On Syndicalism and Marxism

Well, I finally posted the final draft of my reply to an article in Anarchist Studies on “Syndicalism, Anarchism and Marxism.” I’m planning to submit this to Anarchist Studies, mostly because I was somewhat shocked that an anarchist journal would publish such unsubstantiated claims on Marxism being a “core” ideological influence on syndicalism. However, this seems to be a recurring theme and one I’ve commented on before and will do so again, now.

WSM conference, Capitalist Crisis, and a united front of struggle to resist it

Women with CE cuts protest placardsThe last two years in Ireland have been dominated by the massive assault launched on the working class as our rules have successfully forced us to pay for the crisis in their system.  Tens of billions have been used to bail out the property developers, speculators and bankers, money that has been generated by the slashing of public services and the imposition of a massive pay cut on public sector workers. The response of the left has been weak and highly fragmented, reflecting in part the massive hold neo liberal ideology has on the working class but also a left that was in no way prepared for the coordinated assault that fell on workers in Ireland. WSM had its six monthly conference in May and as you might expect this topic took up a good chunk of the agenda.

Using social media for political activity & individual security

Last Monday I did a talk on the political use of social media like Facebook and individual security concerns for RAG (Revolutionary Anarcha Feminist Group).  The text I based the talk on and the audio recordings of the talk (which had four other speakers and 40 minutes of discussion) are with this blog post.  I ranged fairly widely as I think these questions can only be understood in the balances revolutionaries have always had to strike between effective communication and personal security.

Raytheon & Shannon - good v bad direct actions?

For several years the presence of the US war company Raytheon's plant in Derry has been a focus for anti-war protests in that city including direct actions. Raytheon makes the Patriot, Tomahawk, Cruise and Sidewinder missiles, the small Derry plant didn't manufacture the weapons but rather was part of the process of producing the software that made them function.  Rather oddly this was sometimes used to defend the company, as if the assembly line worker attaching fins to a rocket was somehow more responsible for the children it killed when dropped on a house that the software programmer who wrote the code that guided it to its destination.

Youth Defence on Facebook

Last week a friend on Facebook was complaining that she was getting Youth Defence ads.  Youth Defence are a virulently anti-choice organisation in Ireland, probably comparable to the likes of Operation Rescue in North America.  Anyway I was curious and asked her to do a screen capture if it re-appeared which it did.  I then realised this was a parallel campaign to the one they were running in the newspapers and that it all related to the ABC case in the European courts so I wrote up the article below for the WSM site to put it into context.

The anti-capitalist blocs to the Dail

Anti capitalist bloc in DublinFollowing Gardai attacks on people protesting the bank bailouts on two seperate occasions we had a discussion in my WSM branch about mobilising for a protest that had been called by the SWP / Right to Work for the following week.  There was a bit of debate about being seeing to support what was yet another SWP front group (an ongoing discussion) but in the end we decided to try and mobilise the Dublin WSM for the following protest.  This involved the activation (and to an extent the invention) of a Dublin version of our national Interim Decisions Committee, basically delegates from each of the branches to make the decisions that needed to be made before the next scheduled branch meetings were to take place.

Repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell is useless without further action

Last Thursday, the House of Representatives voted 234-194 to allow the repeal of the controversial Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy.

The vote mirrored an earlier closed-door agreement of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Crises, social movements and revolutionary transformations

Interface: a journal for and about social movements


Well, I’ve not blogged for a month. Time flies! Suffice to say, this was a combination of personal life (moving home, thanks to our old parasitical landlord selling the place), work (much more busy now, thanks to cuts), not sure of having anything particularly interesting to say (what’s new there?) and getting this month’s “Property is Theft!” update sorted out.

Speaking & pushing - last Tuesday at the anti-capitalist bloc

Anti capatilsit bloc on Dawson street, DublinIn a couple of hours I'm heading in to the second anti-capitalist bloc march on the Dail. Last week the police tried to prevent us marching but after a couple of minutes we managed to push past them.  The text here is my notes in case I needed to give a speech at the form up point.  On the night I ended up using segments of this at the form up point at the Wolfe Tone statue and another portion after we had pushed through police lines outside Anglo Irish Bank.


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