Talk

The text,audio or video of a talk that was presented to a WSM or other meeting

The International Backlash Against Abortion in the 1980's

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In Ireland where our own constituition enshrines such edicts as "Mothers shall not be obliged _ _ _ _ _ to engage in labour to the neglect of therir duties in the home", the battle for abortion rights can seem like a mamouth up hill struggle. However what makes our fight even more difficult is the current onslaught which womens rights, in particular abortion rights are experiencing internationally. Even in those countries where limited abortion rights have been won they are now under constant attack.

Feminism and Anarchism

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Feminism & Anarchism, comrades might wonder why we have chosen this subject for discussion. Due mainly to our involvement in the Repeal the 8th Amendment Campaign we have had to deal with the feminists organised in the 'Womens Coalition' and to adopt a position in relation to their structure and interventions. This involves dealing with the ideology of feminism. Feminism as a philosophy locates the unequal position of women in society in gender terms. Patriarchy - male power and domination over women in every aspect of their lives - is identified as the enemy, the obstacle to womens liberation. Womens oppression is not differentiated in class terms - feminists see all women as oppressed by all men.

Abortion in Ireland - a Historical Perspective to the 1990's

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Abortion was totally illegal in Ireland under all circumstances until the Supreme Court judgement in the "X" case earlier this year, which seems to permit abortion in the extremely limited case of threatened suicide by the mother. The 1861 Offences against the Persons Act states that any person "performing, attempting and or assisting in an abortion is liable to penal servitude for life". Laws such as this on the statute books of other European countries have been relaxed, liberalised or abolished in the face of the general realisation and acknowledgment that women always and everywhere will exert their right to end an unwanted pregnancy. In Ireland powerful reactionary forces have succeeded in not only preventing the liberalisation of laws here on abortion but have gone much further with a constitutional amendment, the 8th Amendment, and a series of court actions which have outlawed the distribution of information on abortion. Ireland is now the only country in the world that actually bans information on abortion. The offensive by the Pro-Life Amendment Campaign (PLAC) against womens' rights in Ireland is part of a world wide offensive against abortion rights. The upholding of Ireland's information ban by the E.C. Court of Justice places the campaign for abortion rights in Ireland in an international context.

Anarchism and the Trade Unions

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The Workers Solidarity Movement has, since its formation eight years ago, placed special emphasis on the struggles of trade unionists. Were we right? Why place this special emphasis on trade unions rather than any other organisation or campaign?

Why are Women Not Yet Liberated?

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There are a whole rake of questions thrown up by the issue of womens' liberation, among the mainstream press the big issue is has womens' liberation been achieved, are we in a 'post feminist world'? Beyond these basics there are other questions, why are women oppressed? What are the mechanisms that cause our oppression, what are factors that continue it, how can womens' liberation be achieved. Do all men gain from womens' oppression? Are Women liberated at the moment?

The Cheka during the Russian revolution - notes for a talk

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Was the Cheka integral to Lenin's doctrine or did it arrive by chance?

The Tasks Facing Anarchists in Ireland

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I want to start off by thanking the organisers for providing the Workers Solidarity Movement with this opportunity to put forward our assessment of the tasks facing anarchists in Ireland.

Why the Working Class?

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The Workers Solidarity Movement say that a mass anarchist movement capable of getting rid of the division of society into bosses & workers, order-givers & order takers and building a new society must be based on the working class and its struggles. This is not some abstract dogma but follows on from our understanding of how change can be brought about.

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