Workers Solidarity Movement (Ireland)

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Scallywag
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Joined: 24-03-14
Apr 26 2017 18:14
Workers Solidarity Movement (Ireland)

Anyone ever been involved in workers solidarity movement (Ireland). They seem really big and well organised, enough so to be able to invite speakers like Noam Chomsky, and they seem sizeable at protests to. Why is that and is there anything like this in the UK?

freemind
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Joined: 10-10-08
Apr 26 2017 20:52

I've met Workers Solidarity members and read the magazine and I think they are a very good and eloquent exposition of Anarchist ideas.The paper is well produced and the articles are well written and incisive.They have been called Platformist but I don't see any evidence of that myself,I suspect that view is propagated by so called Anarchists who can't comprehend an effective and cogent Libertarian propaganda and action.

syndicalist
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Joined: 15-04-06
Apr 27 2017 00:38

I've known them and founding member since the start in 1984 (and even before). The WSM started out as a "platformist" (http://www.wsm.ie/c/first-three-years-workers-solidarity-movement-1988, http://www.wsm.ie/c/10th-anniversary-workers-solidarity-movement for early years ). They have changed over the last 15 years and seem to be evolving ( http://www.wsm.ie/c/anarchist-organistion-platform-wsm-practise ).

While I have significant differences (as an anarcho-syndicalist) with the WSM, I will respect them
for their longevity and some of the good works they have done. In their early years, we cooperated with them a bit, but not so much over the past decade or so.

ajjohnstone
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Joined: 20-04-08
Apr 27 2017 02:56
Quote:
I will respect them for their longevity

Goodness me, you must absolutely be madly in love with the SPGB then, syndicalist wink)

syndicalist
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Joined: 15-04-06
Apr 27 2017 05:28
ajjohnstone wrote:
Quote:
I will respect them for their longevity

Goodness me, you must absolutely be madly in love with the SPGB then, syndicalist wink)

Love, well, maybe not love. But I respect the will to continue against the odds
And swim against the current

Spikymike
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Joined: 6-01-07
Apr 27 2017 09:26

The WSM's practice seems to me broadly consistent with an anarchist 'platformist' or 'especifismo' approach unlike other groups such as the UK 'Anarchist Federation' who have been influenced by a wider range of revolutionary communist traditions whilst still seeking (if not always successfully) to maintain a common collective theory and practice across their federalist structure. The WSM is not ''really big'' but big enough, and with an 'interventionist' practice, in a relatively small country with a few big urban centres to be a pole of attention for the wider left.

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AndrewF
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Joined: 28-02-05
Apr 27 2017 10:06

I'm a long time member (since 1990). We've generally not been as big as people presumed, its more we have a practise of outreach that aims well beyond the anarchist scene. Actual numbers have fluctuated from 5 when I first got involved to about 65 at peak around 2007. Although that was a paper membership, active was probably nearer 45 at that point. We'd a significant collapse in numbers in the 2010-2013 period which we are now growing out of again but with very few of the pre 2010 membership remaining.

Politically while the Organisational Platform remains the core tradition we pull from we have always (or at least from the 1990s) drawn from a wide variety of other sources as well including Zapatistas, autonomous marxism and more recently intersectional feminism & Rojava. Our core politics are to be found in the 8 points of unity at http://www.wsm.ie/content/position-papers-wsm - they were formalised in the early 1990s but really go all the way back to 1984.

Long running organisations have advantages but they can also have major disadvantages, in particular the danger of simply becoming a defence of their own existence / history and so becoming frozen with the politics of 10, 20 or 30 years ago. While retaining our core we've done a lot of theoretical and organisational development in the last 3-4 years which is somewhat captured by the new or completely rewritten position papers below. These papers are debated & modified by the entire membership before being voted on at a national conference and subject to amendment at every conference after that - they have always played a major role in creating and maintaining a quite deep collective perspective and identity although there is a disadvantage in that older papers have tended towards being an old reflection rather than a current one. On balance though I think its a very good practise.

http://www.wsm.ie/c/anarchism-oppression-exploitation-policy
http://www.wsm.ie/c/class-and-exploitation
http://www.wsm.ie/c/role-anarchist-organisation-policy
http://www.wsm.ie/c/perspectives-struggle-and-revolution

Spikymike
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Joined: 6-01-07
Apr 27 2017 11:15

So in respect to some of the WSM's more recent influences, such as in relation to the Bookchin/Ocalan informed Rojava experiment and the Mexican Zapatistas and far from the best of the disparate 'autonomous marxism' tendencies, represent perhaps a backward step not uncommon amongst anarchists though some such as the AF have been a bit more critical in relation to these.