SOPA & ACTA in the fight against actually existing communism


SOPA & ACTA are the latest attempts by traditional capitalism to reverse a transformation in the exchange of goods that has been escalating over the last couple of decades. In a widely discussed interview in 2005, Bill Gates called the free culture/open source movement "new modern-day sort of communists who want to get rid of the incentive for musicians and movie-makers and software makers under various guises." This outraged many in the movement who were more inclined to identify with the Ayn Randite ultra-free market right than the traditional left, but in fact he had a point. Many failed to see it because 'communism' for almost everyone has come to mean something like the old Soviet Union. But the word means a lot more than that failed top down experiment. Why was Gates right and why is this to be welcomed?

Pic: Act Up-Paris and La Quadrature's ACTAivists in Luzern, in front of the negotiation site.

NAMA v Unlock NAMA at the Great Strand Street Occupation


On Saturday 28th January Unlock NAMA opened an occupied building in the center of Dublin for a day of lectures about NAMA, Ireland's 'Bad Bank.' The event was cut short by a large number of police who turned up and ordered them out of the building. In this 40 minute interview Andrew Flood interviews Cat & Moira from Unlock NAMA about the occupation, what NAMA is and what Unlock NAMA demands.

Image: All rights reserved by Paul C Reynolds - used with permission

Corporate Power and the Davos Class


The recent World Economic Forum (WEF), the one where Enda Kenny reminded us of how ‘we’ went mad borrowing, is, in fact, an appropriate reminder of global corporate power and the costs it imposes on the global working class. In a recent libcom article, Steven Colatrella has suggested that the remarkable consistency of approach to crisis resolution adopted by governments the world over, notably their pursuit of austerity at any social cost, indicates the increasing commonality of ruling class interests, a convergence owing in part to shared experiences at institutions such as the IMF, WTO, G20 and EU. The WEF meeting at the Swiss ski resort of Davos must be understood in this context of the ongoing elaboration of global governance networks.

DEIS Schools in massive protest at Department of Education: Campaign continues for reversal of budget cuts


Over 6,000 members of Dublin DEIS school communities – parents, teachers and children – protested outside the Department of Education & Skills on Marlborough Streetin Dublin’s city centre on Thursday 19th January.

Belfast - Fighting The Cuts And The Anarchist Alternative public meeting - Press Release


‘We need to build a united militant campaign against the cuts being imposed by London and their lackeys at Stormont’(Sean Matthews)

Class struggle anarchist organisation, Workers Solidarity Movement will be organising a public meeting against the cuts and the anarchist alternative at 2pm in the Na Croisbhealaí workers co-operative, 48 King Street, Belfast this Saturday 28th January at 2pm.

Occupy Belfast send defiant message - ‘We are not here today to plead for crumbs from the tables of the rich’


Up to 100 people listened to a rousing speech by former civil rights activist Eamonn McCann on Saturday in defence of the liberated former bank of Ireland building in Belfast followed by a spontaneous march to the city hall without a police permit chanting ‘Whose streets our streets.'

The writer and journalist emphasised the international nature of the Occupy movement and how the occupation must build links with others in struggle and the beginning of a wider fightback. A statement was also read out on behalf of the Independent Workers Union who have been solid in their support and solidarity of the occupation since the beginning.

Cut Stormont not services- Time to get these parasites off our backs


Recent figures uncovered by the Irish News show that almost 41 million of taxpayers’ money was handed over to our local NI politicians in salaries and allowances - including childcare -while the assembly was suspended between April 2003 and May 2007. Yet, only a few weeks ago we listened to the SDLP leader pleading ‘poverty’ and warning of ‘millionaire clubs’ only forgetting to mention that he was born with a silver spoon and remains so. As well as his wage as an MLA and MP (excluding expenses topping at least 150,000 a year) he has a large list of privilege and perks including his part time wage as a GP and rental from several properties including his farm.

Reclaim the City- Defend the ‘Peoples Bank’ in Belfast


Occupy Belfast will be holding a rally this Saturday outside the former Bank of Ireland building at 2pm. Following the rally there will be a public general assembly whereby all are invited to participate in the discussion on where next for the movement. There is a stall including leafleting outside the building every day at 1pm if anyone is interested in getting involved.

The liberation of a former Bank of Ireland building in Belfast


 Occupy Belfast seized the initiative Monday by re-possessing the former Bank of Ireland building in Royal Avenue gaining media coverage both here and across the world. Around a dozen protestors including a WSM member entered the building, unfurled banners and put up barricades despite early attempts by the police to illegally evict us. A WSM member who took part gives us his views on the occupation below.


Cork: Hundreds Turn Out to Support Vita Cortex Workers


Factory-gate rally draws large support ahead of LRC talks next week


This afternoon, the workers of Vita Cortex in Cork accompanied by several hundred supporters attended a rally at the factory gates on Kinsale Road, which was organised by the Cork Council of Trade Unions. Among the attendance showing their support for the Vita Cortex workers were several former staff from the La Senza lingerie store chain, who themselves were in dispute with the liquidator of their former employer KPMG until this Friday. They were made feel very welcome by the crowd, and the speakers from the impromptu platform in the factory carpark drew inspiration in their speeches from the result achieved by the La Senza workers who were in a similar situation to that facing the 32 Vita Cortex employees. The platform was compered by Pat Guilfoyle of the TEEU, and other speakers were Vita Cortex shop steward Seán Kelleher, president of Cork Council of Trade Unions Ann Piggott, and Joe O'Flynn, general secretary of SIPTU and Cork native. Mr. O'Flynn spoke of the efforts being made by SIPTU headquarters in pursuit of a resolution of this situation, and he castigated runaway employer Jack Ronan for refusing to pay the €1.2m owed to his former employees, a sum described by Mr. O'Flynn as 'not a king's ransom'. He also spoke of the union's determination to support the Vita Cortex workers in their dispute 'for the long haul, if it takes 30 days or 30 weeks, with the support of trade union members across the country'. The rally ended with a long peal of applause as the names of all 32 Vita Cortex workers were read out from the podium.

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