Sunday, November 09, 2008

As I've mentioned here on this blog before the wife and I had the privilege of seeing the Workers' Solidarity Movement of Ireland "close up" in our recent visit to Ireland. To say the least we were dutifully impressed. Here's the report of their recent Fall conference, courtesy of the Anarkismo site.
Report on the Fall 2008 National Conference of the WSM:
Report of the National Secretary for the Fall 2008 Conference held at the Teachers Club in Dublin on the 25th and 26 of October.
Lisbon Campaign
During the period since the Spring conference the WSM was involved heavily in the campaign for a No vote to Lisbon. This involved distribution of 50,000 leaflets and 2000 posters in addition to the 20,000 issues of workers Solidarity.
The situation around Rossport also saw increased activity with the re-formation of the Rossport Solidarity Camp on the 16th of August 2008. A big campaign centred around stopping the laying of pipes in Glengad. Eventually the Solitaire, a pipe laying ship left Glengad without successfully providing the pipes for the project. Shell decided to temporarily suspend this aspect of construction.
Health Care
The WSM also took part in several marches in opposition to cutbacks and privatisation in the health service in both Dublin and Cork. Over a thousand people marched in Dublin on October the 11th 2008 and at the Cork march on Oct the 20th of 2008 we saw more than 3000 people attend.
The current membership has decreased slightly due to a few resignations and a number of members moving overseas. At the same time there has been a decrease in the number of new recruits. This is probably reflective of a climate of decreased struggle.
The conference saw the adoption of a strategic plan. This includes an aim to grow the membership of the WSM more actively, to promote the development of libertarian networks in industry and to help to create libertarian neighborhood centres.
Bank Collapse
The climate has changed significantly in light of the bank collapse and there is a renewed feeling of excitement around organising. We have decided on a sustained campaign to offer libertarian viewpoints to the economic situation. This will include country wide public meetings, a large postering campaign and the distribution of 50k leaflets.
Red & Black
The theory journal "Red & Black Revolution" will be discontinued soon and replaced with a new, free, journal, "Ideas & Action". The journal is intended to get wider participation of the WSM membership in producing articles and contact a wider audience.
Delegate Council
Members also agreed to make structural changes to the mechanism of decision making in Delegate Council. We encountered difficulties in making decisions in a timely fashion due to the entirely mechanical function of delegate council. Motions that had been voted on in parts or were slightly different could not be effectively voted on at delegate council and would have to be taken back to the membership and voted on at the next delegate council. This meant that some important decisions could take months. Delegates now have a more open mandate such that these differences can be reconciled in Delegate Council. In the event of a decision that does not reflect the wishes of branch members a new motion can be put forward to remove the prior decision and if need be delegates can be recalled.
Queer Oppression
We adopted a new position on Queer Oppression ( The old position paper was quite old and much of it was outdated. The current one should be more relevant to current struggles.
Travellers' Rights
A new updated position paper on Travellers' Rights ( was adopted. The paper outlines the struggle against oppression and racism and manifestations of the struggle historically.
Statement from the National Secretary
I'm making this report as the incoming National Secretary having been elected by the membership in the Autumn 2008 National Conference of the WSM. This is a critical time for the WSM but more so for the working class. The current situation requires quick decisive action to prevent the bankers, the politicians and the rich from raising taxes and cutting public services while paying themselves out of the public coffers. As National Secretary I put forth the hope that we in the WSM and the working class in general can make ourselves as effective as possible for the coming task.

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