Cork anti-general election campaign during Dail elections


An alliance of anarchists in Cork ran an anti-general election campaign during the recent Dail elections. The campaign involved members of the WSM, the ASF and the independent Cork Anarchists. At the outset, the campaign put as its aim to 'use the elections to highlight anarchists ideas' A leaflet was drawn up that set out anarchist ideas and our criticisms of capitalism, arguing from that the current elections offered most people no real choice.

Over a thousand leaflets were produced and handed out at a city-centre stall and sent to supporters. A 1000 of the WSM leaflet - Call This Choice - were also given out. A series of posters were produced and these were fly-posted throughout Cork city. The posters were in two colours and contained a series of slogans. These had wide impact and were noticeable throughout the campaign.

Anti election poster

Independent of the our campaign other activities of an anti-general election nature also took place. On Shandon Street, litter bins were re-labelled 'Ballot Box', while posters of the anti-immigrant FF candidate Joe O'Flynn were daubed 'Scum'. One of the funniest interventions was the 'mysterious brown envelopes that turned up on Fianna Fail elections posters throughout the city centre. What were these about and what did they mean to say?

Brown envelope on election poster

If voting could change anything, they 'd make it ILLEGAL!

What 's Wrong With The System? The rich are getting richer ....

Corruption is rife and we don't know the half of it. If any working class person acted like one of the people before the tribunals they d be banged up in prison before you could say "Ansbacher"

The politicians are all the same they are all for a continuation of the system which has proven to be effective at robbing from the workers and further lining their own pockets

There are many liars amongst them how many election promises have been kept?

The bosses are running the show they are the ones profiting from our labour time whilst our wages are restrained by agreement; when things get bad they'll have plenty to tide them over to the next boom while we have lower wages or no jobs at all

Capitalism depends on people who do what they're told this passivity is part of the problem, the only limit to oppression is the power with which it is resisted

Parliamentary democracy is a mirage, designed to trick us into thinking that we have at least some influence in the structures that shape our lives. This is true to some extent - we can change the colours on the picture but we can t change the Frame.

"The rich are few but we are many"Posters on pole

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The Anarchist Alternative

Anarchists believe in building a new society based on common ownership of the worlds wealth and co-operation in production to meet the needs of that society

Economic self management

Of key importance is that workers control industry. All offices, factories, distribution, transport, electricity, farming etc. would be managed by the people who work in these industriesnot like the undemocratic way it is done now. Work hours, production targets, safety would all now bw looked after by the real experts, the workers.

Direct democracy

The new society would have to be democratic. To be truly democratic, decisions would be made with mass participation in the process; assemblies of workers in industry, mass community meetings, etc. Any member elected by these assemblies would be subject to recall and would only be mandated to implement decisions agreed at the ground floor.

Federation

Federations of communities and industries would communicate through mandated delegates to organise the exchange of goods and raw materials. They could also look after bigger projects that are beyond the resources of local industries or communities. Such a network could function on a global scale.

Individual freedom

Every individual would enjoy complete freedom. The only restriction would be that they not hinder another s freedom. All people regardless their age, gender, sexual orientation, ethnic origin or religion would be equally valued and have equal access to what society and the planet has to offer.

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If you've read this far you'll have gathered that anarchists won t be standing any candidates in this meaningless General Election. To bring about real change we need to build an alternative movement based on grassroots democracy and people power. In the Cork area, there are plenty of campaigns that could use your help and participation. What unites these campaigns and protests is a commitment to Direct Action.

Direct Action is the idea that you and I, by organising together, can change and improve what we want to. We don t and won't rely on politicians. Direct Action is based around the idea of building solidarity and using our own power as people, workers and students to force change. Some examples of what we mean are:

The Campaign Against The Bin Tax (HASC): A huge number of ordinary citizens are refusing to pay this tax. With mass non- payment the Government and Corpo are powerless. In Cork contact HASC, c/o 55 North Main St, Cork

Free The Old Head of Kinsale: This is a monthly mass trespass and picnic. The campaign is direct action at its best. Contact Cork Peace Alliance c/o CAZ, 4 Knapp Sq, off Camden Quay, Cork. Meets every Tue at 8 pm.

Anarchism is a growing movement that wants to see a revolution in this country. Right now we are active in a wide range of campaigns, including the above. To find out more about anarchism and anarchist organisations contact any of the below:

Workers Solidarity Movement PO Box 31, Cork. Email cork_wsm@yahoo.com Send name and address for a free paper and book catalogue.

Anarcho-Syndicalist Federation, PO Box 178 Cork.

Cork Anarchists, PO Box 178, Cork. Email corkanarchists@yahoo.com

Another good place to find out about anarchist ideas is on the Web. For info on Anarchism and Elections. See http://struggle.ws/election.html

For info on anarchism see http://www.struggle.ws/


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