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Ireland's anarchist paper Workers Solidarity 107 online

category ireland / britain | anarchist movement | link to pdf author Thursday January 22, 2009 17:37author by WS editors - WSMauthor email wsm_ireland at yahoo dot com Report this post to the editors

Workers Solidarity 107, the Jan/Feb edition of the Irish anarchist paper is now online for you to read or download. This is the online version of the paper, 10,000 printed copies of each edition are also distributed for free in Ireland, if your interested in helping with distribution contact us.

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Click on one of the links below for a PDF version of the northern or southern edition of Workers Solidarity 107.

Workers Solidarity 107 Southern Web Edition 0.91 Mb

Workers Solidarity 107 Northern Web Edition 0.92 Mb

Anarchism and the WSM

November saw WSM public meetings about anarchism in Cork and Dublin, with 40 people at one and about 60 at the other. With the crisis and a growing employers’ offensive on wages there is a greater openness to radical ideas, and we will be holding more meetings around the country over the next couple of months.

November also saw big numbers turn out for demonstrations against the education cuts. A leaflet by WSM education workers asked “why do we keep inviting Fine Gael and Labour TDs to speak at our rallies. When they were in government, they were every bit as mean as Fianna Fáil, every bit as good at cutting services in order to keep down the tax bill of the rich. When in opposition they make promises, when in government they stick the boot in.

“Surely we should be looking to others in the same situation as ourselves. Surely we should be looking to join up with other working people who face the same attack on their jobs and services.” The government’s cuts strategy is an attack on the standard of living of all working people, a united resistance where “an injury to one is the concern of all” is the best response.

December saw 15 year old Alexandros Grigoropoulos shot and killed by police in Athens in December. WSM spokesperson Siobhan Rattigan said that “While Greece was preparing for the December 10th general strike against making working people pay for the economic crisis, Alexandros was killed in cold blood. That is how a ‘special forces’ police officer answered anti-police slogans that a small group of school students were chanting.”

Far from frightening people it sparked off riots throughout the country. A General Strike was called for the following day, and 10,000 marched on the Greek parliament. Schools all over Greece were occupied by their students, and a 3-day strike declared by the High School Teachers’ Union.

In Dublin WSM members helped to organise a protest outside the Greek embassy. A Greek anarchist addressed the crowd and explained that “the special forces are trained by the old guard, the military who were in power. They are not respected by the people, and neither is the government which mirrors our own with its corruption and ineptitude. That is why Greece is in the grip of its greatest social upheaval in decades.”

We were on the streets again that month, joining protests against the Israeli slaughter in Gaza. A joint statement from our sister organisations in Palestine/Israel, South Africa, Italy and Canada summed up our rulers' attitude:

"Hundreds of dead and thousands of injured, sacrificed on the altar of Zionist expansionism and fundamentalism. In Europe, the foreign ministers of every EU country talk about an "exaggerated", though "legitimate", reaction on the part of Israel, reversing the true situation with an operation that would make the most cynical illusionist feel proud by making the aggressor, the State of Israel, appear to be the victim."

On a happier note, December also saw the first of the WSM’s monthly radio shows on Dublin community radio station NEAR 90.3FM. If you miss the live programme you can download it from http://www.archive.org/details/RadioSolidarityShow1FromTheWorkersSolidarityMovementIreland



In this issue...

Make Them Redundant
Billionaire investor Warren Buffett commented on the US financial crisis that “it’s only when the tide goes out that you learn who’s been swimming naked, and Wall Street now looks like a nudist beach.” Well when it comes to Ireland, the receding tide of the global economy has revealed that not only were our business and political elites swimming naked, they were engaged in a great big orgy as well.

Moving From Protest to Success
The Education Cuts announced in October’s Budget have unleashed a wave of protest across the country. During the months of November and December approximately 120,000 people took to the streets of Dublin, Galway, Tullamore, Cork and Donegal to register their anger at the government’s attempts to make schoolchildren pay for the financial crisis. Cowen, Lenihan and O’Keefe have been left in no doubt about the level of popular opposition to these cutbacks. In addition thousands of 3rd level students have also taken to the streets and participated in marches, pickets and blockades to protest at the proposed re-introduction of fees.

Lower Pay, Less Jobs - Whose National Interest?
WSM member Joe King, a clerical officer in the public sector, responds to the calls for pay cuts and redundancies.

A Quick Guide to Social Welfare for the Newly Jobless
Workers Solidarity’s Vincent O’Malley spoke to his local Citizens Information Centre about some of the obstacles facing people who have lost their jobs.

You Can't Eat a Flag
A recent report produced by ‘Belfast Healthy Cities’ into the direct link between wealth and class confirms what most of us already know - class pervades every aspect of our lives from the cradle to grave.

Loansharks Prey on 40,000 Across the North
A major financial company with 40,000 customers in the North has admitted that it charges 183.2% interest. This is no backstreet loanshark operation, Provident Financial is a completely legal and government regulated firm.

Organising in Challenging Times
The Grassroots Gathering is a twice-yearly coming together of anarchists and libertarian socialists who are active in political groups and campaigns up and down the island of Ireland. The second of 2008's Gatherings was held in Cork on 14th-16th November. The 90 or so attending, combined with the quality of the discussions, left its organisers very pleased with the weekend. It showed that there's a lot of life left in the Grassroots Gathering as a show-case for trends and thinking among Ireland's libertarian left.

What the hell is a social centre?
Mark Malone spoke to Workers Solidarity about Dublin’s social centre. He is a member of the WSM and also of the Seomra Spraoi Collective.

Thinking About Anarchism - The Selfish Gene?
Anarchists want to change the world. Instead of the present order – capitalism – with its focus on inequality and profits for a few, we want to build a new society based around the principles of participatory democracy, freedom and production for need not profit. For anarchists the type of society we want to build is best summed up by the slogan: ‘To each according to their needs, from each according to their ability’.

That's Capitalism!
One child in eight in less developed countries gets no primary schooling, according to UNESCO. Of the approximately 75 million children who receive no primary schooling, about 55% are girls. In sub-Saharan Africa one-third of all children receive no schooling.

author by Anarchopublication date Fri Jan 23, 2009 23:25author email cllv13 at yahoo dot comReport this post to the editors

I think that the article called The Selfish Gene? misunderstands the whole selffish gene theory, to be honest.

The key thing to remember is that selfish gene is NOT the same as selfish individuals. Thus genes can be selfish while the individual is altruistic and co-operatives.

So assuming that there are genes for actions, there would be selfish genes for altruism, selfish genes for co-operation, just as you could have selfish genes for selfishness and selfish genes for competition.

Which shows that the selfish gene notion does not solve any real questions on why people act, what human nature is (or is not), why certain genes act at certain times and not others....

Equally, I have to question this bit:

"How do such advances by workers – based around the idea of solidarity - tie in with the notion of ‘people being selfish’? The truth is they don’t. People aren’t universally selfish [or] self-centred. A huge part of our lives is about helping others and cooperating – it is on this platform that a future anarchist society can be built."

Which assumes that co-operation is NOT in our self-interest! Surely some mistake? And it also assumes that co-operative behaviour has not evolved ethical positions and mental-physical reactions which encourage it. In fact, there is substantial evidence that mutual aid makes people happier and contributes to their welbeing -- which would be expected, given that we needed to co-operate to survive as a species!

I discuss all this in my introduction to Kropotkins's Mutual Aid:

http://anarchism.pageabode.com/anarcho/mutual-aid-an-in...ation

So, just remember "selfish gene" does NOT equal "selfish indiividual"!

Related Link: http://www.anarchistfaq.org.uk
 

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