ANARCHISM AND DIRECT DEMOCRACY
1. Anarchists are generally hostile to decision making mechanisms that demand people put their faith in others to make decisions on their behalf without mandate or recall. We favour systems of direct democracy where the people either discuss and vote on an issue directly, or delegate other people to meet up for such discussions but these delegates are both mandated and recallable.
This is an excellent work, recommended to both anarchist activists and those interested in the rise of modern, revolutionary, anarchism. Berthier, a veteran French anarcho-syndicalist activist, has produced a work which successfully challenges both the standard narrative on the First International (written, as usual, by the winners) and those who seek to deny the actual history of anarchism and its roots in the European labour movement. Somewhat surprisingly, given this, that number includes Berthier himself.
We spent the day of the 100th anniversary of the 1916 rising on the streets of Dublin recording the various peoples commemorative events. This was the actual anniversary on 24th April rather than the religious nationalist and state favoured date of the Easter weekend a month back.
In a lot of ways this seperation was a very good thing as the state commemorations with its parades of soldiers and sealed off areas for dignitaries behind which hated politicians laid wreaths had little positive to be said about it.
2016 is turning into a momentous year. Victory now looks certain in the water charges campaign but it was never just about water and a victory that leaves the ruling parties in power has a sour taste. The 1916 commemorations reminded us that even small numbers of committed organised people can initiate big changes, but also that limiting what is fought for will result in the capitalist class reasserting control as soon as the gun smoke clears.
The Dublin Anarchist Bookfair demonstrated once more that there is a huge interest in anarchist ideas. Hundreds took part in the event and although it was free we can now confirm that donations from those attending have covered the entire cost of about 2600 euro. The DABF is a good example of how anarchists organised together can make things happen that otherwise would not take place.
“organisation, that is to say, association for a specific purpose and with the structure and means required to attain it, is a necessary aspect of social life. A man in isolation cannot even live the life of a beast... Having therefore to join with other humans... he must submit to the will of others (be enslaved) or subject others to his will (be in authority) or live with others in fraternal agreement in the interests of the greatest good of all (be an associate).
Almost a century ago, an armed insurrection took place in Ireland to end British rule and to establish an independent Irish Republic. The 1916 Rising was soon accompanied by major popular revolts against World War One across Europe and later emulated by anti-colonial movements across the Global South.
When it comes to remembering the 1916 Rising, why do conservative politicians and historians want to convince us that it would have been better for us if Pearse and Connolly had stayed at home? Why did the state parade lots of military equipment and personnel down O’Connell Street to mark the centenary? Why did so many people turn out to watch it?
This panel attempts to think through the meaning of 1916 for us today, and the politics at stake in how these events are remembered, forgotten, and mis-remembered.
Our solidarity to Cadburys workers who today begin an indefinite strike at the Coolock plant against the outsourcing of jobs. The company is trying to destroy 17 properly paid and pensionable jobs to replace them with minimum wage ones.
On the 18th of February, 13 families who were being housed in an emergency accommodation facility on 54-55 Mountjoy street were handed an eviction notice, ending their tenancy in just 8 days time.
Great news from the courts today (17 Feb) where 11 out of the 13 Crumlin water charge protesters arrested last year have had their cases dismissed. Although 2 are still to face trial in May this is a victory not just because 11 are already off but because the judge seems to have smacked down the Garda attempts to interpret the Public Order Act in a way that would outlaw a lot of protest. This is a significant slap down for the political policing pushed as a strategy by the Labour Party & Fine Gael to try and demoralise the water charges movement.
Our solidarity today to the LUAS workers striking for decent pay rates. The crisis was used by the government and capitalist class to drive down wages and ensure that a bigger share of profits went to shareholders. The LUAS fight is a fight for all of us as a victory should be a green light to all workers to demand pay rises, including the recovery of the money lost in the cuts imposed under the crisis. Across the world the share of income that goes to the richest 1% has soared while that going tooth rest of us has been slashed, we need to fight to reverse this.