Irish Republicanism

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Choccy's picture
Choccy
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Apr 15 2009 21:03

Na I hadn't seen the Derry stuff. But I agree with the rest of course wink

Bobby
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Apr 15 2009 21:03

As far as Im aware it was the 32CSM comm in which there were youngsters with petrol bombs ready for the peelers who didnt show up

Bobby
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Apr 15 2009 22:01
back2front wrote:
Redee wrote:
Isn't it great to see how the left can work together and support each other to spread the word of socialism to the growing group of people in NI who don't really give a monkies for sectarian politics. You guys are all obviously well read in the theories of politics and have a great hunger to lift the class divide, so why not direct your efforts into making true politics accessible to those of us here in the North who really do want an alternative. Yes I know about Subway and about Visteon, but what about other workers unfairly dismissed on a daily basis who dont know about their employment rights or the fact that there are avenues available to them for help.
I work in a medium sized call centre and I find it difficult to recruit even permanent staff into the union because they fail to see the relevance of them (unless they happen to be facing a disciplinary hearing!) or the relevance of collective bargaining. To these people the very mention of the word politics is enough to send cold shivers down their spine - so what do we do about this?????? How do we make the ordinary person see that politics is more than the sectarian divide and is the only way to make a real difference to their lives? You also seem to forget that there are a large number of people who dont care who started what or when but do care about making lives better for themselves and their families.

You raise several points here one of which I'm wary of but I'll outline why that is later. As Choccy points out class struggle anarchism, although it has a history here, has been long marginalised by a general inability to see beyond sectarian politics. Therefore the movement is small but growing and I'm sure anyone from Organise! or WSM could offer advice on any maltreatment of workers or aspects of organisation within the workplace.

I have grown wary of unions and I realise this is a bit of a generalisation so I tend so suggest that unless your union has guts, organise without it. A health and safety rep for example can call a meeting in which bosses and union reps don't need to be present. There are many systems of organisation.

Which brings me to my initial response. There is a tendency for people to want others to do something for them. It's very typical in our spoonfed society as our masters train our dependence on them in all walks of life. Therefore what I'm saying is while others will offer advice and show solidarity it is important to develop a DiY attitude in organisation. If anarchism teachs anything then it's self-empowerment. I hope this doen't sound dismissive, it's really only an observation.

But yes a key area is making workers aware of their rights and there are so many who just don't know about them. Many often see union dues as another 'tax' they can live without. I would suggest printing a leaflet and cirulating it among workers outlining their rights.

You're right politics is such a loaded word that to the majority of people it means bastards in suits swarming their way out of the latest scam rather than the issues which affect people. Essentially anarchism is anti-political per se and, personally that includes the left as well as the right, but that's another tangent.

Republicanism is a petty beurgeosie and has nothing to offer workers

Is this an outside and against union 'strategy' you are attempting to advocate comrade?

Because, with exceptions to the un-organised such as me at the moment, if it is I couldn't think of an easier way to make anarchist politics irrelevant to a significant section of our population which are unionised.

Yes, yellow unions are bureocratic and reformist etc etc, but generally reflect where people are at. You only need to look at the next elections where the conservative party will probably be voted in. We need to be active at the shop floor advocating anarchist ideas and methods of struggle built on direct action and solidarity, which includes being active in your union or setting up one if possible.

Generally, It also true that where there is unionisation there is better wages and conditions.

From speaking to visteon workers recently many have said to be that if it wasnt for our strong and militant union we would not have been able to carry out this occupation.

Given that we are not living in a pre-revolutionary period( ie Spain 1936) we are certainly not in a position to be advocating anarchist-syndicalist unions or 'workplace resistance type groups' whatever that means.

Yes, at times it can be disheatening which our members have experienced at first hand, epecially trying to organise at a call centre type environment for abvious reasons. But this is the nature of struggle as its certainly not going to be an easy path.

It is also important to have organisational position and strategy on unions
http://www.wsm.ie/story/423

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back2front
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Apr 16 2009 07:26

No Bobby my post suggests that if a union is militant and is getting the job done then go with it, while if it isn't organise without it. It's quite clear.

While Trade Unions in the UK continue to support the Neo-Labour Party anarchists have to ask serious questions. The GMU and CWU cut donations a few years ago (2003 I think) while others continue conditional support and while traditional union support is in general decline some 40% of Neo-Labour funding still comes from this sector. Bliar instigated a policy of cutting ties with unions in 2006 (at least in terms of lobbying, funding was still welcome) and Unions are meant to ask members every 10 years whether or not they should support a political party.

The Trade Union and Labour Party Liaison Organisation (TULO) formed in 1994 was meant to create a strong union lobby within the party bearing influence on the Neo-Labour manifesto itself but in fact it merely reinforces union funding of the neo-labour party in return for what appears to be tokenism. 16 trade unions still support the most despotic regime since Mrs Thatcher first dipped her hand into an unemployed single parent's purse. This is why I am wary of unions.

Unions currently supporting this regime:

ASLEF - Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers - (railways – drivers, operational supervisors and staff)

BECTU - Broadcasting, Entertainment, Cinematograph and Theatre Union - (broadcasting, film, video, theatre, cinema and related sectors)

BFAWU - Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union - (food)

COMMUNITY - (industries in and around steel, metal and textile communities)

CWU - Communication Workers Union - (post and telecommunications)

GMB - Britain’s General Union - (general workers in public and private sectors)

MU - Musicians Union - (performers, writers and teachers in the music industry)

NACODS - National Association of Colliery Overmen, Deputies and Shotfirers - (mining)

NUM - National Union of Mineworkers - (mining)

TSSA - Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association - (railways, London Underground, travel, haulage, shipping)

UCATT - Union of Construction, Allied Trades and Technicians - (construction and building)

UNISON - The Public Service Union - (for all those providing services to the public whether employed in the public, private or voluntary sectors)

UNITE - (general workers in public and private sectors)

UNITY - (ceramics industry)

USDAW - Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied USDAW Workers - (retail, distributive and related industries)

GFTU – GFTU is the federation for specialist unions and its members include BECTU, BFAWU, COMMUNITY, MU, NACODS & UNITY.

Of course at a traditional level militant unions do good things for workers, and to repeat myself if your union has guts and is prepared to take things forward then go for it, but otherwise organise outside of it. This is not an anti-union 'strategy' per se but merely an observation on the serious state of affairs within the Trade Union movement.

Fletcher
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Apr 16 2009 09:07
back2front wrote:
if a union is militant and is getting the job done then go with it, while if it isn't organise without it. It's quite clear.

The problem with this approach is that it leaves the unions who are not militant (which most aren't) unchallenged and allows them to drift further to the right. Surely where unions exist in the workplace we should be in there and pushing for union members to take back control and ownership of those unions. Obviously no one expects the union to form the basis of a revolutionary movement however fighting within the union for better terms and conditions and wages can build class confidence and encourage people to go further.

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back2front
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Apr 16 2009 11:42

I don't see any problem Liam - if the union is pushing for workers then there isn't a problem but of course it is up to workers themselves to take responsibilty. As I mentioned earlier we live in a spoonfed society so while some unions will make an effort, others seem to have their wings clipped and in that instance workers should organise themselves - it's about self-empowerment. Workers can and do organise outside of unions and while unions continue to fail workers this can only be welcome. Ultimately while unions do undoubdtedly improve workers rights and conditions workers can ultimately expect nothing more than reformism.
Unions are not revolutionary organisations, let's face it.

Bobby
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Apr 16 2009 14:08

Knowone is questioning the fact that unions are revolutonary organisations.

Apart from what Liam has added, Like alot of things in life, unions are simply as strong and militant as there members want them to be.

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back2front
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Apr 16 2009 14:23

Would have thought that was self-explanatory...

nastyned
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Apr 16 2009 14:40

I'm not so sure. I think that unions are as strong and militant as their executive wants them to be would be more accurate.

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jef costello
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Apr 16 2009 15:06

unions are generally as strong as their militants and as militant as their members force them to be.

Bobby
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Apr 16 2009 16:20

in other words yes..

Deezer
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Apr 16 2009 18:00
back2front wrote:
I don't see any problem Liam - if the union is pushing for workers then there isn't a problem but of course it is up to workers themselves to take responsibilty. As I mentioned earlier we live in a spoonfed society so while some unions will make an effort, others seem to have their wings clipped and in that instance workers should organise themselves - it's about self-empowerment. Workers can and do organise outside of unions and while unions continue to fail workers this can only be welcome. Ultimately while unions do undoubdtedly improve workers rights and conditions workers can ultimately expect nothing more than reformism.
Unions are not revolutionary organisations, let's face it.

Er, if this and the 'discussion' that follows it refers to Craft Unions, Trades Unions, Business Unions and Amalgamateds I agree whole-heartedly and certainly these unions must be forced to take action by their membership (but the Executives will still act as a curb on that action no matter how militant the members).

But Unions can be revolutionary organisations. I do not mean that the existing lot we have on these islands can be made into revolutionary organisations but would like to point to the CNT, FORA, IWW etc., which are and have provided quite a convincing historical case that Unions can be revolutionary - when they are set up as explicitly revolutionary organisations.

This of course is for another thread (its been discussed before).

Skips
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Apr 16 2009 18:45

is there branches of the IWW in Ireland (im including northern in my question)?

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Choccy
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Apr 16 2009 20:45

None that I'm aware of, I know individuals have been members in the past but I've not seen evidence that's the case any more.

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PartyBucket
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Apr 16 2009 21:43
sickdog24 wrote:
is there branches of the IWW in Ireland (im including northern in my question)?

There were several members, I was one of them (I ceased to be a member a good few years ago). I was advised on more than one occasion by the ROC that there were new members in Northern Ireland, and Id write to said new members asking to meet up, work together, etc. usually to no avail. I think they liked the idea of having an IWW card in their wallet more than the idea of actually doing anything.

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Apr 17 2009 08:39
Deezer wrote:
back2front wrote:
I don't see any problem Liam - if the union is pushing for workers then there isn't a problem but of course it is up to workers themselves to take responsibilty. As I mentioned earlier we live in a spoonfed society so while some unions will make an effort, others seem to have their wings clipped and in that instance workers should organise themselves - it's about self-empowerment. Workers can and do organise outside of unions and while unions continue to fail workers this can only be welcome. Ultimately while unions do undoubdtedly improve workers rights and conditions workers can ultimately expect nothing more than reformism.
Unions are not revolutionary organisations, let's face it.

Er, if this and the 'discussion' that follows it refers to Craft Unions, Trades Unions, Business Unions and Amalgamateds I agree whole-heartedly and certainly these unions must be forced to take action by their membership (but the Executives will still act as a curb on that action no matter how militant the members).

But Unions can be revolutionary organisations. I do not mean that the existing lot we have on these islands can be made into revolutionary organisations but would like to point to the CNT, FORA, IWW etc., which are and have provided quite a convincing historical case that Unions can be revolutionary - when they are set up as explicitly revolutionary organisations.

This of course is for another thread (its been discussed before).

Agreed Deezer, the organisations you mention have long offered a historical backdrop for the revolutionary potential of militant unionism but unfortunately we have no such potential, as far as I can see (and correct me if I'm wrong), in unions today. Militant unionism was crushed under Thatcher over the Miner's Strike 1984 and The Print Worker's Strike 1987 but it's something I need to spend more time looking into.

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back2front
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Apr 17 2009 08:40

"I think they liked the idea of having an IWW card in their wallet more than the idea of actually doing anything."

Spot on Notch!!

yoshomon
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Apr 17 2009 15:19
Quote:
I don't really understand. I mean, I know that there's a difference between the labour party and the Tories in terms of their origins, and I've had to stand next to people on the labour left on various campaigns and demos, have supported strikes called by labour-affiliated unions etc.
Quote:
Youve also stated that you think anarchists can work with republicans on specific issues, and I dont disagree with you, so do you think we should be prepared to work with loyalist groups too? After all, on a pro-choice demo youre more likely to end up beside the PUP than beside Sinn Fein..
Quote:
yep, you are more likely to find yourself working alongside republicans and republican organisations in single-issue campaigns.
Quote:
One of the most hard working pro choice activists in Dublin in a Shinner. So down here you definitely find yourself working with SFers even if it has something 'to do with reproductive rights for women'. That said even she'd freely admit that Sinn Fein is not and will probably never be pro-choice.
Quote:
I've been involved in pro-choice stuff in Dublin and worked with Shinners involed in it. Notch8 said that you wouldn't find them involved in similiar stuff in Belfast.

If one rejects nationalism, why find common cause with nationalists?

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Django
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Apr 17 2009 16:29
yoshomon wrote:
Quote:
I don't really understand. I mean, I know that there's a difference between the labour party and the Tories in terms of their origins, and I've had to stand next to people on the labour left on various campaigns and demos, have supported strikes called by labour-affiliated unions etc.
Quote:
Youve also stated that you think anarchists can work with republicans on specific issues, and I dont disagree with you, so do you think we should be prepared to work with loyalist groups too? After all, on a pro-choice demo youre more likely to end up beside the PUP than beside Sinn Fein..
Quote:
yep, you are more likely to find yourself working alongside republicans and republican organisations in single-issue campaigns.
Quote:
One of the most hard working pro choice activists in Dublin in a Shinner. So down here you definitely find yourself working with SFers even if it has something 'to do with reproductive rights for women'. That said even she'd freely admit that Sinn Fein is not and will probably never be pro-choice.
Quote:
I've been involved in pro-choice stuff in Dublin and worked with Shinners involed in it. Notch8 said that you wouldn't find them involved in similiar stuff in Belfast.

If one rejects nationalism, why find common cause with nationalists?

So if a workplace was on strike and the local leftists supported it, you wouldn't?

fort-da game
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Apr 17 2009 19:05
Django wrote:
yoshomon wrote:
Quote:
I don't really understand. I mean, I know that there's a difference between the labour party and the Tories in terms of their origins, and I've had to stand next to people on the labour left on various campaigns and demos, have supported strikes called by labour-affiliated unions etc.
Quote:
Youve also stated that you think anarchists can work with republicans on specific issues, and I dont disagree with you, so do you think we should be prepared to work with loyalist groups too? After all, on a pro-choice demo youre more likely to end up beside the PUP than beside Sinn Fein..
Quote:
yep, you are more likely to find yourself working alongside republicans and republican organisations in single-issue campaigns.
Quote:
One of the most hard working pro choice activists in Dublin in a Shinner. So down here you definitely find yourself working with SFers even if it has something 'to do with reproductive rights for women'. That said even she'd freely admit that Sinn Fein is not and will probably never be pro-choice.
Quote:
I've been involved in pro-choice stuff in Dublin and worked with Shinners involed in it. Notch8 said that you wouldn't find them involved in similiar stuff in Belfast.

If one rejects nationalism, why find common cause with nationalists?

So if a workplace was on strike and the local leftists supported it, you wouldn't?

Ah, the piquancy of realpolitik – answer a question with a question. Evade the issue of unseemly associations with a hypothetical ‘what if Hitler raped your sister?’ But still, doesn’t ‘support a strike’ really mean promote the brand and secure ‘our’ gang’s paltry reserve of independent capital? What is leftist-nationalism anyway? How is that distinguished from fascism? Go on, 'work' with them on single issue campaigns, it’s allowed, in fact the struggle demands it. After all, you are historically determined to make the least bad choices in the necessary process of building your Mass Organisation.

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jef costello
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Apr 17 2009 19:34
yoshomon wrote:
Quote:
I don't really understand. I mean, I know that there's a difference between the labour party and the Tories in terms of their origins, and I've had to stand next to people on the labour left on various campaigns and demos, have supported strikes called by labour-affiliated unions etc.
Quote:
Youve also stated that you think anarchists can work with republicans on specific issues, and I dont disagree with you, so do you think we should be prepared to work with loyalist groups too? After all, on a pro-choice demo youre more likely to end up beside the PUP than beside Sinn Fein..
Quote:
yep, you are more likely to find yourself working alongside republicans and republican organisations in single-issue campaigns.
Quote:
One of the most hard working pro choice activists in Dublin in a Shinner. So down here you definitely find yourself working with SFers even if it has something 'to do with reproductive rights for women'. That said even she'd freely admit that Sinn Fein is not and will probably never be pro-choice.
Quote:
I've been involved in pro-choice stuff in Dublin and worked with Shinners involed in it. Notch8 said that you wouldn't find them involved in similiar stuff in Belfast.

If one rejects nationalism, why find common cause with nationalists?

I think the argument would be that nationalists are not necessarily wrong about everything and on a single issue there might well be agreement. A victory for the working class is a victory for the working class.

Caiman del Barrio
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Apr 17 2009 19:46
Django wrote:
yoshomon wrote:
Quote:
I don't really understand. I mean, I know that there's a difference between the labour party and the Tories in terms of their origins, and I've had to stand next to people on the labour left on various campaigns and demos, have supported strikes called by labour-affiliated unions etc.
Quote:
Youve also stated that you think anarchists can work with republicans on specific issues, and I dont disagree with you, so do you think we should be prepared to work with loyalist groups too? After all, on a pro-choice demo youre more likely to end up beside the PUP than beside Sinn Fein..
Quote:
yep, you are more likely to find yourself working alongside republicans and republican organisations in single-issue campaigns.
Quote:
One of the most hard working pro choice activists in Dublin in a Shinner. So down here you definitely find yourself working with SFers even if it has something 'to do with reproductive rights for women'. That said even she'd freely admit that Sinn Fein is not and will probably never be pro-choice.
Quote:
I've been involved in pro-choice stuff in Dublin and worked with Shinners involed in it. Notch8 said that you wouldn't find them involved in similiar stuff in Belfast.

If one rejects nationalism, why find common cause with nationalists?

So if a workplace was on strike and the local leftists supported it, you wouldn't?

Django, check the ID of the poster. He's Libcom's resident primitive nihilist remember?

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PartyBucket
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Apr 18 2009 01:03
fort-da game wrote:
Ah, the piquancy of realpolitik – answer a question with a question. Evade the issue of unseemly associations with a hypothetical ‘what if Hitler raped your sister?’ But still, doesn’t ‘support a strike’ really mean promote the brand and secure ‘our’ gang’s paltry reserve of independent capital? What is leftist-nationalism anyway? How is that distinguished from fascism? Go on, 'work' with them on single issue campaigns, it’s allowed, in fact the struggle demands it. After all, you are historically determined to make the least bad choices in the necessary process of building your Mass Organisation.

OR:

fort-da game wrote:
Go about your business, I will weigh in every six weeks or so with some obscure nonsense kthxbai
Resurrection1916
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Apr 19 2009 10:21
Jerome wrote:
Is it opposed because it is nationalism? Is it supported because it is against colonialism? Is it a good rallying tool for Anarchist causes in Ireland?
.

It should be supported because it is against colonialism.

It would be a good rally tool for Anarchist causes.

BUT....

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Apr 19 2009 13:51
Resurrection1916 wrote:
It should be supported because it is against colonialism.

It would be a good rally tool for Anarchist causes.

Have you read ANYTHING AT ALL thats been posted over the course of 4 pages of this thread as to why these two statements are off the mark?