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Vote No to the Lisbon Treaty - WSM Leaflet

Date:

Lisbon - So What’s It All About Then?

Over recent months, there’s been endless talk about the Lisbon Treaty. Most political parties advise us that we’ll be embarrassed and economically ruined if we don’t vote ‘Yes’. Groups advocating a ‘No’ vote tell us that we will lose our democracy and sovereignty if we do vote ‘Yes’.

Making Cops Accountable - What Communities can do to organise resistance

Date:

The first thing I want to do is to commend the many people who have done sterling work to expose police corruption and unaccountability both in Ireland and elsewhere in recent years. In particular I want to commend the Wheelock family. One of the worst things that can happen any family is to lose a loved family member in circumstances such as the manner in which Terence was killed. To stand up to demand answers from the organs of the state is extremely difficult in such circumstances. To withstand harassment as a result to the extent that the Wheelock family have done compounds the difficulty. Wilting in the face of such harassment would be understandable. But that’s not going to happen. And that level of strength and courage is an example to all of us.

Towards a Cure - WSM Health Pamphlet

Date:

Radical health reform, in terms of creating equality and accessibility, and stopping the agenda of privatisation and for-profit medicine, is one of the great challenges facing Irish society.

In this pamphlet, anarchists explain the reasons why such change is needed, give examples of important first steps in creating change, and describe the type of struggle that is necessary if we are going to win.

Feminism, Class and Anarchism

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It is quite common these days to hear criticisms of “mainstream” or “middle-class” feminism from anarchists or others on the revolutionary, and even the not-so-revolutionary, left. In particular, anarchists are often quick to criticise any feminist analysis that lacks a class analysis. This article argues that feminism in its own right is worth fighting for and that when it comes to ending sexism an insistence on always emphasising class can end up merely distracting from the fact that as anarchists we need to be unambiguous when it comes to supporting feminism. Rather than distancing ourselves from other feminists or seeking always to qualify our support, our emphasis should shift to developing and promoting our own brand of anarchist feminism.

 

A System in Need of a Cure

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The healthcare system, upon which people in Ireland depend, is an apartheid system. Simply put, some lives are worth more than others. Rare attempts at reform have been stymied by historic, chronic underspending and vested interests. This legacy has forced the vast majority of working people to take out private health insurance and has laid the foundations for a neo-liberal push towards an American-style system of private medicine.

Despite the “economic miracle” called the Celtic Tiger that has led to Ireland having a higher GNP per head of population than much of the rest of the EU, it lags behind in terms of health outcomes. At age 65 we have the lowest life expectancy in the EU for both men and women. Indeed, the gap between Irish and EU life expectancy has been widening. Infant mortality rates are above the EU average. We have above EU mortality rates for cancer and coronary heart disease. Despite Ireland’s incidence of breast cancer being among the lowest in Europe, the death rate in 2001 from breast cancer was the highest in EU15. To cap it all, we have a widening income gap, which analysis suggests will of itself worsen our health experience since greater inequality is associated with higher mortality rates.

Putting The Gardai Under The Spotlight - The Royal Hotel meeting

Date:

Over 200 people packed into the Royal Dublin Hotel on Dublin’s O’Connell Street in early December for a public meeting on the topic ‘Democracy and Policing: How accountable are the gardaí to the Irish people?’ The meeting was addressed by

• Larry Wheelock whose brother Terence died in suspicious circumstances in Store Street Garda Station in Dublin over two years ago (see ‘Something Rotten in Store Street’ in WS99)

The Grassroots Gatherings

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In practice, the Grassroots Gatherings – and groups linked to them – have become the main (and the only continuous) networking of the “movement of movements” in Ireland. To date 10 gatherings have been held between 2001 and 2005. In keeping with the goal of autonomy and decentralisation, there has been no central committee; at the end of each gathering a group of activists has offered to host the next one in their own area and has got on with organising it in their own way, around an agenda set by themselves and with sometimes very different structures and themes.

Green Party in government in Ireland showing true colours

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For the first time in their history, the Irish Green party is in government. The deal that they struck with Fianna Fail has been criticised in many quarters as a “sell-out” – and with some justification, since the Greens have changed sides on the issue of Shannon airport’s use by the US military, the conflict between Shell and the residents of Rossport and the decision to route the M3 motorway through the lucratively re-zoned lands of Fianna Fail supporters, who happen to live near Tara. On these, and other issues, the Greens switched, overnight, from a position of opposition, to jobs in a government that is implementing them - with force when necessary.

Why Ireland stands to lose €400 billion in natural gas and oil deposits

Date:

Concerns about the safety of Shell’s pipeline in Rossport are well known. But that’s not all that’s at stake. Not by 400 billion euro (2007 figure). The oil companies exploiting Ireland’s west coast have got some of the sweetest deals in the world and that doesn’t happen by accident. This article looks at how the Irish state has been busy rolling over for the last thirty years so the multinationals can grab the riches that should belong to us all.

Direct Action Gets The Goods – But How?

Date:

Elsewhere in this magazine (see ‘Anarchism, Elections and all that’), the anarchist case against participation in elections is outlined. The alternative political strategy put forward by anarchists is the use of direct action. This article sets out to examine what is meant by the concept of direct action and also to argue that it is impossible to combine electoralism and direct action, that by its nature electoralism is disempowering, and that real direct action and participation in elections are mutually exclusive. Politics in Ireland and elsewhere is dominated by clientelism. People see themselves as needing politicians to “do stuff” for them. The politicians who are most successful are those who play the clientelist game most effectively. And left wing or socialist parties and candidates who decide to play the electoral game find themselves drawn into this clientelist game as well. This has huge implications in terms of how they approach campaigning work.

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