Capitalist crisis

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Garda attacks TDs - the centre is not holding

In a further escalation of police repression against anti-bailout protesters, a motorbike Garda attacked at least two Sinn Féin TDs (elected members of the Irish parliament) in front of the world's TV cameras today (Monday 22 nov).  The TDs were attempting to push back a small number of demonstrators who had pushed through the gates of government buildings.  From TV footage the demonstration seems to have been mostly composed of fellow members of Sinn Féin.

IMF arrival in Ireland does not transform yesterday's enemies into today's friends

Even the Irish Times has now editorialized against the IMF intervention but like most of the emerging mainstream concerns the Times is not concerned about the cuts in jobs, wages and welfare that the IMF will be used to impose. No their concern is for the loss of 'sovereignty' as IMF intervention results in a rise in populist cross class nationalism, a tide which ironically the ruling party, which is bringing in the IMF to make the cuts it would like to, will be best placed to ride.

Who is afraid of the IMF - their opportunity and ours

It's now official, the Irish state is in talks with the EU and the IMF about a so called 'rescue plan' to bail out the Irish capitalist class from the disaster created by the international crash of the capitalist economic system. A crisis that was magnified in Ireland by the corruption of local crony capitalism on the one hand and the dependency of the economy on 'globalization' on the other. Trapped between such a cast of crooks and idiots it is perhaps not surprising that many in Ireland hope things will be improved when the running of our lives will be handed over to those who many hope might have a clue. [Italian] [Greek] [Spanish] [Dutch] [Catalan]

Report on student demonstration against police brutality

Dublin students march against police brutalityWSM reporters took part in the student march against Garda Brutality in Dublin called by Free Educations for Everyone and the Students in Solidarity networks. Over 600 people took part in the demonstration which marched from the Wolfe Tone statue to Pearse street police station.

Riot police attack students after they occupy Department of Finance in Dublin

Students in Merrion row stand off riot policeRiot police attacked students in Dublin today (Weds Nov 3rd) with dogs, armoured vehicles and horses after the students protesting against government cuts occupied the Department of Finance and threw eggs at the Dail.

Upwards of thirty students occupied the Department of Finance in the center of Dublin with a couple of hundred supporting them in the streets outside.

Another larger group of students was reported outside the Dail throwing cans & bottles at it. Several students were injured in the suppression of the protest.

Tens of thousands of students were demonstrating as part of the USI protests against plans to introduce fees. The students carrying out the occupation appear to have broken away from the main demonstration which took place around the corner in Merrion Square. Student members of the WSM, eirigi and the SWP were at the scene. The WSM members published the reports below.

Halloween protest tour on multi-millionare's Shewsbury road

1% Network Halloween protest Shewsbury roadSaturday 30th October saw the WSM take part in the latest 1% Network event, an after dark Halloween Treasure Hunt around Dublin's exclusive Shewsbury and Ailesbury roads taking in the mansions of multi millionare bankers, developers and financers as well as the HQ of Allied Irish Bank and the 32 million in tax avoidance of the luxury Four Seasons hotel. The tour was led off by a vampire capitalist accompanied by a contingent of Zombie bankers and developers and ghost estates with the vampire showing how much wealth was present at each stop and explaining the contacts between the 1%, the media and the government that enabled them to make hundreds of millions during the tiger.  The tour was accompanied by uniformed Gardai and a car of special branch political police.  The 1% network is a coalition of socialist groups including the WSM, eirigi, ISN and Semora Spraoi formed to highlight the fact that the richest 1% own 34% of the wealth.

Irish residents have 1250 billion in overseas investment or do they?

Irish investment by country CSOEarlier in the week I turned a fairly obscure CSO report from last week into a brief article for the WSM web site.  On first reading the report seems to say that people living in Ireland have 1250 billion invested in bonds, stocks and shares overseas.  This is 25 times the cost of the NAMA bailout so certainly appears to represent an alternative way to pay for NAMA then shutting down much of the health and education system.  After some discussion on Facebook and researching online I'm not quite so sure what this figure represents anymore, I added a final paragraph to the article to flag that.  The article is below, I've a few more comments on the process around it afterwards.

Revealed - more cuts to pay for bank bailout planned

Within hours of announcing that the real cost of the Anglo bailout was going to be 30 billion plus rather than the 1.5 billion first estimated the government was revealing its plan for further cuts in our pay welfare, and public services to pay for this. The bank bailouts, not totalling 45 billion, will push the budget deficit to 32% of GDP, the government has the intention of continuing to attack the living standards of workers in Ireland until this is reduced to the 3% required by the EU.

Cement truck rams Dail gates - or does it?

On the morning of Wednesday 29th September we awoke to the news that a cement triuck covered in anti-government slogans relating to the bank bailout had been rammed into the gates of the Dail (Irish parliament) almost running over the police guarding the entrance.  It turned out that some of this was true, some of it lies and that the alleged driver of the truck was the strangest of anti-bank campaigners, an outraged developer.  This piece written for the WSM site takes apart some of the spin.

The Balance Question

In the ongoing attempts to analyse the causes of the global financial crisis in the mainstream media, a continual refrain is that the underlying cause is the “imbalance” in world trade. This diagnosis is superficially tempting as it is always self-evidently correct. For the same reason, it is also an utterly cretinous tautology, rather like the sub-Marxian left’s kneejerk response of “overproduction” as the cause of any particular crisis.


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