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Lawrence Summers, Vice-President and chief economist of the World Bank is just the man to explain “free market” values to any of us who may have illusions about fairness or human rights. In a leaked memo he explained how the economic logic of dumping toxic waste in the less developed countries was impeccable. According to him people in low wage countries are going to die quicker, and so won’t have time to die of cancer. He said a person in a low wage country might earn $500 a year and have ten years to live, whereas in a higher-wage country a similar person might earn $50,OOO a year and have twenty years to live, and so would contribute more to “economic growth”. Therefore you should put the pollution where t... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
WAGES COUNCILS, which used to set minimum wages in badly paid industries like catering, in Northern Ireland & Britain are no more. As reported in the last edition of Workers Solidarity they were abolished by the Tories on February 7th. Latest figures from the Low Pay Network show that, just before their abolition, over 37% of the workplaces visited by wages inspectors were illegally underpaying staff. However there were only 12 prosecutions (so much for Tory huffing and puffing about “the law must be obeyed”). In another survey one in five vacancies offered in job centers were below the minimum wages set by the wage councils (Source: Retrieved on 18th November 2021 from struggle.ws.) (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
On November 18th this year after an overnight battle with police and fascist gangs on one side and Greek anarchists on the other riot police stormed Athens Polytechnic and arrested 513 of the 2000 mostly anarchist occupiers. The occupation of the polytechnic is an annual demonstration to commemorate the massacre of students carried out there in 1973 by the brutal military junta which then ruled the country. The media attempted to portray the occupation as the work of a handful of teenage hooligans and went as far as using ‘live’ footage which was actually from riots last year. In actual fact of those arrested only 40 were under 18. One eyewitness reported how one man was caught by the police in the evening. He was brutall... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
In the 2,000 years of Korean history there arose movements fighting for peasants rights and for national independence. Within these movements there were tendencies that may be seen as forerunners of modern anarchism, in the same way as we might view the Diggers in the English revolution. In 1894 Japan invaded, under the pretext of protecting Korea from China. The struggle for national independance became central to all radical political activity. The modern anarchist movement in Korea began to take form among the exiles who fled to China after the 1919 independence struggle, and students and workers who went to Japan. This struggle, the 3.1 Movement within which anarchists were prominent, involved 2 million people; 1,500 demonstrations we... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
Last March twenty five workers at Pat the Baker’s Cherry Orchard plant in west Dublin joined SIPTU. They wanted to improve their lousy pay and conditions. The company, owned by Pat Higgins and based in the Longford town of Granard, responded by sacking them. A bitter battle has gone on ever since. Management has used all the tricks at its disposal including employing two public relations firms to vilify the strikers, 24 hour video filming of the picket, and the invention of a “works committee” for Cherry Orchard. SIPTU has responded with an expensive publicity campaign. A newsletter, Breadline News, have been delivered to homes all over the country. Tens of thousands of leaflets and stickers have been printed. However, t... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
WORKERS AT Nolans Transport in New Ross have been told their strike is illegal. They have been in dispute since February 1993 for better pay, better conditions and union recognition. Now they could be jailed if they continue to picket. Last December’s High Court judgment ordered SIPTU to pay over £1.3 million in damages and expenses to Nolan Transport. This has very serious implications for the entire trade union movement. If the judgment is allowed to stand, it will have two principal consequences. Firstly, in relation to balloting procedures. Up to now trade union leaders had insisted — despite several warnings to the contrary — that under the terms of the 1990 Industrial Relations Act only trade union members co... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
1. Why We are Pro-Choice The WSM stands for people having control over their own bodies: bodily autonomy. Part of that is control over our own reproductive health, including the ability to end a pregnancy if we choose to. The prohibition of abortion on the island of Ireland is a gross violation of that basic right to bodily autonomy. Though cis women have been the primary targets of the abortion ban, abortion rights affect anyone else who can become pregnant namely trans men, non-binary and some intersex people. It’s important to recognize this in order to have a movement which includes all people who can become pregnant and which challenges patriarchy as a whole rather than only the oppression of cis women. Hence our inclu... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
Anarcho-syndicalism has been and continues to be the most influential current within anarchism. Anarcho-syndicalists seek to build revolutionary unions, that organize all workers in a democratic union with a minimum number of full time ‘officials’ who will be on the average wage of those they represent and completely answerable to the rest of the membership. The Workers Solidarity Movement does not consider itself anarcho-syndicalist but we seek to maintain good relations with anarcho-syndicalists everywhere. We print here an interview about the International Workers Association, the international body that many anarcho-syndicalists are part of. The interview is with Tom Wetzel, from the Workers Solidarity Alliance, the U.S. se... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
Accidents rarely happen. They are caused. It is equally the case that workers end up taking more than their fair share of blame when things do go wrong. Such has been the case with a host of rail and air accidents over the years, where drivers and pilots have quick1y been targeted by the media. But when management is to blame, as is the case with just as accidents, the same light of media exposure rarely shines as brightly or for as long. It’s not difficult to see why. Accidents for which management are responsible, often reveal glaring inadequacies in how management operates and in its organizational ability. The reason being that accidents rarely just happen “out of the blue.” Most often, major industrial accidents are ... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
What was the alternative Lucas Corporate Plan? Over a period of two years a series of proposals that later became known as the Lucas Plan were drawn together through the active involvement of most of the workers in the 15 different Lucas factories. Its aim was to shift Lucas Aerospace, as a company away from the production of military goods, mainly for NATO (an emphasis that was capital intensive and had high profit margins for Lucas’s owners) and towards the production of socially useful goods (which was a labor intensive field, relying more on the skills already in the Lucas Company). Such a shift would mean the preservation of jobs at Lucas and the fulfillment of some of the more pressing needs of society. Here is what was proposed... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
1. What is Electoralism and WSM Participation When we talk of electoralism we mean those methods that seek change through putting forward individuals for representative forms of government under class rule, i.e. parliaments and town or regional councils. We have two fundamental issues with these institutions: They exist in order to manage capitalism through the state in a way that minimizes conflict between the capitalist class and dampens conflict between that class and the rest of society. They are constructed so that representatives cannot be mandated by those who elect them or recalled as soon as they break such mandates. This is by design, these methods of 2 rule are intended to be unaccountable so that those in th... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
Introduction to the second edition (1989) In the intervening four years since the Workers Solidarity Movement first published Anarchism and Ireland the reasons for doing so again have been more than demonstrated. Despite the great technological advances, the huge wealth and resources that now exist throughout the world, millions continue to die from starvation and from four major preventable diseases. Ireland is no exception to the injustice and inequality that prevails. The standard of living has dropped for most working class people in the last three years, while unemployment has gone higher and emigration increased. The government has used the climate of despondency to push through its own cuts in the health service and in education ... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
Anarchists are materialists. We understand that there is a real and concrete basis for the way society is organized right now:why here are rich and poor, why there are order-givers and order-takers, why there is starvation and misery on a massive scale — and we understand how this can be changed. Religion sees such things as “God given” and acceptable, the poor being rewarded in the afterlife for accepting “their lot” in this one. This means that anarchism and religion stand diametrically opposed to each other. Religion, by its nature, must be authoritarian — whether to a greater or lesser extent. It must be based on “faith”, on obedience. The reality we face is of churches that play a p... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
Over one hundred million people in the world speak Arabic, or languages closely related to Arabic. Though most live in and around the Middle-East and North Africa, a large number also live in Europe, America and Asia. Very few, at present, have access, in their own language, to any of the major anarchist texts that are currently in print. Until recently Daniel Guerin’s book, Anarchism, was one of these books. Written in 1965 by the well known French anarchist, it remains one of the best and most comprehensive introductions to anarchist ideas. Now this book has been translated and published in Arabic — a major achievement. Those who have worked on the translation and the publication of this first Arabic edition of Anarchism, ar... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
This paper outlines how we the intersections of exploitation and oppressions and what approach the WSM takes in relation to this. Our collective theoretical understanding is framed in the WSM Constitution’s core point of unity number 7: “We actively oppose all manifestations of prejudice within the workers’ movement and society in general and we work alongside those struggling against racism, sexism, [religious] sectarianism and homophobia as a priority. We see the success of a revolution and the successful elimination of these oppressions after the revolution being determined by the building of such struggles in the pre-revolutionary period. The methods of struggle that we promote are a preparation for the running of soci... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
AT THE MOMENT the “Socialist Movement” has all but collapsed. Despite the fact that high unemployment, war and mass starvation would point to the need for a coherent anti-capitalist alternative most socialists are confused and demoralized. The reason is simple, both the reformist and Leninist parties are paying for their legacy of betrayal of socialism in this century. What they conceived socialism to be has been totally discredited. As anarchists it is important to realize that their are both advantages and drawbacks to these developments. The vast majority of those that referred to themselves as socialists saw the Stalinist countries as being ahead of capitalism, a large amount even went so far as to refer to these regimes as... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
In Khabarousk, in far eastern Russia, some people have to walk to work because they can’t afford the massively increased bus & train fares. Anarchists have been organizing a nonpayment campaign. They have also set up their own pirate radio station, club and a free university. (Source: Retrieved on 7th December 2021 from struggle.ws.) (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
Reports from Australia indicate that an anarchist influenced student initiative called the Non-Aligned-Left has been elected to almost all the regional National Union of Students officer ships and is the largest faction on the national officer ships. The NUS represents some 450,000 students. It is the first time the Australian Labor Party has lost control of any state NUS branch and the first time non-Labor factions have had a majority on the national executive. According to NAL activist Marcus Westbury The NAL has existed for only 2 years. They have grown from a handful of delegates to the second largest NUS faction primarily because of their commitment to participatory decision making, a non hierachial structure, and their non binding na... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
A SEVEN DAY working week, sometimes as long as 16 hours a day. That’s the lot of many clothing workers in Bangladesh. Mistreatment and beatings are common. So is sexual harassment. Even rape and murder are not unknown. Since last summer, the National Garment Workers Federation has organized many large demonstrations against these primitive conditions. Job security is non-existent and hundreds of union activists have been sacked. The NGWF are fighting to make Friday a free day, for overtime rates to be paid and for an end to the harassment of women workers. The union has built links with anarchist and radical unions in other countries, including the Swedish SAC and the anarcho-syndicalist International Workers Association. (Source: ... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
Over the weekend of November 24–25 (2007), protesters clashed with police in Sucre, Bolivia — they were demanding that the capital of the country be moved to Sucre. Three people died and over some 100 were wounded in the clashes. Yesterday Morales announced plans for a nationwide referendum to resolve a deepening political crisis in the country. A few years ago the Cochabamba water war coincided perfectly with the 2000 anti-globalization peak to solidify many of that movement’s arguments about neo-liberal rule in cold hard scenarios of struggle. An exciting new round of images depicting indigenous women confronting militarized police dotted left publications, while documentaries like ‘The Corporation’ used th... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
For over a year, the European Union (one of the most prosperous areas on the planet), has been embroiled in a ‘crisis of immigration’ — the result of failed government responses to increased population inflows coming from the Middle East and Africa. The hundreds of thousands of migrants attempting to travel to Europe are refused conventional safe entry and are forced to rely on criminal smugglers and dangerous land and sea routes. The predictable result has been a massive humanitarian crisis, concentrated at bottleneck transit points such as the Greek islands, and in sprawling migrant camps within and outside Europe. Since January this year, every day, eight people on average have drowned in the Aegean Sea alone, on trans... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
The growth of the far-right throughout Europe in the last few years has alarmed many who thought fascism died with Hitler. It also has given rise to a debate on the left over the nature of fascism, one that has spilled over into the letters pages of Workers Solidarity. The debate continues with Andrew Flood discussing some of the historical features of fascism and the importance of racism as the central plank of fascism to-day. In order to explain the rise of fascism to-day it is useful to look at the rise of fascism historically. On the left, fascism is often presented as something that arose to head off imminent revolution. There is some truth in this as in both Italy and Germany fascism appeared in a period of great social upheaval. Ger... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
The neoliberal origins of the global capitalist crisis The neoliberal model that global capitalism has depended upon for its growth over the last three decades has collapsed in spectacular fashion. The collapse has been remarkable for the astonishing speed with which it has spread all over the world and into every corner of the global economy. The roots of this crisis are found in the basic structure of the neoliberal economic system. Neoliberal economics first came into vogue in the late 1970s. They represented a reaction by the powerful against social democracy and the wave of radical social movements — anti- colonial, civil-rights, feminist, socialist — that flourished in the postwar period. At its essence neoliberalism a... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
Imperialism is the ability of countries to globally and locally dictate trade relations with other countries. This means the term can only be usefully applied to a few countries, in particular those composing the permanent members of the UN security council and the G8. The policy of these countries in this as in other respects is largely driven by the major companies based there and not their peoples. Almost all of the worlds top 200 companies are based in these countries. These interests are defined on the regional and global level by bodies like the World Economic Forum and the European Round Table of Industralists (ERT). These bodies bring together the top ‘decision makers’ in the corporations with the relevant minister... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
The Catholic Church is looking for payment in return for sexually abusing children! Right up to the 1960s young children from Catholic orphanages in Britain and the six counties were shipped out to Australia. There the boys, some as young as eight years, were used as almost slave labor by Catholic farmers and the Church itself. Girls were sent into domestic service in the homes of rich Church members. In Western Australia the Christian Brothers are facing over 50 compensation claims by former child migrants who say they were sexually abused while in Church care. In July, in the Western Australian newspaper, the Christian Brothers admitted that “physical and sexual abuse took place”. But rather than face up to their responsibili... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
In the autumn of 1992, the people of Ireland voted to legalize abortion information. More than two years later, the government has finally introduced a Bill to ‘regulate’ this information. Ray Cunningham examines it. Even though an clear majority (60%) voted in favor of abortion information, the legal position on the distribution of this information remained confused. Counseling services and information groups, fearful of being taken to court, erred on the side of caution when it came to abortion, and so the news that a Bill was being introduced was welcomed in many quarters. At last, the threat of injunction would be lifted. As the Bill was published, however, it became clear that it was more restrictive than many could have i... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
PEOPLE HAVE got so used to the health cuts over the last ten years that they just accept them as their lot. The situation on hospital waiting lists for public patients is now so farcical that people are being offered appointments two years away. The waiting list for tonsils operations in Crumlin Children’s Hospital is now two years long. Tell them that the child is missing a lot of school because of tonsillitis and produce doctors letters to that effect and you will get an appointment in 15 months! The average waiting time for routine dental appointments for people on the medical card is now three years! A lot of conditions get much worse while people are waiting for treatment and your teeth would have fallen out by the time you saw ... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
A running theme of this issue of Red & Black Revolution has been the question of how we as anarchists should orientate ourselves towards the non-revolutionary elements of our class and towards non-revolutionary social struggles. We have suggested that we cannot remain peripheral to our class defending the purity of our ideals, rather we, as anarchists, need to be at the center of working class social struggles. It is only thus that we can create a movement capable of abolishing class society. The recently launched Scottish platformist group ‘Praxis’ offers an example of this type of anarchist activism. They have been deeply involved in trying to develop working class community organistions in Glasgow. Here we ask one of the... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
IRELAND IS THE 19th most competitive country in the world. This was the finding released in September by the Geneva based World Economic Forum. Yet workers in TEAM, Irish Steel, the ESB, and a lot more jobs are told that they must accept lower pay and/or worse conditions in order to “become competitive”. The ten most competive countries were listed as USA Singapore Japan Hong Kong Germany Switzerland Denmark Netherlands New Zealand Sweden While it is undeniable that low wages are one factor in attracting multinational investment, there are other factors. Why are we always told that we must be like Singapore or Hong Kong but not like Germany or Sweden? Why must bosse... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
On the internet white supremacists recently initiated a ballot to set up a discussion group called rec.music.white power. They planed to use this group to identify and recruit young people into local fascist groups. These groups are created by a ballot in which anyone with an e-mail account can vote. Despite a widespread campaign which had the support of many right-wingers and threats to those who opposed them this fascist initiative was defeated by over 33,000 votes to 592. (Source: Retrieved on 11th December 2021 from struggle.ws.) (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

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