What is the Workers Solidarity Movement?


The Workers Solidarity Movement (WSM) is an anarchist organisation in Ireland. We have branches and members throughout the country and are involved in many different groups and struggles.

We are a different sort of political group. We don’t want you to vote for us. We don’t want to be the new rulers. This is not because we are against democracy. We are totally in favour of it. But by democracy we do not mean letting professional politicians in the Dáil run our lives. We mean people coming together to make their own decisions.

We want people to self-organise themselves, in a grassroots and democratic fashion. We don’t see ourselves as leading struggles and campaigns, or groups like trade unions, by simply taking over bureaucratic positions, but encourage self-organisation and militancy within them. 

As well as this, we see our role in society is to spread anarchist ideas and methods of organising, and to help anarchism become the predominant political movement in Ireland. 

We believe in socialism, individual freedom, and direct democracy. We want to see an Ireland made up of a federation of community and workplace councils, connected and co-ordinated by mandated, recallable delegates.

We want to see democracy in the workplace, and democracy in the community, where the people who make the decisions should be the one’s affected by them. We are anti-authoritarians.

We are against the current capitalist system in Ireland, which concentrates wealth and power in the hands of a minority of people, the 1%. When we say socialism or communism, we don’t mean the totalitarian nightmares of Stalin’s Russia or North Korea. We want directly democratic socialism, where the means of production are owned in common by the people who work in them and by the community. We want a society based on the maxim “from each according to their abilities, to each according to their needs”. We want a society that isn’t divided up into classes, of bosses and shareholders and workers, of landlords and tenants. This is anarchism.

The WSM itself is a democratic organisation run along these lines. We have two categories of membership: members and supporters. Members are those who commit themselves to a certain level of activity within the organisation, pay dues and attend most branch meetings. Supporters are those who broadly agree with our politics, and would like to help out with certain things, but do not necessarily have to time to be fully active. Supporters pay dues, attend some meetings when they can and help on projects and activities that they are interested in.

Within the broader anarchist movement, we are part of the platformist current. We favour specific anarchist groups with a reasonable level of coherency in ideas and tactics, to work amongst the organisations of our class such as trade unions and community groups. We are anti-imperialists, but advocate an anarchist strategy rather than a nationalist one. We are against racism, against sexism, against homophobia, against transphobia and against fascism. 

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This article is from Workers Solidarity 126, March 2012