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May Day spokespeople resign en masse

category national | summit mobilisations | press release author Friday May 14, 2004 15:46author by Laurence Cox - Dublin Grassroots Networkauthor email lcox at iol dot ieauthor phone 087-9851029 Report this post to the editors

"Our job is done, our mandates are finished," say activists

The four spokespeople of the Dublin Grassroots Network - Aileen O'Carroll, Mark Malone, Liz Curry and Laurence Cox - have laid down their mandates, which were for the May Day events only. They will remain active in relation to ongoing court cases and possible legal action.

PRESS RELEASE
Dublin Grassroots Network
May 13, 2004


MAY DAY SPOKESPEOPLE RESIGN EN MASSE

'Our job is done, our mandates are finished,' say activists


The four spokespeople for the Dublin Grassroots Network, which organised most of the May Day protest events, today resigned their positions. Aileen O'Carroll, Liz Curry, Laurence Cox and Mark Malone said, "We volunteered to do a particular job. Now that job is done, our mandates are over."

Aileen O'Carroll said, "Despite frequent descriptions of ourselves as leaders, we have always made it clear that we were only spokespeople. We were delegated to carry out media work on behalf of Dublin Grassroots Network for the May Day weekend. Now that it's finished, we can go back to everyday life."

"While there are still protestors facing charges from May Day, and issues of police violence and civil rights to pursue, we will still have a certain role to play," Laurence Cox noted. "But the point of DGN has always been to develop non-hierarchical ways of organising, so our goal is to stop being spokespeople entirely."

Liz Curry stated that DGN would continue its
activities, most immediately (May - June) in the campaign against Michael McDowell's racist referendum and with the AMBUSH! 2004 group opposing George Bush's visit. Grassroots activists will also be involved in opposing the draft EU Constitution which involves the "liberalisation" (privatisation) of public services, including health and education, and sets a target for new military alliances. "DGN may appoint new spokespeople for these events," Curry said. "But they will be new faces and new voices."

Mark Malone noted that DGN activists remain active in the campaigns they came from, such as Critical Mass, Reclaim the Streets, Gluaiseacht, Grassroots Network Against War, Workers Solidarity Movement, Direct Action Against Apathy, Food Not Bombs, Magpie Collective, Mujeres Libres, Alliance for Choice, Anti-War Ireland, Campaign Against the Racist Referendum, Residents Against Racism and others. "We look forward to working with other groups, both locally and internationally, which organise in democratic, non-hierarchical ways."

In laying down their positions, the four spokespeople paid tribute to the Dublin Grassroots Network activists who were less in the public eye. "The May Day weekend was the achievement of more than a hundred committed activists working together on everything from food and medical support to event planning and legal aid. It shows what people can achieve without any funding, support from political parties or celebrity names," they said.

"We also thank the thousands of people from Ireland and abroad who participated in the weekend, looked after each other in the face of police violence and a campaign of vilification, and made the weekend a success," the statement said.

"The goal of the May Day weekend was never simply to build an organisation. It was to highlight opposition to Fortress Europe, privatisation, EU militarisation and social injustice; and to encourage people to take action for themselves, in their own workplaces and communities, around the issues that matter to them, and to learn to place their trust in each other rather than in the state or the market."

STATEMENT ENDS

The former Dublin Grassroots Network spokespeople are now ONLY available for media comment in relation to this statement or ongoing issues connected with court cases and civil liberties issues arising from the May Day weekend.

Laurence Cox 087-9851029
Liz Curry 086-8410666
Mark Malone 087-7776595
Aileen O'Carroll 087-2820906

Phone numbers for spokespeople for the AMBUSH! 2004 campaign against the Bush visit, and for the Campaign Against the Racist Referendum, will be made available in due course.

Related Link: http://www.geocities.com/eufortress
author by mecredipublication date Fri May 14, 2004 16:10author address author phone Report this post to the editors

is there anyone around to do a speech?

for they have discharged their sensitive and at sometime dangerous mission with bravery, loyalty and honour?

Or will we
_save it_
for like when its VW day?

author by finbarpublication date Fri May 14, 2004 16:46author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I was surprised that anyone would be able to do the media job without making statements outside mandates etc due to the nature of how the media works , but ye did.
Fair play to y' all a job brilliantly done.

author by Serving what purposepublication date Fri May 14, 2004 17:48author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I was interested to read the above declaration made by members of DGN. A question I would put to you is - why do you feel it is relevant to "resign" in such a public manner?

If you claim not to believe in leaders, or leadership, then it is quite pointless revealing you are stepping down .

Do you all imagine you are the only activists to ever have been involved in organising an event, or to have dealt with the media?
For all your maturity in age, you seem to lack basic understanding of the fundamentals of grassroots activism.

Those who choose not to blatantly acknowledge their involvement, are those that have nothing other than an issue at heart. Sadly, I expect you have all been seduced by the attention of Mayday and found it thrilling.

author by Starstruck - UCD Leftpublication date Fri May 14, 2004 17:52author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Fair play on all your hard work during the weeks and months running up to the Mayday weekend..
Lets get moving on Gee Dubyas visit and the referendum!

author by magmapublication date Fri May 14, 2004 18:57author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Who gave you a mandate to hold secret negotiations with the Black Bloc over what would happen at the march to Farmleigh. The plebs on the march were not informed of this clandestine deal which put ordinary punters at risk. You could have put this deal to a vote at the GPO. I wonder why you failed to do so.

author by Chekovpublication date Fri May 14, 2004 19:03author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Easy answer, my little trot, there was no secret deal. The spokespeople had no mandate to talk to any other groups. A Grassroots general meeting approved the protest guidelines _including_ the bit about other groups seperating if they wanted to go beyond them in whatever way. It must be bewildering for you to see something work without secret deals!

author by free thinker - --------publication date Fri May 14, 2004 19:12author email fergusrobson at hotmail dot comauthor address author phone 087 9376872Report this post to the editors

sorry to interrupt ,i was one of those kept in cloverhill until thursday 6 may,i'm looking for poeple who have and photographic evidence of any of the arrests and the minutes preceeding them,this is for use in my defense and would be greatly appreciated,i was wearing a lightish blue shirt with white flowers on it and was one of the three sitting in the road to the left of the water cannon directly in front of the riot police,this is an excellent to show the country what arses the cops were as i broke ,not a single law yet was batonned and thrown in jail ,please send the word out and if anyone has any stuff or knows anyone who does could they please get in touch by phone preferably-087 9376872--- or by email cheers.

the only way to live, on this planet,at this moment ,with any human dignity ,is to struggle---

author by Michael Gallagherpublication date Fri May 14, 2004 19:19author email mglibertypics at hotmail dot comauthor address author phone 086 4048249Report this post to the editors

[ title changed from all caps to lower case. - Ed] Now that this year's May Day has (almost) died down and the clothes are dry, I have taken the initiative and started to organise for next year. But this time it will be different.
If anyone wants to get involved and begin the reclaiming of May Day for and by the workers, contact me and we can get the flag flying. No game playing, this is serious, yes you know who I'm talking about.

author by magmapublication date Fri May 14, 2004 19:19author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Where was this meeting advertised? In the WSM Farmleigh Long March article you say activists met with the Internationalists and folowing from this agreed the main march would stop 100 metres from Garda lines. But you dont say how public this meeting was. The gathering at the GPO was far more representative this could have been voted on there.

author by exAnarchistpublication date Fri May 14, 2004 19:27author address author phone Report this post to the editors

This is silly and childish when you think of it.

It is democratic to be a spokesperson for a month but not for 6 months or a year

Where do you draw the line?

For the DGN where does one transform from being a good spokesperson into being an authoritarian meglomaniac?

The most important thing is not the length of their term but whether or not they are accountable.

The reality was that these spokespeople were not accountable and did not always represent the views of DGN. Aileen O'Carroll for instance said she would condemn 'violent' protesters when on the late late.

Because the DGN and anarchist groups in general do not have democratic structures their leaders are not accountable in any way. The dominant personalities simply dominate all others. I've seen it happen again and again in Anarchism.

author by protestorpublication date Fri May 14, 2004 20:34author address author phone Report this post to the editors

duh! the plan was always to go to farmleigh from day one (atleast to attempt) no matter what they threw at us therefore there was only minor dicussion at the gpo.... you'd have read the papers and the blurb from the dgn and made up your own mind you knew the risks

author by Anarchopublication date Fri May 14, 2004 21:26author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Because the DGN and anarchist groups in general do not have democratic structures their leaders are not accountable in any way. The dominant personalities simply dominate all others. I've seen it happen again and again in Anarchism."

So when anarchism talks about elected, mandated and recallable delegates then it is actually talking abour non-elected, non-mandated and unaccountable leaders? As if...

This argument is pretty common on the authoritarian left. They simply cannot believe that people can manage their own affairs without giving power to a few leaders. And their argument is utterly self-contradictory. I've discussed why in this article:

Democracy is undemocratic
http://struggle.ws/anarchism/writers/anarcho/democracy.html
An reply to Trotskyist assertions that self-management is "undemocratic," exposing the flaws in the arguments and the actual
undemocratic nature of Trotskyism.

While the person who wrote the original reply may not be a Trot (although it seems likely) the article does address the argumet they use.

Related Link: http://www.anarchistfaq.org
author by mark malonepublication date Fri May 14, 2004 22:25author address author phone Report this post to the editors

the above was made in a public manner for very clear and simple reasons

it is a press release so by its nature its sent to da meeja to inform them the four spokespeople no longer hold these temporary roles. The spokepeoples where mandated only for the run up and over the weekend of Mayday and its arising matters. This was always the intension and and to us is completely natural. The annoucement was not grandstanding, just an attempt to divert unwanted contact from the media, as its likely to be the case since they have our numbers .
As for
"Do you all imagine you are the only activists to ever have been involved in organising an event, or to have dealt with the media?
For all your maturity in age, you seem to lack basic understanding of the fundamentals of grassroots activism" ............. id love you to elaborate and flesh out you argument but not sure that you can.{im serious here!!}............id also be really interested to hear how it is possible to "not to blatantly acknowledge" your "involvement" in anything unless your doing it unconsciously. You seem surprised that people meet to dicuss things without advertising it...{ at the same time as chastising the spokepeople as attention seeking whores...eh?} .do you know of any group involved in direct action, like the mass civil disobedience of trespass of a private park in the city centre, or having a public meeting to discuss the details of location/sound provision of a reclaim the streets event. An old phrase from up north comes to mind. "Wind yer neck in and catch yourself on".
If you want to be a cynic about other peoples motives thats your call. Your welcome to your opinions and to express them so eloquently here and thats great for the 'democracy ' we live in...or ya could get up of your arse come to the DGN public meeting on 22may at 3pm at the teachers club and and meet the people whos motivations, desires and energies you seem to wish to discredit as part of the collective work of everyone involved in DGN---- tis up to you my dear., its your world.....hope to see ya'll there.

author by Guy Bauepublication date Sat May 15, 2004 07:36author email gbague at eircom dot netauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

They resigned so that O'Carroll and Cox can correct exam papers. Don't know about the other two.
Why doesn't someone post profiles about these people on the web so we can find out who they are?

author by protestorpublication date Sat May 15, 2004 17:56author address author phone Report this post to the editors

about not being leaders thats why they did it publically....

to make a point about non-hierachal structures and i think it was point well made...

no-one needs a profile of them...

they are not dominant personalitlites although i appreciate what ex-anarchist said

they volunteered without objection because of their williness, and demeanour....

author by Chekovpublication date Sat May 15, 2004 19:48author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It seems that you have spent so long among Trotskyists, that you have forgotten what democracy means.

" the main march would stop 100 metres from Garda lines. But you dont say how public this meeting was. "

There was an agreement at a General Grassroots meeting that any actions that went beyond the guidelines should seperate themselves out. The details of exactly how this would be achieved were resolved at the meeting you refer to. The decisions of this meeting were WITHIN THE MANDATE of the general meeting.

This is how a democratic network like the grassroots works. Large meetings define the general guidelines and parameters that the whole group agrees to and the details of exactly how this is implemented are left up to the working groups, with the understanding that they must act within the general agreements. So for example, a general meeting agreed that any media spokespeople should primarily use material from the agreed leaflet, should not condemn any other protestors with different tactics and should not denigrate any other groups organising protests. The exact wording used was up to the media group as long as they respected the mandate (which they did very very well). In contrast, we have a recent thread on indymedia where a member of the SP expresses outrage that they should be held responsible for anything that Rory Hearne said on behalf of AEIP, as they didn't have the faintest control over what he decided to say. Which is more democratic?

And for your information, the 'secret meeting' had over 100 people at it, including over 20 members of DGN.

author by Protesting in Publicpublication date Sun May 16, 2004 02:13author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Chekov said

"There was an agreement at a General Grassroots meeting that any actions that went beyond the guidelines should seperate themselves out. The details of exactly how this would be achieved were resolved at the meeting you refer to. The decisions of this meeting were WITHIN THE MANDATE of the general meeting."

There is a big difference between what 100? decide at a meeting and the implications for 2,000 -3,000 on a demonstration.

Why wasn't this decision ratified at the GPO?

author by Davidpublication date Sun May 16, 2004 11:07author address author phone Report this post to the editors

If you want democracy then you need to involve yourself. It is impossible to make any complex decisions at a mass gathering in front of the gpo where most of the people couldn't even hear what being said.

author by Protesting in Publicpublication date Sun May 16, 2004 21:03author address author phone Report this post to the editors

If the IAWM make a decision at a steering committee meeting then there is no reason for them to seek ratification of these decisions before a protest starts?

This is not what has happened in the past when anarchists have attacked the IAWM for not holding meetings before the start of a protest.

Then again you will probably claim that the IAWM was not a democratic organisation but the grassroots is! Democratic that is if you agree with our decisions!!!!

author by pcpublication date Mon May 17, 2004 01:16author address author phone Report this post to the editors

dont know what your referring to

only thing ive seen iawn/swp do in the past was say one thing beforehand and then chaning on the day is that you want dgn or whoever to do?

author by Davidpublication date Mon May 17, 2004 07:28author address author phone Report this post to the editors

democracy isn't a few people making decisions and then giving people a chance to reject or approve them, it's giing everybody affected a chance to formulate the decisions in the first place.

author by Joepublication date Mon May 17, 2004 11:48author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The march guidelines which were being circulated over 10 days before the demonstration and are on our web page explained quite clearly what we wanted any group that wanted to go beyond the guidelines to do

"We respect diversity of methods of protest against Fortress Europe. Dublin is a big city and the Phoenix Park is the largest enclosed city park in Europe. There is room for us all to demonstrate in the way that we choose. If any group or individual wishes to take part in any other activity beyond the guidelines stated here that apply to the Dublin Grassroots Network march, we ask them to split off and separate themselves from the march."

Which is what happened.

The DGN Farmeligh sub group (which was NOT the same as the media group) had the responsibility for keeping the march within the guidelines. This was part of their mandate from the wider DGN meetings.

Which is also what happened.

The anonymous trot attacks here are just funny and little more than an attempt to prove 'democracy can't work' in order to justify the complete lack of democracy in the trot fronts. I don't think you are fooling anyone.

[And what whats its worth on the Late Late Aileen was condemning police violence as should have been obvious to all as the next sentence was on May 6th 2002 RTS. But again you also know this already]

For those slow on the uptake here is how a mandate system works

1. Through an assembly of the entire group concerned a broad mandate is created.

2. Delegates are elected to carry this mandate through.

3. If they fail to do so they are recalled and new delegates selected.

4. After they have carried the mandate through they resign (as above).

Of course there will always be questions of interpretation in the implementation of mandates which is why you have a recall structure. This can deal not only with those who might openly flout a mandate (pretty rare in libertarian circles as that would be very damaging to you politically) but also where for one reason or another a delegate had a radically different interpretation to the group.

Of course there are always some disagreements about interpretation, this is very much part of the process as when a group works together over time the exact scope of interpretation becomes more and more understood. I'd be amazed if every DGN person agreed with every word every spokeson said, this IMHO would be an impossability. The question to be resolved collectively by DGN is whether the mandate was respected. As no one on our internal lists has suggested otherwise it seems it has but we'll probably discuss this on the 22nd as well.

Finally it should be said that the broad purpose behind point 4 (or the rotation of delegates) is to minimise the situation where people develop power because of the role they fill. This is a big danger in media stuff for loads of reasons, not least the laziness of journalists who will often ring someone that was last a spokesperson for something two years ago for a quote on something happening today. We know how the trots deal with this (by having the same person speak for everything) here DGN is illustrating a different model.

I think this 'different model' is the real reason for the trot panic. Whatever its flaws its a whole lot better than having no say at all or the ludicrous position of saying you have NO control over what your spokesperson says. In other words they are worried about the threat of a good example. And they should be!

Related Link: http://struggle.ws/eufortress/timetable.htm
author by Leonpublication date Mon May 17, 2004 12:42author address author phone Report this post to the editors

You still made a deal with the Black Blocers. A secret deal which was not revealed to the crowd at the GPO. So how are you any different from the SP and SWP.

author by Raypublication date Mon May 17, 2004 12:45author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Here are the guidelines we agreed for the march. Will you abide by them?"
"Yes"

Of course, one of the sides in this secret deal was wearing black, which automatically makes things ten times scarier, but still...

author by Leonpublication date Mon May 17, 2004 12:54author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The WSM in their Farmleigh article make it clear that the Blocers were not prepared to adhere to the guidelines. Thats why a deal was made. A deal which was not communicated to the masses at the GPO. Why should a small Vanguardist Bloc be allowed to dictate the terms for a march when you could have asked the crowd at the GPO to reject the Bloc and adhere to the DGN guidelines.

author by Raypublication date Mon May 17, 2004 12:58author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The DGN guidelines applied to the march. DGN said from the beginning that people were free to do other things, as long as they adhered to the guidelines _while on the march_.
On Saturday, the Black Block adhered to the guidelines while on the march, and did other things after they had left the march.
This is precisely what the DGN guidelines had called for.

author by Mepublication date Mon May 17, 2004 13:08author address author phone Report this post to the editors

We all missed our favourite SP troll. Now I can't wait for the SP posting condemning all trolls.
Stones, Glasshouses, etc.

author by Leonpublication date Mon May 17, 2004 13:10author address author phone Report this post to the editors

If the BB were prepared to stick to the guidelines then why was this meeting mention in the WSM article? Why does the WSM article make it clear that the Wombles were not prepared to stick to the guidelines?

author by George - Dublin Grassroots Network (personal capacity)publication date Mon May 17, 2004 13:11author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The WSM are elitist authoritarian proto-Trots. I am not the only person in DGN that thinks so. When Aileen went on the late late and condemned 'violent' protesters most of the non- WSM people in DGN were livid

author by Chekovpublication date Mon May 17, 2004 13:12author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"we ask them to split off and separate themselves from the march."

Communicated widely ten days in advance. The "secret" mass meeting had the outcome of everybody AGREEING to the guidelines, guidelines which were respected on the day.

I don't know how many times that this has to be explained before the penny drops with some people.

author by Chekovpublication date Mon May 17, 2004 13:16author address author phone Report this post to the editors

He is a trot giving a rather lame impersonation of a DGN member. His interpretation of feeling within DGN is laughably wide of the mark.

Oh, for a world free of puppies.

author by George - Dublin Grassroots Network (personal capacity)publication date Mon May 17, 2004 13:21author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I am not a Trot. I was at many DGN meetings but was turned off by the way the WSM controlled it for their own ends.

For the WSM when people criticise you on this site you just denounce them as 'SP trolls'. It reminds me of the way in 1984 people were always warned of 'Bernstein'.

WSM members in DGN consistantly can't seem to take any criticism. Aileen on many occasions came out with statements that were contrary to what most in DGN supported.

author by Leonpublication date Mon May 17, 2004 13:22author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Perhaps you should pay more attention to the WSM article:

"This had been a subject of some controversy in particular with the relatively small numbers of international activists who had arrived in Dublin. Some were inclined to misread the guidelines as either an ideological statement of pacifism or as an insistence that everyone, everywhere in the city must follow them. For the most part this was cleared up at a meeting involving most DGN activists and most of the internationals. One tactical difference that still existed was on the question of what we would do when we got to a police line. The guidelines clearly stated that we would not try and push through but many people both Irish and international felt that at least a token effort should be made.

While we respected their freedom to adopt different tactics we needed to also stick to the guidelines we issued. We figured the best way to do this would be to halt our march some 100m short of the police lines so that those who wanted to push through could leave it and so try to push through without automatically involving everyone else when the police attacked."

So at a last minute meeting you let the BB decide how the march would be run.

Why didnt you put this to the crowd at the GPO? They should have been allowed to ask the Black Blocers to leave the march.

author by Raypublication date Mon May 17, 2004 13:34author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"If the BB were prepared to stick to the guidelines then why was this meeting mention in the WSM article?"

Presumably because the author felt it was important to emphasise that all parties acted within the guidelines. Because otherwise people would start claiming that the guidelines were dropped or ignored.

The meeting happened because the BB wanted to adopt certain tactics AT SOME STAGE OVER THE WEEKEND. The DGN guidelines said that such tactics couldn't be used ON THE DGN MARCH. The purpose of the meeting was to make it clear that the DGN had no interest in policing the BB outside of the march. Once this was clear, the BB had no problem abiding by the guidelines WHILE ON THE MARCH.

"Why does the WSM article make it clear that the Wombles were not prepared to stick to the guidelines?"

But they DID stick to the guidelines. The guidelines applied to the march, and the BB marched without breaking any guidelines. When the march stopped, the BB left. Once they left, the guidelines that applied to the march didn't apply to them any more, and so they couldn't be breaking them.

On what basis could the BB have been asked to leave the march at the GPO? They had agreed to the guidelines for the march.

Furthermore, the guidelines for the march stated clearly that DGN wasn't opposed to people adopting other tactics as long as they did so outside the march. Kicking the BB off would have been contrary to the guidelines.

Do I have to get Bosco in to explain this?

author by Chekovpublication date Mon May 17, 2004 13:48author address author phone Report this post to the editors

George: I don't believe you. Your descriptions of the feeling within DGN are so wildly inaccurate, that I have to assume you are lying. There have been exactly zero criticisms of the media group at DGN meetings or on DGN lists. The only accusations of the WSM 'controlling' the DGN have come from trots who probably can't imagine something happening without a secret leadership and who know pretty much nothing about the workings of DGN.

I suppose there is a miniscule chance that you're not lying. If so, why not turn up to the DGN feedback meeting to raise your concerns? I'll be happy to recant and eat humble pie.

QUOTE (Leon): "So at a last minute meeting you let the BB decide how the march would be run."

No, at a last minute meeting the guidelines were explained to the internationals and arrangements were put into place for exactly how the 'splitting off' clause would be carried out, which it was entirely in line with the guidelines.

And your suggestion of proposing 'expelling' the BB from the March is so stupid that it beggars belief. Here is a few of the reasons why.

1. The individuals whom you refer to as the "BB", like all other individuals (even the authoritarian auxiliary policemen) were welcome on the march as long as they respected the guidelines, which they had agreed to, and despite a couple of minor scuffles by individuals with cameramen, they overwhelmingly did. 2. If we were to propose expelling the "BB", as they _might_ not respect the guidelines, we should also have proposed expelling any other groups that might be troublesome, for example the trots who are notorious for ignoring any guidelines if they think they might gain a smidgeon of advantage from doing so.

3. Discussions on fine-details are not exactly possible to carry out in mass meetings when you only have a couple of megaphones. Anybody who wanted to get involved in the discussions could have come to any of the open meetings.

4. Proposing the expulsion of our comrades from a March at the start for the crime of advocating slightly more confrontational tactics is the sort of low-down, dirty rotten sectarian trick that I hope we would never stoop to.

5. It was a libertarian-organised event. People had a choice as to whether they wanted to come out, they had a choice as to whether they wanted to walk with us to Farmleigh. They did not have a choice about how we organise ourselves. That's our perogative.

6. There were many stated opponents of libertarianism at the GPO. Proposing such an expulsion would have given all of the police and unpaid auxiliaries present the opportunity to turn a hugely succesful day into a sectarian brawl on O Connell St.

Finally, you puppies should ask yourselves why you spend so much of your time throwing mud at libertarians, you'd make the gardai proud.

author by James - WSM personal capacitypublication date Mon May 17, 2004 13:52author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Well George, presumably that's a pseudonymn or else you keep a very low profile at DGN stuff, because I can't remember you.

>Aileen on many occasions came out with statements that were contrary to what most in DGN supported.

Like what? Late Late comment adequately explained above by Joe. No one has yet upbraided any of the spokespeople on the internal list or at a meeting. Perhaps you'll come along on the 22nd and air your disagreement then.

>I was at many DGN meetings but was turned off by the way the WSM controlled it for their own ends.

Throw in a general accusation with no detail. Hopefully some mud will stick.
WSM rarely consitiuted more than 10% of the attendence of any DGN meeting. DGN doesn't have any steering committees to decide policy upon which groups could plonk themselves in order to control decision making.

Any point of view articulated by WSMers (and anybody else for that matter) had to be convincing on its own merits. While there was of course plenty of discussion most things were decided by consensus, i.e. no real down and dirty splits. And the (numerical majority) of non-WSMers aren't such spineless robots that one of us speaks and the rest fall about in awe. So if you are a grassrootser it seems you've got little respect for your fellow grassrootsers' independece and ability to think for themselves!

author by George O'Toole - DGN (personal capacity)publication date Mon May 17, 2004 13:59author address author phone Report this post to the editors

My name is George O'Toole I am NOT at 'trot troll'. In fact if anyone is the authoritarian it is the WSM members.I have attended many many DGN meetings,I found at those meetings that they were dominated by the ususl people maninly from the WSM. This was also evident in the way the media was handled. Aileen O'Carroll was an unelected and completely unaccountable spokesperson. Myself and others have become disillusioned with the DGN as a result of the dominance of the WSM. As a result I have chosen not to be involved in the DGN any longer, there are other that are considering taking this action as well. That is probably why you have heard no dissent.

author by lolpublication date Mon May 17, 2004 14:14author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It seems the WSM have got themselves their very own 'Joan collins'.

author by Davidpublication date Mon May 17, 2004 14:15author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The March Guidelines were formulated specifically to cater for diversity of tactics.

The Black boc didn't exist before the march and didn't exist after the march finished. Many of the participants in the black bloc were present and involved in the organisational process and agreed with the guidelines specifically because they allowed for direct action as well as allowing people to seperate themselves from that action if they wished.

There was also co-ordination with the international activists who we were more than prepared to include in the plans that everyone decided on.

I don't believe that this George person is telling the truth, I never saw anyone at any meeting speak out against members of the WSM or accuse anyone of operating a hidden agenda. If this George person was there then why didn't he say anything? And if he didn't say anything then, what is the point of bitching about it now after the events are over? It's blatant trolling IMO.

author by Joepublication date Mon May 17, 2004 14:22author address author phone Report this post to the editors

For those confused by what 'article' is being referred to above I presume the one meant is the personal opinion piece at http://struggle.ws/wsm/news/2004/farmleigh1may.html.

As it says at the bottom of the article this is 'A Personal report from a Workers Solidarity Movement member'. It's not a WSM article. The difference is that
a. articles the WSM publish go through an editoral process where several members get to look at them and put forward modifications or corrections
b. because of this such articles reflect the opinion of the organisation. This article like it says on the tin is 'A Personal report' reflecting the view of the author (me) alone,

That aside Leon is either lying about what it says or simply has not read it carefully. He thinks there was a secret plan available at the GPO and that the articles says this. In fact it says something very different which indicates that no such plan was available at the GPO. Specifically in reference to the stop made near the end of the Navan road it says

"Around 1km from the [Ashtown] roundabout we stopped to take a break and allow stragglers catch up with the march. ... AT THIS STAGE it also became clear that the black bloc wanted to advance to the police lines and at least mount a token attempt to push through them."

Like everyone else the Farmleigh planning group had seen the padded bloc statement on indymedia. Like everyone else we had read the various media reports. As part of DGN we knew from some months back that some people were talking of a padded bloc. So that, along with many other things, was part of the contengency planning for the march. We had agreed that IF we thought there would be a push through we would stop 100m or so back from the police line. However we didn't KNOW this was going to happen for sure until we were very nearly at Ashtown.

Now at the GPO we could have gone through a long list of IF x THEN y statements. It's certainly a suggestion worth considering in future. However given that the Gardai had already tried to ban the march once I'm not sure how wise it could have been to do this and perhaps given them an excuse to intervene before we had got off O'Connell st (Some of the IFs would also have been a lot more alarmist then what happened).

The planning groups main concern with all the 'What IFs' was to find ways to seperate the DGN march from any 'what if' that went beyond the guidelines. In this particular case our concern was to have the march clearly stop short of police lines so the push through would obviously be a seperate event.

In hindsight we could have done a better job at the seperation point. Principally by getting everyone to sit down for a minute so that we could be sure they were aware the march had stopped and that anyone going forward would be doing so outside of the guidelines. This was announced several times over the megaphones but it is just about possible that some in the crowd did not hear the announcement and did not notice that the banners had stopped and moved to the side of the road.

---

George almost certainly is a fake, another example of the trot provocateur who pretends to be an anarchist to sow disruption. You can see that character doing the work of the cops at
http://www.indymedia.ie/newswire.php?story_id=61344
http://www.indymedia.ie/newswire.php?story_id=61354
http://www.indymedia.ie/newswire.php?story_id=63534
http://www.indymedia.ie/newswire.php?story_id=63593
and http://www.indymedia.ie/newswire.php?story_id=63895

There are a number of give aways in this case.

First off DGN has an internal email list where there has been lots of discussion on the media stuff amongst other stuff. No one has raised Georges 'point' there. Which is the one placed where it could have had an impact.

Secondly as anyone who has been to a DGN meeting will know we start off by going around the circle and everyone saying their name and what they are involved in. I don't remember a 'George' from ANY of these meetings.

If George does exist he'll be along on Saturday. I'm not holding my breath though.

author by Joepublication date Mon May 17, 2004 14:44author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I see 'George' posted while I was putting together the last reply.

Well if he does exist (and he still sounds like a fake to me) he must have slept through the meetings where we discussed how the press group would be mandated and the meetings where we looked for volunteers to act as spokespeople and announced who had volunteered to check this was OK. This went on over at least 3 of the 6 or so planning meetings so that is a LOT of sleeping.

His must have also forgotten to read the minutes posted to our internal email list or at least forgotten to raise objections at that point.

Two choices.
1. George was at DGN meetings it is just nobody remembers him and he didn't bother raising any of his 'many objections' there or on the email list. [We are checking at the moment to see if anyone remembers him - let you know one way of the other tomorrow]

2. George is a member of the trot party he mentions and is quite possible carrying out the same sort of provocation that I've already illustrated has gone on in the past. Gobbels the Nazi propapaganda chief was fond of saying that the secret to propaganda was to accuse your enemies of doing what you were doing yourself. Is that what 'George' is up to above?

author by Davidpublication date Mon May 17, 2004 14:59author address author phone Report this post to the editors

that he's a lifetime SP member who nobody has ever seen even though he goes to all their meetings as well. He must be invisible

http://www.indymedia.ie/newswire.php?story_id=65034&condense_comments=false#comment75094

author by 1984publication date Mon May 17, 2004 15:02author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Are the WSM now claiming that George O'Toole never existed?

George who?

author by Major Woodypublication date Mon May 17, 2004 15:03author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Look at him go. Complete with explanation of motivation at end.

Why fly a Baathist flag?
by Red Monday, May 17 2004, 12:02pm
http://www.indymedia.ie/newswire.php?story_id=65063

Fact
by escobar Monday, May 17 2004, 12:05pm
http://www.indymedia.ie/newswire.php?story_id=65034

WSM are proto-trots
by George - Dublin Grassroots Network (personal capacity) Monday, May 17 2004, 12:11pm
http://www.indymedia.ie/newswire.php?story_id=65037

You're the stupid person
by Red Monday, May 17 2004, 12:15pm
http://www.indymedia.ie/newswire.php?story_id=65063

I am not a trot
by George - Dublin Grassroots Network (personal capacity) Monday, May 17 2004, 12:21pm
http://www.indymedia.ie/newswire.php?story_id=65037

I am not a troll, My name is George O'Toole
by George O'Toole - DGN (personal capacity) Monday, May 17 2004, 12:59pm
http://www.indymedia.ie/newswire.php?story_id=65037

Why did you leave the SP?
by Felicity Garvie Monday, May 17 2004, 1:19pm
http://www.indymedia.ie/newswire.php?story_id=65011

What about George?
by Tahoma Monday, May 17 2004, 1:48pm
DGN I think Ray should put his own house in order first
http://www.indymedia.ie/newswire.php?story_id=65034

author by Woodypublication date Mon May 17, 2004 15:05author address author phone Report this post to the editors

How can you tell they are all the same person?

author by Terry - nonepublication date Mon May 17, 2004 15:08author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I was involved in the DGN and I don't recall your name. So I assume it's a cover name -fair enough.

But what I want to know is: which subgroup were you involved in? I knew all the people in my subgroup and none of them fit your description or aired such grievances.

My guess is that you are part of a (CoIntel) covert-intelligence dis-information operation to sow deep divisions amongst the Left. Regrettably such techniques worked exceedly well in the USA during the 1960s and 70s amongst many social justice groups but in particular the Black movements.

Related Link: http://www.cointel.org
author by conor (wsm personal capacity)publication date Mon May 17, 2004 17:27author address author phone Report this post to the editors

First off – personally I don’t recall anyone called George O Toole EVER coming to a Grassroots meeting in Dublin but I accept it may be someone using a psuedo name or what ever

Few points

1. As pointed out by James it is doubtful that the WSM ever made up more than 10% of a Grassroots meeting. I will accept that we are the only formally, organised group within it and this may give us a certain power. But we are always completely open about this position.
Gluasieacht did exist as another organised group but have declined a bit.
The magpies and others have some degree of informal organisation but we are a formal organisation and so we can be quite together, pursue a “line” etc – advantage of a formal organisation what can I say?
I wish that other groups would join and maybe this will start to happen. we want Grassroots to grow.

2. The people who have just resigned were elected Grassroots spokespeople for Dublin. One is a WSM member the other 3 aren’t.
I have never seen anything but good said about them.
To say Aileen was unaccountable and un-elected is ENTIRELY FACTUALLY INCORRECT. Sure there was the odd slip up from the spokes people but it’s a difficult tiresome, pressurised job. Anyway what power crazed monster resigns from their job just as they are becoming well known?

3.. As DGN has gone on our numbers are steadily increasing so I think you are wrong Gorge when you say members are leaking away due to WSM “dominance” personally if the WSM dominated the group I think, while it might have been a bit tighter and more together, on the other hand we NEVER would have mobilised the thousands we did – this was due to the diversity of thought and enthusiasm from the 50-60 diverse people involved in regular, public, organising meetings.
We seen with AEIP and IAWM how badly “fronts” work or don’t work

Conor

Related Link: http://www.struggle.ws
author by protestorpublication date Mon May 17, 2004 19:58author address author phone Report this post to the editors

but in general it was ok
it be wrong to say that wasn't a distant between some people ideas of what dgn should be during the events...

methinks this george is getting his info from the press releases which as someone pointed out had slightly different inference then internal dicussions, and this is why these people or so hung up on this gpo meeting

author by Joepublication date Tue May 18, 2004 17:05author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It is now over 28 hours since an email was posted to the internal DGN list asking if anyone had heard of George O'Toole. None of the 80+ people have so far, nor has George himself spoken up (if he was part of DGN he would be on that list).

So its looking very like it is my second point above that is the correct one. Worth repeating

"2. George is a member of the trot party he mentions and is quite possible carrying out the same sort of provocation that I've already illustrated has gone on in the past. Gobbels the Nazi propapaganda chief was fond of saying that the secret to propaganda was to accuse your enemies of doing what you were doing yourself. Is that what 'George' is up to above?"

The sort of provocation is deeply damaging for everyone on the left. It's long past time that 'Georges' party took some action on this.

author by Darren C - SP (personal capacity)publication date Tue May 18, 2004 17:55author address author phone Report this post to the editors

...a figment of his own imagination. There is no George O'Toole in the SP, and as you in the DGN and WSM maintain, there exists no George O'Toole in those organisations. There, mystery solved!

Now you hardly had to be Jessica Fletcher to figure that one out.

Related Link: http://www.workersrepublic.org
author by Leonpublication date Tue May 18, 2004 18:05author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I will continue to say it. And Joe and company will continue to pretend that Anarchists can do no wrong. You are in contortions, first saying there was no meeting, then there was but there was no disagreement, then ok disagreement but minor.

How many honest heads do you think you are fooling

author by Badmanpublication date Tue May 18, 2004 18:27author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I've just read this whole damned thread and it is amazing that you can make this shit up when there the whole thread is right in front of you:

"first saying there was no meeting",

Nope, that's not here.

"then there was but there was no disagreement"

Nope again, nobody said that.

"then ok disagreement but minor."

Again, you just seem to be making this shit up off the top of your head. Have you even bothered to read any of it?

author by George O'Toolepublication date Tue May 18, 2004 22:15author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I was never at any Grassroots Meetings, I just made it up to stir the arguments that I think needed to happen. But I have been proved wrong.

author by Joepublication date Wed May 19, 2004 11:48author address author phone Report this post to the editors

First off to the SP member, I don't presume 'George O'Toole' is a real name at all. I presume its a party member once more playing provocation under an assumed name. There is a long, long history of this, I've already posted multiple links to the same sort of provocation. But now that 'George' has outed himself I think there is at least one SP member with an apology to make for repeating his lies on other threads.

What George was up to is not 'trolling'. Trolling is annoying but relatively harmless. What George is up to is provocation and it is the work of the police. It's designed not to 'raise arguments', he could do this by posting his opinion without lying about being part of DGN. It's designed to smear, discredit and disrupt solidarity. As Terry has already pointed out similar FBI operations in the US resulted in activists being shot, the same sort of thing almost certainly happened here in the republican movement.

OK in this case no ones likely to be shot but this does not make provocation harmless. I'll illustrate with a couple of examples.

Example 1.

If at the height of the bin tax campaign someone posts the following

--- made up post follows --
Disillusioned SP member
by Michael O'Madeup, Sept 30, 2003

I'm a member of the Socialist Party in Fingal and I'm pissed off with the instructions the leadership are giving us. We have been told by Stephen Boyd that the strategy is to get our election candidates jailed because this will give us good publicity but that all other members are to avoid being jailed. I don't think this is fair on the residents that are risking jail, several other members feel the same way and we are going to leave the party as a result

--- made up post ends ---

Here something that many felt should be discussed (but not in public at that time) is transformed into an expose of the truth by pretending to be an SP member spilling the beans. It's possible that the media might pick it up (just as George's post might be picked up by Ireland on Sunday who have a vendetta against the person he named). But in any case such an 'expose' would do enormous damage to the campaign.

Or how about this one

--- made up post starts ---

Pissed off SP member
by Michael O'Madeup, May 28, 2003

I'm quitting the SP. I've just been told by Mick Murphy to go around Tallaght pubs collecting for the bin charges but I know the money is really going into his election fund. A few of the other SP members in the area feel the same way and we are all leaving the party

--- made up post ends ---

In this case a rumour that some SF members seem to be spreading anonymously on indymedia is transformed into a 'fact' revealed on indymedia by a SP member. Something that would no doubt be repeated on door steps across Tallaght in the remaining 13 days of the campaign.

The examples are above are for illustration purposes only. I consider people who actually do this sort of impersonation to be doing the work of the cops so anyone tempted by it forget it.

author by JoeWatchpublication date Wed May 19, 2004 15:50author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Joe I'm watching you and your accusing ways. You more than any other accuse people who put forward opinions of being sp hacks, swp lackeys, or trot agitators. Often you do it without reason; as we all know you are a wsm slave so we understand why you do it but it can be very damaging.

Keep it clean.

author by Joepublication date Wed May 19, 2004 15:56author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I've not spotted an SWP troll in ages, they appear to have given up this sort of thing as counter productive and of late are sending serious comments and replies into indymedia. Like the rest of us they have caught on that people take you a lot more seriously if you behave in a serious manner.

The one advantage of the George O'Toole episode is that it provides definite proof of what is going on although the link back to the SP is of course circumstantial. He arrived, we said what he was and we were right which also of course adds credibilty to future 'spots'.

Oh and watch me all you like, I use the same name when posting so it is should be an easy trail for you to follow. You on the other hand use dozens of different ID's so your the one with something to hide 'watcher'.

author by Hebepublication date Thu May 20, 2004 11:32author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Indian elephants attack press


By Habib Beary
BBC reporter in Bangalore


Cameramen hoping for some exclusive photographs have been attacked by rampaging elephants in the Indian state of Karnataka. It happened after the cameramen attempted to photograph the elephants while they were hiding in the forest.

More at:

Related Link: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/2670025.stm
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