As some of you will know I've been working the last while on bringing an organiser of the 2012 mass student strike to Ireland for a speaking tour. Vanessa, our speaker arrived Saturday morning and after got to the AFA Ireland solidarity with Greek anti-fascists demonstration and the Shell to Sea fundraiser in Seomra Spraoi is speaking in Cork today. She spoke after a welcome meal we had for her in Seomra last night and (although I'm biased) I really think any radical will find what she has to say about the experiences of the strike really useful. The talk was very focused on the concrete organisational challenges of co-ordinating a 6 month long strike that had 400,000 students staying out of college for up to 6 months - some of the challenges will be familiar to you, but not at that scale.
The Social Solidarity Network came into existence in the Autumn of 2009 in Dublin as an initiative of the Workers Solidarity Movement. It faded out of existence a few short months later and never amounted to all that much in the interim beyond a couple of meetings, a leaflet distribution at a mass ICTU march and a badly organised and executed protest at the Dail on budget day. Nevertheless there are some useful lessons (mostly of the ‘how not to do it variety’) to be taken from its short existence.
Last Sunday I staffed the WSM stall at the first Dublin independent zine fair and while I was there made an audio recording of the Revolutionary Anarchist Feminist Group (RAG) session at the zinefair.
As anarchists we hope to help build communication between people engaged in struggle and inform a growing proportion of the real facts of such struggles. The other related aspect of an anarchist newspaper will be articles that sketch out what anarchism aims to achieve and what the history and current reality of that struggle
It is an old cliché that anarchists are against organisation - the media loves to point out an imagined contradiction between anarchism and organisation. The reality is that (among other things) anarchism is a theory of organisation. The circled A often seen sprayed on walls represents the A of anarchism within the O of organisation. [In Greek]
Insurrections - the armed rising of the people - has always been close to the heart of anarchism. The first programmatic documents of the anarchist movement were created by Bakunin and a group of European left-republican insurrectionists as they made the transition to anarchism in Italy in the 1860's. This was not a break with insurrectionism but with left-republicanism, shortly afterwards Bakunin was to take part in an insurrection in Lyon in 1870.
The emergence of the Anarchist Workers Group at the start of the 1990's was something the WSM welcomed. Most of the people involved initially with the AWG came from the South London branch of the Direct Action Movement. At least one founder member of the Anarchist Communist Federation (ACF) was also involved initially in the AWG. This meant they also had a branch in the North of England made up of people from Manchester and Liverpool.
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.
Saturday March 31st 2001 saw the third Irish anarchist gathering to be held under the title of 'Ideas and Action', this time in the North Star Hotel, Dublin. In terms of numbers this was the most successful gathering to date with around 70 people attending at least one of the three sessions.