Analysis

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Articles based more around exploring a particular rather than reporting on it

The 1798 rebellion and the origins of Irish republicanism

Pikemen in 1798On the 23rd of May 1798 the largest popular republican rising in Irish history began. Across the island tens of thousands fought under the banner of the United Irishmen. Hundreds of thousands had been sworn into the organization in the preceding four years. On four occasions revolutionary France sent thousands of troops to aid the rebellion, the United Irishmen had built contacts with revolutionary republicans across the globe, including the USA, France, Hamburg and England. The response of the British state to the rise of the United Irishmen was a brutal counterinsurgency campaign that stirred up sectarian conflict on the island. 1798 thus came to shape much of the political struggles that took place in the following centuries. [Article in Spanish]

The rising of the moon - an anarchist analysis of Irish republicanism and working class struggles 1780 -1798 & 1880-1923

Stopping the cannon This collection of articles looks at some of the highpoints in the development of Irish republicanism. The articles themselves are linked to below but you can also download them as a PDF booklet by following the instructions below. You are welcome to distribute copies of this booklet but do let me know that you are doing so.

The Mexican Zapatistas and direct democracy

On January 1st 1994, a rebel army called the Emiliano Zapata Liberation Front (EZLN) rose against the Mexican government in Chiapas, Mexico. Workers Solidarity contributor Andrew Flood has been researching the life of ordinary people in the Zapatista area. Below he writes about some of his findings

Why parliament is a fraud

We are used to being promised the sun, moon and stars in elections only to receive cuts, cuts and cuts. Is this just because all politicians are liars or are there deeper reasons? Abstention from elections has been an anarchist tactic from the time of Bakunin. In this article we look at some of the reasons anarchists advocate abstention/spoilt votes.  The right to the vote was part of the hard won struggles of workers (and suffragettes!) over the last couple of hundred years. Obviously it is preferable to live in a parliamentary democracy rather than a dictatorship. Even the most flawed democracies are forced to concede rights that dictatorships do not, such as relative independence for trade unions, the right to limited demonstrations, a certain amount of free speech, etc.

An anarchist look at the Russian Revolution

The Russian revolution has been a subject of key importance to anarchists for two reasons. The first reason is that for the first time in history a working class revolution succeeded in ousting the old ruling classes. The second reason is that after the old ruling class was ousted a new class came to power. Those of us who want to make a revolution to-day must understand where the successes and failures of the past came from.

Second Grassroots Gathering in Cork a success

The second grassroots gathering was held over the Easter weekend (March 2002) in Cork. It was quite a success with nearly twice as many libertarian activists turning up as had been hoped for. Some seventy people from all over Ireland took part. Areas represented included Cork, Dublin, Limerick and Belfast as well as a scattering of other counties including Kildare, Kerry and Sligo. Some visiting international activists also dropped in, including people from Canada and Norway.

Danish general strike of 1998

Almost half a million workers went on strike, including almost all industrial workers and most workers in transport and building. It was so powerful that the police and other emergency services had to ask the unions whenever they needed petrol.

A brief look at the history of the British Labour Party

There was no glorious period of Labour Party socialism, and never will be. It is a bosses' party which at times of crisis is every bit as willing to attack the working class as the Tories. Some of the left in the Labour Party, unable to avoid it's rotten record, will put their hope in some future Labour government led by the 'left'. Their hopes are as futile as those who see a majority Labour government led by socialists bringing in socialism in Ireland.

French Workers Take on their bosses

The strike wave that rocked France in the closing month of 1995 is yet another example of the great fighting spirit of the French working class. Yet when we look at the causes of the strike and the relative weakness of French workplace organisation the question that emerges is 'if they can do it, why can't we'?

An initial analysis of the EZLN from 1994

 This was a talk I prepared for a WSM public meeting in 1994 based on an analysis of the early information coming from Chiapas.  The talk was given in June, some five months after the start of the rising but despite that early date it touches on the essential themes that I return to again and again over the subsequent years in the dozen or so articles I was to write on the topic.

  


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