The idea that calling for a referendum is a good strategy for winning significant reforms often crops up in campaigns. It seems logical, as a referendum is a chance for the population to directly make a decision on the issue to hand. But the reality is that the demand for a referendum is seldom, if ever, the best way to build a struggle for a reform. Here are five reasons why:
The revolutionary union the Industrial Workers of the World marked its 100th anniversary in 2005. To mark this event a conference was held at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, hosted by the editors (Fred Lee and Jon Bekken) of this useful selection of talks from it. As well as an introduction, this book has ten chapters on a wide range of subjects on something often not much discussed in radical circles, political economy.
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)
Station’s crime correspondent Paul Reynolds falsely reported that recording of Garda rape conversation was ‘tampered with’
Shell to Sea has revealed that RTÉ is being compelled to broadcast an apology ahead of Wednesday's Six-One and Nine O’Clock TV news programmes, as a result of RTÉ's biased coverage of Shell's attempt to build an experimental gas pipeline and refinery in Erris. In this specific case, RTÉ chose to ignore the facts as explained to them by Shell to Sea around technical issues concerning the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) investigation into the conversation Garda had about threatening to rape two women Shell to Sea campaigners they had arrested in April this year. RTÉ instead reported as fact the false suggestions of Justice Minister Alan Shatter, that part of the recording of the arrest had been deleted.
Saturday saw the 2nd Spectacle of Defiance & Hope take place in Dublin, just ahead of the budget cuts that are expected to further devastate community organisations & services. The Spectacle describes itself as a "broadly based alliance of community organisations from Dublin and beyond" and also represents an attempt to break from the standard pattern of demonstrations in Dublin to create something more fun, participatory & engaging.
This is a write up of a talk given at the 2011 London Anarchist bookfair. Its blurb was: “Why bother with dead anarchists? For some, while anarchists may do beards well we don’t do theory. This is wrong. We do have theory, as my An Anarchist FAQ and Property is Theft! show. Anarchism is a rich source for analysing and transforming society. Join me in exploring why dead anarchists are worth reading.”
I’ve tried to keep it as close as possible to what I remember of what I said, based on the same notes.
“The exploitation of man by man, someone once said, is theft” (Pierre-Joseph Proudhon)
The global Occupy movement has struck a cord with the 99% and the ruling class is worried. Rightly so, given that the neo-liberal agenda that has allowed the few to become obscenely rich at the expense of the rest has come under fire.
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.
“In drawing up theses for the international workers’ movement we must not begin with theoretical, preconceived assumptions… If we forsake the empirical road and take one that is doctrinaire, we cannot create an International of struggle.”
Augustin Souchy at the Second Congress of the Communist International
About 40 Shell to Sea campaigners blocked the Aughoose compound this morning (Nov 11) - all Shell employees were prevented from entering compound between 7.30 and 9.30. The road was kept open to local traffic by the campaign. There was no Garda presence. Just after 10 Shell to Sea activists started setting up an Occupy Shell Corrib Camp at the gates of the refinery in a show of solidarity with the global Occupy movements!