[TALK] Lucien van der Walt, 2019, “Renewing and Reforming Labor: The Case for Anarcho-Syndicalism”

Lucien van der Walt

Lucien van der Walt, 2019, “Renewing and Reforming Labor: The Case for Anarcho-Syndicalism,” ASR/ Anarcho-syndicalist Review, number 75, pp. 10-15

pdflogosmallPDF online HERE.   Full text below

Thanks very much for having me on the panel **, along with comrades Hilary Wainwright, who has been a key figure in the British feminist and socialist movement, editor of Red Pepper, Ozzi Warwick of the Oilfields Workers’ Trade Union in Trinidad and Tobago, and Martin Egbanubi of the Michael Imoudu National Institute for Labour Studies, Nigeria. There is quite a nice link between the different inputs, with their stress on self-activity and the immense creative potential of working class and poor people, as organizers, as rebels, and as creators of new models and ideas.

What I want to look at in this paper are the ways that we can think about the role of the self-activity of ordinary workers as a…

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Any library campaigns in other places please keep us posted.

Local residents signing the new SOLE petition at Broomfield Parade on Saturday lunchtime.

This is the kind of focused, determined grassroots campaigning undertaken by well organised activists that we really admire. What we also like are the tactics of having dispersed actions right across the county. Not everyone can get to Chelmsford for a demo – having local actions gives more people a chance to take part and have their say.

This is from the Save Our Libraries Essex Facebook page

Library campaigners were out in Broomfield on Saturday lunchtime and gained nearly two hundred signatures against what they call a ‘closure plan by stealth’ for Essex libraries. Broomfield is set to see a ‘save our library’ protest march on Saturday 28th September, meeting at Broomfield Church Green at 4pm, as part of SOLE’s county wide day of action. Meanwhile the online version of SOLE’s new ‘Save our librarians –…

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Bridport 1919: conflict and tensions in a small industrial town in West Dorset

Wessex Solidarity

Event from: Bristol Radical History Festival 2019 (Level 1, Studio 1)

At the start of World War One Bridport was essentially a one industry town: rope and net making. The war brought opportunities to the town but also challenged paternalist employers with a revival of trade unionism and state pressure to improve low wages. With the Armistice, the sense of a collective national interest on the home front began to ebb away revealing long-standing as well as new tensions in the town. This talk explores the origins of these tensions in the war years and the range of ways in which they were expressed in the town in 1919, including soldiers’ protests and industrial strikes as well as a range of new political organisations in the town. Bridport was hardly a ‘red’ town and even with the new electorate of 1918 continued to return a Tory to Parliament as it…

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Alternative Estuary No.3 off to the printer

The latest Alternative Estuary paper (our better behaved sister project) has been sent to our friends at Oxford GreenPrint for printing. We have a fair few events coming up throughout the autumn and into the winter where we’ll distributing copies of the paper. We’ll also be getting small bundles of the paper into venues sympathetic to our project for their patrons to read. The good news is that this list is steadily growing:) As ever, any help with distribution will be appreciated. So, if you want to take a small bundle to hand out to friends, neighbours, family and colleagues, let us know and we’ll work out a way of getting them to you.

Please note that the list of grassroots projects, blogs of interest and useful resources on the back of the paper is not a definitive one. We’ve included the ones we know about. If we’ve missed yours…

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My review of “Sisters in Cells” by Aine and Eibhlin Nic Giolla Easpaig

lipstick socialist

sisters in cells

Aine and Eibhlin Nic Giolla Easpaig are unique in several ways. They were republican women political prisoners in the 70s – the first women of that era to be imprisoned in England, while their autobiography “Sisters in Cells” is one of the few jail journals that has  been written by women, telling their story of growing up in Manchester in the 60s and 70s and their experiences as innocent people in the prison system.

The sisters were born in Donegal in the Republic of Ireland. It was a republican area where people spoke Irish as their first language and were closely intertwined with the politics of a united Ireland. They grew up there until the 1960s when their parents, like many Irish at that time, decided to seek work in England.

Their new life  was a massive cultural change; they were now living in urban Manchester, part of a large…

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My review of Dayglo: The Poly Styrene Story by Celeste Bell and Zoe Howe

lipstick socialist


Poly Styrene  (3 July 1957 – 25 April 2011),  (real name Marianne Joan Elliott-Said) was one of the most unique performers who came out of the punk era. Watch this video here

In this affectionate and revealing biography written by Poly’s daughter Celeste Bell and writer Zoe Howe , we get an insight into her life as told by those were  closest to her,  including her sister, ex-husband, friends and many others who  were part of her life.

Her mother was white, her father from Somalia. As her sister Hazel says life was difficult for her Mum Joan. “It was bad enough being a single mother. Being a single mother with half-black children, the whole community shunned her.” They grew  up in Brixton and big sister Poly (or Mari as she was known then) looked after her  younger sister and brother whilst their mother worked. Her sister tells some lovely…

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