1998 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.
Generally Workers Solidarity appears on the net one or more months after publication. You can help us by taking out a subscription to the printed version.

Workers Solidarity articles are emailed to Ainriail

The issues below are from 1998, other years can be accessed via the publications page

Workers Solidarity
No 53 Spring 1998

  • Resist Racist Deportations
  • Building the anti-racist resistance
  • Anti racism campaign on the streets
  • Free speech and the litter act
  • The Celtic Tiger ...
  • Wads of cash
  • Campaigning for a minimum wage
  • Scrooge bosses named
  • Oscar Wilde's socialism
  • Beware the Bolsheviks
  • Young, Queer and Proud
  • Ricardo Magon
  • Review: Elections and democracy

WS 53 Front cover

Workers Solidarity
No 54 Summer 1998

  • Business as usual for the Robber Bankers
  • Say NO to racism
  • It's... Carmageddon!
  • Bricklayers show how to win
  • SITPU shows how not to
  • Getting organised locally
  • Anyone for a Brain Wash?
  • Massive strike shakes Denmark
  • Anarchist Resistance to fascism
  • Dublin Dockland to be developed
  • Mujeres Libres
  • Liverpool passes the baton to Australia
  • Peace deal offers sectarian war or sectarian peace

WS 54 Front cover

Workers Solidarity
No 55 Autumn 1998

  • Housing Crisis
  • No More Omaghs
  • Don't let the racists divide us
  • Government workers to spy?
  • Unions Against Racism
  • From behind bars in Clinton's America
  • Corruption ...it's business as usual
  • Trains, planes & automobiles
  • Abortion rights
  • 'Propaganda By Deed'
  • Louise Michel
  • The Zapatistas and direct democracy
  • Review: African Anarchism

WS55 Front cover

Workers Solidarity No 53

Spring 1998 Contents

For starters

News of some WSM activity including a national anarchist gathering we are planning for the end of March and Polish and Turkish translation of the Platform.

That's capitalism

Short pieces about the latest stupidies of Capitalism

Look Who's Talking Now

The result of the talks will almost certainly be to make sectarianism official and institutionalise it. We will see Unionist and Nationalist politicians going into competition for investment from the multinationals and the E.U. for "their" areas

Resist Racist Deportations

John O'Donoghue is already on record as saying that up to 90% of current applications for asylum are likely to be refused. It is imperative that all anti-racists immediately organise to campaign against these threatened deportations. Such a campaign has much to learn from anti-racism campaigns throughout Europe such as the 'Sans Papiers' movement in France.

Building the anti-racist resistance

The Anti Racism Campaign (ARC) is based on a founding statement which describes it as "an open and democratic alliance of people who came together to combat the anti-refugee and anti-immigrant hysteria initiated and encouraged by politicians and the media".

Anti racism campaign on the streets

Over the past few months, members of the Anti-Racism Campaign (ARC) have been involved in a number of public activities aimed at highlighting and promoting the anti-racist message

Free speech and the litter act

The use of the Litter Act to prevent the distribution of anti-racist leaflets is a very serious step. A blanket ban on the distribution of leaflets would have serious consequences for other political, environmental, civil liberties, community or trade union campaigns.


The Celtic Tiger ... who's doing the roaring

The closure of Seagate in Clonmel with the loss of 1,600 jobs underlines the knife-edge on which the Celtic Tiger economy is balanced. But, particularly in the greater Dublin area, there is an economic boom and for many - though not all - this boom has brought jobs and hope for the future. Where did this boom come from and how long will it last?

Wads of cash

Corruption, corruption, corruption, everywhere you go. No matter where you turn these days, it seems to jump right up into your face. Lowry. Haughey. Brown paper bags. Wads of cash. Bank Drafts. Favours. Planning permission. Rezoning. The Cayman Islands!

Campaigning for a minimum wage : Let's show them we are serious

CHRISTMAS IS well behind us but Scrooge refuses to go away. Bosses in many shops, restaurants, garages are still paying wages as low as £2.50 per hour. Civil Servants in junior clerical posts are still so badly paid that they qualify for the Family Income Supplement.

Scrooge bosses named

Workers Solidarity reporter Joe King spent a couple of hours each month up to last Christmas tracking down the bosses who pay a pittance. Giving himself a good Leaving Certificate, some shop and restaurant experience and a false name he set about answering advertisements, phoning personnel officers and going to interviews.

Oscar Wilde's socialism

Oscar Wilde was also inspired by politics. He was not blind to the obvious early failings of modern day society. The poverty he wrote about over a century ago, in 'The Soul of Man Under Socialism', exists on the streets of Dublin today.

Beware the Bolsheviks

Bolshevik modes of organisation have particular outcomes, the centralisation of power. This sort of organisation means that 'Stalin didn't fall from the moon' but was the inheritor of this undemocratic organisation.

Young, Queer and Proud

Most young people start to become aware of their sexual identity from the age of 11 or 12 onwards. However for young lesbians, bisexuals and gays this can be the beginning of a lot of trouble.

Ricardo Magon

Inside modern Mexico the name of Ricardo Flores Magon is well known, and is regarded in a somewhat similar way to that of James Connolly in Ireland. But outside Mexico few have heard of him.

Review: Anarchists, elections and democracy

A spectre was haunting the ruling class of most European countries in the aftermath of the French revolution in 1798. That spectre was democracy. The "problem with democracy" was that if it was conceded then the ordinary poor people, being much more numerous than their rulers, would surely swamp them. This pamphlet outlines the two "solutions" proposed to this problem.

Organising & Agitating

'Don't mourn, Organise', Joe Hill said before he was executed by the US state. It's nothing more than common sense to say that two heads are better than one. The more people working together, the more that can be achieved. But organisation is more than the coming together of kindred spirits.

New abortion rights campaign formed

Before Christmas, abortion, once again was in the Irish headlines. Once again it was a teenager who suffered because successive governments have continually avoided introducing legislation which would allow abortion in Ireland.

World anarchisT NewS

Crime does pay

When Shell managers in Nigeria declare openly that they prefer military dictatorship to representative rule, they know what they are talking about.

Letter...Muck, Brass and Green Bans

In your review of "Where There's Brass there's Muck" in Workers Solidarity no.52, you mention the successful "Green Bans" of the Builders Labourers Federation of New South Wales.

Workers Solidarity No 54

Summer 1998

For Starters

News of WSM activity

It's business as usual for the Robber Bankers

NIB had been operating a relatively simple but yet ingenious scam. As the computer printed out customers' statements each quarter, an official would examine the interest due on each one and select certain customers for overcharging.

Say NO to racism

Saturday April 25th saw over 1,000 people marching through Dublin, 400 in Cork and 150 in Limerick to protest against racism and deportations. There were also activities in Galway and Roscrea, and cross-border trains were leafleted in Belfast.

That's capitalism

It's... Carmageddon!

We get to live with the delays and the brunt of pollution, road accidents and traffic jams. So it is in our interests to press for change. We must press for transport that is people and environment friendly. 

How to win ...and how not to

TWO HUGE STRUGGLES broke out earlier this year. One was for union recognition at Ryanair, the other was against the black economy on building sites. Both showed that ordinary workers are prepared to fight. The biggest union in the country, SIPTU, seems to have done its best to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Members of a small union, BATU, defeated one of the biggest construction firms.

They also defied the courts and refused to be shackled by the Industrial Relations Act. In SIPTU the ordinary members have little effective control over their own union. In BATU the activists knew they had to make the union serve them.

They showed the rest of us the power of membership involvement and effective picketing. They set up an unofficial grouping - Building Workers Against the Black Economy - within their union, kept control of their struggle, and won. We can learn a lot from them.

Getting organised locally

One local struggle, no matter how determined or daring, won't overthrow the system. On the other hand, a network of struggles, supporting and encouraging each other, can spread and grow to be capable of just that.

Anyone for a Brain Wash?

Painstaking research of a different variety, laid to the foundations for a view of the media and its role in our society. Rather than seeing the media as a "defender of freedom", Herman and Chomsky outlined example after example of where the media either lied about the truth or distorted the news beyond actual recognition.

Massive strike shakes Denmark

The end of April and the start of May saw a massive strike wave in Denmark. Almost half a million workers went on strike, including almost all industrial workers and most workers in transport and building.

Remembering the Anarchist Resistance to fascism

The history we learn in school would have us believe that the working class of Germany and Italy hardly even complained about the rise of fascism in the 1920s and 1930s. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Dublin Dockland to be developed - Who will benefit?

The Dublin Docklands, from Ringsend to Sheriff Street, are starting a very major re-development which will take place over the next fifteen years. Already the property developers are in the area buying up the land, a lot of which is owned by state and semi-state companies.

Mujeres Libres

Mujeres Libres (Free Women) were a group of women anarchists who organised and fought both for women's liberation and an anarchist revolution during the Spanish Civil War. The work they did is truly inspirational.

International news shorts

Liverpool passes the baton to Australia -
Dockers are fighting back internationally

The Liverpool dockers were forced to end their dispute after 28 months in January of this year. Throughout their struggle the dockers had identified the attack on them as part of an international attack on dockworkers and on workers in general. On April 7th the main docks company in Australia (Patricks) sacked its entire workforce of 1,400.

Peace deal offers sectarian war or sectarian peace

The huge vote, North and South, in favour of the 'Good Friday Agreement' shows that the vast majority do not want a return to pre-ceasefire violence. Can this agreement get to the root of the sectarian problem and deal with the hatreds, fears and suspicions that have bedevilled our country? Andrew Flood looks at the prospects.

Workers Solidarity No 55

Autumn 1998

Housing Crisis

Over 37,000 are on the waiting lists for public houses. Meanwhile landlords charge higher and higher rents for smaller and smaller apartments. Why is this happening and what can be done to stop it?

No More Omaghs

For almost three decades we have seen too many "tragic mistakes" like Bloody Friday, Birmingham, the La Mon Hotel, Enniskillen, the Abercorn restaurant, Claudy, the Shankill Road, etc. etc. Planting bombs in town centres means treating the risk of casualties as "acceptable"

That's capitalism

Don't let the racists divide us

Let Asylum-Seekers work. They are totally reliant on social welfare, and are denied the chance to contribute, to interact and to put down roots in society

Government plans to turn workers into spies

Workers in the public sector are being asked to act as spies and informers in tracking down people without appropriate papers. These workers should not allow themselves to be used in this way

Unions Against Racism

Trade Unionists form a very important section of the fighting force - especially those in the public sector who are in daily contact with refugees and asylum-seekers

From behind bars in Clinton's America

BILL CLINTON, fresh from his no-warning bombing of the factory which produced nearly half of Sudan's medicines, was fawned over by the media when he came here in September. To give an insight into an ofen hidden side of life in the "world's greatest democracy", we are printing this letter we received from a prisoner in one of his jails.

Mayday - letter from the new unemployed network

A meeting took place in Portlaoise, on July 8th, attended by people concerned at recent statements by Ms Mary Harney, Tanaiste and Minister for Enterprise & Employment. It called for a campaign to defend welfare rights and oppose the low wage strategy of recent governments.

Corruption ...it's business as usual

Recent months have seen the banking and financial sectors in Ireland coming under scrutiny as never before

What a wonderful world we live in!!

The latest figures from the United Nations Human Development Report about world poverty and poverty in Ireland.

Trains, planes & automobiles

The Irish rail network is now close to disintegration according to CIE's own chief executive Michael McDonnell.

Murdoch Disunited (FU All Forever) FC

They've taken my football team and turned her onto the streets so that she can make a buck. Manchester United has become just another hooker in the growing entertainment industry

Abortion rights

We had the referendum, so where is the law?

'Propaganda By Deed'

NEWSPAPER EDITORS and politicians love to put 'anarchism' and 'violence' together, as if they were one and the same thing. It is much easier to slander your opponants than to explain their ideas. However this is not to deny that there have been anarchists who responded in kind to the violence of the ruling class.

Now that's what we call a rip-off

Corruption in the sell off of Belfast International Airport

Louise Michel

Louise Michel was a French anarchist women who fought in the Paris commune and after escaping the death penalty spent the rest of her live in the anarchist movement.

The Mexican Zapatistas and direct democracy

Little has been written about day-to-day life in the rebel area, here we help to right this balance

International news

Two short pieces on a court victory for Mumia Abu Jamal and the end of the Australian dockers strike

Review: African Anarchism: The history of a movement

This book is written by two members of the Awareness League, a 1000-strong anarcho-syndicalist organisation in Nigeria

Sick joke of the year

Al Gore in Vietnam

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Red and Black Ireland

News of Anarchism in Ireland

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