Cover story for WSM paper. The service charges that are being brought in north and south of the border are part of a process of further increasing the proportion of tax paid by workers. The trend in global capitalism is to replace 'progressive' taxes (like income tax) with flat-rate taxes (like VAT, service charges, etc) to further shift the taxation burden from rich to poor.
Does the end justify the means? Many on the left believe so. Aileen O'Carroll argues that the means used play a part in creating the end that is achieved. The best example of this is the Russian Revolution of 1917.
Peak Oil Theory has been around since the 1970s. Some think we have already reached 'peak oil', others think it will happen with the next twenty-five years. The theory argues that when we reach 'peak oil' the rate at which we extract oil from the earth (measured in millions of barrels per day) will reach a maximum and thereafter will start to drop.
The Russian revolutionary Micheal Bakunin is often presented as the 'founding father' of anarchism. He was a larger than life figure whose disputes with Marx in the 1st international form an essential role in the clarification of the role of the vanguard and of the state in the revolutionary process. Yet his concrete ideas on anarchist organisation are not so well known.
With the emergence of the summit protest movement into the public eye after J18 and Seattle, anarchism gained an influence way beyond what the numbers of anarchists and the level of anarchist organisation might have led you to predict. Quite quickly in the English speaking world, anarchism emerged from being a fairly obscure and historical critique of the left to become one of the main poles in the globalisation movement.
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]
The world's 225 richest people have a combined wealth equal to the combined annual income of the world's 2.5 billion poorest people. A 4 percent levy on their wealth would provide adequate food, safe water and sanitation, basic education, basic health care and reproductive health care for all those in the developing countries. It is facts like these that galvanised the massive protests against the WTO in Seattle last September.
Any honest account of the September 26 (S26) demonstrations in Prague would start off by saying that the numbers that took part in the demonstrations, some 12,000 people, were a little disappointing. But it should go on to say that those 12,000 people succeeded in not only completely disrupting the World Bank/International Monetary Fund (WB-IMF) congress but in causing it to be abandoned by the majority of delegates on the second day and the last day was then cancelled. In short we closed it down.
December 6th saw the largest anti-war demonstration at Shannon airport since April of last year. Some 400 people took part in what the Irish Anti War Movement (IAWM) had advertised as a blockade of the airport. The blockade was supported by the Grassroots Network Against War.
REGULARS READERS of Workers Soldarity will have read of the Gathering in Chiapas, Mexico last year hosted by the EZLN (Zapatistas) attended by 3,000 rebels from all over the planet. A second gathering 'for Humanity and Against Neoliberalism was held this August in the Spanish state. Here we interview Irish Mexico Group activist and WSM member Andrew Flood, who helped organise and attended this gathering.