The past week has seen NLSF participate in two “distros”: handing out fliers, badges, and stickers in support of June 30th's public sector strike and giving out free copies of SolFed's national newspaper Catalyst.
Although we certainly hope to attract like-minded militants to our organisation, the overriding aims were practical: to promote the upcoming strike, inform the public of practical ways to participate and show support, to counter the government and media spin about the strike, and to argue for militant, self-organised acts of solidarity and struggle from across the working class. To this end, we gave out various fliers (see the right-hand side of NLSF webpage) and copies of the newest issue of Catalyst. When interested individuals stopped for a chat, we gladly offered them “Don't Work June 30th” stickers and various anti-cuts badges.
While doing this we discovered the skateboarders are well-placed to be the “travelling salespeople of anarchy.” As each group of skaters would come by, a typical conversation went like this:
“Hey, you want some stickers for your boards?”
“Oh yeah! (To his her or friends) Come here, Freebies!”
“I'm sure you've heard, your teachers are going to be on strike next week. Here's a cool-looking sticker for your board, you can put it on there as a way to support the strike.”
“Cool. Do you have more we can have? Well be skating all around here/getting on the tube, you want us to post them up?”
“Well, I could never tell you all to disrespect private property in that way, but, here, how many stickers do you want?”
“Have fun. Don't forget to go down to your school on Thursday morning and show your teachers some support!”
And away they would roll....
For SF, the distros were a great way to engage with people. The overwhelming response was positive and we even had one teacher thank us for what we were doing! Another man was very keen on getting a red and black anti-cuts badge to put on his puppy's collar. Best dressed dog in London!
The distros presented London SF with a great opportunity to build as an organisation. They helped improve our confidence in talking to people outside of the activist milieu and provided a practical activity for one of our newest members to get involved in. And, they were a great way to link up with other non-SF anarchists looking to support class struggle organising—something we saw with an Anarchist Federation comrade joining us for an hour outside busy London tube station.
The distros were, no doubt, a success. Next stop: the picket line.