Protesting racism in Rooskey

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Rooskey - when I heard the name, it triggered some flicker of recollection. A memory was stirred. As it turned out, it is not far from where my mother's family come from. I had a cousin who grew up in a nearby Longford village, I had actually cycled through this place. So it vaguely came back to me, and I remembered the bridge spanning the Shannon, as that great river flows onto Lough Ree and down towards Athlone. My mother's people grew up around that Lough. I’ve spent summers listening to the wind whistling through the telephone wires. Today I was on my way to an anti-racist protest.

School students walk out against Climate Change

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Thousands of school pupils packed into Dublin City centre 15th March to protest the ongoing inaction at looming Climate disaster. While many of may not see the worst consequences of climate change in our lifetimes this generation will certainly witness the start of the really bad times unless action is taken in the next decade to slow and then reverse the release of Climatre Change gases.

Ode to ARC - a video love story

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To mark International Women's Day 2019 we are releasing this video that celebrates the grassroots womens organising responsible for victory in the 2018 abortion referendum.  We'd heard the text at the ARC Christmas party and immediately felt it would make a fantastic video, hopefully you will agree.  The authors introduction is below, we've also recorded a background interview with her about the campaign which gets further into the grassroots organising themes expressed in the video, see link at end.

The author Mary writes "On International Womens Day two years ago we gathered on O'Connell  Bridge and in towns all around Ireland as part of Strike 4 Repeal, demanding that the government call a referendum on the 8th amendment. On International Womens Day last year, we marched under the banner of Votes for Repeal. We had a proposed referendum date, the structure of a campaign, energy, commitment and determination. But the result was far from certain. On International Womens Day this year, Ireland is free of the 8th amendment. Barriers to access remain and the work of ensuring free, safe, legal and local abortion care for everyone who wants and needs it continues. But we are in a place we did not think we would be a few short years ago. We have moved out from under the shadow of the 8th. We got here through collective action, hard compromises, exhaustion, friendship, compassion, determination and grit.

Review of Conor McCabe talk on Money

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Conor McCabe delivered a talk entitled ‘Money’ hosted by Comhlámh. Conor is a research fellow, writer and educator. The talk is available to view as a video on Comhlámh’s FB page.

His talk started with a joke, but the joke was just reported as staight news. The OECD produced figures that showed that the Irish worker is currently the most productive worker that has ever existed, globally. The Irish worker in 2017 was adding €87 to the value of the economy for every hour worked. The joke is that this figure is arrived at by crude mathematics which divides the size of the Gross Domestic Product, by the number of hours worked, not taking into account our functioning as a tax haven. That’s the joke, but at a time when the nurses are on strike for fair pay it is hard to find any of this funny.

Brexit & a border poll - an anarchist view on the possibilities and consequences

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“Every exclusively political revolution that is in defence of national independence or for internal change... [and] that does not aim at the immediate and real political and economic emancipation of people, will be a false revolution. Its objectives will be unattainable and its consequences reactionary.” Michael Bakunin.

With less the two months until the Brexit deadline, the North of Ireland remains on edge as the British PM announces plans to deploy police reinforcements to six counties echoing past images for many of aggressive border checkpoints and control stoking up conflict.
In the the midst of this Brexit spectacle the real war continues to ravage the streets, housing estates and workplaces across the North in the form of a brutal austerity agenda of class warfare in cuts to public services and social welfare under the Stormont Fresh Start Agreement resulting in misery and deprivation for the many while the wealthy few have never had it so good on a local and global level. According to a recent report released by Oxfam in January this year ‘Billionaire fortunes increased by 12 percent last year – or $2.5 billion a day - while the 3.8 billion people who make up the poorest half of humanity saw their wealth decline by 11 percent’ (1)

In defiance of government spin nurses cry Enough is enough

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The West’s awake, so too the other provinces, as defiant nurses and midwives take to the picket lines. Buoyed by massive public support, members of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) took part in their first strike in 20 years.

Generally feeling undervalued and suffering the effects of prolonged understaffing and hospital overcrowding these workers counter-intuitively withdrew their labour in the first of a series of 24-hour work stoppages.

Known for their dedication and immense sense of good will which has for decades covered up the cracks in a health service that itself seems to be in ill-health, this female dominated profession has once again risen up to say “Enough is enough!”

The Next Global Crash? On China and the 21st Century Crisis

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Today, China is the driving engine of global economic growth. A major crisis of the Chinese economy will almost certainly drag the global economy into the next recession in the 2020s. This may turn out to be far more damaging than the Great Recession of 2008.

Minqi Li is a political economist at the University of Utah and an advocate of China’s Maoist New Left [1]. His most recent book, ‘China and the 21st Century Crisis’, outlines capitalism’s next looming crisis. Regardless of the proximate cause, this coming crisis will be economic, political, and ecological. It will also be global.

Was winning the Repeal referendum inevitable?

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The vote to remove the ban on abortion from the Irish constitution in May 2018 was overwhelmingly carried, with almost 2 out of every 3 voters voting Yes remove the ban. The margin of victory was such that some post-referendum polemics made the mistake of arguing that victory was always inevitable, that the campaign didn’t matter. Such arguments tended to be made by opinion writers who never liked the Repeal campaign and in some cases published pieces during the campaign arguing that unless whatever aspect they disliked was dropped the referendum would be lost.

The centre collapses - the Yellow Vests emerge

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On the apolitical labelling of the movement - Many of us have been following the Yellow Vest clashes on the streets of France with great interest and trying to understand this movement that appeared to come from nowhere.  It is another story of the pressures of late stage capitalism collapsing the center of politics, a center no longer able to fool more of the people most of the time.  A movement made possible by social media but which also reflects the often chaotic ‘apolitics’ of such movements.  And worrying in the context of the millions being poured into far right propaganda a movement in which the far-right have made some progress in infiltrating, even if our comrades in France are physically driving them out of the protests.

There is no such thing as an apolitical movement, all there can be is a movement with internal contradictions as well as internal struggles to resolve those contradictions.

Alan MacSimoin - Rest In Power

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The WSM are shocked and deeply saddened to learn of the death of Alan MacSimoin, one of our founder members, a friend, and a key central figure in building the anarchist movement in Ireland for over four decades. Alan had not been a member of WSM for some years but remained politically active right to the end. His last Facebook post on November 29th was supporting the locked out bricklayers at Mary’s Mansions. Alan will be sorely missed by all in the WSM and we offer our heartfelt condolences to his family and friends.


Alan (right) leading a small pro-choice march in 2002

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