Capitalist crisis

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Images from the eirigi occupation of Anglo Irish Bank

I got notification early on Saturday that some comrades from the left republican group eirigi had just occupied the Anglo Irish Bank offices so I hoped on my bike with my trusty camera to go down and get a few photos which I include with this post as a slide show.  Anglo Irish Bank (not to be confused with Allied Irish Bank) was the super dodgy property developer bank whose collapse was a key feature of the crash in Ireland and which is going to cost workers in Ireland some 30 billion as we pay for the speculation of a couple of hundred of the superwealthy.  That figure is based on the fact that 50% of Anglo's loans were to 147 or so accounts!

There is an alternative to the cuts - blogging an abandoned draft

Back at the time of the November 24th strike and the budget I felt there was a need to make a brief argument that there was nothing inevitable about the way the cuts were being implemented.  And to then move on to state how we could force the implementation of such a 'program.'  This was one of a couple of pieces drafted for discussion by the Social Solidarity Network in order to adopt a simple piece of text we could then try and build from.  Unfortunately as part of the general demoralisation due to the lack of resistance to the budget and the cancellation of the December 3rd strike the SSN process also fell apart.  Having drafted the text which is now orphaned I thought I'd share that draft via this blog.

Chasing Enda Kenny into the shadows at the ICTU budget protest

Unfair placard at ICTU protestI went along to the ICTU protest against the budget (called almost a full week after the budget!) last night.  While we were there we spotted opposition leader Enda Kenny and some of the Dublin Shell to Sea crew chased him up the street in order to ask him a a few questions.  I followed with the iPhone and shot some very dark video of him trying to evade the discussion.  The rally itself was crap, not much more than a thousand people and only two quick speeches from David Begg the general secretary of ICTU and Sheila Nunan the president of the INTO.  Neither said very much. Jack O'Coonor from SIPTU lurked in the corner of the platform looking at his feet but apparently he had lost his voice.

Working Eight To Eight

It was Budget Day last week. I wrote this blog while finding it difficult to concentrate what with the sense of impending doom.

In the weeks leading up to today's budget the government had been in talks with the representatives of most of the Irish unions on how best to cut public sector pay.

Audio: Interviews from the 24th November picket lines

SIPTU strike postersThis audio consists of 10 brief interviews with public sector strikers made during the national strike on 24th November. Picketers at various locations across Dublin talk of what the strike is about, the effects of the cuts and how their unions organised for the strike.


Why did the union leadership cancel the Dec 3rd national strike in Ireland?

This is a table of what public sector workers in Ireland really earn based on the data given in the reply to a Dail question in Feb 09.On the cancellation of the Dec 3rd strike and the disasterous ICTU negotiating position

The cancellation of the Dec 3rd Public Sector strike is a blow to the developing movement against the cuts on the scale of the cancellation of the March 30th strike at the start of the year. The so called compromise ICTU have been negotiating for is a further blow, it seems designed to drive a wedge between workers and fails to answer the main problem public sector workers have, the inability to take further cuts. But the strike that did happen on 24th November has brought 250,000 workers into their first experience of the power we collectively hold and points towards an alternative.

The meaning of the 24th November public sector strike

On the 24th of November something extraordinary happened. 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.

Number of strike days each year - the 2009 is just for
Thursdays strike, in fact the final figure would include the
many small disputes that have gone on this year


A picture can tell a thousand words

Of course, it's not exactly as simple as it first appears. In the wake of the crash the ISDA started chivvying CDS dealers to try and net out their deals. As CDS are fixed term contracts and normally non-tradeable, the common practice for getting out of a CDS deal before the fixed term (usually 5 years) expires is to create a second, opposite contract. The end result is double the notional outstanding, though the deal has been effectively cancelled

Post March 30: The movement evaporates

Anyone following the blog will be aware of the way I've been reporting on resistance in Ireland to the capitalist crisis.

Government attacks workers through hiring freeze in public sector

In the latest round of attacks on ordinary workers in order to force us to pay for the crisis in capitalism the government had "declared a moratorium on Recruitment and Promotions in the Public Service with effect from 27th March". This is both yet another direct attack on public sector workers and an indirect attack on all workers as it means our access to health, education and other essential services will be further reduced.


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