Alex Amargi

'You Throw the Word Fascism around, but What is it?'

Date:

Whenever the topic of fascism arises, whether it's a fascist group being prevented from meeting, or a gang of far-right thugs attacking someone, often someone will demur in the following way:

'You like to use the word fascism, what is fascism in your mind? That word is used to scaremonger.'

There's Not Enough Time in the Day

Date:

There’s not enough bloody time in the day. I find the more my life goes on, the less time I have to live. I wake up around 6am to go to work, and after my commute home, cooking dinner, and attending to other errands, I have 1 hour to myself if I’m lucky. Often by the time I do these basic tasks it’s late enough that I know I’ll be shattered tomorrow and I’ll have to drag myself through the day. After five days I clamber to the shore of the weekend, but often find I’m so drained and conditioned by the work week I’m not myself. It’s a cycle which has no end in sight. Time is constantly on my mind. ‘Can’t do that, not enough time. Sorry, not enough time. Not enough time. I wish I had more time. Where does the time go?’ Checking my phone, what time is it, checking my phone, checking my phone. It does my head in and it’s not going to improve.

 

Homelessness: Shouldn't We Just Look After 'Our Own'?

Date:

When it comes to housing, most of us just want to sort everyone out because everyone needs a home regardless of who they are. However, occasionally an issue is raised about who the homeless are:

'Are all the homeless people Irish? And if so how can the government find houses for the refugees coming into Ireland and not their own people?'

There are lots of people in high places who benefit from us thinking that the reason for homelessness in Ireland is refugees and other migrants. Or that these people are causing 'us' a big problem. It's understandable why some people believe that, after all the media spreads this message constantly, but it's just not accurate.

Dublin Pride 2016 Reflections - Queer liberation, not rainbow capitalism

Date:

I had mixed feelings attending Pride, but mostly felt bewildered and pissed off. I was looking forward to this year's Pride for quite some time. It was my second ever Pride, and I came to march with the Radical Left Bloc, one of two radical blocs attending, which was organised by others. Like last year, I was shocked – somehow again – by the level of corporate infestation and toothlessness.

Here is an important question for everyone: what's the point of Pride?  From being there, I know clearly that people's answers to this question vary hugely.

Why we say Black Lives Matter and not All Lives Matter

Date:

Black Power salute in front of Black Lives Matter banner outside GPO in DublinThere's a funny glitch in both US and Irish society that whenever 'Black Lives Matter' (BLM) is said, inevitably there's an echo of 'All Lives Matter' (ALM). Like good social technicians let's try and fix that glitch.

Black Lives Matter is variously accused of being 'racist', 'divisive', and 'distracting' from what's 'really' happening and 'real' issues. But this is mistaken.

'Black Lives Matter' is not a statement made in a vaccuum, out of nowhere - 'Black Lives Matter' is a response. It's a direct response to every killing of a black person by the police, as agents of the white supremacist state. Every killing, and the subsequent indifference of (white) society and impunity of the killers, is a message: BANG, BANG, 'Black Lives Don't Matter'. 'No' is the reply, 'Black Lives Matter'.

What is 'Self-Organisation'? A Basic Introduction

Date:

What is 'self-organisation'?

Listen to anarchists for long enough, and you'll hear us praising the 'self-organisation' of various movements or groups and insisting that political activity needs to be more 'self-organised'. But what does this mean? Why is this important?

It can be an odd-sounding term, but basically 'self-organisation' is doing stuff without relying on or waiting for external leadership or a central authority. A 'self-organised' movement doesn't wait for parties, unions, or whatever leader, to give it orders. A 'self-organised' group isn't controlled from the top-down. Self-organisation – like a related idea, 'self-management' – is at the core of anarchism. It makes us more effective, and gives us an opportunity to practice real democracy.

Thinking about Anarchism - Anarchism and the State

Date:

Ever wonder why the Gardaí show up in large numbers when you’re trying to stop water meters in your estate, but haven’t got the resources to come straight out when you think your neighbour’s house is being burgled? If so, you’re thinking about the state.

 

Misconceptions & Reality
 

The most common misconception about anarchism is that it is in favour of ‘chaos’ or some sort of world generally devoid of order and democratic institutions which would leave us at the mercy of predators within our society. Therefore it aims for the destruction of civilisation and democracy itself, which in this view are represented by the state – the guarantor of peace, freedom, and of course, roads.
 

 

 

The Water Revolt: Ireland 2015

Date:

The campaign against the water charges is the most widespread and powerful grassroots movement in recent Irish history. With hundreds of local campaign groups, daily direct actions, and 4 national demonstrations on the order of 50,000-100,000, the cynical refrain that 'the Irish don't protest' has rapidly been replaced by a sense of ubiquitous rebellion. Irish Water is a depraved neoliberal world in effigy, embodying many of the worst problems of our society including the rule of international finance (and private greed in general) at the cost of the vast majority's well being, and the chronic disconnection of the populace from decision making. As such the movement has become a platform for opposition to austerity, the bank bailout, privatisation, the government, party politics, the EU, and more. Thousands of people have experienced a political (re-)awakening. But while it is possible that we will win this battle, and abolish Irish Water, this struggle represents a precious opportunity to make a grassroots offensive after so many years of being beaten down.

 

Direct Action: A Basic Introduction - Video & Text

Date:

An introductory video on what direct action is and isn't, providing illustrations from the campaign against the water charges.

Direct action is at the heart of the struggle against the water charges, from preventing meters being installed, to Meter Fairies removing them, to boycotting registration and the water bills in April. But what is direct action, and what is it not?

Water Charges: We've Got Them Surrounded. Imagine Winning. What Comes Next?

Date:

We can win this battle but we would be fools to settle for that. As someone said at the January 31st demonstration, 'we have them where we've wanted them for years'. Our opportunity is huge, with a great multitude politically awakened and eager to change society. So the question is presented: will we waste this opportunity to make a better world or will we seize it? What do we do once we win, and how should that affect what we do now?

This raises lots of other broad questions we should all ask ourselves:

  1. Is voting in a new government enough?
  2. Should we keep the system the same, or try something new?
  3. How do we achieve that better world?
  4. What would a better system look like?

Like what you're reading?
Find out when we publish more via the
WSM Facebook
& WSM Twitter

Syndicate content