Common Threads (2016)

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This 44 page magazine was published by the Workers Solidarity Movement in 2016, as a successor to the Irish Anarchist Review.  Only one issue ever appeared.

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The main article, by Tom Murray, makes the case that “climate change really does provide us with compelling reasons … for the defence of public transport services.”

Sinead Redmond looked at the ban on abortion on both sides of the Irish border, and at the problem of ethics boards in southern hospitals.  Many of these are fully state financed but owned and controlled by the Catholic Church.  “Michelle Harte was a cancer sufferer who was receiving treatment denied to her by Cork University Hospital’s “board of ethics” (what a misnomer) when she became accidentally pregnant.  The same ethics board denied her, a dying woman, access to an abortion and forced her to travel to the UK while incredibly ill with cancer to obtain the health care she needed – an abortion.  She subsequently died.  A Catholic bishop sits on that ‘ethics’ board.”

Other articles deal with the then growing mass boycott of domestic water charges (shortly after it was written the government admitted defeat and ‘suspended’ the charges); arguments against immigration controls and an interview with Bairbre Flood of  Cork Refugee Solidarity about her experiences and impressions working with migrants in Europe; a critical piece about the Yes Equality campaign which won the referendum giving equal marriage rights to gays and lesbians; why the 2008 financial crash happened, the dominance of speculation and the creation of a lucrative bad debt industry; interviews with people from a couple of workers’ co-operatives in Belfast, a guide to efficient organisation of meetings; and a five-page What Is Anarchism?

 

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WSM leaflet – 2003 citizenship referendum

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A Workers Solidarity Movement leaflet urging a ‘No’ vote in the 2003 referendum on whether all children born in Ireland would continue to automatically become Irish citizens.

Red and Black Revolution 4 (1998)

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The annual magazine of the Workers Solidarity Movement, which was published from 1994 to 2009 when it was replaced by the Irish Anarchist Review.  Circulation was 1,000 per issue.

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This issue’s contents, as described in the magazine:

Anarchism with a future – The Czech Republic

Kevin Doyle talks to Vadim Barák of the Solidarita organisation in the Czech Republic about the problems and possibilities facing anarchists in the process of rebuilding a revolutionary movement.

Environmentalism

Anarchism is often seen as being broadly linked with the radical wing of the Environmental movement. Ray Cunningham in reviewing ‘Anarchism and Environmental Survival’ considers these links and the influence of these movements on each other.

Racism: Where it comes from, How we should fight it

With racism on the rise in Ireland, it has become more important than ever for anti-racist activists to examine where such ideas come from and how they can be fought. In this article, the South African anarchist organisation, the WSF, puts forward its view that the fight against racism and the class struggle are inextricably linked.

Victor Serge

One time anarchist Victor Serge joined the Bolsheviks in 1918 and is often quoted by Leninists today to justify their repression of the left. Dermot Sreenan looks at his later writings and finds a Serge unhappy with many aspects of Bolshevik rule but unable to break with them because of the apparent success of the Russian Revolution.

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 Flood examines what they were fighting for and how they influenced modern Irish nationalism.

Letters

Readers views on some controversy generated with the last issue

The Friends of Durruti

The Friends of Durruti organisation, which arose from the ranks of anarchist militants during the Spanish Civil War, condemned the CNT and FAI members who joined the anti-Franco government. For their pains they were accused of wanting to establish an “anarchist dictator- ship”. Alan MacSimóin reviews the first English language book about them, and looks at the lessons to be learnt from Spain.

The Platform

So you want to change the world? What next? Unsurprisingly this simple question has provoked much discussion among anarchists. Aileen O’Carroll and Alan MacSimóin look at the answer provided by some Russians.

Hobson’s choice:  The “Good Friday Agreement” & the Irish Left

The “Good Friday Agreement” was passed by an overwhelming majority of voters North and South. The agreement presented something of a Hobson’s Choice for the Irish working-class – which route to an entrenchment of sectarianism do you want to take? Here Gregor Kerr looks at the reactions to the agreement of the Irish left.