Common Threads Issue 1 - 2016

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Date:
The first edition of the new magazine from the Workers Solidarity Movement, Common Threads.
 
Contents:
 
 
Editorial
Welcome to the first edition of Common Threads. At the time of going to press, the political context is uncertain. In Ireland, what appears to be a massive victory for grassroots direct action is changing our perception of politics from that of spectators to that of participants.
 
Homelessness and growing poverty combined with talk of ‘recovery’ illustrate precisely what the elite conception of ‘recovery’ entails for the rest of us, and the dramatic servitude of the Irish political elite to business and Europe is laid bare. 
 
As the struggle to repeal the eighth amendment, granting half of the Irish population basic human rights continues, it appears change will be won (though never soon enough). While references to the 1916 rising abound, talk of revolution is pushed into conversation - though government and private media seek to strip it of any political meaning. 
 
In Europe there is a presiding sentiment of anger and disillusionment due to the economic failure of the European Union. The added attacks of austerity from Europe, plus the unrelenting assault on organised labour and democracy by private capital intensifies hardship and unrest. 
 
Internationally, a series of papers published in recent weeks show that previous forecasts of the severity of climate change were far too optimistic. Sea level rise is a much more urgent reality than previously believed; evidence is growing of coming ‘superstorms’ in North West Europe - a consequence of the effects of icemelt mixing with ocean water in the North Atlantic. The response to climate change by national and international institutions has tragically been but one of lip service; the most recent climate change negotiations in Paris are widely recognised as a failure, which could prove fatally costly. 
 
The possibility of global military conflict remains alarming, and is worsening; altercations such as those between Russia and NATO member Turkey in Syria could be a spark from which a major international conflict could occur.
 
The purpose of this magazine is to provide perspective on some of the many issues we face as activists, and as people concerned about our shared future. Common Threads offers commentary and discussion on struggles, highlighting the necessity of grassroots democratic organisation in both empowering us to challenge state and capitalist power and in using them as a blueprint for a future and better organised society.
 
 
 
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