Anti-electoral campaign launched by anarcho-syndicalists in North Ireland




The Syndicalist Solidarity Network, Irelands recently formed Anarcho-Syndicalist organisation, is calling on all working class people to boycott the June 7th General and Local Elections. Thousands of stickers and posters are appearing all around the north urging people to spoil their ballots.

The State Cannot Represent Us

The state is a top down institution which has always rested on domination and exploitation, it is an inherently repressive institution and as such is beyond reform. No matter who is elected to local or national government the permanent structures of the state, the courts and prisons, army and police, secret services, the upper echelons of the Home and Foreign Offices, the high ranking Mandarin's in the civil service, and other state institutions will ensure that the interests of the rich and powerful are protected at our expense. It is the role of the state to protect property and the economic status quo. And we must not forget that this is a status quo which sees the vast majority of people, the working class, produce the wealth of the world for the immense, and to us unimaginable benefit of a tiny controlling elite.

Against Global Capitalism

Capitalist interests, with the pursuance of a 'neo-liberal' economic agenda world wide, have unleashed a ruthless and unrelenting class war against working people across the globe. Rolling back the benefits achieved through years of struggle in the west and imposing crushing conditions to IMF and World Bank loans in the east and south. Whole multinational sweatshop economies, reducing workers to conditions of indentured slavery, have grown up while local industries have been decimated. These powerful capitalist interests constitute an undemocratic, unaccountable, de facto world government. Politicians are mere puppets to these interests only direct action can take them on. Nothing will change unless you act for yourself, take back the power and fight the system directly. Only direct action breaks down apathy and gets results and it is the first step towards real freedom, towards a free and just society.

It Is Time To Fight Back

Only by organising, fighting back and practising solidarity where we live and work can we really change things. That is where our power lies, that is where we can create a real alternative. By creating an economic and political union in the workplace and community we can impose by direct action that which the politicians can never give us from parliament. And only such a movement can stop the attacks upon us by whoever gets into office. Remember all the major political parties support Tory initiatives such as Public Private Partnership and Private Finance Initiative. These policies are open invitations to big business to come in and try and squeeze profits out of our already beleaguered and underfunded public services. A look at the recent Health and Safety record since the creation of Railtrack provides us with a deadly example of the benefits of our 'profit before people' society. Local Ministers since the establishment of the Assembly have quite happily carried out the cuts imposed by the New Labours government. Direct action is any form of struggle under the control of those involved, without reliance on intermediaries or middlemen. It includes every method of immediate warfare by the working class against their economic and political oppressors, such as, occupations, rent strikes, sabotage, work to rule, sit in strikes, the boycott, blocking roads and ultimately the social general strike.

Politics Is Too Important

Political and social issues are far too important to be left to the politicians and 'experts'. We need discussion and change to begin on the streets and in the workplaces. Ultimately we seek to replace the oppressive and exploitative state and capitalist system with a society where people are involved in and take responsibility for reaching their own decisions on the way we run society.

For Workers Control

This demands workers control of industry and of our communities. Jettisoning once and for all the parasites, our would be leaders at Stormont, whose first action we remember was to give themselves more gravy on the gravy train with a 30% pay rise, or Westminster, along with the yet bigger capitalist parasites who want to continue to rake in the wealth we create.

Joseph O'Dowd, a member of the Syndicalist Solidarity Network's Belfast Local, stated; "Instead of taking part in these sectarian headcount's the Syndicalist Solidarity Network urges working class people to take direct action, On polling day we are asking working people to demonstrate their opposition to the current party political system and the system of 'representative democracy' by going out and spoiling their ballots. What is often referred to, by standing and would be politicians, as 'voter apathy' is a reflection that many working class people already know the system has nothing to offer them. We are asking people to do something a little more positive during this election, that is to go to the Polling Station and to spoil their ballots. Every spoilt ballot is counted and gives a clear message of opposition to our would be leaders. Spoiling your ballot also ensures that your vote cannot be stolen by electoral fraudsters. Simply not voting is not enough. Voting creates apathy, it is the act of getting someone else to take responsibility. People need to take responsibility for themselves. To secure a decent future for our selves our families our fellow workers and the world we need to take matters into our own hands."


To the Syndicalist Solidarity Network