I was part of a long education and discussion process that culminated in this new position paper on "Anarchism, Oppression & Exploitation" being agreed by WSM National Conference at the start of October 2014.
Minister Frances Fitzgerald claimed to be shocked at reports that some women in direct provision centres felt compelled into sex work by the poverty they are kept in. How can that be, its Minister Frances Fitzgerald who actually operates this direct provision system that creates such circumstances.
As the Minister she does not allow asylum seekers to work, leaving them to exist on €19.10 per week, often for periods measured in years. Who can imagine living month after month with such a minuscule amount of spending money? And while she now wants to suggest she has concern for such women the reality is that she is the one who signs deportation orders, orders which will very often send the same women to very much more difficult circumstances.
It is no great surprise that the SIPTU NEC have recommended acceptance of Croke Park II. But in their statement they admit far more than the should have and point not only to why it should be rejected but also what is needed to win. That is the willingness to threaten effective industrial action aimed at bringing down the government if they attempt to impose Croke Park II after we vote no.
The government says if we Vote no to Croke Park they will impose it anyway. Many of the union leadership try and scare us into voting Yes with this threat and by saying the only alternative is strike action. Both are right. If we just vote no than the government will attack us. And when they do the only way we can win is if we are willing to fight back - that will mean industrial action. It will almost certainly mean at least the credible threat of an indefinite strike.
300,000 public service workers may shortly be forced to strike, something that may very well transform the potential for radical politics in Ireland. The purpose of this Open Letter is to provide information for activists who are not working in Public Services in order to explain the importance of the No vote to Croke Park. It is important in terms of the general struggle against austerity and we want to suggest some ways you can help make sure this fight is won, in particular by coming to a discussion of just that on Wednesday 8th May at 7.30 in the Teachers Club. (RSVP on Facebook)
In the region of 2,500 people took part in Saturday's Dublin Council of Trade Unions demonstration in Dublin. Although this made it the biggest anti-austerity demonstration in the city since the massive ICTU demonstration of last year the small number attending was a wake up call for anyone on the left or in the unions who is optimistic about significant resistance to the crisis emerging in the short term.
As part of our agitation in the student protests, anarchists have raised the necessity of direct action such as occupations. This has a wider application than students and anarchists have long argued that as part of any social revolution workers would need to occupy their workplaces.
Some 300,000 workers in Ireland should be watching the Labour Court as it rules on the attempt by the Davenport Hotel, owned by the 122nd richest person in the country, to cut the wages of workers by almost a euro an hour. Five workers there were removed from the payroll after they refused to sign new contracts that contained the wage cut. When they picketed the hotel it got an injunction that sought to limit how many could picket at a time and which forbid supporters from the picket line.
In the aftermath of the summit protests many on the libertarian left followed a set of tactics which concentrated on marginal workers in insecure employment. From the strategic point of view, it would seem to make more sense to imagine a wave of organization that starts with workers who are concentrated into larger workplaces and whose strikes have some real social power.
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.
Like most sites we have a major problem with bots trying to post spam into the comments section. While looking for a better solution we are reduced to only on turning on the ability to anonymously comment for brief periods around the posting of new articles. But if you are a regular visitor you can comment at any time by creating an account on the site and logging in before posting. But the Spammers also set up accounts so to reduce the workload of deleting those we only turn on the ability to create accounts for brief periods which we announce on our Twitter & Facebook accounts so follow those to hear when we have that turned on. We do want you to be able to engage with us via the comments and we are very sorry for the fact that we can't find a better way of dealing with spam.