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The Brexit vote for the UK to leave the European Union demonstrates that even weak parliamentary democracy is incompatible with escalating neoliberal inequality. In the UK as elsewhere a tiny segment of the population have taken a larger and larger share of total wealth in the last decades. Particularly under austerity almost everyone else has seen their share of the wealth they produce decline massively. The Remain campaign was headed up by the political class of the neoliberal establishment and backed by model neo liberal corporations like Ryanair. But because the anger against rising inequality was successfully diverted through scapegoating already marginalized people, in particular migrants, the Leave campaign was also lead by wea... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
This afternoon the government had finally confirmed that it is to legislate for abortion access under the conditions of the X-case. While we can welcome the failure of the anti-choice movement to stop this announcement, despite frantically spending a quarter of a million dollars euro in ten days, this is so little so late that it is almost meaningless. Perhaps a thousand women a year are already providing a very much more comprehensive abortion access for themselves through the use of pills ordered off the internet while 4,000 plus fly to other countries. Abortion access under the very limited conditions of the X-case will mean nothing to almost all of these women. We pledge to continue our struggle for abortion access in Ireland at the wo... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
On the 24th of November something extraordinary happened in Ireland. Some 250,000 workers acted together in a day-long strike against the public sector wage cuts planned by the government. The vast majority of these workers had never gone on strike before, yet across almost all workplaces the strike involved 90% or more of those working. This strike took place in the face of hysterical attacks on public sector workers, which included one business commentator suggesting that those going to strike were guilty of High Treason. Conviction for High Treason when Ireland was under the British empire used to involve the person being hung until they had passed out, then being revived so a hole could be cut in their belly and their entrails dragged ... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
In April 1916 in Dublin a combination of nationalist volunteers and a syndicalist union militia (Irish Citizens Army) seized control of key building in the center of the city and declared a republic. After a week of fierce fighting in which a large part of the city center was destroyed the British army crushed the rebels. In the weeks that followed they executed the leadership including IWW member James Connolly. This article is an anarchist analysis of the 1916 insurrection and the war of independence in the context of the struggle for socialism in Ireland and internationally. It concentrates on the ‘unknown’ but intense class struggle that ran alongside the war of independence and the role republicanism played in the suppress... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
At 11.30 in the morning of April 24 1916 Bugler William Oman, a member of a syndicalist workers militia the Irish Citizen Army (ICA), sounded the ‘fall-in’ outside his union headquarters. This was the start of an insurrection in Dublin which was to see around 1,500 armed men and women seize key buildings throughout the city, and to hold these positions against thousands of British Army soldiers for almost a week. In the course of putting down the insurrection, 1351 people were killed or severely wounded and 179 buildings in the city center were destroyed.[1] Around 20% of those who fought were members of the Irish Citizen Army (ICA) — who were in an alliance with the nationalist Irish Volunteers. The ICA had been set up i... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
Corbyn’s strong showing in the June 2017 UK elections has given a big morale boost to the left. A considerable youth vote, self-mobilizing in larger part as a reaction to the ‘me and mine’ selfish society revealed by the Brexit vote seriously set back Tory plans for a fresh wave of Brexit required austerity. Activists used social networking to overcome what had previously been seen as an all powerful smear machine of the billionaire print press. Very few outside the radical left expected this outcome, what drove it and more importantly where can it lead? This piece is not going to answer that in terms of assumptions and assertions but as far as possible through hard numbers. 66% of 18–24 year old’s voted Labor... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
At least 84 dead in Nice as a truck is deliberately driven through the huge crowds marking the anniversary of the French Revolution. The driver who was shot be police after plowing through the crowd for 1.2km is reported to be a French citizen of Tunisian descent. The method of attack which is very similar to one advocated in the ISIS magazine strongly suggests an ISIS /Daesh attack. The massive ISIS bombings in Baghdad that killed nearly 300 this month on 3rd July followed the ISIS defeat in Fallujah and this attack comes on the eve of their defeat in Manbij. There the Kurdish YPG as part of the SDF are engaged in street fighting in the city center and the next stage of their offensive should cut ISiS off from its resupply routes into Tur... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
Across Europe, the left is excited by Syriza topping the polls in the Greek election. Some on the left have gone so far as to suggest the election itself will mark the end of austerity policies, in the terminology of the Anglo left, an end to the idea that There Is No Alternative (TINA). Another indication that something of significance is happening is that ahead of the election a new wave of capital flight has started from Greece with an estimated 8 billion transferred out of the country over the last few weeks. From an anarchist, non electoralist perspective we might hope that Syriza’s election represents the high water mark of the swing to electoralism that came out of the defeat of mass resistance to the imposition of the crisis.... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
Under the law introduced by the current government anyone who obtains an abortion in southern Ireland could be jailed for as much as 14 years for doing so, as could anyone who aids them. Labor Party supporters tried to justify their parties actions in introducing such a law by suggesting such a prosecution is unlikely but this summer we have seen a mother being prosecuted under the very similar laws in the north for supplying her own daughter with the pills needed for a medical abortion. It’s estimated that hundreds of women in the south already use such pills. A similar prosecution here is a constant possibility. Amnesty have presented their position in a straightforward manner “She is pregnant. She needs an abortion. ... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
Horizontalism is an emerging term used to describe the key common characteristics of the waves of rebellion of the last decade. Occupy in 2011 was the peak to date but the term Horizontalism itself appears to originate the rebellion in Argentina after the 2001 banking crisis there. Marina Sitrin in her book on that rebellion says the term (in Spanish obviously) was used to describe the neighborhood, workplace & unemployed assemblies that emerged to form “social movements seeking self-management, autonomy and direct democracy.” Horizontalism is a practice rather than a theory, which is to say in the various writings that use the term it has been described in practice rather than theorized as an ideal. It’s easiest to s... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
Southern Ireland is voting toward on whether to allow Marriage equality, that is to extend marriage to couples of the same gender. Young migrants have flocked back to the country in the last 24 hours to help insure the referendum passes. If it does Ireland will be the first country in the work to introduce Marriage equality by popular referendum yet it was one of the last countries in Europe to decriminalize sex between men. In that sense the referendum is about much more than the issue of Marriage but it also a battle against the ‘old Ireland’ of clerical control and an authoritarian state that sought to control all aspects of the lives of those under its control. The articles that follow are some of the many that the Workers S... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
Despite spending in the region of a million euro and getting the backing of the Catholic church, it’s now clear that the anti-choice extremists of Youth Defense & the Pro-Life Campaign were resoundingly defeated when the Dáil finally voted though legislation implementing the X-Case judgment of 21 years ago. This time last year they were confident that they already had enough Fine Gael TDs on board to block the required legislation but they reckoned against the wave of public anger that followed the death of Savita Halappanavar after she was denied a potentially life-saving abortion in a Galway hospital. In the last couple of weeks panic clearly set in culminating in yesterday’s bizarre 36-hour rosary marathon at the ... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
Do we live in an economy or in a society? Last night Europe’s central bankers sent the clear message they expect us to be the well behaved slaves of an economy rather than equals in a society. Less then two weeks after the Greeks had elected an anti-austerity government the ECB in effect told them they intended to block the promises of change that government was elected on. Last night the ECB stopped the use of Greek sovereign bonds as collateral in borrowing from the ECB. In doing so they were sending a clear message that they expect the new Syriza/ANEL government in Greece to completely abandon the anti-austerity promises they were elected on. If they fail to obey the unelected central bankers then this policy change was intended t... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
The sudden end of the Gaddafi regime some 6 months after the start of the Libyan revolt leaves some difficult questions unanswered for the left. Gaddafi’s determination to physically crush the revolt quickly transformed it into a civil war, a civil war that saw considerable imperialist intervention on the rebel side, intervention that was essential to their eventual victory. This and Gaddafi’s historic record led to some on the left taking his side in the civil war while other organizations tried to balance support for the ‘Arab spring’s’ arrival in Libya with opposition to imperialism. This question of where the balance lies between international solidarity with pro-democracy movements and opposition to imper... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
The Russian revolutionary liberal Alexander Herzen, who was a close friend of Micheal Bakunin, told a story of how when Bakunin was traveling from Paris to Prague he came across a revolt of German peasants "making an uproar around the castle, not knowing what to do. Bakunin got out of his conveyance, and, without wasting any time to find out what the dispute was about, formed the peasants into ranks and instructed them so skillfully that by the time he resumed his seat to continue his journey, the castle was burning on all four sides".[1] Bakunin was the giant of the revolutionary movement in Europe from 1848 to his death in 1876. At 6'4" and 240lbs he was a literal giant as well as the demon that stalked the bourgeois imagination. Yet ... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
Our global society is broken. Donald Trump & Brexit are symptoms along with the rise of the far right elsewhere in Europe. In an old pattern, fundamental economic crisis often results in society becoming very much more brutal for most people. In the age of nuclear weapons this current crisis could be our last. And with a somewhat longer countdown to disaster we are also facing climate catastrophe. The crisis is fundamental rather than temporary because there are two underlying factors that are irreversible. The first is the end of the era where the environmental costs of growth could be mostly discounted in the belief that dilution would neutralize pollution. For much of the industrial revolution the poisonous effluent dumped into the ... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
The end of the 1960’s in northern Ireland were a unique time when, as elsewhere around the world, mass popular protest emerged onto the streets with ordinary people doing extraordinary things. The unique circumstances of northern Ireland and the particular form the state backlash took there resulted in a military conflict that lasted some 30 years and dominated politics on the entire island and to a much lesser extent in Britain. Although tens if not hundreds of thousands of people made this history it can also be told as the history of some of the prominent individuals involved, including the Irish republican socialist activist Bernadette Devlin McAliskey. TG4 broadcast the excellent documentary 'Bernadette: Notes on a Political Jou... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
The 1916 rising in Ireland in which around 20% of the participants were members of a syndicalist militia became the founding myth of the modern Irish state. This articles looks at the core myth of ‘blood sacrifice’ and the class struggle that erupted during the War of Indepenedence which broke out three years after the insurrection. 1916 — Connolly, blood sacrifice and defeating British imperialism At 11.30 in the morning of April 24 1916 Bugler William Oman, a member of a syndicalist workers militia the Irish Citizen Army (ICA), sounded the ‘fall-in’ outside his union headquarters. This was the start of an insurrection in Dublin which was to see around 1,500 armed men and women seize key buildings througho... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
On the 30th January 1972 British soldiers opened fire on protesters in the city of Derry, north-west Ireland. Twenty six unarmed protesters were shot, 13 died immediately or within hours, one more died just over four months later. Derry was in the section of Ireland claimed by the British state and the shootings happened in the context of the suppression of a growing civil rights movement demanding equality for Catholics in the 6 of Ulster’s counties claimed by Britain. The killings in Derry had a transformative impact on the next 30 years of Irish history. By 1972 the attempt to suppress the Civil Rights movement alongside the anti-catholic pogroms that had taken place, particularly in Belfast, had already seen the popular and nonvi... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
About 250 people took part in the éirígí organized march on the banquet for the British Queen staged in Dublin castle Wedensday night. WSM members joined the demonstration but Garda had intercepted the person transporting our flags and banner to the protest leaving us somewhat invisible. This was part of a pattern of suppression of visible protest that occurred throughout the visit of the British Queen despite Garda claims that they would “facilitate protest” in advance of the visit. It turns out the unnamed Garda source quoted by the Irish Examiner in advanced of the city who claimed “reasonable protest will be allowed — a peaceful protest — but up to a point” had about as much valu... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
Roughly 1,000 people protested at the Dail (parliament building) in Dublin Wednesday night as yet another austerity budget was debated. As with previous budgets the new flat rate taxes, PRSI & excise hikes will mean workers & those on low income will be hit hard while the richest 1% will hardly notice any difference. Particularly nasty headline cuts included the 10 euro a month cut of the children’s allowance, on top of all the other cuts this will have a major impact on poor families in particular. But there were also lots of less visible ones like the cut in the respite care grant down from €1,700 to €1,375, a huge extra burden for families with disabilities. The flat rate PRSI increase of €264 means a worker... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
AS ANARCHISTS believe the bosses will resist a revolution, it follows that we accept the need for armed force to defend the revolution. But anarchists also oppose militarism, that includes standing armies controlled by the state with officers who have special privileges like extra rations, better quarters, saluting, etc. So what alternative do anarchists propose? Anarchists advocate militias where officers are elected and recallable, and discipline is agreed by all in the unit. This is not simply a theory but has been put into practice by anarchists in the course of several revolutions. The Russian revolution saw an anarchist influenced force, the Revolutionary Insurrectionary Army - also known as the Makhnovista &endash; who liberated... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
Late 2008 saw the Irish capitalist class wage a major ideological struggle against the Irish working class. They called for workers to bear the brunt of the capitalist crisis. Print media, TV and radio carried segment after segment where well-paid commentators argued that workers, in particular public sector workers, were earning too much, had overly generous pensions and that the public had unrealistic expectations of public services. We were told that in order for recovery to happen we would have to have all these rolled back. Private sector workers, we were told, were over-paid and had to become ‘competitive’ again. The offensive quickly shifted from rhetoric to reality. A significant number of private sector workers have ha... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
Over the last decade a generalized critique of civilization has been made by a number of authors, mostly based in the USA. Some of these have chosen to identify as anarchists although the more general self-identification is primitivist. There overall argument is that ‘civilization’ itself is the problem that results in our failure to live rewarding lives. The struggle for change is thus a struggle against civilization and for an earth where technology has been eliminated. This is an interesting argument that has some merits as an intellectual exercise. But the problem is that some of its adherents have used primitivism as a base from which to attack all other proposals for changing society. Facing this challenge anarchists need... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
It is quite incredible that the majority of the union leadership had the nerve to stay in the Croke Park talks and return to us, the members, asking us to vote for such a terrible deal. All of the unions should have had a ballot before entering into negotiations and we should have voted to refuse to enter discussions at all as long as a billion euro of cuts was a precondition of talks. Once we entered on that basis, nothing good could come out of talks. And after making the mistake of entering on that condition, all the unions should have had a change of heart and walked out once the reality of what would have to be accepted became clear. We have to ask ourselves how we have found ourselves in unions where the leadership was allowed take s... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
The announcement that there will be a referendum to decriminalize abortion in Ireland is the product of decades of active campaigning. Pro-choice campaigners built for repeal ever since the hated 8th amendment was entered into the Constitution in 1983, putting a ban on abortion, which was already illegal in the country, into the constitution. If at first this seemed like a distant demand now repeal looks by far the most likely outcome in May. The story of how this happened illustrates how change comes in general. That is not through elections but through people getting organized to demand that change, regardless of which politicians happen to be running the show in any particular year. After all few would have predicted that it would have ... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
We don't place any major priority on debating other small left groups but every now and again such an exercise becomes worthwhile. In particular decent defenses of the Bolsheviks actions during the Russian revolution are hard to come by. That is ones that try and defend their actions rather than re-write history and slander opponents. This is a reply to one of the better defenses of the Bolsheviks and is found in Class Struggle, No22, Spring 1994. The Russian revolution was one of the most important events of the 20th century. Until recently the most important debate on the left was whether or not it had failed. Now with the collapse of the USSR a far more important debate is uncovered, why did it fail. As revolutionaries we discount the ... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
August saw a gathering of a couple of thousand anarchists from all over the globe in St Imier, Switzerland. This small town was the site of the founding of the Anarchist International in 1872, the gathering was organized to commemorate this event and involved dozens of political, organizational & cultural events. As part of this gathering Anarkismo, the international network that the WSM is the Irish section of, held both a European conference and a global gathering. For this 140th anniversary the organizers had arranged to hire all the large spaces in the town as well as using the Espace Noir social center. The Funicular was hired to run participants to and from the campsite above the town. And every bar, restaurant and patch of shade... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
Across the globe millions of people mobilized against the war in Iraq. On February 15th 100,000 people marched through the streets of Dublin in the biggest political protest in Southern Ireland for over 20 years. Around 15,000 demonstrated in Belfast on the same day. The turnout on these demonstrations showed that the battle for public opinion had been won. Massive numbers of people opposed Bush and Blair’s drive to war and the Irish government’s role in it. But they seem to have had very little effect on the war. The governments concerned simply ignored them. In every country the anti-war movement was thus faced with the question of what to do next. After February 15th we should have expected to see the various movements inter... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
This weeks New Scientist carries an editorial calling for “robust public debate on geoengineering”. Geoengineering is the idea that if climate change cannot be avoided through a reduction in carbon emissions its worst effects can be avoided through large-scale engineering of our environment. The failure of the Climate Summit in Copenhagen has seen many scientists look to what is perceived as the only possible alternative. Coincidentally I’d just been reading SuperFreakonomics: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes, and Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance [1] which includes an entire chapter arguing for a geoengineering solution for climate change. The chapter is a little odd, it opens with the authors making som... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

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