In this episode, we talk to Aileen O’Carroll of the Workers Solidarity Movement (WSM). Aileen first became politically active via Student Union and pro-choice politics, and joined the anarchist WSM in the early 1990s and remains a member, having been involved in several prominent campaigns. She is a trade union activist, and chaired the Maynooth branch of IFUT for three years and remains on the branch committee.
As a sociologist she has written a history of Dublin dockers, about working time in the software sector and she is a board member of the Four Day Week Campaign. She currently works for the Digital Repository of Ireland and is a project lead on a Wellcome Trust funded project which is archiving material from the Repeal campaign.
We discuss Aileen’s politicisation and path to anarchism and the Workers Solidarity Movement; her involvement in campaigns including water charges, abortion and the Repeal referendum, Shell to Sea, Reclaim the Streets protests and her role as the Dublin Grassroots Network media spokesperson for the 2004 May Day protests, which resulted in the first use of water cannon in the south of Ireland. We also discuss the approach of the WSM to organising, how it has developed, how it works with the broader left in campaigns and Aileen’s own view of the role of activism.
The Irish Left Archive Podcast looks at Left politics in Ireland, talking to activists, writers, historians, politicians and others involved in Left organisations and movements about their experiences of participating in Left parties and campaigns. The podcast is hosted by Ciarán Swan and Aonghus Storey.
View this episode on our website: #31: Aileen O'Carroll: Workers Solidarity Movement.