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Workers Solidarity 119 online

category ireland / britain | anarchist movement | link to pdf author Thursday January 27, 2011 22:57author by WSM - WS Editorial Group Report this post to the editors

The January - February 2011 Edition of Ireland's anarchist paper, the Workers Solidarity freesheet is now online to read or to download as a PDF file.

PDF of Workers Solidarity 119 Web Edition 2.4 Mb

Government Attacks on Healthcare
Change Won't Come From the Ballot Box
Thinking About Anarchism: Can Ireland Go It Alone?

People Power in Tunisia
The Budget & The Rich
Review: The Pipe
Wikileaks: Terrorists or Freedom Fighters?

PDF of Workers Solidarity 119 Web Edition 2.4 Mb

Anarchism and the WSM

The end of last year proved to be a busy period for the WSM as the IMF/ECB road show arrived in town. We were active in organising a ‘left block’ within the ICTU protest against the governments 4-year plan held on 27th November. We marched in that block as part of the 1% network, an anti-capitalist coalition of socialist organisations that we are part of. The same network gathered at the Wolfe Tone statue at Stephens Green to join with another ‘left block’ protest at the Dail on budget night. In Cork, our branch was involved in organising a further protest against the budget on the following evening and our members there were involved in a Social Welfare Defenders protest and occupation of Anglo-Irish Bank.

Elsewhere on the streets, WSM members were involved in student protests at the Department of Finance in Dublin, in Cork and in Maynooth, while we also supported the anti-Garda brutality march in Dublin following the deployment of riot police and subsequent beatings of students at the afore-mentioned protest in Dublin. We attended the community sectors “Spectacle of Defiance and Hope” held in Dublin city centre on the Friday following the budget. Finally, our members were present at the Feminist Open Forum rally at the GPO on December 18th calling for abortion legislation in line with the X case following the European Court of Human Rights decision against the Irish state in the ABC case.

While street activity is important, we are also fully aware of the importance of education and political discussion. With this in mind, we staged our fifth “Rethinking Revolution” meeting in Seomra Spraoi in Dublin titled “The Republican Tradition - A Place to Build From?” which gave an anarchist perspective on Republicanism in Ireland over the last 200 years or so. In Cork we hosted the latest in the Winter Talks series in Solidarity Books with speakers on the Land War and famed anarchist, Piotr Kropotkin. Our members also participated in the “Claiming our Future” conference in the RDS in Dublin where almost 1,000 people gathered to discuss ways of combating the cuts and constructing an alternative Ireland.

Street protests and radicalisation of the populace are no good in and of themselves and at our National Conference, held in Cork in November, we discussed a number of possible ways forward for the WSM. However, whatever strategy is employed, if we are to have any chance of successfully resisting the ongoing attack on our living conditions, we need to be organised. This can be as part a specific political organisation, like the WSM, or in trade unions, community organisations and campaigning groups, where many of our members are also active. If this sounds like a necessity to you or if you would like to find out more about our work, or us, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

For further written, audio and video reports on the above, see our website:

In This Issue

Government Attacks on Healthcare
As the health budget is cut, a worsening health service will predictably result in higher national morbidity and mortality. Are we prepared to allow this to occur?

Change Won't Come From the Ballot Box

Fintan O’Toole appears to want us to be listened to as citizens and believes that political reform is crucial. It is a natural reaction after witnessing the cronyism of Fianna Fáil in power over the last 13 years and how they’ve acted in favour of the ruling elite. The fact that I, as a taxpayer on €40,000 p.a., will pay exactly the same amount of tax as one on €300,000 p.a. puts that sharply into focus.

Thinking About Anarchism: Can Ireland Go It Alone?
As the scale of the debts loaded onto the Irish people became clear, the calls for defaulting became louder. The moral argument for default is certainly strong: why should Irish workers pay for the poor decisions of Irish and European capitalists? But justified though it may be, would defaulting cause more pain than gain?

People Power in Tunisia

On Saturday December 18th last, the Tunisian police stopped Mohamed Bouaziz, an unemployed university graduate, and seized the hand cart of fruit and vegetables he had been selling to support himself and his family. Enraged by the injustice and despairing of any escape from destitution and starvation in Tunisia’s impoverished economy, increasingly ravaged by rising food prices, the young man set fire to himself in protest outside the town hall in Sidi Bouzid, 200km south-west of the capital Tunis. The young man was later to die in hospital.

The Budget & The Rich

The government’s economic think-tank, the ESRI, wrote in the Irish Times in the aftermath of the budget that the measures taken over the past four years have been “strongly progressive” i.e. that they redistributed wealth from the rich to the poor. However, this is a somewhat convenient timeframe to apply and ignores the impacts of the measures announced in the 2011 budget.

Review: The Pipe
This film brings to the big screen the dramatic story of Shell’s blundering, sometimes violent, attempts to impose a high-pressure raw gas pipeline on a small North Mayo community. The documentary features footage taken over three years, from 2006 to 2008, by Risteard O’Domhnaill. It has all the ingredients, stunning landscapes, riveting action scenes and the real-life stories of local people who found themselves on the front line of the drama. The film is short on background to the whole issue and mentions very little on the actual dangers posed by the pipeline and refinery, as well as the giveaway terms the oil companies ‘extracted’ from Irish state.  However, in Willie Corduff, and particularly in Pat O’Donnell, the filmmaker has struck cinema gold. Through the words and, especially, the actions of these figures we get a good picture of just what’s at stake here and what it takes to engage in effective resistance.

Wikileaks: Terrorists or Freedom Fighters?
Wikileaks continues to make almost daily headlines.  Aside from the various revelations, there are also two widely told stories that are supposed to help us put these leaks into context.

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