Irish anarchist interviewed about the 1970s and 80s (part 1)

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Belfast Anarchist banner at a Peoples Democracy march (1969?)

Belfast Anarchist banner at a Peoples Democracy march (1969?)

As a teenager Alan MacSimoin joined the Official Republican Movement but soon moved towards anarchism, later being a founder member of the Workers Solidarity Movement.

In this interview filmed in October 2014 he talks about republican debates about militarism and mass politics, the Northern Ireland civil rights movement, the Peoples Democracy march from Belfast to Dublin, the successful anti-nuclear campaign of the late 1970s and the Dunnes Stores anti-apartheid strike of the mid-1980s.

The man beside Alan on the picket at Dunnes Stores in Dublin's Henry Street is fellow WSM member Eddie Conlon,  later Honorary Secretary of the Teachers Union of Ireland.

The man beside Alan is fellow WSM member Eddie Conlon, later Honorary Secretary of the Teachers Union of Ireland.

The interview was conducted by the Irish Republican and Marxist History Project, and is at
http://irishrepublicanmarxisthistoryproject.wordpress.com/2014/10/27/alan-macsimoin-long-time-anarchist-activist/

 

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British anarchists and Ireland in the 1970s

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Coalitions, Libertarian Communism and Ireland

How did British libertarian communists understand the conflict in the north of Ireland, and face up to events there? Did they support specific campaigns for withdrawing British troops out of Ireland?

This article deals with the debate within the British Anarchist Workers Association in 1976, which brought forward views ranging from the belief that the national question had to be solved before socialism came onto the agenda, right through to doubts that imperialism was still a reality in a world of globalised capital.

This paper was given by Tony Zurbrugg at a conference on the life and work of the French anarchist Daniel Guerin.  It was held in Loughborough, England, in 2004

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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.