IWW meeting at parliament

77 posts / 0 new
Last post
Anonymous
Sep 27 2011 12:27
IWW meeting at parliament

Is this real?

jonthom's picture
jonthom
Offline
Joined: 25-11-10
Sep 27 2011 13:47

Seems to be...

Joseph Kay's picture
Joseph Kay
Offline
Joined: 14-03-06
Sep 27 2011 14:07

The event is real, as is the Early Day Motion. Don't know if the IWW are plugging it though.

Battlescarred
Offline
Joined: 27-02-06
Sep 27 2011 15:11

Ohhh!!

Auto's picture
Auto
Offline
Joined: 12-04-09
Sep 27 2011 15:16

So is this the IWW just using a parliamentary motion as a reason to demonstrate in favour of the Guildhall cleaners or are they actually supporting the motion as a means to achieve the cleaners' goals?

Joseph Kay's picture
Joseph Kay
Offline
Joined: 14-03-06
Sep 27 2011 15:17

Oddly enough...

Bookfair programme wrote:
4.00pm to 5.00pm
Why do we call ourselves Class Struggle Anarchists?
Organised by: London Anarchist Bookfair Collective
Speakers from: IWW, Anarchist Federation, ALARM
Chilli Sauce's picture
Chilli Sauce
Offline
Joined: 5-10-07
Sep 27 2011 17:26

This is pretty shocking.

Battlescarred
Offline
Joined: 27-02-06
Sep 27 2011 20:27

What, the meeting at the Bookfair?

no1
Offline
Joined: 3-12-07
Sep 28 2011 10:49

I'm a bit surprised the IWW are working together with parliamentarians again, I thought burning their fingers with Tommy Sheridan and the other MSPs would have taught them a lesson.

Fall Back's picture
Fall Back
Offline
Joined: 22-09-03
Sep 28 2011 11:09

What lesson? The leadership (ie L&S) stand by it, and think they were right.

This is the logic of their politics - internally, they are consistent. They just don't realise that externally they just look like children playing grown up politics. Like a kid wearing his Dad's shoes and suit, they just look ridiculous.

Joseph Kay's picture
Joseph Kay
Offline
Joined: 14-03-06
Sep 28 2011 11:20

I don't want to draw too many conclusions from a single flyer, but this is only surprising by the standards of anarchists or anarcho-syndicalists, for whom anti-parliamentarism is a core part of direct action. As far as i'm aware the IWW isn't trying to be a revolutionary organisation, but a militant, democratic trade union, to which this kind of activity is an obvious corollary. For what it's worth the 'anarcho-syndicalist' NUJ President was berating SolFed members on Twitter a few days ago for rejecting lobbying MPs/supporting Early Day Motions, so i wouldn't be surprised if an organisation which doesn't claim to be anarchist (incongruous bookfair meeting aside) was doing so.

no1
Offline
Joined: 3-12-07
Sep 28 2011 11:25

I think I'll keep my thoughts (regarding apolitical syndicalism) to myself on this occasion as it will come across as uncomradely shit-stirring towards the IWW. I do feel quite sad though to see the excellent work of comrades in the IWW subverted into giving Labour MPs a radical sheen.

nastyned
Offline
Joined: 30-09-03
Sep 28 2011 12:09
Fall Back wrote:
What lesson? The leadership (ie L&S) stand by it, and think they were right.

I'm a bit behind on anarcho-gossip. Do L&S do anything outside of the IWW, and come to think of it do they still call themselves anarchists?

Fall Back's picture
Fall Back
Offline
Joined: 22-09-03
Sep 28 2011 12:17

Didn't they only ever call themselves anarchist when someone said they weren't? Pretty sure their line was calling yourself an anarchist was "sectarian" as it puts off THE WORKERS

Joseph Kay's picture
Joseph Kay
Offline
Joined: 14-03-06
Sep 28 2011 12:30
nastyned wrote:
Fall Back wrote:
What lesson? The leadership (ie L&S) stand by it, and think they were right.

I'm a bit behind on anarcho-gossip. Do L&S do anything outside of the IWW, and come to think of it do they still call themselves anarchists?

I think they're involved with LCAP and 'produce freedom newspaper'. Anarchist Black Cat is probably a better bet for L&S gossip mind.

Battlescarred
Offline
Joined: 27-02-06
Sep 28 2011 13:10

i really don't think this has much to do with L&S to be frank, so i think we should cut the speculation.

Rob Ray's picture
Rob Ray
Offline
Joined: 6-11-03
Sep 28 2011 13:21

Mm, I think it's a stretch to say Freedom's produced "by L&S" as well, there's a lot of L&S people on it, but that could be said of SF and Freedom for the previous five years - generally its editors have to work without regard for individual grouping. On LCAP, they were involved at one point but have largely dropped out afaik.

Edit: I'd also echo battlescarred here, probably not a good idea to speculate on their involvement in the OP if we don't know. Alarming that Wobblies are jumping into bed with Labour though.

syndicalist
Offline
Joined: 15-04-06
Sep 28 2011 13:45

Pardon my ignorance, while I get where most folks are coming from on this (as an anarcho-syndicalist), is there some tactical gain for the cleaning workers here? I guess I'm not clear if this is not a one-off appearence, a tactical alliance, an effort to garb a few headlines against cleaners poverty wages, something to beat the bosses over the head with and so forth.

I guess I'm just trying to get a handle as to why this tactic was chosen, what is the gain for the workers and what the mechanics of doing this entails.

Battlescarred
Offline
Joined: 27-02-06
Sep 28 2011 13:54

More to do with an ex-member of the Commune than L&S, by the way.

Fall Back's picture
Fall Back
Offline
Joined: 22-09-03
Sep 28 2011 14:21

It doesn't matter whether this specific event was the brainchild of L&S or not. They've pushed the organisation in the direction where things like this are going to happen.

L&S were raised in a specific context - in reply to no1's assumption they'd have learned a lesson after the SSP fiasco. The point of raising it was that contrary to no1's assumptions, from their perspective, they saw nothing to learn - they think how they acted was correct and something to emulate.

Chilli Sauce's picture
Chilli Sauce
Offline
Joined: 5-10-07
Sep 28 2011 21:09
Fall Back wrote:
What lesson? The leadership (ie L&S) stand by it, and think they were right.

This is the logic of their politics - internally, they are consistent. They just don't realise that externally they just look like children playing grown up politics. Like a kid wearing his Dad's shoes and suit, they just look ridiculous.

From my knowledge, while L&Ser still hold a lot of "regional organiser" positions, their influence in the wider organisation has waned considerably. The nat'l leadership, from best I can tell, has adapted a very pragmatic line (not unlike L&S's, it might be worth noting) of militant trade unionism.

For what it's worth, I think this is fine. The IWW has been a bit more open lately with what they want to be: a militant, democratic, trade union. Great. As long as they drop the red and black image and stop trying to recruit from the anarchist scene when it suits them, I'll be glad to continue to work with them in shared practical activities (which does not include meeting with MPs, btw).

I'd be curious what our IWW posters on the site (where's Black Rainbow? Battlescarred, you're a Wob too now, right?) think about this? Would you be willing to shed light on the internal discussions that led to this?

Chilli Sauce's picture
Chilli Sauce
Offline
Joined: 5-10-07
Sep 28 2011 19:58

Hmmm....

That's not what I heard....

OliverTwister's picture
OliverTwister
Offline
Joined: 10-10-05
Sep 28 2011 20:21

As one of the IWW members who posts on this site*, though from the North American IWW, I obviously think this is garbage.

I also think Fall Back is right - whether or not any L&S members were involved in this, they led the British IWW down the road where this seems like legitimate strategy.

*Also, as of yesterday, a member of the CNT - have to brag somewhere.

Escarabajo
Offline
Joined: 30-03-08
Sep 28 2011 22:16

Hastily-written post removed til i think it over a bit better.

One thing to note is that depending on one's definition of 'alliance', and whatever other criticisms might be made of it, this is certainly against Article IV of the constitution and 15 of the (Brit) rulebook....

Steven.'s picture
Steven.
Offline
Joined: 27-06-06
Sep 28 2011 21:41
Chilli Sauce wrote:
Hmmm....

That's not what I heard....

unless something pretty drastic has changed very recently this is not the case

888's picture
888
Offline
Joined: 30-09-03
Sep 28 2011 23:28

purge biroc

RedEd's picture
RedEd
Offline
Joined: 27-11-10
Sep 29 2011 00:20

Hold on everyone. Does anyone actually know anything more than 'there will be a meeting about the guildhall cleaners which a rep from that branch of the IWW will speak'. Because if that's all anyone actually knows, then why talk about 'alliances' and 'dangerous paths'? It seems to me that a IWW workplace branch deciding to send a speaker to a meeting about them run by the left of labour and the TUC unions is hardly cause for wailing and gnashing of teeth. So why all the concern?

(I did laugh that at meeting on the guildhall cleaners, an actual guildhall cleaner and IWW rep gets last place on the billing)

ajjohnstone
Offline
Joined: 20-04-08
Sep 29 2011 03:56

(I did laugh that at meeting on the guildhall cleaners, an actual guildhall cleaner and IWW rep gets last place on the billing)

Hopefully, it is because they get the final say on the matter !!

raw
Offline
Joined: 8-10-03
Sep 29 2011 09:06

-- actually not worth it smile

Felix Frost's picture
Felix Frost
Offline
Joined: 30-12-05
Sep 29 2011 19:59

I don't know why everyone is making such a big deal out of this. If this this gives the London IWW Cleaners Branch some publicity for their organizing campaign, then good for them.

Chilli Sauce's picture
Chilli Sauce
Offline
Joined: 5-10-07
Sep 29 2011 20:25

Felix, come on man. This is a pretty big departure not only from the IWW of old, but also from the libertarian image the IWW promotes of itself.

Direct action (which whether the IWW identifies as "syndicalist", "revolutionary unionist", or "libertarian" is part and parcel of any of those labels) is antithetical to hosting MPs at your meeting and relying on left-wing Parliamentarians and union full-timers to push your cause.

Now I'm not against the IWW doing this. It's the organisation it's members want it to be. If it wants to be a democratic, militant trade union, fine. This is the logical result of apolitical syndicalism.

But let's recognise it for what it is. I mean, you've got no right to use the red and black if you're organising a meeting in the fucking parliament building.