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.

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 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:

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.


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.

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 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:

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