Statement from Irish gathering against neo liberalism and for h

Andrew Flood (ANFLOOD@macollamh.ucd.ie)
Thu, 30 May 1996 11:26:55 +0100 (BST)


As you may be ware the EZLN have called an international gathering
'for humanity and against neo-liberalism' for Chiapas, Mexico in
July. Continental gatherings are proceeding this, the European
one taking part in Berlin this weekend has about 1,000 people
booked for it.

The Irish Mexico Group held a gathering in Dublin last weekend
to talk about the issues involved and begin to sketch an
understanding of what neo-liberalism means in Ireland. The
document below was produced out of this gathering. Check out
the Irish Mexican Groups web page at the end of this message
for further details of all the gatherings and events in Mexico.

Andrew Flood

*************** TEXT BEGINS ***************

Irish Mexico Group

Irish Mexico Group
Statement from 'Organising for Change conference'
May 25 1996
to the European and International gatherings
'For humanity and against neo-liberalism'

In preparation for the European and International gatherings the
Irish Mexico Group had a gathering May 25 in Dublin. We wished
to look at what meaning 'neo-liberalism' had to struggles in
Ireland and how we could seek to build the links between the
different struggles. In particular we explored how the Irish
version of neo-liberalism is veiled as 'social partnership' with
attacks being made in the pretence they were good for the 'nation'.

The gathering heard activists from a number of struggles
including the Federation of Dublin Anti Water Charges
Campaigns (a grassroots community struggle against local tax) and
union struggles around pension rights for low paid workers. We
talked about international solidarity not just in the context of the
struggle in Mexico but also the struggle of the Liverpool dockers in
Britain. This and more theoretical discussion about neo-liberalism
brought home the need to talk of neo-liberalism in global terms as
something attacking not just those in the South but also the so
called 'privileged' workers of western Europe. Both the French
public sector strikes of December 1995 and the Liverpool dockers
show that not only are workers aware of these attacks but that
successful resistance is being organised.

This resistance in the face of what those in power want us to belive
is a 'hopeless' situation gives inspiration to us. In the bosses
Europe created by the Maastracht treaty it is vital that workers do
not allow themselves to be set against each other but instead look
for ways of uniting their resistance throughout Europe and with
workers and peasants all over the world. We need to move from
looking at international solidarity in terms of Ireland and Mexico
to a web of solidarity of many struggles in many countries. One
practical suggestion for the gathering is the construction of a
database of grassroots trade union and community groups that
may be willing to respond to appeals for solidarity in the future.
This could be circulated to the different national groups.

We also talked of the need to oppose the continued imperialist
occupation of the north-eastern 6 counties of the island of Ireland
and to struggle for the removal of the British army and the release
of the political prisoners held by the British and Irish states. Part of
this struggle is also the struggle against the repressive laws
introduced to excuse or hide murders carried out by the British
states 'security forces', in particular the continued use of Public
Interest Immunity Certificates to prevent inquests finding out the
truth behind the shooting of republican activists.

In Ireland the effects of neo-liberalism and indeed all previous
capitalist models are seen in high rates of emigration and
unemployment as well as low wages and high taxes for workers
while the rich get huge profits and low taxes. The effects are also
seen in the marginalisation of communities that are seen as
uneconomic particularly with the massive level of state racism
against Travellers. Whole communities in the city of Dublin are
written off and are prey to massive unemployment and heroin
dealing. The state attempts to deny them all social or cultural
outlets, the latest manifestation of this is the large scale
confiscation of horses kept by children in the western suburbs.

It is important to emphases that people are fighting back against all
of these things and in particular that much of this fight back is
based at a grassroots community and workplace level. Such
struggles not only serve to head off the worst affects of neo-
liberalism they also empower those involved to go on the
offensive and demand a new society.

Our gathering was only a preliminary one, a chance to begin the
process of encouraging resistance but we are resolved to continue
to support the struggle in Mexico and in particular we pledge an
immediate response to any fresh offensive by the Mexican army.
In the context of Ireland we intend to start making links with the
many individual and sometimes small struggles that arise and to
help create awareness of a global struggle for humanity and against
neo-liberalism. It is important that this struggle does not become
diverted into a dead one for past models of capitalist economics
but rather opens up a struggle that is indeed 'for humanity' and a
new future for all the worlds people.

The Irish Mexico Group can be contacted c/o
Colamh, 10 Up. Camden St, Dublin 2, Ireland

Check out the Irish Mexico Group homepage at
http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/3102/

********************* TEXT ENDS ************
***************************
Check out http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/2419 for
WSM texts on anarchism and Irish Politics.

Updated to include material on the Paris Commune of 1871

<a href="http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/2419"> WSM </a>