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(en) Workers Solidarity #79 - Kieron Barry reviews 2003, a busy year for Irish Anarchists Anarchism on the Move

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Thu, 29 Jan 2004 09:38:24 +0100 (CET)

A - I N F O S N E W S S E R V I C E
News about and of interest to anarchists
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2003 saw a big upsurge in anarchist activity across the country. A
small but growing number of anarchists are building opposition to
the status quo based on the politics of freedom and equality. We
want, and know it is possible, to create an alternative to the politics
of bluff, lies and shady deals. Justice will not fall from the sky- it
will have to be fought for here and now. That's why anarchists are
involved in a wide range of campaigns and are active in the
day-to-day struggles of our communities and in our workplaces. We
also know that to build a different society requires imagination and
initiative and so we are not content simply to criticise what is- over
the past year we showed what can be achieved through grassroots
democracy and direct action.

Throughout the year anarchists were busy organising meetings,
demonstrations and direct action against the war. The main focus of
this activity was the use of Shannon by the US military on the way
to wage war on Iraq. Anarchists and other activists decided to
publicise this fact and undertook to stop the misuse of Shannon. A
peace camp was established and following the smashing up of a
military plane by Catholic Workers and Mary Kelly, and other
security breaches during demonstrations, three of the four carriers
responsible for shipping the US military through the airport
temporarily pulled out of Shannon. The government responded by
deploying the Irish army and riot police at Shannon to defend the
use of a civilian airport by a foreign army in a "neutral" country.
Anarchists were also involved in a series of actions against Top
Oil, an Irish company that directly benefits from servicing the US
war machine.

In Dublin when the council tried to impose a bin tax as the first step
to privatising the service, direct action was once again the order of
the day. People all over Dublin, including anarchists, set about
resisting the non-collection of bins through blockades, demos and
pickets. This has, so far, stopped the full implementation of the

Predictably, the state has victimised activists involved in these
campaigns and a lot of energy and time has been put into the
defence of those dragged in front of the courts. A group called
Anarchist Prisoner Support has been established to offer solidarity
and support to those imprisoned for their political activity.

Irish anarchists took part in the protests
against the G8 in Evian and the EU in Thessaloniki and the WTO in
Mexico. The mistreatment of protesters arrested in Thessaloniki
resulted in five of them going on hunger strike and there was a
welter of activity internationally, including Ireland, to put pressure
on the Greek state to release the prisoners. This was successful
and the protesters are now out on bail. A demonstration at the
Italian embassy was organised to mark the second anniversary of
the killing of an anti-capitalist protester in Genoa and in solidarity
with the protesters in Evian. Anarchists also attended the Irish
Social Forum, which promotes discussion and debate about

Reclaim The Streets http://struggle.ws/wsm/rts.html
threw three street parties with a point in 2003 and the police
response to dancing in the streets was muted in comparison to
2002- no Garda riot, just over the top surveillance. The Mayday
party was so successful that it inspired some of Dublin's inner city
residents to launch their own version of RTS.

The CAZ provided a space for Cork radicals to discuss and plot by
the lovely Lee. The organisers of the CAZ are currently look-ing for
a new venue. In Dublin the Magpie squatters transformed, with a
bit of imagi-nation and hard work, a derelict house into a home, a
library and a social centre where people can meet and organise.
Towards the end of the year Belfast anarchists opened up a series
of temporary squat cafes.

2003 also saw workplace and union activity including support for
firemen on strike in the north, Palestinian and Latin American
solidarity work, anti-corporate initiatives, anti-racist activity,
eco-activism, the de-fence of archaeological heritage in
Carrick-mines, lots of free grub courtesy of Food Not Bombs,
events held by TCD and UCD anarchists and the UCG ecology
society, the defence of the commons on the old head of Kinsale, the
formation of a new anarchist group, Organise! and the further
development of alternative media. And if all that sounds a bit too
worthy there were a load of social events as well- gigs, cabaret,
films, the annual anarchist summer camp and anarchist picnic and
hundreds of people attended the three Grassroots Gatherings held
in Limerick Dublin and Galway for the workshops, debates and

To build on the successes of the past year and ultimately to build a
genuine anti-capitalist, non-hierarchial movement we need more
people to get involved in 2004. So find out about anarchism and help
us build an alternative to a world dominated by greed through
solidarity and direct action.

To get in touch with Irish anarchists, see the list of events and
contacts on page 6.

See also The anarchist movement in Ireland
This page is from the print version of the Irish Anarchist paper
'Workers Solidarity'. http://struggle.ws/wsm/paper.html
We also provide PDF files of all our publications
for you to print out and distribute locally
Print out the PDF file of this issue
Print out the PDF file of the most recent issue

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