In defiance of government spin nurses cry Enough is enough

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The West’s awake, so too the other provinces, as defiant nurses and midwives take to the picket lines. Buoyed by massive public support, members of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) took part in their first strike in 20 years.

Generally feeling undervalued and suffering the effects of prolonged understaffing and hospital overcrowding these workers counter-intuitively withdrew their labour in the first of a series of 24-hour work stoppages.

Known for their dedication and immense sense of good will which has for decades covered up the cracks in a health service that itself seems to be in ill-health, this female dominated profession has once again risen up to say “Enough is enough!”

Nurses strike to defend health system & demand pay parity begins

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This morning saw pickets being placed on hospitals all over the country as nurses and midwives strike against low pay. Pay now so low relative to rent and house prices that its impossible for many to find decent accommodation in the major cities on what they take home.
 
In that sense the strike has a direct importance to all workers. The Nurses strike is also essential to countering the right wing ideology that low corporate tax rates are more essential than good public services & housing. That ideology has ruled us for decades with all parties in power imposing it and is unchallenged in the media.

The Next Global Crash? On China and the 21st Century Crisis

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Today, China is the driving engine of global economic growth. A major crisis of the Chinese economy will almost certainly drag the global economy into the next recession in the 2020s. This may turn out to be far more damaging than the Great Recession of 2008.

Minqi Li is a political economist at the University of Utah and an advocate of China’s Maoist New Left [1]. His most recent book, ‘China and the 21st Century Crisis’, outlines capitalism’s next looming crisis. Regardless of the proximate cause, this coming crisis will be economic, political, and ecological. It will also be global.

Was winning the Repeal referendum inevitable?

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The vote to remove the ban on abortion from the Irish constitution in May 2018 was overwhelmingly carried, with almost 2 out of every 3 voters voting Yes remove the ban. The margin of victory was such that some post-referendum polemics made the mistake of arguing that victory was always inevitable, that the campaign didn’t matter. Such arguments tended to be made by opinion writers who never liked the Repeal campaign and in some cases published pieces during the campaign arguing that unless whatever aspect they disliked was dropped the referendum would be lost.

Alan MacSimoin remembered by Des Derwin

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In recent years I saw less of Alan than in previous years. Yet I regularly bumped into him and it was always an enthusiastic and humourous short reunion.  That’s because like many here Alan was involved in every campaign of the day But Alan seemed to be involved in  all the minor as well as the major campaigns. And going right back, and without a gap or a letup over five decades. And he remembered it all. And in detail!

[This is the speech Des Derwin delivered at Alan MacSimoin's wake]

The centre collapses - the Yellow Vests emerge

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On the apolitical labelling of the movement - Many of us have been following the Yellow Vest clashes on the streets of France with great interest and trying to understand this movement that appeared to come from nowhere.  It is another story of the pressures of late stage capitalism collapsing the center of politics, a center no longer able to fool more of the people most of the time.  A movement made possible by social media but which also reflects the often chaotic ‘apolitics’ of such movements.  And worrying in the context of the millions being poured into far right propaganda a movement in which the far-right have made some progress in infiltrating, even if our comrades in France are physically driving them out of the protests.

There is no such thing as an apolitical movement, all there can be is a movement with internal contradictions as well as internal struggles to resolve those contradictions.

Yellow Vests - People are ready to go onto the streets because they have nothing else to lose - audio

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A look at why the Yellow Vests will reject Macron’s concessions that takes the form of a discussion between two of our members, one of whom is a French migrant in Ireland who has been following the news and discussions in the movement in France online. Looks at the ‘concessions’, the formation of the movement, the clash with far-right infiltration and the contradictions of the relations between the Yellow Vest movement and climate change movement which also marched in Paris this weekend. Ends with a discussion of where the movement is now likely to go. [audio]

 

Alan MacSimoin - Rest In Power

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The WSM are shocked and deeply saddened to learn of the death of Alan MacSimoin, one of our founder members, a friend, and a key central figure in building the anarchist movement in Ireland for over four decades. Alan had not been a member of WSM for some years but remained politically active right to the end. His last Facebook post on November 29th was supporting the locked out bricklayers at Mary’s Mansions. Alan will be sorely missed by all in the WSM and we offer our heartfelt condolences to his family and friends.


Alan (right) leading a small pro-choice march in 2002

The housing crisis in Ireland - 8 points on the big picture

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The WSM has been having a 'big picture' discussion around the housing crisis from which the following points emerged. We are publishing them ahead of the December 1st demonstration in Dublon (14.00 Parnell square).

1. We built our cities and the houses of our cities. They are ours, not to slave in, but to master and to own*.

2. The contemporary crisis of capitalism has made markedly visible the relationship between finance capital and property speculation, between the concentrated money-power of bankers and speculators and the shaping of the built environment in our towns and cities.

Identity Politics is a Four way Conflict

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Discussions about Identity Politics (IdPol) absorbs a huge amount of energy across the political spectrum.  Discussion on the left however is often complicated and made overly hostile because they take place along the single axis of oppression which means proponents of IdPol get lumped in with Hilary Clinton while opponents get lumped in with Donald Trump.  This understandably encourages bad faith discussions that throw a lot of heat and very little light. Here we are going to argue that a much more useful exchange can happen when we instead create a plot where one axis is oppression and the second is exploitation as that puts both Trump & Clinton a good distance away from socialists. [Audio of this article]

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