Capitalist crisis

Anarchist articles, audio and video on the bank and property crash and the resultant crisis in capitalism in Ireland and internationally

A general strike requires organisation not just rhetoric

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With the first massive union demonstrations against the cuts the WSM argued that only a general strike could force the government to stop targeting workers and the poor to pay for the crisis. Three years on it has become clear that such a strike will not materialize unless we rebuild mass participation at the base of the unions.

The one day public sector strike revealed just how weak our unions have become at the base. Almost none of us had been on strike and a culture had been allowed to develop in most unions where members are not expected to turn up to local meetings or AGM's unless they have a grievance. Although the organisation was often chaotic the public sector strike was just about pulled off but it was a one day symbolic action - to win we would need an indefinite strike that lasted until the government backed down. Could you organize your fellow workers in your branch to agree to, organize for and implement such a strike?

Millions to strike on Nov 30th against cuts in the north & Britain

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Millions of public sector workers will be taking to the picket lines across the UK including tens of thousands in the North on the 30th November against the latest Government austerity measures that seek tol force workers to work for longer for less.  All the mainstream unions from NIPSA, Unison to GMB have successfully balloted their members, from teachers & council workers to bus drivers for the co-ordinated industrial action against the proposed new pension scheme. The scheme which will see people who day in, day out, care for our young, our frail, our elderly, our homes, streets and parks; the people who, after decades of service, be lucky to have £5,600 per year to live on when they retire.

We need to develop a new strategy in the unions

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Since the start of the economic crisis the trade union movement have produced excellent analysis of government policy warning that the austerity measures being pursued “could turn Ireland into a social and economic wasteland”[1] But our movement has failed to come up with a strategy to resist the government/EU-IMF attacks. We’ve been marched around Dublin on an annual basis and listened to speeches that are more about letting off steam than planning a fightback. Our union leadership do not have either a vision of how resistance can be built or confidence in the membership to develop an alternative economic strategy.

Major victory for INTO union grassroots as leadership issues directive against JobBridge

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In a statement issued after a meeting of the union’s Central Executive Committee (CEC) today (Thursday 17th November), the Irish National Teachers Organisation has said that the INTO “is not in a position to support the JobBridge initiative” and “will be directing members not to participate in the JobBridge scheme.” The issuing of this directive is a major victory for grassroots organising within the INTO.  When JobBridge was first announced by the government during the summer, and when the Department of Education and Science issued a circular on how it would be applied in schools in September, the union leadership’s first reaction was to refuse to issue a directive.  This despite the fact that it was clear to everyone that JobBridge was simply FAS’s Work Placement Programme (WPP) by a different name.

Eurozone Appoints New Dictators in Greece and Italy l

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Armoured cars and tanks and guns did not come to take away their sons, but the peoples of Greece and Italy last week found that their elected governments had been replaced overnight by a new postmodern dictatorship of ECB-appointed "technocrat" Viceroys. Clearly in the new Eurozone, the old liberal dogma that modern capitalism and liberal democracy are joined at the hip, has turned out to be just another fairy story.

New Government plans more cuts in 2012 Budget

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Another budget looms. The Irish public again find themselves with their head under a guillotine looking up at this budget wondering about the weight behind the blade.  We are subjected to daily media leaks of what they are going to do to us in this:  Less dole, more job losses for those who have them, stopping medical cards for a few months, all the wild and fearful possibilities of a worse life for many people are being floated.    What is different this time when you compare it to the previous three or is it four austerity budgets?  We’ve been in crisis for some time now but this time the government is different.

Resistance pays off in Greece as bond holders burnt

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Months of intense resistance by ordinary people in Greece appear to have resulted in a partial victory. The EU crisis summit conceded that bond holders be forced to shoulder 50% of their losses. This did not come easy, Greek workers have staged several general strikes and Athens has seen day after day of large scale rioting.

The contrast with Ireland is clear. Here the union leadership called off token resistance in the first months of the crisis and workers passively marched, shrugged their shoulders and went home. As a result the ordinary Irish worker alone, the majority of 'the 99%', have shouldered all the costs. Bond holders will scontinue to have their failed gambles covered. Next week alone another 700 million will be handed over to the Irish & global 1% to cover their losses in Anglo. This is our ‘thanks’ for being the poster boys for austerity across Europe.

Greece & the crisis - Seeds of Hope

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There is no doubt that the political history of Greece is full of oppression and political struggle - from dictatorships to political prosecutions, jailings, exiles, shootings, torture, civil war, and countless strikes, demonstrations, occupations and protests that are put down by extreme state violence.

 
But no matter how much the people are trying their best, again and again they end up falling short of pulling off a full scale revolution, even though the potential to do so is there – or so it appears.

Noam Chomsky, Naomi Klein, Michael Moore, Michael Albert on the Occupy 'x' movement

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A large number of left writers & film makers have come out in support of the Occupy X movement, often speaking at the various occupations.  Here are video's of Noam Chomsky, Naomi Klein, Michael Moore & Michael Albert talking about the movement.

Government to Cut Rent Allowance but NAMA has 90,000 empty units

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1 billion euro in welfare cuts are being hinted at by the government for Decembers budget. One of the areas identified for potential savings is rent allowance. Rent allowance payments total 500 million per year, they are subsidies to help pay the rent of people who qualify due to low incomes, mostly people on the dole or other welfare payments. There are 95,000 recipients.  The money goes to private landlords and is paid on half the housing rental property in the state.

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