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About ten months have now passed since the Libertarian Communist Group (Grŵp Gomiwnyddol Libertaraidd) was formed in Wales, in November 2014. The decision to launch a new organisation last year was borne out of disappointment at the demise of both Collective Action (CA) and its short-lived follow-up, the Libertarian Communist Initiative (LCI). Our consequent frustration was compounded to some extent by the fact that one of our comrades had also been a member of the previously defunct Liberty & Solidarity (L&S).In retrospect we can discern that both of these erstwhile projects - CA/LCI and L&S - failed due to a lack of ideological cohesion and a confusion of political direction. From our perspective such failures can fairly be viewed as epic if one takes into account that these organisations were, on separate occasions, the products of would-be “platformist” splits from the Anarchist Federation (AF). Be that as it may, in the case of CA/LCI, having seen various members and associates drift away, and with our remaining England-based cadre not unreasonably opting to become involved in an accessible and potentially worthwhile enterprise, the Welsh contingent was simply left with a fait accompli.
A prolonged revolt is happening in Ireland against the introduction of yet another austerity tax, this time as a charge on water. Across the country housing estates have seen conflict between residents, Garda and private security over the installation of water meters. Marches of tens of thousands have taken place.This week seizing on a minor incident 3 months ago when water charge campaigners sat in front of the Tanaistes (Deputy Prime Minister) car for two hours the Irish police (Garda) have mounted dawn raids against the houses of 21 water charge campaigners. The piece that follows is the Workers Solidarity Movement reportage of these raids as they happened over last week.
The enormous use of Garda resources in terms of a 3 month investigation and large squads of Garda arriving on people's doorsteps in the early morning reveal the highly political nature of these arrests. And these carried out in revenge for a minor protest against a deeply unpopular Labour party political.
The continuing opposition by loyalists to the decision by Belfast city council to limit the flying of the Union Jack (bringing it into line with other council chambers) is a product of a deeply sectarian colonial settlement that smothers the importance of class.The disturbances were pretty predicable in the context of summer riots over parading, intra-unionist rivalry and rising anger in traditional protestant working-class communities over shortage of jobs, housing and perceived gains made by the ‘nationalist’ community. The mass inflammatory leafleting by unionist parties in the days leading up to the council vote served to heighten fears in a constituency which is easily inflamed and mobilised in defence of the realm. This is not the cause of the disturbances; but the logical conclusion of capitalist decay and opportunist politicians battling for the hearts and minds of protestant working class communities - disenchanted and disillusioned with the peace dividends promised over 10 years ago.
There are some stories that are hard to cover - the death of Savita Halappanavar, a pregnant women, from septicemia whose life might have been saved if an abortion was not delayed is a hard as they come. According to the Irish Times Praveen Halappanavar, the husband of Savita said she had asked for a termination several times over a three day period only to be told "this is a catholic country."All the ruling parties – Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael, the Greens and the Labour party - have prevaricated, delayed, avoided and ignored the issue. This has led to two further court cases where girls in care had to go to the courts in order to be allowed to travel to another country. It has led to court cases over ownership of eggs used in IVF. It has, no doubt, led to the forced pregnancies of immigrant women who cannot travel. It has led to women ordering abortion drugs over the Internet. It has forced women to travel under stressful conditions at great expense to other countries, including women who are carrying foetuses who will not survive birth. And now the delay in carrying out a termination has led to the death of a women. Whether it’s due to cowardice or callousness, all the ruling parties have shown little concern for the misery they inflict on women's lives.
National and international solidarity campaign with electrical engineers in the UK, who in recent months have been forced to organise in response to attacks from the 8 bigger employers in the industry.Last summer these 8 firms announced their intention to leave the agreement on pay (the JIB) that governs the industry. The workers expect wage cuts of up to 35% and the deterioration of their working conditions. These workers are already required, with their low wages, to perform overtime in order to provide for their families.
It is not an isolated attack on a particular occupation in an individual country. It’s well known that these firms are supported by all firms in the building industry, some of which are multinational.
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