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ACORN compared to London Renters Union, etc

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klas batalo's picture
klas batalo
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Joined: 5-07-09
Apr 7 2020 19:45
ACORN compared to London Renters Union, etc

Just curious from over the pond the differences between groups like ACORN UK and London Renters Union and/or other tenant unions? Any political differences? Any practical differences? Thoughts you have in general?

R Totale's picture
R Totale
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Apr 7 2020 20:15

Not an expert, but my rough impression is - on the plus side, Acorn seems to function as more of a sort-of national organisation, while the like of LRU, as the name suggests, are more local. There's a few local groups, mainly Housing Action Southwark & Lambeth, who are sort of anarchist-y, and Brighton SolFed do tenants stuff as well, whereas Acorn seems more sort left-Labour-orbiting. Don't really know enough about either LRU or Living Rent up in Scotland to be able to comment. My general thoughts are similar to my thoughts on trade unions, I guess, and particularly the more militant end like RMT/CWU: they're not perfect anarcho or left communist spontaneous councils of struggle or anything and there's stuff you can criticise them for, but they seem a lot better than being left to confront the landlords or bosses as an isolated individual.
In relation to Corbynism, Acorn seems like the one actually useful thing that has come out of that period, and if more lefty-Labour-energy had been put into that rather than other things I think we'd be better off; similarly, in relation to anarchism, or the ultra-left or whatever, I think if we had more practical examples of useful projects on a similarly large scale, we'd be on a bit firmer ground when criticising them.

klas batalo's picture
klas batalo
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Apr 16 2020 17:11

My impression is ACORN was set up by some former IWWs who went left-Labour so that makes sense. Thank you for your thoughts!