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Liverpool

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

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.

Toxteth's Welsh Streets should be saved, but not because of Ringo…

A campaign to save Toxteth’s historic Welsh Streets from demolition has been dealt a blow after English Heritage refused to put a preservation order on 9 Madryn Street, the house where Ringo Starr was born.

The 11 streets of Victorian terraced houses were built by Welsh workers to house local dockers and their families. The area was also infamous for its radical political tradition.

Lack of central heating and persistent rising damp has driven the most recent residents out, but preservationists argue that modern restoration methods can make the homes habitable again. This is obviously an idea that the property developers don’t want to see gain traction, as simply restoring the houses would not justify massive asking prices.

Liverpool SolFed on the tragedy at Sonae

Below is the text of a letter sent by our local to the Liverpool Echo following the recent tragic deaths at the Sonae industrial plant. An edited version of the letter was printed in the newspaper on December 14th 2010.

I would like to express my condolences to the family and friends of the two workers, Thomas Elmer and James Bibby, who died following an accident at the Sonae factory in Kirkby.
 
It is tragic that, in this day and age, workers still risk losing their lives while simply doing their jobs.
 
It's not the first time Sonae has been in the news for all the wrong reasons. In the past there have been fires, chemical leaks and environmental concerns expressed by local residents.
 

Sonae industrial accident claims two lives

Two workers have been killed at the Sonae industrial plant in Kirkby after they were reportedly dragged by a conveyor belt into the workings of a silo.

It is believed that James Bibby (24) and Thomas Elmer (27) had been contracted in to carry out maintenance work at the plant which manufactures wood-based panels for use in the furniture and construction industries.

One Sonae worker told the Liverpool Echo: "For a long time, staff have been warning about concerns over safety at the plant."

Previously, the plant has been the scene of chemical leaks, fires, as well as other industrial accidents. Residents on the nearby Northwood estate have also raised environmental concerns about Sonae, claiming that emissions coming from the plant were having an adverse effect on their children's health.

I'd rather be a picket than a scab!

Liverpool Solidarity Federation members joined a picket line today to show support for comrades in the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union. The aim of the picket was to try and prevent scabbing by workers defying an overtime ban voted for by union members to defend civil service jobs.

Q&A with a SolFed member and PCS activist

What’s this action all about?
PCS have been in dispute with the government for some time now over proposed changes to the Civil Service Compensation Scheme [CSCS]. This is the scheme which says how much compensation members get if made redundant, and naturally with job losses on the horizon they want to lessen the cost. It was the previous government’s refusal to negotiate on this matter that necessitated the 3-day strike in March and the court case, which PCS won.

Liverpool SolFed takes anarcho-syndicalist message to Bootle

Liverpool Solidarity Federation members held a street stall in Bootle town centre today (Saturday 6th November 2010) to spread our message of community/workplace resistance and working-class self-organisation.

As well as handing out copies of our No War but Class War leaflet, we also gave out our new Beat the Bailiffs advice pamphlet.

The conversations we have with members of the public suggest that libertarian anti-capitalist and anti-state sentiments are widespread, but anarchism isn’t always seen as a viable alternative to the status quo. We aim to try and change that.

¡Viva la CNT-AIT! 100 years of anarcho-syndicalism

Today (November 1st 2010) marks the 100th anniversary of our Spanish sister organisation, the Confederación Nacional del Trabajo (CNT-AIT). Liverpool Solidarity Federation extends revolutionary greetings to our comrades in the CNT-AIT and best wishes for the next century of struggle.

¡Viva la CNT-AIT !
¡Viva la AIT y el Anarcosindicalismo!

Read more on the CNT-AIT here.

 

Day of action for sacked Peruvian garment workers

Members of Liverpool Solidarity Federation have held an informational picket outside Zara, in Liverpool One, and handed out leaflets to customers, staff, and passers-by.

Despite some attention from security guards, who informed us we couldn’t operate on private property, we were able to hand out all our leaflets and our action was generally well received. One woman even came over as we were packing away to inquire what we were up to, and offered her support when we explained what we had been doing and why.

This was part of international solidarity actions supported by the International Workers Association (IWA) for workers in Peru, in response to the sacking of 35 trade unionists. The union members were working in a factory for ‘Topy Top’, one of the major suppliers to high street store Zara, and also a supplier for Gap.

Radical Workers’ Bloc calls for class war against capitalism & ConDem cuts

Today, over 4,000 people braved wind and rain to march and protest against the Lib Dems and the cuts agenda. It was a demonstration of the level of anger people feel – but also the willingness of their “leaders” to merely act as a safety valve, defusing that anger before it reaches the ruling class.

People assembled by the Anglican cathedral to march down to the docks where the protest was held. There were a number of trade union banners, as well as the banners of the Solidarity Federation and Anarchist Federation, whose membership made up theRadical Workers’ Bloc. Despite the rain, the huge turnout and musical accompaniments made it a lively atmosphere.

But whilst the spirit of the rank-and-file made the march vibrant, this was in spite the planning done by trade union leaders, not because of it.

General strike 2010 – Barcelona

Two members of Liverpool SolFed recently visited Barcelona to show solidarity during the Spanish general strike of September 29th. They report:

During our stay in Barcelona we visited the Banesto building on Plaça de Catalunya which had been occupied for several days by anti-capitalists. They used the derelict space to celebrate resistance, as well as freely exchange information and radical ideas. However the building was later brutally repossessed by riot police.

On the day of the general strike, we joined a lively demonstration of several thousand organized by our sister organisation, the CNT, who put forward a much more militant message of resistance compared to that of the reformist trade unions.

Why workers need to look beyond the TUC

At the TUC’s annual conference, union delegates have backed joint industrial action if “attacks” on jobs, pensions and public services go ahead. The gathering backed a motion which included calls to build “a broad solidarity alliance of unions and communities under threat”.

However, we will not see “hundreds of thousands of workers take to the streets” under the TUC’s leadership.

The fact that trade unionists had to stage a protest outside the conference “lobbying” the TUC to call a national demonstration says it all. We need to be taking the initiative on the streets, not begging for piecemeal protests to be authorised from above.

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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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