Libertarian Struggle/Anarchist Worker

An archive of Libertarian Struggle/Anarchist Worker, a publication produced by the Organisation of Revolutionary Anarchists and then the Anarchist Workers' Association in the 1970s. Originally scanned and digitised by the Sparrow's Nest.

Submitted by R Totale on March 23, 2020

Around the time of the final issue of Anarchist Worker, the majority of the Anarchist Workers Association became the Libertarian Communist Group and produced a number of issues of another paper, Libertarian Communist, which can be found here. A minority current which had been expelled from the organisation, holding more "ultra-left" views on subjects such as anti-imperialism and the trade unions, became the Anarchist Communist Association, and produced the paper Bread & Roses, which can be found here. A brief history of all these groups can be found in the article Anarchist Communism in Britain, 1870-1991.

R Totale

2 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

By the way, a minor anarcho-nerd trivia point: I notice that the contact address for Libertarian Struggle, at least the early issues, was on Cardigan Road, Leeds. I dunno if Leeds ABC is still a functioning organisation, but I do remember that as recently as the 2010s they gave their address as being on Cardigan Road as well. Would be curious to know if anyone can confirm whether there was also anarcho activity based out of that street in the 80s/90s/2000s, so that one road could claim an unbroken 40-year-plus tradition?

R Totale

2 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I had initally thought there'd be no point tagging each issue individually, but am now starting to think it'd be worth going through and tagging the issues dealing with specifics topics (e.g. Portugal, Spain, Northern Ireland, the NF, the Murrays, Grunwicks). Would take a while to do, though.

Fozzie

2 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Thanks for sorting this R Totale. I’m sure tagging would help, but there is hardly any urgency!

R Totale

1 year 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Profile of an undercover infiltrator in the AWA: https://powerbase.info/index.php/Jim/Jimmy_Pickford_(alias) Certificate might be out of date so you have to click through, plus I think libcom links usually break if there's brackets in them anyway.

Libertarian Struggle #01 (Feb 1973)

Issue #1 of Libertarian Struggle, with articles on new tory laws, victimisation in the print industry, strikes by Asians in the East Midlands, a civil servants' strike, Europe, an occupation at Fakenham, the Angry Brigade and more.

Submitted by R Totale on March 23, 2020
LS1.pdf (24.53 MB)

Libertarian Struggle #02 (March 1973)

Issue #2 of Libertarian Struggle, with articles on abortion, fascists in Walthamstow, print unions, hospital workers' struggles, rents, repression against Italian anarchist Sergio Ardau, attempts to shut down an anarchist student paper in Bradford and more.

Submitted by R Totale on March 23, 2020
LS2.pdf (23.43 MB)

Libertarian Struggle #03 (April 1973)

Issue #3 of Libertarian Struggle, with articles on travellers being evicted, self-organisation among Everton fans, deindustrialisation in Hartlepool, the prisoners' group PROP, benefit cuts, the National Front, watered-down beer, disputes by catering staff at Gatwick Airport, struggles over student grants and more.

Submitted by R Totale on March 23, 2020
LS3.pdf (21.01 MB)

Libertarian Struggle #04 (May 1973)

Issue #4 of Libertarian Struggle, with articles on autonomous organising by Asian workers, fascist attacks, the rank-and-file grouping within the teachers' union NUT, the new NUS president, claimants organising against benefit cuts, wasted whisky, organising by stage hands, housing and more.

Submitted by R Totale on March 23, 2020
LS4.pdf (20.47 MB)

Libertarian Struggle #05 (June 1973)

Issue #5 of Libertarian Struggle, with articles on legal defence, picketing legislation, war in Vietnam and Indochina, North Sea oil, sex education, a strike by Asian workers at a lace factory in Nottingham, Henry Kissinger's proposal for a new Atlantic Charter, fascist activity and more.

Submitted by R Totale on March 23, 2020
LS5.pdf (18.58 MB)

Libertarian Struggle #06 (July-August 1973)

Issue #6 of Libertarian Struggle, with articles on racism and sexism, a dispute at Chrysler, a crackdown by the APEX union against left groups, a strike at the gas board, the question of free speech, gay liberation, rank and file groups and more.

Submitted by R Totale on March 24, 2020
LS6.pdf (21.98 MB)

Battlescarred

2 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Factoid: Snake cartooon in this and other issues of LS was done by John Quail ( who wrote THe Slow Burning Fuse). Never a member of ORA/AWA. Too much of a sponti for that

R Totale

2 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Had been wondering if it might be worth doing a gallery of the graphics from these as well, we'll see how bored I get during the lockdown. Interesting seeing Larry Law's name show up in the contacts list as well.

Battlescarred

2 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Yeah, well he was in the AWA for awhile

Libertarian Struggle #07 (September 1973)

Issue #7 of Libertarian Struggle, with articles on nationalisation and workers' control, flying pickets at Chrysler, the occupation of French watch company LIP, tory tax policy, the "cod war" over fishing in Iceland, and more.

Submitted by R Totale on March 24, 2020
LS7.pdf (20.99 MB)

Libertarian Struggle #08 (October 1973)

Issue #8 of Libertarian Struggle, with articles on the capitalist crisis, workers' councils in the German and Spanish revolutions, the military coup in Chile and more.

Submitted by R Totale on March 24, 2020
LS8.pdf (23.42 MB)

Libertarian Struggle #09 (November 1973)

Issue #9 of Libertarian Worker, with articles about rent and housing, the Shrewsbury 24 case, the Heath government's "Phase 3" policy, the Labour Party, an ongoing strike at Chrysler, London teachers' struggles and more.

Submitted by R Totale on March 24, 2020
LS9.pdf (22.61 MB)

Libertarian Struggle #10 (December 1973)

Issue #10 of Libertarian Struggle, with articles on union leader Len Murray, the bakers' union, the "Blackburn 3" Irish Republican prisoners, Israel/Palestine, the rank and file civil servants' group Redder Tape, the MEC strike in Hull and more.

Submitted by R Totale on March 24, 2020
LS10.pdf (18.58 MB)

Libertarian Struggle #11 (January 1974)

Issue #11 of Libertarian Struggle, with articles on the Gay Liberation Front, the economic crisis, the NUT rank and file group, a legal battle over cheap paperbacks of Althusser, the miners' strike, Ireland, Chile, and more.

Submitted by R Totale on March 24, 2020
LS11.pdf (19.53 MB)

Libertarian Struggle #12 (February 1974)

Issue #12 of Libertarian Struggle, with articles on a rank and file hospital workers' group, the development of the Organisation of Revolutionary Anarchists, the collapse of housing struggles, the miners' strike, Irish women organising, Spain and more.

Submitted by R Totale on March 25, 2020
LS12.pdf (18.17 MB)

Libertarian Struggle #13 (March 1974)

Issue #13 of Libertarian Struggle, with articles on the general election, the question of a general strike, the British left, a pay claim by the rail union ASLEF, a strike at the Hollis timber factory in Hull, struggles against the three-day week, the miners' strike and more.

Submitted by R Totale on March 25, 2020
LS13.pdf (18.12 MB)

Battlescarred

2 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Ha! Spotted an article by me on the miners." T, (NUPE)" is still very much an anarchist and still active, but M.P. is now a Labour councillor in West London, and J.B. became a Labour member and bigwig in the NUT. Can't remember who R.K. was, though.

Libertarian Struggle #14 (April 1974)

Issue #14 of Libertarian Struggle, with articles on the Labour Party, workers' power, strikes in Hull, the right to organise, Red Clydeside and more. (Note: the front cover says April 1973, but this would appear to be a typo.)

Submitted by R Totale on March 25, 2020
LS14.pdf (19.05 MB)

Libertarian Struggle #15 (May-June 1974)

Issue #15 of Libertarian Struggle, with articles on food production, working at toy company Lesney's, the education system, the rank and file movement, women's liberation, a strike against "the lump" in construction, and more.

Submitted by R Totale on March 25, 2020
LS15.pdf (21.8 MB)

Libertarian Struggle #16 (November-December 1974)

Issue #16 of Libertarian Struggle, coming after a break of a few months, with an announcement of the Organisation of Revolutionary Anarchists' impending name change to the Anarchist Workers' Association, and articles on the National Front, the recent election and the incoming Labour government, more reports on Trotskyist manipulations in the rank and file movement, international news from France, Italy and Chile, a critique of terrorism in the wake of the Guildford pub bombing and a similar attack in Madrid, and more.

Submitted by R Totale on March 26, 2020
LS16.pdf (23.24 MB)

Battlescarred

2 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

ORA Hospital Worker was me and Dave Higgins and Nick Hillier were two of my pseudonyms

R Totale

2 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

And guessing Bas Pateman is the same person as Barry Pateman, of Kate Sharpley Library sort-of fame?

Battlescarred

2 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Yes

Libertarian Struggle #17 (May 1975)

Issue #17 of Libertarian Struggle, with articles on developments within the Anarchist Workers Association, occupations against factory closures and redundancies, the history of May Day, the Working Women's Charter, attacks on the left within the NUT, wage gains won by lorry drivers, the EEC, the 1926 General Strike, the role of claimants in the class struggle and more.

Submitted by R Totale on March 27, 2020
LS17.pdf (23.54 MB)

Battlescarred

2 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

AWA Lorry Driver was Tim Webb (later Rachael Webb-1940-2010) Moved over to the Trots later - for a few years -and was a councillor in S. London -and transitioned. Took her own life .

R Totale

2 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Huh, I had vague memories of reading something that quoted a Trotskyist woman trucker, have just had a dig around and it would appear to be the same Rachael Webb quoted in Appendix 2 here: http://www.revoltagainstplenty.com/index.php/archive-local/63-fuel-convoy.html

Libertarian Struggle #18 (June 1975)

Issue #18 of Libertarian Struggle, with articles on nationalisation, the Portugese revolution, abortion rights, claiming benefits while on strike, work at the Vauxhall Motors factory, struggles at Penguin Books, the referendum on EEC membership, Vietnam/Indochina, and more.

Submitted by R Totale on March 27, 2020
LS18.pdf (22.95 MB)

Libertarian Struggle #19 (July-August 1975)

Issue #19 of Libertarian Struggle, with articles on Britain joining the EEC, life in the army, working for the gas board, repression against tenants picketing an estate agent, the Platform, international news from Germany, Iran, and Uruguay, and more.

Submitted by R Totale on March 27, 2020
LS19.pdf (23.84 MB)

Battlescarred

2 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

R, Williams is still around and is close to the ACG. P.E. N. was Peter E. Newell who later rejoined the SPGB (see obit notices on libcom)

Libertarian Struggle #20 (September 1975)

Submitted by R Totale on March 27, 2020

Issue #20 of Libertarian Struggle, with articles on the Labour Party, Scottish school disputes, wealth and inequality, computer dating, the Portugese revolution, the deselection of a right-wing Labour MP, repression in Germany and Australia, critiques of the International Socialists (who would later become the SWP), the British prison system, the record of the 1945-51 Labour government and more.

LS20.pdf (22.46 MB)

Battlescarred

2 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Waste Disposal Engineer (NALGO) was Peter E. Newell ( see mailing on July-August '75 LS .

Libertarian Struggle #21 (October 1975)

Issue #21 of Libertarian Struggle, with articles on the TUC, student struggles, women's magazines, police attacks on pickets, fascism, the tories and their new leader Margaret Thatcher, and more.

Submitted by R Totale on March 27, 2020
LS21.pdf (22.98 MB)

Libertarian Struggle #22 (December 1975)

Issue #22 of Libertarian Struggle, with articles on redundancies, inflation, the situation in Portugal, working-class resistance to the crisis and state repression, the NHS, a socialist teachers' conference, the development of "new towns" like Telford and more.

Submitted by R Totale on March 27, 2020
LS22.pdf (21.92 MB)

R Totale

2 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The little poem on page 7 feels almost eerily contemporary.

Libertarian Struggle #23 (January 1976)

Issue #23 of Libertarian Struggle, with articles on the acquittal of 14 anti-militarists, the campaign to save Spanish refugee Pedro Astudillo from extradition, TRUEMID, a right-wing union grouping backed by the head of the SAS, a police raid against the Trotskyist WRP, the sexist policies of the print union NGA, an interview with a revolutionary worker at a co-operative factory in Portugal, proposed criminal trespass legislation, the dangers posed by small employers organising, and more.

Submitted by R Totale on March 27, 2020
LS23.pdf (20.11 MB)

Libertarian Struggle #24 (February 1976)

Issue #24 of Libertarian Struggle, with articles on the proposed criminal trespass law, a leaked government emergency planning memo, Labour cuts, the developing counter-revolution in Portugal, bureaucratic rule in China, building a libertarian front, abortion rights, youth unemployment, anti-fascism, French soldiers organising and more.

Submitted by R Totale on March 30, 2020
LS24.pdf (19.11 MB)

Libertarian Struggle #25 (March 1976)

Issue #25 of Libertarian Struggle, with articles on a crackdown against "scroungers", the criminal trespass law, the SAS in Northern Ireland, the continuing resistance of the workers' councils in Portugal, a dispute at Blackwell's in Oxford, the Scottish National Party, the MPLA and the war in Angola, the crisis and how to fight it, Lambeth women fighting for equal pay, workers' struggles for the environment like the Australian Green Bans, the spread of soldiers' committees in the French Army, Carl Andre and modern art, and more.

Submitted by R Totale on March 30, 2020
LS25.pdf (21.07 MB)

Libertarian Struggle #26 (April 1976)

Issue #26 of Libertarian Struggle. This is the last issue produced under this name, and has articles on abortion rights, the campaign against the criminal trespass law, victimisation of a trade unionist in the printing industry, prostitution, a joint students and workers committee in Oxford, Spain's transition to liberal democracy and the re-emergence of the Spanish libertarian movement, a report from an anti-fascist demonstration in Coventry, gambling, the role of left Labour MPs, and more.

Submitted by R Totale on March 30, 2020
LS26.pdf (20.17 MB)

Libertarian Struggle Poster: No War But Class War

A poster with the message "No war but class war: Read Libertarian Struggle, the paper of the Organisation of Revolutionary Anarchists". Undated.

Submitted by R Totale on March 30, 2020
LS P.pdf (2.08 MB)

Libertarian Struggle Special: May Day (1973?)

Special May Day issue of Libertarian Struggle, with articles on the economic crisis, inflation and the Industrial Relations Act, and histories of the May events in Barcelona 1937 and France 1968.

Submitted by R Totale on March 30, 2020
LS MD.pdf (12.3 MB)

R Totale

2 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Slightly confused about whether this would have been '73 or '74 - it talks about a tory government, which makes me think 73, but there's an IR act that was introduced by the Labour government in 74, and it also mentions the Liverpool rent strikes, which I thought of as being from the very end of 73 onwards - any advice?
Edit: the other clue I had to go on was the mention of hospital workers' strikes and demonstrations, but it sounds from this like there were disputes in both 73 and 74 so that's not much help.

Reddebrek

2 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

If it was published for Mayday 1974 it could've been written during the overlap when there was still a Tory government but the rest of it written slightly later, the Wilson IR was brought into law in July 74 but that's still a lot of time for it to be debated and pushed for in the commons during May.

On the other hand it references the Pentonville 5 dockers as being arrested "last July" so that would put it at 1973 since that dispute was part of the dockers strikes in 72 http://libcom.org/history/1972-dockworkers-strike

I'm also confused. Could it be referring to the Tory 1971 Industrial relations act? Most of the opposition to that came from the shopfloors and the small leftist groups, the main Union leaderships were lethargic at best to that. I do believe the Amalgamated Engineers were fined for contempt over some protests over that one which the article mentions.

R Totale

2 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Yeah, I think it must mean the 1971 act then. Actually, looking into it, I think wikipedia misled me about the date of the Liverpool rent strike, this source says it started in October 1972, which means it's totally possible that it would've been mentioned in a '73 paper.

Libertarian Struggle Special: Subversity (1973)

Subversity, a special issue of Libertarian Struggle produced for new university students. Undated, but can be identified as from 1973 from the events mentioned. With articles on the critique of the university, students and revolution, "free speech" and the no-platforming of controversial right-wing speakers at universities, John Randall, who became NUS President in 1973, teacher training, the student movement and the left groups, and a campaign for free public access to the library at Hull University.

Submitted by R Totale on March 30, 2020
LS S.pdf (10.84 MB)

Anarchist Worker #27 (May 1976)

Issue #27 of Anarchist Worker (formerly Libertarian Struggle). The first issue produced under the new name, with articles on the imposition of a pay freeze, the origins of May Day, NHS cleaners' struggles, squatters in Islington, a proposed nuclear power station, the re-emergence of the anarchist movement and workers' struggles in Spain, an anarchist analysis of Northern Ireland, ruling class scandals, the National Front in Edinburgh, Jim Callaghan, increased Conservative activity in the NUS, an introduction to the Anarchist Workers' Association, a movement against "regeneration" in Birmingham bringing together residents and construction workers, and more.

Submitted by R Totale on March 30, 2020
AW27.pdf (24.34 MB)

Anarchist Worker #28 (June 1976)

Issue #28 of Anarchist Worker.

Submitted by R Totale on March 30, 2020