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Workers Solidarity 103 online

category national | anti-capitalism | other press author Thursday May 01, 2008 02:04author by James - WSM Report this post to the editors

May-June 2008

No to Lisbon
If you trust our bosses and politicians to have made an agreement that is in the best interests of ordinary European workers, even if they won’t let us read it, then say yes to Lisbon. If, like us, you know our bosses and politicians too well to buy that, then say no.

Water tax is a double tax The Northern Assembly plans to charge for water from next April. We already pay for water, it’s part of the rates. We are being told to pay twice. Our rates bill won’t be reduced by the amount of the new tax, all we have been offered is that rates will stay at their current amount for three years. Oh, and District Councils can increase the rates anyway. The plan is to get us to pay more, making the water supply a very profitable affair. Then it will be sold off to private firms like Thames Water. There is little idea of public service, just screw ordinary families so that the owners of the water companies can make even bigger profits.

Celebrating May Day
The 1st of May as International Workers’ Day dates back to the struggle for the 8-hour working day in the USA. In 1886 the American Federation of Labour declared that after May 1st, “8 hours shall constitute a legal days labour”. Between that declaration and May 1st workers all around the United States went on strike to make their employers agree to a shorter work day.

Nine Derry people face jail for decommissioning weapons
Nine people from Derry are facing jail sentences for their part in ‘decommissioning’ weapons of war. The silence from official Ireland is striking. Not a murmer from Nobel Peace Prize winners John Hume and David Trimble, or from Cowan or Paisley, or Adams or Gormley, or Gilmore or Empey. Not even an empty platitude from Bono or Bob Geldof. Nobody was harmed but computers belonging to a multinational arms firm were tossed from windows and destroyed. It seems that the right of arms dealers to make big profits is a lot more important than the right to life of people in the Lebanon.

Thinking about anarchism: why managers mess up
Mis-management is crucially tied up with the way work is organised under capitalism. Under the present arrangement management often hold the control levers in a workplace – be that a building site, a factory, a hospital or office – because they control the allocation of resources and flow of information. Safely cutbacks and what we see as ‘mismanagement’ are a consequence of this particular arrangement.

American Soldiers Speak Out Against The War
While in Florida, Andrew Flood of the WSM attended a local 'Winter Soldier' hearing. These are public meetings where United States ex-soldiers of the Iraq testify against the war.

Health March: Enough is Enough
Appoximately 5,000 people turned out for the “March for a Decent Public Health Service” held on Saturday, 29th March in Dublin. Various Trade Unions, patients groups from around the country and political organisations were represented.

Review: Flat Earth News
This is an extraordinarily detailed exposition of how the modern media functions. The author, veteran Guardian journalist Nick Davies, along with a team of researchers from Cardiff University, spent several years monitoring the British media and tracing the sources of the stories that they carried. The results were pretty shocking, even for somebody who already has a very low opinion of the corporate and state media.

Housing Executive to cut 400 jobs
Members of the public service union, NIPSA, were protesting outside the Housing Executive on March 26th. The Union has accused management of sacking over 60 temporary staff in the past few weeks without any consultation, and without any arrangements being made to cover the work. Bosses had previously agreed to take no action until the union had seen new staffing plans, but then went ahead and broke the agreement.

Belfast: Direction action gets the goods!
Following three successful pickets of Delaney’s restaurant in Belfast sacked worker Dasa Kacova has won all her demands and been offered her job back.

Anarchism and the WSM
March 15th saw Dublin’s third annual Anarchist Bookfair. Despite a day-long downpour, over 800 people passed through.

Thirteen different meetings were held on topics as varied as the health service, the Lisbon treaty, climate change, feminism and class, and trade union organisation. Interest in finding out more was reflected in the €3,000+ worth of books and pamphlets purchased from stalls operated by Workers Solidarity Movement, CAZ Books, Just Books, Anarchist Federation of Britain, Irish Socialist Network, Oxfam Bookstore and others.

All day long, the film room showed alternative movies. And, in the kids’ area, there were crafts and fun aplenty. Following much debate and discussion, the evening ended with a packed social event in the Clifton Court Hotel. And despite the lateness of events on Saturday night, early Sunday afternoon saw a lively bunch of people participate in a guided walking tour of radical sites in the city centre. We were also busy helping to publicise the March 29th health protest. As part of our contribution it was the cover story in our last issue, we published a pamphlet called ‘Towards a Cure’, and we gave out 10,000 WSM leaflets asking people to attend.

The Belfast WSM branch has started as they mean to go on, active and outgoing. 1,000 copies of the new northern edition of Workers Solidarity are being distributed, mainly door-to-door. Having their own edition means being able to feature local stories on the front and back pages, while the inside pages are the same as the southern paper. Belfast also saw about 20 people attend an anarchist fringe meeting at the National Union of Journalists annual delegate meeting, where speakers included NUJ executive member Donnacha DeLong, Village columnist and WSM member Chekov Feeney, and Jason Branigan from ‘Organise!’

Galway saw its first WSM public meeting in April on ‘Organising For Anarchism’, with 10 people offering to distribute Workers Solidarity in their neighbourhoods.

Throughout May and early June we will be campaigning against the Lisbon Treaty because it endorses and continues the bosses’ agenda of militarisation, and privatisation. Unlike some, our opposition is not based on any nationalist sentimentality or worry about the government losing the automatic right to nominate one of their millionaire pals as a Commissioner. We oppose it because it is not good for working people, that is what concerns us. More information at www.wsm.ie/voteno. If you would like to find out more and possibly help out, email wsm_ireland@yahoo.com or write to WSM, P.O. Box 1528, Dublin 8.

If you would like to help promote the anarchist alternative, why not take 20 copies of Workers Solidarity every two months. There are people all over Ireland who do just that, and put then through neighbours’ letterboxes or give them out at meetings and gigs. Simply send us your name and address and we’ll get them to you.

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