Model trade union motion in support of Visteon occupation

Model trade union motion in support of Visteon occupation

Model trade union motion for supporters of the Visteon occupation to take to branch meetings.

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Ed
Apr 26 2009 11:10

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Devrim
Apr 26 2009 15:08

I haven't really followed what is going on in this struggle, but do people really think that passing motions through trade union branches has anything to offer workers in terms of developing their struggles?

Trade union branch meetings are generally empty dead events, where a few lefties pass motions if they can manage to get enough of their fellow workers to come along to meet the quorum.

I don't think that it has much to offer in the way of building solidarity with other workers.

Devrim

Choccy
Apr 26 2009 15:48

If it means union branches sending a donation to a support fund for the striking workers I don't really see any need to complain.

Red Marriott
Apr 26 2009 17:01

I think it's considered worthwhile just for the money, which the ex-workers badly need as Unite have been, unsurprisingly, pretty useless and tightwads - and as a way of making other workers aware of the dispute. No, Devrim, it doesn't adequately substitute for the greater class solidarity action that is lacking - but I doubt anyone is under the illusion that it could.

Steven.
Apr 26 2009 21:31

Yes, like others said the point of passing union motions is to get money. I think it's important that we try to get people to give money to the fund that the workers themselves control - because most unions would normally give to the official union fund, which is very unlikely to ever get anywhere near the workers.

Choccy
Apr 26 2009 22:31

Chatting to the Belfast workers tonight you can be assured that they'd readily welcome the sort of support fund money that might be generated from these union motions.

Bobby
Apr 27 2009 19:50

interview with convenor today
http://www.wsm.ie/news_viewer/5482

Devrim
Apr 28 2009 09:21

So the only reason to push for this sort of thing is that union branches will send money. Do you think that it should be limited to union branches, or should it be taken to the Labour Party, or maybe even the Women's Institute?

I think the main point here is that union branches tend to be very much empty shells. I don't think that this is an effective way to collect money even. Surely if you only wanted to collect money the best thing would be to appeal to workers directly. At least then it would try and involve workers politically in however small a way.

But I think that there is more than that. I think that people can get pulled into activity like this because they feel a need to support a strike. Even though it goes against most of the things they believe in.

Devrim

Devrim
Apr 28 2009 17:57

Is it though, Jack? You seem to admit that it is an empty shell ("10 minutes talking to the branch chair"), but don't seem even to realise that there is more to solidarity donations than just the money. Surely part of it is about arguing with fellow workers for the need for such solidarity.

The way that you seem to express it, you may as well go and appeal to eccentric millionaires. After all John Paul Getty III gave £100,000 to support the miners' strike.

Devrim

Red Marriott
Apr 28 2009 18:14

I don't see the point of Dev's purism. (It's also a little odd to see such uninformed sweeping statements from an ICC member in Turkey when I've seen no comment or involvement at all on here re. this dispute from UK ICC members. I guess that's their oft-touted 'internationalism' for you...)

Of course Visteon workers and supporters have collected money directly from other workers and supporters and discussed the issues - but, as shown by other comments here, in this instance the union branches can also be a convenient source of funds, without any great compromise; acknowledging that is not automatically a capitulation to 'weakness on the union question' or some other pointless abstraction.

Even the ICC sometimes supports union-led and financed strikes, so, again, I don't see the point of this purism.

Devrim wrote:
I think that people can get pulled into activity like this because they feel a need to support a strike. Even though it goes against most of the things they believe in.

Yes, people think this dispute - it's not a strike, btw - deserves support. I don't agree with everything about the way it's being conducted - I doubt I would about many strikes/disputes - so what? Wider class solidarity has been very limited, yes, and so money is short, but - considering the real circumstances, rather than any holy abstract principles - I don't see it as an unacceptable compromise in this instance to take money from local union branches to put directly into the workers' own coffers to maintain picket lines etc.

Devrim
Apr 28 2009 18:52
Ret Marut wrote:
It's also a little odd to see such uninformed sweeping statements from an ICC member in Turkey when I've seen no comment or involvement at all on here re. this dispute from UK ICC members. I guess that's their oft-touted 'internationalism' for you...

But then I started the first post by clearly stating that I didn't know anything about this dispute, and I thought that it was quite clear that I was talking about the general idea, so yeah I suppose that you would expect 'uninformed sweeping statements'. I guess that comments is your 'oft-touted slag off the ICC before reading what they say' for you.

Ret Marut wrote:
acknowledging that is not automatically a capitulation to 'weakness on the union question' or some other pointless abstraction.

Similarly, I am not quite sure what the use of inverted commas is for here unless it is to try to attribute some 'pointless abstraction' to me, which I didn't mention at all.

Ret Marut wrote:
Yes, people think this dispute - it's not a strike, btw - deserves support.

I think if you go back and re-read what I said it is quite clear that again I am referring to strikes in general, and not this struggle (I use a strike, not this strike), but hey why miss a chance to infer that somebody else on another continent is ignorant because they don't know as much about a struggle on your own doorstep as you. Don't let the fact that they weren't even talking about it get in the way of trying to make yourself look clever.

Ret Marut wrote:
Even the ICC sometimes supports union-led and financed strikes,...

The ICC supports all workers struggles in defence of working class living standards whether they are 'union-led' or not. I suppose the 'sometimes' is used to suggest that we don't.

Ret Marut wrote:
so, again, I don't see the point of this purism.

I think it is an important point to discuss. I think that there are important considerations here about the way that revolutionaries orientate themselves towards workers disputes. However, I don't see much point in discussing it with you as you seem more interested in taking cheap shots at the ICC than discussing the point I raised.

That's fair enough. It is your choice.

Devrim

Choccy
Apr 28 2009 19:11

Ah Dev you can't back out of this by saying 'oh I was just talking about generally'.
This thread, is about THIS workplace issue, and how in THIS instance, the compromise wasn't exactly that problematic and doesn't necessarily involve abandoning a critique of the unions.

Red Marriott
Apr 28 2009 21:16
Choccy wrote:
Ah Dev you can't back out of this by saying 'oh I was just talking about generally'.
This thread, is about THIS workplace issue, and how in THIS instance, the compromise wasn't exactly that problematic and doesn't necessarily involve abandoning a critique of the unions.

Exactly - you were applying your abstract generalisations to activities of posters here in this specific dispute. Now you seem to say, 'criticise what I specifically said and it's just an excuse to attack the ICC.' I think this kind of behaviour and abstraction is rooted in the ICC's perspectives, whose politics sometimes seem more like a moralistic code of ethics than a means for practical engagement in struggles.

And to say that I've made a habit of gratuitous attacks on the ICC is just untrue. I've concretely criticised their misconceptions and their many repeated factual inaccuracies. I've also several times bothered to debate political points with them at great length. I should get out more...

Devrim
Apr 29 2009 05:51
Choccy wrote:
Ah Dev you can't back out of this by saying 'oh I was just talking about generally'.
This thread, is about THIS workplace issue, and how in THIS instance, the compromise wasn't exactly that problematic and doesn't necessarily involve abandoning a critique of the unions.

Well there wasn't a thread until I commented, and I think that comments such as "but do people really think that passing motions through trade union branches has anything to offer workers in terms of developing their struggles?" make it clear that I was talking in general. So yes, I think I was.

Also I just reported your post mistakenly thinking it was the quote button, sorry and sorry for the inconvenience admins.

Devrim

Devrim
Apr 29 2009 05:59
Jack wrote:
I wasn't likely to spend that time arguing why my workmates should donate directly to Visteon - they'd either look at me in mild bemusement, or suggest I got the union to do it, since they (almost) all pay dues to that.

I think that is a very telling statement, Jack. How it sounds to me is that you don't think that you can go out and argue with your fellow workers about the dispute, so you don't.

Jack wrote:
A one off donation from a single union branch doesn't come with strings attached to it - it was a case of either they got £250 or not. And it's not as if it's what we've limited our support for the dispute to. It was one thing, that is easy to do, and case raise a fair whack of money.

And what you seem to be saying now is that 'this is just a one of donation from my branch, it isn't a problem', but what I am saying is that there are people on here who seem to be advocating it as a general strategy. Why else produce model motions?

Devrim

PartyBucket
Apr 29 2009 10:01

Its not a 'general' strategy, its one thing you can do if the possibility exists, and as pointed out already, is hardly the worst thing your union might do. If a model email or protest letter was produced, as they often are for disputes / campaigns, would you say that the 'general strategy' of the campaign was emails? Or would it be ok as long as the emails weren't sent from a Union office? wink
I think most peoples 'general strategy' is to offer and drum up as much support as we can for the workers in this dispute, so those in a position to raise money for them by this avenue arent going to pass up the chance.

Awesome Dude
Apr 30 2009 12:37

Trying to get some rank and file union members to support this dispute (Visteon) is critical. Union top brass want this to go away as soon as possible before these tactics spread too widely . With many, if not most, workers still married to the idea that it is the unions 'job' to improve their conditions of employment and in the worst scenario save their jobs it is worth while working with local union branches. Even if these are empty shells we should still do all we can to restrict the effectiveness of Union bureaucrats.

The Union bureau are very alert to the threat local industrial branches pose to their control over workers. Recently Unite membership department has been joining new members of my local work place to join general branches near where they live instead of their work place branch.This is a conscious strategy to weaken rank and file collective strength in anticipation of increased wildcat actions from membership. We can take a 'pureist whiter than white' approach or we can engage with rank and file members to try and break them away from union bureaucrats.

As the Visteon dispute painfully demonstrates the trade union question will not be solved by sticking our heads in the sand and hoping workers will simply come to the realisation that the unionism largely distracts them from their main task: workers direct control through councils

Devrim
May 4 2009 11:13
notch8 wrote:
Its not a 'general' strategy, its one thing you can do if the possibility exists, and as pointed out already, is hardly the worst thing your union might do. If a model email or protest letter was produced, as they often are for disputes / campaigns, would you say that the 'general strategy' of the campaign was emails? Or would it be ok as long as the emails weren't sent from a Union office? wink

Well yes basically, the protest letter is pretty limp as well. The thing that really astounds me is that after all of the talk of direct action when it comes to a dispute there is always some anarchist advocating sending a protest letter to the boss.

Surely the task of revolutionaries must be different from the sort of 'support' advocated by the trade unions. I think that what needs to be done is exactly the opposite of what you seem to advocate:

notch8 wrote:
I think most peoples 'general strategy' is to offer and drum up as much support as we can for the workers in this dispute, so those in a position to raise money for them by this avenue arent going to pass up the chance.

Drum up support from whom? Trade union branch meetings that are only attended by officials who were elected by default as it is in many cases.

Jack wrote:
Well no, I'm not likely to go and start arguing with my workmates about Visteon apropos of nothing. If a context came up, I would, where it made sense. So, for example, Iw as able to argue about solidarity with Natalia Szymanska when we did pickets for the Subway day of action, and try (and fail) to get people along to this. However, if I'd just said "donate money to this in solidarity", they'd have been more confused than anything else, really.

But it is not that long ago Jack that workplaces would hold mass meetings to discuss other workers disputes. I think that organising to bring some of the workers in dispute to your workplace, including printing a leaflet, and standing outside as people are going in trying to engage people in discussion, yes, and collect money, is much more the way we try to go about things.

Is it difficult? Yes I think so at the moment. Is it necessary? Yes, I really think so

Jack wrote:
That is what I'm saying, exactly. I don't think anyone is trying to make it a general strategy - I had nothing to do with the model motion, so can't confirm or deny the thinking behind it, but I'd presume it was just along the lines of "some people have gotten money with minimal effort for this dispute doing this. As we have already written a motion, we can now produce a model motion, meaning it would take minutes for someone to do the same and get some more money."

The things that we are trying to do aren't about minimal effort. Our goal is a working class which is consciously active in defence of its own interest. That is n't about minimal effort.

Devrim

PartyBucket
May 5 2009 00:20

Actually Devrim, I havent written a letter or a email, if you think thats all Ive done seriously go fuck yourself.The example was illustrative, and Im guessing youre fully aware of that, but youve kind of backed yourself into a corner on this thread with your knee jerk anything-that-ever-happens-through-a-union-ever-must-be-bad bullshit. What Ive done is offer practical and moral support to the occupiers as much and as often as I can.
As for 'drumming up support'...for all the problems Ive got with union full timers, if you talk to the workers who are in struggle, they wouldnt pass up the chance to get a few bob off a union branch, so thats their call. As far as Im concerned, the task of class struggle activists is to support the workers, letting them remain in charge of their own struggle at all times. If youre so convinced that you need to talk them round to the correct political viewpoint, why not come down to the gates and sell papers like the rest of the opportunist vultures?

Devrim
May 5 2009 13:53
Notch8 wrote:
Actually Devrim, I havent written a letter or a email, if you think thats all Ive done seriously go fuck yourself.

I am not particularly interested in what you have done to be honest. I am more interested in how these type of motions relate to workers struggles here.

Notch8 wrote:
but youve kind of backed yourself into a corner on this thread with your knee jerk anything-that-ever-happens-through-a-union-ever-must-be-bad bullshit.

I don't think so, but then I am not the one who is throwing abuse around instead of constructing an argument. The bit with the dashes between it is something else that I have never said by the way.

Notch8 wrote:
if you talk to the workers who are in struggle, they wouldnt pass up the chance to get a few bob off a union branch, so thats their call.

Ultimately charity doesn't win struggles though.

Notch8 wrote:
As far as Im concerned, the task of class struggle activists is to support the workers, letting them remain in charge of their own struggle at all times.

What's the point of having the politics that you do if you don't believe on acting on them? Surely the task of communists is to argue for what they believe are the tactics to win, not to tail-end whatever the unions suggest.

An example here could be the way that the 'international day of action' was based around the idea of a consumer boycott. Do you think it is the task of revolutionaries to go along with this or to argue why it offers nothing to the struggle accept the path to defeat?

After all, its not like we haven't seen workers led by their unions to defeat with these sort of tactics before.

Notch8 wrote:
If youre so convinced that you need to talk them round to the correct political viewpoint, why not come down to the gates and sell papers like the rest of the opportunist vultures?

Well, I am hardly going to fly across continents to visit a small dispute, and we don't sell papers to strikers anyway with give them to them, but its a nice insult to finish with.

Devrim

MT
May 5 2009 14:42

Intro says "Model trade union motion for supporters of the Visteon occupation to take to branch meetings."

It doesn't say "Model strategy to win the struggle"

Am I missing something in this debate?!

PartyBucket
May 5 2009 16:50
Devrim wrote:
I am not particularly interested in what you have done to be honest. I am more interested in how these type of motions relate to workers struggles here.

BY BEING A MEANS OF RAISING MUCH NEEDED AND APPRECIATED FUNDS FOR THE OCCUPIERS / STRIKERS, as has been pointed out umpteen times.
And also something that people can do who may not be in a position to physically visit the occupations.

Devrim wrote:
Ultimately charity doesn't win struggles though.

Maybe not, but without the practical and monetary support they have received, the picketers, and especially the Belfast occupiers would never have been able to hold out as long as they did.

Devrim wrote:
What's the point of having the politics that you do if you don't believe on acting on them? Surely the task of communists is to argue for what they believe are the tactics to win, not to tail-end whatever the unions suggest.

Well as Ive already pointed out, having the 'politics that I do' means that I think ultimately the workers decide what tactics to adopt to 'win', also consider that what the workers consider a 'win' might be different from we think.
Aside from anything, the notion of 4 or 5 anarchists trying to tell 200+ workers how to run their dispute is laughable. We can certainly offer support, and hope that by doing so consistently and honestly the workers will come to take us and our politics seriously.

Devrim wrote:
Well, I am hardly going to fly across continents to visit a small dispute, and we don't sell papers to strikers anyway with give them to them, but its a nice insult to finish with.

Would be something to burn in the oil drum if they ran out of wood I suppose.
Whats really insulting is you trying to use this thread about something that people might be able to do to support a dispute, that many see as very important, to pick a petty row about attitudes to the Trades Unions.

Choccy
May 5 2009 16:41

Dev - there was NOTHING in that proposed Day of Action that called for a 'consumer boycott' - I have no idea where you got that idea. It was an information picket, with leaflets for Ford employees etc. Not a single person suggested a Ford boycott. If people have decided to spend 8k on a car, a leaflet outside a showroom is unlikely to change their mind, and no one suggested that.

As it is, given the deal accepted it doesn't look like that Day of Action will occur, though given there are further negotiations on pensions it's not entirely unlikely that solidarity action won't be called on again.

Choccy
May 5 2009 16:44

Yes Dev, charity doesn't win struggles, but the food, clothes, sleeping bags, and support money given to workers enabled them to stay there as long as they did, boosted morale, and showed them that people gave a shit about their struggle.

In fact, your characterization of vital and much-needed support to workers in struggle, be it financial or in terms of materials (food etc) as 'charity' is patronising and cretinous beyond words.

Devrim
May 5 2009 18:02
notch8 wrote:
Whats really insulting is you trying to use this thread about something that people might be able to do to support a dispute, that many see as very important, to pick a petty row about attitudes to the Trades Unions.

Except there wasn't a thread at all. Mine was the first post on their, which went up nearly a week after the article, and so obviously nobody was discussing it. Still its nice the way you try to paint it that I'm deliberately trying to sabotage people's support of this dispute.

AS for whether its petty or not, that may be your opinion, but I think that it's important.

Choccy wrote:
Dev - there was NOTHING in that proposed Day of Action that called for a 'consumer boycott' - I have no idea where you got that idea. It was an information picket, with leaflets for Ford employees etc. Not a single person suggested a Ford boycott. If people have decided to spend 8k on a car, a leaflet outside a showroom is unlikely to change their mind, and no one suggested that.
Steven wrote:
Well, this isn't for me to decide, but I would think that what people should do will be related to what is nearest to where they live. So for most people this would be picketing/leafleting Ford dealerships.
Choccy wrote:
It's an INTERNATIONAL action.
So, Ford plants, offices, showrooms, KPMG offices etc, whatever is closest to where you are organising.

So what was being suggested outside showrooms? Maybe I misunderstood.

Choccy wrote:
Yes Dev, charity doesn't win struggles, but the food, clothes, sleeping bags, and support money given to workers enabled them to stay there as long as they did, boosted morale, and showed them that people gave a shit about their struggle.

In fact, your characterization of vital and much-needed support to workers in struggle, be it financial or in terms of materials (food etc) as 'charity' is patronising and cretinous beyond words.

I think that they are words that have to be said. Before explaining why I think that is so though, I just want to clarify something. You make it sound here that I am arguing against people giving financial support. In fact earlier in this same thread, I argue for it. What is important though is the way that we raise money. It is not a non-political issue.

The reason that I think it is important to say that charity doesn't win struggles is because if we go back through the history of working class struggles it has been used by the unions to convince workers that they are doing something to support struggles and as a weapon against extension of struggles, which is what is needed to win. At times giving money has been directly counterpoised as an argument against more direct forms of solidarity.

So yes, it can help, but I think that the methods that we try to go about in collecting it are not unimportant as they have a direct effect on developing the ground to argue for solidarity action.

You may think that that is a 'cretinous' argument. I don't.

notch8 wrote:
Aside from anything, the notion of 4 or 5 anarchists trying to tell 200+ workers how to run their dispute is laughable. We can certainly offer support, and hope that by doing so consistently and honestly the workers will come to take us and our politics seriously.

Do you have anymore straw men?

Devrim

PartyBucket
May 5 2009 19:51
Devrim wrote:
Except there wasn't a thread at all. Mine was the first post on their, which went up nearly a week after the article, and so obviously nobody was discussing it.

Maybe because no one else thought there was an issue with it?

Devrim wrote:
notch8 wrote:
Aside from anything, the notion of 4 or 5 anarchists trying to tell 200+ workers how to run their dispute is laughable. We can certainly offer support, and hope that by doing so consistently and honestly the workers will come to take us and our politics seriously.

Do you have anymore straw men?

Well if youd explain how thats a straw man, I might be able to help you.

Devrim wrote:
Well, I am hardly going to fly across continents to visit a small dispute

Neither are people from New Zealand or Brazil, but they were at least able to send messages of support and solidarity. I didnt see any from the ICC on the factory walls.

Choccy
May 5 2009 19:58
devrim wrote:
So what was being suggested outside showrooms? Maybe I misunderstood.

Eh an information leaflet - informing people about the factory occupation, both general public and Ford workers.
If you'd bothered to look at the literature on this site connected to this struggle, there was a flyer specifically for other Ford workers.

And apparently the threat of pickets at dealerships was enough for Ford bosses to send 'red flag' emails to all individual dealerships/showrooms.

Choccy
May 5 2009 20:07
Devrim wrote:
notch8 wrote:

Aside from anything, the notion of 4 or 5 anarchists trying to tell 200+ workers how to run their dispute is laughable. We can certainly offer support, and hope that by doing so consistently and honestly the workers will come to take us and our politics seriously.

Do you have anymore straw men?

I'd love to know how that's a straw man Dev, serious.

notch wrote:
Neither are people from New Zealand or Brazil, but they were at least able to send messages of support and solidarity. I didnt see any from the ICC on the factory walls.

Exactly, the workers were very appreciative from the messages of support and had the plastered around the walls of the canteen at the factory, growing each time we visited. Such support, from Poland, NewZealand, Brazil, the USA etc etc helped keep morale high and told the workers that they had support all over.

devrim wrote:
The reason that I think it is important to say that charity doesn't win struggles is because if we go back through the history of working class struggles it has been used by the unions to convince workers that they are doing something to support struggles and as a weapon against extension of struggles, which is what is needed to win. At times giving money has been directly counterpoised as an argument against more direct forms of solidarity.

And no one here is arguing that 'charity' should replace direct action. The workers WERE taking direct ation, and it was being supported by people who were doing solidarity work, whcih for some involved sending an email to a union branch and getting some money. Again it isn't advocated as a general strategy, but in this context actually served to support the direct action being taken, by workers, to try and improve their lives.

posi
May 6 2009 13:03

Here is an analysis of the struggle from the commune:

http://thecommune.wordpress.com/2009/05/05/the-struggle-at-visteon-the-union-and-the-development-of-class-consciousness/

It has things to say both about the funds that were available for the dispute, and the importance of active solidarity from other workers.

Devrim
May 7 2009 13:14
Choccy wrote:
Devrim wrote:
Notch8 wrote:
Aside from anything, the notion of 4 or 5 anarchists trying to tell 200+ workers how to run their dispute is laughable. We can certainly offer support, and hope that by doing so consistently and honestly the workers will come to take us and our politics seriously.

Do you have anymore straw men?

I'd love to know how that's a straw man Dev, serious.

Perhaps because I never suggested at all that anybody should 'try to tell workers how to run their dispute'. What I said was that you shouldn't abandon your politics when working in solidarity with people. There is a bit of a difference.

Notch8 wrote:
Neither are people from New Zealand or Brazil, but they were at least able to send messages of support and solidarity. I didnt see any from the ICC on the factory walls.

Well you didn't see any from the ICC in Turkey because we didn't send one.

Choccy wrote:
Exactly, the workers were very appreciative from the messages of support and had the plastered around the walls of the canteen at the factory, growing each time we visited. Such support, from Poland, NewZealand, Brazil, the USA etc etc helped keep morale high and told the workers that they had support all over.

Yes, OK messages of support can give psychological support to people involved in a dispute, and stress that they are not alone. They only happen though when people are isolated. When there are massive strikes, you never see people saying "send messages of support to...". It would be practically impossible. What the message of support is in fact saying is "workers you are not isolated" at exactly the time that they are.

I am not saying that it is a bad thing in itself, but we should realise what they are. There are scores of disputes going on everyday around the world. I can think of at least a dozen factory occupations in this country over the last year. Did you send messages of support to any of them? I wouldn't have expected you to have done so.

What I am asking though is why when anarchists are active around small disputes, the tactics that they advocate often seem to be little different from more 'left-wing' members of the Labour Party, send a message of support, pass a motion in your union branch, write and complain to the employer...To be fair they don't generally ask people to write to their MP.

I think that it is an important question.

Choccy wrote:
Devrim wrote:
So what was being suggested outside showrooms? Maybe I misunderstood.

Eh an information leaflet - informing people about the factory occupation, both general public and Ford workers.

And apparently the threat of pickets at dealerships was enough for Ford bosses to send 'red flag' emails to all individual dealerships/showrooms.

Again, I am not saying that everything you do/have done is bad. I am merely raising questions about certain things. I am very wary of things aimed at the 'general public'. Here I am not sure what you see the function of leafleting the 'general public' as being.

Choccy wrote:
If you'd bothered to look at the literature on this site connected to this struggle, there was a flyer specifically for other Ford workers.

I know that there was, but then I am not particularly interested in this dispute anyway. I am trying to raise general perspectives.

Notch8 wrote:
Quote:
Mine was the first post on their, which went up nearly a week after the article, and so obviously nobody was discussing it.

Maybe because no one else thought there was an issue with it?

Maybe, though that doesn't mean that I am wrong to question it. Maybe they were put off by the amount of abuse and vitriol that was directed at me for merely questioning it.

Devrim

PartyBucket
May 7 2009 11:10
Devrim wrote:
What I said was that you shouldn't abandon your politics when working in solidarity with people.

Well, we havent. Its not like we advocated they write to their MPs, but we were hardly going to walk away from the dispute because they did things we might not have agreed with; in the Subway dispute here, we disagreed with how the Trades Council handled some things, but we didnt just abandon ship. Trying to wean people away from the notion that they should put their faith in politicians or union suits is a problem that goes far beyond this dispute, or any dispute.

Devrim wrote:
notch8 wrote:
Exactly, the workers were very appreciative from the messages of support and had the plastered around the walls of the canteen at the factory, growing each time we visited. Such support, from Poland, NewZealand, Brazil, the USA etc etc helped keep morale high and told the workers that they had support all over.

Yes, OK messages of support can give psychological support to people involved in a dispute, and stress that they are not alone. They only happen though when people are isolated. When there are massive strikes, you never see people saying "send messages of support to...". It would be practically impossible. What the message of support is in fact saying is "workers you are not isolated" at exactly the time that they are.

For a start, that was Choccy you quoted there, not me.

Devrim wrote:
I am not saying that it is a bad thing in itself, but we should realise what they are. There are scores of disputes going on everyday around the world. I can think of at least a dozen factory occupations in this country over the last year. Did you send messages of support to any of them? I wouldn't have expected you to have done so.

Well if we'd known about them Id say we would have, and that the workers would have been happy to get them..did you do much to publicise them?

Devrim wrote:
What I am asking though is why when anarchists are active around small disputes, the tactics that they advocate often seem to be little different from more 'left-wing' members of the Labour Party, send a message of support, pass a motion in your union branch, write and complain to the employer...

Again you are basically implying that these are the ONLY things anyone has done, which is so much shit, and insulting to the people who have given their time to help picket the English sites, or visited the Belfast occupation, or provided the practical things the workers needed, food, sleeping bags whatever; that might the reason for the "abuse and vitriol" eh? Sure, people far away from the disputes may not be able to do those things, so they do the things youve mentionned above, because the only other thing they can do is nothing, which they dont want to do. Again, clearly the workers themselves are appreciative.
You may not be 'particularly interested' in this 'small dispute' as you so patronisingly called it in an earlier post, but plenty of people are, given that it has now caused a convenor in Swansea to be sacked for supporting it, and links have been forged with the Lewisham school occupation