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Open letter to the movement organising for May Day

category national | summit mobilisations | opinion/analysis author Wednesday April 28, 2004 14:33author by Rory Hearne - Another Europe is Possibleauthor email anothereuropeispossible at yahoo dot co dot uk Report this post to the editors

Open letter for the movement against war, racism and corporate greed

Fellow activists,

Since the Zapatista declaration in 1994 and the French public sector
workers strike in 1995 we have witnessed and taken part in a new social
movement . The movement has grown exponentially and deepened from the
60,000 that shut down the WTO in Seattle 1999 to the millions that marched
across the globe on February 15th last year.

Our strength has been our unity together in our common outrage and desire to change this incredibly corrupt and unequal society. We are united in our desires for a world
without war a world where the resources currently spent on military will
be spent on schools and hospitals, a world without borders where all
immigrants are welcome and a world without poverty.

Our movement has shaken the establishment and ruling classes across the
world. Bush and Blair, seemingly infallible when Baghdad fell last year now seem like trapped dogs with nowhere to turn. They are terrified that the fate of the
hated Spanish Prime Minister Aznar awaits them at their next elections.
Ahern too is terrified of the deep unpopularity of his government because
of their support for the war on Iraq, their racism and their policies that
have benefited the rich to the detriment of the majority.

Ahern’s government knows the visit of George Bush in June will draw massive protests. It is in this context that we are witnessing the biggest security re-organisation of the state since its foundation. They have spent the last few months training 1,200 riot police and will be deploying water cannons, armed gardai and the army itself on
May Day. They are frightened of the huge numbers that have taken to the
streets to oppose them and want to do all they can to ensure Feb 15th is
not repeated.

Their strategy is very similar to that which the Italian government
adopted in the run up to the Genoa G8 summit. The strategy of tension
aimed at breaking a movement that is on the rise. A strategy aimed at
intimidating the majority from joining the minority.

We must be clear of what is at stake on May Day. On one side we
have the state, determined to demonise and break our movement for fear of
massive protests and on the other, us, a growing movement whose tactics on
the day will determine the future of our movement.

In Genoa we saw clearly the power of the state. The big lesson learned was
that we cannot defeat the state through tactics that are based on small
number elitely padded-up protestors confronting the police. It will be
through a mass movement that involves millions confronting the power
points of the system in workplaces, schools, hospitals and colleges. It
will be through the mass movement of millions united on the streets. What
we do on May Day must be determined by what can create social disobedience
rather than simply civil disobedience (as Luca Casirini called after Genoa).

If May Day passes peacefully with thousands on the streets taking part in
a day of action against war and corporate greed then nothing will stop us
from creating the biggest demonstrations this country has ever seen when
George Bush comes here in June.

But if there is violence from our side on May Day, the state will have the excuse it so desperately needs to smash our movement, ban protests when George Bush comes, scare people off and stop us from creating the day that could hasten the fall of this rotten government and state.

Three years after Genoa, we must be aware of the lessons.

The state will place provocateurs in our demonstrations.

But we can create the situation that makes it impossible for them to justify their attack. We can make May Day a launch
pad for the days of protest in June. I am confident that this is what we
want and what the movement requires.

We must unite in our calls for peaceful demonstrations on May Day as we have done. But we must go further. The Another Europe is Possible Coalition will be having over 50 clearly identified and co-ordinating stewards on the AEIP carnival and march focussed on ensuring all attendees abide by the principles of peaceful action and non-confrontation. We will put these principles to the mass meeting at the start of our demonstration.

We call on all groups organising to do the same and ensure that we can unite in creating a day that will lay the foundation for creating the days of protest
mobilisations against Bush!!!

Rory Hearne, Convenor,
Another Europe is Possible May Day 12 noon Central Bank

Related Link: http://www.freewebs.com/anothereuropeispossible
author by shamepublication date Wed Apr 28, 2004 15:05author address author phone Report this post to the editors

This is why no anarchist group should ever work with the SWP - Rory Hearne is now already berating other methods of protest apart from his own. He has no respect for diversity. The AEIP stewards like the IAWM stewards act as a first line of police - making sure YOU do what THEY want.

Not to mention his laughable nod to the EZLN, a million miles away from the politics described in the post above.

author by Patrick Patersonpublication date Wed Apr 28, 2004 15:05author address author phone Report this post to the editors

We should be aware that there are elements in the State that want to see these protests being 'violent'. So they will put people into demos and parties that will act the mick and try to 'provoke' a reation from the cops. It's right that AEIP are putting stewards on their contingent. I think that Grassroots should select people to ensure that all on their contingent are peaceful.

author by stewardpublication date Wed Apr 28, 2004 15:10author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The main thing the state wants out of these protests is violence. We should not give them wht they want. All protesters should strive not to react to cop provocation. I'd agree that it is right for AEIP to have stewards, having stewards will make it harder for the cops to provoke things, it will also help protesters keep their discipline. Grassroots should follow the lead of AEIP and have stewards, afterall if the cops infultrate any group it will be theirs.

author by Joepublication date Wed Apr 28, 2004 15:11author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Oh dear, I thought they were being sensible this time out. Instead they have set up the DGN by insisting that 'good' protesters must follow the rules they set. For anyone interested the DGN has already released our own guidelines for out Farmleigh march which favors another method for keeping things peaceful. See our 'Guidelines for the noisy bloc' at http://struggle.ws/eufortress/timetable.htm

So nice try Rory but you won't bad jacket us that easy!

Related Link: http://struggle.ws/eufortress
author by Globalised Fists of Steelpublication date Wed Apr 28, 2004 15:17author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Anyone else heard of the purported protest/property damage to be done in Blanchardstown while the cops focus on protests in town?

author by pcpublication date Wed Apr 28, 2004 15:18author address author phone Report this post to the editors

not even the most experienced person can control others.... or prevent a batton charge

ive seen swp stewards lose their head at protest.so who stewards the stweards?

eveyone has an equal responsibilty to themselves

there is no such thing as good protestors and bad protestors

author by Joepublication date Wed Apr 28, 2004 15:23author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Yeah some of the tabloids had this weird idea of a breakway march heading for Blanchardstown to trash fast food outlets.

If you get out a map and work out how many hours it would take to march that far you'd realise that anyone doing so would want to eat at them on arrival. The story is about as credible as the gas attack one.

author by Raypublication date Wed Apr 28, 2004 15:33author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Rory sez "In Genoa we saw clearly the power of the state. The big lesson learned was
that we cannot defeat the state through tactics that are based on small
number elitely padded-up protestors confronting the police. It will be
through a mass movement that involves millions confronting the power
points of the system in workplaces, schools, hospitals and colleges."

One might as well argue that because the state was not defeated by padded protestors in Genoa it follows that the state can only be defeated by naked protestors on tricycles singing "Mmm-Bop!"

In other words, evidence that one tactic failed is not evidence that another tactic will succeed.

And what about this other tactic? Well, in the build-up to the Iraq war, there was a mass movement involving millions of people "confronting the power
points of the system". That failed too. Will Rory and the SWP conclude from this that mass demonstrations, marches up and down O'Connell St, and speeches from Richard Boyd Barrett are tactics that are doomed to failure? We live in hope.

"If May Day passes peacefully with thousands on the streets taking part in
a day of action against war and corporate greed then nothing will stop us
from creating the biggest demonstrations this country has ever seen when
George Bush comes here in June. "

The biggest demonstrations since the last one, right. And that achieved... what, exactly?

Before anyone's head explodes, I am not arguing against demonstrations. I'm just saying that demonstrations _on their own_ are not so incredibly effective that every other tactic should be written off. And Rory's argument has more holes in it than Trotsky's head.

author by Badmanpublication date Wed Apr 28, 2004 15:41author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Telling the grassroots that they must have stewards, even though they know well that the grassroots have already issued guidelines that do not include stewards. Nice of them to share this with the media, and nobody will be surprised to see this crop up in the tabloids in the next few days. Nice one Rory, first line of police - again.

author by markin - nonepublication date Wed Apr 28, 2004 15:56author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Been scratching my head wondering what brought on all the anti-SWP bile on this site, but the reaction to Rory's completely sensible, politically astute open letter is telling. A handful of frustrated individualists who are pissed off that no one has noticed them, anxious to live up to the caricature peddled by the bourgeois press, with no clue about and probably no concern about how to build a movement that can mobilize ordinary people against the situation we find ourselves in. Rory is entirely correct about the lessons of Genoa. The state takes its job seriously; time for the Left to grow up and do the same.

author by Zbarcalowpublication date Wed Apr 28, 2004 16:07author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Violence is counter-productive. Trying to avoid violence on our side is not being intolerant of other people's methods -it is pragmatism. It is recognizing that the violence of a handful of (well-intentioned) people, even if the violence is provoked, only hurts the overall movement and plays into the hands of those who would like to discredit us. Diversity of tactics is important, but so too is showing respect for those people who work so hard to raise awareness of the issues among the general public. Their job is made ten times harder if they have to continually fight against (innaccurate) images of protesters as an unruly violent mob. Building a movement is vital to achieving real change, and less people will join a movement if it is percieved as violent.

A wise man once said:
"Of all the vestiges of power, the one that impresses people most is restraint"

author by trot noodlepublication date Wed Apr 28, 2004 16:07author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Rory is positioning the SWP (and its front group Another Europe Is Possible) and himself as the the 'responsible protestors' - and the Anarchists are helping the SWP by living up to the Wombles-Hype.

Rory should thank anarchists for making the SWP look good.

author by rory wrong about genoapublication date Wed Apr 28, 2004 16:10author address author phone Report this post to the editors

and they were pre-emptively attacked way outside the city - with helicopters dropping gas - squadrons of stormtroopers - concussion grenades - vans rammed into people in sidestreets containing overspill.

author by Raypublication date Wed Apr 28, 2004 16:11author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"frustrated individualists who are pissed off that no one has noticed them"

Nice to see that IMC now has readers from Pluto...

"anxious to live up to the caricature peddled by the bourgeois press"

By sending Aileen on the Late Late

"with no clue about and probably no concern about how to build a movement that can mobilize ordinary people against the situation we find ourselves in"

Oh, so those involved in Grassroots aren't ordinary people? Compared to Rory and Richie, you mean?

"Rory is entirely correct about the lessons of Genoa"

Apart from the gaping holes in his argument. "It didn't work last time, so it will never in the future" is the lesson to be drawn from Genoa, but not from last February's anti-war march (or the Russian revolution, for that matter).

"The state takes its job seriously; time for the Left to grow up and do the same."

What, do the same as the state? By trying to separate 'good' protestors from 'bad' protestors? By marshalling all demonstrators behind lines of unaccountable uniformed officials, who make sure that they march only where and when they are allowed? By arguing that the role of 'ordinary' people in politics is to show up and applaud the lectures of their betters? Jesus, I wouldn't have been that harsh on the SWP myself, but now that I think about it I can see your point...

author by Joepublication date Wed Apr 28, 2004 16:16author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Taken from http://struggle.ws/eufortress/timetable.htm as some of the commentators above are far more interested in creating 'goog protester' v 'bad protester' divides that avoiding tabloid scare stories.

"We desire no physical confrontation with the Garda, the Army, or anybody on Mayday - and we never have. We have made all our plans for our No Borders Weekend of actions publicly available for months. We do not intend to use any form of offensive physical confrontation on our march.

The Dublin Grassroots Network march will Bring The Noise to Farmleigh House. We do not want anyone to bring any weapons. People that bring weapons on the march are not welcome to participate and will be asked to leave.

It is everyone's responsibility to ensure the march is a safe and successful event. We are a community and we should all work together towards this end and look after each other's welfare. If you see someone that is acting in an inappropriate, explain to them the nature of this march and suggest that if they want to act outside of this that they first leave the march. Don't start shouting at them, just make sure that someone (if needs be you) approaches them and calmly explains that their behavior is not welcome here. If you don't feel comfortable doing this yourself, talk to the people around you. Take responsibility for the safety of yourself and others around you."

Too much of course for those r-r-revolutionaries who look forward to being in charge of a state where they can order people around.

author by Eoin Dubskypublication date Wed Apr 28, 2004 16:25author address author phone Report this post to the editors

As you may already know, I'm a peacenik, so I respect Rory for sticking his head up here to speak about nonviolence and ask people to keep cool heads on Saturday. I'm not crazy about stewards though, and would prefer if protest organisers would help empower participants with free nonviolence and safety workshops instead. It requires more prep, but people like Rory have been working for months to prepare for Mayday 2004. I've made this point many times here and to the SWP/IAWM before.

To the subject of my comment... I don't see why Mayday demonstrations should be linked to the protests against Bush's visit, which I think is a no-brainer. Bush is uncontroversially rotten in a way that the EU is not. Mayday will be both a day for celebration and protest. I can't imagine (anyone please?) who will be celebrating when the Washington warlord arrives. I think that no matter what happens on Saturday there will be many, many people prepared to protest against Bush when he arrives.

author by Joepublication date Wed Apr 28, 2004 16:32author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Dubsky you are an idiot. I don't say this lightly, its been boiling up for some time as a result of you mayday comments but this takes the biscuit.

Rory might be calling for a peaceful protest but then so are the DGN. Rorys insistence that we adopt their tactics to make it peaceful rather than follow our own methods is intended to imply that unless we do what he says we are something other than peaceful. You've just added your voice to that slander. Well done!!!!!

author by no sidepublication date Wed Apr 28, 2004 16:35author address author phone Report this post to the editors

they screw people over, possess campaigns, claim credit for things they didn't, they want to remove one power base and replace it with they own, they don't allow there members to have their own minds do need i go on...

author by Eoin Dubskypublication date Wed Apr 28, 2004 17:03author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Joe, I didn't mean to slander anyone in my comment above. I don't support the idea of stewards for the protests, and I think that should be clear from what I wrote. So whereas I respect Rory's courage to ask activists explicitly to be nonviolent on Saturday, I don't think it's fair to say that I've "added my voice to", or endorced in some way, the entirety of the Open Letter above.

Perhaps he is positioning himself with the Open Letter into the 'good protesters' camp, and in the same time preparing a 'bad protesters' camp for likely dissenters -- I don't know. You may be doing the same yourself though you know, with a camp for 'good libertarians' like you, and another one for dissenters, or "idiots" who don't respond to contributions from the SWP and others with the accepted reaction.

author by Anthony - Dublin Grassroots (personal capacity)publication date Wed Apr 28, 2004 17:16author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The big sticking point for me with Rory's post is: "But we can create the situation that makes it impossible for them to justify their attack." I don't believe that this can be said with the degree of certainty that it conveys. If agent provocateurs (that's employees of the state for the increasing number of journos who don't understand the meaning of the term) are intent on provoking a violent reaction, I don't think a coloured bib will stop them.

Grassroots events over the past 2 to 3 years have never used stewarding and I think it's extremely unlikely that this tradition will change unless we directly experience negative consequences of our current arrangement and see the need to change. It certainly wouldn't happen without a lot of vigorous internal debate.

Of course, not having stewards does mean that there has to collective responsibility among the participants and that individuals should watch what's going on around them and be prepared to defuse a situation if they see others acting irresponsibly or potentially endangering people.

author by Joepublication date Wed Apr 28, 2004 17:21author address author phone Report this post to the editors

How is it courageous to say what everyone else is saying?

BTW idiot in the context implies someone who doesn't think things through before throwing in their 2p. There are clear implications in your continued implication that Rory is saying something the DGN are not in relation to the protest. Think it through.

author by Bathing beautypublication date Wed Apr 28, 2004 17:32author address author phone Report this post to the editors

May I suggest that the only way to defeat a riotous police force, agents provocateurs, and those bent on destruction of any kind, is for anyone participating in legal protest to wear togs, or no clothes at all, and to carry nothing.

Slogans can be written on people's backs with vegetable dye.

What excuse can there be to attack a nearly naked person whose hands are empty! And what a spectacle for the world's media!

author by jhpublication date Wed Apr 28, 2004 17:33author address author phone Report this post to the editors

i defended eoin last time but his last comment was simply incorrect not just cautious

author by Phuq Heddpublication date Wed Apr 28, 2004 17:40author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Whole thing is disturbingly similar to the cliched reaction to rape victims that don't dress in burkas: if you don't behave and dress in a particular way then you're asking for it.

In this case Rory Hearne, Eoin Dubsky et al are busy setting the scene whether they realise it or not. I suspect that Rory does and Eoin doesn't.

For the last time: the protests organised by DGN are explicitly peaceful. So stop doing the cops work. This is like Shannon all over again: despite all the bullshit calls for unity the authoritarians are busy getting their digs in.

author by pcpublication date Wed Apr 28, 2004 17:57author address author phone Report this post to the editors

continuing to downplay numbers

but that isn't entirely a bad thing as it true to say alot of poeple going to wef in poland

re arrest today george says they were in possesion of stencils and spray paint

rory just laughed as such things weren't that threathening

the tension is being built up according to him to prevent bush protests... so eoin you have to talk to rory about that link?

george said why would they spend that much money if there was no risk

rory great replies saying if the spainish can lose there power on such issues then the gov will spend money to create this tension
he a bastard but sometime he's good

the secruity correspondance indo says they just not talking chances and but htere has been over egging changing his tune a bit
re arrest
maps crash helmets "said they were well organised" ooooh

hardcore is the prob? bomb scare on north circular road? typical !!!

again 106 spreading the news for police

author by Bathing Beautypublication date Wed Apr 28, 2004 18:19author address author phone Report this post to the editors

May Day is all about the 'message' - the Government wants to send a 'message' to the world, and the EU wants to send a 'message' to the world. The import being, basically, that it's all 'good news', that there's no 'problems', that everyone agrees, and that they are in 'control'. This is their notion of 'security'.

It's macho bullshit, as we all know, and if it isn't properly debated we may well end up in a Sarajevo MK2 situation with national self-determination as the war-cry of some assassin.

Like most people here I don't believe in EUtopia and I've had it with EUphoria. But, if I want to get this 'message' across I need the people who are energised by confrontation to take a hike.

Otherwise, confrontation will become the 'message', the state will exert 'control', and those of us who want greater democracy and accountability in Europe will be silenced.

If you were to tell the imperial establishment media that 100,000 people were going to protest peacably at point A while 400 were going to riot at point B - where do you think the cameras would be? How much airtime do you think points A and B would get, respectively?

The silencing of the contrary 'message' suits the state and suits the EU superstate. It means they only have to answer questions about 'security' and this feeds the fervour for 'security' spending and co-operation. This strengthens EUrocracy and hardens the shell of the EU monolith. Do we want this?

The challenge of protest is to find a way to undermine the dominant 'message', while not reinforcing it.

author by Eoin Dubskypublication date Wed Apr 28, 2004 18:52author address author phone Report this post to the editors

When I first read Rory's Open Letter I didn't think that he was directing it only to organisers in the Dublin Grassroots Network. Though you seem to have picked it up that way. Maybe that's what the mix up is about.

Maybe Phuq Hedd is right and I'm being too naive or something. Or maybe there are some DGN activists here who have developed such a siege mentality that they'll see any discussion about nonviolence and tactics as something suspicious. ;-)

My comment which prompted Joe to call me an idiot above was not an endorsement of Rory's Open Letter. After the first sentence (which caused such a stir) in fact I go on to disagree with his on the issue of stewards though, and the Mayday protests / Bush protests link.

Joe asks what's so courageous about speaking out for nonviolence, as if everyone is saying the same thing, and the only reason someone might reiterate it is to score points against the DGN. The fact is that I have absolutely no interest whatsoever to score points against DGN, the SWP or any other group preparing for Mayday protests. In my first response to Rory's letter above I refer to nonviolence and safety workshops which organisers could arrange as a possible alternative to having stewards.

Phuq Hedd refers in her/his comment above to Shannon, and I guess s/he means that time when the GNAW plans to take down the fense were scuppered by the SWP. I was banned from the county at the time, and was in France actually, but tried to get involved beforehand especially on the GNAW discussion list. I can't remember how many people turned up that day to "cross the line", but it was in the hundreds anyway. Had people prepared to work as affinity groups before, and had they broken up and spread themselves around the fense (which I think is about 5km long)... It would have stretched the security forces far more, and may have resulted in a few breakthroughs even. I was blasted on the GNAW list back then for my nonviolence hippy stuff, and if I could find out who "Joe" and "Phuq Hedd" really are I can check my email records to see if it was the same people shouting me down then.

author by Gpublication date Wed Apr 28, 2004 22:04author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Personally I'm not too crazy about the SWP but the letter seems perfectly sensible to me. Where in the letter does it say that the DGN should have stewards? It simply says that "Another Europe" will. It doesn't say everyone has to protest the same way AEIP does. It just says that all protest should be non-violent.

I know that there are a very small number of people who want to go in on Mayday cause they think there will be "a good riot."

I also know some decent people who have been taken in by the media hype about the violence.

Violence only alienates people from the protestors and distracts from the real issues.
Let's prove the scaremongers wrong.

author by no sidepublication date Wed Apr 28, 2004 22:08author address author phone Report this post to the editors

its right not to presume that its aimed at dgn only

he criticises paded bloc tactics

neither criticise nor condemn

"we will have stewards....,

We call on _all_ groups organising to do the same "

author by Phuq Heddpublication date Wed Apr 28, 2004 23:01author address author phone Report this post to the editors

G: If you read the comments above it's explained very clearly what the problem is: the SWP/AEIP statement implies that if other organisations don't use stewards then they're not eschewing violence.

Consider a hypothetical press-release put out by DGN:

"DGN calls for all groups to protest peacefully by wearing black hoodies and baseball caps. We are very concerned that other groups will fall into the trap of wearing red clothing which is well-known to be a provocative and violent colour. It is very important at this time to protest peacefully. Yours fraternally/sororially with nothing else at all intended except good will.,
Dodgy Git Network."

Eoin: if you can't see where this is all going and the part you're playing then you're not just naive, you are as "Joe" asserts "an idiot". You'll note that the non-stewarded Grassroots event at Shannon was completely non-violent despite your rantings about being peaceful being ignored. Guess what: people that don't agree with your tactics aren't non-peaceful. In fact the statements issued by Dublin Grassroots Network and interviews given on national media make the commitment to peaceful protest remarkably clear.

Clear enough even for the most malign or thick-witted to get the point I'd have thought. I see I was wrong.

author by John Kearnspublication date Thu Apr 29, 2004 11:04author address author phone Report this post to the editors

From what I can make out the Another Europe is Possible group is a loose alliance of people and groups who came together to organise for the Mayday summit demos in Dublin.
Its supporters accoring to its website are Sinn Féin, Mick O Rielly (ATGWU), Pat Cahill (ASTI), Barry Nevin (SIPTU Aviation Branch), Brendan Ogle (ATGWU), Irish Palestine Solidarity Campaign, NGO Peace Alliance, Patricia McKenna (MEP), Brendan Archibold (Mandate), Des Bonass (DCTU), Andy Storey (UCD Development Studies), Andy McGuiness (SIPTU Construction Branch), John Bisset (Community worker), Campaign against the Bin Tax, Workers Party, Irish Anti-War Movement, Socialist Workers Party, Residents against Racism, Socialist Party, Labour Party members, Globalise Resistance, Galway ‘Another Europe is Possible’, South East Social Forum.

So the question Rory is how many of these people did you show your inflammatory opinion piece to. Your role is convenor, not moral conscience of the AEIP. As a member of one of groups above I would like to disassociate myself from your comments.

It is ironic, when viewing the website, that they appear above a call to COUNTER THE MEDIA HYPE.
Shame that you felt the need to join rather than counter it.

author by Joepublication date Thu Apr 29, 2004 11:39author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The problem with this sort of stunt is that it tends to tar every group 'involved' with AEIP with the same brush. As it happends several of these groups have DGN people involved in them so we can probably safely assume they never saw this letter either.

author by blah blahpublication date Thu Apr 29, 2004 11:41author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Can you imagine if Rory Hearne told the Zapatistas that there was going to be stewards on their 1994 new years day rebellion? That they were to comply with whatever the authorities told them to do?

The State wants you to be "peaceful" because they are AFRAID of rebellion against them.

Rory Hearne's piece is inconsistent drivel. Maybe he would have preferred if the EZLN had placards and newspapers instead of their guns.

author by Joepublication date Thu Apr 29, 2004 12:14author address author phone Report this post to the editors

You can read the Jan 1st 1994 editoral at http://struggle.ws/mexico/ezln/ezln_editoral.html

For those who don't know what we are tlaking of follow the link below

Related Link: http://struggle.ws/mexico.html
author by listenerpublication date Thu Apr 29, 2004 12:42author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Rory just spoke on newstalk 106
In the course of his interview he managed confirm the media assertions that violent protestors were exclusively responsible for violence in Genoa, but not to worry, the movement has moved on in the last 2 years, everybody now agrees that large scale gatherings of people to listen to speeches and is now the acknowledged standard, the days of violent anarchist protestors are over.

But more significantly, Rory when asked 'Are all the protestors going to be on your march' Used that as an opportinity to pretend that the "carnival", pre agreed with the cops, was the only show in town. So now we know, All legitimate protestors are going to be marching with the SWP, everybody else are a minority of misguided trouble makers.

author by anonpublication date Thu Apr 29, 2004 16:00author address author phone Report this post to the editors

i find the open letter typical of the hypocrisy of the SWP mainly, Rory has been doing the PR rounds dismissing all claims that there will be violent protests, that those intending to cause major disturbances are coming to Dublin, and that these trouble-makers dont exist and are just fabricated by the media. why is there such a need then to plead for peaceful protest then? why have stewards if the protesters are all peaceful as Rory has been telling us all week? Rory has been denying any threat of violence in the press all week when he is actually fully aware that it is there, otherwise there would be no need for the above letter.

author by Eoin Dubskypublication date Thu Apr 29, 2004 18:24author address author phone Report this post to the editors

You continue to ignore 90% of what I've been saying here, and have responded to my last comment as if I was complaining about violence at Shannon Airport. I never said there was any violence. But there also weren't any security breeches onto the airfield. Hundreds of people "up for it", and not one security breech (that was reported at least).
My friendly suggestion to Rory was that instead of stewards, his group consider organising a few nonviolence and safety workshops to empower the demostrators themselves.

author by Brianpublication date Thu Apr 29, 2004 19:53author address author phone Report this post to the editors

You said:

"It requires more prep, but people like Rory have been working for months to prepare for Mayday 2004. I've made this point many times here and to the SWP/IAWM before."

After you said your pc thing about workshops. Now excuse me Eoin but have the grassroots been sitting on their arse for the last couple of months. Rory has no right to come along at this stage and make this sectarian point.

Anyway, lets look at the facts the folks in the DGN have spent months preparing this, the SWP, ahem, AFIP, ahem, sorry AEIP have spent a few weeks here and there and have just hijacked the bad publicity the DGN got to claim they are the good guys. Granted they eased off a bit for a while but face the facts this one bites the bullet.

Go twiddle your thumbs in the corner dubsky, you havent a clue what your talking about.

author by Molpublication date Fri Apr 30, 2004 04:01author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I had intended to write about how disappointing I have found it, just in the last day or so, to see the gloss of unity falling away from the protesters involved in Mayday demos.
I wanted to go back to say something about how shocked and dismayed I was, when I first came to indymedia's pages to see so much bitching and sectarianism.. I suppose I felt that the section of society that is actively aware of and engaged in fighting against some of the great injustices in our world is so small that it's sad to see so much energy spent at each other's throats. (It doesn't inspire hope...) It, as much as the talk of and threat of violence, dicourages people from getting involved in an active way with any side of the 'movement'. (Obviously, I'm speaking from my own point of view and I can't say that definitively but it does ' me)....
I don't know much about the SWP or DGN (Why the D btw? Why not just GN?) but I hope you'll forgive me if I give my 2p worth without being too well informed.
It's definately not cool to like the SWP! There's no way on this Great God's earth that I'm going to spend my limited time reading up aout the finer points of bleedin' Marxism/Leninism/Trotskyism/whateverthefuckism and as such I will never join the SWP - not when I'll always need someone else to tell me what the politics I've committed to are and what we're gonna do in the unlikely (sorry) event that the Revolution comes. I do know, however, that I am just as little informed about and devoted to the politics of any other political party... ummm ... system. Sorry I'm getting confused. I suppose there's a whole broad triumverate of Anarchism(Anarchy?), Socialism, Democracy (read Capitalism).... I'm a bit shortsighted, I don't know which one is likely ever to work. I only know that I don't like the way the one in place now is working. My instincts say: "life's to short to think about politics, butt the fuck out". As I suspect do the instincts of the Vast Majority of people around this island. I would also suspect that the vast majority of these, if spoken to on an individual basis, have some kind of a social conscience. Something that can recognise and abhor and reject government corruption, corporate greed, social inequality, warmongering, racism, etc etc or some of the above. But not so many people have as much dedication or time on their hands as some of the contributers to this website that they can search out the issues or find ways to fight these things.
Before I started looking into it all (just this year) I had No Idea as to the extent of the power the global corporations have and Enormous issues like the stinking mess and imbalance of power of the world bank and WTO (everything about money and economics seemed so difficult and incomprehensible..). etc etc etc it goes on and on. I had a vague feeling that the world was all wrong - but I didn't know where to start. This is probably where a lot of people on this island are at.
That, I suppose, is where your organisations come in - be they anarchist or socialist ones, ... then there's others eh? - greens, social democrats, sinn fein... what's common? Not the politics for sure - but the feeling of being outside the mainstream and fighting against what is corrupt within it. For the sake of the fight then, isn't it important to unite?
The SWP have some good ideas. The newspaper is, I think, a good idea - for all its yucky red tabloideyness, it provides a brief summary of a lot of important issues for busy people. They're also good at organisation and well - mainstream p.r... I don't believe they are evil or malicious but, in this Mayday thing, they have managed to come off as the Rational ones. They seem to have decided that the anarchist march is too much of a risk and disassociated themselves from it.
The grassroots march looks to be the one that will draw all the flack. Considering how much the lovely Aileen was caught off guard when she spoke on the Vincent Brown radio show about how the police have (Suprise!) at the last minute said they can't gather at Parkgate st. or march anywhere near Farmleigh. "How do I know what I'm going to do?" she asked. "Flummoxed", she called herself. (She seems to know as little about anarchism as I, so dunno really if her words are accurate portrayal of degree of grassroots flummoxity, or if she was just put on there on the steam of her wonderful PetKanny appearance. Unfortunately the "I am an Anarchist" thing backfired this time. Noone was shocked, they just questioned her philosophy.) You've got to have competent media spokespeople. Boyd Barrett is slick. The SWP are slick. They were not flummoxed. They had a contingency plan. They will have their carnival at Heuston. Who, do you think, did Joe Soap listener have more faith in?
It's all very well for grassroots to have good and peaceful intentions for a demo and writing some sweet airy fairy lets-look-after-each-other-now-folks guidelines for it. But there are some big problems. If some other plan doesn't happen quickly, the demo will be nothing but a stand off at Parkgate st. between riot police and demonstrators. Noone knows who is going to be attracted to the march. There may be just-for-the-fuck-of-it hooligans. There may be the dreaded "agent provocateus". There will be the padded Wombles (and the vague appeals to them to break away from the main rally if/when they want to act are a wee bit laughable). All this may stand for the AEIP march too - but they're ready. They have their own internal policing (effective or not - it's a gesture). They've been talking to the police and are ready with plan B. They have come off squeaky clean in the media. They have even benefitted by the seperation of the Grassroots march - drawing away media flak in the run up and police (and womble?)presence on the day. What's my point then? After all this blah blah-ing.
I want to demonstrate on May 1. As a citizen of this country, unimpressed with fortress europe and some of the lies we are being fed. I am just as outraged about Blair and Berlusconi-f-only-i-could-spell and the Polish one coming here as I will be when Bush gets here. But I don't want any trouble. I will be going on the AEIP march. I don't suspect there will be a massive turnout at either. I hope there will be Trouble at neither. But I've done my maths and I reckon it's more likely to be at the grassroots one. Sorry.
Ah yes - unity!
I forgot! I think it's a pity both marches aren't together. Strength in numbers? Diversity in mass movement? What's all this about anarchists not caring about numbers anyway? Don't they care about having the masses stand up and fight for what is right? Or about helping people who are lost in tv land to define what they feel is wrong in their hearts, to open their eyes to this crazy world?? Or is anarchism only for the well educated with time to figure it out for themselves? I suppose they are just distrustful of the number crunching, paper selling factions - that need the proliteariat for the revolution. ..
For myself, I think a mass movement is important. Things will only change when they know they can't keep getting away with it without anybody noticing... So it would be nice if everyone could work together and stop the backbiting in the medium term. As for final aims and the restructuring of society? I'll leave it to you guys. It'll probably be bad though. There'll be trouble no doubt...
wasn't Trotski killed by an ice-pick in the ceann or something similarly gruesome? In light of which, i really think the -holes in argument..holes in Trot head- comment was a little distasteful. very, really. human being, respect to memory etc.

author by Whitnailpublication date Fri Apr 30, 2004 10:32author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The SWP/AFIP's idea of a backup plan was to wing it on the publicity that the grassroots were achieving regarding their weekend activities. And of course if it looked as though everything was going a little pear shaped then they would just simply stab the DGN in the back. It has nothing to do being slick. The SWP have shown themselves to be typical media whores. Where was RBB, Rory Hearne and the rest of their ilk when all of this was being organised back at the end of last year start of this year. Nowhere thats where. All of a sudden with 2-3 days to go the events, the SWP, ahem, AFIP post this crap about stewards and RBB and Rory Hearne pop-up on as many broadcasters as possible and wing it on Grassroots publicity (good or bad).

The Grassroots stuff has been planned well in advance of Mayday, last year in fact. So why should the DGN put off their stuff and 'unite' with a march of paper sellers?

By the way the D in DGN stands for DUBLIN, not all members of the Grassroots Network were involved in organising stuff for mayday.

author by Sleepypublication date Fri Apr 30, 2004 10:33author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Sorry Mol you lost me after your second sentence.

author by Oispublication date Fri Apr 30, 2004 15:20author address author phone Report this post to the editors

On the Trotsky holes in the head joke, screw Trotsky. Screw Trotsky, Stalin, Mao, Lenin, Pol pot, Kim Sung Il and all the other red fascists. The world would be a better place if none of them had lived, and if all the people they killed weren't killed. I'm a socialist but I'm also a democrat and I don't like the dictatorship of the party. And I don't like libertarians, like myself, getting killed because we oppose 'The Party'.

The SWP however continue the legacy of Trotsky and Lenin, those red facists. They advocate a party dictatorship, they apologise for the murder of libertarians. And they operate in an extremely hierarchical and authoritarian fashion. They'll do anything to benefit the party, anything, including screwing over other activists. In fact that's what the do in every campaign, for example, Globalise Resistance, IAWM, Reclaim the Streets, the Bin Charges and now around Mayday. In fact they screw over activists in every campaign they can.

Fortunately however, a new movement has emerged around grassroots that involves a million and one group all of whom can work together respect one another’s differences and unite. DGN is a network not a party like the SWP. It is the left uniting. And it is showing that the left can unite, and work together in an open, democratic and fraternal manner. And I am sure that if the SWP ever decided that the movement was more important than the party then we'd be able to work with them in an open, democratic and fraternal manner. Unfortunately, I am 99.9999999999999% sure that they never will put the movement before the party.

As for respecting Trotsky - I'm sorry but that really tickled me - how can you say that we should respect the memory of a dead aspiring dictator, when you have shown nothing but shallow contempt for Aileen; a woman who has been a committed libertarian socialist activist for over 10 years. And do you really think that we could have known that our march would be the first march to be banned in the history of the state?

As for stewards, you accept that the SWP’s stewards can't achieve anything, you say "it's a gesture" and yet you still demand that DGN has stewards. Why? DGN is convinced that the threat of violence is not coming from the DGN demonstrations but from the police. DGN is more interested in protecting the protestors than in policing them. We want a peaceful protest because we know that if we don't have one, the pigs would beat up peaceful protestors. So we are going to tell protestors - 'If you want to cause trouble go elsewhere' - and we'll concentrate on keeping the protestors safe, we're not interested in being another police line. As for you dismissing the guidelines as useless, I assure you they are not. Libertarians (unlike authoritarians) respect diversity and will not fuck up a libertarian demo just to be bad. Guidelines I believe can do more than stewards ever could on the DGN demos.

Oh and in case you think I'm just another sectarian. I have been involved in radical politics for nearly three years. I used to work happily with the SWP, but they treated me like shit, so I stopped, but I continued to say that libertarians should work closely with the SWP. But know after 3 years of dis-respect I figure 'To hell with that, if they won't work with us democratically, then we shouldn't work with them'.

But if you want to march under a Bolshevik, banner that's your prerogative.

author by max weberpublication date Fri Apr 30, 2004 17:21author address author phone Report this post to the editors

ONE OF the most impressive features about the upsurge of anti-capitalist protests, has been the level of self activity.

The round the clock effort, the extraordinary creativity, the mass teach-ins, the banner making, the direct action and the outwitting of the authorities are all hallmarks of a vibrant movement.

The way in which workers mounted flying pickets during mass strikes in the 1970s to shut down workplaces has similarities with those who shut down Seattle.

The anti-capitalist movement knocks on the head the notion that people are just sheep, empty of their own ideas, who follow leaders whatever they say. The media caricature of a secretive committee handing down orders from on high could not be further from the truth. At Seattle and Genoa it was the strength of ideas from below that drove the protests.

Before and during those protests there was wide-ranging debate and discussion. This diversity of people from different viewpoints uniting in activity against a common enemy was one of the movements' strong points.

But that does not mean that everyone can always afford to "agree to differ". The resolution of these debates matters because they lead to practical conclusions. That leads to the need for political organisation.

Quite rightly, people are opposed to what passes for organisation amongst mainstream politics — a few people at the top transmitting ideas down to a passive base. But precisely because the capitalist system is highly organised, our side needs to be as well. Those at the centre of the anti-capitalist protests understood this need for a centralising body in some shape or form.

For example, it took a lot of organising for the Washington A16 protest. Small groups of anti-capitalists in university campuses and localities formed themselves together, produced propaganda and booked transport.

Each group then federated itself to the main organising body. When each group got to Washington they headed for a main reception centre, where they were allocated jobs and attended workshops in areas such as first aid or direct action.

The Washington police certainly knew the anti-capitalists were tightly organised, which is why they shut the reception centre down twice in the run-up to the protest. At Seattle some people wanted trade unionists to join with protests by students, environmentalists and others. Others (particularly the trade union leaders) did not.

If there had not been organisation by groups of militants the union leaders would have got their way and kept everyone apart. Instead there was an electrifying joining together of the different groups. But in Washington the union leaders won an argument amongst their members that this time they should hold a separate rally over a week before the main mobilisation.

This weakened the ability of the demonstrators to physically shut down the IMF. Central political questions that arise lead to separate responses.

The question of whether you think you can reform the IMF, or whether it needs to be dismantled, leads to different practical conclusions — do you try and get this or that banker and politician "on your side" or do you mobilise outright against them?

Key arguments such as this are already going on as the dust clears and people look forward. That is why those who want to push the movement in a socialist direction need to be organised.


Of course the starting point has to be to get involved so as to be able to participate in the discussions. It would be madness to demand that everyone had to agree 100 percent with your political programme before you worked with them.

But it would also be fatal to sit back and merely celebrate a "diversity of views", whatever they are. This is not just confined to the anti-capitalist arena.

For example, when it comes to workers' strikes there are always arguments to take up about how to win. Sections of strikers may be sidetracked by racist ideas — "Those blacks are the ones to blame. They're the ones working for lower pay to undermine us"-and so on.

It would be criminal for people to stand back, to merely cheerlead the strikers and ignore the racism. People would have to meet, decide how they were going to argue against the racism, agree a plan of action, intervene, and hopefully sway the majority of workers. Socialists do not talk about organisation for the sake of it.

We want people who are against the system to have the maximum impact. That means arguing in the course of working together.

author by Andre Ninpublication date Fri Apr 30, 2004 18:16author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Of course this isn't really an open letter to the Movement. Its quite obvious that it is a piece of propaganda aimed at three targets:

1. The 'mainstream' media, to convince them that the SWP dominated AEIP is a 'respectable' organisation and to gain more media credibility and therefore more access for SWP spokespersons.

2. The 'liberal left' i.e. in Labour and the Greens. The SWP through their fronts AEIP and IAWM aim a lot of their propaganda at these, primarily middle class, forces for two reasons: To recruit young people from them and to use them as 'respectable' cover for their own activities.

3. Their third target is broadly what one might call the 'libetarian left' ie the anarchists, radical ecologists, libertarian socialists etc. mainly grouped around Grassroots Network and the emergent Anti-War Ireland. The prime aim of the SWP is to isolate this sectore, to reinforce the portrayal of them in the media as dangerous looneys. The primary reason for this is that they know they are extremely vurnerable on the questions of democracy and accountability even in their favoured hunting ground of the middle classes.

Personally I find regard this letter as a vile piece of felon setting. To be fair, I doubt very much that Rory wrote it at all, since he strikes me as a decent if extremely naive bloke. It has the manipulative finger prints of Kieran Allen all over it.

See you all at the GPO!

author by Bakunnin - Nonepublication date Sat May 01, 2004 02:20author address Corkauthor phone Report this post to the editors

who killed cock robin? The SWP.
Who knocked down the walls of Jerico? SWP
Who killed Kennedy? The SWP
Who ran over my dog? The SWP
Who lost the bin tax fight in Fingal? The SWP
Who invaded Iraq? The SWP
Who runs international Capitalism? The SWP.
Who banned DGN march? The SWP
Who defeated the Miners in 84? The SWP.
Who raised global tempretures? ehhh, yes I think you will find its the SWP again.

author by Wpublication date Thu Oct 13, 2005 00:52author address author phone Report this post to the editors

what a time..

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