Saturday, 22 December 2012

Alfon from Madrid is still in jail after the 14N strike

"Alfon is a 21 year old activist from Vallecas (Madrid) who was arrested on the morning of the 14th of November general strike. Along with him, Daira was also arrested, although she was freed some hours later after court appearance. Alfon was taken to the Soto del Real prison where he has been held since then under the FIES regime, meaning he is constantly under heavy surveillance and intimidating measures."

Below is a statement of from the Alfon Support Group:


Solidarity with Alfon Libertad 

Working Class Unity not Sectarian Diversions

Once again violence has flared across Belfast and other parts of the north as protests continue around the flags issue. The latest disturbances come as Stormont Assembly leaders, Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness meet to discuss another wave of street protests, and their concerns about the damaging effect it is having on the economy leading up to the busiest shopping period of the calendar. But as each issued a separate statement calling for protests to come to an end, loyalist gangs flexed their muscles, blocking off streets and hijacking cars.

This recent wave of trouble kicked off several weeks ago following a vote taken by Belfast City Council to fly the union flag outside city hall on designated days only, instead of 365 days of the year. This was supposedly as a result of an earlier 'equality impact assessment' carried out on Belfast City Council. Minutes after the motion was passed, loyalist reaction to the decision was one of anger. As tension spilled out on to the streets several hundred union flag waving protesters laid siege to the building in scenes not witnessed here since the 1980's. As crowds were later dispersed, nearby nationalist homes and a catholic church bore the brunt of the mob's anger.

In the days that followed it's believed that loyalist paramilitaries from both the UVF and UDA influenced events on the ground further by hijacking and burning cars, hospitalising 30 PSNI members, issuing death threats to politicians, and attacking and burning a number of their homes and offices.  All this happened as international 'guardian of peace' Hillary Clinton dropped into Stormont for tea with Peter and Martin - presumably for her final update on how the 'peace process' was coming along as part of a host of 'final engagements'.

Weeks prior the initial flag vote taking place, the scene was set as 40,000 leaflets were distributed across South and East Belfast deepening an already fraught situation further. The leaflets themselves were part of a joint operation, said to have been carried out by Democratic Unionist Party and Ulster Unionist Party activists, castigating the local Alliance party whose representatives hold the balance of power within Belfast City Council, not to mention electoral seats in east Belfast.


Ever happy to beat the sectarian war drums, unionist politicians claimed that the flags motion at City Hall represented the tip of the iceberg of yet another attack on their Britishness and cultural identity by republicans. Surprisingly enough, in successive interviews not one unionist politician could remember who agreed to issue such a leaflet that ratcheted up sectarian tensions even further. Amongst all the usual tit-for-tat allegations that took place, former first minister David Trimble accused the DUP of “cynically” stoking up tensions.  However that in itself speaks more of the crisis within Ulster unionism at present.

So is this simply down to the issue of flags and identity or is it something happening much deeper than that?
When examining the issues from within working class loyalist communities many will reveal that they have for years 'been sold a pup'. Used as foot soldiers, canon-fodder, pulled on to the streets at the beat of a drum every time their politicians claim that the sky was falling. Loyalists and the organisations they represent will imply that their communities feel abandoned by the politicians they voted for, effectively isolated and left to the ravages of capitalism as can clearly be seen. But the answers to the problems they continue to face - from high levels of social deprivation, lack of job and educational opportunities to housing - won't be found within loyalism whose only answer is drawing up even more sectarian battle lines.

As the violence plays out on the streets our class must be mindful of the fact that sectarianism is used in the six counties like a water tap. Used to divide and rule, as and when those in power see fit to unleash it, from the halls of Westminster to the halls of Stormont. Capitalism has used it time and time again, just as those who represent it have used fascism, racism and repression to assist and prop up their positions of power, dominance and control.

For anarchists, it's our belief that the events played out in Belfast City Hall back on December 3rd and on the streets ever since, is yet another sectarian diversionary tactic by the politicians. Beating of the war drums over flags in the middle of an ever deepening economic crisis, just as working class communities across the north are being crushed under the weight of it, shows us just where their true interests lie. In the continuation and protection of their own sectarian positions and privileges up in Stormont. It is therefore vital that we continue to demand working class unity in the streets and in the workplace. Our class must not allow those in Stormont to deflect us from the struggle at hand. Creating a unified fight across the sectarian divide against the cuts in jobs and welfare, in health and education as the crisis of capitalism continues is the task that faces us.

http://www.wsm.ie/loyalism

Pat Funicane murder - British state sweeps the dirt under the carpet

The publishing of the De Silva’s report into the murder of Pat Funicane may have exposed a bit of dirt from under the carpet of the British states secret war in Ireland but the scars and flames of the past have not gone away - they continue to shape policing in the 21st century. As Geraldine Finucane articulated, ’’The dirt has been swept under the carpet without any serious attempt to lift the lid on what really happened to Pat and so many others.’’

While the report and David Cameron’s statement in parliament may have attempted to blame ‘rogue elements’ as being responsible for his murder, the wife of Pat Finucane, Geraldine argued “This report is a sham. This report is a whitewash. This report is a confidence trick dressed up as independent scrutiny and given invisible clothes of reliability. Most of all, most hurtful and insulting of all, this report is not the truth”.
Adding: “At every turn, it is clear that this report has done exactly what was required: to give the benefit of the doubt to the state, its cabinet and ministers, to the Army, to the intelligence services, to itself. At every turn, dead witnesses have been blamed and defunct agencies found wanting. Serving personnel and active state departments appear to have been excused.’(1)
What  has also been missing from the media disussion is the fact that MI5 rather than the Police Service of Northern Ireland maintains control of informants and agents – the very people who were not only promoted within paramilitary organisations by being allowed to maim and murder but who in the Finucane case were encouraged to kill. Not only is the main presence of MI5 headquarters outside of London in Hollywood, Co Down but they have also taken over primary responsibility for ‘’counter-terrorism operations’’ in the North today.
In a recent report entitled ‘Policing you don’t see’’ published by the human rights watchdog Committee for the Administration of Justice(CAJ) found that since primacy in ‘national security’ policing was given to MI5 five years ago, there is a growing “accountability gap” over a large part of policing. It reports that the UK level oversight of MI5 is plainly inadequate and that the local mechanisms that hold the PSNI to account are evaded by the Security Service. It argues that this situation falls woefully short of international standards and has the capacity to undermine confidence in policing as a whole
Brian Gormally, Director of CAJ added:
“Unfortunately, the secret Security Service – implicated in past abuses – has not been so reformed and has been put in charge of a highly important area of mainstream policing. MI5 has primacy in covert ‘national security’ policing and gives ‘strategic direction’ to the PSNI in this area.
“The Patten report recommended the downsizing, deinstitutionalisation and integration of Special Branch within the PSNI and the oversight of the PSNI by an independent board rather than a government minister. However, since the St Andrews Agreement perhaps the most sensitive area of policing is being run by a parallel police force – ‘a force outside a force’ – answerable to ‘direct rule’ Ministers and subject to separate and ineffective oversight arrangements. If the Chief Constable’s assertion at the time of St Andrews that MI5 would focus only on dissident republicans remains true, the practical impact of this is that two different covert policing regimes, in terms of operational techniques, standards and oversight, are now in place for republicans and loyalists.
“Our research shows that the UK level oversight of MI5 is ineffective. Limited additional accountably measures were promised in the St Andrews Agreement but some of the most significant commitments, to publish policy frameworks, have not been honoured. Related policy documents which have been released to CAJ under Freedom of Information rather than being safeguards actually appear designed to limit accountability. This includes an NIO held document which contains a list of types of information the Chief Constable should not tell the Policing Board, even in confidential sessions. The documents we have discovered show an obsession with keeping anything with the label ‘national security’ secret from our devolved institutions and a total indifference to accountability.
“Whilst the Prime Minister after St Andrews gave assurances that PSNI officers working with MI5 would be ‘solely accountable’ to the Chief Constable and Policing Board, this is contradicted by these documents which stipulate that PSNI officers, up to and including the Chief Constable, working on national security matters are not accountable to the Policing Board but rather to the NIO.’’(2)
The reality of this report and others into state sponsored terrorism indicates that collusion in Northern Ireland took many forms, from the security services turning a blind eye to loyalist activities to actively encouraging and directing them. A military intelligence file (see http://www.wsm.ie/c/secret-documents-reveal-british-state-collusion) from 1973 estimated that between five and 15 per cent of soldiers in the Ulster Defence Regiment – a local infantry regiment of the British Army – were linked to loyalist paramilitaries, and that the ‘best single source of weapons, and only significant source of modern weapons for Protestant groups, has been the UDR’. In short, a section of the British Army was arming loyalist paramilitaries. Furthermore, the British government knew that more than 200 weapons had passed from the UDR to loyalist paramilitaries, and that these were being used to murder Catholic civilians. Therefore the latest findings that “85% of the UDA's 'intelligence' originated from sources within the security forces’’will come as little suprise to human rights campaigners or those fighting for truth and justice.

 On the other side of the coin - all be it with an entirely different focus and strategy - the level of infiltration by security services into republican organisations to disrupt, absorb and destroy is also yet to be exposed. In July this year the Smithwick tribunal investigating alleged Garda collusion in the IRA murder of two senior RUC officers was told that one in four IRA members, including some in the highest echelons, were informers. Indeed a full independent enquiry is being pushed by some of the families and victims of the horrific 1998 Omagh Bombing into claims that elements of the security services had prior knowledge of the bombing and failed to disclose the information to protect a high valued informant and agent provocateur.
The De Silva reveals the levels of violence, intimidation and cover-up that our ruling class will go to restore its authority such as the Hillsborough disaster.  We don’t need to look to the Cointelpro programme in the US, to military occupations and colonial relationships in Iraq, Afghanistan, South Africa and elsewhere to recognise that similar policies took place here as the intelligence war continues. (3)

 Earlier this year a Belfast ‘supergrass’ trial cleared a dozen loyalists as the Judge branded the evidence from two UVF informers who were responsible for countless of murders as ‘liars’. The trial lasted for 72 days and saw 12 of the 13 men acquitted of all charges after one of the longest trials in Northern Ireland's legal history costing over 11 million. One of the accused was North Belfast loyalist parliamilitary leader Mark Haddock who is connected with over 20 murders while acting as an informer for RUC/PSNI Special Branch.  In October 2005, the Irish Labour TD Pat Rabbitte, using Dáil privilege, named Haddock as an RUC Special Branch agent and as responsible for the murders of Sharon McKenna in 1993, Catholic builders Gary Convie and Eamon Fox in 1994, the alleged informer Thomas Sheppard in 1996.(4) In terms of ongoing intelligence war in September 2006 it was confirmed that Assistant Chief Constable Judith Gillespie approved the PSNI policy of using children as informants including in exceptional circumstances to inform on their own family.

In the meantime we must make sure the dirt isn’t left under the carpet because what is lost here is lost for working class communities from Belfast to Liverpool and beyond. The ruling class will be finally made accountable for their crimes when they are consigned to the dustbin of history with lasting justice and freedom for all. As Mikhail Bakunin, the 19th century Russian anarchist quite evidently pointed out,‘’There is no horror, no cruelty, sacrilege, or perjury, no imposture, no infamous transaction, no cynical robbery, no bold plunder or shabby betrayal that has not been or is not daily being perpetrated by the representatives of the states, under no other pretext than those elastic words, so convenient and yet so terrible: “for reasons of state.””-
WORDS: Sean Matthews
''If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.'- Sun Tzu
1)Read more: http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/northern-ireland/british-agents-facilitated-the-murder-of-belfast-solicitor-pat-finucane-16249921.html#ixzz2F1JjYl95
2) http://www.caj.org.uk/contents/1141
3)http://thebrokenelbow.com/2012/12/12/the-cairo-gang-the-force-research-unit-murder-in-ireland-and-rupert-murdoch/
4) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Haddock

Get involved with the WSM

Anarchism will not be created in this country, or any other, by a tiny 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. We obviously have a long way to go!
 
It's great your interested in getting involved with the WSM or helping with aspects of our work. We know everyone has different levels of interest, energy & spare time so we offer a range of ways you can work with us. All of them will be a significant help in our work. The first step for all these options is entering your details into our Contact system, you can do this at the link below



Become a Member
 Members of the WSM are people who have decided to play a constant active role in the organisation and contribute a percentage of their income on a regular basis. This won't be for everyone but if you agree with our points of unity below and are willing to commit to at least 8 hours work plus two meetings a month you should apply to become a member. Our members are what make the WSM and all the work we are involved in possible, members have an automatic right to attend all WSM meeting and have a vote on all decisions the WSM makes.

or

Become a Supporter
Some people won't be able to make the level of commitment above but would still like to be able to help out a bit with financing our work and give a hand from time to time in the areas they are most interested in. Supporters agree to make a regular monthly donation of 5, 20 or 50 euro and to help out when they have time in the areas they are interested in. They are entitled to attend a monthly supporters meeting if they wish and can apply to attend other WSM meetings like our National Conference. They don't need to agree with our points of unity.

or
Become a Contact
Contacts are people who for whatever reason can't make the commitments required of members or supporters but would still like to get our email newsletter and perhaps give a hand from time to time. To become a contact all you have to do is enter yourself into our Contact Relations system and we will then let you know of activity in the areas you are interested in and send you the occasional newsletter. You'll be able to change or even remove your details at any point or if circumstances change apply to become a WSM supporter or member.






What next
In all three cases the next step is to enter yourself into our Contact Relations system. If you want to become a supporter or a member simply tick the relevant box and we will be in contact. 


WSM points of Unity
We have detailed position papers on all the areas where we are active. These form the collectively agreed policy of the WSM. Disagreement and debate around these papers is continuous, these collective position are constantly being modified so obviously we do not expect members to agree with every detail. All members are however expected to broadly agree with points 1 to 8 below which outline the core of our anarchism.
  1. Anarchism will be created by 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 make anarchist ideas the leading ideas or, as it is sometimes expressed, to become a ''leadership of ideas''.
  2. 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.
  3. We identify ourselves as anarchists and with the "platformist", anarchist-communist or especifista tradition of anarchism. We broadly identify with the theoretical base of this tradition and the organisational practice it argues for, but not necessarily everything else it has done or said, so it is a starting point for our politics and not an end point.
  4. The core ideas of this tradition that we identify with are the need for anarchist political organisations that seek to develop: 
    • Theoretical Unity
    • Tactical Unity
    • Collective Action and Discipline
    • Federalism
  5.  A major focus of our activity is our work within the economic organisations of the working class (labour organisations, trade unions, syndicates) where this is a possibility. We therefore reject views that dismiss activity in the unions because as members of the working class it is only natural that we should also be members of these mass organisations. Within them we fight for the democratic structures typical of anarcho-syndicalist unions like the 1930's CNT. However, the unions no matter how revolutionary cannot replace the need for anarchist political organisation(s).
  6. 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.
  7. We actively oppose all manifestations of prejudice within the workers' movement and society in general and we work alongside those struggling against racism, sexism, [religious] 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.
  8. We oppose imperialism but put forward anarchism as an alternative goal to nationalism. We defend grassroots anti-imperialist movements while arguing for an anarchist rather than nationalist strategy.

Whats the next step?

Whether you want to become a member, a supporter or just a contact the next step is to enter yourself into our contact system at the link below.  Remember to check the 'Become a member' or 'Become a supporter' box if that is what you want to do.  You can change, update or delete any of those details later.

Workers Solidarity Movement

Saturday, 8 December 2012

DA Meeting: Wed 12th Dec 2012

Derry Anarchists meeting this coming Wednesday for the postering. 

Anyone wishing to take part email derryanarchists@gmail.com for details. Please feel free to share poster.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Community Calendar for 2013

Congratulations to Pilots Row Camera Club and to Bobby White for his excellent published photograph in the 2013 Calendar, as shown for the month of August, produced by the Pilots Row Camera Club!

To obtain a copy of the Community Calender, drop in to Pilots Row or you can contact Eden Place Arts Centre. Pilots Row Centre, Rossville Street, Derry.

Tel. 02871269418 or email: judi_edenplaceartscentre@yahoo.co.uk


Pilots Row Camera Club Calendar 2013 

Political persecution continues in the North

The arrest and detention without bail of prominent Eirigi member Stephen Murney in Newry on bogus terror charges last week is part of a continuous campaign waged by the status-quo and its armed wing against growing dissent in Northern Ireland.

The local spokesperson of the party has been particular active in highlighting and campaigning against PSNI harassment was charged under Section 58 of the Terrorism Act 2000, to collect or possess information of a kind likely to be of use to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism.
In a statement released on the group’s website, Eirigi have pointed out the ridiculous nature of the charges.

“Two of the charges against him directly relate to these activities – the same type of activities which the British government promotes and encourages dissenting communities in certain other states to engage in.

“The third charge also is directly related to Stephen’s work as a party member. His solicitor has been informed that among the items which the PSNI claim may be “likely to be of use to terrorists” are éirígí posters, leaflets and literature of which many thousands of copies have been distributed throughout communities across the north, along with stencils which party members make use of.”

Mac Cionnaith then stated, “These spurious charges that have been laid against Stephen Murney are charges which could be pressed against any political activist, any human rights activist, or any photo-journalist, in the Six Counties.

“These charges are a blatant but crude attempt at political censorship and the open suppression of legitimately-held political opinions. In that regard they are akin to the type of charges brought by RUC against political activists and others under the old Special Powers Act between 1922 and 1972.
“Other items which the PSNI are using to justify these charges include uniforms belonging to a band of which Stephen was a member quite a number of years ago and an item belonging to his son.”
The fact that the PSNI in court have also justified his arrest on the basis of alleged pictures of police officers on his Facebook page which were taken during a political demonstration is evident of sinister motive to send a message to anyone who exposes police harassment and human rights abuses in the North.

While we have our clear differences with Irish republicanism and Eirigi, the WSM is aware that this latest arrest is an attack on everyone fighting for social change. We recognise that the police’s first line of duty will always been to defend the status-quo and the interests of the ruling class.

As the party’s general secretary, Breandán Mac Cionnaith stated , “These spurious charges that have been laid against Stephen Murney are charges which could be pressed against any political activist, any human rights activist, or any photo-journalist, in the Six Counties.

Workers Solidarity Movement 

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Derry Solidarity March & Rally with Gaza

Anarchists in Derry took part in today's march in solidarity with the people of Gaza. Its estimated that 200 people took part. 

More Photots of Demo on Derry Anarchists Facebook. so please share!

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Derry March For Gaza

This coming Saturday there will be a march and rally in town in solidarity with the people of Gaza which has been organised by the Derry Anti War Coalition.

Please assemble at 2pm Saturday 24 November outside the General Post Office, Guildhall St. Derry.

From there the march will make its way along Foyle St, Carlisle Circus, Carlisle Road, Ferryquay St, Shipquay St and rally in Guildhall Square.


Stop the bombing of Gaza! End the siege of Gaza! Free Palestine!

Protest & Street Theatre: Preliminary Examination on Marian Price

The Preliminary Examination on Marian Price a number of other prisoners is to take place at Derry Courthouse tomorrow Wednesday, November 21st. 

There will be a Protest and Street Theatre between 9.30-10.30am. Organised by Prison Crisis Group. 

All Welcome. Spread the word.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Never Again: Dublin Rally for Savita

Enormous march in Dublin for Savita Halappanavar,the women who died after being refused an abortion in Galway hospital - for more information see http://www.wsm.ie/savita

Follow us at https://www.facebook.com/WorkersSolidarityMovement to get notifications when we post additional photos, video, news & analysis
Savita Never Again march in Dublin Nov 17 2012 (83 photos)

Derry Gaza Solidarity

People of Derry came together on Saturday afternoon to once again voice their anger and disgust at the latest round of Israeli slaughter on the people of Gaza. As the attacks continue so too will the protests around the world at the unfolding horror.  Join us again tomorrow Monday 19th at 1pm in the Guildhall Square, Derry. 

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Honouring the North West Anti Fascists

Talk on Brigadistas Paddy 'Roe' McLaughlin (Moville, Co. Donegal) and Thomas Traynor (Co. Tyrone) by representatives of the North West Spanish Civil War Project. Music by Decky McLaughlin.

There will also be a few info stalls with book and antifa merchandise available. 


This event will take place on Sunday 25th November at Sandinos Bar, Water Street, Derry.

http://www.facebook.com/events/258217270967239/

Thursday, 25 October 2012

March for Marie Stopes

The time has come to put on a public show of support for the Marie Stopes clinic in Belfast. 

In the face of those who are currently trying to shut the clinic down and who are say that ‘there is no demand for abortion in Ireland’ we need to defend Ireland’s first clinic to offer abortion services and the progress it symbolises. 


 Come and celebrate its opening with us!
 

We will be marching from the UU Art college (beside St Anne’s Cathedral), through town and ending at City Hall, where we will have a rally with speakers (to be confirmed).

NB. The time may change depending on the parades commission, this will be sorted this week.


Assemble:  Sat. November 10th @ 1.30pm
UU Art College (York Street, Belfast) to Belfast City Hall.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Support the Marie Stokes clinic in Belfast

The opening of the Marie Stokes clinic in Belfast is a positive step forward for women’s rights and continuing battle for abortion services in Ireland.  While the 1967 Abortion Act has still not been extended to Northern Ireland due to an alliance of reactionary conservative forces from our local sectarian parties to the Churches.  This means that abortions can be carried out only to preserve the life of the mother, or if continuing the pregnancy would have other serious, permanent physical or mental health effects. There is strict assessment regarding any impact on mental well-being and the woman must consult with two clinicians.

The Marie Stopes clinic has said it will carry out medical, not surgical, procedures only up to nine weeks' gestation and only within the existing legal framework.  It said that the health professionals in the clinic will be from Northern Ireland and that they will make the assessments, although the views of the woman's own GP will be taken into consideration. The clinic's services will also be available to women from the Republic of Ireland, if they meet the legal criteria in Northern Ireland.

Contrary, to media reports the clinic will not just offer abortion access but provides a range of services and counselling from contraception to sexual advice.

As anarchists we believe the struggle for women’s right to choose is part of larger fight for greater control over our lives free from the state and church. It is also a class issue because the denial of free access to abortion in Ireland both North and South particularly affects working class women who are forced in travel abroad. However, private clinics are no long term solution to free, safe abortion on demand starting with the extension of the 1967 Abortion Act to Northern Ireland. The opening of this clinic will serve to highlight and challenge the ambiguous nature of the current legislation.

The WSM has been active in pro-choice struggles over the last decade. In our position paper on Abortion rights we believe:
‘Women's biology, pregnancy and child-bearing has copper-fastened our inferior position in capitalist society. This has been extended so that we are also stuck with child rearing and child-minding within the family. Therefore women's access to work, education, leisure and any chance of self-advancement has been strictly limited. This is especially true for working class women.
Women have always tried to control their own fertility. Anti-abortion laws have resulted in back-street abortions and induced miscarriages. World-wide, one woman dies from a back-street abortion every three minutes. Winning full control over our own fertility is an essential step towards ending women’s' oppression. The technology has been developed under capitalism to make this both safe and possible. Women must have the right to use this technology to decide if and when to have children.
We support a woman's access to full, free and safe contraception. If she finds herself pregnant but does not wish to have a child then she should have access to free, safe abortion on request.
We believe in real options and real choices for women. A woman who wants to have a child shouldn't have to spend the rest of her life looking after it. This is why we favour the option of full child-care provision paid for by the state, maternity leave and flexi-time for working, public crèche facilities and restaurants. The present role of many women as full-time unpaid child-minders within the family must be ended.
A woman who finds herself pregnant and does not wish to remain so should have a right to free, safe abortion on demand. This is not an abstract political slogan, we don't go around shouting "free abortion on demand" in the belief that it can only be gained in the context of a socialist revolution. We believe that it is merely one of the basic first steps in freeing women from the constraints placed on us by capitalism.’
Over the coming days, weeks and months the anti-choice lobby will be out in force to oppose the clinic. It is important that we rally behind this clinic and show our support.
Check out http://www.facebook.com/pages/We-Fully-Support-the-Marie-Stopes-Clinic-i...
A recent decriminalise abortion demo in Belfast. http://vimeo.com/51101674

Monday, 15 October 2012

Austerity Isn't Working!

This Saturday, October 20th, the march and rally in Belfast takes place at the Arts College at 11am moving on to Custom House Square at 12.30.

Union-supplied buses will be leaving Derry from Foyle Street at 9am however places need to be booked via the various union representatives.  Return times will vary but buses should be back in town around 5pm again. Again places have to be booked so make sure you've got a place.

Friday, 12 October 2012

Bus for Oct. 20th Demo Planned

Postering in town next week, ahead of the October 20th demonstration in Belfast. Meeting point for posters at same place.

As for the Oct. 20th demo, so far there will be union-supplied buses leaving Foyle Street at 9am on the day - back in town around 5pm again. Places have to be booked by contacting your union or rep in the trades council.

Derry: Conversations on Anarchism


Thursday, 11 October 2012

Peadar O'Donnell Weekend 2012

Workers Solidarity Movement will be attending this years Peadar O'Donnell Weekend 2012 in the Rosses area of West Donegal. 

Hope to see you there if you can make it, as we will be providing an anarchist bookstall as part of a number of events organized for the weekend, so drop by and say hello and pick up some free anarchist info or buy a book.

For a closer look at Peadar O'Donnell and an Irish anarchist take on his politics, click on the following like: Peadar O'Donnell & the Spanish Revolution

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Stormont rubber stamps Welfare Reform Bill

Anyone with any illusions in Stormont as a 'progressive' alternative to Tory cuts from Westminster should take note after yesterday’s passing of the devastating Welfare reform bill.  The motion which will impact on thousands in NI and affect disability living allowance, housing benefit and employment support was passed in the second stage by 60 votes to 42. This biggest shakeup of the 'welfare' since 1945 has already been passed in Scotland and Wales and will bring in a single, Universal Credit to replace six income-related, work-based benefits.

In Northern Ireland 9,000 people are likely to be affected by the cuts to housing benefit. When it comes to social housing, people will no longer be able to live in houses with more bedrooms than they need. For example, if a single person is living in a two-bedroom flat, they will no longer receive the same amount of housing benefit. So to stay in the same property they would have to make up the shortfall in rent from their benefits.

The Disability Living Allowance will change to the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) for people of working age but DLA will be retained for children and pensioners. That will mean all 118,000 working-age people currently on DLA in Northern Ireland will be reassessed and receive PIP instead.
 As NIPSA’s Deputy General Secretary, Alison Millar stated:

"At a time when unemployment is rising in Northern Ireland it is not appropriate that the Assembly are debating how to take £500m annually out of the NI economy. If this Bill is voted through then many more jobs in both the public and private sector will be lost. This cannot be allowed to happen.
Also with unemployment figures rising month on month more families will be faced with a bleak future with cuts to the welfare benefits at a time when they are needed most.”(1)

We should also not be fooled and let Sinn Fein and the SDLP off the hook because the reality is that both parties pushed for amendments and deferral rather than calling for the bill to be scrapped.

If both parties were serious in their opposition to 'Tory cuts' rather than toothless soundbites they could of utilised the so-called Petition of Concern. This technical option is available to any party that is able to garner 30 MLA signatures and means legislation can only be approved if a majority of unionist and nationalist members back it. With Sinn Fein holding sway on the nationalist benches, and the SDLP also willing to sign a petition, it would have guaranteed the fall of the Bill.

The passing of this vicious bill which is a direct assault on the rights and conditions of our class both here and across the UK is part of continuing neo-liberal agenda and re-structuring of capital waged under successive governments. An ongoing process to remove long-standing social-democratic reforms won through years of struggle.

While Stormont has once again proved itself to be rubber stamp for London and cast its colours on the side of the rich and powerful the task for all of us is to build militant opposition in our streets, communities and workplaces to Stormont cut-backs. The gloves are off and the battle lines are clearly marked. The question is what side are you on?

1) http://www.nipsa.org.uk/Press-Releases/NIPSA-Calls-For-Opposition-To-Wel...

Monday, 24 September 2012

International Day for Decriminalisation of Abortion

THURSDAY 27TH SEPTEMBER

Public Meeting

Campaign for legal and safe abortion

Speakers from the abortion support network & women on the web.

Central Library Foyle Street 7pm

Protest Against Housing Benefit Cuts

This coming Thursday afternoon (Thurs. Sept. 27th) in town there will be a protest in the Guildhall Square at 1pm to once again highlight the continuing attacks on those claiming Housing Benefit.  Please come along and as always, spread the word!

Thursday, 6 September 2012

The chickens come home to roost in latest outbreak of violence in North Belfast

Sectarian clashes witnessed this week in Carlisle Circus in North Belfast is a reminder that beneath the shiny new ‘normalised’ Northern Ireland is a political process that reaps what it sows.  While our local politicians continue to promote and sell the North to greedy developers, investors and tourism the reality is the majority of us, the working class have been left behind by a so-called settlement in which we are left to rot to be discarded and disposed when necessary. As increasing poverty, sectarianism, lower wages, mass unemployment, lack of affordable and social housing; including the introduction of water charges back on the agenda being as raw as ever the need to build a political alternative to the politics of green and orange is as urgent and relevant as ever.

For some, the three days of rioting was reminiscent of loyalist rioting across the North in 2005 and a re-wind to the Drumcree standoff in the 1990s, while for other media commentators this was an attempt by sections of the loyal orders and loyalist paramilitaries to give a signal that all is not well in loyalist working class heartlands.

The reality is the recent disturbances is nothing new in the context of Northern Ireland and is firmly located within a political process which has merely cemented and embedded sectarianism and segregation, rather than seeking to overcome and transcend differences and divisions. Instead of seeking building freedom and social equality for all in terms of class politics and revolutionary transformation(which it never intended to do), we have ‘equality of the two traditions’ and a change in the name and badge of the police.
As Jason Walsh highlighted in the Irish Times this week ,’Things have improved since the 1990s — the absence of bombs and relative absence of bullets is not nothing — but the expansion of inequality, including the cultivation of fraudulent "cultural difference" among sections of society is the price of Northern society’s persistence. In fact, to speak of "Northern Irish society" is to speak of nothing. All talk of respect, the "two communities", and "new dispensations" pushes all debate into the background….The institutions are dysfunctional and factional. "Justice", for instance, is a republican-unionist issue, so it is not really about justice, it’s about balance. On this and every other issue the balance must be struck between the "two communities".’(1)

Secondly, the volatile issue of parades and Parades Commission rulings remains a significant obstacle to overcome and will in the foreseeable future ignite and fuel existing antagonism and disillusionment with the status-quo. Unfortunately, in the short-term this dissatisfaction and resentment will express itself in a sectarian dimension as we witnessed this week. This was apparent listening to Radio Ulster Steven Nolan show this week when North and West Belfast Parades Forum spokesman and loyalist Winston Irvine constantly blamed the rioting on ‘erosion of protestant culture and identity’ while republicans and nationalists are getting everything.

This is despite the fact that repeated statistics and figures highlight that catholics remain more than twice as likely to be unemployed than their protestant counterparts and in consecutive tables ‘nationalist’ communities top the most deprived and disadvantaged wards in the UK. (2) This is to minimise and trivialise social/economic deprivation and grievances especially in terms lack of access to third level education in protestant working class communities but to frame this in terms of us vrs them in terms of religion is not only dangerous, but is misplaced and suits those in power. This is the product of a settlement built on two sectarian ethno blocs competing for resources and power from the crumbs of Westminster.
As anarchists, we believe this can only be tackled by building a united working class movement which will wipe away all forms of inequality and discrimination by building a society for all not just the few who only benefit from our division and isolation.

Continuing speculation on who organised the recent rioting, to blaming the Parades Commission and a small republican parade which abided to Parade commission guidlines and was relatively confined to the 'nationalist' New Lodge is a smokescreen which misses the wider picture. (See previous article- http://ww.wsm.ie/c/carrick-hill-residents-belfast-subjected-sectarian-ha...)  Parading is a physical manifestation past and present of this lethal mix of rivalry, tension and sectarianism which will only benefit the various shades of unionism, paramilitary godfathers and elements of disaffected republicanism. Attempts by right wing opportunist unionist politicians, and loyalism to deflect attention away from existing tension and division within their own ranks in a sectarian tit for tat needs to be actively opposed.

While loyalism and unionism is sectarian and supremacist ideology it is far from monolithic and will unite in times of perceived threat and danger, which is why we need to expose these existing fractures and tensions providing a space for any progressive element that might emerge. The relative absence and weakness of a strong progressive left and trade unions on the ground will mean the forthcoming celebration of the 1932 Outdoor relief riots( in which the falls and Shankill briefly united) will continue to be a romanticised event for the converted view.

However , it is important that we continue to build and promote what unites us more than divides us at the coalface of conflict and struggle in our communities and workplaces as part of a non-sectarian revolutionary alternative.

Despite a token 'apology' by the Royal Black Institution over their recent behaviour outside the Catholic Church in North Street, it remains unclear whether our local ruling class and the forces of repression will be able to keep a lid on a serious eruption of violence at the end of the month in the commemoration of signing of the Ulster Covenant in 1912, but what is clear as that as long as we have a process that failures to address the root cause of conflict in our society, lasting peace and justice will forever remain a suburban middle-class dream.
1)     http://www.irishexaminer.com/analysis/the-north-a-cautionary-tale-of-reconciliation-206417.html
2) http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/row/RS21333.pdf

Marian Price: a victim of inhumane treatment. Demand Her Release – protest march 15th September

Marian Price has been detained without trial in inhumane conditions since May 2011.  Despite the fact that the charges against her – encouraging support for a paramilitary organisation – have been dismissed and her release ordered by the courts, she continues to be held on the direction of the North’s secretary of state, Owen Patterson. 58-year-old Price spent a year in solitary confinement in Maghaberry (an all-male prison) and Hydebank prisons.  During this time she was locked in her cell for 21 hours a day while kept under constant camera surveillance.  The United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture has said that spending anything more than 15 days in solitary confinement amounts to torture.

In June 2012 she was moved to Belfast City Hospital to be treated for severe depression, where she is held under armed guard in an isolated hospital ward.  She has also developed pneumonia and arthritis and her family say that her health is deteriorating rapidly.

As recently as Tuesday 21st August the Irish Times’ Suzanne Breen reported that Price’s family had claimed that her “… human rights were violated after a prison officer remained in a treatment room as she underwent intrusive medical procedures.”  She had been taken for a lung wash and an endoscopy so that a camera could be inserted to examine her lungs.  Despite the fact that doctors requested prison staff to leave the treatment room where she was heavily sedated, they refused to do so.

Breen further reported that on her way to Musgrave Park Hospital for tests for her arthritis, Price had  been double handcuffed despite her wrists being badly swollen as a result of the arthritis.

Royal pardon
Marian Price was released 32 years ago – in 1980 – having been jailed for bombings in Britain.  At the time she was first released on licence and was then granted a full royal pardon. When released she was extremely ill, suffering from anorexia nervosa as a result of being force fed over 300 times during the course of a hunger strike.
However, the Northern Ireland Office now claims that the royal pardon “cannot be located” and thus Northern secretary Owen Patterson claims the right to revoke her licence and hold her in indefinite custody – despite the charges against her being dismissed in the courts.

Reactionary politics
Politically Marian Price is associated with the 32 County Sovereignty Committee, which is the political wing of the Real IRA.  As anarchists, the WSM has absolutely nothing in common with the failed and reactionary politics pursued by these or any other ‘dissident republican’ groupings.  We recognise that their communal politics is completely opposed to the interests of the working class and can only lead to increased repression and sectarianism.
However, the treatment meted out to Price by the British political system amounts to internment without trial and psychological and physical torture.  This alone should be sufficient for anyone who cares about human rights to demand her release.  The severe damage that has been done to her physical and mental health increases the urgency of that demand.

Join the march
The Free Marian Price Dublin Committee has called a protest march demanding her release for Saturday 15th September (2pm Garden of Remembrance, Parnell Square).  Workers Solidarity Movement members will be present on this march to signify our support for the call for her release.  We call on all our friends and supporters and on all who value humanity and dignity to attend this march and to encourage your friends, family and work colleagues to do so as well.

Thursday, 23 August 2012

The Fight for Liberation Now!

The fight for liberation is an LGBT Organising meeting as part of Foyle Pride. Bringing together LGBT activists from across the North West to organise for future campaigns. Will include talk on history of gay liberation movement.

The meeting takes place on Friday at 5pm upstairs in Sandinos Bar, Water Street, Derry.

On this day in 1927

On this day in 1927: Ferdinando Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti, two Italian immigrants living in Boston, are executed after being framed for a robbery.

Their real crime was being anarchists involved with the vibrant anti-capitalist labor movement of the day.

Long live the rebel spirit of Comrades Sacco and Vanzetti!

The story of Sacco and Vanzetti

Foyle Pride Parade 2012

Foyle Pride march/parade will take place this Saturday August 25th in Derry. Everyone should assemble at Duke St train station at 1pm or1.30pm. 

The parade takes the same route as the original civil rights march. Derry AFA and Workers Solidarity Movement will be attending with our banners and flags to join in with the celebrations. 

Why not come along and show your solidarity. See you there!

Sunday, 19 August 2012

ANC Throws Off Its Mask! Workers Murdered!

ANC Throws Off Its Mask! Workers Murdered!
Capitalists and politicians guilty! Stop police brutality.

No justice, no peace. No Zuma, No Malema, No LONMIN!

 

The Constitution promises political rights and equality. It is quite clear that the bosses and politicians do exactly as they wish. They walk on the faces of the people. This is shown by the police killings of strikers at Lonmin’s Marikana mine.

WHOSE RIGHTS?

People! We must face the facts. The ANC government and the big capitalists run the show. The system makes the rich and powerful richer and more powerful.
The workers and the poor suffer. We have no protection. You work, but you do not survive. Food prices are going up. ESKOM is going up. We must pay? With what? But when we struggle, we get shot.

ANC/ STATE + BOSSES/ CORPORATIONS = ALLIES

The state uses brutal force against the majority. We are marching, raising our grievances. This is our right. We must struggle to live. So, we fight against all elites: those who control government and those who control companies (like Lonmin).
But our voices are silenced with bullets.
While we do not agree uncritically with all the actions of the workers at Marikana, we are always with the working class and poor against the state and capitalists.

ANCYL = ANC = MARIKANA MASSACRE

The ANC promised to change the system. Instead, it became part of the system. Complaining against the National Party’s (NP’s) oppression, the ANC took office. The NP murdered workers. But now the ANC murders workers.
The ANCYL has no grounds to pretend to condemn the police killings (see its Statement 17 August 2012). The ANCYL is part and parcel of the ruling ANC regime.
Malema and other expelled ANCYL leaders also want to use these events to get reinstated into the ANC – to get rich or lie trying. But the ANC’s hands are dripping with blood.
The past and present ANCYL leaders (like all ANC leaders) want more money, not more freedom for the people.

CAPITALISM NO THANKS!

Capitalism is a system of brutality and exploitation, of suffering. The black, Coloured and Indian working class suffers from the legacy of apartheid national oppression and from daily capitalist and police repression. (And even the white working class is exploited and oppressed).

COLLECTIVISE, NOT NATIONALISE

ANCYL uses the ANC murders to bang the drum again for ”the nationalisation of mines and other strategic sectors of the economy.” But Marikana shows the true nature of the state/ government, no matter what party: a bloodthirsty killing machine for the rich black and white ruling class.
Real workers’ control of the economy does not mean private corporations (privatisation) or state corporations (nationalisation). It must mean real people’s democratic control of the economy through worker and community committees, serving people’s needs.

POLICE CANNOT BE CHANGED

The role of the police is to repress and silence the working class and poor. This problem cannot be fixed by commissions or enquiries – as some people think. Ask the family of Andries Tatane. It cannot be changed by elections. Remember: Sharpeville 1960, Soweto 1976, Uitenhague 1985, Michael Makhabane in 2000, SAMWU workers in 2009, Andries Tatane in 2011 … Marikana 2012. At least 25 protestors and strikers were killed from 2000, before Marikana.

PEOPLES POWER NOT ELECTIONS & PARTIES

Look at Marikana. Elections do not change the system. Joining the government and becoming a politician is no solution. Replacing Jacob Zuma with another ANC leader is no solution. A new political party – even a “left” or “workers” party – is no solution. All the political parties are no solution.

UNIONS: WAKE UP!

The Marikana unions, NUM and AMCU, have fallen into the trap set by the ruling class politicians and bosses. They fought each other, instead of fighting the real enemy. Unity is strength: do not be divided and ruled. Workers of the world unite! Working class of all countries and races unite! End the alliance! COSATU should have no links with the bloodstained ANC.

ANARCHISM = COUNTER POWER

It is time to replace the capitalist / state system with Counter Power by the people. This means that we want workers’/ community control of the economy, from below. We want democratic and direct self-management of industry by the workers in the workplaces; we want self- government of communities by those living in them. We want to collectively decide on how we run our lives. We refuse to live according to the rules determined by bosses and politicians, who use the police to shoot us like dogs when we disobey.

ONE SOLUTION: WORKING CLASS DEMOCRACY !

WE NEED YOU! DON’T VOTE, MOBILISE!

IF YOU AGREE WITH THESE IDEAS OR WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT ANARCHISM:

email zacf[at]riseup[dot]net

Issued by:
Tokologo Anarchist Collective
Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front
Inkululeko Wits Anarchist Collective

Derry Rally for Free Speech! Free Pussy Riot!


Around 40 activists in Derry took part in the August 17th Global Solidarity event in support of the Russian Feminist punk band Pussy Riot.   

The demo itself included masked activists who put on a piece of street theatre blaring loud punk music out into the Guildhall Square and reading a number of declarations in support of Pussy Riot and free speech.  The evening prior to the solidarity event, activists placed a badge in support of Pussy Riot on a mural in Derry's Bogside. 

All these actions happened as hundreds of simultaneous rallies took place around the world just as Judge Marina Syrova prepared to deliver her verdict in the trial of three members of the female punk group. 

Subsequently all three women - Maria Alyokhina (24), Nadezhda Tolokonnikova (22), and Yekaterina Samutsevich (29) – were later convicted of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred, and sentenced to two years for "crudely undermined social order".  Back in February Pussy Riot performed their own profanity-laced anthem to the “Mother of God, Cast Putin Out” on the altar of Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ Our Saviour.

As activists left the Guildhall Square following Friday’s events many were of the opinion that “similar solidarity actions must continue locally to highlight the injustice of what was unfolding in Russia, to other political activists and to free speech overall.  Activists have pledged to attend this years Foyle Pride rally at the end of August which takes place along the same route of the original civil rights march, an appropriate occasion to highlight such injustice as Putin’s government has also just recently banned the Moscow Gay Pride rally for the next 100 years”.
 

Unemployment rises as Stormont politicians squabble over new road signs

Northern Ireland unemployment figures rise again as our local sectarian politicians engage in petty point-scoring over the latest hot potato that dominates the political discourse. Latest figures have revealed that the number of people claiming unemployment benefits in July was 63,200, an increase of 400 with this figure being the second highest among the 12 UK regions. The NI rate now stands at 7.6% with that figure rising again once you include the fact that over 20% of the population our classed as ‘economically in-active’- the highest in the UK.

At least 12 ‘Welcome to Northern Ireland’ signs have been erected across the border counties by the road service acting under instruction from UUP Stormont minster Danny Kennedy, with many being removed by locals within hours.
Sinn Fein Assembly member Phil Flanagan called on the UUP man to order the removal of the remaining signs “as soon as possible”.
“The erection of these signs has angered many living in border communities who suffer the negative impact of partition on a daily basis and a large proportion of them are completely opposed to the unnatural division of Ireland,” Mr Flanagan said.
Quite ironic coming from Sinn Fein, who actively participate in the structures of the state including endorsing its monopoly over violence and the selective internment of dissenting republicans such as Marian Price and Martin Corey.
We should not be surprised by this latest distraction that passes for so-called politics in the North in an era of growing unemployment, poverty and general cuts in living standard. Our local Stormont is nothing more than a useless talking shop that is actively pulling the strings of their Tory masters from Westminster. We need to organise against this programme of austerity because the alternative is just more for the small wealthy elite and less for the rest of us.

Monday, 13 August 2012

Global Solidarity for Pussy Riot: August 17th

Activists in Derry are planning to take part in the Pussy Riot Global Day of action on August 17th.

If you're up to taking part in the events then please get in touch.

Details of events are this Friday at 10:30 at Guildhall Square, Derry.

Join the Derry event and bring along your own DIY mask!

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Solidarity Protest to mark Anti Internment Anniversary

August 9th marks the 41st anniversary of internment, a policy of mass imprisonment without trail which was last introduced offically in Ireland by the British Government back in 1971.  To mark the occasion, activists in Derry will highlight the continued internment of Marian Price and Martin Corey, who are still being held without trial in prison.  

Today as in 1971, anarchists across Ireland actively oppose all government policy of 'selective' or 'mass' internment just as we oppose all forms of state repression. For ourselves, an attack on any individual is an attack on the whole of our class which undermines the rights and conditions of all. 

As anarchists we believe that sooner or later it will be the workers’ movement itself that will come under attack if we dont't make a stand now, which why we must oppose the continued internment of Marian Price, Martin Corey and the continuing brutal treatment of republican prisoners in Maghaberry.

Tomorrow, Thursday August 9th in Derry, activists will hold a protest and street theatre event at Bishop Street Court House, Derry at 9.30am.  The event itself has been organised by Prisons Crisis Group who have asked everyone to attend and to how solidarity with the continued imprisonment of Marian Price and Martin Corey.


Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Hundreds of Garda deployed to protect Shell's machine from the people of Ireland

A huge secretive Garda security operation last night swung into operation in Dublin Port as Shell's Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) left the port as part of a huge convoy of Garda vehicles.  News of the operation had leaked at the last minute meaning that with only an hours notice a handful of Shell to Sea campaigners managed to get down to the port entrance despite the pouring rain.

Most of us were pulled over and questioned by Garda at least once and the Garda helicopter stayed overhead as various Garda vehicles including a van load of riot cops with the door open drove past us repeatedly.

Our presence appeared to cause some delays as the convoy left the port over 90 minutes past the planned departure time.  Such was the huge Garda force present that all we could do was film the convoy as it left the gates, the video is below.  Other campaigners who followed the convoy reported that there were Garda on every overpass on the motorway leading out of town and individual Garda every 50 or so meteres along the road. They reported that it reminded them of the level of policing deployed during the British Queen's visit last year. No one was allowed overtake the convoy which moved at about 50km as it headed west.

more on this article, plus video: Workers Solidartiy Movement

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Protest for the right to give blood!

Protest for the right to give blood regardless of sexual orientation.

The rule against gay men being allowed to give blood in Northern Ireland is a blatantly homosexual one and should be challenged not only at Stormont level but also on the streets by the LGBT community. Edwin Poots' stance is 'irrational and unlawful' as well as being completely homophobic.

A protest will take place outside the Playhouse (where the blood donation will be happening) - everyone is encouraged to bring placards, rainbow flags etc.

Gay men are encouraged to take part in a second protest inside the building, where they will offer to give blood. If a lot of gay men show up to give blood then it will ridicule the law even further. There are regular shortages of blood in N.I., yet they turn down willing donors because they are gay.

Everyone is encouraged to be very friendly to the staff and nurses as this is nothing to do with them.

Be there on the second of august and bring all your friends. We need AS MANY people as possible.