About the Workers Solidarity Movement

The Workers Solidarity Movement was founded in Dublin, Ireland in 1984 following discussions by a number of local anarchist groups on the need for a national anarchist organisation. At that time with unemployment and inequality on the rise, there seemed every reason to argue for anarchism and for a revolutionary change in Irish society. This has not changed.

Like most socialists we share a fundamental belief that capitalism is the problem. We believe that as a system it must be ended, that the wealth of society should be commonly owned and that its resources should be used to serve the needs of humanity as a whole and not those of a small greedy minority. But, just as importantly, we see this struggle against capitalism as also being a struggle for freedom. We believe that socialism and freedom must go together, that we cannot have one without the other. As Mikhail Bakunin, the Russian anarchist said, "Socialism without freedom is tyranny and brutality".

Anarchism has always stood for individual freedom. But it also stands for democracy. We believe in democratising the workplace and in workers taking control of all industry. We believe that this is the only real alternative to capitalism with its on going reliance on hierarchy and oppression and its depletion of the world's resources.

In the years since our formation, we've been involved in a wide range of struggles - our members are involved in their trade unions; we've fought for abortion rights and against the presence of the British state in Northern Ireland, and against the growth of racism in southern Ireland; we've also been involved in campaigns in support of workers from countries as far apart as Nepal, Peru and South Africa. Alongside this, we have produced over fifty issues of our paper Workers Solidarity, and a wide range of pamphlets. In 1986, we organised a speaking tour of Ireland by an anarchist veteran of the Spanish Civil War, Ernesto Nadal, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the revolution there. In 1997 we organised a speaking tour for ex-political prisoner and Black Panther Lorenzo Kom'boa Ervin, a US anarchist.

As anarchists we see ourselves as part of a long tradition that has fought against all forms of authoritarianism and exploitation, a tradition that strongly influenced one of the most successful and far reaching revolutions in this century - in Spain in 1936 - 37. The value of this tradition cannot be underestimated today. With the fall of the Soviet Union there is renewed interest in our ideas and in the tradition of libertarian socialism generally. We hope to encourage this interest with Red & Black Revolution. We believe that anarchists and libertarian socialists should debate and discuss their ideas, that they should popularise their history and struggle, and help point to a new way forward.

May 2001 update

The fact is that a number of important changes have taken place within the WSM. Firstly, our newspaper Workers Solidarity is now a free news-sheet and appears 6 times a year. With a print-run of 6,000, this means a huge increase in the number of people here in Ireland receiving information about anarchism and struggle for change. Just as important, has been the increase in the numbers of people who take bundles of each issue to distribute at work, in their neighbourhood or to their friends. A second change is that we have simplified the process for joining the WSM. Although the basics still hold - you have to agree with the WSM's democratically decided policies and you have to agree to work for these - joining is a lot more straight forward. If you want details on this just write or email us.

Thirdly, we have increased and improved our presence on the Internet. This move has been prompted by the enormous success to date of our web site and resources. In March of this year alone a quarter of a million pages were downloaded from the (Struggle) site which includes our pages. This means a vast number of people are now looking at and reading about our anarchist ideas. Furthermore, we have made our papers, magazines, posters and some pamphlets available on PDF format - allowing for material to be downloaded in pre-set format, to be sold or distributed free right across the world.

If you are interested in finding out more about anarchism or the WSM, contact us.

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The Ainriail mailing list carries the latest news from the WSM and the struggles we are involved in. But there are never more then 8 posts a week (and normally only 2-4). New articles are posted to Ainriail shortly after the print edition appears.

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