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Revolutionary Organization in the age of Networked Individualism

The revolutions and revolts that swept the world in 2011 took almost everyone by surprise. One of the first strong attempts to explain why they happened is Paul Mason’s ‘Why It’s Kicking Off Everywhere.’  He argues that “the materialist explanation for 2011...is as much about individuals versus hierarchies as it is about rich against poor.”    By far the most provocative element of his book is the idea that communications technology, in particular the internet, is transforming the way people behave and that a significant contribution to the revolts of 2011 lie in these changes.  If he’s right it had profound consequences for the form and structure of revolutionary organisations including anarchist ones. 

 

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Dublin Mayday 2012 Photos & Video

 The Dublin Mayday march took place this year in appaling weather conditions which meant many of the 1000 or so who started out never made the final rally at Liberty Hall.  As you'll see from the pictures on the Quays machers were literally being wrapped up in their own banners by the wind and rain.  The WSM called an anti-authoritiarian bloc in which around 60 people took part and about 40 went to the social afterwards.

Photos & video from the April 2012 Reclaim the Streets in Dublin

 After a gap of some 6 years Reclaim the Streets returned to Dublin on April 28th with a few hundred people taking part.  Apart from Garda initally acting the bully boys with regards to people openly consuming alcohol there was no hassle and a good time was had by all. The organisers press release along with a slide show of the better photos I took on the day is below.

Bernadette: One women's journey from mass protest to hunger strikes to the peace process

The end of the 1960’s in northern Ireland were a unique time when, as elsewhere around the world, mass popular protest emerged onto the streets with ordinary people doing extraordinary things. The unique circumstances of northern Ireland and the particular form the state backlash took there resulted in a military conflict that lasted some 30 years and dominated politics on the entire island and to a much lesser extent in Britain. Although tens if not hundreds of thousands of people made this history it can also be told as the history of some of the prominent individuals involved, including the Irish republican socialist activist Bernadette Devlin McAliskey.

 

Irish police caught on film smashing car window at Shell roadblock

Shocking video has emerged of a Garda attack on a local resident, John Monagahan, at a roadblock the police were operating on behalf of Shell. The video shows the car being stopped at the roadblock and then you can hear the Garda smashing in the drivers window of his car with a baton before threatening to pepper spray him.  John had just left his home some 500m away.

 

Dublin demonstrates against ACTA & SOPA but it is about more than just downloading

Dublin last weekend saw about 400 people take part in a demonstration against the intention of Seán Sherlock, the Labour Party Minister for Research and Innovation to bring into law a requirement for Irish internet service providers to block access to sites that allow the downloading of copy righted material. This is a similar law to the SOPA and ACTA laws that Hollywood & music industry lobbyists tried unsuccessfully to force through the US Congress.  A second demonstration is to take place this Saturday.

 

Occupy Wall Streets Next Steps – Part 2 – How to Win a Fight with the 1%

Over the past month, Occupy Wall Street has  chalked up a large number of bold actions against both government and private authorities; it has led an attempted general strike, raucous marches, occupations of banks and abandoned buildings, disruptions of political speeches and press events, and a massive West Coast shut down of major port terminals partly to aid longshore workers in their fights against their employers.

Christy Moore visits Occupy Dame Street and sings Ride On

Singer songwriter Christy Moore dropped into Occupy Dame Street in Dublin last night to sing and send grettings to all the Occupy camps in the major cities of Ireland,  at Cork, Limerick, Belfast, Waterford, Kerry, Athlone, Galway and the over 2000 Occupy camps world wide.  In the video Christy refers to being in the 'Yellow Submarine,' thats the wooden structure built to serve as a kitchen for a camp that is waterproofed with heavy yellow plastic.  Christy then sings 'Ride On' before heading off into the night to the applause of the assembled campers.  

 

(Pic: a still from Dave's video of
Christy Moore at Occupy Dame Street)

Occupy & Democratic decision making - consensus v majority - SWP v ODS

Like I suspect many other Anarchist Writers readers I've been playing a part in the Occupy X movement. I've visited the camps in Cork & London (and published photos of both, see end of this post for images from Dublin) and I've been active from time to time in the General Assembly of the Dublin Camp at Occupy Dame Street. I also did a workshop on activist journalism at Occupy Dame Street about 10 days back.

Anti-choice acid house demonstration - how Queer!

After spending tens of thousands of euro in promotion Youth Defense's anti-choice march finally took place in Dublin. Despite the free coaches and months of preparation even RTE admitted that only 2-5,000 took part, making it a tiny fraction of the Pride Parade of the previous Saturday. And from observation a large part of that crowd was composed of unhappy looking young children dragged along by relatives, priests, monks, nuns and the very elderly.

 

  


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