Monday, March 23, 2009

Issue number 108 of Workers' Solidarity, the paper of the Irish Workers' Solidarity Movement is now online, both for reading and in a downloadable pdf format for distribution. Here, from the Anarkismo website, is the announcement.

Workers Solidarity 108 is online:
The March - April 2009 Edition of Ireland's anarchist paper, the Workers Solidarity freesheet is now online to read or download.
Click on one of the links below for a PDF version of the northern or southern edition of Workers Solidarity 108.
In February, the WSM continued its series of public meetings about why capitalism is in crisis and why working people should refuse to make sacrifices to benefit the rich. Limerick and Bray were the latest. We will be continuing our efforts to spread anarchist ideas in this vein over the coming months, with meetings planned for Drogheda, Galway, Derry, Navan, Tralee, Tipperary and Ballina. Also, our next radio show will be appearing on NEAR 90.3 FM, a Dublin community radio station, in the near future.
The WSM made its presence felt in a number of protests in early January against the Israeli assault on Gaza. We also supported the anti-fees protest organised by third-level students in February, with a number of our student members active in FEE (Free Education for Everyone), a campaigning group in the universities.
In a leaflet produced by the WSM for the education protests, we argued that “we need to build a national campaign that can fight the battle to prevent cuts at all levels of education, to demand more, not less, investment in our children’s future, to stop the further limitation of access to third-level and, ultimately, to push to improve the entire education system.” With this in mind, we held a meeting in late February aiming to establish an education workers libertarian socialist network.
In Belfast, WSM members participated in pickets of Subway after management sacked a pregnant migrant worker. The Belfast branch also held its inaugural ‘day school’ in February, with talks on the history of anarchism and how we can fight the recession.
Meanwhile, we have seen the first signs of workers taking direct action with the occupation of the Waterford Glass plant. Our Cork branch visited the factory to offer their support and released a statement, an extract of which is quoted below.
“In the last while there has been an unprecedented assault on our living standards. Huge numbers of us have been put out of jobs or put on short time; we have been told bluntly 'Take a pay cut or your job is gone'. Our union leadership has reacted to this with offers of talks and with appeals for calm. While doing this they have leaned over backwards to meet the demands of the bosses and the Government. Against this scenario, the Waterford Glass workers have said NO MORE. The time for talking with your hands tied behind your back are over! Workers did not create this crisis and they sure aren't going to pay the huge price that is being asked to solve it!”
With this in mind, we joined huge numbers of our fellow workers on the ICTU demonstration in Dublin on February 21st, advocating a national strike to defend workers interests.
Internationally, as the global recession deepens, there have been signs of increased resistance by working people; with riots in Latvia, Lithuania and Bulgaria. There was a general strike in France, while the government fell in Iceland. As the economic situation worsens in Ireland, our members remain active in their unions, student organisations, communities and campaign groups to try and fight back against the impoverishment and violence that continues to be imposed on us and our class by our rulers. We need you to join us in this fight.
In this Issue...
There is no money left in Ireland. At least that’s what you might think after listening to Brian Cowen, Enda Kenny, IBEC and the parade of capitalist economists and pundits who parrot this nonsense. Yes, we are heading into a deep recession but guess who is expected to pay the cost?This Strike is For Us All
The national strike called by ICTU should be just the first day of action in what must become a strike wave across every sector until all pay cuts are withdrawn. The super-rich can shoulder the costs of their crisis themselves.

Free Education for Everyone held its first National Conference on Saturday, January 31st. Over forty student activists traveled from UCD, TCD, Maynooth, Galway, Limerick and Cork.
The workers at Waterford Crystal occupying the plant are an example to us all. Rather than accept the closure of the business, the loss of all the jobs and the destruction of the area’s premier industry; workers seized the buildings making liquidation impossible for the receiver.
There was the whiff of something in the Derry air. The constantly rising civilian death toll in Gaza had already produced the same outpourings of rage on the streets of Derry as it had around the world. Thousands of signatures had been gathered calling on Raytheon to be given the boot, while ever larger crowds had gathered for vigils at the cenotaph, marches through the city, rallies at the Guildhall and at a nonviolent blockade of Raytheon itself. Now more and more of us were becoming determined that we do not have to resign to feelings of helplessness in the face of Israel’s war atrocities. Our burning rage was igniting something positive.
“People who got mortgages they can’t afford to pay back were greedy and foolish and should suffer the consequences…They signed a free contract, they’re adults and they have to take responsibility for their actions”. This is the kind of thing that gets thrown around a lot in recessions. It conveniently ignores a few things.
There are a few ways in which International Women's Day can be approached. It can be ignored. This is what mostly happens in the mainstream media. Unlike Valentines Day and Mothers Day, cards aren't given and presents aren't bought. With no profit to be made out of it, the day is not exactly one that jumps out and grabs the attention.
Private, fee-paying schools for the wealthy received more than €100 million from the 26 county taxpayer last year. €99 million was spent on paying teachers’ salaries, and a further €2.1 million on building works in 17 fee-paying schools in 2008. Blackrock College in Dublin tops the list, receiving €3.9 million. Other schools receiving more than €3 million in annual support include Kilkenny College (€3.5 million), St Andrew’s College (€3.4 million), Belvedere College (€3.3 million) and Wesley College (€3.1 million). Most of the schools in receipt of this free taxpayers’ cash charge fees of about €5,000 per year.
The recent publishing of the report by the Consultative Group on the Past demonstrates the simmering sectarian tensions and hostility beneath the surface.The 190 page report by the group, chaired by ex-Church of Ireland primate Lord Eames and former Policing Board vice chairman Dennis Bradley marked 18 months of consultation with victim groups and others that have been bereaved through the conflict.
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