The Dublin anarchist bookfair panel on migration, state racism and anti-racist, migrant self organising.
Looking at issues faced by migrant activists involved in left-wing politics including the NGOization and electoralization of the migrant justice movement; confronting nationalism and white privilege within campaigns and the particular types of exploitation and oppression faced by different communities of working class migrants. Also discussing migrant self-organising, as in the Kinsale Road occupation, and strategies for making single-issue campaigns more inclusive of anti-racism organising.
Ever wonder why the Gardaí show up in large numbers when you’re trying to stop water meters in your estate, but haven’t got the resources to come straight out when you think your neighbour’s house is being burgled? If so, you’re thinking about the state.
Misconceptions & Reality
The most common misconception about anarchism is that it is in favour of ‘chaos’ or some sort of world generally devoid of order and democratic institutions which would leave us at the mercy of predators within our society. Therefore it aims for the destruction of civilisation and democracy itself, which in this view are represented by the state – the guarantor of peace, freedom, and of course, roads.
Congratulations to workers at McDonalds and their union, Unite in New Zealand/Aotearoa who have won their battle with the employer and ended zero hour contracts at the fast food giant!
The workers were due to strike today 1st of May, but McDonalds backed down at the last minute. From 1 October 2015, all McDonald's employees will be offered 80 per cent security of hours, up to a 32 hour weekly cap, based on the average of the previous fixed quarterly worked hours.
What are the challenges and possibilities of popular self-organisation to reclaim our lives, our homes and our cities.
At this years Dublin anarchist bookfair Jenny and Zoe looked at recent occupations in Dublin, including the Grangegorman Squat in Smithfield where resistance to eviction is ongoing
The campaign against the water charges is the most widespread and powerful grassroots movement in recent Irish history. With hundreds of local campaign groups, daily direct actions, and 4 national demonstrations on the order of 50,000-100,000, the cynical refrain that 'the Irish don't protest' has rapidly been replaced by a sense of ubiquitous rebellion. Irish Water is a depraved neoliberal world in effigy, embodying many of the worst problems of our society including the rule of international finance (and private greed in general) at the cost of the vast majority's well being, and the chronic disconnection of the populace from decision making. As such the movement has become a platform for opposition to austerity, the bank bailout, privatisation, the government, party politics, the EU, and more. Thousands of people have experienced a political (re-)awakening. But while it is possible that we will win this battle, and abolish Irish Water, this struggle represents a precious opportunity to make a grassroots offensive after so many years of being beaten down.
The eleventh issue of the Irish Anarchist Review goes to press in the middle of the biggest battle in the war against austerity in Ireland to date. Tens of thousands of people have taken part in mass demonstrations against the water charges, up and down the country thousands have taken part in acts of physical resistance against water meter installation and hundreds of thousands, at the very least, are getting ready to participate in a mass boycott of the charge. Furthermore, the level of political consciousness of the population has risen considerably over the last year, with a distinct anti-establishment atmosphere, and in some cases an anti-state atmosphere, developing.
“Marriage equality” represents a victory for conservatives within the LGBT movement in nrrowing and limiting the horizons of ur politics, and for conservative and homophobic social forces in diffusing and recuperating the potential for radical transformative change opened up by the gay liberation movement.
Fionnghuala is calling for a yes vote but she also argues from an anarchist feminist perspective against the institution of marriage. It is a bourgeois, patriarchal tool that has been used to trap women, our sexualities as well as to force reproduction and to force a woman to enter into reproductive labour.
Marriage equality - Nether non-monogamy nor monogamy constitute the only "correct" choice for anarchists
While sharing some of my fellow anarchists criticisms' of marriage as a patriachal institution I feel unable to tolerate the existence of laws which blatantly discriminate against queer people.
Of course everyone should have unconditional access to housing food migration etc but until we reach full libertarian communism people have to make complex choices which may include wage slavery or marriage.
We never criticise the personal choices of straight comrades who have chosen to marry often for reasons involving visas, recognition of parenthood or tax.
We find ourselves in Ireland facing a imminent referendum on marriage equality, which the hardline religious right are opposing as part of their program of maintaining multiple oppressions.
A no vote in that context would be disastrous, serving only to entrench homophobia. Therefore anarchists are campaigning for a Yes to Marriage Equality vote but beyond the need to ensure the referendum is not defeated this session of the 2015 Dublin Anarchist Bookfair asked what else needed to be said?
The fights like marriage equality, which, on it's surface, seems really heteronormative, have the benefit of creating a halo effect and changing a homo/bi/transphobic culture. It makes queer people visible, it brings to light unequal treatment and starts a societal conversation that can and should be taken advantage off.
Can we turn the water charge movements away from the self-destruction of taking the electoral route, can we convince people in large numbers that it is on the streets and in conversations with their neighbours that the battle will be won not in the ballot box?
Over the coming months we need to solidify the message of the twin direct action tactics of blocking meter installation and not paying the bills – the message of people seeing themselves as leaders in their communities in terms of having that conversation – ‘I’m Not paying. You Shouldn’t Pay’ – retaining the many headed monster and avoiding the false ‘unity’ that involves leadership from above being imposed on self-organising community campaigns
Of course, Zuma made this announcement on behalf of the South African ruling class – comprised today of white capitalists and a black elite mainly centred around the state, Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) and ‘traditional’ royal families. In this there was a real irony that while Rhodes’s likeness was falling from its perch at the University of Cape Town, and immigrants from other parts of Africa and Asia were being attacked because of sentiments stoked up by a rehabilitated relic of apartheid (the Zulu king, Zwelithini), the South African ruling class felt brash enough to say they will be continuing their own imperialist war in the DRC.
Despite being a pathbreaking figure from the 1960s onward in anarchist, green, and directly democratic political circles having predicted early on the significance of ecological issues and technology to leftwing social struggles Murray Bookchin today remains unknown to many on the left, and to those who do know of him he remains controversial.
Disliked by class struggle anarchists and Marxists for his advocacy of community organising over workplace organising, and by anarchists involved in single issue activism for their lack of organisation and supposed concern with personal rebellion over social change, he made quite a few enemies in his last days for fiery polemics directed at his intellectual opponents. While his supporters in organisations like New Compass defend him for his consistency, others argue that he ended up alienating potential allies by refusing to ever waver on his specific revolutionary vision: focused on creating a municipal confederation of ecological communities practicing direct democracy, founded on a philosophy of science, reason, and humanism.
This new collection of essays from the last few years of his life may provide a useful entry point of his philosophical and political project called social ecology and generate further debate for the future of libertarian socialist organising in an age of increasing militarism and climate crisis.
As the trade union leadership does its best to drag us back into a new round of ‘social partnership’, Gregor Kerr – an activist in the Irish National Teachers Organisation – compares the best and worst of recent developments in the trade unions and poses a challenge – Can we save the movement by ridding it of the stultifying bureaucracy that seems set to strangle the life out of it?
The past number of months have witnessed the best and the worst of the trade union movement and its leadership. On the one hand, the presence of 5 trade unions – Unite, Mandate, CPSU, CWU and OPATSI – in the leadership of the Right2Water Campaign has certainly contributed to its being able to mobilise some of the biggest street mobilisations in the history of the state. But on the other hand the paucity of ambition and their perspective on how change in society is brought about, sees those unions and their leaderships doing their best to drag what has been largely a community-led campaign down the well-trodden and unlikely-to-succeed electoral path.
On the last day of August 2014, in a ruling the country and the media barely noticed, Mr Justice Ryan in the High Court in Kerry found against Ciara Hamilton and for the HSE in an utterly terrifying moment for every person becoming pregnant or giving birth in Ireland from here on out. Ciara Hamilton had taken a case against the Health Service Executive after the birth of her second child, during which a midwife had, without obtaining consent, broken her waters, leading to an umbilical cord prolapse and an emergency caesarean section.
The breaking of waters during labour, in medical terms, amniotomy or Artificial Rupture of Membranes (ARM), is not recommended best practice precisely because it can lead to a cord prolapse, which is a serious emergency when giving birth as it cuts off the blood flow and air supply to the baby. If the person giving birth is a Strep B carrier, as Ciara Hamilton was, it can also carry an increased risk of Strep B transferring to the newborn and causing serious damage to the baby, as happened to Ciara Hamilton’s child. It is listed as a Do Not Do under NICE recommendations. Despite this, and despite ARM being known to carry dangers and risks to both birthing woman and baby, it is still a widely carried out procedure in many Irish maternity hospitals. In the case of Ciara Hamilton’s birth, it was a procedure carried out by a midwife without seeking consent to do so.
Revolutions are seldom made in favourable circumstances. Russia 1917 emerged from the mass slaughter of WWI and the disintegration of an economy under the pressure of the supply demands of that war. Spain 1936 emerged from a well planned and executed fascist coup amongst a powerful military backed and armed by international fascism. Schemas for revolution that depend on quiet times and plenty may well be doomed from the start.
That said it’s hard to imagine more impossible conditions for revolution than that of Rojava. A brutal civil war, 3 small areas of territory that were kept in a state of low development by the previous regime and are not even linked to each other. A fanatic army of barbaric religious extremists armed with captured looted US heavy weaponry attacking from one side, a hostile state quietly backing that army and closing its borders to the good guys on another and waiting in the wings the old regime and its long history of brutal counter insurgency. And above all this the tactical and strategic intervention of an imperialist power whose manipulations have devastated the land to the South East over a period of almost three decades.
A spectre is haunting the people of Europe, but this time it's not one to be welcomed. All the powers of new Europe have entered into an unholy alliance to raise this spectre: Merkel and Rajoy, Hollande and Cameron, Irish Blueshirts and Greek state police. Where is the movement in opposition that has not been decried as terroristic by its opponents in power? Where is the opposition that has not cried out for law and order in the face of the more progressive parties? Two questions result from these facts:
What class, classes or section of the population is conjuring up this phantasm? IE, what classes benefit from authoritarian extremism?
What is to be done? IE, What course of action should the people of Europe take to counter this threat? And what role do the libertarian left have to play in bringing that course of action to fruition?
To answer these questions, it is essential to examine the current wave of reaction across the European continent and asses its purpose and its source.