Anarchism, ecology and the environment

General theory plus reports of lots of Irish direct action protests related to the environment

Anarchism & Environmental Survival
Anarchism is often seen as being broadly linked with the radical wing of the Environmental movement. Ray Cunningham in reviewing 'Anarchism and Environmental Survival' considers these links and the influence of these movements on each other.

Anarchism and the Environmental movement
We should not create a false choice between anarchism and environmentalism but rather ask what sort of environmental theory and action should anarchists favour on the one hand and on the other explain why any environmentalist should also be a class struggle anarchist.

Review: Anarchism, greens and all that
A review of the Anarchist Communist Federation pamphlet, Where there's brass there's muck

Letter...Muck, Brass and Green Bans
In your review of "Where There's Brass there's Muck", you mention the successful "Green Bans" of the Builders Labourers Federation of New South Wales.

Club house at old head of Kinsale golf course



Popular Response to Shell's Pipeline Shows Way Forward
Over the Summer in a small corner of Mayo a mass campaign of non-violent direct action systematically, and in part spontaneously, shut down a major development being carried out by several multi-national corporations and the state.

People Power Confronts Shell
The jailing of 5 Rossport men for refusing to allow Shell to install a potentially lethal pipeline has suddenly focussed attention on the whole project. But it has done more than highlight safety issues. It has highlighted the cosy relationship between business and the Irish State.


Class, Ecology and the bin tax
As long as we live in a world ruled by a small elite that not only has the wealth to escape from environmental degradation but actually makes a bigger profit by not doing anything about it the 'environmental problem' will never be solved

More more on this issue see our bin tax archive


Swedish and Finnish Commuters Take Direct Action for Free Public Transport
In Stockholm, Gothenburg and Helsinki commuters are taking the initiative in the fight for decent, free public transportation. Here Oisín Mac Giollamóir interviews Anna from the campaign.

Transport privatisation: working conditions under attack
Reduce wage costs, increase fares, cut back on less used routes. That's the plan for the bus service. Airport workers are also looking at worsening conditions with the threatened break up of Aer Rianta

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. 

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.

Trains, planes & automobiles
The Irish rail network is now close to disintegration according to CIE's own chief executive Michael McDonnell.

The Plight of Carrickmines Castle
Since August 2002 the site of the 800 year-old castle has been occupied by a group of activists in an attempt to stop the extension of the M50 will almost totally obliterate and eventually condemn to memory the site, which is of vast archaeological significance

23 July - Report from Dublin Busworkers Anti privatisation Public Forum
This is one of a series of meetings where the workers are out to try and explain their side of the story with the upcoming threat of privatisation being faced by them.

Bosses want to privatise buses and trains
The FF/PD coalition are pushing ahead with plans to privatise buses and trains. Should we worry, does it matter who the boss is?

The consequences of transport privatisation
More cars on the road means more road building, more road repairs, more traffic jams and more air pollution

Reclaim the Streets

Critical Mass and Reclaim The Streets
Car culture becomes a focus for these two types of demonstration: not because we are all so anti-car, but because cars are only the most visible and tangible representatives of an inhuman consumer society

Sept 22nd 2002 - RTS on Baggot St. a great success [with pictures]

Over 1,000 people took part in the four-hour party. Despite attempts by the Gardai to whip up a panic because the organisers refused to meet with them in advance of the party the day was trouble free and very good humoured.

August 5th 2000- Report of Reclaim the Streets action
With no immediate or obvious leadership our motley crew of 50 or so activists and entertainers led off by a man with much skill on the juggling fire brand block the road

May 6th 2002 - Dublin Reclaim the Streets attacked by Gardai [with photos]
It was expected that this would be the largest Dublin Reclaim the Streets to date. What was not so expected was that by the end of the day 24 people would have been arrested and over a dozen hospitalised by a police riot on Dame street.

Large protest in Dublin against police brutality [with photos]
Thousands joined a rally against police brutality outside Pearse St police station on Thursday night.

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.

September 22nd 2001 -Beach ball on O'Connell st [with pictures]
Saturday was Car Free day throughout Europe, but not really in Dublin. So in Dublin a large group of cyclists took part in a Critical Mass cycle ride and people played beach ball on O'Connell st.

Why Reclaim the Streets?
What are the ideas behind 'Reclaiming the streets'?

RTS flags

Road Rage Wrecks Critical Mass in Dublin June 2002
One man was taken to hospital and at least two bikes were destroyed. As one guy who came down from his apartment said "I couldn't believe what I was seeing &endash; that guy tried to kill ye"

Reclaim the streets

PDF file of Reclaim our Streets

Articles include

  • The Politics of the car
  • How one RTS was organised
  • Stuck in a traffic jam every day?
  • Anarchism & Environmental Survival


Carnsore: Why Ireland never got nuclear power
A big victory was won here when we stopped their plans to build not one, but four, nuclear power stations at Carnsore Point in Co. Wexford in the late 1970s.

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

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

Blowing hot air over Sellafield
We must take a lesson from our own past (Carnsore) and from the highly successful anti-nuclear movement in Germany. We must recognise that the British government, far from being willing to consider closing Sellafield, wish to expand it. The only way they will be forced to retreat from this position is if we push the political and economic costs of keeping Sellafield open way up.

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.


Biotechnology, confusion, fear and protest
Over the past few years developments in biotechnology such as cloning and genetic modification of food have led to wide scale confusion, fear and protest. In this article Conor Mc Loughlin explains some of these technologies and asks are they safe? Have they any benefits? Should they be rejected or could they be used for the benefit of an anarchist society

Land use

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.

The Battle for Kinsale
The Old Head of Kinsale in Co. Cork is an area of renowned beauty. It has been enjoyed as an amenity by locals and by people from outside Kinsale who have heard of the traditional walk out along the Old Head to the lighthouse at the tip of the headland

Old Head of Kinsale

July 2nd 2001 - Report On 'Old Head of Kinsale' Protest [with pictures]
A long time public amenity used by walkers and ramblers, access to the Old Head was stopped over a year ago when 'the new owners' of the headland deemed the area to be private property. Yesterday was the first real attempt to reclaim the Old Head area for the public. It was a huge success!

July 20th 2001 - The Battle of Kinsale
It was glorious we walked the Old Head as we had for generations men, women and children and dogs of course, laughing at the indignation of the outraged golfers, basking in the sunshine and lead occasionally by a fiddler

July 28th - The Second 'Old Head of Kinsale' Protest
It was clear to many of the protesters that the Gardai were engaging in surveillance of protesters throughout the proceedings. A number of plains clothes Special Branch officers mingled with the crowd

August 26th - Kinsale protest - Three Nil
Another beautiful sunny day and another small victory for the campaign to free the Old Head of Kinsale

March 31 2002 - People Power Wins At Old Head of Kinsale
Well over a hundred activists and protesters braved the elements, hostile private security, newly erected fencing and barbed wire at the Old Head of Kinsale on Easter Sunday to score yet another important victory for free public access to the Old Head of Kinsale Walk.

Old Head of Kinsale freed for an afternoon (July 27 2002)
The owners of the exclusive Golf course, who are attempting to deny public access, had mounted a concerted media campaign in the week running up to the picnic to blacken the name of the pinicers and undermine the protest.

Old Head Protest Taking In the Sun! (July 2003)
A loud, stroppy 80 strong gathering of picnickers and protesters made it to the Old Head of Kinsale yesterday to continue the stand-off with the millionaire O'Connor brothers and their loyal servants (!) The Gardai.

Aug 22 2004 - Old Head of Kinsale Walked Again
At todays peoples picnic on the Old Head of Kinsale in Cork protestors climbed the walls and crossed the razor wire to again walk to the lighthouse.

Cork WSM to Irish Examiner on Old Head of Kinsale
The article on the picnic protest at the Old Head of Kinsale Golf Course was incorrect. 

Money is the king at the Old Head of Kinsale
As in the past we need to defy the ban on walking on the Old Head. Most important of all we need to start building now for a 'mass trespass'. This summer will see a new round in this important battle

On the golf course

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.

Sit Down Protest Disrupts 'Business As Usual' at exclusive golf course
May 2003 - A large force of Gardai defended the exclusive Old Head of Kinsale Golf club from a gathering of walkers and protestors


Foot and mouth
The foot and mouth outbreak has led to more precautions than any other 'crisis' in living memory. Government has treated it far more seriously than the heroin epidemic, which killed hundreds and ravaged so many of our communities.

Why half the world's children go to bed hungry
It's hard to know how any one can consider capitalism a viable system when looking at the situation of the less developed countries. A recent UN report estimates that 30 million people face starvation. Yet EC beef, butter and wine mountains rot in European warehouses, farmers are ploughing crops back into the land, in US corn belt fields of wheat are burnt.

Famine in Somalia
The 1992 famine Somalia once again focussed attention on the problems of the less developed countries. Much of the response to the crisis is a short term one in the form of food aid. However in order to understand the causes of this and other famines in Africa it is necessary to race back the roots of the problem to colonisation and imperialism.


Bloodsuckers in the bank
In a leaked World Bank memo he explained how the economic logic of dumping toxic waste in the less developed countries was impeccable.

The 'polluter pays' & the bin tax
The attempt to introduce refuse charges by the Dublin area county councils has been welcomed in some quarters. It is, we are told, necessary to fund a local waste management policy, that will increase the amount of waste recycled, and reduce the amount of landfill needed.

Earth summit
The earth Summit took place in Rio in June of 1992. In spite of the enormous cost ($123 million) and publicity (8,749 media people) the final results were restricted to two weak treaties and the agreement of some "principles" on the environment

Explosion in Cork Harbour
The explosion and fire at the Hickson chemical plant in Ringaskiddy, Cork, in August 1993, has gone down as one of the most serious industrial accidents in Ireland to date.

Hicksons chemical spill
The company at the centre the explosion and fire in Ringaskiddy, Co. Cork, pleaded guilty to three charges of negligence and improper handling of hazardous chemical substances

Accidents will happen?
Workplace accidents rarely happen. They are caused. It is equally the case that workers end up taking more than their fair share of blame when things do go wrong

April 7th 2001 - Protest outside US embassy against Bush's withdrawal from Kyoto agreement [with photos]
About 60 people picketed the US embassy


Book Review - Do or Die - vol 10
Voices from the Ecological Resistance

No Global - The People of Ireland Versus the multinationals
No Global appears at a vital time. Anyone who wants to see how the bigger picture has unfolded to date can read in detail about the numerous struggles. But No Global is less clear and less persuasive when it comes to dissecting the political ideas within the environmental movement and the problems these caused

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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