Analysis

Lessons of the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association (NICRA)

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The Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association (NICRA) was formed in 1967. Many of its early members were drawn from the Dungannon based Campaign for Social Justice, a middle class grouping who had been collecting data on discrimination since 1964, along with some members of the Republican Movement and the Communist Party of Northern Ireland. Its demands were: one man - one vote; allocation of housing on a points system; redrawing of gerrymandered electoral boundaries; repeal of the Special Powers Act; abolition of the B Specials; and laws against discrimination in local government.

The Alternative Plan - What the Lucas plan proposed

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What was the alternative Lucas Corporate Plan? Over a period of two years a series of proposals that later became known as the Lucas Plan were drawn together through the active involvement of most of the workers in the 15 different Lucas factories. Its aim was to shift Lucas Aerospace, as a company away from the production of military goods, mainly for NATO (an emphasis that was capital intensive and had high profit margins for Lucas's owners) and towards the production of socially useful goods (which was a labour intensive field, relying more on the skills already in the Lucas Company).

Lucas Aerospace and the fight for useful work

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JOBS ARE UNDER threat all over the place. It is not just ones that are useful to us; like nursing, teaching, bus drivers; that are chopped. There are also workers in plants producing weapons, nuclear power, and so on whose futures are far from secure. Workers like those making missiles in Shorts in Belfast whose jobs could well vanish if privatisation plans are put into operation. While we don't want to see anyone tossed onto the dole we also need to question what is being produced and in whose interests, As well as fighting to save the jobs we should be bringing up this issue.

Daniel Guerin: Towards a libertarian communism

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Of all the reading which I did, in 1930, on the boat which took me to Indochina and back, of books which ranged from Marx to Proudhon, to Georges Sorel, to Hubert Lagardelle, to Fernand Pelloutier, to Lenin and Trotsky, those of Marx had without any doubt the greatest impact. These (books) opened my eyes, uncovered the mysteries of capitalist surplus-value, taught me about historical materialism and the dialectic.

The First Three Years Of The Workers Solidarity Movement - 1988

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A statement issued in 1988 after internal disagreements within the WSM had led to its partial collapse.  Those whom remained and rebuilt the organisation in the following years offered this analysis of what had been acheived and what had gone wrong.

Getting to grips with Sinn Féin's socialism - 1988

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Is Sinn Féin swinging to the left? It is as clear as day that there have been huge changes in the Republican Movement since the 1981 Hunger strike. What do these changes add up to, what sort of party is Sinn Féin today, what are its politics, what is its goal?

The Defend the Clinics Campaign - pro choice struggles in Ireland in 1988

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THE "DEFEND THE CLINICS Campaign" is running out of steam. The recent Information Picket on Dublin's O'Connell Bridge attracted only 20 people. It is unable to mobilise large numbers. Even those political parties with a pro-abortion policy are running scared of even raising the issue. It is not too surprising. It is only five years since the "pro-life" amendment to the constitution was voted through 2:1, and it is debatable how many of those who voted against were actually voting in favour of abortion rights. Since then there has been a further shift to the right in Ireland. Even the promotion of condoms as a means of preventing the spread of AIDS was a matter of great controversy.

Where has Workers Solidarity been - 1988

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WE ARE BACK. It is almost a year since the last issue of Workers Solidarity and you want to know what happened. Ireland has little or no anarchist tradition so rather than just learning from those who went before us we had to make a fair few mistakes while we were developing our politics and building the Workers Solidarity Movement. The biggest mistake we made was putting too much emphasis on day-to-day activities at the expense of achieving a deeper and clearer understanding of the anarchist idea; it's libertarian values as well as its socialist goal.

The Spanish Civil War - A Fresh Revolution - Chapter 4

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As said earlier Anarchists are against the state - all states, whether they be liberal democratic, monarchist or totalitarian. Anarchists view the state (the standing army, police, government, bureaucracy) as the organ through which the ruling class maintains its control over the majority of the population. Central to anarchism is the belief that the state must be smashed and replaced by a system based on workers' and community councils. Delegates from each workplace and community would go to regional councils which would then send delegates to a national and, eventually, international council. Delegates would be clearly mandated and all major decisions would be made at assemblies of workers.

Spanish Civil War - The Counter Revolution - Chapter 3

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The behaviour of the Spanish Communist Party and the United Socialist Party of a Catalonia (PSUC) had more to do with what was in the best interests of Stalin than what was in the best interests of the Spanish working class. They went out of their way to deny that a revolution had taken place. Then they did all they could to repress this revolution they pretended had not happened. As far as they were concerned the Civil War was only about restoring democracy to Spain. To see why they took this attitude we have to look outside Spain.

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