Direct Action: Paper of the Syndicalist Workers' Federation (1950s-1970s)

Header from an issue of Direct Action

Online archive of Direct Action, a monthly paper produced by the Syndicalist Workers' Federation. Taken from the excellent collection at the Sparrow's Nest, the Spirit of Revolt archive and the personal archive of a Libcom user.

Submitted by R Totale on May 25, 2020

The paper began as the organ of the Anarchist Federation of Britain, which changed its title to the Syndicalist Workers’ Federation in 1950 and joined the International Working Men’s Association (the syndicalist international).

This archive commences with volume 5 (1950, when the SWF was formed) through to volume 9 (1954). The numbering then seems to have restarted at volume 1 in the late 1950s or early 1960s.

Direct Action absorbed other SWF papers such as the weekly Workers Voice and the IWMA paper World Labour News.

It was published from 1950 until the late 1970s. After this, the Syndicalist Workers Federation transformed itself into the Direct Action Movement, which published its own paper also called Direct Action.

Comments

Fozzie

2 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Fozzie on February 15, 2022

Looks like we had two pages for this journal? I have moved the ones that were here:
https://libcom.org/library/direct-action-world-labour-news-1960s

to this page.

I've left copies of the early 1960s World Labour News publications there.

Possibly there is an argument for them all being on one page, I am not sure?

R Totale

2 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by R Totale on February 15, 2022

I think I started this one, then belatedly realised the other one existed, then got too confused trying to work out how to merge them and gave up. If anyone has the time, the Sparrow's Nest still have a load of scans that aren't here yet, although trying to work out the numbering is a bit of a nightmare - for instance, there's a Direct Action (SWF), vol 5 no 7 (no 45) from November 1950, as well as a Direct Action: For workers' direct control of industry, vol 5 no 7 (no 37) from July 1964. It would be nice if someone has the time to get them archived all the way up to issue 84, cos that's from June 1968, so has some quite historic events to report on. And also has a beautifully unexpected letter from a Canadian cancelling their subscription and advising British workers "to bend every effort to pull your country together - take a voluntary pay cut, work extra hours for no pay..."

Fozzie

2 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Fozzie on February 15, 2022

Thanks R Totale.

I'm a bit confused about the relationship between the Anarchist Federation, the SWF and the International Working Mens Association.

vol 4 #7 (number 39) from 1949 is the organ of the Anarchist Federation
http://www.thesparrowsnest.org.uk/collections/public_archive/4429.pdf

But vol 5 #7 (number 45) from 1950 is from the SWF incorporating the IWMA.
http://www.thesparrowsnest.org.uk/collections/public_archive/4436.pdf

Then by 1960 World Labour News is an IWMA thing but not SWF:
https://libcom.org/library/direct-action-world-labour-news-1960s

Fozzie

2 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Fozzie on February 15, 2022

Oh right here goes:

"Later, the Anarchist Federation of Britain changed its title to the Syndicalist Workers’ Federation and joined the Syndicalist International, the International Working Men’s Association, of which it now is the British Section."

Story of the Syndicalist Workers' Federation: Born in Struggle - Tom Brown

https://www.katesharpleylibrary.net/wdbt17

Every day is a school day, etc.

R Totale

2 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by R Totale on February 15, 2022

Yeah, so the Anarchist Federation of Britain (not to be confused with the Anarchist Federation!) started producing Direct Action in the 1940s, and then at some point between number 44/July 1950 and number 52/July 1951, changed their name to the SWF, but carried on using the same numbering, and that series, which has been partially archived by the Sparrow's Nest, runs up to at least number 61/December 1952. Then they started a new run, also called Direct Action with new numbering, of which the March 1962 issue seems to be the earliest surviving issue, going up to number 84/June 1968, as above.

And then of course after that the SWF became the Direct Action Movement, who produced Direct Action from 1981-1990, before becoming SolFed, who produced 47 issues of Direct Action running up to 2009. Simple, really.

Fozzie

2 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Fozzie on February 15, 2022

Righty ho, apologies for flooding the forum - have tided up the titles for consistency now.

syndicalist

2 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by syndicalist on February 15, 2022

I largely made copies of stuff I had and posted them a few summers ago here. Done as an individual project. No one has before or since reached out to me. As long as the time consuming work I put into scanning etc doesn't get lost or wasted, I am fine with making things as tidy and organized as can be.

Fozzie

2 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Fozzie on February 15, 2022

syndicalist

I largely made copies of stuff I had and posted them a few summers ago here. Done as an individual project. No one has before or since reached out to me. As long as the time consuming work I put into scanning etc doesn't get lost or wasted, I am fine with making things as tidy and organized as can be.

Thanks for doing that, Syndicalist. I actually ended up tidying because I found an article about an eviction I was reading about in one of the issues, so your work is much appreciated generally :)

Plus this has expanded my and R Totale’s knowledge of mid 20th Century orgs, which is also good.

R Totale

2 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by R Totale on February 15, 2022

Yeah, Syndicalist's work is definitely appreciated, any other context you can provide would also be welcome!

Kate Sharpley

2 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Kate Sharpley on February 16, 2022

Thanks, Syndicalist, Fozzie, and RT!
On the birth of the SWF:

2nd April 1949. Letter sent out suggesting the formation of the Syndicalist Workers Federation with a separate " Draft Proposals For The Formation Of A Syndicalist Workers Federation". It stated that a preliminary meeting for those interested would be held at 25 Amberley Road, London W9 at 3pm on April 17th 1949. PDF here: http://katesharpleylibrary.pbworks.com/w/file/140142444/SWF%20letter%20and%20proposal..pdf

3 June 1950. Ken Hawkes (for National Committee of the AFB) and Frank Rowe (Secretary of the London Group) send a letter with proposals, the first being that "The AFB should transform itself into an organisation which will concern itself solely with syndicalist propaganda and action." Read the letter with proposals http://katesharpleylibrary.pbworks.com/w/file/140448762/RON01996-7becomingSWF1950.pdf

August 6th 1950. At a Special Conference of the AFB it is agreed that the AFB should be dissolved and the Syndicalist Workers Federation should be created,with " Direct Action" as its newspaper.

(from the chronology of The Split http://katesharpleylibrary.pbworks.com/w/page/139511268/The%201945%20split%20in%20British%20anarchism )

syndicalist

2 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by syndicalist on February 16, 2022

Excellent stuff, Barry. Thanks Fozzie, and RT.

Parallel with the SWF would be the National Rank and File Movement, of which the SWF became the most significant player. I thought I might have scanned some of their stuff as well, about the same time I scanned "DA" and "WLN". I'll have to check.

R Totale

2 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by R Totale on February 16, 2022

Thanks for that - I didn't realise the archives went that far back, but I learned from the split article that the Sparrow's Nest have scanned a copy of the very first AFB/SWF Direct Action from 1945. And interesting to learn that Meltzer was on the Freedom side of the Freedom/AFB split, shows how complex these things are I suppose.

syndicalist

2 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by syndicalist on February 17, 2022

I need to come back to the question of Meltzer and Freedom and the formation of the SWF.

In Chapter 6 of his autobiography, "“I Couldn’t Paint Golden Angels”, Meltzer wrote:

"Since the split of 1944 I had been somewhat a lone wolf even in the few soi-disant anarchist groups. True, the majority of the remaining anarchists took the same position that I did, which was that neither of the two factions involved in the personality clash were viable groupings. ....

"A part of the majority section of the Anarchist Federation had become the Syndicalist Workers Federation and was fairly alive to industrial action. It was obstinacy on my part that I could not be reconciled with them owing to their domination by the Spanish exile group which supported the Toulouse centred organisation and opposed the Resistance, with which I felt personal ties.

On the other hand, the Freedom Press Group, which I never joined because of their lack of interest in class struggle and increasing fixation with academia...."

Meltzer writes elsewhere in "Angels" his rather critical and almost stand-offish position towards the SWF.

Some good background stuff here on Meltzer's independent "The Syndicalist" publish project.
With excellent KSL links.

"Passing without a ripple- the Anarcho-Syndicalist Committee": https://splitsandfusions.wordpress.com/2022/01/02/passing-without-a-ripple-the-anarcho-syndicalist-committee/

Fozzie

2 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Fozzie on February 21, 2022

Spirit of Revolt has scans of SWF Direct Action from the 1970s:
https://spiritofrevolt.info/direct-action-collection/

So that means:

1945-1949: Direct Action (Anarchist Federation of Britain)

1950-1970s: Direct Action (Syndicalist Workers Federation) - this page

1980-1992: Direct Acton (Direct Action Movment) (80 issues?)

1994-2008: Direct Action (Solidarity Federation) 47 issues:
https://web.archive.org/web/20120304101910/http://direct-action.org.uk/

R Totale

2 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by R Totale on February 21, 2022

Almost, although just to be fully pedantic/confuse things even further, I think it looks like:
1945-1949 - DA AFB
1949-1952? DA produced by SWF but carrying on with the numbering from before

Early 1960s-1968? - SWF start DA again with a new numbering system

1973? - SWF relaunch DA yet again with a new issue 1

Before we get to the relatively straightforward DAM and SolFed DAs. In other news, bet you can't guess what the Irish IWW have decided to call their new paper.

Fozzie

2 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Fozzie on February 21, 2022

Lol, no I was hoping for some pedantry, so that’s good!

I’d say there is an argument for having all the SWF DA’s together, with a diff page for the AFoB issues as that represents a slightly different set of politics?

syndicalist

2 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by syndicalist on February 21, 2022

Fozzie

Lol, no I was hoping for some pedantry, so that’s good!

I’d say there is an argument for having all the SWF DA’s together, with a diff page for the AFoB issues as that represents a slightly different set of politics?

FWIW, I could go either way, depending on the page headings. I think its cool to have one link, makes it easier for someone researching, say, SWF or AFB or DAM or Solfed to see the historical linkages. Of course, that may be very cumbersome to have on one page

R Totale

2 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by R Totale on February 21, 2022

I mean, I don't really have any time/energy to put into the archiving project at the moment, so feel free to use whatever system works best for you? For me, hypothetically speaking, it feels like the 1950 SWF-DAs would fit with the 1949 AFB-DAs more than the 1960s ones, and differentiating between DA(SWF) Issue 1 (1960s) and DA(SWF) Issue 1 (1970s) within a single page seems like it'd be a bit of a headache, but as I say it's probably not going to be me uploading them so feel free to ignore my backseat driving there.

Fozzie

2 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Fozzie on February 21, 2022

Ok! Thanks both, I will see how I get on, but it will be little and often I think.

syndicalist

2 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by syndicalist on February 22, 2022

Thank you both for your respective efforts on this seemingly thankless task. I appreciate the efforts. And it adds to the top rate ability to quickly research stuff. Thanks again. Solidarity!

Splits and Fusions

2 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Splits and Fusions on February 23, 2022

Since we are discussing the SWF and Direct Action, what can people tell me about the Workers Voice weekly paper of the SWF in 1961?

I know this started life in mid-1960 as the bulletin of Brian Behan's Workers Party and continued as such on a weekly basis from v1 no1 until at least v1 no23 (either late 1960 or early 1961)

In Feb 1961 the Workers Party group fused with the SWF but Workers Voice continued as a SWF paper.

However, and this is the strange bit, it started again with a v1 no1 numbering. The editor of both papers was Bill Christopher.

I would be interested to know how long WV continued (the latest I have seen is SWF v1 no13 probably September 1961...) in parallel with other SWF papers such as DA and World Labour News...

R Totale

2 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by R Totale on February 23, 2022

You know more than I do there, at first I was squinting at it going "huh, I never knew yer man who wrote The Quare Fellow was in SWF?" Was this Workers' Voice entirely unrelated from and separate to the Liverpool council communist Workers' Voice that went into the CWO? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Communist_Workers%27_Organisation_(UK) FWIW, that wikipedia page links to this dissertation on Solidarity: http://archivesautonomies.org/IMG/pdf/nonfrenchpublications/english/solidarity60-77/solidarity-history.pdf which you may have seen before, but does seem to mention Behan as well as the WV/CWO?

Splits and Fusions

2 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Splits and Fusions on February 23, 2022

Yes, so Brian Behan left the Socialist Labour League (Healyites) in 1960 - (not long before the separate split which gave rise to Socialism Reaffirned / Solidarity).
It is strange that the split was about the need to build an open party (rather than an entrist group in the Labour Party) but very rapidly- a little over six months- joined the SWF.
Behan's autobiography "With Breast Expanded" glosses over the whole thing in a few sentences and I don't think he was long in the SWF.

Not related at all to the Merseyside Workers Voice ten years later.

https://splitsandfusions.wordpress.com/2018/04/03/brian-behan-and-the-workers-party-workers-voice/

syndicalist

2 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by syndicalist on February 23, 2022

Splits and Fusions - The first I learned of Brian Behan was in the article you linked to. I'm in the US and both SWF and London Solidarity were influencial in my development back in the early 1970s. But not once do I recall hearing about him or his fascinating story back then. That said, all these years later these little snippets seem to be coming up. I mean, I never really knew the particulars about some of the early SWF people Albert Meltzer went on to criticize (and his general criticism of the SWF people in the pocket of the Tolouse CNT exiles). And even why he chose to do his own thing for many a year outside the SWF. I'll see what, if anything, I may have on this, I tend to think not. Fascinating though.

PS: If anyone, perhaps Barry P./ KSL might have some clues.

Kate Sharpley

2 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Kate Sharpley on February 24, 2022

On the SWF: Di Parkin's account:
https://www.brh.org.uk/site/events/running-down-whitehall/
Workers Voice:
There are letters about the group in Rom's Archive (Sparrow's Nest)
https://thesparrowsnest.org.uk/search.php?query=workers%27+voice
See also, Alan Woodward's Life and Times of Joe Thomas
[and R. Totale, you might be getting your Behan brothers mixed up]

Fozzie

11 months 1 week ago

Submitted by Fozzie on June 16, 2023

OK so that is 99 issues and is a collection of all the copies I have found online. There are some gaps, which is understandable given how long ago these were published.

I'd be interested to know what was going on with the SWF between 1954 and 1962 and whether DA issues were published then - it seemed to be going quite well in 1954....

syndicalist

11 months 1 week ago

Submitted by syndicalist on June 16, 2023

Great stuff. Thanks for posting

asn

11 months 1 week ago

Submitted by asn on June 17, 2023

I read somewhere some years back that the SWF was involved around this period in organising amongst apprentices presumably at Techs - but it didn't seem to lead anywhere later on perhaps due to the predominance of the Marxist Leninist groups - Communist Party and then Trot groups to the left of the British Labour Party on the industrial front. (1) This aspect of their activity would be certainly worth looking into .

Also the SWF claimed to have achieved a large membership in comparison to other left groups in these years -a peak of 500 members - but this 'membership' gain was not connected to their industrial activity success but their involvement in the Peace Movement/Ban the Bomb. Presumably this would involve mostly student/middle class leftists involved in the Peace Movement being drawn in due a 'radical phase' they were going through, lack of much understanding of syndicalism and wanting to join a non -Stalinist 'organisation'. With the SWF being drawn into a leftist sect orientation away from the industrial front. Also you would have to take account of a lack of education of these elements about syndicalism and the absence of an appropriate syndicalist strategy for the UK by the SWF and the predominance of the M-L groups on the industrial front to the Left of the Labour Party . This ballooning of 'members' didn't seem to lead anywhere re what the SWF was supposed to be doing - helping achieve mass syndicalist industrial unionism and the transitional steps toward it in the UK.
Notes
(1) See Ken Weller's memoir of 1956 re the predominance of the British CP on the industrial front in these years on libcom.org

Direct Action (SWF): Vol 5 #06 Sept 1950

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The issue of Direct Action which marked the transformation of the Anarchist Federation of Britain into the Syndicalist Workers Federation.

Submitted by Fozzie on May 22, 2023

Includes an account of the August 1950 special conference of the Anarchist Federation of Britain and the agreed aims and principles of the Syndicalist Workers Federation.

PDF courtesy of Sparrows Nest Archive, Nottingham.

Comments

Direct Action (SWF): Vol 5 #07 Nov 1950

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The Syndicalist Workers Federation on: Govt increases conscription period to two years, North Thames gas strike, textile industry, Not Centralism but Federalism by Tom Brown, victory against Finland anti-strike legilsation.

Author
Submitted by Fozzie on May 23, 2023

PDF courtesy of Sparrows Nest Archive, Nottingham.

Comments

Direct Action (SWF): Vol 5 #08 Dec 1950

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Labour government prosecutes striking gas workers, Genoa anarchists freed at trial after anti-Franco actions, international competition, SWF debates CPGB on USSR, Tom Brown on economic federalism, on the futility of calling for state bans.

Author
Submitted by Fozzie on May 24, 2023

PDF courtesy of Sparrows Nest Archive, Nottingham.

Comments

Direct Action (SWF): Vol 6 #01 Jan 1951

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Lancashire Mill girls revolt, new IWMA section in Italy, weavers and spinners gain 10% wage increase, Gerry Williamson obituary, Tom Brown on abolishing the wage system.

Author
Submitted by Fozzie on May 25, 2023

PDF courtesy of Sparrows Nest Archive, Nottingham.

Comments

Direct Action (SWF): Vol 6 #05 June 1951

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Syndicalist Workers Federation on London dockworkers strike, Manchester dock workers lockout, IWMA congress in Toulouse, lorry drivers victory, Leggett report into stoppages at docks, textile union misorganisation, Rudolf Rocker not deported.

Submitted by Fozzie on May 26, 2023

PDF courtesy of Sparrows Nest Archive, Nottingham.

Comments

Direct Action (SWF): Vol 6 #06 July 1951

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The Syndicalist Workers Federation on: price increases/cost of living, Spanish Civil War and Franco's deal with the USA, electricians strike in Ireland, IWMA 7th Conference Resolutions, Syndicalism in Sweden, Syndicalism and the state, "socialist" MP George Strauss.

Submitted by Fozzie on May 30, 2023

PDF courtesy of Sparrows Nest Archive, Nottingham.

Comments

A Week’s Work For a Pair of Boots

1950s advert for Wolverine work boots - probably American

1951 article on the cost of living crisis, price increases and the failure of the Labour Party and unions to do anything effective about them. From the Syndicalist Workers Federation's Direct Action newsletter.

Submitted by Fozzie on May 30, 2023

“Never before”, declared a delegate to the recent A.E.U.1 annual conference “has a man had to work a week to buy a pair of boots”.

This apt comment of an engineering worker, crystallises in one sentence the feelings of the overwhelming majority of the population. Never before have price increases continued so relentlessly as during the past twelve months. Never before has so much talk been wasted on the subject of price controls – and so little done. There is no need to mention the innumerable items which have increased in price. It is sufficient to say that it now takes a week’s work to buy a blanket and eight years’ wages to buy a house – if you can live on air in the meanwhile.

Since the beginning of this year, official estimates admit that the cost of living has gone up by some nine per cent, or eleven shillings a week to the average worker. Still there is no sign of respite. Wholesale prices have, in the last six months, gone up by 30 per cent. This means that, by the end of the year, the average £6 a week worker will be 30s a week worse off. To offset this, the government would have us believe that we are, on average, receiving seven shillings a week more in the pay packet. This increase, of course, exists mainly on paper. The chief beneficiaries are such people as the higher-paid civil servants, who received, not long ago, pay increases of up to £15 a week. In view of the present size of the Civil Service, this represents a not inconsiderable factor – and a great strain – on what is now termed “the national economy”.

Smash and Grab

In answer to this fantastic situation, what, it may be asked, has the trade union movement done. Mr E.F. Fryer, Chairman of the T&GWU conference held at Whitley Bay a few weeks ago, gave the answer. He urged that a policy of wage restraint was still necessary and that union members – who include 95s a week railwaymen – should not adopt a policy of “smash and grab”. The only hope he could hold out was that they would not see union members suffer "in the general wages movement which is now taking place" The conference then went on to discuss workers who were abusing sickness benefit schemes and robbing the boss.

The record of the Labour Government, in this respect, is no better. Week in and week out, senior ministers appeal to the industrial workers, "not to use the present favourable employment situation as a lever to raise their wages." With the same monotonous regularity, the President of the Board of Trade meets the barons of industry to discuss general price increases.

We know, from our own experience, that talk of price controls is useless. Despite the fact that industrial production is nearly half as much again as before the war, and exports last month reached a record figure for all time, our standard of living is deteriorating. The armament economy of the entire world is absorbing the world's wealth. This, of course, quite apart from the fact that, whenever the workers' organisations fail, as they are doing at present, to conduct at active struggle for higher wages at the expense of profits, organised capital reaps even greater dividends at the expense of wages. A glance at any issue of the "Financial Times" will show that profits have never been better than at the present time,

Fighting Machines

The only successful struggles that have been waged during recent years have been unofficial. The trade unions, integrating themselves with the state machine, and bent on getting governmental positions for their leaders, have no time or use for the dangerous road of really fighting for wage increases. The unofficial movements and committees, operating very much on syndicalist lines, have replaced the trade unions as the fighting organisations of the industrial working class.

We believe that these movements should not regard themselves as temporary "pep groups" within the trade unions, but as the workers' organisations of the future. Not only as the fighting machines for the day-to-day struggles for improved wages and conditions, but as the means of ending the profit system and the rule by one class over another. Nobody who has vested interests, as the trade union leaders have, in maintaining the triangle of employers, government officials and trade union bureaucrats can accomplish that. Only the industrial workers, in whose interests it is to end the system, will do it.

  • 1 Amalgamated Engineering Union

Comments

Direct Action (SWF): Vol 6 #07 Sept 1951

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Syndicalist Workers Federation on: the limits of wage increase demands, mill workers reject reformist union, rep, lockout at South London engineering firm, dockworkers set up co-ops, Coal Board prosecutes striking miners, debate on tactical freedom of IWMA sections,

Submitted by Fozzie on May 31, 2023

PDF courtesy of Sparrows Nest Archive, Nottingham.

Comments

Direct Action (SWF): Vol 6 #08 Oct 1951

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Syndicalist Workers Federation on: fighting the new Conservative government, Dagenham Cable workers win pay rise, settlement reached after South London engineers lockout, post-war re-armament, SWF National Congress in Moss Side, call for contributors.

Submitted by Fozzie on June 1, 2023

PDF courtesy of Sparrows Nest Archive, Nottingham.

Comments

Direct Action (SWF): Vol 7 #01 June 1952

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Syndicalist Workers Federation on: 10,000 anti-fascsists arrested in Barcelona, textile workers, against Nationalisation, conscientious objectors, German nazis on the move, IWW against both war blocs, etc.

Submitted by Fozzie on June 2, 2023

NB: First printed/tabloid issue of Direct Action (see "Back again" on page 3).

PDF from Sparrows Nest Archive, Nottingham.

Comments

Direct Action (SWF): Vol 7 #02 July 1952

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Syndicalist Workers Federation on: Euston railwaymen defy union bosses, Unions have taken the wrong road by Frank Rowe, stop turning refugees away, Tom Brown on road deaths - a class issue, etc.

Author
Submitted by Fozzie on June 5, 2023

PDF courtesy of Sparrows Nest Archive, Nottingham.

Comments

Direct Action (SWF): Vol 7 #03 Sept 1952

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Syndicalist Workers Federation on: tory attack on living standards, Cuban police frame syndicalist for murder, trade unions and the revolution by Max Baginski, mill work in Lancashire, etc.

Submitted by Fozzie on June 6, 2023

PDF courtesy of Sparrows Nest Archive.

Comments

Direct Action (SWF): Vol 7 #04 Oct 1952

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Syndicalist Workers Federation on: TUC sell out on wages, Nazi Krupp is post-war industry magnate, Maximoff book review, Franco's prisons, NUJ dispute at Daily Worker, Park Royal drivers strike in London, Buenos Aires dockers strike, etc.

Submitted by Fozzie on June 7, 2023

PDF courtesy of Sparrows Nest Archive, Nottingham.

Comments

Direct Action (SWF): Vol 7 #05 Nov 1952

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Syndicalist Workers Federation on: TUC wages policy is rubbish, Labour Party conference, striking dockers attacked by Buenos Aires police, Spanish Civil War - review of literature, 88 years of IWMA, unions banned in Africa, Rhodesia, conscientious objectors, George Cores' memoirs part one, etc.

Author
Submitted by Fozzie on June 8, 2023

PDF courtesy of Sparrows Nest Archive, Nottingham.

Comments

Direct Action (SWF): Vol 7 #06 Dec 1952

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Syndicalist Workers Federation on: Franco and UNESCO, British dockworkers, engineering workers fight wage claims, George Cores on Bloody Sunday, 3rd SWF conference, US elections, report from fascist Spain, etc.

Submitted by Fozzie on June 9, 2023

PDF courtesy of Sparrows Nest Archive, Nottingham.

Comments

Direct Action (SWF): Vol 8 #01 March 1953

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Syndicalist Workers Federation on: rising unemployment, Stalinsts seize control of unions in Cuba, CNT militants on trial in Spain, Ambrose Barker obituary, Tom Brown on "the strike weapon", George Cores on the dockers strike of 1889, New York busmen strike, Tito and the Catholic Church, etc.

Submitted by Fozzie on June 12, 2023

PDF courtesy of Sparrows Nest Archive, Nottingham.

Comments

Direct Action (SWF): Vol 8 #02 May 1953

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Syndicalist Workers Federation on: pay increase for American dockers, 250,000 strike in Brazil, D.C. Thomson strike in Glasgow, Tom Brown on why syndicalists support unofficial strikes, George Cores on the Sheffield Socialist Society and Yorkshire anarchists, South Africa colour bar, France, Japan, etc.

Submitted by Fozzie on June 13, 2023

PDF courtesy of Sparrows Nest Archive, Nottingham.

Comments

Direct Action (SWF): Vol 8 #03 July 1953

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Syndicalist Workers Federation on: knighthoods for union leaders, IWMA supports victims of fascism, peace is bad for the stockmarket, Tom Brown on strike organisation, George Cores on the Walsall Anarchist bomb plot, huge pay rise for Law Chiefs, Central Africa, the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, etc.

Submitted by Fozzie on June 14, 2023

PDF courtesy of Sparrows Nest Archive, Nottingham.

Comments

Direct Action (SWF): Vol 9 #01 Jan 1954

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Syndicalist Workers Federation on: engineers wages claim, Stalinist persecution of Bulgarian syndicalists, victory for unofficial strike at Twinings tea factory, "productivity" - what it means to us, IWMA Swedish congress report, Mau Mau uprising, report on 4th SWF congress in London, CNT militants persecuted in Spain, etc.

Submitted by Fozzie on June 15, 2023

PDF courtesy of Sparrows Nest Archive, Nottingham.

Comments

Direct Action (SWF): Vol 9 #02 May 1954

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Syndicalist Workers Federation on: IWMA against the state, repression round up in colonial countries, reflections on the H-bomb, fascist repression of Spanish trade unionists, socialist Sunday schools, Is McCarthy to be American Hitler?, Silvio Corio obituary, Mat Kavanagh obituary, productivity, conscription, rent increases, etc.

Submitted by Fozzie on June 16, 2023

PDF courtesy of Sparrows Nest archive, Nottingham.

Comments

Direct Action (SWF): Vol 2 #03 March 1962

Volume 2, Issue 3 of Direct Action, with articles on calls for a general strike against a wage freeze, Guyana's supposedly anticolonial rulers calling on British imperial support, apprenticeships, a review of a Solidarity pamphet, police attacks on a demonstration against the far-right OAS in France, and a Committee of 100 court case.

Submitted by R Totale on May 25, 2020

Files

DA V2 N3.pdf (7.9 MB)

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Battlescarred

2 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Battlescarred on January 23, 2022

Laurens Otter died yesterday at the age of 91.

R Totale

2 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by R Totale on January 23, 2022

Thanks for letting us know, if anyone would like to try and archive some more of Otter's writings the Sparrow's Nest has a few of them scanned:
https://thesparrowsnest.org.uk/search.php?query=laurens&logic=and&digital=0&digital=0

Battlescarred

2 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Battlescarred on February 19, 2022

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2022/feb/18/laurens-otter-obituary

Direct Action (SWF): Vol 2 #04 April 1962

Volume 2, Issue 4 of Direct Action, with articles on a rank and file movement in the National Union of Seamen, the use of military courts in Northern Ireland, a review of a pamphlet about strike strategy, the leader of the Liberal Party talking about syndicalism, another pamphlet by the "liberal new left" New Orbits group, and a letter from Socialism Reaffirmed/Solidarity.

Submitted by R Totale on May 25, 2020

Files

DA V2 N4.pdf (8.14 MB)

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Direct Action (SWF): Vol 2 #05 May 1962

Volume 2, Issue #5 of Direct Action, with articles on May Day, an advert for a Committee of 100 meeting featuring Alan Sillitoe among others, the rank and file vs the bureaucracy inside the National Union of Seamen, industrial news and Irish electricians striking against a "time and motion"-style work study scheme.

Submitted by R Totale on May 25, 2020

Files

DA V2 N5.pdf (5.17 MB)

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Direct Action (SWF): Vol 4 #01 Jan 1963

Jan 1963 issue of Direct Action, including: unemployment, CNT members jailed by Franco, SWF papers merge (Direct Action and World Labour News), CND, Italian anarchists freed, review of "Collective Bargaining in Sweden" by Johnston, Unwin and Allen), unemployment in Canada, showdown at Ford's, ship owners cut crews, pamphlet reviews - disarmament, Solidarity's one on homelessness, an SWF member writes on being remanded in custody, book review "The General Strike In the North East", Annika Bjorklund obituary.

Taken from Splits and Fusions archive.

Submitted by Fozzie on February 21, 2022

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Direct Action (SWF): Vol 4 #02 Feb 1963

For Workers Direct Control of Industry - paper of the International Working Men's Association

Submitted by syndicalist on August 20, 2016

"Two Steps Forward -

THIS ISSUE of Direct Action is the second step in our drive for a monthly, printed SWF paper in 1963. Another issue will be published on March 1. We shall continue publishing alternate printed and duplicated issue until new premises are secured for our printing press in London, when a switch will be made to printed monthly."

Files

Scan5921.pdf (5.92 MB)

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Direct Action (SWF): Vol 4 #03 (21) Mar 1963

Paper of the International Working Men's Association

Submitted by syndicalist on August 20, 2016

- Building Workers

- Canadian store clerks use new strike tactic

- Labour Party's anti-Color line up against MP

- Printworkers

- Cuban reality

- Committee of 100

- Open Letter to Labour's New Leader

- French Threat to Spanish anti-fascist refugees

- Russia & China: Two Empires clash

- Wage Freeze Bid in Ireland

- Pages of Labour History: East Berlin Workers Revolt

- Life in the effluent society

- Fords

- Trade Unions in Japan

Files

Scan5922.pdf (8.87 MB)

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Direct Action (SWF): Vol 4 #04 April 1963

April 1963 issue of Direct Action, including: history of May Day, syndicalist youth paper suppressed in France, two SWF members visit Spain, Nicolas Stoinoff obituary, open letter to the Labour leader, French miners' strike, death of Patrice Lumumba - Prime Minister of the Congo, jailing of British journalists Brendan Mulholland and Reginald Foster, Seamen regroup.

Taken from Splits and Fusions archive.

Submitted by Fozzie on February 21, 2022

Files

da-v4-4.pdf (16.27 MB)

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Direct Action (SWF): Vol 4 #05 (23) May 1963

Monthly paper pf the International Working Men's Association

Submitted by syndicalist on August 20, 2016

- Aldermaston, 1963: The Road was Ours

- Stay Out of Spain!

- Fords stewards under fire

- Irish union officials sabotage bus strike

- Survey on the Bomb

- Industrial Outlook: An Easy Answer

- Mounties' Witch Hunt

- Behind the Big rail Shutdown

- Libertarian Youth Camp

- An open letter to Labour's Leader

- Pages of Labour History: Eight Men of Jarrow

- The Root is Still Man

Files

Scan5923.pdf (9.16 MB)

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Direct Action (SWF): Vol 4 #06 (24) June 1963

For Workers' Direct Control of Industry

Paper of the International Working Men's Association

Submitted by syndicalist on August 23, 2016

- Operation Marham

- Open Letter to Labour's Leaders

- Stop the Stopwatch

- Managing the managers

- Tourists -- Stay out of Spain!

- Home industrial round up

Files

Scan5968-3.pdf (1.85 MB)

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Direct Action (SWF): Vol 4 #07 (25) July 1963

July 1964 issue of Direct Action including: scabs in Swaziland and British Guiana, Franco threatens French anarchist with long sentences, class war theories are not "old fashioned", letters, SWF members report from Spain, community health clinics in Canada, call for tourist boycott of Franco's Spain, opposition to war in Japan, Tom Brown on the years after the General Strike, Brian Bamford on apprentice training, Industrial Notebook - news snippets.

PDF from Splits and Fusions archive.

Submitted by Fozzie on February 21, 2022

Into battle with the bazooka bands (Pages of Labour history) - Tom Brown

An excellent personal account of the 1926 miners' lockout in County Durham

Submitted by Kate Sharpley on September 11, 2018

One way of writing history is to take a social group, in one place and at one time, leaving the broad drama of great events, and treating the subject as a microcosm, letting the minutiae of humble lives interpret the greater story. In thus taking one corner of the Durham Coalfield as my subject I might as well be writing of the coalminers of Scotland, South Wales, Yorkshire or almost anywhere.

When the General Strike of 1926 ended, I lost my job in Coventry. Four weeks after the Strike I decided to go North, but at Coventry station I was told: “We can issue a ticket to Derby only. The railways are so disorganised we cannot guarantee any travel beyond that distance.” So, with three tickets and four trains, I reached Newcastle (about 185 miles) in 18 hours. The Government had boasted of their skeleton blackleg service and this was the result, even four weeks later.

From Newcastle I went to live in the small mining town of Birtley, part of the urban district of Chester-le-Street in Durham, and found and made a home in Elizabethville (though not in the Congo). Here in 1914 about 600 temporary houses, a school, church and hospital had been built for Belgian refugees, hence the title. In 1919 the refugees went home and the government locked the empty buildings and – the village was surrounded by high spiked iron railings – the heavy iron gates and refused to allow homeless people to occupy the huts. Then, in the course of three days the place was taken over, mostly by ex-soldiers and the gates removed and dropped in a brook. The police were ordered to expel the squatters who promptly formed a defence force and posted round the clock sentries. After a few months, authority decided it was better to accept the fait accompli and charge their unwelcome tenants rent – 7s. 9d. a week.

When, on May 21 1926, the national lock-out of coal miners took place, Durham had already been out for two weeks on a county issue. That and a long series of single pit strikes had left the strike fund broken (at that time each mining county in England had a separate union, linked in the Miners Federation Of Great Britain). But Durham went, with the rest, solidly into the battle.

How, then, did the miners’ families live? There was a national miners relief fund which was big, though not nearly as big as the distress it was to relieve. Durham received its share but there were 120,000 men plus wives and children to feed, clothe and shelter and most of that had to be found at home. The Guardians gave relief to the strikers but soon that was drastically curtailed. The Boards were under the control of the Minister of Health who ordered all relief to single or married able-bodied men to cease. Relief, and not very much at that, was to be given only to the wives and children.

The County Council, with a majority of miners, gave free breakfast to schoolchildren over five years of age. The same body had formed clinics for children under three. Here a fortnightly medical check of the babies was made and a weekly allowance of one pound of full-cream dried milk and a bottle of codliver oil given for each baby. Children’s clothes were sold at cost price. The garments were almost half the price the mothers would have paid in the shops and the goods were certainly superior. Most of the work of these clinics was organised locally and done by volunteers.

Then someone discovered that an Education Act allowed the Council to institute primary schools for children between three and five but without supplying the money for such a venture. So it was put to the Council that they could pass a resolution to establish primary schools for the under fives without fixing a date, then give school meals to the primary scholars. This legal hocus-pocus was carried out and the kids got their free meal quite legally.

The local co-operative, with some backing from the CWS, [Co-operative Wholesale Society] was able to give some credit to the miners’ lodges – as always. And, always, such credit was repaid weekly, from the second week of the return to work, until the whole of the debt was paid. There is a strong traditional streak of puritanism in Durham and the repayment of such debts of honour was considered not only just, but sound business – there is always a next time.

The local co-op was small, nothing like the city giants, but like many small co-ops was efficient. It owned the only large store in town and the only cinema. It had meeting rooms and a hall, a barber’s shop, a billiards saloon, allotments, a farm producing fresh meat, milk and eggs, with cottages for its labourers.

Rent did not trouble the majority as long as the strike lasted. Many lived in coal companies’ houses and a rent strike was automatic. Any attempt at eviction would have been met by a thousand-strong picket. Coal was got by searching the waste heaps which, like young mountains, adorn the coalfield scene.

There was recreation, too. There were village fiestas, without the feasting. A procession led by at least one excellent brass band, a meeting, a sports day with athletic events for children and adults (first prize, a bar of chocolate) and, in the evening, an open-air dance or a concert. There were ladies’ football matches and comic football matches between teams of boisterous clowns and comic boxing shows – at times everything comic. But frequent meetings were important too, for they served the part of a Press.

Rival to the silver bands, some well known, were the bazooka bands, the “bazooka” [kazoo] being a sixpenny instrument one hummed into. About 40 of these, with drums made quite a noise. All the bands – there must have been a few hundred of them in the country, including children’s bands – were in costume, a condition being that the costume should not cost a great deal. Sometimes 20 bands would take part in a local carnival, tramping miles to the site. I recall one fat man who, dressed as a sultan in the remains of a bedspread, marched at the head of his “harem” of 40 women, a very proud sultan he looked, and the “Tramps”, each wearing a battered bowler and spats, who played their tune, then sang, “We’re on the road to anywhere” like a choir. There were bands of Zulu warriors, Red Indians, knights in tincan armour, battalions of Fred Karno’s Army, bands of mermaids (the most difficult of the lot) and of pirates (the easiest).

But as that long, warm summer began to fade into autumn, the struggle became grimmer. The first serious blow was made, against the Chester-le-Street Board of Guardians, who had refused to obey the Government’s order to cease relief to single men. The Tory Government deposed the elected Guardians, whose work was unpaid, and put in their place three highly-paid commissioners. The new regime stopped all relief to men, single or married, who might be able to work. The only relief was to wives, 8s. [shillings] a week, and children, 1s. a week. Thus a family of six received 12s. a week in the form of a food voucher, no money, compared to the dole of 29s. a week. This measure of economic terrorism was applied not only to strikers but to all unemployed “on relief”, miners and other workers, and was continued after the strike for a few years. Following the strike, these people without money were dunned for rent. The only ways to get money were to sell part of their meagre rations, or pick coal from the waste heaps and try to sell it. 4-5s. for a week’s hard work, less to the unlucky.

The police acted against the strikers picking coal from the heaps; the men went in larger groups, the police were reinforced. The miners begun prospecting for coal in the fields like gold diggers but this meant spreading out. Pressure increased with the coming of cold weather. A nearby wood of commercial fir, belonging to Lord Lambton, was completely felled and sawn up. A coalowner magistrate, whose large house on the North Road had three tall gateposts of 18in. square oak, found, one morning, that they had been sawn off six inches from the ground.

Then the Notts. Miners’ Association, led by Labour MP G. A. Spencer, broke away from the Federation and returned to work. Heavy police reinforcements appeared in Durham, the biggest, heaviest constables from distant counties; and attempts were made to re-open strikebound pits. Scarcely a miner, with the exception of a few in South Shields, could be found. The blackleg gangs were token forces of bankrupt shopkeepers and of professional layabouts from the town.

The pits were usually closed after three days. Sometimes after the first day, and the owners resorted to surprise but there was always a strong picket awaiting the scabs at the end of their morning shift. Scouts took to following on bicycles the truckloads of police: this in turn led to the police making dummy concentrations to lure the men to the wrong pits but there were always enough pickets to go round.

News travels fast in a mining area and even the sound of running feet and a shout would bring out men, boys and women in a mass picket – yes, women pickets, and punching ones, too! It was hard, bitter fighting: usually, before the scabs could be reached, the charge of six-foot-plus, 15-stone policemen swinging batons in arm-breaking, skull-cracking blows had to be met and broken.

The pattern was for the picket to gather early, to prevent a surprise getaway. The police would try to disperse them, but would soon gather about the pit yard. The scabs would wait at the pithead for 2, 3 or 4 hours, then the police would make their big charge and the main battle was on. A prisoner always went to jail for 6-12 months. The wounded were, if possible, carried off by their comrades.

I recall one such episode on the old North Road near Gateshead; where a colliery had “reopened”. The Birtley men gathered there. Two tramcars came to pick up the scabs, the police were pushed back, the trolleys pulled off, all windows broken, starting and steering handles removed; one tram derailed and the tramwaymen sent home, all in a few minutes. We hung about for three hours, then half a dozen scabs dashed from the back of the yard, down the hilly fields, towards the new North Road.

From the hedges sprang small, slim, youthful figures, who ran like hares after them and did nothing but trip them up, then pounding behind came heavier figures and in two minutes the scabs were unfit for work for a week or two. On the main road the fighting broke out again. At night some of the scabs who lived in Gateshead were visited in their homes; they did not return to the pit, which, in any case, closed after three days.

At another pit, which lasted only one day, a sergeant lifted his baton high to give the signal for a charge and was at once felled by a stone. At another a sergeant (the supers, like the Duke of Plaza Toro,1 led their armies from the rear) appeared to give an order to charge and rushed into the crowd, while his men stood still. I never found out where he went to.

One surprise nearly succeeded, but a few young fellows, very early in the morning, went to the “reopened” pit, to be charged by treble the number of police and sought refuge on the waste heap. These heaps of loose stone are tricky and one runs up them zigzag fashion. The police tried to run straight up and every man started his own avalanche. The men on top helped these, too, and pelted the constables, but they were marooned in a sea of blue serge. Then, after several hungry hours, they saw columns marching from every village for miles around. Lucknow was relieved.2

All this time hunger was growing. Over a nearby hill a miner’s wife was picking late blackberries. She was hungry, ate some without washing them and died of poisoning a few days later. Said the coroner: “There is no doubt that the poor woman was very hungry.”

In December, a national ballot of the miners favoured a return to work, except in Durham, which voted by a big majority to stay out. In the face of a national return, however, the E.C.[Executive Committee] had to disregard the vote. Out from mid-April to December, the miners went back, the strike was over, but not the fight. Their union was intact, their spirit unbroken.

Yet, apart from the social war, it was a peaceful community, more peaceful and ethical than London W.1, though the police were regarded as an occupying army. A woman or a child could walk alone in the dark, doors were left unlocked. A sociologist, speaking of this and the following period in Durham, said that the absence of crime was the most remarkable feature of the depression and attributed this to “steady living and the steadying influence of the Union.” ([Charles] Muir, Justice in a Depressed Area, p. 32-33 [1936]). Later, the Pilgrim Report said that there was here little self-pity, but a determination to fight the effects of poverty and unemployment. Yet, it said, 71 per cent had been out of work for 5 years or more, compared to Liverpool’s 23 per cent and Deptford’s 3 per cent. (Men Without Work, 1938).

It was a consciously working-class community, self-reliant and ready for spontaneous action, best when its leaders were in London. There was, of course, a deal of petty gossip and such in a “Coronation Street”3 way, but in struggle they were loyal to one another and in some local pit disasters – even unto death.

Thanks to 1, The Tyneside Anarchist Archive which posted the issue of Direct Action containing this article https://tynesideanarchistarchive.wordpress.com/2018/08/05/tom-brown-in-birtley/ and 2, the Tom Brown who put the typed or scanned text online.

From: Direct Action vol.4 no.7 (25) July 1963, page 6-7.

Footnotes by Kate Sharpley Library.

  • 1From Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Gondoliers.
  • 2An ironic nod to the Siege of Lucknow, during the Indian revolt of 1857.
  • 3Famous British soap opera, which started in 1960.

Comments

Direct Action (SWF): Vol 4 #08 (26) Aug 1963

For workers direct control of Industry
Paper of the International Workers Association

Submitted by syndicalist on August 24, 2016

- Harold Wilson plans wage freeze

- Queen Fred's welcome

- South Africa - industrial action is the next step

- Operation Porton

- Castro, No! Yanquis, No! Cuba, SI!

- Rachman is dead

Files

Scan5983.pdf (1.49 MB)

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Direct Action (SWF): Vol 4 #09 (27) Sept 1963

Monthly Newspaper of the International Working Men's Association

Submitted by syndicalist on August 24, 2016

- Franco Murders Anarchists

- Industrial Notebook

- Babbling Brooke's Bill Won't Hit Fascists

- An Open Letter to the Labour Leader

- Trade Unions in India

- Letters

- Bolivia - Indian or Peasant?

- Life in a Kibbutz

- The Negro Struggle

Files

Scan5971.pdf (2.67 MB)

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Direct Action (SWF): Vol 4 #10 (28) Oct 1963

For workers direct control of Industry
Paper of the International Workers Association

Submitted by syndicalist on August 24, 2016

- CND Conference preview

- Austrian miners fight on

- Racketeer landlords

- Custodians of freedom?

- Franco claims two more victims

- Protest demos in Britain

Files

Scan5984.pdf (2 MB)

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Racketeer Landlords - Bill Christopher

Police drag away a man as a 5 day "siege" ends in the eviction of the Cobbs
Police drag away a man as a 5 day "siege" ends in the eviction of the Cobb family

An account of a London slum landlord's retaliatory eviction of a tenant in 1963.

Submitted by Fozzie on February 16, 2022

At 5am, Saturday, 24th August, 100 policemen and ten bailiffs brutally evicted Mr and Mrs, Cobb, and their children, from their crumbling basement flat. at 40, St Stephens Gardens, Paddington.

Mrs. Cobb has been a tenant in the basement flat since August 1957 (Just after the RENT ACT). As a tenant in a furnished flat she therefore had no security of tenure.

This building is owned by Glen Powis properties, one of over 40 companies specialising in slum houses which Mr Kaye and Mr Phillips control.

Why the eviction? It is claimed by Kaye that the Cobb family were in arrears with rent. Wereas in fact they were up to date apart from a disputed sum of £2.19.9d. which has been outstanding for some time.

The palatial mansion of 40 St. Stephens Gardens is occupied as follows, top floor flat occupied by a Miss Harker who has a twenty year old gentleman named Joseph Keana living with her. They pay £10 per week rent including water rate and rates. While the eviction of Mrs. Cobb was in progress she was in touch with Kaye by phone.

The next two floors down are empty, Kaye is asking anything from £150 to £300 for fittings (key money) depending no doubt, on what he can get. Ground floor previously occupied by Mr and Mrs. Ahtuam and five children. Mr. Ahtuam had a mortgage on the house; he became mentally ill and was taken into a mental home. The. property passed into the hands of the Official Receiver from whom Kaye obtained the mortgage. Mrs Ahtuam at this time was seriously ill in hospital in childbirth. Kaye evicted her while she was in hospital. She is now at Newington Lodge1 and her five children are in different homes. She is contacting her MP for assistance to retrie.re her furniture which is still at number 40. The ground floor is now occupied by a gentleman who has paid £150 (key money) for fittings, and pays £5.10s a week rent. He does his own decorating.

The basement is indisputably in a disgusting, condition occupied until the eviction by Mr and Mrs Cobb and children. Mrs Cobb had previously been the tenant of Mr Ahtuam. I understand from Mr Cobb that paid his rent religiously. The only outstanding rent was £2.19.9d. which Kaye refused to take.

It seems obvious that the Cobbs were an inconvenience to Kaye. In 1962 they had complained to the Health Department regarding the appalling condition of their flat, thus forcing Kaye to undertake repairs which according, to him were carried out.

To be perfectly frank Kaye is in business. for “Profit" NOT TO PROVIDE PEOPLE WITH HOME, and obviously he could get more rent for the flat therefore the Cobbs were in the way, and had to go.

Housing accommodation in the 'Never had it so good' society is a racket, Building Societies, estate agents, land and property owners are 'PONCING' on the homeless, the only action one can take is 'Direct Action' the law is on the side of the racketeers, one or two of the administrators of the law are sympathetic to the homeless, but in the final analysis they are bound by the LAW. Strong Tenants Associations are the only protection.

  • 1A former workhousein South London that became a facility for homeless people. It was demolished in 1969 and the Aylesbury Estate was built on the site.

Comments

Direct Action (SWF): Vol 4 #11 (29) Nov, 1963

For Workers' Direct Control of Industry

Paper of the International Working Men's Association

Submitted by syndicalist on August 23, 2016

- Austrian Miners Tortured

- NE Seaman Fight Colour Bar

- Guy Aldred [death notice]

- New Ford Threat

- Towards Industrial Unions

- Syndicalist Congresses

- Martell & Co --- Strikebreakers Inc

- An Open Letter to the Labour Leader

- CND - Not Dead, But Very Sick

- Canadian Letter: The Big, Bad Boss

- Postbag

Files

Scan5969.pdf (2.37 MB)

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Direct Action (SWF): Vol 4 #12 (30) Dec 1963

For workers direct control of Industry
Paper of the International Workers Association

Submitted by syndicalist on August 24, 2016

- Overtime Ban!

- Parents take direct action

- London busmen's claim

- The same old story

- SWF Conference

- How tourism helps Franco

- Snooper unlimited again

Files

Scan5986.pdf (2.22 MB)

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Direct Action (SWF): Vol 5 #01 (31) Jan 1964

Volume 5, Issue 1 of Direct Action, with articles on Committee of 100 members being imprisoned, a strike by construction workers at St. Paul's Cathedral, direct action against a dam in Italy, the right-wing anti-union Freedom Group, a review of a book about Franco's Spain, a review of an IWMA (now IWA) conference, the JFK assassination, the Lincoln myth, and the civil rights movement, Bolivian miners, housing direct action in Tunbridge Wells, a Goya exhibition, repression in Morocco, medical care in Alberta, industrial news including London bus drivers and more.

Submitted by R Totale on May 26, 2020

Contents

- Victimised by the State

- Solidarity Works

- Labour Problems, Mr. Martell

- Franco's Heir

- Bolivia

- Housing Direct Action

- Morocco, Alberta

- Industrial Notebook

Files

DA V5 N1.pdf (16.61 MB)

Comments

Direct Action (SWF): Vol 5 #02 (32) Feb 1964

Volume 5, Issue 2 of Direct Action, with articles on a Labour-backed unemployment demo, construction disputes at St Paul's cathedral, direct action against an eviction in Kent, the Panama canal, an ITV documentary about Franco's Spain, the Bolivian miners, repression against Irish farmers, class definitions and "white collar" workers, a book on the historical Jesus, a call for women's liberation from exiled members of the Mujeres Libres, fascists in Southall, industrial news including a steel dispute in Port Talbot, the Post Office exploiting Christmas temps, the anti-union Freedom Group plotting to break bus strikes, and more.

Submitted by R Totale on May 26, 2020

Files

DA V5 N2.pdf (12.13 MB)

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Direct Action (SWF): Vol 5 #03 (33) Mar 1964

March 1964 issue of Direct Action with articles on: slum landlords, Spanish Anarchists on hunger strike, CND, deaths of Paul Polgare and Salvador Gimeno, crackdowns on unofficial strikes and the closed shop, plea for funds, account meeting with Solidarity on Lenin and Workers Control, book reviews, painters strike in Tulse Hill, open letter to Harold Wilson, Canadian workers hit by automation.

Submitted by Fozzie on February 18, 2022

The Ghost of Peter Rachman - Stephen Wycherley

The Syndicalist Workers Federation on slum landlords in West London.

Submitted by Fozzie on February 18, 2022