Analysis

The Grassroots Gatherings

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In practice, the Grassroots Gatherings – and groups linked to them – have become the main (and the only continuous) networking of the “movement of movements” in Ireland. To date 10 gatherings have been held between 2001 and 2005. In keeping with the goal of autonomy and decentralisation, there has been no central committee; at the end of each gathering a group of activists has offered to host the next one in their own area and has got on with organising it in their own way, around an agenda set by themselves and with sometimes very different structures and themes.

The Palestinian Crisis and the Search for a Road Towards Liberation

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On the June 2007 Hamas against Fatah conflict in Palestine, the possibilities of the liberation struggle ahead and the responsibility of the international solidarity movement.  Those who think that they’ll break the will to struggle through black mail, through carrot and stick, through hunger forget the fact that, as very few people in the world, the Palestinian people literally have nothing to lose but their chains.

The politics and reality of the peak oil scare

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 Peak Oil Theory has been around since the 1970s. Some think we have already reached 'peak oil', others think it will happen with the next twenty-five years. The theory argues that when we reach 'peak oil' the rate at which we extract oil from the earth (measured in millions of barrels per day) will reach a maximum and thereafter will start to drop.

As the rate at which we use oil is currently close to the rate at which we extract it, the point of peak oil will coincide or be closely followed by the world consuming more oil than it is producing. As oil reserves are very limited, within months there simply will not be enough oil available.

Nationalism, socialism and partition

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The period of Irish history from the 1880's to the 1920's defined and divided politics including socialist politics, on the island for the rest of the century. The most militant workers struggles occurred in the second half of that period, north and south, concentrated in the last five years. This was also the period of the 1916 insurrection in Dublin, the 1918-21 War of Independence, the treaty and partition of Ireland in 1921 and then in the south the bloody Civil War ending in 1923.

The year 1919 saw the greatest demonstration of the potential of Irish workers, north and south to take over the running of society but the events of the following years cemented the division that would do much to end workers militancy. In terms of working class struggle the periods of militancy of northern and southern workers coincide. Yet the working class was divided and these struggles remained almost completely isolated from each other.  (Image: UVF training in 1914)

Rossport Solidarity Camp and the struggle against Shell

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 The Rossport Solidarity Camp was established in the summer of 2005 and since then has provided an important focus for campaigners travelling to Mayo to support the local struggle. Here we speak to Sean Mallory, a WSM member who has spent a considerable amount of time at the camp, about his experiences. Please note that the views expressed are his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Camp. 

(Pic A night down the local pub during a solidarity weekend)

Why Ireland stands to lose €400 billion in natural gas and oil deposits

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Concerns about the safety of Shell’s pipeline in Rossport are well known. But that’s not all that’s at stake. Not by 400 billion euro (2007 figure). The oil companies exploiting Ireland’s west coast have got some of the sweetest deals in the world and that doesn’t happen by accident. This article looks at how the Irish state has been busy rolling over for the last thirty years so the multinationals can grab the riches that should belong to us all.

Direct Action Gets The Goods – But How?

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Elsewhere in this magazine (see ‘Anarchism, Elections and all that’), the anarchist case against participation in elections is outlined. The alternative political strategy put forward by anarchists is the use of direct action. This article sets out to examine what is meant by the concept of direct action and also to argue that it is impossible to combine electoralism and direct action, that by its nature electoralism is disempowering, and that real direct action and participation in elections are mutually exclusive. Politics in Ireland and elsewhere is dominated by clientelism. People see themselves as needing politicians to “do stuff” for them. The politicians who are most successful are those who play the clientelist game most effectively. And left wing or socialist parties and candidates who decide to play the electoral game find themselves drawn into this clientelist game as well. This has huge implications in terms of how they approach campaigning work.

Precarity: An Introduction to a Word

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Precarity is a term synonymous with precariousness. It is perhaps best conceived as chronic insecurity. In recent times with the dismantling of the welfare state, the destruction of social security, workers’ existence is becoming more and more insecure. Precarity is a term that has been developed to describe these changes and the new form of working class existence that has developed due to them.

An introduction to the struggle in Rossport against the Shell pipeline

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For over a year since 2005 members of the WSM and many others from the anarchist/libertarian milieu have been heavily involved in a struggle by a small community in a rural part of Ireland against the construction of a gas refinery by the consortium of Shell, Marathon and Statoil being carried out with the full support of the Irish State.

Why the Shell pipeline at Rossport is not safe

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A WSM member looks at why the people of Rossport don't take Shell's assurances that the high pressure gas pipeline being imposed on them is safe. Of primary concern to the people of Rossport for the last 6 years has been their personal safety. Many other very important issues of national importance have been raised but this still is at the core of the struggle. Until very recently it was proposed that gas would be pumped, untreated, straight from the field through the pipe and by houses many of which are less than seventy metres away. Never in history has gas been “transmitted” through an inhabitated area at completely uneven and unpredictable pressure up to a massive 345 bars.

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