February 1996

Incorporation of struggle - A Spoonful of Sugar

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Why is it that many single issue campaigns and community groups which start out with a radical program soon end up as little more than service groups? Conor Mc Loughlin, an activist of the now defunct Portobello Unemployed Action Group investigates.

Report on the 1995 Ruesta anarchist conference

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SUMMER 1995 saw the red and black flag of anarchism flying high in the mountains of Spain. Alternative Libertaire of France organised an international meeting for libertarian socialists, anarcho-syndicalists and anarchists, which saw over 100 delegates gather at the village of Ruesta in the Spanish Pyrenees. Unlike the average holiday resort, this village is owned by an anarcho-syndicalist trade union (the Spanish CGT). Comprising two hostels, two bars, a restaurant, a campsite, a lake, a church which has been turned into a small hall for meetings, a shop and about twenty buildings in need of major renovation, Ruesta is run as a leisure centre for members of the CGT (and anyone else who wants to visit).

Sinn Fein and the 'Peace Process'

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The 'Irish peace process' is now well into its second year. It has brought respectability for Sinn Féin but little of consequence for the Irish working class - North or South. Gregor Kerr a member of the National Committee of the Irish Anti Extradition Committee in the late 1980s, looks at events leading up to the cease-fire and Sinn Féin's pan-nationalist strategy.

Since the ending of the 'Cold War', many national liberation struggles throughout the world have been 'settled'. In places as far apart as South Africa, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Palestine these national liberation struggles were led by groupings which were often seen as having left leanings. However in all of these cases the 'settlement' was far from socialist. The current 'Irish peace process' is following exactly the same lines and has nothing to offer the Irish working class North or South

Some comments by WSM on the Ruesta declaration of 1996

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The WSM signed the Reusta declaration, this was the letter that accompanied our decision to sign. 

Declaration of the 1995 Ruesta gathering of libertarian communists

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In August 1995 an international gathering of libertarian communists took place in Ruesta, Spain. We present here the agreed declaration issued at the end of that gathering

Noam Chomsky on Anarchism, Marxism & Hope for the Future - interview

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Noam Chomsky is widely known for his critique of U.S foreign policy, and for his work as a linguist. Less well known is his ongoing support for libertarian socialist objectives. In a special interview done for Red and Black Revolution, Chomsky gives his views on anarchism and marxism, and the prospects for socialism now. The interview was conducted in May 1995 by Kevin Doyle.

Index of Red and Black Revolution 2

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Articles from the Irish anarchist magazine Red & Black Revolution, issue 2, published in 1996.  Includes a long interview with Noam Chomsky about Anarchism & Marxism.

The re-emergance of Russian Anarchism from the 1980's

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Although many classical anarchist theorists and figures came from Russia, the advent of the Soviet State effectively crushed the movement. Now anarchism is reborn in Russia. Laure Akai and Mikhail Tsovma write from Moscow to tell us a little about the trials and tribulations of the new Russian anarchist movement.

The history of Irish Travellers' struggle for civil rights and ethnic recognition

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Patricia McCarthy examines the history of Irish Travellers' struggle for civil rights and ethnic recognition. Their struggles have much in common with those of Indigenous people worldwide and with the struggles of Native Americans and Australian Aboriginals and also with the struggles of Gypsies, Travellers and nomads against racism and oppression.

The Dunnes Strike & Managing Change - the two souls of the trade union

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For three weeks, in June-July 1995, nearly 6,000 mostly young and part-time workers struck against Ireland's largest private sector employer, the firmly anti-union Dunnes Stores, over Sunday trading, zero-hours contracts, the proportion of full-time jobs and other issues. But the principal, and unstated, issues were probably union recognition and the organisation of the newly emergent semi-casual, part-time, young (and mainly female) section of the labour force. The result, while disappointing on the concrete 'economic' issues, was generally greeted as something of a breakthrough on the latter 'political' issues.

Union activists are facing new management attacks but the trade union leadership speaks only of partnership with the bosses. Des Derwin, member of the Executive of the Dublin Council of Trade Unions and of the Dublin Private Sector Regional Executive Committee of SIPTU gives his personal view on the two souls of the unions. 

Which Way to the Revolution?

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A complete transformation of society, revolution, is the goal of anarchism. Ray Cunningham looks at what is meant when anarchists talk about revolution, and what can be done to bring it closer. 

From the 1870's the world has been rocked by revolutions, but all have gone down to defeat. Anarchists believe they understand why previous revolutions have failed, but do we know how a successful revolution can be made? Are there steps we can take today to prepare and nurture such a revolution, or is it a question of waiting for the ripening of time?

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