Solidarity 195, 2 March 2011

Working-class struggle and anarchism

Published on: Thu, 03/03/2011 - 08:31

Anarchism opposes the capitalist state. Some anarchists — primarily the anarcho-syndicalists, who on this issue have the same idea as Marxists do — identify with the working class as the force to defeat the capitalist state and create a new society; but most do not.


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Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, the “father of anarchism”, was opposed to unions, strikes, and class struggle. “We...wage war”, he wrote, “not upon the rich but upon principles... We are

What to do for 26 March

Published on: Wed, 02/03/2011 - 16:04

The organisers of the TUC anti-cuts demonstration on 26 March have felt obliged to put out a statement that no, they are not actually banning placards from the march.

They couldn’t, of course. But unions are being asked to produce flags rather than placards. The stated reason is that people can take flags away with them, whereas placards generate a big clear-up problem at the end of the march.

But no placards also means no slogans and demands, and that’s a real issue. The demonstration is entitled “March For The Alternative”, but the TUC leaders say as little as possible about what “The

Lambeth occupies

Published on: Wed, 02/03/2011 - 16:01

Around 300 people demonstrated outside and then occupied Lambeth Council chamber on Wednesday 23 February. They then held an anti-cuts meeting whilst the councillors scrambled around for a room to vote through £37 million in cuts.

When security and police refused to allow members of the public into the galleries and overflow rooms, protesters challenged them and then rushed into the Town Hall.

http://lambethsaveourservices.org

Hackney six put to the test

Published on: Wed, 02/03/2011 - 15:55

Six Labour councillors in Hackney, east London, have declared: “We would like to see local Councils across London leading the charge. They should refuse to adopt cuts budgets as a result of government enforced policies and produce Needs Budgets to show what should be funded”.

One of them, Ian Rathbone, announced at a Hackney anti-cuts demonstration on 23 February that he would vote against all cuts and called for the lobby of the council budget-setting meeting to be so big that councillors would not be able to get into the council chamber to vote for cuts.

With the other five, it is still not

BA ballot back on

Published on: Wed, 02/03/2011 - 15:49

After calling off its initial ballot over fears of a legal challenge from bosses, Unite has begun the process of re-balloting British Airways cabin crew workers for further strike action.

This strike is not over the job cuts and casualisation that sparked the initial action, but against victimisations and sackings that occurred during the course of the strikes. However, a strong strike could force concessions from BA boss Willie Walsh on those issues and possibly inspire workers with the confidence for a renewed fight on the underlying issues.

An activist in BASSA, the section of Unite which

Scottish unions rally

Published on: Wed, 02/03/2011 - 15:47

Around 300 people attended the 26 February Scottish TUC anti-cuts rally in Glasgow’s Pavilion Theatre. It would be unfair to be overly critical of the event.

If anyone from another planet had been in the audience, for example, they would doubtless have found the glittering array of eight platform speakers all saying the same thing in not particularly different words an illuminating event.

Any alien visitor would also have learnt that education cuts are bad, as too are local authority cuts, health service cuts, civil service cuts, Ministry of Defence cuts and the closure of RAF bases in

March against NHS cuts!

Published on: Wed, 02/03/2011 - 15:41

Activists will march against cuts to healthcare on Wednesday 9 March as the government presses ahead with the most radical restructuring and cuts package in NHS history.

500 jobs have already gone at local NHS Primary Care Trusts and unions estimate that 120,000 jobs could be under threat nationally. Across London, community health services such as district nursing face cuts of up to 50%.

Kingston Hospital in southwest London plans to axe nearly 500 workers, almost 20% of its total workforce. St. George’s Hospital in south London will cut 500 staff including nurses and senior doctors. It is

Industrial news in brief

Published on: Wed, 02/03/2011 - 15:38

Train drivers on Arriva Trains Wales have taken strike action in a dispute over a number of issues, including pay.

Arriva drivers are amongst the lowest paid in the country, and ASLEF – one of the unions which organises the drivers – says they are paid substantially less than their English counterparts. The strike had a significant impact on services with only four scab drivers turning up for work.

The action comes hot on the heels of a strike by cleaners employed by Mitie at First Great Western’s Cardiff and Swansea depots. Speaking before the action, RMT general secretary Bob Crow said “As

Council chamber direct action

Published on: Wed, 02/03/2011 - 15:34

Following previous actions in Islington, Lambeth and Lewisham, London activists have taken more direct action against council meetings as councillors of all main parties push on with passing cuts budgets.

In Haringey, activists stormed a council meeting on Thursday 24 February, forcing council business to be suspended and councillors to leave the chamber. The council eventually manage to conclude its business, passing a budget including £34 million of cuts. Labour councillor Sheila Peacock claimed it “broke [her] heart” to pass the cuts, but clearly the situation was not heartbreaking enough

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