Tom Murray

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What Pegida represents and why we oppose it

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A COUNTER-DEMONSTRATION TO the announcement of an Irish branch of Pegida, a racist anti-Islam group, will occur in Dublin on 6th February. It will be one of a series of Europe-wide counter-demonstrations against Pegida and its fascist political ideology.
 

Creating the Commons: on the meaning of Bolivia’s water wars

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In the history of humankind every act of destruction meets its response, sooner or later, in an act of creation’ - Eduardo Galeano

In Bolivia, there have been remarkable experiences in urban peripheries, notably in Cochabamba, that reveal the capacity of grassroots associations to construct a free society based on solidarity and mutual aid. The background to the country’s Water War of April 2000 must be understood against preceding waves of struggle, particularly the huge marches for sovereignty and livelihoods of coca growers, Amazonian groups, and others that emerged with the implementation of the neoliberal model in 1985 [1]. Subsequent mine closures and rural migration occasioned huge increases in Bolivia’s urban centres, particularly in Cochabamba, the country’s third largest city. The state water company, Semapa, served only half of the city’s population. In the neglected southern peripheries, neighbourhood groups organised associations to bring water to their homes. Cooperatives, formed without state assistance, dug wells, built water mains, and even created drainage and sewers. In cases where wells could not be dug, the committees bought their own water tankers and organised daily deliveries. By 1990, some 140 urban water committees had formed in the south of Cochabamba, with between 300 and 1000 families in each one [1].

 

On visiting the Zapatista community of Oventic

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Last November, I took part in a week-long language school at Oventic, Chiapas.[1] I spent the week living and learning with two US-based comrades – Laila, a tattoo artist and socialist/feminist from Memphis, and Michael, a housing rights activist from Baltimore – alongside the wider Zapatista community of Oventic. Our ‘guides’ for the week were our neighbours – Natalio and Paloma as well as Stephanie (who was learning to be a teacher) and Efrain (a linguist, philosopher and educator all rolled in to one). These were the people we met and spoke with every day. What follows are some reflections recorded along the way.   

 

Horizons of our imaginations: Anarchism and Education

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Tom Murray looks at anarchist principles of education and argues that autonomous, co-operative learning is central to our finding new ways of challenging authority and dis- covering freer, more equal ways of being in the world.

Squatting, Urban Politics & the Dublin Housing Action Committee: 1968-71

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The contemporary crisis of capitalism has made markedly visible the relationship between finance capital and property speculation, between the concentrated money-power of bankers and speculators and the shaping of the built environment in our towns and cities.

Covid and Class Struggle in Ireland's Meat Plants

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A fresh outbreak of Covid 19 in a meat plant in Waterford this week brings to a total of 44 the number of clusters in meat plants across the State in the past 6 months, or some 1,600 confirmed cases of the virus. One cluster is unfortunate, two might be carelessness, but forty-four is capitalism. The sustained outbreaks of COVID 19 in Ireland’s meat plants reveal how the meat industry and its management really operate on the basis of unchecked power and exploitation. And that’s a problem for us all. 

 

Photo: Standing room only. Meat plant workers on the 6am bus to work in Waterford.

Credit: @Deisesupes

 

 
 
 

MASI conference a celebration of the struggle for a humane asylum system.

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MASI - the Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland - held its first ever conference Saturday to mark FIVE years of struggle to end Direct Provision.

Hundreds of people attended the conference in Liberty Hall whose theme was 'Towards a More Humane Asylum Process'. People in the asylum system travelled from across Ireland to discuss the past and present of the asylum and deportation machine and to point the way forward to the end of Direct Provision and a more humane asylum system.

The Next Global Crash? On China and the 21st Century Crisis

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Today, China is the driving engine of global economic growth. A major crisis of the Chinese economy will almost certainly drag the global economy into the next recession in the 2020s. This may turn out to be far more damaging than the Great Recession of 2008.

Minqi Li is a political economist at the University of Utah and an advocate of China’s Maoist New Left [1]. His most recent book, ‘China and the 21st Century Crisis’, outlines capitalism’s next looming crisis. Regardless of the proximate cause, this coming crisis will be economic, political, and ecological. It will also be global.

Why Irish Rail workers are right to strike

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The Workers Solidarity Movement extends its solidarity to all workers at Irish Rail. A series of one-day stoppages and pickets to secure pay rises are planned over the months of November and December. The sought-after pay increases (3.75 per cent annually) are in line with pay increases secured by other transport workers in Dublin Bus, Luas, and Bus Éireann, all of whom secured these victories following collective industrial action and numerous strikes.

 

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