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Irish Anarchist Review 5 - Summer 2012

category ireland / britain | miscellaneous | news report author Friday June 15, 2012 16:46author by Workers Solidarity Movement - WSM Report this post to the editors

Welcome to Irish Anarchist Review issue 5, produced by the Workers Solidarity Movement. In this magazine we look to explore theories, thoughts and ideas about political struggle. We set out to analyse where we are aiming for as a revolutionary movement and explore how we might get there. The purpose of ‘Irish Anarchist Review’ is to act as forum for a sharing of ideas about revolutionary struggle. Building a successful revolution demands genuine discussion, debate and sharing of ideas. We hope that the articles in here will help to stimulate discussion and provoke debate and perhaps even motivate some of our readers to respond with articles of your own.


As we head into the second half of 2012, we have seen the awakening in Ireland of a renewed sense of political hope.  The campaign against the household tax has established itself firmly all across the 26 Counties and has brought large numbers of people never previously involved in anything into political organising.  In establishing local campaign groups in our areas, in discussing political and organisational ideas with our neighbours and in challenging the powers of the state, we are beginning to realise the strength we have in organising together and many of us are seeing for the first time the real truth behind the old Irish proverb ‘Ní neart go gur le chéile’ – There is no strength without unity.  Over the coming months, the Campaign Against Household and Water Taxes will face many battles.  It is by organising it on truly democratic and participatory lines that we can all ensure that it is strong enough to win those battles.

In Mark Hoskins’ article ‘Single Issue Campaigns, Community Syndicalism and Direct Democracy’, he explores what is meant by participatory or direct democracy  and how to make the demand for direct democracy relevant to the day to day struggles and campaigns that people are involved in.  As people get involved in struggles such as the campaign against the household tax they begin to see that the state apparatus is not on our side and neither is it a neutral intermediary between the haves and the have-nots.  Thus the necessity for building alternative forms of organisation becomes obvious.  Involvement in campaigns, participation in decision making and use of direct action tactics are all encouraged by anarchists both as the most effective way to advance particular struggles but also as a means by which people begin to get a real sense of their own power.

In communities across Ireland people who have got involved in the struggle against the household tax are beginning to get that sense.  For anarchists one of the challenges is to ensure that what Mark describes as ‘the battle….between democratic and authoritarian methods of organising’ is won by those who advocate true participatory democracy and that the campaign is not diverted down an electoral cul de sac by which all decision making is channelled through a local ‘leadership’.

In his review of Paul Mason’s book ‘Why It’s Kicking Off Everywhere’, Andrew Flood looks at the concept of the ‘Networked Individual’ and explores the extent to which modern communications technology has impacted on people’s ability to organise in a non-hierarchical manner.  He goes on to look at the impact of this on the role of a revolutionary organisation and indeed on the type of revolutionary organisation needed in the era of the ‘networked individual’.  For example with the ease of one to many internet communications does the size of a revolutionary organisation matter any longer?  The coherent anarchist organisation, he concludes, “aims to be a scaffold along which many of the major nodes of a network can rapidly grow and link up as they are needed…”

Sean Matthews in his piece casts a critical eye over the contribution of workers’ co-operatives and social centres to the development of libertarian communist ideas.  Acknowledging that workers’ co-ops have always been championed by sections of the left, and that they can potentially provide a glimpse of “self-management, direct democracy and mutual aid in action…” he argues that we “should not be blinded by their contradictions and should query their effectiveness as a strategy for real revolutionary transformation.”

As we look to build a free and democratic future for ourselves and our children and grandchildren, it is useful to look back at where we have come from and to analyse the political ideas and struggles that have brought us to where we are.  As a contribution to such analysis, Fin Dwyer exposes the story of the early years of Ireland’s independence as being “…one of a dark authoritarian regime based on repression, discrimination and censorship where the elite of nationalist Ireland re-established control over a society that had teetered on the verge of revolution for years…” This is the first of a two-part series which will be continued in IAR6.

In a thought-provoking piece which challenges all of us to “… look at ourselves on a personal level, recognise privilege and develop a wider critique that is truer to our own politics…” Dónal O Driscoll explores “what it means to be anti-racist from an anarchist perspective.” He explores two important principles of anti-racism - the recognition that many of us have privileges simply because of our skin colour or ethnic group and the challenge of giving voice to the oppressed.

Linked to this, Aidan Rowe reviews “The Crises of Multiculturalism: Racism in a Neoliberal Age”, arguing that “a sophisticated understanding of how racism works under neoliberal governance is key if we are to win the ‘battle of ideas’ against those who would use racism to divide and control us….”  And Shane O’Curry reviews a film that he “approached ….with a lot of trepidation, putting off watching it for weeks”.  “Knuckle” is described as “an epic 12-year journey into the brutal and secretive world of Irish Traveller bare-knuckle fighting….” but Shane’s review concludes that it is “an absolutely captivating film, taking the viewer into spaces largely hidden from the outside world. Here, we are much more intimate with Traveller men than in any other film (that I have seen, anyway)…”

We hope that you, the reader, will find the articles in this magazine interesting and thought-provoking.  We hope that they will contribute to a further development and understanding of anarchist politics.  We don’t want the magazine to be a one-way street but would welcome feedback and comment on any of the articles or on any issues that you feel should be covered in future issues of Irish Anarchist Review.

Read and enjoy!

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Ireland / Britain | Miscellaneous | News Report | en

Sun 23 Apr, 16:03

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interviewedriot.jpg imageEyewitness to the London riots - it's all about class 16:52 Mon 15 Aug by Alex 0 comments

Workers Solidarity interviewed Hackney local and education worker, Alex Carver, about the roots of the London riots. Alex is a long standing activist in the IWW union, housing struggles in the East End, and the big left events since the start of the recession, most recently the M26 Militant Workers Block and the J30 Strike project. He was a direct witness to the rioting on Monday. Here he tells Workers Solidarity why he thinks that the riots are best understood by loooking at class rather than race.

third_118481s.jpg imageReport from the frontlines of the Ardoyne anti-Orange Order riot 19:19 Fri 15 Jul by Jack White 0 comments

Rioting erupted in ‘nationalist areas’ across the North on Tuesday after the annual Orange Order parades. The worst of the trouble was in Ardoyne in North Belfast which left 16 police officers injured and with over 60 lethal plastic bullets fired leaving many people injured. WSM member 'John Creagh' reports from the Ardoyne on the disturbances and what they tell us.

textWSM twitter live during Ardoyne Orange Order July 12th parade 08:57 Tue 12 Jul by Jack White 0 comments

It is this time of year again when the spectre of sectarianism and division comes to the fore in the north of Ireland. It is a time when communities, kerbstones and poles are marked and carved into territory. There are those who will be living in fear and silenced from speaking out while the rest of us are told to turn the other check in the interests of peace and stability. It is unfortunate, if perhaps somewhat inevitable, that the now annual battles around the ‘marching season’ fall along religious lines. The Orange parades are being used to test the supposed 'neutrality' of the northern regime and the PSNI in particular. The losing side in this dangerous game however is likely to be the working class, as the confrontations and the sectarian attacks that occur around the Orange marches drive people further into ‘their own’ communities.

textN. Ireland: Politicians continue to ‘sponge’ off the system 21:54 Thu 23 Apr by Sean Matthews 0 comments

If truth be told, should we be surprised by revelations in recent weeks concerning the expenses of ‘our’ politicians? imagevideoPutting People First – Militantly 20:06 Wed 15 Apr by David O'Connell 1 comments

By Keith Hallack, published on April 4th, 2009

At our national conference L&S decided to endorse the Militant Workers Block on the basis of its callout (see appendix). We were happy that the loose group of London libertarians the callout came from, and that some of us are part of, hand met our request to make the language broad enough to include all people in favour of workers’ direct action against the crisis – specifically the IWW. Once the rest of our union had also endorsed the event we set about making sure we had the best possible impact on the day itself.

ws106covernortherntn.jpg imageThat's Capitalism! 21:52 Tue 02 Dec by WS 0 comments

The toys of the rich, Beacon Hospitals group, King Mawati III, Michael Fingleton, confidence in public health, Bank benefits

1.jpg imageSolidarity from Ireland with the popular and indigenous struggle in Colombia!!! 05:58 Wed 22 Oct by Grupo Raíces 0 comments

Around 30 people met last Thursday 16th of October at the very heart of Dublin, the GPO, to stage a demo in solidarity with the Colombian popular and indigenous organisations in struggle for various demands, who have been met with full force by the repressive and dictatorial regime of Álvaro Uribe Vélez.

textLaunch of Campaign for a Decent Public Health Service 22:58 Thu 14 Feb by Alan M. 0 comments

Roughly 300 people turned up to the launch of the 'Campaign for a Decent Public Health Service' on the evening of the 11th February in Liberty Hall. The public meeting was organised by the Dublin Council of Trade Unions and the campaign hopes to bring together health workers and their trade unions, patient groups, hospital campaigners, the trade union movement in general and the general public to demand a civilised health service.

textKilkenny Woman Sentenced to Death 22:44 Mon 03 Dec by Workers Solidarity 0 comments

In Ireland we like to think that we’ve long ago abolished the death penalty; that we’ve progressed beyond such primitive practices, that we’re too civilized for that. But Irish people are still being sentenced to death, and not even for crimes they have committed but for the crimes of our murderous health system.

textWSM coverage of Election 2007 in Ireland 17:24 Tue 15 May by Joe 0 comments

On May 24th, 2007, the people of the Republic of Ireland will cast their votes in a general election. This election will be a farce, where the people get to choose between a list of nearly-identical politicians, with identical policies, based on promises that nobody believes. That's what they call democracy.

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imageStormont, Petitions of Concern and Marriage Equality Nov 04 by Fionnghuala Nic Roibeaird 0 comments

The issue of Marriage Equality is to be debated for the fifth time in Stormont today (Nov 2nd). Yet again, however, the DUP (Democratic Unionist Party) has launched a Petition of Concern to ensure that should the motion be successful its legal passing will be blocked.

imageEven if you wrapped the DUP in a Rainbow Flag they would still be the most hateful people to exist Nov 04 by Fionnghuala Nic Roibeaird 0 comments

For the first time in the history of the Northern Irish state a majority of MLAs (members of the Parliament in the North of Ireland) have voted in favour of Marriage Equality. The motion, however, has fallen due to the DUP (Democratic Unionist Party) launching a Petition of Concern which blocks any passing of the motion to law.

imageThe most successful G8 in Northern Ireland ever? Jun 21 by Sean Matthews 0 comments

At the post G8 press conference, PSNI Chief Constable Matt Baggot claimed the G8 summit in Enniskillen was the "most peaceful and stable" in its history. The G8 gangsters may have left dazzled and wined by our local political class but beneath the media spin and smokescreen lies the ugly reality of a new Northern Ireland of one rule for the rich and powerful while the rest of us must accept our place in the ladder, or face the consequences. We only need to look no further than the selective internment of Marion Price and others.

imageOppose the G8: Dealers of Austerity May 28 by Sean Matthews 0 comments

The media charm offensive has began as our local corrupt political class roll out the the red carpet to the notorious gang of eight, dealers of austerity, state terror and imperialism. The beautiful, tranquil lakes of Fermanagh will be turned into a "ring of steel" with security fencing extending for miles, protected by an army of professional thugs and watchtowers to keep the rest of us plebs at bay.

textBelfast flag riots: Class Unity not Sectarian Diversions Dec 22 by WSM 1 comments

nce again violence has flared across Belfast and other parts of the north as protests continue around the flags issue. The latest disturbances come as Stormont Assembly leaders, Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness meet to discuss another wave of street protests, and their concerns about the damaging effect it is having on the economy leading up to the busiest shopping period of the calendar. But as each issued a separate statement calling for protests to come to an end, loyalist gangs flexed their muscles, blocking off streets and hijacking cars.

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