Unity is Strength! – a Critical view of Right2Water’s May Day Conference

An analysis of the R2W campaign and how community groups should be brought to the forefront of the campaign as the real vanguard. I find myself largely in agreement with it.

Rebel City Writers

Community activists from Stoneybatter in Dublin and Mahon in Cork march together in solidarity and unity... Community activists from Stoneybatter in Dublin and Mahon in Cork march together in solidarity and unity…

The following piece is an honest critique of the upcoming Right2Water May Day Conference from one Rebel that has grown skeptical of promises from unions and politicians…

Unity is strength, is a truth spoken by a nave less of a truth? While I am passionate about Defeating the water charges and would agree in certain cases with the words ‘by any means necessary’, of late I have grown concerned. I am concerned that as we are so close to victory it may be unwise to adopt the means offered by right to water. Following on from their recent training provided to a select few they have announced a conference for the May Day weekend with 60 union reps, 60 politicians and 60 community spokespersons (to me that reads 120 parts of the problem and…

View original post 853 more words

Advertisement

1916 Easter Revolution in Colour: Section III

This is truly some magnificent work! Have a look.

1916 Easter Revolution in Colour

Guerrilla Fighter, Tom Barry Guerrilla Fighter, Tom Barry

A destroyed tram lays in ruins. A destroyed tram lays in ruins.

Raid being conducted by British Troops with an Mark V Battle Tank Raid being conducted by British Troops with an Mark V Battle Tank

This is a colourfully restored photo of William Oman, who was a 1916 veteran, that we did for one of our members on the page. Thanks go to his great-grandson, Niall Smiley Oman, for sharing this fantastic image with the rest of community! This is a colourfully restored photo of William Oman, who was a 1916 veteran, that we did for one of our members on the page.
Thanks go to his great-grandson, Niall Smiley Oman, for sharing this fantastic image with the rest of community!

This one here is of his Great-uncle, Bob Oman, who was a Lieutenant and later Captain of G Company, 1st Battalion, Dublin Brigade IRA, and is also the uncle of, William Oman, who we had posted earlier. Thanks again to Niall for sharing with us once again, another fantastic image!  Caption from Niall Oman: “Williams Uncle, Bob Oman in the disguise of a Black and Tan in order to evade capture, it was taken out his backgarden in 8 Daniel Street.” This one here is of his Great-uncle, Bob Oman, who was a Lieutenant and later Captain of G Company, 1st Battalion, Dublin Brigade IRA, and is also the uncle of, William Oman, who we had posted earlier. Thanks again to Niall for sharing with us once again, another fantastic image!
Caption from Niall Oman: “Williams Uncle, Bob Oman in the disguise of a Black and Tan in order to evade capture, it was taken out his backgarden in 8 Daniel Street.”

Constance Markievicz (mixing the food) and comrades man the soup kitchens, Dublin. "Delia Larkin and Countess Markievicz set up soup kitchens in Liberty Hall, where Larkin presided over the feeding of some 3,000 children per day" Constance Markievicz (mixing the…

View original post 93 more words

‘Workers of the World Unite’ is now more relevant than ever before.

At the end of the day, in every society what ultimately binds people together under a common cause is their desire to improve their economic status. Right now, across the world people are rising up in their thousands to demand better conditions of life and for their needs to be met by the governments that were elected supposedly to protect them.

In Ireland, the anti-war charges movement has developed into the largest peoples movement since the war of independence,

In Japan, the rhetoric of war has brought about a shift in opinion on the US and their role as an altruistic nation, prompting thousands of people to vote for the Japanese Communist Party and driving up the amount of representatives they have in elected bodies to record levels.

In Greece, a relatively progressive government is locked in battle with not only the ECB, the IMF and the EU, but also the German Parliament which has to “approve” any bailout extensions. On the streets the anarchists and the KKE (Communist Party of Greece) clashes with law enforcement on a weekly if not daily basis.

In Canada students have rallied in their thousands to demonstrate against austerity and the impoverishment it forces on people. Videos have come forward showing the resolution of the demonstrators in Canada and their commitment to stand their ground.

In America, the ‘greatest’ of capitalist states people are gunned down in the streets by the police for the most obscure and vague of reasons. Thousands demonstrate for higher wages and walk out of their places of employment.

In Ukraine, the left wing movement in both East and West is beginning to mobilize because no matter how much lies and garbage about nationalism are fed to them, they see that it is the pensions of THEIR grandfathers and grandmothers being cut, it is THEIR salaries being cut and it is THEIR future being endangered.

So when we talk about the slogan ‘workers of the world united’, it would seem to be that we’re already half way there.

Stop a Douscheag

 

‘I spit on everybody and park where I want’ An activist putting a sticker on a car

“Stop a Douschebag” or “Стоп Хам”

The collapse of the USSR brought forth all the corruption that had been festering to the front and it washed over not only the newly born Russian Federation but also several of the other former Soviet states, devastating their economies and their people.  Some form of ‘stability’ was brought to some of the countries though they had by and large forgotten their Communist past and embraced nationalism, capitalism and some even fascism.

In some cities of Russia and indeed the former Soviet Union some communities had to rally together to preserve and defend themselves against the onslaught of corruption and that is something that we can only admire and look towards. Seeing as Ireland is facing its own critical junction where activists from various communities are banding together to defend themselves against austerity and injustice we can definitely relate!

It would be a lie to say that Russia has remained the same since the 1990s, there has been a degree of stability though the Russian state though it has come with sacrifices to personal freedom and concessions of basic democratic rights. Never the less, things are definitely better than they were in the 1990s!

With this brief background out of the way I’d like to introduce the heroes of this piece, ‘Stop a Douschebag’, a group of Socialist youths committed to stopping people from committing traffic offenses and other minor violations of the law, such as smoking / drinking in public. You see in Russia, the roads and subsequently footpaths are a legacy of the USSR where broad roads alongside broad footpaths were built, in today’s Russia people conveniently ignore the purpose of a foot path and use it as a short cut. I’ve seen it happen in St. Petersburg in front of the police, nobody really cares, well, except one group.

They stand for hours before cars and take verbal abuse off of people, some even brandish knives and guns at them while others try to physically confront them! The spirit and editing of each video is humorous and light making them easy and ultimately entertaining to watch, though their task is serious and arduous.

What they are in reality is doing is trying to instil respect among people for their communities and others around them and they are making some headway. Putin himself met with them and watched one of their videos but also drivers in the places they are active now recognize them, wave to them and beep at them while their Youtube videos frequently hit the million mark and more.

Some of their videos show another approach to community activism where they use their broad networking in order to rally people to defend other social projects, in one such video an illegal demolition of local garages takes place and activists from ‘Stop a Douschebag’ come together to call the police and even confront the masked militia defending the demolition.

It’s a ‘real’ grassroots movement built on the will of young individuals to see a better and more conscious society around them and we must certainly take inspiration from them. Check them out on Youtube by just typing in ‘Stop a Douschebag’ and enjoy!

Irish Water is already privatized.

The title might be intimidating or even make one lose hope, it is however the unfortunate truth and let me elaborate as to how and why.  I’ve only connected the dots so to speak after the issue was brought to my attention in two separate matters at the Independent Workers Union. I’ll briefly speak about each case and then disclose the parallel, though I am certain it’ll be noticeable straight away.

Case 1

Security guards

I’m elaborating on security guards in Ireland as the analogy and most importantly the setup used by companies in the hiring process. Essentially the setup is very straightforward though most people outside of the security business itself or those dealing with security guards would be unaware of it.

Company X requires security personnel and makes this information publically known.

Companies Z and Y, security companies then compete for said contract.

Example:

 

Company X is willing to pay the company 25 euro per security person that they can give them, while the security company Z and Y pay their employee 10.75 thereby turning the rest into a gross profit.  This is called subcontracting, where one company is partially fulfilling the obligations of a contract of another.

Here’s what Irish Water is doing

I’ve only really thought about this in depth after having met workers from one of these subcontracted companies underneath Irish Water and the entire question of privatization struck me from a different angle, the angle I’ve explained above.

The workers I met and committed to aid were from a company that was sub contracted to install water meters, but here’s the clincher: They were third down the line in sub contracts, so, I’ll give you an example with arbitrary numbers.

Case 2, Example

Irish Water receives 150 euro from the state per worker.  Irish Water subcontracts Company 1, for 100 euro per worker pocketing a gross profit of 50 euro.

Company 1 then subcontracts Company 2 for 50 euro, pocketing 50 euro in gross profit.

Company 2 then subcontracts Company 3 for 25 euro and pockets 25 euro in gross profit.

Company 3 fulfils the contracts delegated down to it, paying their employees a minimum / slightly above minimum wage and pockets the difference as gross profit.

The reasoning that follows is that well, is Irish Water not already privatized if companies that do not belong to the state are performing all the functions?  The methodology of subcontracting essentially quite blatantly ensures that great margins of profit are made but also that the work itself is done by somebody else. So it stands that Irish Water itself is not performing several tasks but at the expense of the tax payer delegating the responsibility of meter installation elsewhere?

It is certainly something to think about as it would change the dynamics of the way people view Irish Water and the fight to abolish it and its charges. After all, the government can easily circumvent the abolition of the company Irish Water by subcontracting the work out of the Co. Councils via the Viceroys of counties known as ‘Chief Executives’.

Irish Matrushka.

russian doll final

When the Irish Free State was born the Irish Labour Party became the loyal opposition and from that day onwards began the collaborationist approach. It would be unfair however to state that at the beginning FF [Fianna Faíl] shared an identity with the Labour Party or Cumann na nGaedheal. FF truly did represent a large amount of Republican views and had the support of the IRA all the way until they received enough votes to be in government.

Upon stepping into government Republican values were shifted, moulded and changed to be as populist and all-encompassing as possible. The dynamic differences which would have split Cumann na nGaeheal, the Irish Labour Party and Fianna Faíl were slowly brushed aside as the necessity to win an election become dominant.

The policies of these three parties have slowly revealed themselves to be based on two things:

  • Rewarding their core electorate base with various privileges that mostly resemble a mafia structure wherein the candidate rewards his/her core voter lobbyists with state contracts or the ability to cash in on privatized sectors of what was formerly state owned (Irish Water, Bus Eireann/Air Coach, etc)
  • Pursuing policy that guarantees election regardless of ideology. So this one is quite simple and straightforward to identify. As international political and cultural trends change, so too will the policies of the establishment political parties. The establishment parties and indeed all populist parties will not actually commit to any particular ideology and simply pursue ‘social democracy’, this allows for flexibility and the promising of anything and everything.

This sort of political system closely resembles a Matrushka doll, a doll that has many layers of miniature dolls. The Irish Free State in embracing capitalism has in many ways eradicated ideological differences and substituted them with short term populist slogans which exist in parallel to a clientele system operated ‘under the table’.

The doll represents the reckless pursuit of power by dynastical elected officials whom will say or do whatever it takes to achieve power. It was during WWII that a Fine Gael TD stated that we must “rout the Jews out of this country”, no doubt referring to his disgusting past as a Hitlerite blueshirt!

This raises the question of whether it actually matters who we vote for, well the reality is that it depends who you vote for.  If you’re going to vote for the same parties that spawn from the established norm then you’re going to get the same result. But how can you ultimately change the destiny of your nation and defy the overwhelming odds? There is no doubt that the struggle for great societal change has always been an uphill battle but during economic decline there is a sliver of an opportunity to highlight the injustice of the established capitalist community.

When I made my choice to support the group I made it on the basis that their policies and ideology have been maintained for several decades, unchanging in the face of populism, terror, imprisonment, internment, torture and propaganda.

Ruthlessly criticize and scrutinize the party you have already promised your vote for – it may not be what it seems. The network of corruption in Ireland connects those who have their own best interests at heart and constantly and consciously act on those interests.

Always, question, everything.