The Workers Solidarity Movement is an anarchist organisation. This means we want a society without a state/ government on the one hand and without bosses/capitalism on the other. Such a society would be a free federation of workplace and community councils that would determine for itself how to co-ordinate the production, distribution and services that modern society needs. Economically it would aim to operate on the basis of 'from each according to their ability, to each according to their needs.'
Freedom is essential to our politics. Anarchism stands for the freedom to, both collectively and individually, take control of our lives. We want everyone to have the opportunity to take part in the decisions which effect us.
The only limit on freedom should be that no one else's freedom is denied. We defend freedom of speech and organisation, the liberty to argue for your ideas and seek support for them.
Anarchism will not be created in this country, or any other, by a tiny group of people. If you think about it even in Ireland a successful anarchist revolution would require tens of thousands of active anarchists. Anarchists living on every street and active in every workplace. It would need most people in Ireland convinced enough of the anarchist idea to not only give it a try but to involve themselves in getting rid of the old system. We would need national daily papers and radio stations so we could reach just about everyone to overcome the propaganda of the bosses and governments media monopoly.
We obviously have a long way to go! But things are not hopeless, even the tiny numbers of existing anarchists have managed to build towards this sort of movement. But we obviously need to grow. So, although you may think the Workers Solidarity Movement is already doing a good job we really do need you to get involved. Even in the short term
More members means more money and resources for the organisation.
Printing and distributing Workers Solidarity takes time and money. For every extra couple of members we could increase our print run by up to 500 or bring out one extra issue a year.
New members bring new experience and knowledge to the organisation. Each new member brings with them an insight into what is happening where they live, where they work (or go to school) and what people they know are talking about. This gives the WSM the ability to address issues that concern people in a more direct way with greater understanding.
Once you attend branch meetings you will be aware that for everything we do, there are as many things we can't do because we don't have enough members. While we don't throw new members into the 'deep end' of activity, it is undeniable that new members enable the organisation to do work that it was previously unable to do.
If you agree with what we stand for (below) and you have attended three meetings then you may become a member of the WSM. If you haven't been attending meetings then contact us to find out details of the nearest branch to you, or if you are in an area without a branch how you can join anyway.
We reject the idea that society can be changed through 'good people' gaining control of the power structures. This means we reject both the electoral strategy of the social democratic and green parties and the 'revolutionary' strategy of the various left groups.
Anarchism will be created by the class struggle between the vast majority of society (the working class) and the tiny minority that currently rule. A successful revolution will require that anarchist ideas become the leading ideas within the working class. Our role is to make anarchist ideas the leading ideas within the class struggle.
We work within the trade unions as the major focus of our activity where this is possible. We reject those views that dismiss activity in the unions. Within our unions we fight for democratic structures typical of anarcho-syndicalist unions, e.g. control by the membership, grassroots militancy and little or no bureaucracy. However unions, no matter how revolutionary, cannot replace the need for anarchist political organisation(s).
It is vital to work in struggles that happen outside the unions/workplace. These include struggles against particular oppressions, imperialism and indeed the struggles of the working class for a decent place and environment in which to live. Our general approach to these, like our approach to working in unions is to involve ourselves in broad campaigns to promote anarchist methods of organisation - in other words direct democracy and direct action.
We actively oppose all manifestations of prejudice within the workers' movement and identify as a priority working alongside those struggling against racism, sexism, [religious] sectarianism and homophobia. It is vital to the success of the revolution that we build such struggles in the here and now.
We oppose imperialism and put forward anarchism as an alternative goal to nationalism. We defend grassroots anti-imperialist movements while arguing for an anarchist rather than nationalist strategy. We oppose all interventions by the imperialist powers whether directly or indirectly through a UN sanctions program. In the Irish context this means we oppose British imperialism in the north of Ireland but fight for an anarchist and not a nationalist Ireland.
The means we use to create a new society must reflect the society we wish to build. Unlike much of the left we are not trying to construct an organisation that consists of lots of paper sellers who must be organised and instructed by a layer of full-time leaders. This reflects authoritarian society where we are supervised by parents, teachers and then bosses.
New members are expected to fully involve themselves in the work of the organisation as part of the process of learning the essential skills needed for political activity. All this is essential to ensure the WSM remains a democratic organisation where no member is more important or has a greater say then any other.
Anyone who joins the WSM is taking on a responsibility to attend meetings, be involved in activities, and pay the required subs to the organisation (currently from 1% to 5% of income according to the number of people financially dependent on the member concerned)..
Similarly, as we identify with the 'Platformist' tradition within anarchism, this means members of the Workers Solidarity Movement agree to implement and argue for the policies in our 'position papers' and policy statements in their political work. Any members may propose amendments to these papers at National Conference but until they are amended s/he is expected to implement them.
If you agree with what we're saying and you want to join the WSM, here's what you need to do:
1. Agree to work within the policy of the organisation. The earlier sections of this document summarise what we think about anarchism, and how it applies to a range of issues. If you join, you'll be expected to put the policies into practice. So before you join, you should discuss with a member any areas you're not sure of, and see how much you have in common with us.
2. Attend meetings. At these meetings we plan activity, and discuss what's going on in campaigns and in the wider world. It's a mixture of day-to-day stuff and more general discussions, and it's a member's basic contact with the organisation. Meetings are once every week or two, and everyone is expected to attend - and you have to attend at least three before you can join (your membership must be ratified by the local branch).
3. Once you join - Pay your subscriptions. All members pay 1% to 5% of their gross income (according to the number of people financially dependent on the member concerned) to the organisation. This money pays for papers, leaflets, room hire, posters, stationery, international solidarity, guest speakers, equipment, etc.
You don't need any special skills, qualifications or talents (but they're all welcome) - just the desire to be free. To begin the process just tell any member you want to join or write to us at WSM, PO Box 1528, Dublin 8, Ireland (email email@example.com).
1. The 'platformist' tradition is represented by publications and organisations like the Organisational Platform of the Libertarian Communists, the Friends of Durruti and the Manifesto of Libertarian Communism. Ask any member for more details of these or see the WSM web pages (http://surf.to/ anarchism).
If you live in Ireland (or will be moving here shortly) and want to join then email us at firstname.lastname@example.org