Direct Action: Paper of the Direct Action Movement (1980s)

An incomplete archive of Direct Action, a paper produced by the Direct Action Movement. Taken from the excellent collection at the Sparrow's Nest.

Submitted by R Totale on May 6, 2020

Direct Action was also the paper of the DAM's predecessor organisation the Syndicalist Workers Federation. An archive of the SWF Direct Action can be found here.

In 1994 the Direct Action Movement became the Solidarity Federation which published its own version of Direct Action from 1994-2009.

syndicalist

2 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Excellent

freemind

2 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

From 86-90 DA was excellent and a great advert for AnarchoSyndicalism.I hadn't seen thearlest issues until now-Great stuff

freemind

2 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

From 86-90 DA was excellent and a great advert for AnarchoSyndicalism.I hadn't seen thearlest issues until now-Great stuff

tyneside anarchist

2 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

As a matter of interest (there is a full story behind it which i wont delve into as i only know bits and iam sure some on here will know more) there is 2 different issues of number 32 one in July 1986 (the bogus issue produced by breakaway group) and one in Sept 1986.

R Totale

2 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Huh, looks like the Sparrow's Nest has scanned both, one as "32A" and one as "32B". Got a while to go before I reach that, though.

syndicalist

2 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

tyneside anarchist

As a matter of interest (there is a full story behind it which i wont delve into as i only know bits and iam sure some on here will know more) there is 2 different issues of number 32 one in July 1986 (the bogus issue produced by breakaway group) and one in Sept 1986.

Detailed story, for sure. having close relations with the DAM, having read the internal documents, I'm familiar with the situation. The issue at hand was the then Hull DAM published an unauthorized "DA" issue favorable to CNT-Victoria split from CNT-AIT. These folks later went on to form the current Spanish CGT. DAM withdrew that issue of "DA and published another issue, same number only "A" after number.

Edit: See "50 Years on" for outright support for the "CNT-U" split.: http://www.thesparrowsnest.org.uk/collections/public_archive/10237.pdf

Fozzie

2 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

46 is here https://bibdig.biblioteca.unesp.br/handle/10/8905 but I think will need cropping?

Direct Action #02 (1981)

Issue #2 of Direct Action, with stories on Charles and Diana's wedding, the school kids strike of 1911, "work experience" schemes like YOPS, education, cuts, health and safety hazards in the workplace, and more.

Submitted by R Totale on May 6, 2020
DA 2.pdf (14.25 MB)

Direct Action #03 (1981)

Issue #3 of Direct Action, with articles on the start of the 1981 riot wave, CND, war and the arms industry, sterilisation, health hazards at work, the repression of the historical IWW in 1917-23, a split in the National Front, the limitations of the "right to work", a Rochdale pub barring members of the Direct Action Movement, and more.

Submitted by R Totale on May 6, 2020
DA 3.pdf (14.72 MB)

Direct Action #04 (1981)

Issue #4 of Direct Action, with articles on the summer 1981 riots and state repression, a workplace occupation at Laurence Scott being evicted, Leeds DAM members being fined for selling papers, a police killing in Toxteth and the official response, radiation, the long hours and short holidays of UK workers, occupational deafness, an introduction to anarcho-syndicalism, fascism, police, prisons, Ireland, a proposal for charitable work after a nuclear war(!), the effects of class on health during pregnancy and more.

Submitted by R Totale on May 6, 2020
DA 4.pdf (15.18 MB)

Direct Action #05 (1981)

Issue #5 of Direct Action, with articles on the threat of nuclear war, armed police carrying out terror raids against Leeds anarchists, health hazards at work, El Salvador, "outworkers" organising in Leicester, workers' control in Barcelona, a diary from the workers' occupation at the British Columbia Telephone Company, Ireland, Poland, the USSR, riots in British history, the debate over public sector union NALGO affiliating to Labour, and more.

Submitted by R Totale on May 7, 2020
DA 5.pdf (15.71 MB)

Direct Action #06 (1981)

Issue #6 of Direct Action, with articles on Solidarnosc in Poland, Northern Ireland, birth policy in China, the dangers of epoxy resin, a typists' dispute in Liverpool, the army, squatting, "community policing", work, a review of a pamphlet about unions and racism, reports on the far right, Churchill's interest in anthrax, Greenpeace, deportations and more.

Submitted by R Totale on May 7, 2020
DA 6.pdf (15.79 MB)

Direct Action #07 (1982)

Issue #7 of Direct Action, with articles on the SDP/Liberal alliance and the bankruptcy of mainstream politics, occupations by Scottish workers at British Aluminium and Loveable, a strike against victimisation at the Jewel Razor factory in Sheffield, the dangers of YOPS "training schemes", the difficulties of selling anarchist papers in Sunderland, the limits of the "right to work", deadly cooking oil in Spain, dangerous industrial chemicals like PCP, Chile, EMI and the arms industry, the campaign against the framing of Newton Rose in Hackney, syndicalism, the death of Spanish anarchosyndicalist Miguel Garcia, sexual harassment, the army, and more.

Submitted by R Totale on May 7, 2020
DA 7.pdf (16.13 MB)

Direct Action #08 (1982)

Issue #8 of Direct Action, with articles on the Bradford 12 case, the possibility of another "hot summer" of riots, the dangers of Depo-Provera, the dispute at Lawrence Scotts, childbirth, sport and South Africa, the Jewel Razors strike in Sheffield, a crackdown on the peace movement in East Germany, the history of ITT, a crackdown on the DISK union in Turkey, a guide to youth cultures, the YOPS training schemes, the dangers of air conditioning, the 50th anniversary of the Kinder Scout trespass, new restrictions on health workers' ability to strike, a report on the far right, sabotage during a strike at Bernard Matthews, new tory cuts, police brutality and more.

Submitted by R Totale on May 7, 2020
DA 8.pdf (16.7 MB)

Direct Action #09 (1982)

Issue #9 of Direct Action, with articles on CND, Bakunin on Marxism, the latest far-right developments, a Leeds DAM member arrested during the Bradford 12 trial, commando-style raids against workplace occupations in France, a review of the "We Want to Riot not to Work" pamphlet, the Catholic Church officially excommunicating anarchists, Poland and Solidarnosc, anti-terror legislation being used against trade unionists, French anarchists being excluded from an amnesty for political prisoners, life in "socialist Lambeth", Israeli anarchism, the Dutch squatters movement and more.

Submitted by R Totale on May 7, 2020
DA 9.pdf (16.38 MB)

Direct Action #10 (1982)

Issue #10 of Direct Action, with articles on asbestos, the police, union notes, Militant (now the Socialist Party), the formation of a new anti-militarist network, Arthur Scargill, the principles of revolutionary syndicalism, nuclear weapons in the Falklands, DAM support for a hospital workers' dispute, the Spartacist League, a plug for the French anarchist Radio Libertaire and the newly-launched US publication Ideas & Action, and more.

Submitted by R Totale on May 8, 2020
DA 10.pdf (15.49 MB)

Direct Action #11 (1982)

Issue #11 of Direct Action, with articles on the Libertarian Workers Group and North American anarcho-syndicalism, the need for a general strike, a critique of the left parties, unreported riots in Liverpool, Towards Anarchism by Malatesta, the effects of tory economic policies, Czech dissident Ivan Jirous being imprisoned, a look at the managing director of Holcroft Castings in Rochdale, the pay of the rich, the anti-authoritarian left in Poland, a review of a pamphlet about the left groups, a dispute at Heathfields in Slough, and more.

Submitted by R Totale on May 9, 2020
DA 11.pdf (14.99 MB)

Direct Action #12 (1983)

Issue #12 of Direct Action, with articles on unemployment, a dispute at Aire Valley Yarns in West Yorkshire, industrial news, a report from an anarchist group in Poland, a report by Albert Meltzer from a CNT conference, reports on the anarchist movement in Japan, Italy and Ireland, a critique of letter bombs, a racist arson in Croydon, the eviction of a squatted peace centre in Sheffield, and more.

Submitted by R Totale on May 9, 2020
DA 12.pdf (16.25 MB)

Direct Action #13 (1983)

Issue #13 of Direct Action, with articles on the crisis, bus workers' struggles in Sheffield, the Aire Valley yarns dispute in West Yorkshire, the Polish anarchist movement, a review of "With the Peasants of Aragorn" by Augustin Souchy, a dispute at St. James' Hospital, job cuts at Horwich Works in Bolton, a dispute at Hindles Gears, anarchism in Latin America, the canteen food at Holcrofts in Rochdale, the NUM's attitude to Russia and refusal to support Ukranian miners, an occupation of an army recruiting centre in Sheffield and more.

Submitted by R Totale on May 9, 2020
DA 13.pdf (15.54 MB)

Direct Action #14 (1983)

Issue #14 of Direct Action, with articles on the arms industry, Stop the City, a CNT victory at Spanish supermarket chain Carrefour, the Polish mining industry, the ongoing Hindles dispute, bus fares in Teesside, the Thornton View hospital occupation, the Haymarket Martyrs, a post-mortem on the TUC's March for Jobs, radioactive waste, arson by disgruntled workers, the Vancouver 5 case, new Japanese management techniques, repression against Radio Libertaire in France, an anarcha-feminist conference in Doncaster, and more.

Submitted by R Totale on May 9, 2020
DA 14.pdf (15.72 MB)

Direct Action #17 (August? 1984)

Issue #17 of Direct Action, with articles on the miners' strike, the involvement of women, the policing of the strike, workers refusing to help with arms sales to Chile, a strike at Barking hospital, the EEPTU union helping Hitachi to push through redundancies, strikes at Austin Rover/Leyland, repression in Cuba, a strike at IG Metall in (West) Germany, reviews of recent DAM pamphlets, Bakunin on co-operatives, the policing of Reagan's visit to London, an apology for issue #16 disappearing, and more.

Submitted by R Totale on May 10, 2020
DA 17.pdf (20.25 MB)

Direct Action #18 (September 1984)

Issue #18 of Direct Action, with articles on the miners' strike, an anarcho-syndicalist perspective on the strike, international solidarity with the strike from the CNT, FAU and IWW, police brutality and pressure from social security, solidarity with the strike from Dutch, French and Polish workers, a fundraising single recorded by striking workers in Bradford, the refounding of the USI in Italy, solidarity with Polish workers, a police raid on 121 Bookshop, an occupation of South London Women's Hospital, international news including class struggle in the USSR, a strike at Phillips Rubber in Manchester, and more.

Submitted by R Totale on May 10, 2020
DA 18.pdf (19.44 MB)

Direct Action #19 (October 1984)

Issue #19 of Direct Action, with articles on the politics of the miners' strike, a dockers' strike being called off, low pay among secretarial and clerical staff at the BBC, closures in the steel industry, the 1984 TUC conference, scabs in Kent connected to the Freedom Association, a strike by Asian textile workers in Birmingham at Kewal Brothers, wildcat strikes at the Austin Rover Cowley plant, and a syndicalist critique of both the TUC mainstream and Scargill.

Submitted by R Totale on May 11, 2020
DA 19.pdf (8.17 MB)

Direct Action #20 (November 1984)

Issue #20 of Direct Action, with articles on miners and the law, Ian MacGregor, the idea of an international miners' union as "the miners' next step", mutual aid, a strike by NCB repair staff, Burnley Claimants Union, violence and the class war after the Brighton bombing, the development of military robots, the FAU and anarcho-syndicalism in Germany, an anarchist paperseller arrested in Leeds, a letter from the Libertarian Workers Group, "Ireland - Britain's Vietnam", a strike at Disneyland, the death of Ukranian unionist Alexei Nikitin, and more.

Submitted by R Totale on May 11, 2020

Direct Action #21 (December 1984-January 1985)

Issue #21 of Direct Action, with articles on solidarity with the miners over the Christmas period, the French CNT supporting the miners, the need to smash the state, Cammell Laird shipyard workers in Birkenhead being jailed for occupying, Ghanian sailors occupying a ship in Birkenhead docks, the Bolshevik counter-revolution, a policy document looking at possible outcomes for the class struggle in 1985, an article by Phillip Sansom on syndicalism, Eric Hammond and the EEPTU as an example of "company unionism", and a dispute by Dublin shopworkers refusing to sell South African food.

Submitted by R Totale on May 11, 2020
DA 21.pdf (21.01 MB)

Direct Action #22 (February 1985)

Issue #22 of Direct Action, with articles on the need for solidarity action with the miners, a report from a conference to plan such action, job cuts on Teesside, the importance of solidarity, Polypipe in Doncaster, the Fitzwilliam Nine trial, Philip Kane on the relevance of anarchism today, reviews of Medway DAM pamphlets on feminism and porn, surrogate mothers and childbirth, prison abolition, syndicalism in Latin America, pollution in the Adriatic sea, the ZZZ and the history of Polish syndicalism, violence and more.

Submitted by R Totale on May 11, 2020
DA 22.pdf (16.97 MB)

Direct Action #23 (March 1985)

Issue #23 of Direct Action, with articles on the issues behind the miners' strike, the lack of effective solidarity from other unions, the threat of automation, a Mineworkers' Defence Committee conference dominated by the left groups, Willie Gallacher on direct action, changes to housing benefit payments, a critical look at Derek Hatton and Liverpool's Militant (now Socialist Party)-run council, an IWW strike in New York, Coca-Cola and death squads in Guatemala, free unionism in Romania, the history of the miners and British syndicalism, prisoners of the miners' strike, the anniversary of the Barking hospital dispute, and more.

Submitted by R Totale on May 11, 2020
DA 23.pdf (18.5 MB)

Direct Action #24 (April 1985)

Issue #24 of Direct Action, with articles on the end of the miners' strike, nuclear weapons, strategy for miners after the strike, international news from the IWW, the COB in Bolivia, and the Guatemala Coca-Cola dispute, Esperanto, Albert Camus and syndicalism, poverty and the welfare system, cancer, the fighting union SAAWU in South Africa, the free trade union SLOMR in Romania, the history of British syndicalism and the miners, nuclear power, rising energy prices and more.

Submitted by R Totale on May 11, 2020
DA 24.pdf (21.92 MB)

Direct Action #26 (July 1985)

Issue #26 of Direct Action, with articles on miners in prison after the strike, planned Europe-wide cuts in the coal industry, abortion and scientific research, a report from a Bolton DAM meeting addressed by a formerly imprisoned miner, racism, industrial news including a strike at Golden Wonder crisps and the Windsor Castle pub in Liverpool, the history and present of the IWW, opposition to nuclear power in Italy, the Fowler review of the benefits system and welfare cuts, football violence, a continued debate about the "Future is Ours" article from issue 21, and more.

Submitted by R Totale on May 12, 2020
DA 26.pdf (17.67 MB)

R Totale

2 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The mention of a "Strike at Windsor Castle" in this one really threw me until I realised it referred to a pub in Liverpool and not a little-known outbreak of militancy among royal servants.

Direct Action #27 (January 1986)

Issue #27 of Direct Action, with a review of 1985's news, a critique of the right-wing leadership of the electricians' union EEPTU, the need for rank and file groups and a report from a "rank and file conference wrecked by Marxists", a guide to health and safety at work, an article from the French CNT about the situation in France, slave labour under the Nazis and in Brazil today, a history of the IWA-AIT and announcement of the IWW's planned conference in Chicago for the 100th anniversary of the Haymarket Massacre, a review of "The Good Terrorist" by Doris Lessing and more.

Submitted by R Totale on May 12, 2020
DA 27.pdf (19.19 MB)

Serge Forward

2 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Heh heh... it's got a letter from me writing as "Chris Wells, Manchester" which the editorial group hammered. Although a couple of issues later, Dave Douglass backs me up. Memories, eh.

Direct Action #28 (February 1986)

Issue #28 of Direct Action, with articles on the start of the Wapping dispute and the need for real solidarity across the union movement, the electricians' union EEPTU putting out promotional materials with endorsements from managers and Norman Tebbit, Britain's low wages, the Westland Affair, syndicalism and class, reviews of books on Bolivia and Peru, benefit cuts, a unionist on hunger strike in Grenada, international news from South Africa, Turkey, France, Spain and Latin Ameria, the French CGT and WWI, an appeal to support Chilean anarcho-syndicalists, the Silentnight dispute and more.

Submitted by R Totale on May 12, 2020
DA 28.pdf (18.37 MB)

Direct Action #29 (March 1986)

Issue #29 of Direct Action, with articles on the Wapping, French Connection and Silentnight disputes, health and safety at work, privatisation at British Leyland, the push to turn workers into "self-employed" contractors, syndicalism and control, a review of a pamphlet about women's health in the workplace, a controversy over "natural childbirth" methods, resistance to the Fowler Review benefit cuts, international news from the Philippines and the French CNT, France '68, a special extra supplement on the Laings lock-out dispute in the construction industry, and more.

Submitted by R Totale on May 12, 2020
DA 29.pdf (23.67 MB)

Direct Action #30 (April 1986)

Issue #30 of Direct Action, with articles on nuclear waste, the Protestant general strike in Northern Ireland, the Silentnight dispute, union officials sabotaging disputes, the new budget announcement, a DAM member being sacked by Michelin in Ballymena, syndicalism and war, a review of "Come and wet this truncheon" by Dave Douglass, "Red Wedge" and Labour, the latest news on the benefits system, international news from Nicaragua, Iran Australia, Uruguay, South Africa and the US, James Connolly, James Larkin and the Easter Rising of 1916, a report from the AFA conference where Class War were suspended, DAM activity, the lead-up to the Wapping dispute, a May Day poster and more.

Submitted by R Totale on May 12, 2020
DA 30.pdf (23.51 MB)

R Totale

2 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Think there's a typo on the first page here where it talks about "Ian Paisley, John Molyneux and the Orange Order" - I think they mean James Molyneaux there, there's a lot of criticisms I would make of John Molyneux but I don't think he was ever an important figure in Ulster Loyalism.

Direct Action #31 (May 1986)

Issue #31 of Direct Action, with articles on terrorism after the Berlin disco bombing and revenge attacks by the US, May Day 100 years on from the Haymarket massacre, privatisation of health and water, a short story about elections, a syndicalist perspective on guns and bombs, liberal vs syndicalist attitudes to education, a profile of the Dutch syndicalist union OVB, the French CNT's dispute with supermarket chain Mammoth, the 1926 general strike, Italian fascist terrorists in London, increased repression against Rochdale DAM, tensions between Ulster loyalists and the state, and more.

Submitted by R Totale on May 12, 2020
DA 31.pdf (20.9 MB)

Direct Action #32A (July 1986)

Issue #32 of Direct Action, with articles on South Africa, Chernobyl, Richard Dawkins and The Selfish Gene, the environment, capitalism and food, a report from the IWW's international conference, Spanish dockers' struggles, a docks occupation in Gibraltar, repression against the CNT, rank-and-file revolt in the 1960s, a debate over an article on education from #31, sackings of militants at Donaldson Filters, attacks on travellers, and a special feature on Spain 1936 and report from Spain 50 years on.

Submitted by R Totale on May 13, 2020

The "Spain 50 years on/Spain 1986" feature in this issue caused controversy within the Direct Action Movement due to the favourable mention of the CNT split that would become the CGT, and so the next issue featured an apology referring to this as a "bogus issue", and was also numbered 32.

DA 32A.pdf (31.9 MB)