The draft

Einde O'Callaghan einde.ocallaghan at planet-interkom.de
Tue Jan 7 06:40:23 MST 2003


Tom O'Lincoln wrote:
> 
> David:
> 
> >>Was this movement [against conscription in Australia] consciously organized
> as a tactic against WWI?
> 
> To a considerable degree yes. There were other interests involved, including
> employers worried about losing their labour force. But the key factors included
> a) Irish-Australian hostility to British imperialism; b) war weariness  c)left
> wing agitation, including the IWW which was strong here, but also the left of
> the Labor Party.
> 
A minor aside here. The campaign against the introduction of
conscription in Ireland in 1917-18 played a major role in the rise of
Sinn Féin and laid the popular basis for the War of Independence
(1919-21).

There was mass opposition in which the unions played a major role,
including a general strike. Conscription was never introduced, making
Ireland one of the few capitalist countries which has never had
conscription. Although "economic conscription" did mean that large
numbers of Irishmen fought in both the First and Second World Wars,
mainly in the British Army, but also in the US Army.

Einde O'Callaghan



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