WSM conference report early 2009


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.

Of course, not all decisions can wait until the next conference, so each branch sends two delegates to a monthly Delegate Council (DC) to set policy between conferences and co-ordinate between branches. An agenda is circulated in advance, so that members can discuss the pros and cons of suggestions. A branch can vote on a motion and have their delegates bring those votes to the DC, e.g. 9 for and 7 against. Sometimes a branch will give their delegate a ‘flexible mandate’ to decide which way to vote after hearing the debate at DC.

When we need to make a really quick decision about something where we have no existing policy, we have an Interim Decisions Committee made up of one elected member from each branch.

So that every member can always know what’s going on, minutes of all meetings and records of all decisions are posted on our internal website, where members can also engage in political discussion and debate.

The most important body in the WSM is the local branch where members meet (weekly or fortnightly) to discuss political matters and organise the work of the organisation. This is where power lies in the WSM, we have no time for domineering leaders or all-powerful committees. In a small way we hope that how we organise ourselves gives some indication of what anarchists mean by real democracy.

If you like the idea of a socialist and freedom-loving society you can do your bit. Get in touch and find out more about the WSM, we have members throughout the country and are happy to meet up with you. Take a bundle of 20 (or more) copies of this paper to give to friends, work colleagues or to put through neighbours’ letterboxes. Readers are already doing it in Belfast, Cork, Derry, Dublin, Greystones, Letterkenny, Sligo, Galway, Bray, Bushmills and Limerick. Just drop a note to our address or email

Workers Solidarity 109 May - June 2009 Edition

Download the PDF file of WS109