Ireland

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March 30th national strike off - Employer’s retreat but ICTU talks are not a victory

WSM protest outside Anglo Irish BankAn initial reaction to the ICTU announcement that March 30 is off
That the very threat of a national strike was enough to force government and IBEC (Irish employers organisation) to change their position demonstrates the power the working class holds when we threaten to withdraw our labor. For all the media attempts to convince us we are powerless and that class struggle is a thing of the past when faced with the reality of the organised working class standing up both bosses and state were keen to avoid any confrontation that could illustrate and encourage our collective power.

Irish workers and the Celtic Tiger : The reality behind the neoliberal 'success story'

This is the second of three talks I delivered at the Prague S26 counter summit.

When I left school in Ireland the first job I applied for was in McDonalds. They didn't advertise jobs, there was no need but instead whenever they needed people they mailed out to a list of those who had called into the joint in the last couple of weeks. They interviewed about 60 people for four or five jobs. I didn't get one! On Friday as I got the bus to the airport in Dublin I noticed a bus shelter where McDonalds were advertising for workers and boasting they were paying over the minimum wage. Like all low paid service sector employments they now have massive problems finding enough people to work for them.

Were Irish union leaders behind the public sector pay cut?

Panel at the meeting

Did the idea of the so called 'Pensions Levy' come from some of the very Irish Congress of Trade Unions leadership who are supposed to negotiate on behalf of workers. This is one revelation that emerged on Saturday morning at a meeting of over 100 public sector trade unionists and two delegates from the Waterford Glass occupation. We were meeting in the Davenport hotel, Dublin to discuss a collective response to government attacks on workers and in particular the public sector pay cut. Most of those present were on branch committees or even national executives with a couple of branches delegating representatives to the meeting. The gathering could in that context be said to reflect the views of a large number of branches across the unions that organise public sector workers.

Thoughts on the crisis, what is planned for us and the alternatives

New government tax formOur government has become more and more open about their plans for us. Cowan wants to drive down our living standards 12% and has already cut all our wages through the tax levy and slashed the wages of workers in the public sector further through the so called ‘pensions levy’. He openly talks of “four more years of even steeper cuts”. He is so confident of us taking this lying down that he had the cheek to announce his intention to drive down our living standards at what even RTE referred to as the “Dublin Chamber of Commerce's lavish AGM dinner which cost €160” a head.

Fighting Global Capitalism; What sort of movement do we need?

The Grassroots Gathering fish

 Article from July 2001 calling for the creation of what was to become the Grassroots Gathering. Beyond this though we see the need for those of us who have a common anti-authoritarian vision of a future society to work together to promote this view. There are many within the general movement whom we are close to, who we feel in a greater or lesser way are fighting for the sort of society we are fighting for. Often we use quite different language to describe it but in the most general terms we are talking of a society where workplaces and communities are run by those who live and work there.

Report on the 2002 Cork Grassroots Gathering

Over the fence at the Old Head of Kinsale

The second Grassroots Gathering was held over the Easter weekend in Cork. 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, Clare and Sligo.

Detailed overview of the direct actions at Shannon against the Iraq and Afghan wars

In every country after February 15th 2003 the anti-war movement was faced with the question of what to do next. In Ireland almost all of the direct action protests were targeted on Shannon airport. More than half dozen successful actions took place, ranging from a large scale breach of the fence in October, to physical attacks on planes as the build up to war escalated. In response to these actions three out of the four airlines using the airport for troop transportation pulled out just before the start of the Iraq war.

The 2003 Direct Action's against the war in Ireland

Image

From the summer of 2002 to the spring of 2003 there were numerous direct actions against war at Shannon airport in the west of Ireland. The airport is well located as a refueling stop for US troops being transported from the NE coast of America to the warzones in Afghanistan and Iraq.

This booklet brings together two articles published in Red & Black Revolution no7 (2004) that gave a history and analysis of the actions and the debate and conflict they caused within the anti-war movement in Ireland

Shannon - at the end of a long road

Report on the 12 April 2003 Shannon demonstration which was only attended by about 470 people, many of these being from the political parties that make up the IAWM. The movement that could mobilise 100,000 ends up leading 467 into a protest pen at Shannon as in the background military flights taxi for take off.

Report on March 1st 2003 attempted mass direct action at Shannon airport

 Report written in the aftermath of the attempted March 1st 2003 Direct Action at Shannon airport which looks at what happened and what it means for the anti-war movement.

  


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