WSM Publications - archived version of old paper which was replaced Nov 2015


This is the text of the WSM publications paper as it appeared up to Nov 2015 when it was replaced by a complete rewrite of the paper.  Tbhis version is preserved for archival purposes. [ go to current paper ]

A collectively agreed document on WSM publications as drawn up by National Conference. Amended May 2010 to add the section on the WSM Newsroom. Amended Spring Conference 2012.


Our publications


1. The production of communication material is a central activity for revolutionary organisations enabling them to reach beyond the relatively small number of people that can be talked to on a face to face basis.  The world of publishing is being transformed in the current period through a range of technologies running from the internet to very cheap mass printing.  Our methods for distribution of communication material should make the best use of these technologies rather than just being based on producing written material in particular formats that are traditional for the left because once it was all that was particularly feasible.  In particular the production and mass distribution of audio and video is very much more possible that it was previously.

2. The different purposes communication information can be used for vary considerable.  Some examples are below:
News - needs to be produced and distributed quickly, with our current resources this makes the internet particularly effective local organising - need to be able to saturate particular areas with targeted material relevant to that neighborhood / workplace - local newsletter and leaflets will tend to be most effective
tactical & strategic argument - need to be able to target the people that are active around that issue with what will often be relatively long & complex arguments.  In some cases, particularly where a physical distribution node exists that most of the people targeted will be at, printed booklets will be most effective.  In other case publishing online and then heavy promotion of that material both on and off-line may be more feasible.
Radicalization and creating anarchists - material designed to move people to more radical politics and get them interested in anarchism.  Clusters of communications that offer detailed analysis over a range of subjects from current events to theory are likely to be useful in presenting the broad scope and applicability of anarchism in understanding the transforming the world. 
Attracting attention - in some cases we will be physically handing material to people or posting it through their door box.  But as that method of distribution is time consuming we also need to create the conditions under which people seek out our material.  This requires communication methods that grab people's interest whether in the form of stickers, graffiti, 'viral' videos, tweets etc.

3. All national publications will have an editorial group that is elected by national conference. There should be at least one woman on the committee of Workers Solidarity, Red and Black Revolution committee and the Pamphlet committee (in circumstances where a women is willing to take become a committee member). National conference will set general guidelines for this group to follow which will include key areas to cover, the general balance of articles required in the publication and an annual budget for the publication. In between national conferences the editorial groups are answerable to Delegate Council.

4. Each editorial group will have the following responsibilities, these in general include all aspects of publication from the commissioning of articles to the arrival of the material back from the printer and further distribution of it.
a) ensure that the publication is produced according to deadline, this includes the writing of additional material by the editorial group itself if this is required to make the deadline.
b) ensure that the publication is in agreement with the requirements set by national conference and listed at the foot of this position paper.
c) ensure that articles are within the agreed WSM policy or they are clearly marked as the work of a guest writer or part of a debate.
d) ensure that articles are proof read and free of typographical mistakes
e) arrange the layout, delivery of print ready material and collection of finished material from the printers. In general this should all be carried out by a member of the editorial group or where this is not possible by the co-option as a 'non-voting' member of the group by someone with the required skills.
f) distribute the publication to those responsible for its public distribution
g) encourage all members to submit articles for publication and offer help to new members in particular to prepare articles for publication. For the first two or three articles any new member submits a member of the editorial committee should provide detailed feedback to them on the editing of their article, where possible they should attend the meeting at which the editing takes place.
h) ensure that articles are posted to the WSM website
I) solicit feedback and opinions on both the design and content of their publications from each branch before and after completing each issue.
j) as of our October 2008 conference each editorial group will launch an organisation wide enquiry into how members relate to the WSM's publications.

This enquiry will engage with the following themes;
1. Do our members feel that our publications reflect their politics?
2. Do our publications have the social resonance required to contribute to building radical anti-capitalist critique and encouraging the growth of anti-authoritarian and socialist tendencies in society?
3. Are there in existence alternative methodologies for delivering our ideas to those areas we wish to intervene in?

They will submit a written report of the results of their inquiry to delegate council in April 09

Editorial boards that fail to fulfil all the criteria above should be recalled and replaced at the first opportunity.

5.1 Where significant changes in the meaning of an article are being made, the editorial committee should attempt to contact the author to explain them and solicit feedback. If the author is not agreeable to the changes or cannot be contacted, then the editorial committee may publish the changed article under an editorial pseudonym or may decide to drop the article.

5.2 The editors may make changes to improve the language, coherence, and overall clarity of an article without recourse to the writer but should explain their reasoning if requested to do so.

6. The organisation raise the profile of women by either including articles written by or about women in our publications and/or including graphics which depict women in struggle

7. Specific publications

7.1 Irish Anarchist Review is a free theoretical newspaper aimed at people with some experience of contemporary radical social movements and anti-capitalist critique. It's aim is to provide a political focus or point of identification for layers at home and abroad that agree with aspects of our politics, to develop theoretical discussion among these sectors and to provoke debate and exchange within our movements. It will be distributed for free as a printed intervention at the points or hubs where people gather to consume and discuss politics and movement activity.

7.2 Workers Solidarity is a free paper aimed at people that have entered into some form of radical activity. Its primary purposes are
- to bring people into contact with the WSM
- to provide an anti-capitalist & anti-authoritarian perspective
- to explain and argue the WSM position on current issues
- introduce people to the basics of anarchist theory and history.

7.3. Workers Solidarity Pamphlets are aimed at providing substantial anarchist analysis of specific historical, theoretical and practical issues.

7.4 When the WSM publishes a pamphlet, each branch will order and pay for a minimum of three copies per member (.e.g. if a branch has eleven members it will buy at least thirty three copies). These can then be distributed through sales to contacts, at street stalls, public meetings, etc.

7.5 Branches can produce local newsletter as required to act as a focus for WSM local organising.

7.6 Issue leaflet - at least twice a year we will produce, in very large quantities, a 4 page leaflet taking an issue that is of interest to people and presenting a detailed anarchist position on the issue and how struggle can be conducted around it. The Dublin Shell to Sea 'Someday Independent', of which over 100,000 were distributed, is an example of the quality of look and analysis we will aim for. As well as raising awareness on the targeted issue the major goal will be to encourage low level engagement with the WSM by for example generating sign ups to our Facebook page.  DC will identify what issue is to be covered next and delegate an editor and two other members to prepare the text.

8. All WSM publications will be supplied in text and PDF to the WSM web site by the person delegated to do the layout. ALL publications will be supplied as soon as they are laid out and can be published before the printed version returns from the printer.

9. WSM public site

a) The WSM newsroom is an editorial collective elected from conference.

b) With internet publication speed is often one of the most important factors. Therefore the Newsroom will agree protocols for instant publication of short news alert as well as protocols for the editing and publication of longer pieces.

c) These protocols will include style sheets that members are expected to follow when submitting material as well as guidelines on checking articles do not contradict existing WSM policy and ensuring articles are readable without undue rewriting of submissions. They will also include provisions for Newroom members to dispute decisions and for such disputes to be reviews and decided on. They will also include procedures for any member to dispute publication or non publication of a piece, for the Newroom to initially rule on this and for such pieces then to be referred to the next Delegate Council with the members objections and the Newsroom ruling for review.

d) The newsroom team will agree protocols for the republication of material from other organisations and individuals on the WSM website and for distinguishing this material on the site from WSM material that has been collectively edited. The Newsroom can also request people from outside the organisation to write for the WSM site and where they are trusted give them the means to self submit articles for publication.

e) All protocols and changes to protocols must be ratified by the next Delegate Council and available to all WSM members on the internal WSM site.

f) The Newsroom will select articles for preparation as short printed publications and arrange to either have these printed and distributed to branches in longer print runs and/or make available as PDF's on the web site for Print on Demand by branches and users of the site. Delegate council will set a budget for this activity every six months.


Short term perspectives

S1.1 S1.1 At least 4 Workers Solidarity will be produced each year. The print run can vary between 2,000 and 10,000 according to what opportunities the editorial collective thinks will exist for the distribution of each issue. The editorial committee should post any change in the print run to the internal site.

S1.2 Delegate Council is authorised to regulate the frequency of Workers Solidarity, it can decide to move to a monthly or fortnightly publication if it deems it appropriate.

S1.3 The editorial committee may increase the frequency to 8 issues without recourse to D.C.

S1.4 Delegate Council may alter the composition of the editorial committee in between conferences.

S1.5 The editorial committee may allocate responsibilities for the production of WS amongst themselves.

S1.6 Each branch will inform Delegate Council of the minimum number of each issue it wants to regularly receive.

S1.7 Any decision by Delegate Council regarding frequency of print run and publication, composition of the committee, and its allocation of responsibilities takes precedence over the views of the editorial committee.

S2. Each branch will give a commitment to identify a number of places where communities of political interest, activists, and social movement actors congregate. Each branch will give a commitment to developing these sites as hubs for the distribution of Ideas & Action. Each branch will give a commitment to identifying individuals and groups they campaign with that can act as distributors of Ideas & Action.[Oct 2008]

S3. All WSM publications (papers, magazines, leaflets, posters, pamphlets, etc.) will carry the classic WSM logo as updated to the contemporary city scape shown at conference, postal address and URL. [Oct 2008]

S4. The WSM raise the profile of women by always having an article on women in our publications. They can be “women and” type articles which look at how women experience oppression under capitalism. More importantly there should be articles that highlight the often-invisible work done by women. The aim is to provide a role-model; presenting being an activist or a revolutionary something as ‘normal’ if you are women. We should interviews (because they are accessible and personal) as well as ordinary articles. All members should write a portion of the articles. [DC Jan 2006]

The WSM recognises that poster art has always played apart in communicating radical political ideas. Currently in Dublin and elsewhere there are laws prohibiting and limiting the scope political posters. WSM, whilst deciding when and how to challenge this repression of political ideas and privitisation of public space and dialogue, will use other avenues available to us to design, distribute and place posters, stickers etc.

We commit to printing 2 generic politically themed posters each year, and a similar or larger number of themed stickers both of which we will make available for distribution to our supporters for use as they see fit. Poster designs and print runs will be passed at DC.  [Oct 2008]

S6. The Editorial committee of Workers Solidarity may remove inactive groups or campaigns from the ‘Contacts’ column from future issues.

S7. That the WSM should create a brochure page to become the landing page at The page would not be intended as a replacement for the current site but rather as a landing area for first time visitors. The current site would be aimed at repeat visitors looking for ongoing news/analysis.
The goals of the brochure site would be:
1. People signing up to get more information from us (Facebook, Twitter, email, etc)
2. People finding out what WSM is
3. People finding out what anarchism is
4. People finding out about campaigns we’re involved in
5. People finding our news/analysis site

Amended April 2012 - replaced Nov 2015