Irish Anarchist Review (2015)

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The final issue of the Workers Solidarity Movement’s Irish Anarchist Review appeared in 2015, and was replaced the following year by Common Threads.

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Articles include Tom Murray on the conflict over control of water in Bolivia; Andrew Flood on the ‘Rojava Revolution’, Eoin O’Ceallaigh on left wing football culture; Sinead Redmond on maternity care and bodily autonomy; Ferdia O’Brien on the (ultimately successful) fight against domestic water charges; Cormac Caulfield and Ferdia O’Brien on why anarchists oppose the state; Eoin O’Connor on Murray Bookchin; and Mark Hoskins on the ever widening definition of ‘terrorism’ by European governments.

Former WSM member and prominant teachers’ union activist Gregor Kerr expected to “see the battle for the soul of the trade union movement intensify.  We will be faced with a stark choice – are we going to continue to build the ‘organiser’ model of trade unionism which has been so successful in recent years?  And in order to do so, are we going to rid ourselves of the stultifying bureaucracy that is preventing this move from organising to fighting?  Or are we going to allow ourselves to be brought back into a new round of ‘social partnership’?  If we allow the latter to happen, it is likely to sign the death knell of the movement that has been so painstakingly built over the past 100 years.”

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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?

 

Irish anarchist interviewed about the 1970s and 80s (part 2)

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This is the story of Alan MacSimoin a long-time Anarchist activist who, as a young man, joined the Official Republican Movement (Sinn Fein).  MacSimoin was part of the Murray Defence Committee in 1976-77 to stop the state execution of anarchists Noel and Marie Murray for the killing of a member of the police.  He was a founder member of the Workers Solidarity Movement in 1984.

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In this interview, filmed in October 2014, MacSimoin talks about the death sentence handed down to Noel and Marie Murray, the H-Block hunger strike, the current crisis within capitalism, also the lack of a response to the Palestinian struggle from western governments, and why socialists need to be a lot positive.

Alan lives in Stoneybatter, where he is involved with the Stoneybatter and Smithfield Peoples History Project and the local campaign against the Water Tax.

The interview was conducted by the Irish Republican and Marxist History Project, and is at https://irishrepublicanmarxisthistoryproject.wordpress.com/2015/02/22/alan-macsimoin-a-long-time-anarchist-activist-part-two/