2002 issues of Workers Solidarity

Irish anarchist newspaper

Newspaper of the Workers Soldiarity movement an anarchist group active in Ireland. We cover news of union and community struggles alongside analysis of politics in Ireland and articles explaining anarchist history and theory.
Workers Solidarity articles are emailed to Ainriail

The issues below are from 2002, other years can be accessed

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Workers Solidarity No 73
Dec 2002

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WS 73 front cover

Stop refuelling at Shannon warport
Despite the supposed neutrality of Southern Ireland the Irish government has been involving us more and more in the imperialist adventures of the US military. Shannon airport has become a key refuelling facility for US war planes en route between the US and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Shannon - Direct Action against the War - Activists on the runway!
Instead of pleading with the government to not allow the US to use Shannon, people had acted directly to show there would be a price to pay and to inspire others to realise that with numbers we could make it impossible for the government to continue this action.

Stopping the war
While a march of 5,000 or even 10,000 in Dublin won't effect government policy, similar numbers tearing down the fence in Shannon and taking over the entire airport would. With those sort of numbers we could physically stop Shannon being used and physically dismantle any war planes we caught on the ground

Review: Refueling Peace http://refuelingpeace.org
A web site with the very specific purpose, to
"monitor and stop US military flights refuelling in Ireland".

Clerical rapists and the Irish state
Given all that we now know about the organised cover-up of what happened in Catholic institutions, churches and hospitals it is fair to say that if any other organised group were guilty of the same offences there would be charges brought of
"conspiracy to pervert the course of justice".

Become a supporter of this paper
Over the next year we hope that at least a couple of dozen people will become supporters of this paper. In that case we will be able to expand production to 8 issues a year each with a print run of 8,000.

Corruption in politics
The Flood Report will, by itself, change nothing, except, perhaps, to induce more caution to the thicker element of the ruling class, but it does provide one useful service: it makes it clear that the wealthy have a dominant influence in affairs of state

Libertarians Against Nice: Requiem for a Dream
LAN fought the campaign on many fronts. From Limerick to Louth, Kinsale to Kildare, Dundalk to Donegal the battle raged. Even in Dublin we put up a fight. 50,000 (count 'em) leaflets were distributed, hundreds of posters of various types went up.

Workers Self-management in Argentina
Details of the occupied factories and neighbourhood assemblies in Argentina

Review: Berlusconi's Mousetrap
In July 2001 over a quarter of a million people gathered to protest against the G8 in Genoa. The Italian state responded to these demonstrations with violent repression. Eighteen thousand cops were drafted into the city; they beat and gassed thousands of people off the streets, arrested hundreds and shot one young Italian man in the head.

Review: Anarchism and Anarchist Communism by Peter Kropotkin
This is one of the most excellent introductions to Anarchism, putting paid to the usual objections to the system, synonymous as it has become, wrongly, with disorganisation and chaos.

SIPTU election changes nothing
The big lesson from this contest is how weak the opposition in SIPTU is. 6.7% is not a good vote! There is no opposition network, simply a number of individuals who are fairly isolated from each other.

Grassroots Gathering Mark III - Another Great Success
The last weekend in October saw over 120 anarchists and other libertarian activists converge on Belfast for the third Grassroots Gathering.

International News
Short items on envirnomentalist action in the Netherlands and a letter from a Refusenik from the Israeli army

Thats capitalism
Short items on slavery in Brazil and poverty all over the world


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Workers Solidarity No 72
Sept/Oct 2002

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A bosses Europe or an anarchist Europe?
The Nice treaty offers us a bosses Europe, we want an anarchist Europe

Reclaiming the planet - building a movement in Ireland
The libertarian movement in Ireland is growing, the Belfast Grassroots Gathering gives us a chance to meet up

'Libertarians against Nice' launched
LAN is a network of groups and individuals across Ireland campaigning against the Nice treaty from a libertarian perspective

Lindsay Tribunal : The Cuts That Killed
A deliberate decision was made that it was acceptable to risk killing patients in order to save a few bob. Properly screened blood products were more expensive. So, the BTSB didn't recall products which they know to be potentially deadly.

"Did you see what I did to those anarchist bastards"
In 1927, two Italian-born anarchists Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti were judicially murdered by the State of Massachusetts in the USA, having been framed for two murders they didn't commit.

Getting involved
What we have been doing and what is coming up

Nice and Nationalism
We desire a global world where national boundaries are of as little relevance as parish boundaries today. We oppose all forms of nationalism that try and set the people of one country above the people of another.

The anti-bin tax battles
According to the council's own figures less then 50% of people paid any part of their bill last year. With the growing success of non-payment only around 20% have paid something so far this year

That's capitalism
Shorts that reveal just how bad capitalism is from Ireland to Africa

Factory worker takes on SIPTU top brass
A radical shopfloor worker has put himself forward in the election for general secretary of Ireland's biggest union, SIPTU. Des Derwin, an assembly operative at the Mouldpro plastics factory in Dublin, is a long-time union activist and independent socialist

Dunboyne Sacking - Union Failed To Act
This dismissal raises many questions for teachers about the role of religion in Irish primary education. Even further it raises serious issues for INTO members about the failure of the union to defend its members from bullying and intimidation by the unaccountable 'owners' of the schools in which we work

Why does the US want war with Iraq?
Like most other wars, this is about control of resources.Wars are also good for the economy, and the US economy certainly could need some help at the moment.

Review: Cuban Anarchism - The History of a Movement
Frank Fernández first gives a detailed and well documented account of how libertarian ideas first took hold in Cuba.


Workers Solidarity No 71
July/Aug 2002

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Workers Solidarity 71

Irish taxpayers to subsidise clerical rapists
PRIESTS, nuns and Christian Brothers beat, molested and raped thousands of young children who were sent into their "care". Education Minister Michael Woods signed a deal whereby the state will pick up the bill for all compensation.

Sectarianism deepens in North
The results of the 2001 Life and Times survey in the north of Ireland confirm that sectarian attitudes are spreading and deepening.

Keeping the struggle going in Cork
The CPA is in existence for over a year and brings together oppositional campaigners of various hues in a non-hierarchical group which campaigns on numerous issues

Drogheda ain't paying
Less than 50% of Drogheda residents have paid any of the yearly 260 Euro charge

Sellafield protest against MOX ships in August
The two ships which were sent to Japan to collect the MOX fuel shipped with falsified will travel up the Irish Sea around the end of August.

International Libertarian Solidarity (S.I.L.)
At the last Workers Solidarity Movement conference we took the decision to join a new international anarchist network, International Libertarian Solidarity

Direct Action
Every time somebody puts a brick through a window or organises a minor protest there will almost inevitably be someone else who describes it as direct action.

That's capitalism
A number of short items highlighting the insanity of capitalism

Get involved
What Irish anarchists are up to

Garda investigating Garda
After the Garda complaints complaints of excessive police violence at the RTS protest, it was announced that an independent inquiry was being set up to supposedly investigate the events of May 6th.

John McGuffin
John, was a very independent anarchist who is perhaps most well known for providing the single anarchist element within the People's Democracy group of the sixties and carrying an anarchist banner (himself), on the Burntollet civil rights march.

Sacked Belfast Airport security workers speak out
"randomly selected" workers were handed suspension letters and after a disciplinary hearing three days after that were sacked.

SIPTU General Secretary elections
Readers of Workers Solidarity may recognise the name of Des Derwin, one of the candidates for the General Secretary of Ireland largest trade union, SIPTU

They Call It The Law
If anybody was under any illusions that the 'law' treated trade unionists fairly, or was in some way neutral when it came to trade disputes, the events of a few weeks in late May/early June should have been enough to rid them of such silly notions.

REVIEW : www.StopTheBinTax.com
Anybody curious about the arguments against the introduction of bin charges into Ireland, please familiarise yourself with www.StopTheBinTax.com

Kashmir&endash; another legacy of British Imperialism (this time with nuclear weapons)
George W. Bush is not the only leader to resort to a war to deflect attention away from his bankrupt domestic polcies.

Review: The Bolsheviks and Workers Control
The Bolsheviks and Workers Control is a detailed book that shows firstly how Russian workers took over and managed their workplaces, secondly how they wished to extend this control to the entire economy and thirdly how it was wrested from them by the Russian state.

Workers Solidarity No 70
May/June 2002

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WS cover

Reclaim the Planet
Imagine if all the resources and experience available to us were to be utilised for the common good. Imagine if everyone effected by a decision was able to have a say in making that decision. Imagine if we lived in a world where the reason for working was to satisfy human needs and desires

From Barcelona to Seville
Time was when an EU summit was every leader's wet dream. But not any more. The EU summit in Barcelona over the 9 to the 16 of March saw between 250,000 and 600,000 people take to the streets!

That's Capitalism
The system isn't getting any better plus a parrot joke!

Getting involved
What we stand for and some details of our anti-election campaign

Anarchism and nationalism
Almost all of our present nations, and the very idea of the modern nation itself, are relatively modern inventions. With the rise of the bourgeois state in the nineteenth century, ruling classes needed an ideology to make their subjects identify with the state in which they lived

Israel/Palestine: Roots of the conflict
The historical roots of the current conflict in the Middle East with a statement by
Israeli anarchists on the occupation

Review: Parliament or Democracy?
Modern government is based on the idea that we elect the great and the good to rule over us, trusting that they have our best interests at heart and that they are wise and good enough to know what's needed.

Review: WSM web site (www.struggle.ws/wsm)
The WSM started one of the first Irish political web sites back in the mid 90's. It contains almost all the articles we have published since 91 and quite a few additional reports that were never been printed as well as lots of photos and PDF files. We asked Eoghan Ryan to review it for us.

Politics of the car
With growing traffic jams, longer journeys to work and increasing road deaths Aileen O'Carroll makes a contribution to the debate about how to get out of this mess.

The Bin Tax - The Race for Office
Whilst I can understand the will of people to 'make the politicians pay' for their treachery in bringing in this tax for a public service - we don't agree with this tactic. The way this tax is going to be defeated is by building a massive campaign.

Morons in Power
If only these clowns got as offended by hospital waiting lists, sectarian thuggery, pensioners living in poverty, and all the other suffering that the Sinn Fein-Unionist-SDLP-DUP coalition presides over each and every day in the Executive

Malcontents and 'cliques' ??
The ASTI dispute as seen through the eyes of ICTU

The Old Head of Kinsale - Round 5
Mass direct action has shown that we will not tolerate the violation of our fundamental right to roam. The right of people to access the beauty of the planet, to breathe the air, drink the water and walk the land free of hindrance is not for sale.

Cork Grassroots Gathering
The second Grassroots Gathering was held over the Easter weekend in Cork. Some seventy people from all over Ireland took part.

Ideas and Action -- Irish Anarchist Gathering
From Resistance to Change
- A day of anarchist discussion in Dublin on May 18

PDF file of Workers Solidarity No 70
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Workers Solidarity No 69
March/April 2002

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Workers Solidarty 69 cover

Women - still carrying the baby at work and home!!
Over the last 100 years, there is no doubt that women's situation in most first world countries has improved dramatically. Now that we've reached the 21st century, many would say that sexist inequality no longer really exists. However, if we take a brief look at just one aspect of our lives - work - it is clear that there is still a lot left to fight for.

Defeating the bin charges
Details from the campaigns in South Dublin, Dublin Corporation and Drogheda

Argentina says "Enough"
On the 19th and 20th of December 2001, there was a major popular revolt in Argentina. Tens of thousands of people demonstrated in the streets. The demonstrations were sparked by the government's plan to cut public spending as part of an emergency financial package demanded by the IMF

Black Hawk Down
It was reasonably predictable that a slew of patriotic films would follow September 11th. I will shortly deal with the slack jawed excuse for a film that is Black Hawk Down but first a very short trip into history: what really happened!

Thinking about anarchism - Referendums
Irish anarchists voted NO in the anti-abortion referendum.But, I hear somebody say, don't anarchists have an objection to voting? Anarchists have no problem voting.

The Sellafield MOX Blockade
On 20th December 80 Irish activists delayed workers entering Sellafield on the opening day of the new MOX nuclear reprocessing plant. I spoke with some members of Gluaiseacht who were at a second demonstration in February, attended, by 200 which also blockaded Sellafield.

Scapegoats required - Only Asylum Seekers Need Apply!
In the past few months, there has been an upsurge of attacks on asylum-seekers and refugees. Politicians worried about their re-election chances and about losing their place on the Dáil Éireann Gravy Train have led the attacks, unashamedly targeting vulnerable asylum-seekers and refugees. Physical attacks including the vicious murder of the Chinese youth Zhao Liu Tao have resulted.

Low pay = Jobs? A global lie
A low paid job is better than no job. At least that's what those supporting corporate Globalisation argue. Big companies like Nike and Gap pay workers badly, expect them to work long hours in appalling conditions, buy off or exclude their trade-unions but at least at the end of the day, these workers take home a pay packet.

To break or not to break? - new union to be set up?
An idea has been floated among sections of the left and among activists in the ATGWU that a new union - independent of the ICTU (Irish Congress of Trade Unions) and strongly anti -'partnership' - be formed

An American Addiction: Drugs, Guerillas, Counterinsurgency - US Intervention in Colombia.
Almost all of the 1.7 bn in 'aid' travelling to Colombia is in the form of chemical and biological warfare and money that is given to the military and paramilitaries (almost one and the same) who in turn are responsible for the majority of atrocities committed as well as being the main proponents of narcotics-trafficking in the country.

Irish Indymedia launched
After months of preparation an Irish Indymedia site was launched at the start of this year. James McBarron, a relative novice on the internet reviews the site to date.


Workers Solidarity No 68
Jan/Feb 2002

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Irish anarchist paper

The globalisation we demand
Has it ever struck you as a little odd that the same governments that claim to stand for globalisation are busy erecting expensive fences along their borders to keep people out?

Sellafield's sick New Year gift
On December the 20th 2001 - Sellafield brought radioactive plutonium into the plant in a move to open up a MOX reprocessing plant for dirty radioactive materials.

Spanish Anarcho-syndicalists demonstrate in Madrid
A figure of twenty to twenty-five thousand demonstrated on December 2nd in what is the largest so far of a series of mainly 'black-and-red' demonstrations carried out in Madrid and other Spanish towns over the last few years.

Chaos - Thinking about anarchism
The media constantly tell us that anarchy is just another word for disorder and disorganisation. Whether it be the Star or the 'educated' Irish Times, the same misuse of the word occurs with monotonous regularity. Not all of this can be put down to lazy and careless journalism.

Sectarianism in North Belfast
As an Anarcho-Syndicalist, living in North Belfast I was interested to see Gregor Kerr's recent article, 'Sectarianism and North Belfast' in Workers Solidarity.

Vote No in government's anti-choice referendum
As we face into campaigning against yet another abortion referendum we are taking this opportunity to detail why we this is such an important issue for us.

Abortion rights - It's up to you and me
Media 'experts' and commentators have been saying that the progressive changes that occurred around contraception, divorce and equal age of consent for gays in Ireland in the early to mid-nineties were a natural result of modernisation of Irish society and occurred because liberal politicians decided to push for these changes. We are supposed to feel that only our rulers can change things, that the rest of us are pretty powerless. Well, it's not true.

An open letter to a Fianna Fáil hypocrite
Noel Ahern is the Fianna Fail TD for Dublin North West, and a supporter of the referendum to deny suicidal women with crisis pregnancies the possibility of abortion

Grassroots Gathering - The Important first Steps
People attending were all coming from an activist background - and we could all learn from our different experiences. There was also a good display of mutual respect for differing opinions and tactics

Murdered by Fortress Europe
The discovery of the bodies of 8 asylum seekers in a container in Wexford in late November shocked everyone. For those concerned with the plight of asylum seekers the deaths were not only a disaster waiting to happen but just the latest instalment in an ever grosser tale of human misery and exploitation

Bin Tax Victory - Court orders Corpo to collect non-payers' bins
After a marathon protest and despite the jailing of seven activists from our campaign, Cork Corpo's strategy of bullying the people of the city into paying twice to have their domestic rubbish collected, ended in disarray.

The Euro: the root of all evil?
It makes no sense for us to oppose the EU on the basis of some sort of return to national sovereignty. Rather we must look for ways to create our globalisation agenda out of the process. The protests at the European Summits are proving one way of doing this

Getting involved and news of the WSM
A small group of anarchists have been publishing Workers Solidarity since 1984 in a variety of formats. We do so because we think it is essential to not only tell people what anarchism is really about but also to provide an honest alternative to the bosses' media.

Thats' capitalism
NAFTA's right to pollute upheld, Ryaniar profits, 23 million dead in war


PDF file of Workers Solidarity No 68
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Red and Black Ireland

News of Anarchism in Ireland

The Ainriail mailing list carries the latest news from the WSM and the struggles anarchists are involved in. There are never more then 8 posts a week (and normally only 2-4). We post printed articles to it shortly after they are published.

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