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(en) Ireland, Corks, anarchists march in support of health workers

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Tue, 30 Sep 2003 15:27:50 +0200 (CEST)

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Corks Home Helps, members of the Independent Workers Union, took
to the streets on Saturday 27 Sept 2003 in a march against the
health cuts. The march was called because the Southern Health
Board has been cutting Home Help hours. The workers are very
often the only support and aid many elderly and infirm people
have. It's a nasty cutback that hurts the old and effectively cuts workers' wages.
An angry march of about 200 people wound its way through the
cities streets led by the Home Helps ection of the IWU.
Contingents from all left parties and groups also participated.
Below is the text of the WSM leflet distributed on the march.

Do We Tolerate This?

Cutback after cutback is in the pipeline. The Home Helps are the
latest target. To save money the SHB are cutting hours. Home
Helps will suffer but so will plenty of older people who rely
desperately on the service. But that is not all. Remember that
- WE PROMISE! Yet the waiting lists are as long as ever and
getting worse - we are paying the price. Tragically, last July,
a young family paid the ultimate price when they lost their
daughter to these cutbacks - apparently "we" couldn't afford to
pay for an intensive care nurse for Roisín Ruddle's operation.
Michael Martin [Health minister - ed.] fobbed that tragedy off
with 'an inquiry'. Although the Ruddle death can be directly
attributed to the cutbacks, no Minister has been hauled up to
pay even so much as a fine. As the say "One law for the rich

Politicians won't change what is wrong but you can. In the past
year Ireland has woken up to a new form of protest: DIRECT
ACTION. It's about you having an effect. It's about going
beyond the politicians and lawmakers and taking matter into our
hands. It's about us standing together to get things sorted.
Some examples:

* Residents of Sunvalley Drive blocked the roads in their area
to demand the clearance of the rat infested, rubbish filled

* At Buckley's Field in Blackrock, residents have blockaded the
last area of green space there to prevent the City Council from
building on it.

* In the bin tax protests neighbours across Dublin have banded
together to force the councils to collect all bins or none.

* Earlier this year hundreds engaged in a mass trespass at
Shannon Airport.

In Cork City itself over 3000 people went on a mass sit-down to
show their disgust at the war in Iraq.


Right now there is huge dissatisfaction with what is happening.
Nurses, hospital workers and doctors all know what the problem
is: there is too little money but there is also the problem of
how the health service is operated. The SHB is a hierarchy.
Those at the top have all the power and they control the purse
strings. They order and 'manage' but they don't know what the
real issues are or how to tackle them. But health workers do.
Nurses, doctors and Home Helps see the issues day in and day
out. They have a feel for the problems and how to cut through
the bureaucracy that is now log-jamming the system. If we want
to solve 'the health crisis', realistically we must look at
reorganising the system. The health service needs money but it
also needs a democracy - one where the people who make the
system work, the workers, have a real and meaningful say. The
first step now must be to build an alliance of health workers
who can tackle the present cuts. Resisting the cuts is the
immediate problem, but a total reorganisation must also be on
the agenda.

Are YOU an Anarchist?

ANARCHISM is a very simple idea. Basically society and the
places where we work and live should be organised in a
non-hierarchical way, without bosses. We want an end to the
system whereby the world is divided into order-givers and
order-takers. We want a re-distribution of wealth.

WHY should bosses, politicians, bishops or anybody else to tell
us how to live our lives. Anarchists look to a society that will
be based on the idea of "from each according to ability, to each
according to need". We want to bring about a society based on
real grassroots democracy where power remains at local level and
is organised upwards through workplace and community councils.
We do not want to become rulers nor do we want to seize power
"on behalf of the working class". We have no interest in
replacing one set of bosses with another. Instead we work for a
free socialist society where everyone can have a direct say in
making the decisions that affect them.

THIS society will only be brought about through revolution!
There is an old anarchist slogan that says that if elections
changed anything they would be illegal. The thinking behind it
is that real democratic change cannot come from the top down but
must be built from the bottom up. Instead of voting in elections
and effectively giving someone else control of our lives, we
stand for direct action and solidarity among and between

THE Workers Solidarity Movement are involved in many struggles,
both local and national, to win improvements in the here and
now. Our members are active in their trade unions, around where
they live - anywhere in fact where people are organising and
struggling against the system. We are active in the Anti-Bin Tax
Campaign and against double taxation. We are involved in the
campaign to get back the Old Head of Kinsale from the mega-rich
and restore public access. We are active in the Pro-Choice
movement and for the rights of women to have safe abortions
provided here in Ireland. We produce a paper, Workers
Solidarity, 6 times a year and distribute 6,000 of each issue.
We also produce pamphlets and leaflets explaining about our
ideas and how we, as workers, could build a better world. If
you want to find out more about anarchism or the WSM, come along
to our meetings or contact us via email or on the WEB.

Email: cork_wsm@yahoo.com Web: http://www.struggle.ws/wsm
Workers Solidarity Movement


On October 18th, the WSM will be hosting an afternoon of
discussions on anarchist and radical ideas here in Cork. The
meetings are open to anyone to come and discuss about the future
for the radical movement here in Ireland.

Planned discussion are:

* Direct Action - After the Shannon Protests, what can be
* Anarchism or Marxism - a debate with the Socialist Party. What
ideas do we need to build a better world?

McCurtain St., Cork

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