Do We Tolerate This?

Cutback after cutback is in the pipeline. The Home Helps are the latest target. To save money the SHB are cutting hours. Home Helps will suffer but so will plenty of older people who rely desperately on the service. But that is not all. Remember that famous election promise: SHORTER WAITING LISTS WITHIN TWO YEARS - WE PROMISE! Yet the waiting lists are as long as ever and getting worse - we are paying the price. Tragically, last July, a young family paid the ultimate price when they lost their daughter to these cutbacks - apparently "we" couldn't afford to pay for an intensive care nurse for Roisín Ruddle's operation. Michael Martin fobbed that tragedy off with 'an inquiry'. Although the Ruddle death can be directly attributed to the cutbacks, no Minister has been hauled up to pay even so much as a fine. As the say "One law for the rich ..."

Politicians won't change what is wrong but you can. In the past year Ireland has woken up to a new form of protest: DIRECT ACTION. It's about you having an effect. It's about going beyond the politicians and lawmakers and taking matter into our hands. It's about us standing together to get things sorted.

Some examples:

* Residents of Sunvalley Drive blocked the roads in their area to demand the clearance of the rat infested, rubbish filled wasteland.

* At Buckley's Field in Blackrock, residents have blockaded the last area of green space there to prevent the City Council from building on it.

* In the bin tax protests neighbours across Dublin have banded together to force the councils to collect all bins or none.

* Earlier this year hundreds engaged in a mass trespass at Shannon Airport. In Cork City itself over 3000 people went on a mass sit-down to show their disgust at the war in Iraq.

About this text

Corks Home Helps, members of the Independent Workers Union, took to the streets on Saturday 27 Sept 2003 in a march against the health cuts. The march was called because the Southern Health Board has been cutting Home Help hours. The workers are very often the only support and aid many elderly and infirm people have. Its a nasty cutback that hurts the old and effectively cuts workers wages.

An angry march of about 200 people wound its way through the cities streets led by the Home Helps ection of the IWU. Contingents from all left parties and groups also participated.


Right now there is huge dissatisfaction with what is happening. Nurses, hospital workers and doctors all know what the problem is: there is too little money but there is also the problem of how the health service is operated. The SHB is a hierarchy. Those at the top have all the power and they control the purse strings. They order and 'manage' but they don't know what the real issues are or how to tackle them. But health workers do. Nurses, doctors and Home Helps see the issues day in and day out. They have a feel for the problems and how to cut through the bureaucracy that is now log-jamming the system. If we want to solve 'the health crisis', realistically we must look at reorganising the system. The health service needs money but it also needs a democracy - one where the people who make the system work, the workers, have a real and meaningful say. The first step now must be to build an alliance of health workers who can tackle the present cuts. Resisting the cuts is the immediate problem, but a total reorganisation must also be on the agenda.

Are YOU an Anarchist?

ANARCHISM is a very simple idea. Basically society and the places where we work and live should be organised in a non-hierarchical way, without bosses. We want an end to the system whereby the world is divided into order-givers and order-takers. We want a re-distribution of wealth.

WHY should bosses, politicians, bishops or anybody else to tell us how to live our lives. Anarchists look to a society that will be based on the idea of "from each according to ability, to each according to need". We want to bring about a society based on real grassroots democracy where power remains at local level and is organised upwards through workplace and community councils. We do not want to become rulers nor do we want to seize power "on behalf of the working class". We have no interest in replacing one set of bosses with another. Instead we work for a free socialist society where everyone can have a direct say in making the decisions that affect them.

THIS society will only be brought about through revolution! There is an old anarchist slogan that says that if elections changed anything they would be illegal. The thinking behind it is that real democratic change cannot come from the top down but must be built from the bottom up. Instead of voting in elections and effectively giving someone else control of our lives, we stand for direct action and solidarity among and between workers.

THE Workers Solidarity Movement are involved in many struggles, both local and national, to win improvements in the here and now. Our members are active in their trade unions, around where they live - anywhere in fact where people are organising and struggling against the system. We are active in the Anti-Bin Tax Campaign and against double taxation. We are involved in the campaign to get back the Old Head of Kinsale from the mega-rich and restore public access. We are active in the Pro-Choice movement and for the rights of women to have safe abortions provided here in Ireland. We produce a paper, Workers Solidarity, 6 times a year and distribute 6,000 of each issue. We also produce pamphlets and leaflets explaining about our ideas and how we, as workers, could build a better world. If you want to find out more about anarchism or the WSM, come along to our meetings or contact us via email or on the WEB.


Email: Web:

Workers Solidarity Movement


On October 18th, the WSM will be hosting an afternoon of discussions on anarchist and radical ideas here in Cork. The meetings are open to anyone to come and discuss about the future for the radical movement here in Ireland. Planned discussion are.



McCurtain St., Cork


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Anarchism in Cork page

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