On the trade unions and “boring from within”

I’ve written a number of pieces now on anarchist activity within the trade union movement. In particular, I’d point to Trade unions, worker militancy, and communism from below, What is anarcho-syndicalism: revolutionary unionism, Anarcho-syndicalism and the limits of trade unionism, and my most recent post on Building the rank-and-file. However, these have all focused primarily on the difference between … Continue reading

The revolutionary general strike in an era of casualisation

In the present movement against government cuts, a lot of slogans (and from them leftist strategies) are invoking the idea of a general strike. As a tactic, there are a number of reasons this would not work. Chief amongst them being that a set-piece “one-day” strike is the limit of the left’s ambitions in this … Continue reading

Standing on the picket line

During the election campaign that saw Labour sweep to power in 1997, Tony Blair boasted that his government “would leave British law the most restrictive on trade unions in the Western world.” And so it did, not only maintaining the anti-strike laws implemented by Margaret Thatcher and Norman Tebbit but adding to them. Aside from … Continue reading

What is anarcho-syndicalism: forging community consciousness

The fifth part of a series exploring anarcho-syndicalism, its aims and principles, and the practicalities of enacting them in the real world. One of the first things that I pointed out in this series was that anarcho-syndicalism is more than just syndicalism. That is, it is not just concerned with the workplace and with class … Continue reading

What is anarcho-syndicalism: Not just syndicalism

The second part of a series exploring anarcho-syndicalism, its aims and principles, and the practicalities of enacting them in the real world. In The Union Makes Us Strong? the Anarchist Communist Federation (ACF, now Anarchist Federation) offered “a critical analysis” of “syndicalism, including its anarcho variety.” In it, they painted anarcho-syndicalists as “dismissive of the … Continue reading

Exploring anarcha-feminism: consciousness-raising in the anarchist movement

The sixth and final part in a series looking at anarchism as it relates to feminism, gender equality, and patriarchy. I began this series by referring to a video and statement by the anarcha-feminist group No Pretence, who were “pissed off by the patriarchy which is (still) evident within the anarchist movement.” When I came … Continue reading

What is anarcho-syndicalism?

It has been my intention, for some time, to write a series of articles exploring various issues and ideas within anarcho-syndicalism. This is not a purely academic exercise. I am a member of the Solidarity Federation (SolFed) – the British section of the International Workers’ Association (IWA) – and its Liverpool local. Now, anarcho-syndicalism is … Continue reading