When the workers rise, part 2: Workers' Liberty 3/19

France 1968: When ten million workers took capitalism by the throat

Published on: Fri, 30/04/2010 - 15:36
Author

Sean Matgamna

[Published in 1968]

“I hate the revolution like sin” said the hangman of Germany’s 1918 revolution, the Social Democrat Ebert. Less direct, but equally clear after the events in France, is the recent statement of the parliamentary leader of the French Communist Party, Robert Balanger: “When we talk about the revolution we now think in terms of a political struggle in which our party agrees to fight the bourgeoisie with their own weapons.”

The PCF leadership does not, of course, openly hate the revolution. Its feelings are repressed, producing a sort of “hysterical blindness”. It simply refuses

The miners' strike, 1984-5: 12 months that shook Britain (part one)

Published on: Fri, 30/04/2010 - 15:20
Author

Sean Matgamna and Martin Thomas

In the small hours of Monday March 12 1984, hundreds of Yorkshire miners moved across the border from Yorkshire into Nottinghamshire. Their destination was Harworth pit, and by the evening shift they had picketed it out.

Over the next few days, hundreds of Yorkshire pickets came down over the border again and spread out across the Notts coalfield. Their mission was to persuade Nottinghamshire’s miners to join them in a strike to stop the pit closures announced by the National Coal Board chief, Ian MacGregor. Their tactic was to picket Notts to a standstill.


Part two here.
In the great miners’

The miners' strike, 1984-5: 12 months that shook Britain (part two)

Published on: Thu, 29/04/2010 - 15:25
Author

Sean Matgamna and Martin Thomas

The balance begins to shift

The lack of such a rank and file movement was the basic reason for the failure to stop steel. By late June all the major steelworks were fully supplied, and set to stay that way.


Click here for part one.
The docks strike, the solidarity which stopped almost all coal trains, and the six well-supported regional days of action (well-supported considering the lack of official campaigning) offset the failure in steel.

On 16 July the well-informed Financial Times wrote: “There is now a substantial lobby in the Coal Board — though not in the government — for a settlement

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