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News, archives and discussion on the class struggle. For human beings, not human resources.
Updated: 1 year 13 weeks ago

On union scabbing

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 22:19

Some quick thoughts on the need to respect picket lines and the challenge of the anti-strike laws and multi-union workplaces.

As I detailed all the way back in October, a civil service senior management union has taken a stronger stance over key issues in HM Revenue & Customs than the 'left wing' union PCS.

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The Voice of the People

Wed, 02/12/2014 - 20:48

Voice of the People was the new name of the Lumberjack the Wobbly Weekly covering New Orleans and the surrounding area.

In July 1913, timber industry leaders persuaded the Lumberjack’s printer in Alexandria to stop printing the paper. Publication resumed in New Orleans under a new title, the Voice of the People. The Lumberjack’s motto, “An Injury To One Is An Injury To All,” was retained, as was its four-page, three-column format.

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The Lumberjack newspaper

Wed, 02/12/2014 - 20:22

An archive of a Wobbly Weekly Newspaper covering New Orleans, Orleans, Louisiana and focussing (at first) on the Lumberjacks of which it was named. It ran for the first half of 1913 before being revived as The Voice of the People.

The Lumberjack was founded in January 1913 in the midst of a protracted labor strike by the Brotherhood of Timber Workers (B.T.W.) in Merryville, Louisiana. Published by the Southern District of the National Industrial Union of Forest and Lumber Workers, the weekly paper was edited by Covington Hall (1871-1952), a member of the radical wing of the Socialist Party in New Orleans.

Organization is power. The Papers byline

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An account of winning reinstatement for a suspended worker

Wed, 02/12/2014 - 18:01

A short account from a friend of ours of how he and his colleagues managed to get a member of staff who had been suspended on disciplinary grounds reinstated.

A couple of years ago I was working in a local council in a children's social services of 60 people. The team was overwhelmingly female and ethnically very diverse. Half of the workers were Unison members, and I was one of two shop stewards.

With this victory, we showed that we could defend individual workers in the team. After this the whole team had much more confidence that we could defy the bosses and win

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Workers’ Inquiry in Socialisme ou Barbarie

Wed, 02/12/2014 - 04:30

Henri Simon's account of Socialisme ou Barbarie and its 'worker's papers'.

Before tak­ing up the sub­ject, it is nec­es­sary to point out that Social­isme ou Bar­barie, pri­mar­ily at the impe­tus of Cas­to­ri­adis (alias Chaulieu), went through dif­fer­ent peri­ods, largely cor­re­spond­ing to polit­i­cal analy­ses of the prospects of strug­gle which con­di­tioned the devel­op­ment of the group.

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Out of the Woods - a new blog on climate change

Tue, 02/11/2014 - 21:17

Announcing a new collaborative blog project to investigate capitalism and climate change.

This blog has been set up to investigate one of the most pressing issues of our time: anthropogenic climate change (a.k.a. global warming). Climate change poses serious questions about the viability of both the capitalist mode of production and the global states system, and forces us to confront questions of technology and humanity’s relation to (the rest of) nature. These are huge questions.

Climate change poses serious questions about the viability of both the capitalist mode of production and the global states system, and forces us to confront questions of technology and humanity’s relation to (the rest of) nature. These are huge questions. Out of the Woods

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Scabs! part II: the St. Albert wildcat

Tue, 02/11/2014 - 03:28

This entry is the second part in a two-part story from contributor Phinneas Gage about a wildcat strike by contractors at the Canadian postal service, and continues our coverage of struggles within Canada Post.

Part I

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Letters of insurgents - Fredy Perlman

Mon, 02/10/2014 - 13:00

1976 novel by Fredy Perlman, written as fictional letters between two Eastern European workers, Yarostan Vochek and Sophie Nachalo, who are separated after a failed revolution. Yarostan spends twelve years in statist jails, while Sophie escapes to the West. After twenty years without contact, they begin to write each other about their experiences, their lives, their hopes, and their memories of the past.

Yarostan’s first letter

Dear Sophia,

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Solidarity motor bulletin #02: UAW scab union

Sun, 02/09/2014 - 17:39

Issue of Solidarity's car industry bulletin from March 22, 1974, looking at the behaviour of the US auto workers' industrial union the UAW and how it was sabotaging and scabbing on struggles of its members at the time.

The anarchist martyrs of Changsha

Wed, 02/05/2014 - 18:14

A short account of the lives and activities of the Chinese anarchists Huang Ai and Pang Renquan

“Huang Ai and Pang Renquan were the earliest heroes martyred in the Chinese labour movement — they both deserve to be remembered”. Li Rui

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The Malatesta Club

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 11:14

A short account of the celebrated anarchist Malatesta Club of 1950s London.

One of the signs of a revival of the post-World War Two anarchist movement was the setting up of a regular speaking pitch at Hyde Park Corner in 1950. The number of speakers was added to over the next decade as people were introduced to the movement. Among these were Philip Sansom, Rita Milton and Frank Hirschfield.

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State and Capital

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 02:02

Excerpts about the relationship between the state and capitalism from Michael Heinrich’s recent book, An Introduction to the Three Volumes of Karl Marx’s Capital.

[i]Capitalism touches every moment of our lives, and always for the worse. That’s why capitalism must be replaced with a new and better society. The state is everywhere too. But how do the two relate? What is the role of the state in maintaining capitalism? And what is the role of the state in creating a new society? Like many people, those of us who edit Recomposition want capitalism to end.

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Co-ops or workers' revolution?

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 01:02

An article by Tom Wetzel (under a pseudonym) which lays out the limitations of cooperatives as an alternative to capitalism.

Originally appeared in ideas & action #1 (Winter 1982)
Made available courtesy of the Workers Solidarity Alliance archives in NY
Scanned by Juan Conatz

Advice for workers suffering from repetitive strain injury (RSI)

Mon, 01/06/2014 - 13:53

Employment-related advice for workers who begin to suffer from a repetitive strain condition, from a union representative who has RSI.


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Great moments in satire: a love note to the haters

Mon, 01/06/2014 - 02:45

An article by Hugh Goldring about Great Moments in Leftism, a comic strip that highlights the often absurd nature of the radical left.

With over 2,000 likes on Facebook (where it is glibly listed under the category “Wine / Spirits”), many may still be unfamiliar with Great Moments in Leftism, an amateurish strip by a self-confessed bad artist.

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Standing fast: a novel - Harvey Swados

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 07:38
Standing Fast_ A Novel - Swados, Harvey.jpg

Harvey Swados' fictional story of a group of socialists and their lives from the dawn of USA's involvement in World War II to the Kennedy assasination. More or less based on the Worker's Party of Max Shachtman, C.L.R. James, Raya Dunayevskaya and Stan Weir.

Psychopolice order

Sat, 01/04/2014 - 15:36
custody nurse.jpg

What will the announcement that community psychiatric nurses are to be posted in criminal justice settings do to psychiatric services and patients?

Today it was announced that mental health nurses are to be posted in police stations and courts in 10 areas across England in a long campaigned for ‘liason and diversion’ strategy. The nurse’s role in these situations will be to respond to calls alongside officers wherever there is a suspicion that someone engaged in criminal activity has a mental health problem.

The criminalisation of pathology is mirrored in the pathologisation of criminality, and a particular therapeutic nihilism becomes a nihilistic therapy.

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Contribution to class/gender debate in Delhi

Sat, 01/04/2014 - 09:08

Criticism of a Marxist-Leninist understanding of class and gender relations.

A response to Maya John’s ‘Class Societies and Sexual Violence: Towards a Marxist Understanding of Rape’


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Contractualism should be avoided

Fri, 01/03/2014 - 02:23

A reply to an article that appeared in the Industrial Worker newspaper, titled 'The contract as a tactic'.

This is in response to FW Matt Muchowski’s article titled “The Contract As A Tactic,” which appeared on page 4 of the December 2013 Industrial Worker. While I disagree with most of it, this piece is the most coherent justification of contractualism for the IWW I’ve seen.

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When organizing your workplace feels utterly impossible

Fri, 01/03/2014 - 02:11

A column by Liberté Locke on some of the hurdles and frustration one encounters in workplace organizing.

You’ve gotten your red card, attended several organizer trainings, countless branch meetings and union socials. You’ve gone to events where you have heard organizers tell their stories and have subscribed to their blogs, Facebook pages and Twitter feeds. You’ve read all the labor books you can find. You’ve signed every petition and attended every picket.

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