On the trade unions and “boring from within”

The frequency of wildcat strikes by postal workers is one example of struggles going beyond the official leadership, but rank-and-file control cannot be imposed from above

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

Defeating the cuts – an anarcho-syndicalist strategy

SF1

The following is a draft text which I hope to incorporate into a pamphlet in the near future. The intention is to draw together the different strands of discussion and theory regarding the fight against the cuts and to provide a broader argument for an anarcho-syndicalist strategy in this struggle. As with every blog I … Continue reading

Anarcho-syndicalism and the limits of trade unionism

Revolutionary unions, such as the German FAU, cannot be created from the reformation of traditional trade unions

One statement that I quite often make is that I’m not a trade unionist. This can confuse those who know me, because I am a member and active rep within the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS). However, though I believe in worker organisation as a part of class struggle and the challenge to capitalism, … Continue reading

Where does peaceful protest get us?

Solidarity forever: members of the Polish ZSP picket the German embassy in support of the banned FAU

On 26th March, the Trades Union Congress are calling a march in London against the government’s austerity measures. This has reignited one of the longest-running debates in activist politics: that of peaceful protest versus direct action. In particular, the line is drawn between those worried that a violent minority will hijack the event and distract … Continue reading

Charity, mutual aid, and class struggle

The kind of mutual aid that sees community resistance to capitalism, such as rent strikes, is far more revolutionary than a workers' cooperative within a market economy

Charity, defined biblically, is an unlimited loving kindness towards others. It’s a virtue, and one that is recognised far beyond the Christian faith. After all, who could argue that giving to those less fortunate is wrong? Anarchist communism would seem to be precisely the philosophy that encourages charity. The basic mantra of “from each according … Continue reading

On participation in mainstream trade unions

Anarchists, particularly anarcho-syndicalists, are often highly critical of both the form and function of mainstream trade unions. Perhaps the most incisive critique comes from a postal worker, reflecting on the sell-out by the Communication Worker’s Union (CWU) for The Other Campaign; Because the leaders of the CWU are so remote from the daily lives of … Continue reading