or those who offer advertising space for prostitution businesses. This includes the method famously known as the Swedish Law or the demand approach, which is banning the purchase of sex, the idea being that the punter is criminalised and not the prostitute. Unfortunately in practice this is often not the case under abolitionist legal systems as prostitutes are regularly targeted. [1]

History of Abolitionism
Abolitionism has its origins in 19th Century Feminism; the term itself was borrowed from the campaign against the slave trade. At the time, abolitionism referred particularly to certain laws that were enacted in England and Wales in the 1860s. These laws were the Contagious Diseases Act. Under these laws any woman could be detained by the police and forced to undergo a medical examination for venereal diseases. This was to prevent the spread of venereal diseases at the time, in particular syphilis by registering and examining prostitutes. This approach was known as regulationism. [2]

The abolitionist movement was born out of protest against regulationism. Its leader, Josephine Butler, argued that women could never consent to prostitution and blamed men’s unbridled lust. They created a coalition of groups, which included working men’s organisations and religious organisations. They were also joined by the growing “social purity” movement, whose ideas of sexual chastity were more restrictive than Butler’s. [3]

Once the act was repealed in 1886, this alliance turned their attention to “white slavery”. They envisioned laws to target those who earned money from prostitution rather than prostitutes themselves. The abolitionist campaign in the end was overshadowed by the social purity campaign. Many feminists either founded or joined these campaigns but they always became overrun by social purity organisations, whose relationship to prostitutes was questionable. While professing sympathy for their situation of having fallen into the hands of “white slavers”, they still condemned these women, whose risqué behavior was to blame for their situation. [4] These campaigns later turned into prohibitionist move- ments, which would make the act of prostitution illegal. [5]

Abolitionism Today
Abolitionism is still popular among feminists today. Its advocates argue that all prostitution is violence against women and that no consent is possible. All prostitutes are victims in the eyes of abolitionists. Melissa Farley, one of the most well- known abolitionists, once said that, “If you look at it, [prostitution is] paid rape. You’re making them subservient during that time, so you’re the dominant person. She has to do what you want.” This claim is insulting, as it delegitimises rape survivors’ and prostitutes’ own experiences.

If one looks at feminist abolitionist material, they only ever speak of female prostitution and seem to ignore the existence of male and transgender variants as they do not fit into their analysis of prostitution being male sexual violence against women. That silence has the effect of marginalising those voices. This approach focuses far too much on the gender divide in sex work and simply reinforces the gendered nature of our society. They enshrine the idea that women who work in prostitution will always be victims, typically stating that they were victims of abuse before going into the industry, suggesting that women enter sex work because they are psychologically damaged.

Who are Turn Off the Red Light?
One of the main proponents of TORL is an organisation called Ruhama, which was founded by the Good Shepherd Sisters and Our Lady of Charity Sisters, who both ran Magdalene Laundaries and whose relationships with prostitutes were never the best. Other supporters include feminist groups such as the Irish Feminist Network and the Open Feminist Forum, along with trade unions and a range of NGOs. We can see history repeat itself again, as religious groups monopolise the movement. [6]

One cannot talk about sex work without talking about migration. Laura Maria Augustin discusses the rescue industry in her book “Sex at the Mar-gins: Migration, Labour Markets and the Rescue Industry”. Migrant women who know they will work as sex workers are assigned victim status by the rescue industry, who deport them back to their own country or prevent them from working. Sex work is realistically one of the few forms of work which may be viable with precarious immigration status. [7]

These abolitionist laws help to build fortress walls around Europe that prevent migrants from coming in, while pretending they are doing it for the women’s own good. Police are paid to watch sex workers, to find who their clients are and penalise them, but will also use this as a method to find out the legal status of migrant women. The rescue industry does not offer these women permits or viable alternatives to support themselves, especially considering that asylum seekers in this country are not allowed to work and have to live on €19.10 per week.

In the view of the General Secretary of the Technical, Electrical and Engineering Union (TEEU), “prostitution could not be considered work.” [8] If the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) follows this line then sex workers would not be entitled, in the eyes of the union movement, to the same rights that other workers enjoy. [9] The International Labour Organisation (ILO) to which ICTU is affiliated however, recognises that sex work is an industry and sex workers should have the same rights as other workers. [10]

The Swedish Law
The introduction of the Swedish Law would criminalise the purchase of sex but there are already stringent laws in place for prostitutes. Prostitution is legal in Ireland but several of the activities surrounding it are illegal. The Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Act of 1993 prohibits soliciting, living off the earning of prostitution and keeping a brothel. Advertising brothels and prostitution is prohibited by the Criminal Justice (Public Order) Act of 1994. [11]

If we look at countries that have already introduced this law, it is clear that it doesn’t work as intended. The police in Iceland have actually given up on fighting prostitution. They reported that “they neither had the funds nor the manpower to fight prostitution which they conclude is clearly thriving in Iceland in spite of it being illegal.” [12] If one looks at the statistics for Norway and Sweden, evidence shows that human trafficking for the sex trade has increased since the law was introduced. [13, 14] PION, a Norwegian sex workers organisation, gave a report on their own conclusions about the law and how it affects sex workers. They feel they have less rights and their privacy has been invaded. They give various examples, one of which is that their operations are revealed to landlords and hotels or that a woman’s identity is revealed on purpose to the media when they carry out operations. Women are less likely to come forward to the authorities when they experience violence since the law was introduced. [15] These women are also driven away by police when they work on the streets accusing them of “[encouraging] criminal activity.” [16] Even if clients see that the women are trafficked, they are unlikely to report this in fear that they will be prosecuted.

Another major problem is the rise of STI/STDs as sex workers in Norway prefer not to carry condoms or lubricants as this could be found by the police and used as evidence against them for selling sex. Since the new law has been introduced the number of punters has decreased, but punters have more bargaining power demanding services such as unprotected sex. [17]

Decriminalisation
Decriminalisation is the approach which is advocoated by most sex workers and human rights groups. This approach means that prostitution is not included in the criminal code, but would be regulated in other ways either at provincial, state, federal or local level. It would be treated like any other business and subject to employment laws, health and safety and zoning laws. This would mean that brothels would be subject to safety code standards, which would create a safer working environment.
Decriminalisation is the best legal approach to sex work in our current system as it destigmatises it, and removes the threat of arrest and police intereference for sex workers and others involved. It also deems it as a legitimate business, which means workers have a legal framework to work with if they are treated unfairly, especially when they experience violence. It is however a reform- ist measure that does not tackle the problems of undocumented migrants working in the industry, who are still left in the same position. It also still leaves sex work community members subject to drug-related and loitering laws.

New Zealand was the first country to introduce decriminalisation. The law only passed by one vote when it went through parliament. It has decriminalised all forms of prostitution including street prositution. There have been several improvements since the law has been introduced. The number of women working in the industry has not risen, prostitutes feel more comfortable to report violence, especially prostitutes working on the street, and their dealings with the police has improved in general, with more of them willing to work with the sex industry rather than against it. [18]

Looking at all of these examples, one thing is clear; we need to lift stigmatisation if we are to move forward and part of that is to stand in solidarity with sex workers. Work is always going to be exploitative under capitalism and so sex will always be subject to commodification and exploitation. One Wobbly sex worker put it the best: “Fighting sex work instead of fighting capitalism and patriarchy does not address the exploitation in its entirety.” [19]

WORDS: TJ

[1] Melissa Hope Ditmore, 2006. Encyclopedia of Prostitution and Sex Work [Two Volumes] [2 Volumes]: Encyclopedia of Prostitution and Sex Work (2 Volumes Set). Edition. Greenwood. [18] [19]
[2-5] ibid
[6] turnofftheredlight.ie/about/whos-involved/
[7]Laura María Agustín, 2007. Sex at the Margins: Migration, Labour Markets and the Rescue Industry. Edition. Zed Books.
[8] sexwork.ie/2012/09/07/torl-example/
[9] feministire.wordpress.com/2012/09/09/the- irish-trade-union-movement-throws-sex-workers- under-a-bus-2/
[10] Editor Lin Lean Lim, 1998. The Sex Sector : The Economic and Social Bases of Prostitution in Southeast Asia. 1St Edition Edition. International Labour Org.
[11] en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prostitution_in_the_ Republic_of_Ireland
[12]icelandreview.com/icelandreview/daily_news/ Big_Sister_Watches_Buyers_of_Prostitution_in_ Iceland_0_383393.news.aspx
[13] feministire.wordpress.com/2011/10/23/nor- wegian-sex-workers-views-of-sex-purchase-ban/
[14] feministire.wordpress.com/2011/10/04/ swedish-police-stats-show-more-not-less-prosti- tution-and-trafficking/
[15] feministire.wordpress.com/2011/10/23/nor- wegian-sex-workers-views-of-sex-purchase-ban/
[16] feministire.wordpress.com/2011/10/23/nor- wegian-sex-workers-views-of-sex-purchase-ban/
[17] feministire.wordpress.com/2012/01/15/nor- wegian-directorate-of-health-hiv-groups-criticise- sex-purchase-ban/
[18] prostitutescollective.net/2008/06/25/new- zealand-marks-five-years-of-successful-decrimi- nalisation-of-prostitution/
[19] libcom.org/library/sex-work-solidarity-not- salvation


This article appeared in the  
Irish Anarchist Review No 6 October 2012

Extracts from the article also appeared in Workers Solidarity 128

  • Author: TJ

Like what you're reading?
Find out when we publish more via the
WSM Facebook
& WSM Twitter