HOPI and anti-war organisation

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Mike Harman
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Oct 18 2007 13:26
HOPI and anti-war organisation

split from Mexico city stallholders:

Tacks wrote:
Mike Harman wrote:
guydebordisdead wrote:
No, we've finally come around to your blinkered unpractical approach to politics. roll eyes

Blinkered and unpractical: leafletting striking workers at 6am, occupation at Broadway Market.
Practical: signing statements by CPGB front groups.

fuckinell lol grin

Dust wrote:
Yeah that one CPGB member in Ireland must be really pleased. A talented puppet master manipulating groups like ISN and ourselves.

Oh course it makes far more sense to wait for the masses to set up workplace resistance groups against the war rather than becoming involved in an organisation before the war actually breaks out. Or else stand by and watch the SWP drag the anti war movement between ultra left slogans and Iman loving sycophancy.

And how exactly will your membership(?) of HOPI contribute to preventing the war or stopping it once it starts?

Dust
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Oct 18 2007 17:24

Not one of the delegates to the HOPI meetings so i am just going on the reports that i have seen.

HOPI in Ireland is just getting started and seems unsure what it wants to do. So far it has conducted a speaking tour around Ireland raising the issue and trying to build support for a anti war movement that is opposed to the imans and is also opposed to US imperialism.
It remains to be seen weather HOPI will become a mass campagin in its own right, link up with the awi or become a sort of faction in the main anti war movement. In case you don't know Shannon airport is used as refueling base for the US military and stopping the US military using shannon has always been one of the main demands of anti war movements in Ireland.

The advantages of being involved with it are

- A secular and anti imperialist anti war organisation
- A anti war movement organisation that has a healthy mix of trade unionists and direct actionists.
- A democratic organisation.
- An organisation that we can engage with and help shape the politics of.
- Build links with left Wing groups in Iran.

It remains to been seen how HOPI develops in Ireland. It is still possible that the US will invade Iran in the next few years. It makes sense to us to help set up a framework in which we can operate when that war happens now rather than waiting for the war to break out and be forced with either getting involved in a braoder organisation that is undemocratic and possible soft on the imans or forming a miniscule anarchist breakaway.

From my point of view it makes perfect sense to join and see how things develop. If things don't work out then we leave the organisation. Why, what do you see the problem with this being?

dara
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Oct 18 2007 17:24

We could possibly push a large antiwar movement towards mass direct action tactics aimed at stopping US refuelling at Shannon Airport. As we did during the height of the anti-Iraq war protests, but were hampered by an undemocratic, cowardly and SWP-controlled organisation.

Mike Harman
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Oct 18 2007 18:23
Dust wrote:
The advantages of being involved with it are

- A secular and anti imperialist anti war organisation

Can you name a pro-imperialist anti-war organisation? Otherwise this is "not the StWC".

Quote:
- A anti war movement organisation that has a healthy mix of trade unionists and direct actionists.

There is no anti-war 'movement' in case you hadn't noticed. So this essentially means it has two groups that you think you can straddle between.

Quote:
- A democratic organisation.

= not the StWC.

Quote:
- An organisation that we can engage with and help shape the politics of.

= not the StWC.

Quote:
- Build links with left Wing groups in Iran.

Which ones?

Quote:
It remains to been seen how HOPI develops in Ireland. It is still possible that the US will invade Iran in the next few years. It makes sense to us to help set up a framework in which we can operate when that war happens now rather than waiting for the war to break out and be forced with either getting involved in a braoder organisation that is undemocratic and possible soft on the imans or forming a miniscule anarchist breakaway.

From my point of view it makes perfect sense to join and see how things develop. If things don't work out then we leave the organisation. Why, what do you see the problem with this being?

1. http://www.hopoi.org/supporters.html

Actually that'll do for a start.

Dust
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Oct 18 2007 18:52

Eh Catch. When you post something of meaning that actually responds to what myself and Dara posted i might get back to you.

Apart form that when trying to appear knowledgeable about groups in another country it might make sense to learn the actually names of the groups and not assume that the they are called the same thing as in your one.

Quote:
an you name a pro-imperialist anti-war organisation?

Yeah cause there is no difference being against an individual war and being anti imperialist is there.

Quote:
So this essentially means it has two groups that you think you can straddle between.

Well no. Seeing as our organisation is involved with both..
The previous anti war groups in Ireland were IAWM and Grassroots Network Against the War. GNAW had almost no contact with Unions, IAWM had nothing to do with direct action. It makes sense that both these wings of the antiwar movement are in the same organisation.

I know you were pissed off with guy and tried to do a cutting put down. Substantiate it or recognise it hasn't worked and back off.

Mike Harman
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Oct 18 2007 19:32
Dust wrote:
Apart form that when trying to appear knowledgeable about groups in another country it might make sense to learn the actually names of the groups and not assume that the they are called the same thing as in your one.

So the HOPI in Ireland isn't the same as the HOPI in the UK, even though guydebordisdead referred to them as the same organisation? Or are you talking about something else?

Quote:
Yeah cause there is no difference being against an individual war and being anti imperialist is there.

I didn't ask you for an anti-war individual, I asked for an organisation.

Quote:
Quote:
So this essentially means it has two groups that you think you can straddle between.

Well no. Seeing as our organisation is involved with both..

That's exactly what I meant then.

Quote:
It makes sense that both these wings of the antiwar movement are in the same organisation.

What is this movement you speak of?

Quote:
I know you were pissed off with guy and tried to do a cutting put down. Substantiate it or recognise it hasn't worked and back off.

No it worked perfectly well. At best it shows that when guydebordisdead means "practical" he actually means pragmatic political campaigning.

Terry
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Oct 18 2007 19:54

Catch in Ireland the Stop the War Committee is called the Irish Anti-War Movement (IAWM).

Dust
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Oct 18 2007 19:59

Catch, you didn;t actually say anything their either.

To recap...
i listed a number of reasons we were in HOPI. The primary one being that we wanted a democratic, anti war group that didn't support the imans, was open to direct action, was open to working with the unions etc. in Ireland HOPI holds out that possibility or at least can aid in its creation.
I am still unsure what your real problem with this is?

You are completely right in saying that their is no mass anti war movement at the moment. This is clearly true. However, as i talked about above it is possible that the US will attack Iran in which case a mass anti war movement is likely to develop. This anti war movement can take a number of organisational forms. Traditional an un democratic SWP front seizes control and anarchists and the rest of the left moan to themselves. We are trying to create a democratic structure that can be used in a future anti war movement.

Apart from that your points really seem to be grasping at straws and petty attacks.

Dust wrote:

Apart form that when trying to appear knowledgeable about groups in another country it might make sense to learn the actually names of the groups and not assume that the they are called the same thing as in your one.

Mike Harman wrote:
So the HOPI in Ireland isn't the same as the HOPI in the UK, even though guydebordisdead referred to them as the same organisation? Or are you talking about something else?

Well we are talking about the Irish context. I am wondering why you are on about STWC.

Quote:
Dust wrote:

The advantages of being involved with it are

- A secular and anti imperialist anti war organisation

Quote:
Can you name a pro-imperialist anti-war organisation? Otherwise this is "not the StWC".

Maybe i am missing the political signifance of this but it seems to be having a go at sloppy wording. That said their are plenty of anti war groups that are against a particular war that do come out opposing imperialist wars in general. This does not mean they are pro - imperialist as you seem to be suggesting. My main point with this one anyway was the secular part, shorthand for being opposed to the Islamic theocracy.

Mike Harman wrote:

So this essentially means it has two groups that you think you can straddle between.

Dust wrote:
Well no. Seeing as our organisation is involved with both..
Mike Harman wrote:
That's exactly what I meant then.

Do you see them as being mutually exclusive or whats your point here.

Mike Harman wrote:
No it worked perfectly well. At best it shows that when guydebordisdead means "practical" he actually means pragmatic political campaigning.

I reckon this one is like Leftist. It has a particular meaning to the libcom crew. Does it mean thinking strageticially, trying to actually have an impact in the real world and having a plan that bridges the gap between six months down the line and the glorious day of revolution.

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MJ
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Oct 18 2007 20:00

I don't understand what's being established here; might be a local thing but is it just guilt-by-association?

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Jim Clarke
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Oct 18 2007 20:25
Dust wrote:
- Build links with left Wing groups in Iran?

As catch said it'd be interesting to hear which ones? Not that you need to be in a fucking stalinist run front group to build links with groups in Iran. Have you provided any support for the striking bus workers?

Dust
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Oct 18 2007 20:32

To be honest as i mentioned above i amn't a delegate to HOPI and the exact details of this aren't in the report back thats up on our site. Will ask our delegate when i run into him.

However the Irish HOPI website states

"We aim to forge links between the working class here and trade unionists,
women’s rights and progressive forces in Iran who oppose both Ahmadinejad and
imperialism. We will be launching a campaign for trade union solidarity and
raising funds to support prisoners and families in Iran – you will have seen
coverage about the arrest and torture of students, women’s rights activists and
trade unionists."

Understand that HOPI in Ireland is still finding it's feet.

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MJ
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Oct 18 2007 20:37
jimmer wrote:
As catch said it'd be interesting to hear which ones?

Yeah, name some names of people in Iran! It's only the fucking Internet!

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Jim Clarke
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Oct 18 2007 20:42

I really can't be arsed to get into this, but I think it really shows how shit the WSM's politics are that they have to tailgate anti-working class cunts into dead-end organisations.

Mike Harman
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Oct 18 2007 21:25
Dust wrote:
Catch, you didn;t actually say anything their either.

To recap...
i listed a number of reasons we were in HOPI. The primary one being that we wanted a democratic, anti war group that didn't support the imans, was open to direct action, was open to working with the unions etc. in Ireland HOPI holds out that possibility or at least can aid in its creation.
I am still unsure what your real problem with this is?

OK I've got a bit more time now.

"working with the unions". What does this actually mean? The 'call a general strike' stuff bandied about in 2003 by Workers Power etc. was a pile of shite, there's no way any trade union is going to call a strike against the war, they're doing their best to avoid calling strikes against pay/pension cuts and flexibilisation. So the best you'll get is some branch resolutions (probably supporting yet more HOPI statements) by leftie trade unionists. In other words the fact that there's trade unions involved means absolutely nothing, although it's consistent with your general approach to them and I see your mate Des Derwin is involved.

Quote:
You are completely right in saying that their is no mass anti war movement at the moment. This is clearly true.

Well we agree on something.

Quote:
However, as i talked about above it is possible that the US will attack Iran in which case a mass anti war movement is likely to develop. This anti war movement can take a number of organisational forms. Traditional an un democratic SWP front seizes control and anarchists and the rest of the left moan to themselves. We are trying to create a democratic structure that can be used in a future anti war movement.

Did you miss the bit where it's a CPGB front? Does that not bother you at all? Since the CPGB's only purpose appears to be point scoring against the SWP, someone cynical might even question their motives for setting up HOPI in the first place.

Quote:
Well we are talking about the Irish context. I am wondering why you are on about STWC.

I don't think it matters what it's called, it's substantively the same group. guydebordisdead brought up your involvement on a thread about the SWP and HOPI so it's understandable to continue the comparison here.

Quote:
My main point with this one anyway was the secular part, shorthand for being opposed to the Islamic theocracy.

So "not the IAWM" then.

Dust wrote:
Do you see them as being mutually exclusive or whats your point here.

I see it as a continuation of the WSM's obsession with orientation towards "the left".

Mike Harman wrote:
I reckon this one is like Leftist. It has a particular meaning to the libcom crew. Does it mean thinking strageticially, trying to actually have an impact in the real world and having a plan that bridges the gap between six months down the line and the glorious day of revolution.

Ahh, back to "unpractical[sic]" again. Joining stalinist front groups and calling for nationalisation of natural resources.

Mike Harman
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Oct 18 2007 21:29
MJ wrote:
I don't understand what's being established here; might be a local thing but is it just guilt-by-association?

Will NEFAC be joining ANSWER (or stalinist split-off equivalent front group if there is one) any time soon?

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MJ
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Oct 18 2007 21:38

If they stopped with the supporting-whatever-dictator-speaks-against-the-US shit we might find ourselves in coalitions that they happen to be in. The HOPOI statement seems solidly internationalist. I'm open to the idea that this coalition is a "front" but nobody has demonstrated this to me (and I even made a new topic 6 or so months ago, asking if it were their front, and nobody had a solid answer).

I'm across an ocean, and I don't know a lot of the groups and individuals on that list, so if someone were to break it down for me and explain what the problem actually is I would really appreciate it.

Thanks.

Mike Harman
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Oct 18 2007 21:41
MJ wrote:
jimmer wrote:
As catch said it'd be interesting to hear which ones?

Yeah, name some names of people in Iran! It's only the fucking Internet!

Are you having a bad week?

There's the WCPI, the bus drivers union in Tehran, these are quite well known groups (and like jimmer says it's not necessary to join Stalinist front groups to make contact with them). They may not be the ones that Dust is referring to but 1. no one's asking anyone to name names of individuals 2. they're fucking public organisations that are in the media (leftie and/or business) not clandestine groups who's name can only be whispered in dark rooms.

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Jim Clarke
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Oct 18 2007 21:43
MJ wrote:
Yeah, name some names of people in Iran! It's only the fucking Internet!

Dust was talking about left wing groups in Iran, and I can name several without having to consult 'the fucking Internet'.

Mike Harman
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Oct 18 2007 22:11
MJ wrote:
I'm open to the idea that this coalition is a "front" but nobody has demonstrated this to me (and I even made a new topic 6 or so months ago, asking if it were their front, and nobody had a solid answer).

I'm across an ocean, and I don't know a lot of the groups and individuals on that list, so if someone were to break it down for me and explain what the problem actually is I would really appreciate it.

Thanks.

OK with the individuals:

Politics:
New Labour
Greens
Scottish Nationalists
Irish Nationalists
Welsh Nationalists
Trots

Activists:
Trots, Greens, Stalinists

Unions:
Des Derwin was the candidate for general secretary of SIPTU that the WSM supported in his election campaign.
I don't know many of the other individuals, but it's common practice for these groups to get their union members to sign up to statements in a personal capacity (or branch capacity) to make it look as if it's got some broad union/working class support.

Groups:
Campaign for a Marxist Party (very close to CPGB - http://www.cpgb.org.uk/worker/664/cmp.htm)
Communist Party of Great Britain (is the CPGB)
Communist League - USA ("I'll fight you with a big fucking sword")
Communist Students (CPGB front)
Republican Communist Network - also appears to be CPGB linked: http://www.cpgb.org.uk/worker/376/rcn.html
Democratic Socialist Alliance (part of the Campaign for a Marxist Party, see above) - that Critique guy again as well.
Socialist Alliance - a front group for loads of parties, including the CPGB http://www.socialistalliance.org/

Green Party (the Green Party)
Movement for Socialism (WRP split group? This one? If so the WRP sold information about Iraqi dissidents to Saddam)
The Rotten Elements http://www.rottenelements.org.uk/ confused

Terry on the original HOPI thread wrote:
I think they had 'fraternal' relations with either the League of Communist Republicans or the IRSP in this country.

Irish Socialist Network (for a democratic, socialist Ireland)
The Starry Plough Initiative (Ireland) - Irish Republicans, linked to IRSM according to a minute or two on their website.

Iranian Workers Bulletin
Workers Left Unity - Iran (appears to be the same group as Iranian workers bulletin)
Iran Bulletin - Middle East Forum
Organization of Revolutionary Workers of Iran (Rahe Kargar)( their only link in English is to Middle East Forum so could be another group that's listed twice) -- don't know about the politics of any of these 2/4 groups but Workers Left Unity.
Wikipedia suggests that Workers Left Unity is closely linked to Rahe Kargar - so it might actually be one group. And they're in exile, not in Iran apparently. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Workers_Left_Unity_-_Iran

That probably gives you enough of an idea. The writers/legal section has a lot of names I don't know either, and I had to google some of the Irish republican/leninist groups. Some of the famous ones are SWP etc. though (Mark Steel for example).

edit: more added.

Dust
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Oct 18 2007 22:17
Mike Harman wrote:
Did you miss the bit where it's a CPGB front? Does that not bother you at all? Since the CPGB's only purpose appears to be point scoring against the SWP, someone cynical might even question their motives for setting up HOPI in the first place.

Did you miss the bit where it's a different country? CPGB have one member in Ireland. The English organisation has no say in the decisions etc of the Irish one. How is it a front in Ireland?

Mike Harman wrote:
So the best you'll get is some branch resolutions (probably supporting yet more HOPI statements) by leftie trade unionists. In other words the fact that there's trade unions involved means absolutely nothing, although it's consistent with your general approach to them and I see your mate Des Derwin is involved.

In relation to the striking bus workers etc a branch motion passed has little impact on the Iranian regime but it may give the strikers a bit of support. No harm in it anyway. Has also the possibility of organising funding through the union or a least getting a social or whatever organised to raise money.

In relation to the anti war aprt itself. Workers in Shannon airport, suppliers etc would feel more comfortamble going on strike or refusing to transport or aid the US military in Ireland if the have the full backing of their union.

Mike Harman wrote:
I don't think it matters what it's called, it's substantively the same group. guydebordisdead brought up your involvement on a thread about the SWP and HOPI so it's understandable to continue the comparison here.

yeah i agree. They are very similar. It was just a minor point that it doesn't help your authorative pronouncements on the situation in Ireland when you don't know the name of what was the largest anti war group. It might just have been a slip either.

Quote:
So "not the IAWM" then.

i am not sure what you mean here by repeating this all the time. Is it a short hand for an identical lefty group to be set up with a different range of acronoms behind it without any differing political content?
if that is what you mean by it you would be wrong. The IAWM here is ridiclously soft on Islamic Resistance and often falls in the "enemy of my enemy is my friend" style of politics. Clearly HOPI doesn't. If you check Indymedia Ireland at the moement there are about 5 or 6 threads in the last two weeks where HOPI members are arguing against those presenting the dicatomy of the imans or Bush.

Mike Harman wrote:
I see it as a continuation of the WSM's obsession with orientation towards "the left"

Sorry, what? The idea that a anti war group/movement/whatever can be active on a union front and also enage in direct action is orientating towards the Left.

It's not a bunch of masked up kids attacking a fence while tankies write letters about it to their union leader.

The last time around there was a mas anti war movement in ireland. unfortunately the IAWM leadership stifled discussion of direct action, behaved undemocratically and hamstrung the movement. We are attempting to prevent this happening again.

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AndrewF
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Oct 18 2007 22:18

So basically the WSM shouldn't be involved with building this in Ireland because in Britain (its argued) that it is simply a front for the CPGB - an orgaisation which actually doesn't have a presence in Ireland beyond one person. Oh and as Catch points out Des Derwins involved and as we all know he ran in a union election so he's obviously a bad man. And er thats it..

Instead as Jimmer points out the WSM should support the Iranian bus drivers in some way that is not specified but presumably by not going through any actual Iranian organisations in case they are run by stalinists (a label which I find puzzling in this context as I associate such a broad usage with trotskyism). Maybe we should send a member over with a suit case of money (if we could find one) which he could hand over to the first bus driver he runs into?

This thread is a pretty good illustration of where all this post-leftist bollox ends up, a load of inaction hiding behind empty slogans.

Dust
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Oct 18 2007 22:21

.Catch your last post creates the impression that the british HOPI and the Irish HOPI are the same organisation. As you know thery aren't

Terry
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Oct 18 2007 22:27
Dust wrote:
In relation to the anti war aprt itself. Workers in Shannon airport, suppliers etc would feel more comfortamble going on strike or refusing to transport or aid the US military in Ireland if the have the full backing of their union.

Do you think that is likely to happen? Both that there is anywhere near that level of opposition to military re-fueling locally or among the workforce, or that such action would receive full backing of their union.

Not that I have an issue with the incarnation of HOPI in Ireland. It is obviously preferable as an anti-war group to the pro-Islamists.

Dust
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Oct 18 2007 22:34

double post

Dust
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Oct 18 2007 22:37
Quote:
Do you think that is likely to happen? Both that there is anywhere near that level of opposition to military re-fueling locally or among the workforce, or that such action would receive full backing of their union.

nah there is very little chance of the workers going on strike in the airport itself, especially after the last moth or so, for the obvious reasons. Workers in suppliers though might be more willing to.

In relation to the Union itself it obviously depends on the pressure being placed on the beurarachy.

Mike Harman
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Oct 18 2007 22:39
Dust wrote:
.Catch your last post creates the impression that the british HOPI and the Irish HOPI are the same organisation. As you know thery aren't

http://www.cpgb.org.uk/worker/673/hopi.htm

Are you claiming they're not the same organisation but just happen to have the same name? And if so why all those Irish groups and (two) trade unionists on their list of supporters?

http://libcom.org/forums/news/u-k-stop-war-coalition-bans-critical-voices-14102007

guydebordisdead wrote:
Too right. WSM signed the HOPI statement, but we're obviously leftists.

guydebordisdead seems to think it's the same group too. It might not be formally the same organisation in the sense it'll be an Irish section with it's own leadership structure etc., but it's not a 'different' group to the British HOPI is it?

Dust
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Oct 18 2007 22:42

Well yeah it is different groups. It signs up to the same statement of politics that so far no one has disagreed with. That doesn't mean the groups are the same.

Quote:
It might not be formally the same organisation in the sense it'll be an Irish section with it's own leadership structure etc.

So what you are saying here is it might not be part of the same organisation in any way that might make it a front?

Terry
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Oct 18 2007 22:43

Who are the suppliers in question.

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AndrewF
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Oct 18 2007 23:01

I think posters are taking a rather mechanical view of how a strike about refueling might happen at Shannon. The strawman that the workers are about to down tools and walk off the airfield has taken a hell of a battering on this thread, I don't think it will ever walk again so it can be left alone.

Yet these sort of political strikes do happen, normally when a minority of workers take a stand and the rest of the workers defend them from disciplinary action.

In terms of the minority taking a stand this happened in Scotland around the outbreak of the Iraq war when two train drivers refused to transport munitions I actually don't know how this ended.

In happened in Ireland back in the 80's when 6 retail workers refused to handle South African goods in what was then one of the largest of the supermarket chains. That example is quite relevant because they acted on the back of a motion passed at the union saying such goods should be boycotted which apparently no one really expected would be acted on. But it was.

Are all the workers in Shannon about to take action. Clearly not. Might in the event of a war in Iran a small number end up taking action in the context of the mass movement reappearing and motions passed though their union promising support in the event of such action. Quite possibly? We don't know and really our role is not some sort of secular crystal ball gazers but rather trying to create the preconditions for such action.

Terry
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Oct 18 2007 23:26
JoeBlack2 wrote:
I think posters are taking a rather mechanical view of how a strike about refueling might happen at Shannon. The strawman that the workers are about to down tools and walk off the airfield has taken a hell of a battering on this thread, I don't think it will ever walk again so it can be left alone.

Really? I missed that argument.

I don't think industrial action against military re-fueling is likely in Shannon as:
(a) there isn't really much in the way of publically expressed opposition in the area.
(b) I could have missed it but there seems to have been none, or very little, strike action among groundstaff in Shannon about the Aer Lingus re-location, or the ending of the Shannon stopover. Hasn't there generally been a division with the Aer Riannta workforce, with more militancy in Dublin, and markedly less in Shannon.

It being likely that smaller numbers going further than other folk would be reflective of a wider mood, and up till now anything like that mood doesn't seem to have existed, in fact the contrary has.

Sure it is possible, doesn't seem very likely though. Seems to have been introduced, in this context, originally, purely as an argument against people not employed in the airport taking direct action (not on this thread, in the real world).

Helping create the preconditions seems sensible enough, but would surely require a presence in Shannon, really to be talked about, and the anti-war groups have next to no presence there. The people who were working on building a presence there at one stage, generally seemed to think the goal of direct action (ie from people outside of the workforce), was, in the short term at least, in contradiction with 'building a movement' in the local area.

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AndrewF
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Oct 18 2007 23:36

Yeah as I said

Quote:
We don't know and really our role is not some sort of secular crystal ball gazers but rather trying to create the preconditions for such action.