Over the past year, it's become increasingly evident that the branch of the civil servants' union PCS I'm part of is beset by factionalism. In particular, the dominance of a ruling clique has been like a cancer which has seen people drop out of being reps, and even go off work with stress, because of the bullying occurring within the union. In my own rank-and-file approach to organising, I've butted heads with this problem on more than one occasion. This blog is a reflection of the issues at hand and an attempt to focus my own thoughts in terms of how to combat that.
When I last wrote about the internal politics of my branch, as part of a post about a members meeting ahead of N30, it caused a right stink.
An excerpt from Martha A. Ackelsberg's Free Women of Spain: anarchism and the struggle for the emancipation of women about women's struggle for autonomy within the CNT.
Lucia and Mercedes were instrumental in beginning Mujeres Libres in Madrid. Amparo joined them on the editorial board of Mujeres Libres and later became active in Barcelona as the director of Mujeres Libres’ education and training institute, the Casal de la Dona Treballdora.
Dutch council communist Anton Pannekoek on the relationship between the revolutionary party and the working class.
The old labor movement is organized in parties. The belief in parties is the main reason for the impotence of the working class; therefore we avoid forming a new party - not because we are too few, but because a party is an organization that aims to lead and control the working class.
This week on a recent episode of fight sport podcast No Holds Barred there's a section on the possibilities of organising boxers into a union. The discussion notes that other sports have unions and have had high-profile strikes but boxing has never had any noticable level of organising.
Like mixed martial arts (MMA), boxing, as an individual sport, with many promotions organising fights and the vast majority of fighters pretty much just earning a wage fight-to-fight (if they aren't supplementing it with another job, coaching, pimping themselves to sponsors etc).
A piece aimed at North American anarchist political organizations about getting organized.
An opening admonishment
There's been a lot of debate throughout the internet, and I'd assume it continues in person(I live in the country, so I wouldn't really know) about anarchists and organization. The basic point of this piece is to say, enough hollering at each other, just fucking get to it.
A follow-up to 'What kind of solidarity forever?' which claims that activism wins out over workplace organizing due to lack of confidence.
In my last Workers Power submission in June I talked about what I called solidarity unionism and solidarity activism. Solidarity activism is when we show up to demonstrations and picket lines for others, to lend our power to support them in their struggles. That's a good thing, of course. But it doesn't build our power. Solidarity unionism is what builds our power.
A piece exploring how organizing on the shopfloor and activism outside the shopfloor are different and how they compliment each other.
There are two versions of solidarity activity: solidarity unionism and solidarity activism. Solidarity unionism means exercising our power on the job. We organize as much as possible so we don't give our power away to lawyers, outside organizers, union staff, or anyone else. If we have to give away some power--like when we file Unfair Labor Practice charges--it's for tactical reasons only.
Published in the Anarchist Federation's twice-yearly magazine Organise! issue 77, Winter 2011, as part of the 25th anniversary issue, this article reflects on the last 5-6 years of the AF's development. It refers to involvement in events and social movements of the same period and the organisational changes resulting from the growth of the AF and development of relationships with other organisations (and non-organisations).
25 years of the AFED - Anniversary article