April 2009

Dublin: Grassroots Mobilisation Against Pension Levy And Budget Cuts

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Like many other trade unionists, our members voted overwhelmingly for industrial action against the pension levy. We thought that the trade union movement was serious about standing up for the interests of its membership. We did not think that the ICTU leaders could be so foolish as to throw away the energy and enthusiasm that was on display on the huge march on February 21st. But they did - for a promise of a ‘social pact’ with a government that is imposing wage cuts.

A history of the struggle for abortion rights in Ireland

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A detailed history with photos of pro-choice struggles in Ireland from the 1980's to 2007 and the involvement of Irish anarchist in those struggles. Includes the 1983 referendum (and those in 1986, 1992 & 1995) as well as the X-Case, the D-case and the Women on Waves ship. Written by a participant in almost all (if not all) of the events described.

IMAGE: DAIC picket at Dail with the then illegal abortion information number

Labour film festival in Dublin

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The Irish Film Institute, in conjunction with SIPTU, is running Dublin’s first ever Labour Film Festival. The event is one of many being organised to celebrate the Union’s Centenary.

It is also being assisted by the Washington DC Labour Film Fest, which has pioneered Labour Film Festivals around the world. The showing of each film will be followed by talks from leading industrial, social and cultural commentators.

Eamonn McCann: Why Visteon workers’ refusal to budge puts the focus on Ford

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Administrators KPMG will tomorrow morning ask the High Court in Belfast to order the Visteon workers out of the factory at Finaghy Road North which they have been occupying for the past month.

Cork: Mayday March

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Mayday each year is a time for workers to celebrate our history and a time to recharge our batteries for the difficult task at hand - overthrowing capitalism and achieving emancipation for our class!

Big banker bonus payments cuts for the rest of us

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If waged employees today do practically all real work, then the capitalist has no role other than collecting dividends, living the high life, and gambling on the Stock Exchange. The big banks, all of which are now kept afloat with our tax money, and most of which are now majority state-owned, are still paying massive “bonuses” to their top people.

Visteon occupations - Taking Direct Action

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The Visteon occupations show that we are far from apathetic when it comes to defending our jobs, wages and standard of living. Workers began occupying the Finaghy plant on March 31st, after administrators announced the loss of around 600 jobs at Visteon/Ford plants at Belfast, Basildon and Enfield in England. Davy McMurray, from the Unite trade union, said the way the job cuts were announced was "brutal." Workers were given six minutes notice of their sackings, being treated like mere commodities to be bought and sold, then discarded by our bosses when necessary.

ICTU calls off March 30 strike but we need to Resist To Win

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A bully is strolling across a schoolyard in Clara. He steals from, humiliates and hits the other kids. Whatever you decide is the best way to deal with him, there is one thing you probably won’t do. You won’t sit down with him over tea and biscuits and try to hammer out an agreement about how to convince everyone else that bullying is inevitable and might even be good for them.

Budget 2008 - Where's the Reaction?

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When Brian Lenihan announced his budget last October, two of the measures in particular were met with howls of outrage and his government was forced to back down post haste. The first of these - and the one most people remember because of the dramatic pictures of the Age Action meeting in Westland Row church where Minister of State John Moloney was booed off the stage – was the attempt to take away the automatic entitlement of over-70s to medical cards.

That's Capitalism - WS109

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Young Fine Gael just can't get away from their Blueshirt roots. Trinity College YFG vice-chair, Thomas Broe, has called for everyone between the ages 18-25 who has been unemployed for a year to be conscripted into the army.

Government gives away €315 billion to oil corporations!

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Long-term Rossport campaigner, Sean Mallory, gives his views on the give away of Ireland’s natural resources and the recession. While the Irish economy was built on a construction boom and massive inward investment, it seemed to go unnoticed that, by our governments own February 2009 estimate, there is €315b euro worth of oil and gas deposits all along our western seaboard. At the same time, the government tells us that it has no money to pay for cervical cancer tests and the construction of specialised multiple sclerosis units, amongst other vital services.

The Spirit Level - Living in an abnormal society

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This book sets out to show that unequal societies are bad for everyone in them. It does this by collating decades of research in the areas of health, crime, trust, mental health, obesity, education, teenage pregnancy and social mobility, all of which demonstrate statistically the connection between social inequality and social problems. The authors explain that, in hierarchical societies that are unequal in wealth and status, our social class affects all aspects of our lives. From an Irish perspective, one of the most interesting points they make may be about the connection between inequality, levels of trust in society and corruption.

What Can a Strike Achieve?

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People often pose the question, what can a strike achieve? The WSM policy on trade unions states the following: “What is anarchism? When we get down to basics, it is workers collectively running a free society. Instead of taking orders from the boss and serving his/her mad rush for profit at any cost, it is about working together for the common good.

Anarchism & the WSM

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April saw Workers Solidarity Movement members from around the country meet for their twice-yearly conference. As the WSM has a much fuller concept of democracy, it organises itself quite differently to the way Fianna Fail, Sinn Fein, the DUP or Labour do. The conference is open to every member and every member can put a motion for consideration. Decisions are made by majority vote. As well as setting out policy, the conference also elects officers and discusses how to put our policies into action in our day-to-day political activity.

London Calling to the Faraway Crowds

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At the beginning of April, the G20 group of major world economies met in London. Media attention focused as much on the confrontation between police and demonstrators outside the conference as on what was going on between the suits inside. The London police were their usual charmless selves and even managed to kill an uninvolved man, Ian Tomlinson, on his way home from work.

UCC Censors Pro-Choice Students

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Any excuse will do for the University College Cork “Societies Guild” in order to suppress the freedom of speech of pro-choice students. First it was that “a society already exists which caters for debate in the area of abortion and choice”. That society being the clearly anti-choice “Prolife” society – who have no interest in debate on the issue.

Why We Celebrate on Mayday

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The struggle against capitalism and authority is constant but each year on May Day the labour movement takes time out to celebrate its history and achievements. Rather than dwell on the hardships of struggle we take to the streets and remember what it is we are aiming for - the emancipation of our class. Climbing a mountain means paying close attention to the ground you walk but it's important to look up now and again in order to focus on exactly where it is you're headed.

1000 attend 2009 Anarchist Bookfair in Liberty Hall

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Around 1,000 people attended the 4th annual Dublin Anarchist Bookfair in March for a day of meetings, films, debates and - of course – lots of books. One of the organisers, Colette O’Reilly, felt the “growing interest in anarchist politics is reflected in the larger attendence and bigger book sales than last year”.

Interview with Charlie Maxwell- Deputy convenor at Ford/Visteon Belfast plant

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Interview conducted today at the plant. Workers remain determined to achieve their demands despite attempts by the administrators to evict them.

Solidarity is Strength!

Torab Saleh on the Iranian revolution - Audio

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Torab Saleh who took part in the Iranian revolution of 1979 spoke in Dublin of his personal experiences of that time and the challenges it presented to him and others on the left. This is the audio recording of that meeting.

Torab Saleh on the Iranian revolution of 1979 - HOPI meeting in Dublin by Andrew Flood on Mixcloud

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