Andrew N Flood

James Connolly - A life and a legacy

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Revolutionary martyrs, being unable to speak for themselves, are liable to be claimed by all sorts of organisations with whom in real life they would have had little in common. When they are of national or international importance, like the Irish syndicalist James Connolly, this also mean that biographies often tend to be very partisan affairs, aimed at recruiting the dead to one cause or another. The story of their life becomes reduced to a morality tale whose conclusion is whatever positions the author holds dear today.

The insurrection of Easter 1916

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The Easter 1916 rising in Dublin is often portrayed simply as nationalist blood sacrifice but it can also be examined as an insurrection which was seriously planned to defeat the British army. It is credited with transforming political attitudes in Ireland, leading to the partally successful war of independance but nationalist histories tend to understate the other reasons why the situation was transformed and to completely ignore the wave of workers struggles that broke out during the war.

Reports from the 2006 London anarchist bookfair

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In October ten members of the WSM travelled to London to attend the annual anarchist bookfair there. This is a massive event with around eighty individual stalls, films and forty or so meetings held by various groups. Thousands of people pass through the door of the bookfair over the day.

A New Direction For The Zapatistas

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Over the summer of 2005 the Zapatistas surprised their supporters by suddenly declaring a Red Alert out of the blue. After a couple of days of near panic it emerged that this was just because they were undergoing a consulta (a discussion and referendum) which would decide on a new path for the movement. This new path is to once more turn outwards and to aim to build a new alliance across Mexico and beyond

Robert Emmet and the rising of 1803

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The 1803 rebellion came to be associated with one man, Robert Emmet because that suited both the government of that time and later day nationalists in search of a romantic nationalist interpretation of the rebellion. As with the great rebellion of 1798, the process of burying the radical ideas of the rebellion was bound up in creating mystical notions of blood sacrifice and individual heroism.

The bi-centennary of the 1798 rebellion saw the radical ideas that lay at the roots of it being recovered. Instead of a romantic nationalist rising for the four green fields and the faith of our fathers it was put in the context of the wave of European / Atlantic radicalism that demanded equality for all. The United Irishmen were revealed not as narrow nationalists but as part of an international democratic upsurge against monarchy and colonialism that transformed the world we live in.

Bin tax & anti-war protesters jailed while rich ignore laws

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The last months in Dublin have seen the jailing of ordinary working class people for protesting against the bin tax. A tax whose introduction was not only opposed by most people but which tens of thousands are refusing to pay. In the spring of this year more then five people were held in jail for periods because they had protested against the US military using Shannon airport to refuel en route to the Iraq war. Opinion polls at the time showed the vast majority of people opposed this war and this refuelling.

Household & Service Tax cons - Taking from workers to give to the rich

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The service charges that are being brought in north and south of the border are part of a process of further increasing the proportion of tax paid by workers. The trend in global capitalism is to replace 'progressive' taxes (like income tax) with flat-rate taxes (like VAT, service charges, etc) to further shift the taxation burden from rich to poor. This is the policy advocated by the world bank, IMF, WTO and virtually all of the institutions of global capitalism.

The March 1st 2003 action against the Iraq war at Shannon airport

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If you were anywhere in Ireland in the last week of February you can't have missed the hype ahead of the March 1st direct action called at Shannon by the Grassroots Network Against the War (GNAW). Suddenly every politician, reporter and even bishop in the country was joining the queue to denounce the planned 'violent' protest. The morning before the protest irony died on its feet when Sinn Fein announce it was pulling out of the unrelated Irish Anti War Movement protest at the airport for fear of violence.

Victory in Prague - IMF and World Bank closed down

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Any honest account of the September 26 (S26) demonstrations in Prague would start off by saying that the numbers that took part in the demonstrations, some 12,000 people, were a little disappointing. But it should go on to say that those 12,000 people succeeded in not only completely disrupting the World Bank/International Monetary Fund (WB-IMF) congress but in causing it to be abandoned by the majority of delegates on the second day and the last day was then cancelled. In short we closed it down. It says a lot that you would be hard pushed to find any media, mainstream or 'left' that makes these two points.

Space Aliens horrified by Earth

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An alien spacecraft surveying the earth would surely be astounded by the 'civilisation' that inhabits it. On the one hand it has sent men to the moon and sequenced the human genome. On the other tens of millions die every year because they lack access to basic medicine and clean water. 2.6 billion people have no access to sanitation, 2 billion have no electricity and 100 million are homeless. How can this be?

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