Some leaflets from the Anarchist Workers Alliance in 1979 and 1980. First off are two national ones about nuclear power. The first set out their position, with two points of particular interest. They, along with almost everyone else at that time, had believed the ‘research’ indicating that oil deposits would be exhausted within thirty years. There may be a similarity with the “peak oil” argument of the last decade, which was also widely believed but does not appear to have been accurate. Both of these outcomes will occur, but clearly not as quickly as had been believed by many.
The other point of interest is their rejection of ‘zero growth’ economics, “while we oppose any attempt to bring nuclear power into Ireland (or anywhere else for that matter) we distance ourselves from those who say we don’t need nukes because there should be no increase in energy usage. Zero growth would mean more poverty, unemployment and lack of facilities. We need more energy to create socially useful jobs, more facilities for leisure and entertainment, and better living conditions.”
The second leaflet was given out at the 5,000 strong anti-nuclear festival in 1979 at Carnsore in Co Wexford. It calls for a campaign in the unions to win ‘blacking’ of any work to build nuclear power stations. At that stage the ESB Officers Association had come out in opposition to nuclear power.
Today Ireland has no nuclear stations, and never had. An account of how this was achieved is here
The others leaflets are from the AWA’s Dublin branch.
(1) An advertisement for a public meeting in the offices of the Amalgamated Transport & General Workers Union. Today the ATGWU is part of UNITE, and the hall is now the headquarters of the Samaritans.
(2) A call for industrial action circulated at the tax reform march in late 1979. The ICTU leadership was trying (successfully) to reassert its control over the more militant Trades Councils who had earlier organised massive demonstrations on working days to demand that more of the tax burden be shifted to the rich. There is an interview with Sam Nolan of the Dublin Council of Trade Unions, where Sam discusses the marches here
(3) A response to the declaration of a “housing emergency” in Dublin. See here for information about the Dublin Squatters Association of the mid-1970s.
(4) And finally, one produced during the Pope’s 1979 visit to Dublin. At a time when the Catholic Church and its influence on the state was almost beyond question (with divorce banned, gay sex illegal, and contraception restricted to married couples) it pulls no punches. Church control of schools is seen as filling “young people’s heads with superstitious drivel about hell, god and other repressive fantasies”.