Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Here's a potpourri of announcements and other matters from the wide world of anarchist magazines. First of all from Ireland comes the announcement of the 107th edition of the Irish 'Workers' Solidarity', now online.
Ireland's anarchist paper Workers Solidarity 107 online:
Workers Solidarity 107, the Jan/Feb edition of the Irish anarchist paper is now online for you to read or download. This is the online version of the paper, 10,000 printed copies of each edition are also distributed for free in Ireland, if your interested in helping with distribution contact us.

Click on one of the links below for a PDF version of the northern or southern edition of Workers Solidarity 107.
Workers Solidarity 107 Southern Web Edition 0.91 Mb
Workers Solidarity 107 Northern Web Edition 0.92 Mb
Anarchism and the WSM
November saw WSM public meetings about anarchism in Cork and Dublin, with 40 people at one and about 60 at the other. With the crisis and a growing employers’ offensive on wages there is a greater openness to radical ideas, and we will be holding more meetings around the country over the next couple of months.

November also saw big numbers turn out for demonstrations against the education cuts. A leaflet by WSM education workers asked “why do we keep inviting Fine Gael and Labour TDs to speak at our rallies. When they were in government, they were every bit as mean as Fianna Fáil, every bit as good at cutting services in order to keep down the tax bill of the rich. When in opposition they make promises, when in government they stick the boot in.

“Surely we should be looking to others in the same situation as ourselves. Surely we should be looking to join up with other working people who face the same attack on their jobs and services.” The government’s cuts strategy is an attack on the standard of living of all working people, a united resistance where “an injury to one is the concern of all” is the best response.

December saw 15 year old Alexandros Grigoropoulos shot and killed by police in Athens in December. WSM spokesperson Siobhan Rattigan said that “While Greece was preparing for the December 10th general strike against making working people pay for the economic crisis, Alexandros was killed in cold blood. That is how a ‘special forces’ police officer answered anti-police slogans that a small group of school students were chanting.

Far from frightening people it sparked off riots throughout the country. A General Strike was called for the following day, and 10,000 marched on the Greek parliament. Schools all over Greece were occupied by their students, and a 3-day strike declared by the High School Teachers’ Union.

In Dublin WSM members helped to organise a protest outside the Greek embassy. A Greek anarchist addressed the crowd and explained that “the special forces are trained by the old guard, the military who were in power. They are not respected by the people, and neither is the government which mirrors our own with its corruption and ineptitude. That is why Greece is in the grip of its greatest social upheaval in decades.

We were on the streets again that month, joining protests against the Israeli slaughter in Gaza. A joint statement from our sister organisations in Palestine/Israel, South Africa, Italy and Canada summed up our rulers' attitude:

"Hundreds of dead and thousands of injured, sacrificed on the altar of Zionist expansionism and fundamentalism. In Europe, the foreign ministers of every EU country talk about an "exaggerated", though "legitimate", reaction on the part of Israel, reversing the true situation with an operation that would make the most cynical illusionist feel proud by making the aggressor, the State of Israel, appear to be the victim."

On a happier note, December also saw the first of the WSM’s monthly radio shows on Dublin community radio station NEAR 90.3FM. If you miss the live programme you can download it from http://www.archive.org/details/RadioSolidarityShow1FromTheWorkersSolidarityMovementIreland
In this issue.
..Make Them Redundant
Billionaire investor Warren Buffett commented on the US financial crisis that “it’s only when the tide goes out that you learn who’s been swimming naked, and Wall Street now looks like a nudist beach.” Well when it comes to Ireland, the receding tide of the global economy has revealed that not only were our business and political elites swimming naked, they were engaged in a great big orgy as well.
Moving From Protest to Success
The Education Cuts announced in October’s Budget have unleashed a wave of protest across the country. During the months of November and December approximately 120,000 people took to the streets of Dublin, Galway, Tullamore, Cork and Donegal to register their anger at the government’s attempts to make schoolchildren pay for the financial crisis. Cowen, Lenihan and O’Keefe have been left in no doubt about the level of popular opposition to these cutbacks. In addition thousands of 3rd level students have also taken to the streets and participated in marches, pickets and blockades to protest at the proposed re-introduction of fees.
Lower Pay, Less Jobs - Whose National Interest?
WSM member Joe King, a clerical officer in the public sector, responds to the calls for pay cuts and redundancies.
A Quick Guide to Social Welfare for the Newly Jobless
Workers Solidarity’s Vincent O’Malley spoke to his local Citizens Information Centre about some of the obstacles facing people who have lost their jobs.
You Can't Eat a Flag
A recent report produced by ‘Belfast Healthy Cities’ into the direct link between wealth and class confirms what most of us already know - class pervades every aspect of our lives from the cradle to grave.
Loansharks Prey on 40,000 Across the North
A major financial company with 40,000 customers in the North has admitted that it charges 183.2% interest. This is no backstreet loanshark operation, Provident Financial is a completely legal and government regulated firm.
Organising in Challenging Times
The Grassroots Gathering is a twice-yearly coming together of anarchists and libertarian socialists who are active in political groups and campaigns up and down the island of Ireland. The second of 2008's Gatherings was held in Cork on 14th-16th November. The 90 or so attending, combined with the quality of the discussions, left its organisers very pleased with the weekend. It showed that there's a lot of life left in the Grassroots Gathering as a show-case for trends and thinking among Ireland's libertarian left.
What the hell is a social centre?
Mark Malone spoke to Workers Solidarity about Dublin’s social centre. He is a member of the WSM and also of the Seomra Spraoi Collective.
Thinking About Anarchism - The Selfish Gene?
Anarchists want to change the world. Instead of the present order – capitalism – with its focus on inequality and profits for a few, we want to build a new society based around the principles of participatory democracy, freedom and production for need not profit. For anarchists the type of society we want to build is best summed up by the slogan: ‘To each according to their needs, from each according to their ability’.
That's Capitalism!
One child in eight in less developed countries gets no primary schooling, according to UNESCO. Of the approximately 75 million children who receive no primary schooling, about 55% are girls. In sub-Saharan Africa one-third of all children receive no schooling.
And then from the antipodes, a particularly interesting excerpt from the Australian Mutiny magazine- also online.


Australia, Sydney, anarchist zine Mutiny #34
- 20 theses against green capitalism:
No to false solutions!
Climate Justice Now!
1. The current world economic crisis marks the end of the neoliberal phase of capitalism. `Business as usual' (financialisation, deregulation, privatisation...) is thus no longer an option: new spaces of accumulation and types of political regulation will need to be found by governments and corporations to keep capitalism going.
2. Alongside the economic and political as well as energy crises, there is another crisis rocking the world: the biocrisis, the result of a suicidal mismatch between the ecological life support system that guarantees our collective human survival and capital's need for constant growth.
3. This biocrisis is an immense danger to our collective survival, but like all crises it also presents us, social movements, with a historic opportunity: to really go for capitalism's exposed jugular, its need for unceasing, destructive, insane growth.
4. Of the proposals that have emerged from global elites, the only one that promises to address all these crises is the `Green New Deal'. This is not the cuddly green capitalism 1.0 of organic agriculture and D.I.Y. windmills, but a proposal for a new `green' phase of capitalism that seeks to generate profits from the piecemeal ecological modernisation of certain key areas of production (cars, energy, etc.)
5. Green capitalism 2.0 cannot solve the biocrisis (climate change and other ecological problems such as the dangerous reduction of biodiversity), but rather tries to profit from it. It therefore does not fundamentally alter the collision course on which any market-driven economy sets humanity with the biosphere.
6. This isn't the 1930s. Then, under the pressure of powerful social movements, the old `New Deal' redistributed power and wealth downwards. The`New New' and `Green New Deal' discussed by Obama, green parties all around the world, and even some multinationals is more about welfare for corporations than for people
7. Green Capitalism won't challenge the power of those who actually produce most greenhouse gases: the energy companies, airlines and carmakers, industrial agriculture, but will simply shower them with more money to help maintain their profit rates by making small ecological changes that will be too little, too late
8. Because globally, working people have lost their power to bargain and demand rights and decent wages, in a green capitalist setup, wages will probably stagnate or even decline to offset the rising costs of `ecological modernisation'
9. The `green capitalist state' will be an authoritarian one. Justified by the threat of ecological crisis it will `manage' the social unrest that will necessarily grow from the impoverishment that lies in the wake of rising cost of living (food, energy, etc.) and falling wages
10. In green capitalism, the poor will have to be excluded from consumption, pushed to the margins, while the wealthy will get to `offset' their continued environmentally destructive behaviour, shopping and saving the planet at the same time
11. An authoritarian state, massive class inequalities, welfare given to corporations: from the point of view of social and ecological emancipation, green capitalism will be a disaster that we can never recover from. Today, we have a chance to get beyond the suicidal madness of constant growth. Tomorrow, by the time we've all gotten used to the new green regime, that chance may be gone
12. In green capitalism, there is a danger that established, mainstream environmental groups will come to play the role that trade unions played in the Fordist era: acting as safety valves to make sure that demands for social change, that our collective rage remain within the boundaries set by the needs of capital and governments
13. Albert Einstein defined `insanity' as "doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." In the past decade, in spite of Kyoto, not only has the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere increased -so, too, has the rate of increase. Do we simply want more of the same? Wouldn't that be insane?
14. International climate agreements promote false solutions that are often more about energy security than climate change. Far from solving the crisis, emissions trading, CMD, joint implementation, offsets and so on, all provide a political shield for the continued production of greenhouse gases with impunity
15. For many communities in the global South,these false solutions (agrofuels, `green deserts',CDM-projects) are by now often a greater threat than climate change itself
16. Real solutions to the climate crisis won't be dreamt up by governments or corporations.They can only emerge from below, from globally networked social movements for climate justice
17. Such solutions include: no to free trade, no to privatisation, no to flexible mechanisms. Yes to food sovereignty, yes to degrowth, yes to radical democracy and to leaving the resources in the ground
18. As an emerging global climate justice movement, we must fight two enemies: on one hand climate change and the fossilistic capitalism that causes it, and on the other, an emergent green capitalism that won't stop it, but will limit our ability to do so
19. Of course, climate change and free trade aren't the same thing, but: the Copenhagen-protocol will be a central regulatory instance of green capitalism just as the WTO was central to neoliberal capitalism. So how to relate to it? The Danish group KlimaX argues: A good deal is better than no deal - but no deal is way better than a bad one.
20. The chance that governments will come up with a `good deal' in Copenhagen is slim to none. Our aim must therefore be to demand agreement on real solutions. Failing that: to forget Kyoto,and shut down Copenhagen! (whatever the tactic)

By Tadzio Mueller and Alexis Passadakis(12/2008). Alexis is a member of attac Germany's coordinating council, Tadzio a part of the Turbulence editorial collective. They are both active in the emerging climate justice movement,and can be reached at againstgreencapitalism (at)googlemail (dot) com

The Copenhagen COP15 conference is a big summit in December 2009, to negotiate a new international treaty on climate change. It won't offer any real solutions to the world's ecological crisis; a mass blockade and direct actions to stop it are being planned...The Mutiny Zine Collective does not necessarily agree with all the above points, however we do think that solutions to climate change can only come with a revolutionary rejection of capitalism.
Returning once more from Botany bay to the Auld Sod the Irish Workers' Solidarity Movement is also relaunching their theoretical publication 'Red and Black Revolution' as 'Ideas and Action'. This, of course, was the title of a US publication, put out by the American Workers' Solidarity Alliance from 1981 to 1997. Here's the announcement from Ireland.
Ideas & Action - A new movement magazine:
In the world today there is no body of revolutionary theory that provides a fully convincing picture of where we are or a program for the future. The left is trapped in a cycle of state ideology and reactions to state ideology.

Our old publication - one more to come

For the past 14 years Ireland's Workers Solidarity Movement has published 14 issues of our theoretical journal Red and Black Revolution as an attempt to break this cycle and develop a contemporary anarchist understanding of the world we are in. It was sold at anarchist bookfairs in London and Dublin but otherwise faced the same problems as many other non-commercial publications, notably the closure of independent bookstores and an increased use of online media. This has meant that sales of the magazine shrunk while online readership of the articles soared. As we publish in order to be read rather than to be sold we embraced rather than shrunk from online distribution even though it cut further into sales.

The WSM Autumn conference concluded that the production for sale model of our magazine was over. We also wanted to make significant changes in the look and feel of what we produced and to explore new methods of getting contributions. So we have 'killed' Red & Black Revolution and will be producing a new printed publication, 'Ideas and Action', which will be distributed for free at all major 'hubs' of movement activity and discussion in Ireland and Britain. We are also currently looking at methods of distribution both online and in printed form elsewhere in the world with a particular focus on countries where English is the main language.

Our initial print run will be 5,000 and we'd expect online access to be at least as successful as that for Red & Black Revolution, some of whose articles have been downloaded by more than 100,000 people.

This new magazine aims to document contemporary struggles that will have bearing on how future movements take shape. We also want to engage with the best impulses of traditions other than our own in order to develop a coherent contemporary anarchist analysis that builds on the best the movement has to offer. With this in mind the editorial staff is keen to solicit articles from people other than our members in order to develop our anarchist politics through engagement with fellow travellers in the struggle against capitalism.

So, if you have any suggestions for articles or if you have unpublished book reviews lying around please email ideasandaction AT gmail.com
The impact of good political literature is greatest when people get to talk and share their reaction to what they read. One of the chief aims of Ideas and Action is to generate discussion and action within both the wider working class and the existing social movement networks. Free distribution will help with this but we need your help.

The editorial staff of the journal is looking for organizations, institutions and individuals to contact us if they are interested in distributing this journal. Can you leave copies at your local social centre or union hall? Are you and your friends interested in distributing it at movement events in your locality? Do you and your friends read and discuss political material together?

While we are some time off our first issue, it will appear Summer 2009, we are also calling on potential distributers at home and abroad to organise launch events and discussions as each new issue comes. In this way we hope each issue will be a tool of collective political development not only for the editorial group but for a large network of individuals and organizations.

If you are interested in becoming a distributor of our new journal please contact us at ideasandaction AT gmail.com

Related Link: http://www.wsm.ie/rbr

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