A - I n f o s
a multi-lingual news service by, for, and about anarchists **

News in all languages
Last 40 posts (Homepage) Last two weeks' posts

The last 100 posts, according to language
Castellano_ Deutsch_ Nederlands_ English_ Français_ Italiano_ Polski_ Português_ Russkyi_ Suomi_ Svenska_ Trk�_ The.Supplement

The First Few Lines of The Last 10 posts in:
Castellano_ Deutsch_ Nederlands_ English_ Français_ Italiano_ Polski_ Português_ Russkyi_ Suomi_ Svenska_ Trk�
First few lines of all posts of last 24 hours || of past 30 days | of 2002 | of 2003 | of 2004 | of 2005 | of 2006 | of 2007

Syndication Of A-Infos - including RDF | How to Syndicate A-Infos
Subscribe to the a-infos newsgroups
{Info on A-Infos}

(en) Ireland, Workers Solidarity Celebrates its 100th Issue

Date Tue, 04 Dec 2007 11:03:18 +0200



The birthday cake is ready, the candles are lit ---- This is the 100th issue of
Workers Solidarity. Why do we bother? After all, nobody gets paid for writing,
or doing layout, or stuffing envelopes, or putting copies through neighbours’
letterboxes, or giving them out at union meetings or in city centres. ---- Well,
we are sick and tired of a system that won’t provide us with decent health care,
or economic security, or affordable housing. We are sick and tired of a system
that pays farmers in one country not to grow food while people in another
country starve to death, a system that spends billions on weapons of mass
destruction but won’t cough up to keep people alive. ---- There is nothing
natural about this. A small group (let’s call them the capitalist or ruling
class) makes all the big decisions, and do so in their own interests. The vast
majority of us (working people and our dependents) create the wealth and run the
services, but the bosses are in control and constantly try to maximize their
wealth and power at our expense. One class rules, the other obeys.

PAT KENNY SAYS NO
We think we have a better idea of how society could be run, and how change can
be achieved. We are anarchists, we want a stateless and classless socialist
society where people can participate directly in making decisions that will
effect them, where there is no division into rulers and ruled, where freedom
will enjoy no limit except that the freedom of others is not interfered with.

So how do we get more people interested in this? The Late Late Show won’t have
us on the panel every Friday night, the Independent won’t give us coverage, the
media are not overly generous in their coverage of anarchists!

We decided to publish a paper to explain our ideas and link them to people’s
concerns. Over the years we have been an 8 page monthly, a 20 page quarterly, a
tabloid size and, for the last x years, a free bi-monthly. Our circulation,
which started at 1,000, is now 8,000. It’s a drop in the ocean but it’s a
slightly bigger drop these days. And all funded out of the pockets of WSM
members, who donate between 2% and 5% of their income to support the
organisation's work.

NOT A SINGLE FREE DVD
Over the years we have covered important struggles like the Dunnes Stores strike
against apartheid, the anti-war movement, the fight for abortion rights, the
battle against sectarianism and imperialism in the North, the successful
non-payment campaign which defeated the water tax, and much more.

We didn’t give away free DVDs but did put cash into some pockets. Back in 1984
there was an EU directive that unemployed married women should get the same dole
as men. The difference was about a fiver a week (worth about €30 today). The
government dragged its feet and then told nobody that they were entitled to
claim the difference for the years the government waited before changing the law.

Workers Solidarity stepped in and printed a claim form you could fill out and
hand in when signing on. That issue was a big seller at the women’s labour
exchanges (yes, they even segregated the dole in the good old days!), and
eventually a lot of women received their back money.

SNOW JOKE
One story that still raises a smile was not hugely political, it was a short
report from the long and bitter British miners’ strike of 1984/85: “The police
at Wath in the north of England got what was coming to them for spoiling the fun
of the pickets.

“Miners built a snowman, and to give it the final touch placed a toy policeman’s
helmet on its head. A right swine of a Superintendent did his nut. He ordered
the pickets to remove the helmet.

“On being told to sod off he jumped into his landrover and drove at the snowman.
Only to find it had been built around a thick concrete post.”

THE VALIUM OF THE PEOPLE
Back home, Ireland was being plagued by moving statues. Dozens of them were
roaming around the place but, strangely, only visible to those who wanted to see
them. It kicked off Ballinaspittle, Co. Cork, where “they take their religion
seriously, and evidently, so does God. So much so that he’s taken to moving
statues as a sign to the masses that… well, that he exists.

“What other possible reason could he have for shifting lumps of concrete about,
which is probably the most unproductive act imaginable. After all, with 56,000
children under the age of 12 dying every day from starvation, even a hour long
miracle to save 2,333 of them from their pitiful death would surely be enough to
convince even the most hardened cynic that yes, God really does exist.

“People will understandably flock in their coachloads to see for themselves and
be reassured that in a world blighted with war, poverty, disease, starvation and
brutality as well as incredible wealth and riches… God still cares…

“And so the dope pushing Bishops, from the splendour of their palaces will
continue to supply the valium to the masses until the masses begin to rise up
(for it is written in the prophesies that sooner or later they will rise up) and
realise they don’t need the valium at all, and how on earth did anyone ever fall
for that moving statues craze.”

Workers Solidarity has been very involved in the struggle to challenge clerical
power and has given extensive coverage to the pro-choice movement, the
successful campaigns for divorce and contraception, and exposing church
protection of paedophile priests. We continue to be one of the growing number of
voices saying that abortion should be a choice for women.

The anarchist movement in Ireland is growing. We were able to bring 4,000 to an
explicitly libertarian and anti-capitalist march when the EU heads of state
visited in 2004. Other anarchist groups have come into existence (like the
Revolutionary AnarchaFeminist Group in Dublin and the Belfast-based Organise!),
you are more likely these days to run into an anarchist at your union or
community group meeting, as well as at a Shell 2 Sea protest, or an Old Head of
Kinsale mass trespass.

This year we saw the doubling in size of the Cork WSM branch, the formation of
new branches in Dublin, a distribution for Workers Solidarity which now includes
Armagh, Cork, Derry, Dublin, Galway, Kildare, Limerick, Sligo, Wexford and
Wicklow. We have a long way to go, and we know there are no shortcuts to a
genuine social revolution, but the route has been mapped and the first steps taken.

If you would like to help increase the circulation of anarchist ideas we can
send you 20 (or more) copies of Workers Solidarity to give to friends, put
through neighbours’ letterboxes, or hand out at events. Just write (or email
wsm_irelandatyahoo.ie) with your address and tell us how many copies to send.
And when you are finished with this copy why not recycle by leaving it somewhere
others can read it, at work, on the bus, in the café or the doctor’s waiting room.

http://www.wsm.ie
----------------------------------
Copied from Anarkismo.net - an anarchist communist international project.
http://www.anarkismo.net/newswire.php?story_id=6993
_________________________________________
A - I N F O S N E W S S E R V I C E
By, For, and About Anarchists
A-infos-en mailing list
A-infos-en@ainfos.ca
http://ainfos.ca/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/a-infos-en
http://ainfos.ca/en


A-Infos Information Center