Anarcho-syndicalism: history and action

A pamplet by DAM about the organisation, the history of syndicalism in the UK and the rebirth of anarcho-syndicalism. Scanned by and gratefully taken from The Sparrows' Nest.

Submitted by wojtek on November 17, 2012



11 years 7 months ago

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Submitted by wojtek on November 17, 2012

Don't forget to check out The Sparrows' Nest's collection... or else! ;)


11 years 7 months ago

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Submitted by syndicalist on November 18, 2012

Cool. Several of these mimeographed pamphlets made there way to the US. We made a bunch of photocopies to share with others here. If I remember the tilted correctly, there was another mimeographed pamphlet issued at the same time entitled "Anarcho-Syndicalist Writings" (or something like that). I'm too lazy now to look at Ron's collection to find the right title. I suspect it's in there. Basically a bunch of reprints. I recall a piece by Albert Metzer on anarcho-syndicalism and councilism. I think that one appeared in an immediate post-WWII issue of "Freedom".

Of historical interest and in tracing the development of many of my British contemporaries, folks might want to read pages 6-10 ("Direct Action Movement"), with special attention to pages 7-8.

The DAM was unique in the sense that was built out of the shell of the respected, though totally diminished, Syndicalist Workers Federation (SWF).

The DAM was formed in 1979. This pre-dated the WSA by 5 years. Although we had periodic contact with DAM. mainly through our own little local anarcho-syndicalist group, the Libertarian Workers Group. Anyway, fast forward, where a number of our generation found common ground, though independent of each other, was our mutual desire to "leave behind the irrelevant, disorganized nature of most of the...anarchist movement and go on to create a national working class anarchist organization." (p 6)

Similarly, many of us also faced the fact that "Anarcho-syndicalism has a small following and little influence" And there was a "need [for] libertarian organization..."

Although comrades from different countries (Spain, France & Italy aside) envisioned different practices from their workplace activities (work within the reformist unions, work towards building revolutionary unions, variations of these,none of these, all with the goal towards building independent working class organization). In the long term, the DAM specifically was "working towards...setting up of anarcho-syndicalist unions"

Like most of us, the DAM recognized that "all this is in future." When in the future, none of us knew, of course. So, like the DAM, many of us recognized that our organizational efforts were best served, "as a propaganda group." Our immeidate task was "[t]o make it plain that the working class which have gone closest to creating the new society have talked the language and used the methods of libertarian communism and anarcho-syndicalism, either consciously (Spain in the 1930s. Italy 1919-1920, Russia 1917-19), or unconsciously (Hungry 1956, Poland 1980)."

Through our efforts, the bringing forth the best traditions of class struggle, with our own twist and contemporary spin, was our task. That revolutionary ideas are carried forth, in their own style and form, from generation to generation. From one land to another. And so it goes.

And so too, this is how a number of us 1970s-early 1980s anarcho-syndicalists saw ourselves and the immediate tasks ahead of us.

I raise my clinched fist and salute the old salts of the SWF for carrying the torch of anarcho-syndicalism in the english language for as long as they did. And out of fond memory and respect to all those fine (then) young comrades who went on to re-establish British anarcho-syndicalism .... and in being the fine comrades who we had a special relationship with for all those years.

'Nuff of memory lane.

Keep dem DAM pamphlets coming.....and maybe copies of "Direct Action" too!


11 years 6 months ago

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Submitted by syndicalist on November 21, 2012

OK, found the pamphlet: "Writing on Anarcho-Syndicalism". Mimeo format. First printing November 1982. Reprinted July 1983. 10 pages, inc. cover.


Untitled essay
"Anarchism & Syndicalism": Philip Sansom
Untitled essay
"Anarcho-syndicalism": Rocker
"Anarcho-Syndicalism & Council Communism": Albert Meltzer [Freedom, May 15, 1948 as "A/S and workers councils"]
"Anarcho-Syndicalism & the Rank and File Movement"[[Freedom, January 28, 1961. Same title]
"Where We Stand - Anarchist Syndicalist Alliance" ["Red & Black Outlook", 1973]
"The International Movement Today:": Col Longmore