Andrew N. Flood


Andrew Flood

This is the home page of the Irish anarchist writer Andrew N. Flood, pictures on this page were also taken by Andrew

Please note my old student email account anflood@macollamh.ucd.ie no longer functions,
you can email me at AndrewNFlood AT removethisbit.gmail.com,
If your a human you'll work out which bits to change and which bits to remove


More recent articles

I've neglected this page for a number of years and I'm in the process of updating it, note as well as my articles those of my close friend Joe are included as all of the articles we've written during this period have in reality been a team effort.

Note on translations: I'm aware of articles I have written which have been translated into Spanish, Turkish, Italian, Polish, French, German, Dutch, Serbo-Croat and Swedish. Where I know of such translations on the web I have linked to them from the English original on this page. If you are aware of translations that are not listed here please email the URL to me at the above address with if possible the original English title and URL and I will link to them when I next update this page.

The politics and reality of the peak oil scare (Red & Black Revolution, Spring 2007)
Peak Oil Theory has been around since the 1970s. Some think we have already reached 'peak oil', others think it will happen with the next twenty-five years. The theory argues that when we reach 'peak oil' the rate at which we extract oil from the earth (measured in millions of barrels per day) will reach a maximum and thereafter will start to drop.

 

The rising of the moon

An analysis of the development of the left, Irish republicanism and working class struggles 1780 - 1798 & 1880-1923

The articles it includes are

You can download this pamphlet as a PDF file

The articles in this pamphlet include the first four listed below

The 1798 rebellion and the origins of Irish republicanism (Indymedia.ie, May 22 2007)
On the 23rd of May 1798 the largest popular republican rising in Irish history began. Across the island tens of thousands fought under the banner of the United Irishmen. Hundreds of thousands had been sworn into the organization in the preceding four years. On four occasions revolutionary France sent thousands of troops to aid the rebellion, the United Irishmen had built contacts with revolutionary republicans across the globe,

The 1916 and around articles
For the 90th anniversary of the 1916 insurrection I wrote a number of articles over a period of 18 or so months, 4 are pretty major examinations of the period, 30,000 words in all. The others were in relation to films, books etc published with a connection to the rising.

Nationalism, socialism and partition (Indymedia.ie, May 2007)
May 3rd was the 88th anniversary of the largest 'Mayday' demonstration in Irish history, when what the Belfast Newsletter described as ""a little band of disgruntled Red-Socialists"" led 100,000 workers through the streets of Belfast. Everywhere else in Ireland in 1919 had also seen massive Mayday demonstrations, with 10,000 demonstrating in Burr Co. Offaly. Both North and South a massive wave of working class militancy had grown and although these struggles shared a common rhythm they happened in isolation from each other.

1916 left Republicanism, anarchism and class struggle (Anarkismo, April 2006)
This article is an anarchist analysis of the 1916 insurrection and the war of independence in the context of the struggle for socialism in Ireland and internationally. It concentrates on the 'unknown' but intense class struggle that ran alongside the war of independence and the role republicanism played in the suppression of that struggle. It asks 'what is freedom' and shows how anarchism originated amongst earlier European left republicans as an answer to the limitations of republicanism

Connolly, blood sacrifice and defeating British imperialism (Anarkismo, April 2006)
Traditionally the anniversary of the rising is marked as being on the Easter Monday rather than the actual date, perhaps in part because of the common theme of blood sacrifice. Histories of the rising tend to focus on the idea of blood sacrifice at both a motivation for the rising and the reason for the creation of the Free State. This article argues that although this may have been an important motivation on the day it was not the reason for the rising nor was the reason for the subsequent rise of the IRA simply found in the execution of the republican leadership after the rising

Review: 'The Wind that Shakes the Barley'(Anarkismo, Mar 2007)
Ken Loaches 'The Wind that Shakes the Barley' got its North American release this week. In many ways this film is similar to his earlier film 'Land and Freedom' in seeking to introduce the elements of class struggle in both events to a mainstream audience which would only be aware of them as interesting military conflicts.

Connolly - A life and a legacy - Review: James Connolly 'A full life' by Donal Nevin (Red & Black Revolution 12, Spring 2007)
Revolutionary martyrs, being unable to speak for themselves, are liable to be claimed by all sorts of organisations with whom in real life they would have had little in common. When they are of national or international importance, like the Irish syndicalist James Connolly, this also mean that biographies often tend to be very partisan affairs, aimed at recruiting the dead to one cause or another. The story of their life becomes reduced to a morality tale whose conclusion is whatever positions the author holds dear today.

The insurrection of Easter 1916 (Red & Black Revolution 11, Autumn 2006)
The Easter 1916 rising in Dublin is often portrayed simply as nationalist blood sacrifice but it can also be examined as an insurrection which was seriously planned to defeat the British army. It is credited with transforming political attitudes in Ireland, leading to the partally successful war of independance but nationalist histories tend to understate the other reasons why the situation was transformed and to completely ignore the wave of workers struggles that broke out during the war.

Newer news articles from Joe

Pro-choice rally faces off counter demonstration at Four Courts (Indymedia, May 9 2007)
The D-case of a 17 year old woman who has been prevented traveling to England for an abortion continued in the High Court today. A pro-choice solidarity rally took place outside as well as a brief anti-woman counter rally.

Aggressive policing at blockade of Shell HQ in Dublin (Indymedia, 7 April 2007)
This morning at 7.30 Dublin Shell to Sea members brought a taste of Mayo to Corrib House. Over 50 people took part in an ongoing blockade of the three entrances of the Shell HQ.

Shell HQ occupied in Dublin (Indymedia, 27 March 2007)
Shells HQ on Leeson street in Dublin has been occupied by activists protesting the give away of Ireland natural resources to this corporation depriving the health and education system of billions of euro worth of needed funds.

15 year old anarchist killed by the Police in Mayday in Bogotá, Colombia (Indymedia, May 8 2005)
News is circulating that yet another anarchist has died due to state repression on Mayday. Within hours of the Dublin anarchist picnic Nicolás David Neira Alvares was clubbed to the ground by up to eight police on the Bogota Mayday march and beaten on the head until he passed out. Police then prevented his comrades getting to him so it was some time before they could get him to hospital where he died earlier today.

Report on anti-war march to HMS Ocean (Indymedia, 30 June 2006)
Just over 150 people marched down to HMS Ocean to protest the presence of this British warship which was involved in the invasion of Iraq in Dublin port. Although some will be disappointed with this turnout in reality it was a significant number for a wet mid week demonstration. Also on the positive side there was a real effort to overcome some of the divisions that have characterised the anti-war movement.

Older articles listed by subject

On Anarchist/left organisation

Anarchist communist analysis of Insurrectionalism

Anarchism, insurrections and insurrectionalism
An anarchist communist examination of the history of insurrections in anarchism and of the modern ideas of insurrectionalism

Notes on the article “Anarchism, Insurrections and Insurrectionalism”
The objective of this article is to deal with certain issues that I believe to be insufficiently dealt with if at all, in the article of Joe Black, “Anarchism, Insurrections and Insurrectionalism”. I believe those issues to be of importance if we are to debate on insurrectionalism, so as to understand in perspective some of its ideas and the specific place it has in the general anarchist movement.

Download the PDF of this pamphlet. Also in Castellano

 

Anarchism, insurrections and insurrectionalism (RBR 11, July 2006) [Castellano]
Insurrections - the armed rising of the people - has always been close to the heart of anarchism. The first programmatic documents of the anarchist movement were created by Bakunin and a group of European left-republican insurrectionists as they made the transition to anarchism in Italy in the 1860's. This was not a break with insurrectionism but with left-republicanism, shortly afterwards Bakunin was to take part in an insurrection in Lyon in 1870.

Primitivism

Civilisation, Primitivism and anarchism (Anarkismo, June 2004)
Over the last decade a generalized critique of civilization has been made by a number of authors. Facing this challenge anarchists need to first look to see if primitivism offers any sort of realistic alternative to the world as it is. [Castellano] [Italiano]

Is primitivism realistic? An anarchist reply to John Zerzan and others (Anarkismo, December 2005)
One of the major confusions in the anarchist movement in the USA and parts of Europe arises out of primitivism and its claim to be part of the anarchist movement. But primitivism is not a realistic strategy for social revolution and it opposes the basic purpose of anarchism - the creation of a free mass society. Primitivists have attempted to reply to these criticisms but these replies are easily exposed as more to do with faith then reality

PDF file of Civilisation, Primitivism and anarchism

 

Thinking About Anarchism: Organisation (WS, Sept 2005)
There is no one right form of anarchist organisation. Rather, different forms are used for different purposes. What all these forms have in common is a desire to avoid the creation of any hierarchy while at the same time making sure that whatever needs to be done gets done.
Summit protests and networks (RBR 8, Winter 2004) [In Italian]
The major advantage of the network form of organisation is that it allowed the rapid development and growth of a movement of tens of thousands from a tiny base without significant resources But no single form of organisation, unless it is one that involves the majority of workers, will ever be able to take it on in a straight fight

Bakunin's ideas on revolutionary organisation (RBR6 Winter 2002) [In Turkish]
The Russian revolutionary Micheal Bakunin is often presented as the 'founding father' of anarchism. He was a larger than life figure whose disputes with Marx in the 1st international form an essential role in the clarification of the role of the vanguard and of the state in the revolutionary process. Yet his concrete ideas on anarchist organisation are not so well known.

Organising for Change (WS77 Sept 2003)
The last year or so has seen a hectic period for activists in Ireland. From the May 6th Gardai attack on Reclaim the Streets in Dublin, through the anti-war campaigns, people have been coming into conflict with the state. In Dublin, we are now in the middle of a struggle with local anti-bin tax groups across the city taking action to defeat the councils refusal to collect rubbish.

International Libertarian Solidarity (S.I.L.) (WS71 July 2002)
At the last Workers Solidarity Movement conference we took the decision to join a new international anarchist network, International Libertarian Solidarity, which is most often referred to by its Spanish acronym of SIL. This was after we had discussed the founding document of the SIL, the 2001 Madrid declaration and the work it has undertaken since.

Organising against Capitalism (RBR3 1997) [In French]
Many revolutionaries in recent years have been engrossed in analysing the mistakes of the past and the changing nature of capitalism. Andrew Flood a participant in the "Intercontinental Gathering for Humanity and against neo-liberalism" argues it is time to start moving on to the constructive work of building a new movement.

Ashes to Phoenix (RBR1 1994)
It has become something of a cliche is say the left is dead. But few have explained this supposed death. New organisations have arisen in recent years that claim to be avoiding the mistakes of the past. How true is this claim? Andrew Flood examines the evidence and comes up with some disturbing conclusions.

Time to be constructive! (RBR1 1994) [In French]
The left to-day, demoralised by its collapse is without focus or direction. Anarchism given its anti-authoritarian tradition should be able to offer a way forward. But many are reluctant to take up anarchism, Andrew Flood looks at some of the reasons why this is so and suggests the key organisational ideas needed for a new anarchist movement.

Review: Unfinished business - The politics of Class War (WS39 1993)
'Unfinished Business' is 186 pages of Class War explaining its political outlook. What's more it does seem to represent a real if unacknowledged break with their past. The book is divided into sections which include capitalism, the state and revolutionary organisation. It provides a good, if sometimes flawed, introduction to the topics it covers

Class war is over: Long live the Class War (WS52 1997)
One measure of the success of the Class War Federation is that so many of the readers of this article will immediately recognise the name as belonging to a British revolutionary group. Well officially Class War is no more and what's more they produced a final issue of there paper to prove it, No 73 headlined 'Class War is Dead...long live the Class War'.

The Socialist Workers Party & Socialism from Below ('Socialism from below' supplement, 2001?)
The problem with the SWP's 'Socialism from below' is that it is based on Leninism, a doctrine in theory and practise that is 'Socialism from above'

Report on Bradford MayDay '98 (Ainfos, May 1998)
The May Day weekend saw hundreds of anarchists from all over Britain (and beyond) travel to the small town of Bradford in Yorkshire, Northern England. A local anarchist social centre, the 1in12 Club had organised (for the second year running) a weekend of activities under the title of 'Reclaim Mayday'.

Can you have an anarchist army? (WS59, Spring 2000)
AS ANARCHISTS believe the bosses will resist a revolution, it follows that we accept the need for armed force to defend the revolution. But anarchists also oppose militarism, that includes standing armies controlled by the state with officers who have special privileges like extra rations, better quarters, saluting, etc. So what alternative do anarchists propose?

Syndicalist unions in Siberia (WS65, July 2001)
The existence of syndicalist unions like the SKT demonstrate that we can run our unions without the sort of bureaucratic structures that are currently typical of Irish Trade unions.

Anarchist organisations meet in Madrid (WS 64, May 2001)
Over the weekend of March 31st an international libertarian/anarchist gathering was held in Madrid. It was hosted by the largest anarchist union in the world, the Spanish CGT, which has around 50,000 members. A number of other large libertarian unions attended including the SAC of Sweden and the Italian UNICOBAS.

Anarchism and the state (An Caorthann, 1988)
Written for Green-alternative magazine. Every step towards state power is actually a defeat, every local election won is actually a step back (and not a little step forward) in creating a new society. But do the anarchists have an alternative?

Anarchist history

Rescuing Lucy Parsons for the Anarchist Movement - a review of 'Lucy Parsons: Freedom, Equality and Solidarity' (North Eastern Anarchist, 11 Spring 2006)
Gale Ahrens has done the anarchist movement a real service in putting together this collection, which should rescue Lucy Parsons from the dark corner she has existed in. In it she emerges from the shadow of her martyred husband as a central if neglected figure in the development of anarchism in the USA.

Chinese anarchist Ba Jin dies age 101 in Shanghai (Anarkismo, Oct 2005)
Xinhua has reported the death of the Chinese anarchist Ba Jin after a six year battle with cancer. In 1919 he was part of the Chinese anarchist group 'Company of Equals' that organised demonstrations against the warlords and distributed revolutionary leaflets

Anti-war (see also photo stories at end)

The Iraqi 'Resistance' (WS, March 2005)
A Closer Look at the Forces Fighting the US in Iraq. It is clear that there is no single 'resistance' in Iraq but rather a network of organizations often with conflicting end goals once you look beyond the question of removing the US presence.
Building the Anti-War Movement from Below (WS, May 2004)
The question now is what sort of broad anti-war movement can be built that is genuinely inclusive and democratic?

The Fight for a Free Iraq (WS, Jan 2004)
What is life like for the Iraqi workers caught under the occupation and all too often in the cross-fire? The US/UK occupying force is not too happy that Iraqi workers are organizing themselves rather then obeying the puppet Iraqi Governing Council

Direct Action against the war in Ireland (RBR7, Winter 2003)
Long overview of the anti-war movement in Ireland up to the Autumn of 2003. In every country after February 15th the anti-war movement was thus faced with the question of what to do next. In Ireland almost all of the direct action protests were targeted on Shannon airport. More than half dozen successful actions took place, ranging from a large scale breach of the fence in October, to physical attacks on planes as the build up to war escalated.

The trouble with Islam (RBR7, Winter 2003)
The September 11 attacks, the Afghan war that followed from it and the ongoing war in Israel/Palestine have once again raised the issue of Islam in the minds of many anarchists in Ireland and Britain. Hostility to organised religion and the promotion of a material rather than spiritual understanding of the world is common to most of the anarchist movement, although there are exceptions. It was developed in the face of Christian state-church systems that often bore similarities to the Islamic State rule found today

Act to stop their war! (WS75 March 2003)
Short cover story for the WSM newspaper calling for direct action against the war,

Stopping the war (WS73 Nov 2002)
While a march of 5,000 or even 10,000 in Dublin won't effect government policy, similar numbers tearing down the fence in Shannon and taking over the entire airport would. The government would then have to choose between militarising the airport and arresting hundreds or asking the US to take its war planes elsewhere.

Review: Refueling Peace http://refuelingpeace.org (WS73 Nov 2002)
Refueling Peace is one of the many anti-war groups that has sprung up over the last year. They have defined themselves around a very specific purpose, to "monitor and stop US military flights refuelling in Ireland".

Resistance to war (WS67 Nov 2001)
Although you wouldn't know it from the media, anti-war demonstrations have been growing in size right across the world. But the number attending the demonstrations are still only a fraction of those who oppose the war, perhaps because many believe there is nothing we can do. This is because the history of successful resistance to war has been deeply buried by the ruling class.

Millionaires go to WAR! Expect world's workers to fight for them!! (WS67 Nov 2001)
Short cover story for WSM newspaper pointing out the similarities between Bush and bin Laden.

Yugoslavia: Whose bloody war? (WS38, 1993)
THE WAR in what was Yugoslavia continues to drag on, with an ever increasing toll of people terrorized from their homes, killed or imprisoned. Most ordinary people are disgusted at the failure of the EC to do anything about it. Yet is EC or UN involvement any sort of answer or would it just make the situation worse.

Bosnia, Rwanda and UN intervention (WS42, 1994)
The WSM has always said socialists should not support any intervention by the UN anywhere. What is currently happening in Bosnia and Rwanda demonstrates the reasons why we should not call on the UN to intervene.

"Our legions are brim-full, our cause is ripe:
The enemy increaseth every day;
We, at the height, are ready to decline.
There is a tide in the affairs of men
Which taken at the flood leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
On such a full sea are we now afloat,
And we must take the current when it serves,
Or lose our ventures."

Incredible turnout at Dublin anti-war march - but what do we do now? (WSM site, Feb 15 2003)
Saturday 15 February saw the largest demonstration in Dublin in two decades and by far the largest anti-war demonstration in Ireland ever. The crowds were impossible for one person to count but estimates of the turnout range from 80,000 to 150,000 plus. Whatever the actual number this and the opinion polls published on the same day demonstrate that opposition to the war in Ireland is overwhelming.

Stop refuelling at Shannon warport (WS73, Nov 2002)
Despite the supposed neutrality of Southern Ireland the Irish government has been involving us more and more in the imperialist adventures of the US military. Shannon airport has become a key refuelling facility for US war planes en route between the US and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Direct Action at Shannon shows the way (WSM site, early 2003)
Winston Churchill said of war: "Victory is the beautiful, bright-coloured flower. Transport is the stem without which it never could have blossomed." Marches have and will continue to have an essential role in building opposition to the war and bringing new people into the movements. But it is now clear that we can do more, that we can take action against this war. In this war our rulers do not need us to fight as soldiers, they would like but do not require our support for the war. They do however need us to remain passive, for if we turn our disgust at this war into action against it then their war machine will grind to a halt.

Shannon demonstration against refuelling of US war planes (WSM site, Aug 19, 2002)
70 people turned up for the demonstation to find access to the airport blocked, we just marched up and through the Gardai line. They made a fairly half hearted attempt to stop us and then settled down to simply walking in front and behind us as we marched up the road to the terminal. There was a sense of achievement in that we had defended our freedom to protest through taking direct action.

Mass anti-war trespass at Shannon Airport (WSM site, Oct 12, 20002)
Saturday (12th October, 2002) saw the largest anti-war demonstration to date at Shannon airport. As the demonstration ended a 50m section of the perimeter fence was torn down and up to 150 people entered the airfield perimeter.

Mass demonstration at Shannon Warport (WSM site, 18 Jan 2003)
Thousands of people travelled from around the country to protest at the military use of the airport and to oppose war in Iraq in the largest protest Shannon airport was to see during the war. The roof of airport building were occupied and an attempt was made to enter the airfield itself.

If not now, when (WSM site, Late Feb 2003)
Quite a prophetic article written just before the March 1st action which the majority of the Irish left was opposing. "With the government going ahead with refuelling despite 100,000 marching in Dublin against it we have to ask what level of active public opposition is required before these 'revolutionaries' consider direct action to be justified. We are at five minutes to midnight friends; the time to act is now."

To the next time (WSM site, March 1st, 2003)
Saturdays direct action at Shannon was foiled in its intention to get onto the airfield. But it demonstrated to the anti-war movements that such an action is possible to carry out and that is a major step forward. Indeed were it not for the week of 'its going to be violent' hype from the media, the bishops and even some other sections of the anti-war movements we almost certainly would have succeeded.

The March 1st action at Shannon (WS75, March 2003)
If you were anywhere in Ireland in the last week of February you can't have missed the hype ahead of the March 1st direct action called at Shannon by the Grassroots Network Against the War (GNAW). Suddenly every politician, reporter and even bishop in the country was joining the queue to denounce the planned 'violent' protest. The morning before the protest irony died on its feet when Sinn Fein announce it was pulling out of the unrelated Irish Anti War Movement protest at the airport for fear of violence

Shannon - at the end of a long road (WSM site, April 12th 2003)
The Shannon demonstration was only attended by about 470 people, many of these being from the political parties that make up the IAWM. The movement that could mobilise 100,000 ends up leading 467 (I counted) into a protest pen at Shannon as in the background military flights taxi for take off.

 

Riot cops in Seville

On the anti-capitalist/anti-neoliberal movement

What is the World Economic Forum? (WSM site, Aug 2003)
This October some 400 industrialists and assorted hangers on will descend on Dublin for the European summit of the World Economic Forum. The city centre will be brought to a halt as the sort of globalisation demonstration we have seen in Seattle and Prague occurs in Dublin. (This was cancelled)

The Seville 2002 EU summit protests (WSM site, Summer 2002)
A group of Irish anarchists travelled to the June 2002 demonstrations in Seville Spain against the European summit. This is an account of the demonstration and our journey there

 Is the emperor wearing clothes? (North Eastern Anarchist, 2002) [Swedish translation]
A review of Negri and Hardt's book Empire from an anarchist perspective. I suspect Empire's real usefulness will be as a respectable academic Marxist text that will be picked up by a lot of people who won't, for one reason or another, seriously read anarchist material.

Empire review cover

PDF file Is the emperor wearing clothes?
[Swedish translation]

A review of Negri and Hardt's Empire from an anarchist perspective?

Cork Grassroots Gathering. (WS70, June 2002)
The second Grassroots Gathering was held over the Easter weekend in Cork. Some seventy people from all over Ireland took part.

The globalisation we demand (WS68, Jan 2002)
Cover story for WSM paper. Has it ever struck you as a little odd that the same governments that claim to stand for globalisation are busy erecting expensive fences along their borders to keep people out? Or that the collapse of the Berlin wall has been followed a decade later by new and longer walls being erected a few hundred miles to the East running down the Polish and Czech frontiers?

Fighting Global Capitalism ..What sort of movement do we need? (WS65, July 2001)
Article calling for the creation of what became the Grassroots Gathering. Beyond this though we see the need for those of us who have a common anti-authoritarian vision of a future society to work together to promote this view. There are many within the general movement whom we are close to, who we feel in a greater or lesser way are fighting for the sort of society we are fighting for. Often we use quite different language to describe it but in the most general terms we are talking of a society where workplaces and communities are run by those who live and work there.

The Euro: the root of all evil? (WS68, Jan 2002)
The arrival of the Euro in its 'real' form of notes and coins is a key step along the path towards European unification. It makes no sense for us to oppose the EU on the basis of some sort of return to national sovereignty. Rather we must look for ways to create our globalisation agenda out of the process.

Globalisation: the end of the age of imperialism? (WS58, October 1999) [In Spanish] [In Polish] [In Turkish]
Interesting as written just prior to the Seattle protests which the last paragraph misidentifies as due to take place in Toronto, Canada! IT HAS BECOME increasingly fashionable to use the term globalisation as a description of the international economy and international political relations. Globalisation is meant to have taken over from imperialism, when a handful of large states openly and directly ran most or the world.

The media and the anti capitalist globalisation movement - Learning from Nice (WS62 - Jan 2000)
Nice deserves to be remembered for the extreme bias shown by the media. Despite hundreds of hours of coverage the media ignored key issues. The counter summit attended by thousands of people was completely ignored. It finally closed when the police fired tear gas into the venue! Coverage of the demonstrations was laughable - confined to a few images of unexplained 'violence

Sweatshops, unions and Fortress Europe (WS63, March 2001)
The EU is continuing the exploitation of the people of North Africa through creating a special trade zone of some of the North African countries similar to the free trades zones North America has created in Mexico. In Ireland this has been most visible with ‘Fruit of the Loom’ closing plants in the north west of Ireland and opening new plants in Morocco where workers are paid one seventh of what the (low paid) Irish workers were paid.

Restructuring and resistance: Diverse voices of struggle in western Europe (WS66, Sept 2001)
Restructuring and Resistance is an inspired book that succeeds in explaining why many people in western Europe are opposing capitalist globalisation. It does this by doing what the mainstream media will not, giving them a voice.

It didn't start in Seattle, it won't end in Genoa (WS64, May 2001)
Cover story for WSM paper. Over the last two years a movement has been growing all over the world that seeks to end the rule of the banks. It didn't start in Seattle when the World Trade Organisation congress was blockaded in November 1999

Battle starts outside European summit in Nice (WSM site, Dec 2000)[In French] [In Italian]
Mainstream press sites and the wire services are carrying reports that battles have broken out between the protesters in Nice and the riot police guarding the European Summit

Space Aliens horrified by Earth (WS61, Nov 2000)
Cover story for WSM paper. An alien spacecraft surveying the earth would surely be astounded by the 'civilisation' that inhabits it. On the one hand it has sent men to the moon and sequenced the human genome. On the other tens of millions die every year because they lack access to basic medicine and clean water

Our globalisation - Fighting Global Capitalism (WS60, Sept 2000)
Inequality is fundamental to the way that capitalism works. This is why anarchists have and will continue to be at the heart of the anti-capitalist protests in London (J18. Mayday), Seattle (N30), Washington (A16) and Prague (S26).

Is Bill Gates really worth 14,000,000 people? (WS59, Spring 2000)
Cover story for WSM paper. BETWEEN 1986 AND 1999 Bill Gates, the richest man on earth, earned over 14 million dollars a day from the increasing value of his Microsoft shares alone. Yet over one billion people on this planet live on less than one dollar a day.

The Nice Treaty and globalisation (No to Nice campaign, Aug 2002)
A look at the corporate agenda behing the Nice treaty

Reply to the SWP Open Letter on Nice (Indymedia.ie, 2002?)
It is easy to see why no left, green or republican organisation in Ireland is currently willing to be part of such an SWP front group. Some of us have tried in the recent past (GR initially involved several other groups). But like the leopard the SWP cannot change its spots, even when it changes its rhetoric, and with that lesson learned all soon left.

Nice and Nationalism (WS72, Sept 2002)
The Nice referendum is one of those odd occasions where anarchists are recommending the same vote as individuals and organisations we find odious. For instance some of those calling for a No vote are making racist panic arguments saying a Yes vote will result in 7.5 million Eastern Europeans moving to Ireland! It's rather obvious that anarchists who oppose all border controls have no time for such tripe.

For/on Prague S26

S26 in Ireland and the origins of the anti-capitalist movement (Dublin, Sept 2000)
I'd trace my involvement in the new anti-capitalist movement to Mexico. Specifically part of story of the origins of the movement lie with the '1st encounter for humanity and against neoliberalism', held in Zapatista camps in Chiapas in 1996.

Three talks given at the Prague counter summit

Imperialism, globalisation and the rule of the few (Vltavska , Prague, 22 Sept 2000)
We understand that we are not going to bring down the world order headed by the World Bank on Tuesday or by blockading any of their meetings. Instead we send out a clear message that there is an alternative. This alternative is not merely a question of policies but also of a new world in which for the first time the ordinary people of the world will take direct control over how our societies are run, not simply by occasionally choosing between professional politicians but by self management in the workplaces and the communities.

Irish workers and the Celtic Tiger : The reality behind the neoliberal 'success story' (Aero Cinema, Prague, 23 September 2000)
Up to a decade ago a third of school and college leavers immediately left the country in search of work, many of the remainder spent long periods of time on unemployment assistance, government training schemes and various government 'make work' schemes designed to keep the unemployment figures down. This managed to keep the official figures under 20% by this method but most people guessed real unemployment was far higher and for young people and in certain areas it probably approached 50%. This had been the pattern in the Irish economy not only for decades but in fact for centuries.

The nature of economic globalisation: Where do we come from? Where do we go to? (Prague 24 September 2000)
Prague S26 can be seen as the next "day for global action against neo-liberalism" called for by the 'Politics table' in Chiapas back in 1996. Of course it is much more then this, there are many key people in the movement who have no awareness of these meetings. But if we were to pick a point that the movements against neoliberalism moved from the single campaign/issue to global anti capitalism the perhaps that point is found in the jungles of the Mexican South East some four years ago
See also the online transcript of this session, other speakers were Sever Frederichy, George Stefanses, Mark Leven and Naomi Klein

Victory in Prague - IMF and World Bank closed down (WS61, Nov 2000)
Any honest account of the September 26 (S26) demonstrations in Prague would start off by saying that the numbers that took part in the demonstrations, some 12,000 people, were a little disappointing. But it should go on to say that those 12,000 people succeeded in not only completely disrupting the World Bank/International Monetary Fund (WB-IMF) congress but in causing it to be abandoned by the majority of delegates on the second day

Irish eyewitness report on S26 demonstration in Prague (WSM site Sept 2000) [In French] [In German]
Very detailed account from Prague of the events of September 26th.

Anti-fascist march in Prague (Ainriail, Sept 2000)
Today some 500 or 600 people took part in anti-fascist march through the center of Prague. This was to counter a fascist rally being held on the putskirts of the city, early reports are they only had an attendance of 90.

Anarchist globalisation after Prague S26 (WSM public meetings, October 2000)
Text of a talk given as part of a speaking tour after the 2000 World Bank protests in Prague. For anarchists this new movement is a vindication of the methods we argue for. It practises direct democracy with decision making by mass assemblies or delegates in what are often very difficult circumstances. It doesn't simply march up the hill and down again - requesting fair treatment from our rulers - but rather takes direct action to disrupt and indeed stop their proceedings.

On Imperialism and anti-imperialism

10 years after the Gulf War - Their New World Order is as deadly as ever (WS63, March 2001)
10 years after the Gulf War offically ended Britain and the US continue to bomb Iraq. It only occasionally gets into the headlines, normally when civilians are killed. It is ironic that it is the Western soldiers who carried out the mass killings in that war who have become its most prominent victims in the media

The return of the "white man's civilising mission" (WS35, 1992)
WHAT USED TO be called the white man's civilising mission has returned with a vengeance. Suddenly white Europeans and Americans once more have to bring peace and harmony to the rest of the world by stamping on dictators, stopping the Islamic bomb and introducing economic stability.

The Peruvian embassy siege and what it tell us about the media (April 1997)
A look at media coverage of the ending of the siege of the Japanese embassy in Lima in which the MRTA were executed. Documents early attackes on radical news sites and archives on the internet.

1492 - 1992 Christopher Columbus slaver and thief (WS35, 1992)
When Columbus reached the Caribbean in 1492 he had little interest in the new plants and animals of this land. Instead he was confident that the Spanish crown could make the Arawaks and Caribs collect and give "what was needed".

Review : Terrorizing the Neighbourhood (WS36, 1992)
Terrorizing the Neighbourhood seeks to map out what US foreign policy meant in the Cold War and what its probable direction will be in future. It also challenges some of the established conceptions of what the Cold War meant and as such should be read not just as an introduction to US foreign policy but also by those on the left who find now that their world view collapsed with the collapse of the USSR.

 

Bin-tax

The service charge con (WS77, Sept 2003)
Cover story for WSM paper. The service charges that are being brought in north and south of the border are part of a process of further increasing the proportion of tax paid by workers. The trend in global capitalism is to replace 'progressive' taxes (like income tax) with flat-rate taxes (like VAT, service charges, etc) to further shift the taxation burden from rich to poor.

1 (no) law for the rich (WS78, November 2003)
Cover story for WSM paper. Contracts the jailing of anti-war and bin tax protesters with what happened to tax evaders and corrupt politicans.

Sunday Independent claims anarchists are 'infiltrating' bin tax campaign (Anarchist News 29, Autumn 2003)
The mouthpiece of millionaire Tony O'Reilly, the Sunday Independent, got terribly excited when it 'discovered' there were anarchists involved in the bin tax campaign. Or, as it oddly put it, anarchists of the Workers Solidarity Movement had "infiltrated the campaign in significant numbers"

On Ireland

The 1798 Rebellion

In June of 1795 several Irish Protestants gathered on top of Cave Hill, overlooking Belfast. They swore " never to desist in our efforts until we had subverted the authority of England over our country and asserted our independence". Three years later 100,000 rose against Britain in the first Irish republican insurrection. Andrew examines what they were fighting for and how they influenced modern Irish nationalism. [In Spanish]

You can also download, print out and distribute a PDF file of this article.

1798 rebellion leaflet

Robert Emmet and the rising of 1803 (WS78, Nov 2003)
The traditional history of 1803 is little more than a 'blood sacrifice' intended to confirm Ireland's right to independence. Ruan O'Donnell's book concentrates on exploding the myth that the rising was doomed from the start. It was planned not as a noble gesture of a handful of nationalists but rather as a mass uprising intended to decapitate the British state in Ireland at the very moment of a French invasion and liberation of the country.

Blowing hot air over Sellafield (Anarchist News 27, Jan 2002)
Sellafield is a great vote winner for political parties come election time. It has got to be the single issue on which almost every person in Ireland agrees: Sellafield is bad and it should be shut down. So in the next months we can expect pickets of the British embassy, press conferences and the promises of European court cases as the parties vie for our vote.

The housing crisis (WS60, September 2000)
After six years of massive house price increases it is now almost impossible for the average worker to buy a house in Ireland. At the top a tiny group of ten individuals (see box) own almost all the land in Dublin that is zoned for housing.

The housing crisis: Finding a scapegoat (WS60, September 2000)
The real cause of the housing crisis is neither the tens of thousands of returning Irish born migrants nor the 15,000 or so asylum seekers. The reason housing is in short supply and expensive is because of the hoarding of land and super profits of a handful of speculators.

Sectarianism deepens in North (WS71, July 2000)
The results of the 2001 Life and Times survey in the north of Ireland confirm that sectarian attitudes are spreading and deepening

Ireland voting on 'Peace deal' today (Ainfos, May 1988)
Today for the first time since 1918 the population of Ireland, north and south are going to the polls. The questions are somewhat different in the two jurisdictions but they amount to the same thing, acceptance or rejection of the Stormont 'peace' deal.

Peace deal offers sectarian war or sectarian peace (WS54, June 1998)
The huge vote, North and South, in favour of the 'Good Friday Agreement' shows that the vast majority do not want a return to pre-ceasefire violence. Can this agreement get to the root of the sectarian problem and deal with the hatreds, fears and suspicions that have bedevilled our country?

Dump the politicians off your backs (WS46, 1995)
THE 12th OF JULY, always a high point of tension, was used this year by the 'respectable' unionist parties to try to provoke the IRA into breaking the ceasefire. Nothing made this clearer than the events surrounding the attempts of Orangemen in Portadown to march through the Garvaghy Road nationalist estate.

One year on: Evaluating the Ceasefire (WS46, 1995)
The IRA CEASEFIRE is approaching its first anniversary. That year has been striking for two things, on the one hand the success of the 'peace process' in turning Sinn Féin from demonised pariahs to lauded peace makers. On the other hand, the failure of the process to produce any substantial gains for the nationalist community.

Nationalism...No Thanks (WS43, 1994)
Anarchists are for the defeat of British imperialism. We would like to see an end to the killings in the 6 counties but we understand that the ultimate cause of the troubles lies at the feet of Britain and the northern sectarian statelet. But we want more, we stand for the creation of a new society in the interests of the working class and against the bosses, both orange and green.

It was always time to go..Troops out now! (WS43, 1994)
TWENTY-FIVE YEARS AGO, on Thursday, August the 15th, 1969, 400 soldiers from the Prince of Wales Own Yorkshire Regiment took up positions around Derry city. Why they arrived has been the subject of myth making and distortion for the last 25 years. The myth is a simple one, that the function of the British army in the 6 counties is to preserve the peace, to keep apart fanatical Catholics and Protestants who would otherwise tear each others throat out at the first opportunity.

Ireland, Sinn Fein and the peace talks (WS42, 1994)
The peace talks represent the ditching of Sinn Féin's left gloss and a return to good old nationalist politics, pure and simple. They started with the Hume - Adams dialogue, a still secret document but one which clearly set out to demonstrate that the northern nationalists could be trusted (by both Dublin and London) to 'behave' in the event of British withdrawal.

The real difference is not between Catholic & Protestant but between rich and poor (WS50) [In French]
he only Ireland worth fighting for one where every working class person stands to gain. Do we unite with all sorts of nationalist bosses and gombeens to "free Ireland"; or do we unite with our fellow workers - against Orange and Green divisions - to fight for the sort of Ireland we want to live in and our children to grow up in? We see in the common struggle for an anarchist Ireland the solution to partition, the destruction of exploitation and the withering away of sectarian hatred.

The Celtic Tiger ... who's doing the roaring (WS53, Jan 1988)
Particularly in the greater Dublin area, there is an economic boom and for many - though not all - this boom has brought jobs and hope for the future. Where did this boom come from and how long will it last?

What happened in the An Post dispute (WS36, 1992)
The An Post dispute which ended in June should be seen in the context of a fight against casualisation by a well organised workforce. . An emergency motion at the CWU conference in May 1990 instructed the Executive to oppose the introduction of casuals.

Support the building workers (Anarchist News 18, October 1998)
The courage of David McMahon and William Rodgers who have chosen to go to jail rather than back down in the face of an unjust law is an inspiration to all of us. They should be supported not just by all building workers but by all Irish workers.

Marching to nowhere :Stirring Up Sectarian Hatred (WS57, May 1999)
While we should oppose the Orange Orders parades where ever local people reject them (and our ideal would be for 'Protestant areas' to also oppose them), there are real problems with the way these campaigns are proceeding. The central problem however is that the residents' groups are fighting on the sectarian terrain chosen by the Orange Order. With its membership declining and its influence on the state under threat, the Order needs an 'anti-Protestant' opposition to justify its continued existence.

The Orange Order: An enemy of all workers (WS57, May 1999)
The reality of the Orange Order is that it is a counter-revolutionary institution set up and maintained to target not just Catholics but also 'disloyal' Protestants. It's formation and spread was encouraged by the British state in the years leading up to the 1798 rebellion precisely in order to drive a wedge between ordinary Catholics and Protestants. The 12th of July was picked as the key date to provide an alternative attraction to the marking of Bastille day and in itself to mark the sectarian massacre that led to the formation of the Orange Order.

 

On the Zapatistas

The Zapatistas - an anarchist analysis of their structure and direction

Lessons from the rebellion in Chiapas

This pamphlet contains two articles which use the Zapatistas own words and on the ground interviews carried out in a Zapatista community in 1997 to put forward a detailed analysis of the grassroots democratic structures of the Zapatistas. The first article published in 2001 ends with a critique of the politics of the Zapatistas from an anarchist perspective. The second article takes up that critique in light of the new direction announced by the Zapatistas in the summer of 2005.

What is it that is different about the Zapatistas?
“a great in depth discussion of the topic”

A new direction for the Zapatistas?
“an excellent discussion piece” - “I really enjoyed this piece” - “Excellent essay, thanks so much, very helpful"

Download the PDF file of this pamphlet

 

A New Direction For The Zapatistas (RBR 10, Jan 2005)
Over the summer the Zapatistas announced a new strategy but what was it and what does it mean? On the global level the the rebellion in Chiapas was both an inspiration and organisational model for new a generations of anti-capitalist activists. Because of this the change in direction will have repercussions that stretch far beyond Mexico

Zapatistas: An Inspirational Decade On (WS, Jan 2005)
The importance of their rebellion is not in the brief military struggle that took place 11 years ago but in the society they have built in the years since

What is it that is different about the Zapatistas? (Chiapas Revealed, Feb 2001)
Long and detailed article that looks at the way the Zapatists organise and what possible influences there are from historic Mexican anarchist movement.

The Zapatistas, anarchism and 'Direct democracy' (Anarcho-Syndicalist Review 27, Winter 1999)
The Zapatista rebellion of 1994 has become the 90's equivalent of the Cuban and Nicaraguan revolutions. It has excited the imagination of a layer of active young. The balaclava and pipe toting Marcos is becoming the same sort of visual icon that the bearded and beret wearing Ché was 30 years earlier. And perhaps it is this similarity that has scared the organised anarchist movement into comparative silence on the on-going rebellion in Chiapas?

The Mexican Zapatistas and direct democracy (WS55, Oct 1998)
Much of the discussion around the Zapatistas has focused on their communiqués and essentially divides into two camps, one that sees them offering a new model of revolutionary organisation, the other that criticises them on the basis of problems with their political program. However, little has been written about day-to-day life in the rebel area, so when an opportunity arose to travel there in the summer of 1996 I took it.

Understanding the Zapatistas (WS56, March 1999)
The lack of serious discussion of the Zapatistas by the revolutionary left is surprising. There exists a certain amount of (mostly) uncritical reporting by individuals and a few essays aimed at putting the rebellion in a broader context. But the 'official left' either remains silent, or worse, produces ham fisted and lazy critiques that merely compare the rebellion to Cuba and Ché Guevara and say 'they failed, so will the Zapatistas'.

The Zapatista contribution to the new opposition (Talk, 1997) *
The challenges we have explored in recent weeks thrown up by neoliberalism and indeed the greater challenge of the failure of the left in the 20th Century require not only a new theoretical understanding of how struggle can be conduced but also real world examples of this actually happening.

What is the EZLN (June 1994 - WSM public meeting) *
The reason we are so concerned with the politics of the EZLN is not academic. Rather it is because we understand that real and permanent liberation can only be achieved by an international anarchist revolution. There have been many revolts by guerrilla movements in third world countries, some more successful than others but none have led to a fundamental change in the way society operates.

Report on the Second Encounter for Humanity and against Neoliberalism (Ainfos, August 1997)
Those on this road have gathered from all over the world, over 50 countries in all. They have temporarily left the struggles in their own countries to come here to dream of a new reality together. Here the weather beaten features of a male campesino from Brazil, are found beside the sunburned features of an 18 year old female squatter from Berlin.

Thousands of rebels from all over the world meet in Spain (WS52, 1997)
REGULARS READERS of Workers Soldarity will have read of the Gathering in Chiapas, Mexico last year hosted by the EZLN (Zapatistas) attended by 3,000 rebels from all over the planet. A second gathering 'for Humanity and Against Neoliberalism was held this August in the Spanish state. Here we interview Irish Mexico Group activist and WSM member Andrew Flood, who helped organise and attended this gatherin

Report on the First Intercontinental Gathering for Humanity and Against Neoliberalism (Ainfos, August 1996)
In the week from July 27th to August 3rd 1996 about 3,000 people gathered in the isolated mountainous jungle region of Chiapas in Southern Mexico. Our mission was to meet 'for humanity and against neo-liberalism'. We were hosted by five indigenous communities in conference centres that had taken hundreds of people weeks to carve out of the surrounding jungle
[PDF file]

For Humanity and against neoliberalism (WS50, 1996)
In August of 1996 3,000 people from all over the world gathered in jungle camps as guests of the EZLN to discuss building a global fight against neo-liberal capitalism. The EZLN is an army that has been in rebellion against the Mexican state since January 1 1994. Workers Solidarity Movement member Andrew Flood who attended as a delegate from the Irish Mexico Group reports on this conference.

Motor cycle cop in Dublin Ireland

On the Russian Revolution

How Lenin led to Stalin (WS33, 1991)
FOR THE LENINIST far left the collapse of the USSR has thrown up more questions then it answered. If the Soviet Union really was a 'workers state' why were the workers unwilling to defend it? Why did they in fact welcome the changes? What happened to Trotskys "political revolution or bloody counter revolution"? Those Leninist organisations which no longer see the Soviet Union as a workers state do not escape the contradictions either. If Stalin was the source of the problem why do so many Russian workers blame Lenin and the other Bolshevik leaders too.

In defence of the Truth (WS34, 1992)
We have been insisting on the need for the far left to re-appraise the tradition of the Russian revolution and in particular the role the Bolsheviks played in destroying that revolution. One of the most detailed responses to the anarchists critique of Bolshevism was published in the winter issue of International Socialism the journal of the Socialist Workers Party. It is unfortunate that the SWP has chosen to continue the Leninist tradition of lying, even to their own members about the Bolsheviks role in defeating the Russian revolution

Defending the Bolsheviks or defending the truth? (1994)
We don't place any major priority on debating other small left groups but every now and again such an exercise becomes worthwhile. In particular decent defences of the Bolsheviks actions during the Russian revolution are hard to come by. That is ones that try and defend their actions rather than re-write history and slander opponents. This is a reply to one of the better defences of the Bolsheviks.

Victor Serge: The Bolsheviks pet 'anarchist' (1994?)
Notes for an article on Victor Serge which I never got around to writing.The material Serge wrote in his first years in Russia consists of crude apologies for the Bolshevik dictatorship. It is not surprising that this is the most popular material among today's Leninists. But in his later writings the Bolsheviks pet anarchist turns to bite his master. With the illusion of the 'success' of the Russian Revolution fading in the late 1930's Serge rediscovered the brutality of the Bolshevik regime.

Notes on the Makhnovista, Nestor Makhno and the Russian Civil war in the Eastern Ukraine (1995?)
This article is advanced notes for a section on the Makhnovista I was working on for the Anarchist FAQ. I abandoned work on this. They start with a long history of the military events followed by the constructive activities of the Makhnovista. The final section which I had only started was intended to answer Bolshevik slanders of the Makhnovista.

Can you have an anarchist army? (WS59, Spring 2000)
In the Makhnovista, officers were popularly selected from the ranks of the revolutionaries. It was a volunteer army - its shortage was always of weapons rather than combatants. It relied on the peasants' solidarity for support, both in terms of directly providing food and in directing them to local kulaks (wealthy farmers) who could stand the loss of "two or three sheep to make a soup for the insurgents".

On Revolution

Two weeks that shook Spain (WS49, 1996)
The first two weeks of the revolution were its high point. A massive wave of working class creativity was released, dealing with a thousand different problems. But these weeks were also the limit of the revolution, after taking most of Spain and controlling practically all of production the revolution stalled.

Revolution (WS32, 1991)
ANARCHISTS SAY that capitalism can not be reformed away. We say it must be overthrown through a revolution. Many people however believe that the failure of the Russian revolution of 1917 shows revolutions just replace one set of rulers with another. The failures of the revolutions in Nicaragua, Iran and Cuba to fundamentally change life for the workers of these countries seems to point to the same thing. So why all this talk of revolution?

Review: The Spanish Civil War by Antony Beevan (WS59, Spring 2000)
Beevan's approach is fresh and different. He understands that much of what made the Spanish Civil War unique from a military viewpoint was the revolution that had taken place. Rather than ignoring the anarchists or treating them as a minor nuisance he puts them where they belong, at the heart of the story.

On fascism and racism

The fight against fascism...yesterday and tomorrow (WS51, 1996?)
One clear lesson that emerges from the pre-war period is that the fight against fascism cannot be won by the work of 'heroic militants' once fascism has received the backing of capitalism and the state. In Italy, Germany or Spain nothing short of a revolution would have defeated fascism. As in every other case, a successful revolution would have required that the working class as a whole mobilised against the state and the fascist gangs and collectively crushed them.

Remembering the Anarchist Resistance to fascism (WS54, June 1998)
Individual acts were just the tip of anarchist organisation against fascism. In this period every western government saw fascism as a useful bulwark against 'communism'. From the early 1920's Italian anarchists had physically fought the fascists and even after World War II anarchists were being jailed for fighting the fascist Italian state in that period.

Can the European fascists take power in the 1990s? (WS38, 1993)
The current status of the European far-right as a primarily racist rather than fascist movement does effect the way we fight it. It is the official racism of the governments and opposition parties that has made the far right acceptable. Before World War Two fascism did not arise to head off an imminent revolution in either Germany or Italy. It arose because the bosses needed to squeeze the working class a lot harder than the democratic capitalist state was capable of. Wage cuts were so savage under fascism that wages in Germany, for instance, did not reach the 1931 level until 1956.

Anarchism: A history of anti-racism (Anarchist News 17, April 1998)
The contribution Irish anarchists have made to building the anti-racist movements here is part of an international movement and tradition stretching back over 100 years. We recognise no states and hence no border or immigration controls. But we recognise that as long as capitalism exists it will create borders, it will create racism and it will create refugees of both those whom it considers 'uneconomic' and those it considers a political threat.

On the internet

Roadblocks on the Information Super-highway (WS45, 1995)
The current structure of the internet makes effectively censoring it a very difficult prospect. And the crude attempts to set activists up for persecution has already met a heated response as thousands have e-mailed protest letters to some of the publications involved. A key factor in keeping the information freely flowing will be how far workers using and maintaining the net go along with or oppose this censorship.

Into the 21st century (WS44, 1995)
In the last year the international computer network called the internet has become a source for countless articles in the mainstream media. But did you know that anarchists have been using this system for several years now?

Other

Colombia 3 - wrong people in the dock (WS74, Feb 2003)
The trial of the Colombia 3 has produced a frenzy of speculation in the Irish media about whether they are guilty or not, and how this might effect the 'peace process'. What is all too lacking, however, is any background to Colombia itself. This is not too surprising. Andrew looks at the situation there and argues that it is the Colombian state that should be in the dock.

I Couldn't Paint Golden Angels (WS48, 1995)
Albert's book is a valuable addition to the archive of anarchist history, not because its an accurate portrayal of the movement in this period (it's extremely partisan and anecdotal) but because it reminds us of the reason and motivation we have for being anarchists in the first place.

French Workers Take on their bosses (WS47, 1995) [In Turkish] [In Dutch]
The strike wave that rocked France in the closing month of 1995 is yet another example of the great fighting spirit of the French working class. Yet when we look at the causes of the strike and the relative weakness of French workplace organisation the question that emerges is 'if they can do it, why can't we'?

Legalise it (WS43, 1994)
Possession of small amounts of all drugs should be de-criminalised. Anti- social drugs like heroin should be available on prescription from doctors at low cost to prevent junkies turning to crime to finance their habit. What is needed is a real debate on the control of the other drugs. It seems reasonable to say that the maximum of restrictions should be similar to those applying in relation to drink or tobacco and this should be medically based and enforced rather than state controlled.

Thinking about Anarchism: Smash the state (WS41, 1994)
Anarchists see the state as a mechanism by which a minority imposes its will on the majority of the population. To maintain its hold of power the state forms whatever armed forces and judicial apparatus are deemed necessary to keep the level of dissent manageable. This is different from how most Marxists define the state, concentrating on the mechanism by which the state stays in power (bodies of armed men) rather then the function of the state. It is the characteristic of minority rule which defines the state for anarchists

Election fever (WS37, 1992)
If we do not wish to see society divided into order-givers and order-takers we should not take part in choosing the order-givers. Our goal is efficient grassroots democracy, which will be co-ordinated nationally and internationally. We hold that everyone affected by a decision should be able to have a direct say in making that decision.

Anarchism today (WS34, 1992)
The tradition in which the anarchists stand is one that socialists need to identify with. For many on the left this will be a difficult process. They were weaned on a diet of slander when it came to anarchism, either being told that anarchists were police agents or that they were not real socialists at all and wanted a return to feudalism. We must resist the temptation to avoid this problem by going "beyond anarchism". The state has been the Achilles heel of 20th century socialism, it is not an issue to be fudged.

Labouring for what? (WS32, 1991)
There was no glorious period of Labour Party socialism, and never will be. It is a bosses' party which at times of crisis is every bit as willing to attack the working class as the Tories. Some of the left in the Labour Party, unable to avoid it's rotten record, will put their hope in some future Labour government led by the 'left'. Their hopes are as futile as those who see a majority Labour government led by socialists bringing in socialism in Ireland.

If voting could change anything...it would be illegal (WS32, 1991)
What do we say to people in the reformist parties? They can not (and should not) be ignored. We say look at the record of your party in government or to the Workers Party when you supported the 1981 minority Fianna Fail government.
Look at what your party stands for. Look at the record of your party in the trade union bureaucracy. Look at the historical role reformist parties have played in other countries. Reformism has had it's test and failed one hundred times.

Dockers are fighting back internationally (WS54, June 1998)
On April 7th the main docks company in Australia (Patricks) sacked its entire workforce of 1,400. At the same time hundreds of security guards, with dogs, flooded onto 17 different dock locations around Australia, resulting in at least one worker being injured. Some arrived by boat and were described by one witness as behaving like Commandos as they leapt ashore.

Massive strike shakes Denmark (WS54, 1998)
Almost half a million workers went on strike, including almost all industrial workers and most workers in transport and building. It was so powerful that the police and other emergency services had to ask the unions whenever they needed petrol.

News stories

These are all quickly written pieces for indymedia or the WSM site, some are mostly photographs

Anti-war reports
Anarchist involvement in the anti-war movement focused on Shannon airport which was being used to refuel US planes en route to Iraq. This peaked on March 1st 2003 with the GNAW plan to pull down the ariport perimeter fence, a proposal that led to national debate in the media and on the streets.

Dec 6 2003 - Blockade of Shannon warport (with photos)
December 6th saw the largest anti-war demonstration at Shannon airport since April of last year. Some 400 people took part in what the Irish Anti War Movement (IAWM) had advertised as a blockade of the airport. The blockade was supported by the Grassroots Network Against War.

June 18 2003- Iraq - the war continues; Shannon - the refuelling continues
George Bush may have declared major combat operations over in Iraq on May 1st but resistance to the US occupation forces goes on. The killing today of one more US soldier at a petrol station in Baghdad means 42 have been killed in combat since that date, almost one per day. And every week US soldiers coming to and from Iraq continue to fly through Shannon airport.

April 12 2003- Shannon - at the end of a long road [with photos]
It seems quite likely that, at least for now, that will be the end of the IAWM. So the movement that could mobilise 100,000 ends up leading 467 (I counted) into a protest pen at Shannon as in the background military flights taxi for take off. The speakers told us of course that this was 'not the end'.

March 1st 2003- To the next time
Saturdays direct action at Shannon was foiled in its intention to get onto the airfield. But it demonstrated to the anti-war movements that such an action is possible to carry out and that is a major step forward.

25 Feb - 2003 - If not now, when
Although we don't know the details of the Bush and Blair war plan it seems certain we are only around three weeks from the official start of the war. Unofficially the war has gone on for the last 12 years with bombs raining down on Iraq and a regular basis and the economic war credited with killing over half a

17 Feb - 2003 - Incredible turnout at Dublin anti-war march - but what do we do now? [with photos]
Saturday 15 February saw the largest demonstration in Dublin in two decades and by far the largest anti-war demonstration in Ireland ever.If there is any reality to the claim that parliamentary democracy works then it is clear that the government had no choice but to end the refuelling of US warplanes at Shannon and to oppose the US drive for war in the UN. Perhaps this is what will happen but my advice is not to hold your breath

5 Feb 2003 - Direct Action at Shannon shows the way
On three occasions individuals or small groups of activists have succeeded in reaching and damaging military planes. One result of this has been that one of the commercial airliners ferrying troops, World Airlines, have announced that they are going to stop using Shannon, and are diverting their next 17 troop transports to Frankfurt airport

18 Jan 2003 - Mass demonstration at Shannon Warport (with pictures)
On Saturday 18th January thousands of people travelled from around the country to protest at the military use of the airport and to oppose war in Iraq.

October 12th 2002 - Mass anti-war trespass at Shannon Airport [with photos]
Saturday saw the largest anti-war demonstration to date at Shannon airport. As the demonstration ended a 50m section of the perimeter fence was torn down and up to 150 people entered the airfield perimeter.

Sept 28th 2002- Anti war demonstration in Dublin [with photos]
Saturday saw a sizeable anti-war demonstration in Dublin, in which over 2,000 people participated, organised by the Irish Anti-War Movement. This makes it slightly larger then the largest of the anti-Gulf marches of a decade ago.

April 27th 2002 - Second Palestinian solidarity march in Dublin [with photos]
On Saturday 27th Dublin saw its second major demonstration against the Israeli occupation of Palestine in a month. The march had been called around the slogans 'Justice for Palestine' and 'No war on Iraq' although most placards concentrated on the Palestinian situation.

April 6th 2002 - Protests against Israeli occupation in Dublin [with photos]
Some 1,500 to 2,500 people marched though Dublin on Saturday demanding an end to the Israeli occupation and freedom for Palestine. The demonstration called by the Alliance for Palestine and the Palestine Solidarity Campaign was the culmination of a week of activity that included a six-day occupation of a tree in the car park of the Israeli embassy.

Sept 30th 2001 - Anti-war demonstration in Dublin [with pictures]
Between 800 and 1,000 people marched through the centre of Dublin yesterday as part of an anti-war protest called by Globalise Resistance.

Sept 26th 2001 - First major anti - war meeting in Dublin
An anti war rally in Dublin last night confirmed that opposition to Bush's war is growing as fast in Ireland as it is internationally. The room booked for the meeting was full five minutes before it was due to start with 160 sitting but with at least another 100 people leaning against every available wall

Aug 19th 2002 - Shannon demonstration against refuelling of US war planes [with photos]
A total of about 70 people turned up for the protest but the vast majority of us were prevented getting into the area of the airport by the police. They had set up a checkpoint at the airport gates and were stopping any cars they suspected contained protesters. In the end we just marched up and through the Gardai line. They made a fairly half hearted attempt to stop us and then settled down to simply walking in front and behind us

Nov 4th 2001- Anti-war march in Dublin [with pictures]
Saturday November 4th saw a large anti war demonstration march through Dublin city centre. This reflects growing opposition to the US war against Afghanistan following the bombing of Red Cross warehouses, a hospital and dozens of homes. The march also saw the first appearance of the new Anarchist Against the War banner.

 

Bin tax struggle
After a couple of years of preparation the struggle against the attempt to impose the bin tax in Dublin exploded in the Autumn of 2003. This struggle was at its most intense for a little over the month from September 11 2003. Over 20 people were jailed for up to a month in that period and dozens more were dragged in front of the courts. At the time of writing (Autumn 2006) many areas of Dublin are still not paying the tax although the co-ordinated campaign did not survive much beyond 2003.

Oct 14 2003 - Day of action brings bin trucks to a halt
This morning saw a day of action across Dublin against the bin tax. At depot after depot activists from the campaign turned up in the early hours of the morning to stop the bin trucks leaving. This act of defiance is our answer to the continued jailing of activists by the high court.

Oct 11 2003 - Another bin tax march on Mountjoy jail
Saturday saw the second major march on Mountjoy jail of the bin tax protests. As many as 3,000 took part in this one, most marching out from Parnell square with a couple of hundred marching down from Cabra to meet them at the jail.

Oct 9 2003 - 10 jailed, hundreds protest at Mountjoy
Yesterday the High court jailed 10 bin tax protesters. Last night at very short notice over 300 people protested outside Mountjoy jail where some of them were being held.

Oct 8 2003 - Blockades and lobbies of Dublin city bin truck depots
There were blockades on two of the four Dublin city depots this morning and a lobby of the Rathmines depot. This is to mark the High Court case this morning when 24 protesters from the city are being dragged into the courts for breaking the councils injunction against blockading trucks.

Oct 2 2003 - Grange Gorman blockade successful
Last nights blockade of the Grange Gorman bin truck depot was a success with no truck managing to leave during the three-hour blockade. These were the trucks that were to do the rubbish pick-up in the shopping areas of the city centre.

Oct 1 2003 - Dail protest, blockades and the bin tax campaign
The opening of the Dail on Tuesday 30 September after the long, long holidays the TD's get saw a somewhat disappointing bin tax protest on the streets outside. Disappointing because while 4,000 or so marched last week only 10% of this number turned up for the Dail protest.

Sept 23 2003 - Bin tax and Reclaim the Streets protests link up in Dublin
Monday evening in Dublin saw a Reclaim the Streets demonstration joining up with an anti-bin tax march demanding the release of two imprisoned activists. At the Garden of Remembrance there were already around 1,000 people, this would rise to 3,000 by the time the march departed.

Sept 17 2003 - Bin tax protesters in Cabra blockade two trucks [with pics]
As Fingal council took a High Court case against bin tax protesters this morning bin tax campaigners in Cabra blockaded two trucks in solidarity with Fingal campaigners. Our intention is to hold onto at least one of these two trucks all day

Sept 12 2003 - Cabra activists blockade bin truck [with pics]
The Cabra/Dunard/Navan campaign activists had lobbied the Grangegorman depot Thursday morning and in solidarity with activists in Fingal decided to blockade one of the Cabra routes for one hour this morning.

Sept 11 2003 - Bin tax protesters lobby at depots [with pics]
Yesterday Fingal council attempted to start refusing to collect the bins of those who not paying the bin tax. This morning the campaign in the Dublin city area swung into action. Non-payers bins are still being collected in this area so our first move was a lobby of the depots that the trucks leave from each morning

Sept 2nd 2002 - Bin tax picket of Dublin corporation meetings [with photos]
Around sixty people took part in the picket, the bulk of them activists from the various political organisations opposing the charges. Obviously most non payers don't see the relevance of the regular council pickets and see non-payment as central to beating the tax

Oct 1st 2001- Bin tax struggle in Dublin [with pictures]
On Thursday the 27th all the local county councillors were invited to a meeting in the Liberties to explain their position on the bin tax. About 60 residents turned up to hear what they had to say for themselves.

September 17th 2001 - Delegates from local anti Bin tax groups meet in Dublin [with pictues]
Monday night saw the first real activists meeting of the Dublin Corporation area anti Bin Tax campaign. The council is sending out second demands for payment but the figures indicate that the non-payment rate is very strong, currently around 80%.

Globalisation

May 1st 2004 - The long march on Farmleigh
In terms of the development of a libertarian movement in Ireland the march on the EU summit at Farmleigh will probably be seen as a turning point. For the first time the movement mobilized large number of people from outside its own ranks, in a demonstration that was in direct defiance of the Irish governments attempt to ban such demonstrations.

Gardai harassment of Mayday protest leafleting continues (Indymedia.ie April 2004)
Over the last week the Gardai have repeatedly turned up on occasions where the Dublin Grassroots Network has been attempting ton inform the public about the Mayday protests. On each occasion they have demanded the names of the people there in what can only be a crude attempt to intimidate the protest organiser and reduce their ability to inform the public about the protesters. What are they afraid of you finding out?

Sept 22nd - RTS on Baggot St. a great success [with photos]
Sundays Reclaim the Streets was a great success. Over 1,000 people took part in the four-hour party. Despite attempts by the Gardai to whip up a panic because the organisers refused to meet with them in advance of the party the day was trouble free and very good humoured.

June 22nd 2002 - The Seville 2002 EU summit protests [with photos]
A group of Irish anarchists travelled to the June 2002 demonstrations in Seville Spain against the European summit. This is an account of the demonstration and our journey there

May 30th 2002 - Irish anarchists and the Seville protest
As you are probably aware the protests in Seville on the weekend of June 20th against the European summit are liable to be the largest globalisation protests to date. Anarchists from Ireland will be at the protests and in Dublin (and maybe elsewhere) we are arranging solidarity activity and a public meeting

May 9th 2002 - Large protest in Dublin against police brutality [with photos]
After two days when the first item on the evening TV news was the brutal Gardai attack on a Reclaim the Streets party it was not surprising that thousands joined a rally against police brutality outside Pearse St police station on Thursday night.

May 6th 2002 - Dublin Reclaim the Streets attacked by Gardai [with photos]
It was expected that this would be the largest Dublin Reclaim the Streets to date due to the massive level of publicity for it. What was not so expected was that by the end of the day 24 people would have been arrested and over a dozen hospitalised by a police riot on Dame street.

March 29/30 2002 - Second Grassroots Gathering in Cork a success
The second grassroots gathering was held over the Easter weekend in Cork. It was quite a success with nearly twice as many libertarian activists turning up as had been hoped for. Some seventy people from all over Ireland took part.

July 24th 2001 - Demonstrations in solidarity with Genoa anti G8 demonstrations in Dublin [with pictures]
Monday 23rd July saw two separate demonstrations take place outside the Italian embassy on Northumberland Road. Both had been called to protest the savage repression of the anti - G8 Protests in Genoa.

May 1st 2001 - May Day stock exchange protest [with photos]
May Day saw a very successful and well attended demonstration that forced the Dublin Stock Exchange to shut early. Some 300 protesters joined a demonstration called by Globalise Resistance which blocked the street outside the exchange.

April 7th 2001 - Protest outside US embassy against Bush's withdrawal from Kyoto agreement [with photos]
A picket of around 50 to 60 people was held at the US embassy in Ballsbridge, Dublin, Ireland to protest the decision of the Bush regime to refuse to implement the Kyoto agreement on global warning.

Other

Attempted eviction of Dublin squat fails (WSM site, March 2004)
On Tuesday morning the second best kept secret of the Dublin libertarian scene came to an end when the council turned up to evict 16 Leeson street. Squated in the aftermath of the violent eviction of the Disco Disco building at 42 Parnell square last summer No16 has been the focal point for lots of activity ranging from theoretical discussions to organic gardening. Today the eviction attempt was defeated.

'It happened in the Phoenix Park all in the month of May' (indymedia.ie, May 2005)
The political history of the Phoenix Park. While the park hosts many of the symbols of power in Ireland - past and present - from the monument to the arch-reactionary Wellington, to the US-ambassador's residence and the Garda Headquarters, it has also seen its fair share of opposition.

July 18th 2002 - Irish Glass Bottle workers occupation
Workers at the Irish Glass Bottle plant in Ringsend have been in occupation of the plant for the last couple of months. The plant is closing, making some 375 workers redundant and the company is refusing to pay redundancy at the level recommended by the Labour Relations Commission

March 31 2002 - People Power Wins At Old Head of Kinsale [pictures only]
Well over a hundred activists and protesters braved the elements, hostile private security, newly erected fencing and barbed wire at the Old Head of Kinsale on Easter Sunday to score yet another important victory for free public access to the Old Head of Kinsale Walk.

Feb 16th 2002 - X case march in Dublin - 10 years on [with pictures]
Around 300 people marched through the centre of Dublin on Saturday to mark the 10th anniversary of the 'X' case and to support a No vote in the latest anti-abortion referendum.

Feb 3rd 2002 - Bloody Sunday - 30 years on tens of thousands march [with pictures]
Somewhere between 20,000 and 40,000 people (RTE "more than 20,000 people") followed the original route of the march from the Creggan down through the Brandywell to the Bogside

June 15th 2001 - Pro Choice ship arrives in Dublin [with pictures]
For the last few months Irish pro-choice activists including members of the WSM have been preparing for the arrival of the Women of the Waves ship in Ireland. This has provided the strongest focus since the X case to resume the struggle for the right of women to control their own bodies, including the right to decide whether or not to continue a pregnancy.

May 8th 2001 - Dublin 'May Day march' and Hope carnival 2001 [with pictures]
The May Bank Holiday in Dublin saw the traditional trade union May Day march and the Hope carnival held by radical environmentalists. The contrast between both events was extraordinary.

May 5th - 7th 2001 - May Day and the Willam Thompson Summer School in Cork [with pictures]
Between a 100 and 150 people march through Cork on Saturday evening in one of most buoyant May Day marches in many years. Also on the same weekend was the Willam Thompson Summer school held in the Firkin Crane centre on the theme 'Making the Links'.

April 2nd 2001 - Dublin council defeated in attempt to ban demonstrations [with photos]
The attempt to effectively ban most demonstrations in Dublin O'Conell st collapsed last night. Some 300 to 400 people attended the demonstration (a typical council protest attracts 20-30).

March 31st 2001 - Report on Ideas and Action 2001 [with photos]
Saturday March 31st saw the third Irish anarchist gathering to be held under the title of 'Ideas and Action', this time in the North Star Hotel, Dublin. In terms of numbers this was the most successful gathering to date with around 70 people attending at least one of the three sessions.

 

Radio interviews

Talks and transcripts of talks

Local or global trade (March 2001, Ideas and Action)
Text of talk to dayschool in Dublin). We wanted this debate today because we recognise that we share a considerable number of points of departure with those who advocate local sustainable development from an environmental rather then a nationalistic perspective

Anarchist globalisation after Prague S26 (WSM public meetings, October 2000)
Text of a talk given as part of a speaking tour after the 2000 World Bank protests in Prague. For anarchists this new movement is a vindication of the methods we argue for. It practises direct democracy with decision making by mass assemblies or delegates in what are often very difficult circumstances. It doesn't simply march up the hill and down again - requesting fair treatment from our rulers - but rather takes direct action to disrupt and indeed stop their proceedings.

Three talks given at the Prague counter summit

Anarchists and the Zapatista's (Nov 1999, Ideas and Action) [In Serbo-Croat]
Notes for a talk I gave at a WSM dayschool in Dublin. The significance of the Zapatista rebellion initially lay as much in the fact that they dared to rebel after the 'end of history'. While the rebellion and the autonomous communities it has created are certainly worth defending a real question remains as to how relevant it is as a constructive model. Some point to the village and regional councils as a real model for those struggling elsewhere. Others see the continued isolation of the rebellion in Chiapas as a demonstration that the Zapatistas lack any real alternative relevant to the mass of the world's population.

The Zapatista contribution to the new opposition (1997)
The challenges we have explored in recent weeks thrown up by neoliberalism and indeed the greater challenge of the failure of the left in the 20th Century require not only a new theoretical understanding of how struggle can be conduced but also real world examples of this actually happening.

Modern revolutions or is revolution still possible (1996)
With the fracture of the working class into smaller workplaces, mostly due to automation, the division of the old communities into suburbs, the advent of mass transport which meant even those in the suburbs no longer worked together, the move into white collar and skilled jobs, In short that the revolution although desirable is now utopian.

Anarchism and the Environmental movement (April 1995) [In Spanish]
We should not create a false choice between anarchism and environmentalism but rather ask what sort of environmental theory and action should anarchists favour on the one hand and on the other explain why any environmentalist should also be a class struggle anarchist.

Four October Myths (April 1995)
Here I am going to look at four myths, widly accepted by the left and right alike on the October revolutiuon and its aftermath

What is the EZLN (June 1994 - WSM public meeting)
The reason we are so concerned with the politics of the EZLN is not academic. Rather it is because we understand that real and permanent liberation can only be achieved by an international anarchist revolution. There have been many revolts by guerrilla movements in third world countries, some more successful than others but none have led to a fundamental change in the way society operates.

Prospects for revolution (1994)
Possibly given to conference of Irish anarchist groups (WSM, Organise, Class War)? Both Leninism and Social democracy have been shown to offer no way forward for our class, indeed they were dead ends which we are only now beginning to stumble out of. Social democracy as an idea is dead, none of the parties even pretends to be about introducing socialism through parliaments, instead they present themselves as bringing a kinder, gentler capitalism. Leninism as an idea should have died in the 20's when to became clear what a disaster the USSR had become. Instead it split and stumbled on in 57 varieties, each one blaming the other for the failure of their project.

An introduction to the history and ideas of anarchism (1994)
Where better to start a look at anarchism then to look at the state of the left as a whole. The organised revolutionary left today is at its weakest for many years. Its not so much a question of the triumph of capitalism however as the failure of the bulk of the ideologies of socialism

Greece: War and Civil War (1994 - WSM branch educational)
This talk was based on the Solidarity pamphlet 'The Greek Tragedy', subtitled 'the failure of the left' published in 1968 as a response to the coup in Greece the previous year. It states the left put up little resistance to the coup and places the reason for this in the lack of a tradition of self-activity in the working class. In particular the response of the Spanish workers to Franco's coup of 1936 is contrasted with what happened in Greece.

The development of capitalism in Japan (1993 - WSM branch educational)
This talk was infamous as being long and boring, it was triggered by and mostly based on one book whose title I can no longer remember. In Japan in 1869 feudalism was abolished and the clans surrendered their fiefs to the government. All classes were declared equal before the law and barriers on local movement and internal trade removed. Individuals were allowed acquire land and all the professions and trades were thrown open.

The changing nature of the working class (1993)
Possibly given at Irish anarchist summer school at Cushendall? The nature of the working class to-day is quite different from that of a hundred years ago. In the late 80's a large part of the left interpreted this as meaning socialism was no longer possible, that the best hope was to form alliances with greens and others in a rainbow coalition which would attempt to limit the worst excesses of capitalism.

Whatever happened to the AWG (WSM summer school, Wexford, October 1992) [In French ]
Our welcoming of the AWG was mainly based on a number of reasons. Their experience within DAM had led them to reject Syndicalism They also accepted the basis of the Platform of the Libertarian Communists, On Ireland they took a firm anti-imperialist line, and actually took place in activity around this. Now just over two years later the AWG no longer exists.

The Russian Revolution (1991, WSM public meeting)
The Russian revolution has been a subject of key importance to anarchists for two reasons. The first reason is that for the first time in history a working class revolution succeeded in ousting the old ruling classes. The second reason is that after the old ruling class was ousted a new class came to power. Those of us who want to make a revolution to-day must understand where the successes and failures of the past came from.