Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Shell compound construction starts in Erris, Gardai injure protesters

This morning Shell are attempting to restart work on their highly controversial on-shore pipeline at Aughoose in Erris Co. Mayo.

Shell are attempting to build the fences around their planned tunneling compound and with construction on-going only a few hours, Gardai have already violently attacked protestors with two people currently receiving medical attention one with suspected broken ribs.

Subsequent protests were broken up, by Gardai and private security, with Jim Farrell, former army ranger and managing director of private security firm IRM- S being personally involved. (pic: RSC via Indymedia.ie)
More on this article: http://www.wsm.ie/c/shell-compound-construction-erris-gardai-injure-protesters



Walkout of school on April 6th and assemble at Guildhall Square. This is one of our last chances to show the politicians that the people Northern Ireland will not accept the Tori/Stormont Cuts and bow to this CON-DEM Government which so happily is selling away our futures.


We must put pressure onto the Assembly for the politicians not to implement the cuts, saving our education and therefore our futures. We must show MLA's such as Sammy Wilson (Finance Minister) and Danny Kennedy (DEL Minister), the power of the people. Our voices will be heard.

At the 26th of March Protest, Peter Bunting, the Assistant General Secretary of ICTU (Irish Congress of Trade Unions) announced that we should all stand in solidarity with the students on April 6th.
The NUS (National Union of Students) have called this protest. FEE, responsible for the December 10th Protest, is calling the walkout.

For any school students wanting to attend this walkout. Bring a note explaining your absence from home and there should be no reason why you can't get out of school on the day. For individual disciplinary issues, FEE DERRY pledges to defend every students right to protest.

Wednesday April 6th
2pm - 3.30pm
Guildhall Square, Derry

Together, we will see this through, and make our own mark in history.


Monday, 28 March 2011

Derry March demands a Cancer for the North West

Anarchists in Derry to part in one of the biggest rallies held in Derry for some time.  Around 500 people marched to the Western Health Boards Trust Headquarters in Derry's Waterside following an earlier rally by Trade Unions in Guildhall Square. The former Health Ministers cancellation of a radiotherapy satellite unit at Altnagelvin has been met with anger in the North West when news broke on Thursday.
Images of the event can be viewed VeryDerry.Com : http://veryderry.com/photos/radiotherapy_cut/index.html

Dublin Anarchist Bookfair 2011 - May 14th

The 6th Anarchist Bookfair will take place in Dublin the weekend of 14th May 2011 at Liberty Hall, Eden Quay.

This webpage for the event is under construction. Check back in a few days for more information on the schedule of talks and meetings.

In the meantime, if you would like to hold a book stall at the fair, please email the coordination committee via wsm.ireland@wsm.ie

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Class war on the streets of London

On March 26th, London saw people assemble to protest and take direct action against the government. Most of the people there were marching quite simply because their jobs, their services, and their livelihoods are under attack. This included those of us in anarchist blocs, though we also argued for a much broader perspective and recognition that capitalism itself was the issue, not just the current “ConDem cuts.”

Arriving in London, members of the Liverpool Solidarity Federation headed to Kennington Park. We met up with other SolFed members, as well as members of the Anarchist Federation and other class struggle anarchists to form the Radical Workers Bloc on the South London feeder march.

Article Continues: http://networkedblogs.com/fVyVo

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Don't Fill In Your Census - 27th March

Anarchists against cuts are calling on working class people to bin or burn their Census return on 27th March 2011.

The government are claiming that we can help shape the future of our services and facilities - the same services and facilities that national and local government have taken a hatchet to in the recent budget!

In the north all we will be assisting them in if we do return our census is a sectarian carve up of vastly reduced resources. Tell the politicians to fuck off! Don't return your census - take part in really shaping the future: educate, agitate, organise!

Source: Anarchists Against The Cuts!

Also the census is being carried out by lockheed martin, the US corporation that makes money from war. Our government is paying war mongerers £150 million to carry out the census. http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/feb/19/census-boycott-lockheed-martin

Working Class communities left behind from Peace Process

Over 10 years on from the signing on the Good Friday Agreement and working-class communities in the North have failed to reap the rewards from the ‘peace dividend’ according to a new study conducted by the assembly’s Research and Library Service. 

The report which examined deprivation and social disadvantage since the 1998 agreement found that the proportion of people claiming benefits and unable to heat their homes had ‘increased’, poverty had remained ‘broadly unchanged’ and unemployment levels had began to ‘rise’.
In addition the gap between the rich and poor has increased with ‘large areas within Belfast West, Belfast North and Foyle suffered the highest levels of relative deprivation in 1998 and this is still the case today.’ These areas include the Shankill, Falls Rd and Rosemount in Derry.

Sinn Fein MLA Paul Butler asks: ‘Why is it that 13 years on from the signing of the Good Friday Agreement, while we have settled into political stability we haven’t addressed long-term unemployment, life expectancy and low educational attainment?'

The answer is simply Paul whenever we have a Stormont administration more committed to rolling out the red carpet for corporations and administrating Tory cuts from London than providing support for working people.
Paul Butler adds: ‘Something needs to be done in the next term because if you are asking people to vote for you, why should they when they don’t see any improvement in their lives?

Exactly! It appears that as anarchists we might have something in common Paul, but unlike you we wont be calling for people to vote for green and orange Tories in the forthcoming elections or relying empty promises from political parties. Instead we will be fighting on the streets, in our communities and workplaces with other working people against savage cuts imposed from the folks on the hill. Direct action and solidarity is the key to improving our lives. See you on the streets on the opposite sides of the baricade…..

Words: Sean Matthews

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Direct Action Needed Now - Not Empty Political Promises!

Yesterday’s announcement by the Northern Executive Health Minister Michael McGimpsey that the North West wasn’t after all going to get a specialised radiography unit was met with anger.

News of the decision broke very conveniently as the Stormont circus broke up for the forth coming elections, now to be held on May 5th.   

A cynical political manoeuvre or a cold hard hitting fact that those up on the hill simply couldn’t find any spare cash to support the running costs of the proposed cancer unit. Either way reaction on the streets of North West was rightly angry and swift.

In Derry’s Waterside, near to Altnagelvin Hospital, Community activists who’ve fought for years locally were joined in protest by family and friends over the shelving of the unit’s announcement. And of course with this being election time, politicians were there for the photo-shoot too!

Despite McGimpsey having the last call on whether or not the new cancer centre got the go ahead, all party political representatives are just as equally to blame for this health crisis.  From the very beginning it has been used as a political football while cancer patients and their families were forced to endure having to travel several hundred miles in round trips to Belfast for radiography treatment.

This Saturday, March 26th in Guildhall Square, there will now be a protest against this sickening decision following the planned Trade Union rally on Cut Backs.  Again the great and the good will be there, in all their electoral splendour promising heaven and earth to those in attendance.  The fact of the matter is that each of their offices and that of the health board should be occupied until the decision is reversed, and sorted once and for all.  Direct action against the cuts now is the only way things can change not electing the next alternative candidate to office.  

What’s for sure is that within the next 4 to 5 years the radiography centre in Belfast will become overwhelmed as the numbers of cancer patients double.  Where will this leave those of us in the North West and that of our relatives who have to face the prospect of a future after being diagnosed with cancer?

The rally against the cuts takes place on Saturday 26th March, Guildhall Square at 1.30pm

Libyan Anarchist Denounces Western Intervention

Once again the apostles of "liberal interventionism" are filling the newspapers and airwaves with their apologetics for Western imperialism dressed up as humanitarian mercy missions. Last Friday's UN resolution 1973 is being touted as why this latest military incursion into a middle eastern oil producing land "has nothing to do with Iraq".

Yet North African and Middle Eastern voices of scepticism regarding French, UK and US motives are being systematically ignored. Here is the perspective of a Libyan anarchist, calling for support of the struggle against the tyrannical Gaddhafi regime, but fearing the Western military intervention is dividing the insurgents and burying the revolution.

More on this click here: http://www.wsm.ie/c/libyan-anarchist-denounce-western-intervention

Saturday, 19 March 2011

What kind of democracy for the Arab world?

Reflections on the significance of the current Arab revolts and their implications for revolutionary theory, particularly with regard to the debate on democracy and popular power.

In a previous article, I said that the events shaking the Arab world today are as relevant as those that shook the world in 1989 [1]. Not only can parallels be made on the extent and depth of discontent over a vast geographical area, but also because this whirlwind of popular fury places a question mark over a particular geopolitical architecture that was hitherto believed to be as strong as steel.

In this case, these long-standing dictatorships were fed, promoted and installed by the geo-strategic interests of the USA (and its junior partner, the EU) in an area of critical concern as far as oil is concerned.

In 1989 the political consequences of the demonstrations were deep and long-lasting - the fall of "real socialist" regimes not only meant the fall of a few unpleasant bureaucratic dictatorships, but because of the relative weakness of a truly libertarian and revolutionary Left, represented the fall of a set of political values ??and horizons that were incorrectly associated with the Soviet bloc, and the overwhelming rise of neo-liberalism as the unquestioned system in the economic, political, values ??and ideological field.

It was the end of history, according to quite a few crusty apologists of the "New World Order". But history did continue to be written, as was dramatically demonstrated by the anti-globalization protests in Seattle in 1999. And if further demonstration was needed, there was the cycle of open struggles between 2000 and 2005 in South America, which challenged the foundations of the model, with the people, the oppressed and the exploited classes as the protagonists of history. 

Article continues: http://www.anarkismo.net/article/19017

Friday, 18 March 2011

Rally Against The Cuts! Sat. March 26th

On Saturday 26th March the Trades Union Congress (T.U.C) has called for a march against the cuts, and there now is going to be a rally in Derry's Guildhall Square which has now been supported by the Derry and the newly reformed Strabane Trades Council.

The T.U.C campaign is demanding ‘Jobs, Growth and Justice’ will be holding a series of demonstrations on March 26th and the one planned here in Derry will coincide with these.

Whilst anarchists support the fight back against the cuts and call on workers and communities to take part in the March 26th rallies, we believe much more needs to be done to defend our public services.

To date we have witnessed some of the most inspiring resistance against these continuing Tory/Lib cuts in public services with the storming and occupation of town halls, libraries and universities along with large scale demonstrations, all of which anarchists have played a key role.

In doing so as anarchists are arguing that any fight back against the cuts has to be based on the principles of solidarity, direct action, and self-organisation and a revolutionary alternative to the reformism of the likes of the Trade Union Movement.

Assemble: Saturday March 26th Guildhall Square, Derry 1.30pm

UN Resolution imposes "unprecedented" No Fly Zone on Gaddafi

Last night the United Nations imposed a no-fly zone across Libya.  While supporting the Libyan revolt the WSM in general is "against the intervention by the UN or any other collection of imperialist 'peacekeepers'" because "There can be no 'just settlement' that involves any imperialist power or the UN or similar bodies. Such settlements will be designed in order to protect the interests of the imperialists. Therefore we always oppose intervention in any region of the world for whatever reason by the imperialists."

The imposition of the no fly zone is obviously a tough case for such a general policy, below in what was originally a blog post for his own site, Mark looks at the context of the resolution and argues that the no fly zone should perhaps be an exception to this general position.
For more on this story:
Workers Solidarity Movement

Saturday, 12 March 2011

After the election: Prospects for Struggle

The election campaign and its aftermath have witnessed strident declarations that all has changed, changed utterly. Most prominent is the decimation of support for Fianna Fail, the party that has ruled 60 of the State’s 79 years of existence. Both Fine Gael and Labour have experienced remarkable success in the polls, unparallelled for the latter. These are not insignificant, but the context of continued economic crisis renders the changes in parliament relatively minor. Whatever government is formed, it will share the titanic debt burden of the previous administration. Although Fine Gael made suitably statesman-like noises about ‘renegotiation’ of the interest rate on the ECB bailout, their timid overtures won only tolerant obfuscation from Frankfurt during the campaign and categorical refusals since.
This fiscal straitjacket minimises the policy differences between Fine Gael and Labour and between this government and the last. As the parties consult on the shape of their coalition, the issue is where the money comes from: increased taxation and slower cuts to spending (Labour), or no substantive tax changes and aggressive cuts to spending. Since the collapse of the Thatcherite Progressive Democrats, Fine Gael have taken over as the most dogmatically neo-liberal of the Irish parties, and it’s not certain they’ll come to an accommodation with a party they see as beholden to the unions.
Their confidence has been strengthened by dramatic increase in seats (just 7 shy of an overall majority), prompting some to look askance on the traditional Labour coalition. Lucinda Creighton, one of the party’s more outspoken and bigoted TDs, used the electoral mandate to rev the chainsaw, saying the party’s supporters “were voting against Labour and against higher taxes and going soft on cuts”.
During the campaign, Fine Gael spoke stridently of the need to address the ‘vested interests’ in society, indicating that the public sector workforce is in their sights. Pre-election chest-beating focused on the Croke Park Deal, a shitty agreement for the workforce, but not shitty enough for the neolibs. Now, heckles raised by the temerity of union bureaucrats opining publicly on future policy, they talk of forging a government without Labour, either through alliances with right-thinking Independent TDs or, perish the thought, their civil war enemy Fianna Fail.
The latter is the preferred option of many on the Left, who wish to see an end to the civil war divisions that have dominated the State. This right-wing rapprochement would, or so the thinking goes, allow for a political shift to a traditional Right-Left division henceforward. The leftward side of this is supported by a high number of votes for Sinn Fein (14) and the United Left Alliance (5) and assorted leftwing Independents. The electorate’s newfound appetite for radical fare, can be whetted, so the argument goes, by a vocal leftwing opposition and sated, a few years down the line, by a progressive and expansionary government. We all hope, of course, to be surprised by a sudden volte-face by the Labour Party, as they throw off their moderate disguises to reveal suppressed crypto-marxist loyalties . But we do not expect it.



The political focus distracts us from other matters. The Right-Left divide is not what it used to be and Labour, no less than their European counterparts, feel the gravitational pull towards a centre that is not collapsing but imploding, dragging all parties into a neo-liberal vortex. The new government will have little capacity for investment schemes, beholden to the keepers of the printing presses in Frankfurt and the bond market barbarians of London and New York.
If austerity is the likely option, then there will be very little difference between this government and the last. The cuts have been coming steady for over a year now and show no sign of stopping. A flat tax ‘Universal Social Charge’ is imposed on all workers. Trainee nurses and unemployed teachers are told to work for nothing. The minimum wage is reduced by a euro an hour. The injustice is palpable to all but met with sullen silence and sporadic rejoinders. Opposition needs both plausible alternatives and persuasive force. The former is beyond my ability, but the latter is worth consideration.
There have been many remarks on the muted response of the Irish to these cutbacks. Maturity, docility, or simple laziness, the pundits do not agree. The election has shown there is anger, but its only outlet has been at the ballot box. There is, I believe, ample sentiment for a fightback, it is the capacity that is sorely lacking. A movement needs organisation; people must be able to meet, discuss the issues and take collective action.
The major unions have shown repeatedly that, when it comes to public mobilisation, they remain the most important organisations in the country. 80,000 took to the streets in November in opposition to the ‘bailout’, a year after some 250,000 came out for a one-day strike against ‘the pension levy’. But these dates are almost all there is. The unions have tended to minimise member participation, with representatives being seen as service providers, membership an insurance policy. Even as social partnership has died, its habits remain. Strikes are a last resort, and rarely move beyond a show of force to push belligerent employers back to the negotiating table.
The Left has attempted to address the militancy deficiency with an unfocused mixture of joint- and sole-venture activist networks and groupings, without achieving any notable success thus far. The long process required for reform of the unions has not yet begun in earnest and it will certainly not be complete, or even sufficiently advanced by the time the axe is sharpened. The defense of the public sector will be marshaled by the leaders who have presided over a series of abject surrenders.
The private sector has thinner unionisation, and will deal with sporadic attacks. In both cases there are some possibilities. The Left will need to come together and develop a common strategy, and it could use rearguard battles to develop its strength and challenge the leadership.
Developing a base in the unions is indispensable, but it is hampered by anti-democratic structures, increasing unemployment, emigration, and prevailing defeat. It is a priority, but it does not offer the best chances of success in the short-term.
Neighbourhood-based campaigns are one area where there’s enough breathing space for effective organising. Left groups and parties have pricked up their ears at the re-emergence of water and property taxes in party manifestos. The Water Tax campaign of the 1990s was a rare victory for the Left and also drove its first major electoral advance since the Workers’ Party. There is no shortage of issues to organise around, only resources with which to do it. If not water taxes, then property taxes. If not these then housing repossessions. If not this, then unemployment.
Now, with Joe Higgins returning to office along with four other ULA representatives, the prospects for strong campaigning are good. The ULA TDs draw only the average industrial wage and donate the remainder to their parties, so a formidable war-chest is available to provide for activists and materiel. Their Dail seats, combined with those of Sinn Fein, will mean that the government's gouging receives at least some condemnation in the mainstream media.
Persuasive force is exactly that; the austerity approach will only end where it is stopped, it will only retreat where it is pushed back. Campaigns are not won on voices alone, but by the economic and political muscle they can bring to bear. The Irish crisis will not be solved by this election nor the next, and the Left needs to focus on building bases of strength; groups that can outlive campaigns and drive forward new ones. Ultimately, the people effected by cuts must organise to resist them, to prevent the continual transfer of crisis from top to bottom. The challenge is to build such organisation.

From WSM by Dara: