The Left

Dublin Mayday 2018 - at a hectic time it's a small gathering of the faithful

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The Dublin May Day march last night took place in miserable weather conditions, the parade was led off the Trade Union Repeal the 8th banners - Repeal was one of the march themes and copies of a newspaper aimed at trade unionists called Yes Repeal were also distributed.

Another Dublin May Day theme was working rights for migrants following the farcical new rules that supposedly give asylum seekers a right to work but which in practice few qualify under and which require too much paper work for employers to bother with for a 6 month contract.

Health and Happiness as a Political Organiser - Brief Notes

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This is a quick article about some of the psychology and health issues of being a political organiser. There is as much to say about this topic time in the universe would allow, as such, this is a brief sketch which will be part of an ongoing series of articles dedicated to mental health and psychology with a particular focus on its application to political organising.

The Fenian Proclamation (1867) vs the 1916 Proclamation - the lost radicalism of Irish republicanism

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Considering the fact the Anarchist Communism as a coherent and easily transmutable ideology only came to be during the 1870’s and 1880’s the Fenian Proclamation of 1867 is striking in its progressiveness and clarity of thought. A product of the Irish Famine, English economic and military Imperialism in Ireland and a tradition of insurrectionary attempts against Imperialist rule, the original Fenians of 1867 should be viewed as proto socialistic in their values and analysis.

This is not to say they were Anarchists or close, they were most definitely Republican statists, who organised for an almost purely military strike against Imperialism, as opposed to the destruction of the state and working class/farmer self-activity for the destruction of exploitation and Imperialism and the creation of a cooperative society.

Strikes and Solidarity: Interview with a worker at Irish Rail

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Irish Rail workers were out on strike recently. What’s going on? 

The WSM recently caught up with J, an activist and worker at Irish Rail, to find out.

For background details, see our analysis, "Why Irish Rail workers are right to strike", published here.

Eviction of Disco Disco occupation - video from 2003

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Interesting bit of Dublin squatting history just went online, a video of the the 2003 attempt to squat the Disco Disco building at 41 Parnell square (West). The building had been vacant for well over a decade at that stage (and may still be?) but shortly after the squatters started securing the building a gang of heavies arrived down (10.55 in the video) and attacked them. The cops arrived and pushed their way into the building after the door had been partly opened to allow someone injured in the attack to seek medical attention.

Absolute boy - The Youth Revolt that led Corbyn to a victory of sorts

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Corbyn’s strong showing in the June 2017 UK elections has given a big morale boost to the left.  A considerable youth vote, self-mobilising in larger part as a reaction to the ‘me and mine’ selfish society revealed by the Brexit vote seriously set back Tory plans for a fresh wave of Brexit required austerity.  Activists used social networking to overcome what had previously been seen as an all powerful smear machine of the billionaire print press.  Very few outside the radical left expected this outcome, what drove it and more importantly where can it lead?
[ This is a long read so you can also listen to an audio of the text ]

This piece is not going to answer that in terms of assumptions and assertions but as far as possible through hard numbers.  66% of 18-24 year old’s voted Labour, only a quarter of that, 18% voted Tory [p4].  27% of those 18-24 year olds said the NHS was the most important issue for them, even though they are least likely to need it [p40].  For the over 65 age group this was flipped, only 23% voted Labour and over twice as many (58%) voted Tory [p4].  In fact, given the way the UK election system works, if only 18-24 year olds had voted, Labour would have been heading for 500 seats.  If it had only been those over 65 voting the Tories would have had over 400 seats.

An Anarchist Response to “Anarchists, It Is Our Duty To Vote In Elections”

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As the title suggests, this article has been written in response to this article which was written over two years ago just before the last UK General Election and as Hillary Clinton was beginning her campaign for US presidency. Coming from my own knowledge and beliefs on voting I was surprised when reading fellow anarchist Paddy Vipond’s article that he omitted major anarchist arguments against voting. In addition to serving as a response to Vipond’s piece I will discuss what he left out under his headings and address some issues that have become apparent during this current election campaign particularly with the hope that Corbyn’s Labour has sparked among the UK electorate and indeed further than that among the international electoralist left.

Elections: Shouldn't We 'Fight on All Fronts'?

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Anarchists are in favour of grassroots organising rather than engaging in electioneering. Some crticise this position, stating something along the lines of:

'But what about social housing, free education, and an increased minimum wage? That's change which will make a big difference to people's lives. And electoralism and grassroots organising aren't mutually exclusive. We shouldn't concede that ground to the right, we should fight on all fronts'.

Social housing, free education, increased minimum wage - there are worthwhile reforms which might be achieved by a left wing government, or might not, but they're fairly beside the point. It's worth remarking though that the best way even to achieve reforms through the state is by having strong social movements which can apply pressure to politicians.

Anarchists, Is It Really Our Duty To Vote?

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Voting has just ended in the UK election. Many people are consumed with hope that Corbyn could win and implement his reforms “for the many, not the few”. For those of us who work with the broad left, it is inevitable that the topic of elections and voting will come up. Heated debates can occur between those of us who would rather ignore the electoral circus and those who strongly believe in using it as a vehicle on the road to a new society.

 

Before beginning, it is important to clarify the misconception that anarchists are against voting. We have absolutely no problem with voting - how else could we make decisions? We are against a system that allows for us to tick a box every four or five years which gives whoever received the most X’s to make decisions that affect our lives in a fancy building miles away from us. Politicians once elected do what they like because we can neither mandate nor recall them.

Cop on comrades - over 250 women respond to left attack on 'Identity Politics'

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The following has been written by a collective of women activists in Ireland in part in response to an article that appeared in the Irish Times on Identity Politics and the way 'men on the left' engaged with that article.  The version here is the original form as published meaning  the signatures are those who were involved at some level in the drafting process.  Additional names were added after publication, see link at the end.  One of our members, Andrew,  produced a timeline of key documents and discussion around this piece which explains the context in a lot more details.

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