Opinion

The opinion of a WSM member. This piece has not been reviewed by any WSM editing body

Report on National Conference 2017

Date:

The Workers Solidarity Movement held our national conference in Dublin on the 22nd July. What follows is a brief report on the day’s proceedings.

This is direct democracy in action. If it appeals to you, you might consider finding out more about the WSM and what we anarchists are up to.

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Practical Guide: How to Make a Good Banner

Date:

This is a detailed guide on how to make a political banner for a demonstration or banner drop. It uses 3 real examples to illustrate. [Download as PDF]

These 3 banners are:

  1. The May Day banner. Made for the anarchist bloc called by the WSM for Dublin's May Day march 2017.
  2. The Pride banner. Made for the Working Class Queeroes "Fucking Dregs" bloc on Dublin LGBTQ Pride 2017.
  3. The Drop banner. Made for a banner drop by the Working Class Queeroes in the morning of the same Pride.

Jobstown not Guilty points to a Garda conspiracy

Date:

The outraged media reaction to a jury doing its job and finding the Jobstown defendants not guilty is quite extraordinary.  Rather than do the right thing and launch an investigation as to how 180 cops could produce evidence that was directly contradicted by video evidence, the media have gone on a rant against Twitter!  Rather than finding it suspicious that nearly 3 million in public funds was spent by the DPP on a case that any proper check of available evidence should have indicated was never likely to convince a jury, the media suggest instead that the problem lay in the exact charges brought.

As we look across our newspapers, TV channels and radio stations and see what appears to be coordinated messaging from politicos, journalists and other elite figures we should take this as a teaching moment.  This isn’t some exception, this is how it works.  It’s only visible in this instance because so many of us followed the trial in considerable detail, and that was only possible because of the large number of activists who provided court updates, mostly in a voluntary role. Those activists with access to social media allowed a collective challenging of the media framing. Hundreds of people not only read what they posted but shared and retweeted it.

8 Traits of a Good Organiser

Date:

Being a good political organiser involves quite a large set of skills which take years of practical experience to hone. The manual on how to be a good organiser - if one could even be written - would be a book large enough to be covered by the Offensive Weapons Act. This is a basic primer on what makes a good organiser rather than a shoddy one, focusing on the kind of traits you should be trying to develop over time. None of us lives up to these all of the time, but it's what we should aspire to and move closer towards continuously. [Download as PDF]

The 8 traits are:

  1. Reliable
  2. Co-operative
  3. Independent
  4. Communicates Clearly
  5. Realistic
  6. Ambitious
  7. Secure
  8. Growing

7 Lies for the 7th 'Rally for Life' - July 1st

Date:

On Saturday July 1st, people who advocate the right to choose will gather at the Spire at 2pm for the counter demonstration to the 'Rally for Life', which is organised by Precious Life / Youth Defence. The first year of the All Ireland Rally of Lies was 2007. This year, the event is in Dublin. In alternate years, it is held in Belfast. Since 2011, Rally for Choice has been a counter presence. For those on Facebook, find the event page here.

To mark the 7th Counter Demo, here are 7 lies from the Rally for ‘Life’ website.

 

1 - They Don't '#SaveLives#

 

 

Absolute boy - The Youth Revolt that led Corbyn to a victory of sorts

Date:

Corbyn’s strong showing in the June 2017 UK elections has given a big morale boost to the left.  A considerable youth vote, self-mobilising in larger part as a reaction to the ‘me and mine’ selfish society revealed by the Brexit vote seriously set back Tory plans for a fresh wave of Brexit required austerity.  Activists used social networking to overcome what had previously been seen as an all powerful smear machine of the billionaire print press.  Very few outside the radical left expected this outcome, what drove it and more importantly where can it lead?
[ This is a long read so you can also listen to an audio of the text ]

This piece is not going to answer that in terms of assumptions and assertions but as far as possible through hard numbers.  66% of 18-24 year old’s voted Labour, only a quarter of that, 18% voted Tory [p4].  27% of those 18-24 year olds said the NHS was the most important issue for them, even though they are least likely to need it [p40].  For the over 65 age group this was flipped, only 23% voted Labour and over twice as many (58%) voted Tory [p4].  In fact, given the way the UK election system works, if only 18-24 year olds had voted, Labour would have been heading for 500 seats.  If it had only been those over 65 voting the Tories would have had over 400 seats.

An Anarchist Response to “Anarchists, It Is Our Duty To Vote In Elections”

Date:

As the title suggests, this article has been written in response to this article which was written over two years ago just before the last UK General Election and as Hillary Clinton was beginning her campaign for US presidency. Coming from my own knowledge and beliefs on voting I was surprised when reading fellow anarchist Paddy Vipond’s article that he omitted major anarchist arguments against voting. In addition to serving as a response to Vipond’s piece I will discuss what he left out under his headings and address some issues that have become apparent during this current election campaign particularly with the hope that Corbyn’s Labour has sparked among the UK electorate and indeed further than that among the international electoralist left.

Anarchists, Is It Really Our Duty To Vote?

Date:

Voting has just ended in the UK election. Many people are consumed with hope that Corbyn could win and implement his reforms “for the many, not the few”. For those of us who work with the broad left, it is inevitable that the topic of elections and voting will come up. Heated debates can occur between those of us who would rather ignore the electoral circus and those who strongly believe in using it as a vehicle on the road to a new society.

 

Before beginning, it is important to clarify the misconception that anarchists are against voting. We have absolutely no problem with voting - how else could we make decisions? We are against a system that allows for us to tick a box every four or five years which gives whoever received the most X’s to make decisions that affect our lives in a fancy building miles away from us. Politicians once elected do what they like because we can neither mandate nor recall them.

THE WORMS THAT SAVED THE WORLD - a review of a brilliant children's book

Date:
THE WORMS THAT SAVED THE WORLD is an illustrated children’s book about a rebellious group of earthworms who fight to save their home from a luxury golf course that takes over their headland. Written by Kevin Doyle and illustrated by Spark Deeley, the book introduces us to Connie and her friends as they band together to save their community and their home. 
 
 
At first, the worms try to make do but the growing pollution combined with the new owners’ intolerance force them to take action. They realise that they cannot win against the powerful golf club on their own so they seek the help of other animals who share the headland with them. They are a determined and inventive community of worms and in the end the win back control of their home. (Hurray!) The story was inspired by a famous campaign that took place at the Old Head of Kinsale in Cork, Ireland in the early 2000s.

Cop on comrades - over 250 women respond to left attack on 'Identity Politics'

Date:

The following has been written by a collective of women activists in Ireland in part in response to an article that appeared in the Irish Times on Identity Politics and the way 'men on the left' engaged with that article.  The version here is the original form as published meaning  the signatures are those who were involved at some level in the drafting process.  Additional names were added after publication, see link at the end.  One of our members, Andrew,  produced a timeline of key documents and discussion around this piece which explains the context in a lot more details.

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