November 2003

Bin tax & anti-war protesters jailed while rich ignore laws

Date:

The last months in Dublin have seen the jailing of ordinary working class people for protesting against the bin tax. A tax whose introduction was not only opposed by most people but which tens of thousands are refusing to pay. In the spring of this year more then five people were held in jail for periods because they had protested against the US military using Shannon airport to refuel en route to the Iraq war. Opinion polls at the time showed the vast majority of people opposed this war and this refuelling.

Palestine and the International Solidarity Movement (ISM)

Date:

The second intifada began in September 2000 and since then over 2,500* Palestinians have been killed and 41,000 have been wounded. These stark figures alone do not tell the full story of the subjugation and the brutal oppression of the people of Palestine. The Israeli occupation forces have engaged in the systematic destruction of the infrastructure of the Occupied Territories. They regularly carry out punitive raids using explosives and bulldozers that result in residential areas being reduced to a lunar landscape of rubble.

What causes low wages - Unequal power, unequal pay

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During the year a spate of reports have 'discovered' what a lot of workers already know - that equal pay for equal work just doesn't exist. Although legal victories and a raft of employment equality legislation have made some dents, the fact remains that discrimination on the grounds of gender, ethnicity and age (to name just a few) persists and is widespread. It seems obvious to ask: why?

Robert Emmet and the rising of 1803

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The 1803 rebellion came to be associated with one man, Robert Emmet because that suited both the government of that time and later day nationalists in search of a romantic nationalist interpretation of the rebellion. As with the great rebellion of 1798, the process of burying the radical ideas of the rebellion was bound up in creating mystical notions of blood sacrifice and individual heroism.

The bi-centennary of the 1798 rebellion saw the radical ideas that lay at the roots of it being recovered. Instead of a romantic nationalist rising for the four green fields and the faith of our fathers it was put in the context of the wave of European / Atlantic radicalism that demanded equality for all. The United Irishmen were revealed not as narrow nationalists but as part of an international democratic upsurge against monarchy and colonialism that transformed the world we live in.

Debate on 2003 Iraq war

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In Workers Solidarity, No 76 August 2003, we published an article under the title "Iraq war aftermath: slaughtering democracy" by Chekov Feeney. We received a reply to this from R. Knife, an (Iraqi) Kurd living in Ireland. Unfortunately it is to long too print in full in the printed version of the paper but you can read the full text below. We also print a response from Chekov. [WSM material on the Iraq War]

The Social Forums: Abandon or Contaminate? - review of Irish Social Forum

Date:

The 'anti-globalisation' movement has sometimes been characterised as 'One No, many Yesses', meaning that while everyone disagrees with the way things are now they all have different ideas on what they would like to see replace the present state of affairs as well as on the tactics needed to get there. The World Social Forum, and the spread of social forums around the world, in some respects is a reaction to this. One of the ideas of this concept is to allow a space for dialogue for the different actors (trades unions, Non Government Organisation's, social movements etc) to try to hammer out some common ideas on how to reach the future society. However, the process has not been unproblematic and has led to controversies and to accusations that the structure and functioning of these bodies are undemocratic and unrepresentative of 'the new movement'.

15 jailed for resisting imposition of bin tax in Dublin

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In Spain there was an old saying to describe the inequity of that society; "some people eat but do not work and most people work but do not eat." It appears that this is the new type of society that the present Government wish to implement in Ireland.

Bin Tax struggle reaches peak in Dublin

Date:

The campaign against the bin-tax in Dublin has seen an upsurge of community resistance to the government. The mainstream media is usually hostile to the campaign and doesn't bother reporting many actions. Below is a summary of activity in two areas, activity which is being replicated right across the city.

30 years of September 11th protests in Chile

Date:

September in Chile is the month of protests. It is the month where in protests and angry demonstrations throughout the country Chileans commemorate September 11th 1973, the day of Pinochets bloody (US facilitated) coup. Throughout Pinochets reign of terror September the 11th was marked by protests which were systematically and viciously repressed by the police. Although in 1990 Pinochet was forced to leave, the tradition of the September 11th protests has continued every year. This is because, despite the dictator's departure, little has in fact changed fundamentally in Chile.

"Direct Action" by Emile Pouget and "A Day Mournful and Overcast" by an Uncontrollable of the Iron Column

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A passion for freedom, opposition to all forms of hierarchy and the advocacy and use of direct action have historically been some of the most important and enduring characteristics of anarchist politics. The recent publication by the Kate Sharpley Library, of two pamphlets provides us with a glimpse of how these ideas and practices have evolved over time.

History of Householders Against Service Charges Cork

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Just three years ago 7 people were jailed in Cork city as part of the campaign against the first attempt at non -collection. HASC members then brought their refuse to the City Hall when it was left uncollection. Fines led to imprisonment. The campaign succeeded with the corporation backing down. A few weeks later the High Court ruled that the council had to collect under the Health Acts, these were subsequently amended by the government to allow for non- collection. The first to suffer from this were in Dublin, but the plan was afoot for the rest of the country. Threatening letters have gone out in Cork city to all households. November 17th is the designated day for the beginning of non-collection in Cork and forces are being gathered for the showdown. The key issue now is to organise as many areas as possible, get people aware of the alternatives to Corporation collection and organise tactics to put the council on the defensive.

That's Capitalism WS78

Date:

One in eight people in prison in the 26 counties left school at age 12 or younger. Less than 17% stayed in school until age 17 or older. According to the Prison Adult Literacy Survey released in September, 52% of prisoners are functionally illiterate. Yet the government prefers the option of jailings rather than putting the necessary resources into the schools - which would doubtlessly reduce the incidence of petty and anti-social crime.

David Begg condemns bin tax campaign

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ICTU general secretary David Begg condemned the anti-bin tax campaign. He did this at the same time that the state was jailing protesters and refusing to collect rubbish from thousands of households in Dublin.

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