Thursday, 11 June 2015

Conversations on Anarchism

As part of a series of informal sessions on anarchism, held by the Workers Solidarity Movement in Derry.

This forthcoming conversation will focus on those fairly new to anarchism and or interested in taking part in locally. It will be a chance to ask, hear and discuss basic questions on Anarchism.

As ever, there will also be an anarchist book stall and publications available.

Conversations on Anarchism takes place on Wednesday 8th July, Sandino's Cafe Bar (Upstairs), Water St. Derry @ 7.30pm

Monday, 8 June 2015

Derry Solidarity Bus: March for Equality!

To get a ticket and reserve your seat, call into Sandinos any day this week between 4:30-6pm. Someone from People Before Profit will be there to give you a bus ticket. You will need to put some money down in order to save your seat.

Rally for Equal Marriage in Belfast on Saturday, June 13th

Celebrate Equal Marriage in the South and demand it now in the North!

People Before Profit is organising a bus to go from the Guildhall Square to Belfast for the rally. All Welcome!!

We'll be gathering in the Guildhall Square at 11:30AM. The rally starts in Belfast at 2:30PM.

The bus will be leaving Belfast at 5PM to be back in Derry by 6:30PM.

Seats are:
£5-unemployed, low-income or student

To get a ticket and reserve your seat, call into Sandinos any day this week between 4:30-6pm. Someone from People Before Profit will be there to give you a bus ticket. You will need to put some money down in order to save your seat.

Text or call 07960404159 with any questions or if you cannot make it to Sandinos.

More details here: Derry Equality Bus

Day Of International Solidarity With Anarchists Imprisoned by the Spanish State!

The last few years have seen an increasing wave of repression against Anarchists and other radicals right across the Spanish State, best characterized by the police operations Pandora and Piñata. 

Acting in response to movements, uprisings and upheavals across the country, particularly in Catalonia, the state has arrested dozens of comrades, often under the pretext of anti-terrorism. The result has been to foster a climate of fear and in-action.

While most of those held in pre-trial detention have been released, all still have pending charges. Now is our moment to show that their attempts to silence us will not work.

On June 13th is a day of international solidarity in support of all those facing charges, in relation to these police operations and others. On this day, across the Spanish State there will be widespread demonstrations to mark the beginning of an international campaign of solidarity and support. 

Anarchists across Ireland will be expressing our support and solidarity by holding several protest events. In Belfast on Saturday 13th June, we will be gathering at the Anti-Fascist monument in Writers Square at 2pm (sharp).

Please join with us in solidarity with our imprisoned anarchist comrades.

Flags and banners welcome!

Protest Facebook events page:

Friday, 1 May 2015

May Day: Remembering the past - fighting for tomorrow!

On the original May Day it was declared that from that day “eight hours shall constitute a legal day’s labour from and after May 1st, 1886”.

This declaration came from the anarchist-led labour movement which was organised on a bottom-up system based on the type of society that the anarchists involved aspired to.

On the 3rd of May, 1886, police opened fire on the striking workers of the McCormick Harvester Company, killing one and wounding several more. This was followed by a protest meeting at the Haymarket the next day.

What ensued at the Haymarket was nothing short of a police riot. The police opened fire after a bomb was thrown into the ranks of the policemen, there is no evidence to suggest that the bomb was thrown by a protestor and it is often suggest that an agent provocateur working for the police threw the bomb. Many innocent people were killed and wounded.

Eight anarchists stood trial for murder after the Haymarket affair although there was no evidence to suggest that they were involved or that they had used inflammatory language. Like the case of Sacco and Vanzetti which would follow some 40 years later it is quite clear that they were on trial for being anarchists.

Neebe was sentenced to 15 years in prison, Fielden's and Schwab’s sentence to death was commuted to life imprisonment. Engel, Fischer, Parsons, and Spies were all hanged at the gallows and Lingg committed suicide as a final protest to the state’s unjust claim of authority.

The radical and revolutionary roots of May Day, including the radical trade union organising that made it possible is not to be found today in the lead up to the 1st of May.

Many anarchists in 1886 felt that the demand for an “eight hour workday” did not go far enough and among anarchists the story remains unchanged. Today we have a demand for “job creation”, “fair pay”, “proper work conditions” coming from mainstream trade unions and socialists. They could talk about these things all day long, trade unionists especially believing them to be some sort of panacea; they will talk about everything except for what work really is.

Work, including working hours, dress code/uniform, behaviour, routine, is a way of instilling a capitalist discipline on the working class. Employment and unemployment are tools of this capitalist discipline with a culture of consumerism being used to fuel society.

Unemployment and the unemployed is used as a threat constantly hanging over the heads of the workers, it is a vital component of capitalism because if you don’t do your job properly there are a bunch of people down at the job office who will do it.

Employment is a nice way of saying that you sell your labour to your boss who can turn your labour into a profit and sell you a percentage of it back in the form of a wage.

You spend your day performing tasks that oftentimes have no relevancy to your life and do not contribute to your happiness. Our lives are spent making money that we are never going to see – yet we are told that this is right, “you’ve got to pay your way”. Those who do not work are demonized and hated by the rest of society, branded leeches and sponges, not realising that their existence is a capitalist creation to keep the working class divided.

Through representations in the [political economy of the] mass media, we are made to admire and idolize the rich – those who have never “paid their way” and whose wealth is only made possible through exploitation. They are never subjected to the demonization that they deserve the same demonization that is directed to the unemployed.

Let’s name names; work is a misnomer. When we are talking about work we are talking about forced labour.

So what should work be then? Something that you enjoy and take pride in? Something whose end has a meaning – that you can see will make a good and positive impact on someone / a group of people / a community?

As we prepare for the next strike action in the north we must keep in mind that it is the, the lowly worker, the worst paid, the nobodies, who run this society and we can shut it down as easily as we run it.

The powerful and the wealthy know the power that we have and they tremble at the thought of us discovering it. We need a general strike, the sleeping giant must wake. They think that they can treat us like vermin but they forget that they are the rats.

Solidarity and direct action are our best bet and we must continue to organise on this basis.

The most fitting way to commemorate the Haymarket martyrs is to remember the dead and fight like hell for the living.

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Assimilatoin = Liberation

This year it feels as if there has been a revamping of homophobia in the north which has had, unsurprisingly, significant support from the church and those in political and therefore institutional power.

We have witnessed the DUP quash the third attempt to legalise queer marriage, bigoted ‘Christian’ bakers refusing to follow through with a service they advertised because it went against their “deeply held beliefs” (not to mention all the other services they provide that do go against their beliefs). This was followed by the the DUP attempting to bring in a 'Conscience Clause' to legalize and institutionalize homophobia; to make it legal to refuse service to someone because of their sexuality. The above examples are only a few of the homophobic incidents that have taken place recently.

The resistance and the fightback from these incidents must be queer-led and supported by our straight allies. Moreover, it should be noted that incidents like the above push us into a defensive stance; as opposed to an offensive one.

In times of relative quietness you would think that homophobia would be minimal here, but that’s not the case. Society views us as “other”, “abnormal” and ultimately as a group of people less-deserving. These views are cultural norms, and if they did not exist we would not have attacks such as those from bigoted bakers, and the DUP would not dare to utter a word about any 'conscience clause'.

In our society we are fed certain narratives by the media and given ideas of what “normal” is. Normal is a family with a married mother and father, a man in a position of power, white people in a higher class than non-white people, able-bodied people, straight people etc., the list is non-exhaustive. What we have as a result, is a society that genuinely believes these things that are perceived to be normal are “right” and “just” and therefore will not tolerate any deviation from the norm.

There is a comfort (for some, perhaps even most people) in “being normal”, and what we have in mainstream queer politics is LGBTQ+ people wanting to “normalise” their own circumstances and to assimilate into this oppressive society. This is done through a movement for marriage equality, and the calling to sweep homophobic attacks under the rug and make them illegal (rather than tackling the issue of attacks – physical or other – head on)

Marriage is a reinforcement of the nuclear family. Anarcha-feminism (or queer anarcha-feminism as it is often labelled) views the nuclear family as the basis of all oppressive authoritarian systems. The message that the child learns from their father (who is generally seen as the disciplinarian), from their teacher, to their boss, is to obey and not to question.

Many rightly view marriage as a bourgeois and patriarchal tradition designed to trap women and to concentrate wealth, power and privilege through family lines and therefore through inheritance. While marriage has gotten better for the wife in the sense that the husband is less seen as her master and she his slave who can be raped by him with impunity, the fundamental character of marriage remains nonetheless unchanged. It is a tool of regulation; regulation of labour supply, maintaining a class society, and its boundaries (as most people marry within their socio-economic class).

As opposed to fundamentally changing marriage and what it stands for, gay marriage will merely reinforce it, and concentrate more wealth into the family ties of the already privileged queer couples who simply wish to be like their hetero counter-parts.

The Third World Gay Liberation Manifesto says it best however when it says that:

“We want the abolition of the institution of the bourgeois nuclear family. We believe that the bourgeois nuclear family perpetuates the false categories of homosexuality and heterosexuality by creating sex roles, sex definitions and sexual exploitation. The bourgeois nuclear family as the basic unit of capitalism creates oppressive roles of homosexuality and heterosexuality ... It is every child’s right to develop in a non-sexist, non-racist, non-possessive atmosphere which is the responsibility of all people, including gays, to create.”

While the fight for queer marriage is on, however, many activists will fight for it and not vote against it, because its absence hurts members of our community and their families. Some of us resent doing this as we feel our energy should be spent tackling the problems and injustices that our society propagates against the oppressed instead of fighting for the right to enter into an oppressive institution.

Let’s return to the case of Ashers and the problems with equality legislation. Laws are ineffective at preventing crime by jailing people and letting the root of the problem fester. In the case of Ashers specifically, the equality legislation did not make an appearance until after the damage was done, and by that point it was too late, and its existence has not caused the McArthurs (the family who own Ashers) to change their stance; they still remain unrepentant bigots.

Whether or not Ashers get away with picking and choosing who can avail of their services (which are advertised to all with no restrictions or conditions attached) and deciding which parts of the Bible they would like to adhere to we have got to stop depending on their laws to protect us. We should not want their laws – which can turn on us at a drop of a hat – to include us in their flawed code of ethics, the same code of ethics that allows for countless injustices to take place every day.

Participation by those who do not fit the criteria of straight, white, able-bodied, wealthy, male, etc, in the same old and rotten institutions that have worked against us and to our detriment, will not lead to true liberation or equality but will actually ensure further oppression and exploitation - despite any benefits for some.

However in the south we find ourselves facing a imminent referendum on marriage equality, which the hardline religious right are opposing as part of their program of maintaining multiple oppressions. A no vote in that context would be disastrous, serving only to entrench homophobia. Therefore despite the profound reservations expressed here we are campaigning for a Yes to Marrage Equality vote.

Assimilation is boring and it is not liberating. We should not be begging for crumbs at the table - we should tear the table apart, and use it for kindling while we fight for a better world; a world in which all are free, not simply those who can pay for it.

Words: Fionnghuala Nic Roibeaird

Friday, 3 April 2015

Class, Capitalism, Crime & Punishment

Recent punishment beatings and shootings in both Derry and Belfast have highlighted the horrific nature of such attacks carried out by both Loyalist and Republican armed groups across the North.  Right on cue, the politicians have lined up to condemn those involved whilst reiterating their support for the our ‘new’ police force who are supposedly dealing with crime in working class areas, but you wouldn’t expect any different from any of them, after all it’s getting ever closer to election time.

In one of the more recent punishment attacks, Loyalists in Coleraine subjected a man in his 20’s to “life-changing injuries” following a punishment shooting, wounding him several times in the arms and legs outside his house. In a separate attack in Derry, Republicans forced their way in to the home of another man beating him in a sustained attack with bats, leaving him for dead and his neighbours traumatised in its aftermath. In a separate attack, a grandmother in Rathcoole estate was shot several times in both legs as she attempted to escape from her home upon their arrival. Such brutality has been equated to ‘the law of the jungle’ or the type of justice meted out by authoritarian regimes as the Taliban or ISIS who are renowned for their rough justice.  Either way, it does make you question just what type of society organisations who participate in such actions have in mind for our class when they talk about our emancipation, freedom and liberation.

Throughout the past 40 years of war in the North, armed groups from both sides of the divide have killed, injured and maimed hundreds of ordinary in working class people in a vain attempt to not only control or assert their authority, but also in an attempt to deal with crime and criminality in a vacuum where there is an absence of “law and order” or a “credible police force”, which many would say, “any other normal society would have”. 

Unfortunately, as we know only too well, that even after two decades on from the introduction of the ‘Good Friday Agreement’ we still do not live in a “normal society”.  Its true many things have changed here in the North but it’s not merely enough.  British troop numbers may have dwindled, the Police may have changed their name and uniforms but militarization and security is still big business here. One of the largest security investments since the GFA has been the relocation of a new multi-million pound MI5 headquarters now based on the outskirts of Belfast at Palace Barracks, Hollywood.   Now fully operational, they have engaged in intelligence gathering in conjunction with the PSNI on many levels, none more so than with the recruitment and targeting of young people.  Many picked up following acts of petty crime and then ‘encouraged’ to spy and inform on their own neighbours.  In the past number of years many have come forward and admitted this abuse of power, several have been described as being vulnerable young adults.

Likewise the state’s judicial system has questions to answer with regards their own criminal justice system.  Viewed by some for being too lenient towards criminality, working class communities here do turn to Loyalist and Republican armed groups pressurising them also to face-down criminal elements engaged in anti-social behaviour such as ‘joy-riding’, burglaries or drug dealing. Instant ‘rough justice’ to criminality as witness in the past number of weeks is often the result of this. One person ‘walking crime sprees’ who have countless convictions can be a great source of concern within working class communities, especially when police seem to turn a blind eye to their activities.  But this is not justice, such barbarity has been proven even after decades of it being practiced by armed groups that such actions cannot and will not deal with anti-working class criminality any more than the state’s system can.

Throughout the past four decades anarchists have rejected the actions of armed groups on both sides in relation to punishment shootings and beatings, and we will continue to do so in favour of a non-aligned community lead response to crime or anti-social behaviour, far from the clutches of armed groups including the police. The legacy of war here has also had an enormous impact on mental health as can be seen with recent findings lead by local mental health workers on the ground. The violence inflicted by armed groups such as punishment shootings and beatings can only but add to this legacy. 

As anarchists we demand that these brutal and traumatic tactics end in favour of other community lead initiatives.  There are many examples of how communities can use different methods other than extreme violence to tackle anti-working class elements within our areas, none more so than the Zapatistas Movement in the Chiapas area of Mexico and more recently in areas of Kurdistan. Both areas in transition, engaging and discovering differing forms of revolutionary methods to deal with issues affecting their own communities, beyond the clutches of the state.  What is for sure is that the trauma of decades of war here followed by decades of financial hardship as capitalism falls from crisis to crisis, has driven many in working class communities further into an increasing spiral using of prescription medication, alcohol or other forms of drug use.  If we are to ever have a future at all, then we must effectively create new ways in dealing with issues directly affecting our class, be that crime and the causes of it, and that’s capitalism!

Further information on Anarchists & Crime:

The Anarchist Response to Crime

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Where Do We Go From Here?

It is estimated that 50,000 union members took part in Friday’s strike. This figure does not take into account workers outside of the Public Sector, the unwaged workers, the unemployed, students etc. who marched alongside them in our towns and cities.

The strike demonstrated our ability to come together as a group of people united against the cuts that will affect us all. A real sense of anger and frustration was to be felt on the ground, not to mention a genuine desire for c...hange.

While the unions have done a great job of bringing us together we need to establish bottom-up control of the workers’ movement. We cannot allow for any deals to be brokered between the unions and government. Be it 20,000 or 20 job losses; an injury to one is an injury to all.

This is the time to be critical about the world we live in. So many political parties stress the need for jobs and for job creation. But in the capitalist world, what does a job mean?

A job is a tool of control; it keeps us occupied for a certain amount of hours a day or a week. If we are focused on solving a problem caused by bad state management or focused on simply keeping job security so that you can afford a roof over your head and/or meals on the table, you do not have time to think about the system that created these conditions.

There are two types of work; waged and unwaged. Waged work fits the capitalist criteria of what work is. It is work that capitalism needs to ensure its survival by making profits and exploiting those who made the profits by paying them a pittance.

Unwaged work, such as housework or care work, or even a community taking it upon themselves to clean up their area of build housing - such as the establishment of Gaeltacht Bhóthar Seoighe in 1969 when 5 families came together to build a community - must be unwaged in order for capitalism to survive. It cannot afford to pay wages to all those who work, so it had to convince us that these forms of work were not work and did not deserve a wage.

We must not strike against the cuts alone, we must strike against capitalism; we have to shut it down. People are dying everyday as a result of capitalism and its pals, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, and racism to name but a few.

This system is unjust and we must work together to shut it down, to protect ourselves and each other and to create a better world.

Let’s take control of this movement from the grassroots, from the bottom-up!

Please get in touch with us to help us organize a revolutionary way forward!

Monday, 9 March 2015

Victory to the Workers: If you think Capitalism is working try asking someone who isn’t!

More than 200 jobs will be lost when the Insurance Company, Ageas, closes its West Belfast call centre. Call centres are dehumanizing, unrewarding and unpersonal and only those of us desperate for jobs put ourselves through the daily torment of working there.
s who are dependent on Capitalism’s system of wage slavery. The company claims that the West Belfast site has become “increasingly uneconomical”. This is what happens in a neo-liberal society such as the one we live in now. 
They are a disclipinary measure for big business and therefore the government. They create tired, disempowered and apathetic worker

Companies are profit driven, and profit can only mean that someone is being exploited – usually the workers. They do not want steady, stable profits, they want rising profits. A decent wage stands in the way of rising profits, as does a strong workforce which is why most callcentres have been outsourced to countries such as India where the workers are not unionized and can be paid less.

Another place they might go is somewhere where there is a lower corporation tax, so that they can exploit the national economy of the country of their choice as well as their workforce. Companies have no consciences.

They can take away much easier than what they give. While the wages they hand out are nothing compared to the large scale profits they bring in it makes the difference for some families here between being able to heat their house or even eat a proper meal.

Ageas will just pack up and leave while workers, their families and their communities will be left to pick up the pieces, to struggle on in this time of economic hardship which is only being made worse by even more cuts about to be brought in by the Sinn Féin-DUP government.

A protest will be held outside the call centre this Tuesday at 12.30pm.
In short, if you think Capitalism is working try asking someone who isn’t!

Green, White & Orange Capitalism

With all of Sinn Féin's left-posturing, the party's actions describe a more regressive reality, and their implementation of Tory cuts up north and lack of respect for women's on both sides of the border foreshadows a government much closer to Fine Gael than a 'Socialist Republic':

-Green, White & Orange Capitalism-

There has been quite an air of arrogance about Sinn Féin lately. They are convinced that they will be in government, north and south, by 2016; that Adams will be President, that McGuinness will be the north’s First Minister and that McDonald will be the first female Taoiseach. Let’s get a few things straight here, all of these institutions are oppressive and we don’t need to be, nor do we want to be, ruled by anyone. As well as that, there is nothing revolutionary about a female Taoiseach – female participation in the same old rotten patriarchal institutions will not advance the feminist cause and will only further ensure oppression and exploitation.

It cannot be denied that Sinn Féin are a pragmatic party that wishes to be all things to all people – from the poorest in our society to the richest (not at all grasping that this is impossible and fundamentally wrong). But for now let’s focus on the three main tell-tale issues of Sinn Féin’s lack of principles and wishy-washy politics that ultimately are harmful: Abortion, Water Charges and Capitalism.

As one of their senior members told this writer “Sinn Féin is a pro-life party”, and despite developments at their Ard Fheis, where they now consider abortion permissible in the case of Fatal Foetal Abnormalities (FFA), their anti-choice stance does not change.

They only care about the welfare of some deserving women. Only those who need an abortion in the case of FFA deserve our care, attention and compassion. The other, undeserving pregnant people should be left to go through the economic hardship of traveling to England, the mental and physical trauma of being trapped in a crisis pregnancy, and should therefore be left to potentially join the list of 47,000 women globally dying as a result of unsafe abortions.

Sinn Féin’s policy is simply too little too late, with all TDs abstaining from Clare Daly’s Private Member’s Bill to allow for abortion in the cases of FFA a month ago. The excuse of a party policy on the matter not being formed yet is not good enough when the issue at hand is so important. A free vote should have been taken but it wasn’t and this only reveals the dictatorial style and discipline that Adams has instilled in the party.

If Sinn Féin manage to achieve a united Ireland – united gaelic and free that is – what exactly do they mean by free? They mean free from British rule but certainly not freedom of choice over our own bodies or, as we shall see, free from capitalist rule.

While Sinn Féin are quick to dish out their anti-water charges rhetoric down south, the mask is slipping on their deceitful stance.

Since 2007, 36,000 water meters (1,000 just in the past three months) have been installed in the north. Approximately 26,000 (or 72%) of these meters were installed during current MP Conor Murphy’s term as Minister for Regional Development (the department responsible for NI Water and therefore water metering). In fact, Murphy declined to reverse the decision to install water meters in the north when he was in office and Sinn Féin’s Mitchell McLaughlin MLA (member of the NI assembly) defended water charges in the North and criticised the SDLP for opposing them.

According to Sinn Féin, a decision has not been made on Water Charges up north. Only the naive would believe this claim. Why would £13m (€16.4m) plus an extra £43,500 (€60,323) just in the past three months be spent on installing meters - which are vital for water charges - if a decision has not been made on the matter yet?

How could Sinn Féin be trusted to stop metering down south if they are happy to allow it up north? The only purpose metering serves in the capitalist economy is water charges.

Sinn Féin claim to be left wing, according to Mary Lou they’re “a party to the left, of the left”. They also claim to be republicans, with socialism being one of the five strands of republicanism. The last time I checked, socialism and left wing politics are anti-Capitalist by nature.

Despite Sinn Féin’s rhetoric of “Burn the Bondholders” they would rather their wealthy American pals who donate thousands of pounds a year to the party were protected. Despite their condemnation that “A third of our children now live in consistent poverty. Public money – which should have been used to end the scandal of patients lying on trolleys; to house our citizens; and to create jobs – is being used to repay private bank debt” (Adams), they insist that they are “very good for business”, a well worn euphemism for commitment to the interests of the capitalist class. 'Pro-business' really means 'pro-capitalism'.

So who suffers from their pro-business politics? The Palestinians, the working class, and those who they claim they have successfully protected i.e. “people with disabilities, the long-term sick, and those on benefits”.

Where is the basis for such claims? Caterpillar Inc. has invested millions of pounds into the north, with Sinn Féin and McGuinness expressing “continued support for Caterpillar’s growth and development”. Machines built in West Belfast will be used to destroy homes, agricultural farms, greenhouses, olive groves in the West Bank. Despite this fact, McGuinness maintains that "Caterpillar is an important investor, not just in terms of jobs and wealth creation but also in the credibility that its presence lends to doing business here". Remember that this is coming from the supposed party of national liberation, of solidarity with the palestinian people.

Through the Stormont House Agreement - which Sinn Féin was the first party to ratify - 20,000 jobs will be cut in the Public Sector – women make up two thirds of the public sector and therefore will be disproportionately affected. They have also agreed to “welfare reform” which is really just a fancy term for welfare cuts. As well as that, the Disability Living Allowance will be cut as a result. What planet is Sinn Féin living on when they think that these measures successfully protect the working class, “people with disabilities, the long-term sick, and those on benefits”?

Staying true to their pro-business anti-working class politics they want to cut corporation tax in the north from 21% to 12.5%. They wish to do this while public funding is slashed and communities are feeling the devastating effects of the cuts, witnessing a rise in poverty with, for example, 25 food banks open because people cannot afford to eat. But let’s charge the big business and wealthy corporations less say Sinn Féin.

This is all done in the name of “job creation” i.e. creating more wage slaves. Job creation is a farce; there is work to be done in our communities. We need bigger and better schools and hospitals, suitable homes for all so that no one is on the streets or living in unsuitable conditions, our roads need repaired and we need more spaces for young people, to mention just some of the work that needs done. But building strong and safe communities is not profitable because taking our collective needs into our own hands does not fit the capitalist criteria of work, in fact, such a thing is dangerous to capitalism as it results in empowered and free-thinking individuals organising together and effectively fighting against capitalism. They will not provide us with the tools to improve our communities nor will they pay us if we take on the work ourselves and this is because it is not in their interest.

Sinn Féin claim that they are opposing austerity north and south. Patently this is a lie. They are implementing Tory cuts and if they do oppose them, they oppose them in empty words alone not in deed. Of course, you will hear the usual waffle from Sinn Féin, that their hands are tied, they have no choice but to do as the Tories say. If this is true, then surely Sinn Féin are not in Government and therefore they do not represent their voters, those who trust them to look after their needs and sort out their grievances.

But Sinn Féin are in government and they do have devolved powers over the north but they're not interested in opposing the Tories because it would put their cushy jobs at Stormont at risk. Real opposition would be refusing to implement the cuts and if that fails leaving the government so that there is no blood on their hands but it is clear that they are not interested in this and they have not organised a single public meeting to organise working class communities to fight back against the so-called Tory cuts, because it wouldn't be in Sinn Féin's best interests. “To glorify democracy and to silence the people is a farce; to discourse on humanism and to negate people is a lie.” (Paulo Freire).

Sinn Féin is no friend to the working class – especially working class women; from their refusal to allow a woman control over her own body in every circumstance to their contempt of sex abuse survivors of IRA predators (of course men are involved here as well).

The party jumps to tell big business what it wants to hear, no matter who will bear the brunt of their capitalist policies. But they do not jump to defend the working class and working class interests.
There is little-to-no difference between the southern establishment parties and Sinn Féin will be much the same, only with more colourful and lofty language to fool us so they can rule more efficiently.

A southern Sinn Féin government will look just like the northern government that Sinn Féin is a part of. “Austerity” politics for the working class and ample opportunities to exploit for big business. Of course there is the added bonus that these policies will be green, white and orange instead of red, white and blue.

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Out Now! - Solidarity Jan/Feb 2015

The Jan/Feb edition of Solidarity, the new newsletter of the Workers Solidarity Movement in the 6 Counties is now available. You can pick up a free copy at WSM events in both Derry and Belfast.

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Fight Slave Labour - Solidarity is Strength!

Today's successful protest in Derry outside the 'Steps to Success' offices in Queen St, was the first street action against ongoing 'slave labour' tactics designed to attack those of us on disability and unemployment payments being rolled out by ‘the great and the good’ up at Stormont.

This is an anti-working class Tory inspired policy which is part and parcel of the Welfare Reform Bill now accepted and being cordially introduced by Sinn Féin and the DUP.  Today’s action has to be welcomed as the beginning of a working class fight back which has to be vocal and in the streets.  

What is more important for anarchists is that any meaningful fight back capable of achieving results has to be grassroots lead, independent from politicians and those who would seek to use it as a possible vote-gathering vehicle as we plough towards the next set of elections in Stormont or Westminster. 

In the weeks and months ahead, as the cuts bite even further into the lives of working class communities across the six counties, public sector workers will also be making their voice, on streets as part of series of industrial actions on March 13th.  It’s equally important that unity and solidarity become much more than words as we face the bosses and the politicians, those who attempt to tell our class to tighten its belts further and have us pay for their own mistakes!   

 Solidarity is Strength!