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Liverpool

There is currently a local in formation in Liverpool - see http://liverpoolsf.org/

Coordinated strike action should be built from below

It is now a near certainty that we will see coordinated public sector strike action within the next couple of months. Solidarity Federation - which has members in the public sector unions which will be striking - stands in support of all workers acting to defend their jobs and the services those jobs provide to working class people.

UCU have already balloted. PCS is putting an emergency motion to its conference in May. The NUT sought permission to ballot at its recent conference. Even the moderate ATL already has a mandate to ask members for strike action. The only question now is how events unfold once the ball gets rolling.

Letter to the Echo: Reject all politicians!

Last week, the following letter from Liverpool Solidarity Federation was published in the Liverpool Echo. We wrote the letter to try and counter the idea that the anti-working-class agenda of the ruling elite can be defeated through the ballot box simply by voting against the Tories and their Lib Dem coalition allies. As anarcho-syndicalists we reject party politics and all collaboration with legislative bodies. Exploitation, wage slavery and social injustice will never be voted out of existence. They can only be defeated, once and for all, through militant solidarity, direct action and working-class self-organisation.

National day of action against benefit cuts in Liverpool

Today, as part of a national day of protest against benefit cuts, Liverpool Solidarity Federation picketed the offices of ATOS origin in the city centre. We were supported in our action by members of UK Uncut Liverpool.

We were there to raise awareness of the role being played by ATOS in the government's war against disabled people.

The company is being paid £300 million by the government to carry out ‘work capability assessments’. The assessments are supposedly aimed at finding out if people receiving sickness benefits are fit to work. The real purpose is to strip benefits from as many people as possible and save the government money.

Occupying the BBC

Today, members of Liverpool Solidarity Federation joined members of Liverpool Uncut who had organised an occupation of BBC Radio Merseyside.

The occupation took place at 2.30pm, when over a dozen people entered the building and announced that they were staging a sit-in. The protesters announced that they were protesting against "the appalling coverage" of UK Uncut actions in London on March 26th and would show "how civilised the UK Uncut occupations are by having a lovely tea party."

Whilst the occupiers sat down to eat cakes and drink tea and coffee, a contingent of 8 police officers arrived. They could do little more than stand around, awkwardly. When asking who was in charge, replies of "we all are" and "we operate on consensus" were met with blank looks.

Class war on the streets of London

On March 26th, London saw people assemble to protest and take direct action against the government. Most of the people there were marching quite simply because their jobs, their services, and their livelihoods are under attack. This included those of us in anarchist blocs, though we also argued for a much broader perspective and recognition that capitalism itself was the issue, not just the current "ConDem cuts."

Arriving in London, members of the Liverpool Solidarity Federation headed to Kennington Park. We met up with other SolFed members, as well as members of the Anarchist Federation and other class struggle anarchists to form the Radical Workers Bloc on the South London feeder march.

On the university picket lines

Today, Liverpool Solidarity Federation visited the UCU picket lines in Liverpool City Centre to show our support for those coming out on strike.

Whereas Tuesday's strike had been over attacks on pensions, today's was in protest at the threats to members' jobs. An 80% cut in teaching budgets from the government means that 40,000 jobs are at risk. This represents not only an attack on jobs but also on the education sector as a whole, as pickets were keen to stress when they handed leaflets to students urging them not to attend lectures.

One picket on Brownlow Hill told us that the area was a lot quieter than it would normally be first thing in the morning. There had been good support from UCU members, however by the same token the density of non-union members amongst the staff meant that there were still people going in to teach.

Solidarity with striking lecturers and teachers!

On Tuesday March 22nd and Thursday March 24th, the University & Colleges Union (UCU) are going out on strike over pay, job security and pensions.

There will be strikes and picket lines at Knowsley Community College, St Helen’s College, Hugh Baird College (Bootle), Southport College, Wirral Met, Liverpool Community College, Edgehill University, John Moores University, Hope University, and the University of Liverpool.

Liverpool Solidarity Federation expresses its solidarity with the strike and urges students to support it by joining and refusing to cross picket lines.

International Women's Day centenary march report

Liverpool Solidarity Federation members attended yesterday's International Women's Day centenary march organised by Merseyside Women's Movement.

A lively crowd of several hundred people met on St George's Plateau to listen to a range of female speakers share their thoughts on the struggles women continue to face on a daily basis.

Working-class history: Anarcho-syndicalism on Merseyside

We are very grateful to a comrade from Manchester Solidarity Federation for lending us a book entitled 'Building the Union: Studies on the growth of the workers' movement: Merseyside, 1756-1967'. Below we publish several extracts from the book specifically about anarcho-syndicalism locally in the early part of the 20th century. The essay is by Bob Holton.

Protests and disruption at Liverpool Town Hall

Members of Liverpool Solidarity Federation were amongst the crowd of 300 people who gathered outside Liverpool Town Hall to protest as the council set its austerity budget. With £91m of cuts on the table, local people and community campaigns - including the Park View Project to rehabilitate alcoholics and the Whitechapel Centre for the homeless as well as more than a few nurseries and SureStart centres - joined activists and campaigners to make the council hear their message.

At first, people huddled on the pavement on both sides of the road. Spirits were high and there was a lot of shouting and chanting, but it wasn't until one woman walked into the road with a banner and everybody else joined in that things really kicked off. This buoyed everybody's spirits even further and there was a mood of defiance in the air.

Solidarity with the fight for jobs in Moreton

Today, members of the Liverpool Solidarity Federation travelled to Moreton, to show solidarity with workers at the Burton's biscuits factory fighting to save their jobs.

A march and rally, organised by the Unite union, saw several hundred people assemble at Moreton Shore car park. The march took in much of the surrounding area, with lots of support and banter from local people, an march past the factory before returning to the starting point for a rally. SolFed members carried our banner on the march in a visible show of solidarity, before handing out copies of our freesheet, Catalyst.

Councillor Joe Anderson is no ally of the working class

Joe Anderson, the leader of Liverpool City Council, is trying to paint himself as some kind of anti-cuts rebel. On 29th January he joined an anti-cuts march in Liverpool, not long after he wrote to David Cameron to withdraw Liverpool from the Big Society, and now he is asking people to march against the cuts this Sunday. This is nothing more than cheap political opportunism, and it should be rejected.

He tells us that the council is "bracing itself" for the cuts. He "warns" us that compulsory redundancies in the council will come. He is "incensed" by Liberal Democrats accusing him of having a "politically motivated" approach to job cuts.

Labour are the enemy too!

Lately we’ve witnessed some crass but unsurprising opportunism from the Labour Party. Recent student and trade union demonstrations in Liverpool and elsewhere have been addressed by Labour politicians and officials cynically attempting to convert widespread public anger and uncertainty into Labour votes.

The Big Flame (1969): dockers, class war and workers' self-management

Written by Jim Allen and directed by Ken Loach, The Big Flame was broadcast as the BBC's Wednesday Play in 1969. It documents a fictional unofficial strike on Liverpool's docks in which the workers, frustrated by the uselessness of their union officials, decide to take matters into their own hands (as we in SolFed advocate).

Solidarity Federation at Witney Demo

On Sunday 9th Solidarity Federation members joined the march in Witney, Oxfordshire, constituency of Prime Minister David Cameron. The march, against postal privatisation and austerity cuts, was organised by the CWU (Communication Worker's Union) Eastern Branch. Solidarity Federation members from the new Thames Valley local as well as from Liverpool and London handed out leaflets arguing for anarcho-syndicalist methods in struggle and introductory leaflets about the Solidarity Federation which were well received by marchers.

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Our leaflets

International week of action against Ryanair - placards
Poster designs, two unbranded and one with the SF logo on, for use at pickets and protests against ryanair recruitment scamming. (pdf)
International week of action against Ryanair - leaflets
Liverpool Solidarity Federation and unbranded versions of a public leaflet for the action against Ryanair. (pdf), (pdf)
International week of action against Ryanair - demand letters
As we begin the week of action against Ryanair, we hope that people across the world are writing, faxing, emailing and making phone calls in protest at the airline's exploitative recruitment practi (pdf)
Combat Workfare public leaflet
Leaflet handed to the public during the Combat Workfare demonstration in Liverpool. (pdf)
Workfare staff leaflet
A leaflet for the Combat Workfare day of action, specifically aimed at workers in the companies that support the workfare programme. (pdf)
Leaflet for Liverpool NHS demo - "Labour Won't Save the NHS"
Leaflet distributed by Liverpool Solfed members outside the Royal Liverpool Hospital. (pdf)
Liverpool leaflet for Adecco picket
(pdf)


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