Report of Autumn 2006 WSM national conference.


The Workers Solidarity Movement held its Autumn 2006 National conference in Seomra Spraoi, a social centre in Dublin. The conference saw around two thirds of the membership attending with greetings sent from our comrades involved in the struggle in Rossport.National Conference opens with questioning the reports given by various office holders, editorial committees etc. A summary of these reports follows - quite a lot of details and indeed areas involving relationships with other groups have been removed, as these were not written for public consumption.

National secretary’s report.
 We have enjoyed 13% growth over 6 months. All new members are male, which we hope to address in our gender balance discussions. Delegate council (dc) has met in Galway and Derry to allow delegates to help with public meetings being held there which had the disadvantage that delegates were often quite tired. In may DC agreed to set up working groups (WG) on Energy, Work and anti-Imperialism, which have mostly failed to function while many members are involved in these issues on a branch level or as delegates to other groups.

Three wsm members attended the IWU conference last april with one being elected chair of the Dublin branch.. Two members have been living the the Rossport Solidarity Camp with other members calling in. In june half of the membership attended a solidarity weekend in the camp and again in August.

In July the May 1st branch organised an anarchist hiphop night with emcee lynx with the proceeds going to Anarchists Against The Wall. The speaking tour had successful meetings in Galway and Waterford. A mini anarchist festival was organised in Derry by a WSM member in September which 11 wsm members travelled up to. Around 20 people from Derry attended the meetings and 100 plus attended the gig that night which was a fund raiser for Just Books. WSMmna organised a successful Revolutionary Women Dayschool in Dublin last June, with women-only session and sessions open to men and women. An anti-police brutality tour was also organised for the group “pig-brother”.

Dublin members played a prominent part in organising a protest at Baldonnel on Easter Sunday with one member being arrested. Members also took part in the protests against the HMS ocean, attended the Pitstop Ploughshares court cases and took part in marches in July and September. In Derry a member was involved in a campaign against Raytheon. Members are attending AWI and AWN meetings with discussion at branch level of the “Boycott Israel” call. As of yet no decision has been made. In cork an anti-war public meeting was held in may with 30 people attending.

The Jack branch took a decision to support the Terrence Wheelock campaign around and have a member on the campaigns organisational committee. The branch welcomed the opening of Seomra Spraoi and two members are involved in the collective that runs it. The May 1st branch held a public meeting with Wayne Price from NEFAC and have been producing a local paper in the liberties. Both branches have enjoyed educationals on Civil Society, the left, & the libertarian movement, Energy, Technology and the division of labour, No Platform to Fascists etc

The Afghan cathedral protests was a period of sudden and intense activity in Dublin with one member playing a very major role in supporting the hunger strikers but with all the other Dublin members turning up for vigils at the Cathedral at different points in time. Disucssions of the events and the limited racist counter protests of some locals led Jack White to produce a poster on the issue and 1st of May to produce and distribute door to door in the area 3000 copies of ‘The Libertarian’ that focused on this. - The libertarian - Poster

The 1916 Working Group was an intiative of 1st of May and mostly met in the previous period. It failed to deliver on its original ambitious intentions however three articles were published online on the rising, two at the time of the anniversary and a third in RBR12.
A page was also made on linking all the WSM articles and some historical documents. - 1916 articles

Bookservice report
We have seen a healthy amount of book sales since last spring. The biggest sales were at the Galway WSM public meeting and the Rossport Solidarity Camp. Most others were by post or to members and callers to the office. A NEW CATALOGUE was produced

Growth and Gender
A discussion on Growth and Gender balance was held in which two motions were passed which will be added to "Our perspectives"

These motions were;
"We will follow up the successful public meetings held in Galway, Limerick and Derry by attempting to establish anarchist discussion groups in each of these cities with a view to ultimately establishing a WSM branch in each of these areas. To do this, each branch will take responsibility for co-ordinating with one of the areas as follows Cork-Limerick; Jack White-Derry; 1st May-Galway"

"We welcome the recent growth in libertarian and anarchist organisations. We believe that the more organised anarchists there are the better and so in particular we see the establishment of Anarchist Youth(AY) and the Revolutionary Anarcha Feminist Group (RAG) as really positive steps. The AY website and the RAG magazine are both fora through which anarchist ideas can be spread and debated. While respecting their autonomy, we will seek to work closely with both groups in the coming period. All branches will discuss how such co-operation can be furthered with a view to bringing back proposals to the January Delegate Council."

Proposals were also made which are to be discussed by the branches.

Neighboorhoods, Workplaces and Campaigns
No motions had been submitted to this session. Conference agreed to put money into buying a mobile phone and credit for the WSM members in Rossport to be sent to the camp so communication could be more reliable. We agreed that the national secretery would send a solidarity statement on behalf of WSM and to send a donation of 500euro to the camp.

National co-ordination
Anti-election motion passed;
"We will initiate an anti-election campaign to focus on next year's general election. All branches are asked to discuss this within the next month with a view to bringing definite proposals to the December delegate council."

Discussion followed on the use of delegate council to work out our positions on struggles and groups we are involved with.