WSM history

Report on WSM National Conference 2016

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The Workers Solidarity Movement had our Autumn national conference in Dublin on the 22nd October. What follows is a brief report on the days proceedings.

What is WSM National Conference?

National Conference is the ultimate decision-making body for WSM members. It happens every six months and takes place over a day or two. We discuss motions on collective policy, reflect on the past six months of activity and map prospects for the next period.

Conference normally begins with reports of activity from all branches, officers and working groups.  This might cover areas like current campaigns, publications, education, engagement and administration as well as organising Dublin Anarchist Bookfair. We then move on to an open discussion of our perspectives before discussing amendments to our position papers.

We interrupted National Conference this year in order to take part in a demonstration outside the Central Bank in support of a 17 year old water charges demonstrator from Jobstown. 

This is direct democracy in action. If this appeals to you, you might consider finding out more about the WSM and what we anarchists are up to. (Not on our contact system? Self register here)

The making of an anarchist in Portlaoise prison

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In 2010 I was sentenced to 6 years for having possession of 20 grams of explosive powder.  I was to serve 4 years and 8 months in Portlaoise prison.  This is not an in-depth study into prison and jails, and it is not an academic piece. It is simply an experience. My experience of jail will be different than other people’s experience because no two people’s experience will ever be the same. The other person’s experience will always be different no matter how great or small.   

My experience started with 3 days questioning in a Garda station in Mountjoy. After the questioning was over I was charged with having an explosive substance, having materials used to build explosives and membership of an illegal organization.

From the Garda station I was brought straight to the special criminal court which was in Green Street courthouse at the time. I was brought to the holding cell, which resembled something out of a cowboy film or a medievil film. There was no door on the cell, there was a gate made from bars. On the wall of the cell were messages written on the wall by people that have come through here, messages of support, people's names with numbers beside their name indicating how many years the person got, names of different republican groups, pictures of soldiers with guns, symbols such as the hammer and sickle.

WSM takes part in 2016 Bloody Sunday march in Derry

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On Sunday, a group of WSM and other anarchists took part in the annual March for Justice in Derry which commemorates the civil rights marchers who were shot dead by the British Parachute Regiment on 30 January 1972.

Read Bloody Sunday in Derry - Origins & Consequences of a Massacre

Routes to freedom - the platform, its shortcomings and the WSM practise - does it remain relevant?

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The anarchists Makhno & Berkman in swim wear from a background over which a rainbow star burst is laid and then a routing diagram laid on top of all three.One of the key foundation documents for the Workers Solidarity Movement is the ‘Organizational Platform of the General Union of Anarchists (Draft)’   This text was written in Paris in 1926 by a group that included exiled Russian and Ukrainian anarchists and was very influenced by the lessons they drew from the Russian Revolution.  Three of the authors -- Nestor Makhno, Ida Mett, Piotr Archinov -- were then and now very well known anarchists, the remaining two -- Valevsky and Linsky -- I know relatively little about. 

In this article I intend to examine whether this text has any relevance to anarchist organising today, some 90 years after it was drafted. In addition, what can we say about its shortcomings? Finally, I will look at some of the confusion the WSM ran into when trying to follow it.

What was the 1% Network?

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The 1% Network was an attempt to create an anti-capitalist network in Ireland to fight austerity.  It arose after the unsuccessful attempt by Garda to prevent the anti-capitalist bloc march down to a Right to Work protest outside Dail Eireann. 

May 22nd - Vote Yes to Defeat the Bigots

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May 22nd offers an opportunity for many of us in Ireland to strike a blow against homophobia in voting for Marriage equality.

Statement from Workers Solidarity Movement - why we are leaving Campaign Against Home and Water Taxes

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The Workers Solidarity Movement has decided to withdraw from the Campaign Against Home and Water Taxes.  Please see statement below.  We have made a donation of €1,000 towards paying off the debts of CAHWT.

 

1.    It is now clear that the boycott of the property tax has collapsed and with it, any chance of defeating it in the coming period. The tactic of boycott was enough to defeat the household tax, but with draconian powers handed over to revenue to collect the property tax, much more was required.

A history of the struggle for abortion rights in Ireland

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A detailed history with photos of pro-choice struggles in Ireland from the 1980's to 2007 and the involvement of Irish anarchist in those struggles. Includes the 1983 referendum (and those in 1986, 1992 & 1995) as well as the X-Case, the D-case and the Women on Waves ship. Written by a participant in almost all (if not all) of the events described.

IMAGE: DAIC picket at Dail with the then illegal abortion information number

Building an anarchist international

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Workers Solidarity Movement on building an anarchist international last modified by Feb 2013 National Conference

Putting The Gardai Under The Spotlight - The Royal Hotel meeting

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Over 200 people packed into the Royal Dublin Hotel on Dublin’s O’Connell Street in early December for a public meeting on the topic ‘Democracy and Policing: How accountable are the gardaí to the Irish people?’ The meeting was addressed by

• Larry Wheelock whose brother Terence died in suspicious circumstances in Store Street Garda Station in Dublin over two years ago (see ‘Something Rotten in Store Street’ in WS99)

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