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(en) Workers Solidarity #79 - A busy year for the anarchist bogeyman

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Wed, 28 Jan 2004 11:16:29 +0100 (CET)

A - I N F O S N E W S S E R V I C E
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2003 was a vintage year for the anarchist bogeyman. He could be
counted upon to appear whenever public discontent reared its ugly
head. Thankfully, our politicians and media were eternally vigilant to
the threat that he posed and were able to spot his plots and warn
the easily-led 'ordinary person' to steer clear of him and his ilk.
In the Spring, as tens of thousands of US troops poured through
Shannon airport on their way to beat the crap out of Iraq, things
were getting a bit hot for Bertie when people started smacking
planes with hammers and threatening to pull down fences. The
bogeyman provoked a media frenzy, when he announced plans to
protest at Shannon. Apparently these anarchists were capable of
such 'violence' that thousands of Irish soldiers and gardai, and even
the US military were powerless to resist!

Summer came and the World Economic Forum - the global elite's
talking shop - announced that it would come to Ireland. Up popped
the bogeyman, threatening to bring thousands of his foreign friends
to cause mayhem on our peaceful isle. The brave and enterprising
journalists of the Evening Herald managed to infiltrate his
movement and splashed the news of a "Sinister" Anarchist plot on
their front page. Apparently the bogeyman was planning "to destroy
Dublin". It all proved too much for the poor government and they
had to cancel the summit in the face of this terrible threat.

Autumn saw the bogeyman busy in the bin tax campaign. This time
it was the Sunday Independent that warned the public of the
dangers that he posed. As the blockades and protests reached their
height, they revealed how anarchists had "infiltrated" the campaign
in significant numbers.

Then, with the chill of Winter, he got a few ideas from his cousin,
the phantom terrorist, and started posting letter-bombs to European
bureaucrats. With Ireland about to take over the EU presidency, the
bogeyman was now a real threat to us all.

On virtually every occasion that anarchists were mentioned in the
media in 2003, it was in the context of a scare story about
threatened violence. The reality of anarchist activity was far, far
different. While we were arrested, fined, injuncted and jailed in
significant numbers for taking part in peaceful protests, we did not
thrown a blow at a single person. Never once were we given a
chance to give our side of the story.

However, it's not that much of a surprise that the media paints us in
such a negative light. For a start most journalists are lazy hacks
who prefer sensationalist scandals to real reporting. More
importantly, the handful of rich and powerful people who control the
media want to hold onto their power and are extremely hostile to
anarchist ideas, which are based on equality, freedom and
democracy. This is why we produce our own publications such as
this newsletter - to give ourselves a chance to explain what we
believe and what we do - and you're not likely to find that in the

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
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