Articles from the WSM paper Workers Solidarity

A Day out of the Ordinary! The Dublin Anarchist Bookfair 2011


It’s the time of year again that the Workers' Solidarity Movement is busy finalising the last minute details for our annual Anarchist Bookfair. Much has changed since we first began the venture back in 2006, not least the scale of the event, but also the implosion of the Celtic Tiger and its catastrophic effect on Irish society.

That's Capitalism


The state of Wisconsin has become the site of a very high profile showdown; the conservative governor there has been trying to introduce harsh new laws which would seriously harm public sector unions, laws which amount to an outright attack on workers' rights. Under these proposals state employees would lose the right to bargain collectively, union dues would become voluntary and wouldn't be deducted from pay cheques, unions would face a recertification vote every yea,r with the union needing to win the votes of a majority of employees and not just of those voting.

The media and the Garda rape remarks


The media narrative regarding the Corrib Garda rape remarks played out with sickening predictability. Sticking as closely as possible to the Garda Press Office line, the news media decided that this was an isolated incident: yes, it was inappropriate for Gardaí to joke about raping captive women, but the matter is under investigation, and anyway it's all just a bit of private banter between colleagues. No need for a wider discussion about societal attitudes towards women, or about the militarised policing of political protest in North Mayo and elsewhere. Up popped Kevin Myers to explain why men are the real victims here, oppressed by the 'politically-correct' thought police, while Vincent Browne informed us that rape jokes “are just part of the lingo of Irish males” and that's that.

Bertie, Coillte and the Enclosure of the Public Forest


There is an increasing likelihood that the state owned forestry firm, Coillte, will be part of a rushed fire sale of semi-state companies. Last year, the government asked “An Bord Snip Nua” economist Colm McCarthy to head a semi-state privatisation group and produce a new report, which is believed to be almost complete. The original 2009 McCarthy report recommended the selling of Coillte “with a view to realising optimal return through rationalisation, asset disposal and, possibly, privatisation”. Thus, the prospect of a sell-off of Ireland’s entire public forest estate is now on the cards.

The Workings of Anti-Union Legislation at the Clarion & Davenport Hotels


The Clarion describes itself as one of “Cork’s premier 4 Star City Centre Hotel”.  Although it’s well able to charge for its rooms it cannot find its way to granting its workers a 29 cent per hour pay rise.

Signs of Resistance to the crisis from the unions


Amidst the myriad of austerity measures, in both the public and private sectors, there are some signs of resistance.

Interview: Cork Social Welfare Defenders


Workers Solidarity spoke to Dave Higgins of the recently formed Cork Social Welfare Defenders.

WS Who’s in the group, what’s your reason for organising?

“Gasolinazo” in Bolivia


The day after Christmas 2010, Vice-President García Linera, in the absence of President Evo Morales, who was on a tour of Venezuela, announced that the state subsidies of some fuels were to be removed. He also spoke of raising taxes on some of them such as gasoline, diesel and aviation fuel. As a result, petrol rose by 72%, diesel by 84% and aviation fuel by 99%.

Thinking About Anarchism: Policing and the Law


Many people don’t see eye to eye with the police, Anarchists much included. While this opposition can manifest itself physically when the police employ repressive tactics, it must be stressed that it has far more to do with ideology and the harsh realities of disaster-capitalism than it does with being beaten off the streets.

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