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The Libertarian - issue 2 5 commentsRecent Articles about Ireland / Britain Anarchist movement
Belfast: An Anarchist Alternative
WSM members took part in this years Mayday demonstration in Belfast (as well as those in Dublin and Cork). Below is the text of the leaflet we distributed in Belfast. You can download the PDF version from the link at the end of the file.
An Anarchist Alternative
Anarchist ideas link a criticism of capitalist society with a vision of a new way of organising human society. Essentially anarchism is a system of socialism which opposes capitalism as well as the state and hierarchy which impose and reinforce capitalism.
An anarchist society can’t be brought about by a small group of people. Even in Ireland a successful anarchist revolution would require tens of thousands of active anarchists. Anarchists living on every street and active in every workplace. One anarchist organisation active in Ireland is the Workers Solidarity Movement (WSM). This leaflet allows us to tell you a little about what we do and what we stand for.
We believe that an anarchist society can only be created as a result of 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 help popularise and promote these ideas.
A major focus of our activity is our work within the economic organizations of the working class, the trade unions. As members of the working class it is only natural that we should also be members of these mass organizations. Within the unions we fight for democratic structures so that they can be controlled by the rank and file.
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.
We reject the idea that society can be changed through ‘good people’ gaining control of the power structures. This means we reject both the electoral strategy of the social democratic and green parties and the ‘revolutionary’ strategy of the various left groups. We oppose imperialism but put forward anarchism as an alternative goal to nationalism. We actively oppose all manifestations of prejudice within the workers’ movement and society in general and we work alongside those struggling against racism, sexism, sectarianism and homophobia as a priority. We see the success of a revolution and the successful elimination of these oppressions after the revolution being determined by the building of such struggles in the pre-revolutionary period. The methods of struggle that we promote are a preparation for the running of society along anarchist and communist lines after the revolution.
The WSM has been helping to build an anarchist movement since the 1980’s. For most of this time we have been active in Dublin and Cork where we fought against ‘social partnership’ in the unions and have worked in many strike support groups. For our small numbers we played an important role in the fight for divorce and abortion rights in the republic. In both Dublin and Cork we fought against the imposition of bin tax on the working population and helped defeat the attempt to bring the water tax to Dublin. We also helped organize the major protests against the 2004 EU Summit in Dublin. Currently we are active in the anti-war struggle, in particular in opposition to the republic’s policy of allowing US war and torture planes to use Shannon and Baldonnel airports. Our members are taking part in the solidarity camp at Rossport where Shell are trying to force a potentially dangerous pipeline on the local inhabitants and jailed 5 of the locals for resisting this pipeline. We are also involved in struggles to organise insecure and in particular migrant workers.
As the WSM has grown in recent years we are expanding outside of Dublin and Cork. We are currently organizing a branch in Derry but we also want to make contact with people elsewhere interested in anarchism who may want to work with, or indeed join the WSM. If you’re interested contact us.
If you would like more information write to us for a membership pack or visit our web site at http://www.wsm.ie
A PDF file of this leaflet can be download from http://www.struggle.ws/pdfs/leaflets/maydayBelfast06.pdf - please make copies of it and distribute it locally. If you do let us know via our Contact Us form at http://www.wsm.ie/general_contact_page