The 40th anniversary of the 1972 builder's strike has been marked with a conference held at the Unite union building in Liverpool.
Organised by the Justice for the Shrewsbury Pickets Campaign, members of the Blacklist Support Group and the Construction Safety Campaign also took part in the event.
> Mike Abbott from the Justice for the Shrewsbury Pickets Campaign spoke about the ongoing fight to clear the names of those wrongly imprisoned under the Conspiracy Act for their part in the builder's strike, including Des Warren who served two-and-a-half years inside and was adminstered drugs (the notorious "liquid cosh") which the campaign believes led to Parkinson's disease and his premature death in 2004. As Des said in his speech from the dock:
Mr Bumble said: ‘The law is an ass.’ If he were here now he might draw the conclusion that the law is quite clearly the instrument of the state to be used in the interests of a tiny minority against the majority.
> Blacklisted electrician Steve Acheson spoke about the widespread victimisation of trade unionists that has taken place in the building industry for decades, and the effect this has had on blacklisted workers and their families.
> A Solidarity Federation member spoke from the floor of the "silent genocide" of workers taking place in construction and other industries, and the need for us to control our own struggles against wage slavery, exploitation and harzardous working conditions, without relying on trade union officials and politicians to do our bidding for us.
> A motion was also put forward from the floor and passed unanimously expressing solidarity with miners in South Africa in their bloody struggle against their employers, the government and the trade union bureaucracy.