1980s

On the line - Libertarian Workers Group

'On the Line' was a agitational newsletter put out by the New York based Libertarian Workers Group, which was affliated with the Anarchist Communist Federation of North American and one of the founders of Workers Solidarity Alliance.

St. Pauls, Bristol 1980

getting burnt? burn them back!

An unfinished text, written in 2006 (originally entitled "1981 & All That"), intended to be about the riots of 1981, but only the bit about the uprising in the St.Paul's district of Bristol was completed. For obvious reasons, I've decided to put this now in the library.
The introduction gives a flavour of the pessimistic feel of 5 years ago. The last 5 or 6 months since Millbank has changed that, but there's still a long way to go (and a fairly short time to do it) for the new social movements to re-learn the strengths and weaknesses of past movements in order to go beyond them - and this time without a significantly "definitive" defeat and retreat.

On austerity in the 1980s - Modern Times

Cover of Modern Times 1988

The concluding article from a one-off magazine produced in 1988, dealing with the Thatcherite austerities of the time and their consequences for radical movements in the UK.

Solidarnosc: trade unionism in Poland - Subversion

Subversion look at Solidarność's role in the uprisings which preceded the end of Stalinist rule in Poland.

Gee, Charlie - A working class hero

Silentnight picket line banner

Charlie looks back at his youthful experiences as a militant hippy factory worker and shop steward in 1970s & 80s northern England. Part 2 deals with his involvement in the long-running Silentnight bedding factory strike; the dispute began in late July 1985 - a few months after the ending of the 1984-85 Miners Strike - and by the time it finally ended in April 1987 it had become the UK's "longest-running continuous strike in trade union history". The Prime Minister, Mrs Thatcher, visited Silentnight owner Tom Clarke to show support and dubbed him "Mr Wonderful".

A view on "Class War" by a former member - Julian (1986)

Written by a young Frenchman just after he left Class War (CW) and published in the one-off Flamethrower insurrectional anarchist magazine. The 1986 article was influenced by the optimism of the times; the recent nationwide waves of intense rioting in 1981and 1985, the recently ended year-long Miners Strike, the then-ongoing printers strike at Wapping (the TNT lorries mentioned were scab delivery vehicles) etc. Few could see the dramatic downturn in class struggle that was soon to begin ...

(The AFA Affair referred to was an alleged attempt by the anti-fascist Searchlight group to smear CW with false claims that they had links to fascist organisations.)

There's a riot goin' on - The Red Menace

Article drawing parallels between the struggles of the late 1960s and late 1980s in Berkeley, California.

Israel/Palestine: two states too many - The Red Menace

The Red Menace analyse the first Palestinian intifada.

More misery now! - The Red Menace

Article looking at the impact of the 1989 public transport workers' strikes in London and elsewhere.

Up against the prole tax - The Red Menace

Article examining successful methods of resistance, following the introduction of the Poll Tax in Scotland in April 1989.