September 2010

Police end refugee protest in Australia


Police in Darwin in Australia have ended a seven hour protest by refugees being incarcerated in a detention centre. Over ninety refugees from Afghanistan escaped the detention centre in the northern territory in over a 30 degree- temperatures to the nearby Stuart Highway holding placards demanding to be processed and treated like human beings. 

WSM help launch 1% network


Along with other socialist groups the WSM has launched the 1% Network, a coalition that aims to highlight the gross inequality in Irish society where the richest 1% of the population own 34% of the wealth.  The network will be carrying out a number of activities in the run up to the budget including a walking tour of the private mansions, corporate headquarters, secret meeting spots and private banks on October 9th.

Dub: 1% Network open meeting


The 1% Network will be holding an open meeting to discuss and organise the walking tour around the heartland of the golden circle. If you want to help publicise the tour and are interested in hearing more about the 1% Network then come along to Seomra Spraoi at 7.30pm, Thursday 9th September.

Franco’s Victims and ‘culture of terror’ in Spain


 Thirty years on from the end of the dictatorship many people who suffered repression are still afraid to speak.  And that in part is because repression became a taboo subject for many families.  This of course is what the dictatorship wanted.

Hundreds protest war-criminal Tony Blair in Dublin


At 9:30 this morning, people gathered on O'Connell Street In Dublin to protest against the presence of war criminal and ex British prime-minister Tony Blair. Blair arrived at Easons at around 10am for the book-signing of his recent autobiography, escorted and protected by a sizable gardai presence. Despite the heavy rain, hundreds of protestors took part.  At least one protester managed to get past the heavy security to try to make a citizens arrest of Blair for his war crimes.

Civil Partnership Bill - Institutionalised Discrimination


The Civil Partnership Bill was signed into law in July and the first civil registrations are expected early next year. The new legislation provides same-sex (and heterosexual) couples with ‘marriage-like benefits’ and can be seen as a move towards equality for LGBT (Lesbian, Gay Bisexual and Transsexual) people.

Spanish Celebrate 100 Years of Anarchist Trade Unionism


2010 marks the 100th anniversary of the National Confederation of Labour (CNT), a militant anarchist union in Spain.

When General Franco led his fascist revolt in 1936 workers rose up throughout the country, Where anarchist ideas were popular (as in Catalonia and Aragon) a social revolution occurred, showing that society could indeed function along anarchist lines. In hospitals, factories, mills, bus & train services, water & electricity, the workers of the CNT reorganised and administered production, distribution, and public services without bosses, managers, or the authority of the state.

FÁS says ‘Work for No Pay’












The state employment and training service, FAS, is telling the unemployed to work for nothing.  On the 29th July 2010 they had 484 work experience positions on offer.   Not only do these jobs pay no wages, they are allowing bosses to get rid of staff and replace them with free labour.

That's Capitalism


Dublin jewellery shop Weirs know the recession isn’t hitting most of the rich.  The Grafton Street business is currently taking orders for a limited edition Patek Phillipe watch that costs more than €250,000.   This summer Weirs sold one watch for €454,000.

Thinking About Anarchism: But People Are Selfish


“Human nature being what it is, you could never have an anarchist society – not one in which both individual freedom and co-operation exist anyway”.  How often have people who are fighting for real change heard statements like that?

BMW owners “sharing the pain”?


As ordinary people continue to suffer the consequences of the economic collapse – through wage cuts, job losses, short term working etc., politicians are fond of telling us that we must all share the pain.

However figures for new car sales released by the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) show that not everyone is sharing the pain.  The most popular car sold in August was the BMW 5 series which has a starting price of €50,000.

Words: Gregor Kerr

Ardoyne Riots


This summer’s Belfast riots must have been the most anticipated for some time, being widely predicted throughout politics and the media. The August rioting in Ardoyne (and Short Strand, the Markets, Lower Ormeau, New Lodge, Broadway; and Lurgan, Derry & Armagh) saw three days of trouble, shots fired at police and a landmine attack in South Armagh.

A New Beginning for Haiti?


The earthquake that devastated Haiti and shook the world could have heralded a new start for the perpetually impoverished Caribbean nation. But the reconstruction plans have made it clear that local and global elites wish to continue the policies that lie behind Haiti’s history of violence and deprivation.

Workers Solidarity 117


September - October 2010 Edition of the Workers Solidarity freesheet.

PDF of Workers Solidarity 117 Web Edition 1.95 Mb

Death risk for NI workers ‘higher’


A new report has revealed that workers in the North are twice as likely to die as their counterparts in the UK because of a high accident rate. However, Northern Ireland does have a higher proportion of tradespeople. Work-related ill health and accidents costs around £250 million a year with seven people losing their lives in work-related accidents in 2009, which is a 60% reduction on the previous year's figure.

Reducing pupil teacher ratio to 10:1 “will not bankrupt the country” says Lenihan


The €25 billion cost of reducing the pupil teacher ratio in all primary schools to 10:1 for the next 20 years is “manageable” and will not bankrupt the country, Minister for Finance Brian Lenihan has contended.

Following consultations with his government colleagues and with the EU Commission, Mr. Lenihan said that the children of Ireland had had to live with the problems caused by the economic policies of his and previous governments and had had to “navigate some very difficult waters”.

Union flooded with calls from worried workers after New Zealand earthquake


Unite Union's Christchurch office has been flooded with phone calls and text messages from worried workers in post-earthquake Christchurch.

See how the 1% live - A political walking tour through the heartland of the golden circle


On Saturday October 9th a political walking tour through Dublin 2 and Dublin 4 will take place. In this area Banks, private mansions and corporate headquarters sit side by side in the heartland of the ‘golden circle’. The tour aims to highlight the deep injustice at the heart of Irish society

Assemble 1pm Saturday October 9th
Wolfe Tone Monument, Stephens Green

HSE & Health Service National Partnership Forum payments - The cost of 'partnership'


Many trade union activists have known for years that “social partnership” comes at a huge price for union independence and the ability of trade unions to defend the interest of their members. The myth that government and employers on one side and workers on the other side have some form of common interest has been peddled for over twenty years.  This has resulted in a trade union movement whose leadership seems incapable of independent thought and whose membership has been browbeaten into accepting pay cuts, ‘pension levies’ and various attacks on our working conditions and living standards over the past couple of years.

Shell to Sea campaigners occupying Shell drill rig in Srwaddacon Bay


Just before 7am this morning, Shell to Sea campaigners swam out to one of Shell's drilling platforms in the Srwaddacon Bay Special Area of Conservation (SAC) in Erris. Two people climbed up one of the drills and have occupied it since as part of the ongoing resistance to the imposition of an experimental gas pipeline on the community around Rossport.