Thursday, 23 September 2010

Organise ourselves...

This is a quick cut and paste job, oh and if life was only that easy. But a normal service will resume shortly. However it is my intention really to draw readers’ attention to a new addition to our Blog List, which as always can be found on the right hand side of this blog.  Liverpool Solidarity Federation is an Anarchist (great) blog run from Liverpool; anyone have a problem with that, we don’t!” My own experience, straggles and stretches way back to the poll tax days of the 90s, I’ve always found them the  Anarchists to be sincere and committed comrades, who are always prepared to make a massive contribution to the struggle of workers, in London they organise and help many with support from housing to welfare rights and much more besides. And with the impending cuts about to fall on all our heads, we have no choice but to now organise the fight back of our lives in the time that lies before us. That fight can not just be fought by holding rallies, lobbies of begging for political or economic favours from the political master class. Over the many years that I personally have been involved in political agitation, attending many a mach for this or that, wearing-out many a good pair of good boots in that process; I can honestly say that I’ve never achieved anything, that’s the truth. In short this time, we will have to do things differently and that may mean direct action and civil disobedience, that’s the refusal to obey a law because we believe the law, is immoral (as in protest against discrimination). But more about that in a future post to come; in the meantime here is a post and report that appeared on Liverpool Solidarity Federation blog last weekend in regard to the march and lobby of the Lib Dems conference which as comrades will know was held in that great city which is Liverpool. The Heading underneath is a link to their site.

The Radical Workers’ Bloc makes its mark

Today, over 4,000 people braved wind and rain to march and protest against the Lib Dems and the cuts agenda. It was a demonstration of the level of anger people feel – but also the willingness of their “leaders” to merely act as a safety valve, defusing that anger before it reaches the ruling class.

People assembled by the Anglican cathedral to march down to the docks where the protest was held. There were a number of trade union banners, as well as the banners of the Solidarity Federation and Anarchist Federation, whose membership made up the Radical Workers’ Bloc. Despite the rain, the huge turnout and musical accompaniments made it a lively atmosphere.

But whilst the spirit of the rank-and-file made the march vibrant, this was in spite the planning done by trade union leaders, not because of it.

The TUC simply accepted the police moving them away from the Echo Arena, though they later moaned about it to the Liverpool Echo. With the march. Rather than go through the main part of City Centre to the docks, the route may as well have been calculated to garner the smallest possible audience.

But we’ve seen this show before. Union leaders putting on the appearance of being oppositional to authority whilst following orders and acting as a conduit to get the working class to do the same.

It became farcical when the layout of the roads meant the march had to go past the point of protest and turn back upon itself to be able to feed into the rally. There was some laughter and cheering as the Radical Workers’ Bloc simply bypassed this by crossing the road and ending up at the front of the demonstration, beyond even the police.

However, there were cries of “no anarchists” [edit: we originally stated that these came from the Liverpool Socialist Singers, but they have stated that this was a misunderstanding] and the police rushed forward to overtake us. This protest against the government was going to do exactly as it was told by the state, every step of the way.

At the rally, where 4,000 trade unionists were all-but funnelled into a protest pen, various cosseted union big-wigs took to the stage to offer a bark which is never matched with bite.

Merseyside’s anarchists took this opportunity to hand out a pamphlet titled No War but Class War and make the argument for a self-organised workers’ movement that could not be demobilised from above. The response was largely receptive, and we were able to distribute several hundred leaflets.

We then took the lead from many others who left the bureaucrats to their speeches and went to warm up in the pub. One thing that we have seen, time and again, is that ordinary trade unionists share our assessment of their leaders. But anarchists often consigned themselves to shouting from the sidelines and alienating those who would perhaps be most sympathetic. We wanted to break that mould.

All-in-all, bar a brief and largely pointless appearance from English Defence League supporters later on, the day was a good one. But it will only be a success if people are motivated to organise themselves against capitalism, and rid themselves of the chains of union bureaucracy. 

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