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(en) Ireland, WSM position paper The crisis in capitalism and the anarchist response

Date Wed, 23 Jun 2010 22:49:50 +0300


Starting at our Spring 2009 national conference the WSM has debated and voted on a number of documents on the capitalist crisis and the resistance to it. This text is the agreed collective position of the WSM and looks at the causes of the crisis, how it impacts workers in Ireland, what resistance there has been and what hope there is for the future. Most recently this text was updated at the May 2010 WSM national conference with several amendments. ---- Previous text of The crisis in capitalism and the anarchist response was distributed at http://www.ainfos.ca/09/apr/ainfos00445.html - 04/29/2009 Updated version at http://www.wsm.ie/content/crisis-capitalism-and-anarchist-response Amended at May 2010 WSM National Conference includ the following: Short term perspectives

9.1 Our priorities for the next year will continue to be
A) Communication work
B) Trade Union Activity
C) Shell to Sea

In addition we will also prioritize

D) Conducing a strategic analysis of the four [or three] areas above, with a view to either refining our priorties or de-prioritising these area’s. This is to be on the agenda of each Delegate Council.

E) We will also develop a strategic analysis of the possibility of linking a possible upcoming Water Charges campaign with our long term goal of community organising. This is to be co-ordinated via Delegate Council.

9.2 Communication Work

We will continue to build the WSM website and communication resources. Branches are encouraged to put 'article writing' on their weekly agenda and ensure that at least one member writes a 'personal opinion' piece each week. This should first be published to indymedia.ie. The editorial group will ensure articles are republished on the WSM site and that a weekly listing of new articles is sent to the WSM announcement list and social networking resources. Branches are strongly encouraged to collect email addressees at any event they are organising or at stalls etc and ensure they addresses are added to Ainriail, the WSM announcement list.

9.3 Workers Solidarity and Ideas & Action both have an essential role to play in this work. At the moment the WS editorial group can choose to produce up to 20,000 of any issue and must produce 6 a year. This limit will be upped to 30,000 and the committee is encouraged to consider this volume in the event of major demonstrations, strikes or other struggles emerging. At times of crisis the committee is also encouraged to move to a monthly production and then pull back to bi-monthly in quieter periods.

9.4 Unbranded stickers will be produced and distributed in large quantities that will be generally identifiable, as anarchist and which will highlight key slogans along the lines of the 'They didn't share the wealth, why should we share the pain'.

9. 5 Trade Union Activity

A. We will attempt to position ourselves in our workplaces and unions in such a way so as that when and if mass resistance breaks out, we and our ideas are already known and respected B. We will focus implementing this section from our Trade Union position paper

We will urge the formation of networks which bring together activist workers with the aim of discussing, formulating and implementing strategies that will help them to win struggles in their workplaces, create unions where there are none and win real rank and file control of union branches where this is possible. They will seek to counteract the isolation individual activists often face when they get involved in workplace struggles.

b) We will seek to encourage a process of frank evaluation and discussion amongst existing left union activists both as to what the real situation is now and what sort of strategies are realistic in the short term.

c) We will circulate and publish any positive news of workplace and union struggles in Ireland.

d) Where we can obtain a speaker we will seek to tour libertarian militants from rank and file unions in other countries to talk not only about their struggles but also about the alternative way those unions are organized.

9.6 Shell to Sea
We will continue to commit resources and time to advancing the campaign where we can, with the particular propaganda aim of using the Shell to Sea example to highlight the class nature of the response of our ruling class to the current crisis.

9.7 Organising the Unemployed

A) With a massive number of people on the dole for the first time the issue of organising the unemployed needs to be seriously considered. The Irish National Organisation of the Unemployed was established in the 1980s as part of the process of 'incorporation' of resistance to the mass unemployment of the time. Like ICTU, it is ideologically wedded to 'social partnership'. It sees its role as being to influence government through lobbying and to deliver services to the unemployed. No meaningful or independent organisations of the unemployed will emerge from this source. New structures and organisations will need to be built as part of the process of organising the unemployed.

B) Where we have a concentration of unemployed members we should target local dole offices for regular distribution of Workers Solidarity & other political activity

9.8 Community Organising
It is certain that cuts of community services including transportation will continue and there may be an attempt to raise additional revenue through additional service charges (a water tax seems likely) or property tax. In addition higher unemployment means more people who will be spending time where they live rather than where they work and for whom locally based services become very much more important. There may be a considerable increase in neighbourhood organising opportunities of which the unemployed may be an important component.

10. The working group tasked to produce a collective draft of a "convincing model(s) of an alternative society" for September 2009 failed to do so and failed to report back to DC or conference at all. Nevertheless this is still an essential document. Conference therefore recalls the existing working group and will elect a new one to produce such a draft by August 1st 2010 using the research to date.

11. The authors of the two documents prepared for the Social Solidarity Network on alternatives to the attacks on workers to pay for the crisis will produce a common draft (with a or b options where disagreements remain) for debate and ratification at the June DC
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