Saturday, 17 December 2011

New Resistance bulletin out now

The latest AF Resistance bulletin is a double issue covering December and January.

If you want to pick up a copy, info on where it's available in Leicester can be found HERE.  Alternatively, drop us a line at and we'll pop one in the post for you.

Contents of Resistance issue #137 December 2011 / January 2012
• Anarchists Join with Sparks and Students in London on 9 November
• Erosion of Workers’ Rights
• Direct Action Gets the Goods
• Atos Festive Month of Actions
• Power to the People: Electricity Workers Say no to Austerity
• Sparks take their message to the boss’s front door
• Getting Ready to Strike
• Quantitative Easing - Creating Money for Rich People
• Greece. Down with the Stalinists and Bureaucrats!
• New Riot Statistics Revealed
• A Council Worker’s Perspective on Disability Cuts
• Rebels with a Cause
• Bank of Ideas Opens
• Prisoner Support
• False Wage Claim

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Leicestershire Solidarity Group is born

The post-N30 rank and file meeting on December 1st (see earlier post) included members of various public sector unions, unemployed workers, disability activists and participants in the Occupy Leicester camp.  Together, they decided to launch an initiative that would function not only as a rank and file workers' organisation but would also have a broader community action remit.  And so, with this in mind, Leicestershire Solidarity Group was founded.

Leicester AF wishes LSG well.  For more info on Leicestershire Solidarity Group, you can visit their website HERE

November 30th report

Well done to the thousands of public sector workers in Leicestershire who struck on the 30th November and participated in the biggest demonstration seen in Leicester for many years.  The march and rally showed a broad cross-section of working class people and there was plenty of support and applause from members of the public not involved in the strike.  All in all, it was a brilliant day, with AFers either picketing their own workplaces or, if they weren't public sector workers, supporting picket lines of fellow workers.  Later, the anarchist red and black flag was carried on the march and we distributed around 1,000 AF flyers and also helped shift another 1,000 flyers plugging the December 1st rank and file workers meeting - more on this later.

One sour moment was when some knuckle-dragging idiot, who's probably swallowed too many Daily Mail or Sun editorials, thought he could 'heroically' spit at a woman marcher.  Fortunately, a have-a-go striking worker had 'a quiet word' with him.  We do hope the scab's bruises heal really slowly.

That aside, it was a great show of strength, but as we've already said, we'll need to do much more than one day strikes to be sure of anything like a victory.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

And a post N30 meeting!

Coordination Meeting
To build and strengthen
Leicester workers' rank and file initiatives

Open to public sector, private sector and unemployed workers

Thursday 1st December
Leicester Secular Hall
75 Humberstone Gate
Leicester LE1 1WB

Aims of the meeting:
  • to widen the curent public sector dispute into a general dispute over the repeated attacks on the working class
  • to intensify the dispute and promote tactics and strategies that will improve our chances of victory
  • to ensure the unions don't backtrack
  • to build strong grassroots workers' organisation in Leicestershire

This event is independent of any political party or group.  The emphasis is on bringing together working people who want to organise to win.


Wednesday, 23 November 2011

A pre-N30 good news story

Leicester AF has just received a tip off that a management attempt at the part-privatisation of De Montfort University has just collapsed.  Apparently, management wanted to bring in the dodgy ‘for profit’ firm INTO to take over the running of a language department there and to provide foundation courses across the university.  However, UCU members fought a vigorous anti-privatisation campaign against INTO and DMU management. Consequently, after all the kerfuffle, management finally bottled it and pulled out of the deal. Well done to all concerned!

Saturday, 19 November 2011

N30 - symbolic protest or fight to win?

Image thanks to Solidarity Federation
November 30th will be undoubtedly the most widespread strike action for many a year. With 24 public sector unions all striking on the same day, it is very welcome to see unions taking concerted action in this way.

However, it's also worth remembering that it will require much more than one day strikes to be sure of a real victory and today’s action will definitely need to be built on. But whether the trade unions are capable of doing this, especially given the weak, legalistic tactics unions are so entrenched in, is doubtful.

But aren’t the unions’ tactics already having an effect?
True, there has been some movement from the government and employers in response to positive strike ballots but this is just conciliatory noises, a ploy to make the unions look inflexible while obscuring the fact that the government and employers are actually offering us nothing. The trade unions long ago surrendered to anti-union legislation and other oppressive employment laws and have got so used to doing everything ‘through the proper legal channels’ that they are now incapable of properly fighting to win.

But it makes no sense to do everything to the letter of the law because these laws were enacted specifically to hamstring effective industrial action.

If we want to be sure of a real victory, then we’ll need to:
  • Intensify strike action in spite of the anti-trade union laws and the reluctance of union high-ups to engage in action beyond anything purely symbolic 
  • Spread the dispute – it’s essential that we take our struggle beyond the single issue of pensions. The way the unions have mobilised makes it seem as though it is indeed our pensions that are the central concern. This is far from the truth. The point is to show that workers reject the idea that we all have to make ‘sacrifices’ and to do so in solidarity with the whole working class, including unwaged people and service users. We cannot unite with the rest of the working class on the basis of a one-day strike over public sector pensions.
  • Unite with other workers – that means broadening our aims to include private sector workers over a range of issues other than pensions.
  • Go wildcat - in recent years, a number of disputes have by-passed trade union bureaucrats and we have seen a rise in forms of direct action that defy the unions’ reluctance to defy the law. From wildcat strikes to*workplace occupations, from blockades to technically unlawful secondary action, we have seen workers’ refusal to submit being expressed in ways that the state and the employers have not been able to stifle.
  • Establish local strike committees between workers from different unions and workplaces - controlled from below rather than by union bureaucrats above.
  • Link up with activists in the UnCut and Occupy movements. It is 12 years since the famous N30 demonstration against the G-20 in Seattle. Since then, the global ‘anti-capitalist’ movement has pushed for fundamental social change. Such newer, international forms of protest should increasingly embrace workers’ interests explicitly too.

What we in the Anarchist Federation are talking about is not only winning this particular dispute but also building an effective, militant and autonomous workers' movement that will set us up for future battles and future victories.

Meanwhile, the best way to guarantee any degree of success over pensions, privatisation, attacks on services, attacks on any section of the working class, is to make this strike as strong and effective as we can, to widen the issues and spread the dispute to other sectors.

So let's get to it and fight to win!

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Occupy Leicester

If you're not already aware of it, the new street occupation in Leicester city centre is situated on the High Street, just a little way up from the Clock Tower.  On a couple of occasions, local AFers have dropped by to say hello, and on first impressions, the occupiers seem like a nice bunch and Leicester AF wishes them well.

Admittedly, the Anarchist Federation has it's criticisms of the Occupy Movement, for example, it does contain the occasional conspiracy theorist and space cadet. Also, we reckon the idea of us all being part of the 99% is far too inclusive when you realise that this 99% can embrace quite a few undesirables such as cops, fascists, etc.  Then again, any occupation is what the people involved make it, and anything opposing corporate greed and political corruption is a good start if it later gets people questioning the whole capitalist system.

More people are welcome to join the occupation, but if you're not not into the idea of camping out on Leicester's pavements, you can still drop by and express your support.  Besides, it's actually a good place for a little political chat with people who are fairly sussed and interested in changing the world, one way or another. 

At the minute, they're in need of tents, pallets, blankets, primus stoves, anything useful for people camping out in the autumn chill.  So if you've got any of this stuff spare, get it to them.

Friday, 11 November 2011

Strike on 30th November!

The forthcoming public sector pension strikes on 30th November look set to be the most widespread strike action for many a year.  In fact, it is very welcome to see a string of public sector unions taking concerted action in this way.  Anarchist Federation members who work in the public sector will certainly be out, and those not working in the public sector will still be supporting their fellow workers one way or another.

However, it's worth remembering that it will need more than one day strikes to be sure of a real victory and any action on the 30th will need to be built on.  It's also worth noting that union bureaucrats like UNISON's Dave Prentis for example, despite the tough talk, will more than likely be looking for an excuse to bottle it at the last minute.  Sadly, UNISON has form for this kind of behaviour.  With this in mind, we all need to not only be on the lookout for any backsliding leaders but, more importantly, we should be building our own networks from below, both within, across and even outside the different unions, structures operating outside the control of bureaucrats and linking up with other struggles outside of the public sector.  But such organisation will need tireless agitation and the development of the will to fight within our class.

But we've a bit of a way to go until we have an effective militant and autonomous workers' movement.  Until then, we fight as and when we can.  And the best way to guarantee any degree of success over pensions is to make this strike as strong and effective as we can.


The following text has been stolen from our mates at LIBCOM

Who's out on November 30th?

A quick guide to union ballots for strike action on November 30th so far...

Around 3 million workers are estimated to be on strike on 30th November, with more ballot results being announced this week. A quick list so far, updated from info gathered by the Society of Radiographers...
  • National Association of Probation Officers (NAPO): 83% in favour of strike on 45% turnout
  • Unison: 78% voted for strikes on a 29% turnout
  • Unite: 75% in favour of strike action on a 31% turnout
  • GMB: 80% in favour of a strike, on a 33% turnout
  • UCATT Union of Construction, Allied Trades and Technicians: 83% majority in favour of strike action on a 27% turnout
  • EIS Scottish teachers’ union: voted by 82.2% for action with a turnout of 54.2%
  • Nipsa (Northern Ireland): balloted for strikes over pensions, pay and jobs and voted by 67% for strikes on a 43% turnout
  • The Association of Headteachers and Deputes in Scotland (AHDS): voted by just under 60% for strikes on a 38% turnout
  • NAHT headteachers’ union: 75.8% voted for strikes on a 53.6% turnout
  • Society of Radiographers: 81.2% voted for strikes on a 58.2% turnout
  • Association of Educational Psychologists (AEP): 64% voted for strikes on an unknown turnout
  • Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP): England and Wales, 86% voted for strikes and Scotland, 89.1% voted for strikes on a combined turnout of 66%
  • Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists (SCP): voted by 85% for strikes on a 52% turnout
  • FDA: backed strikes by 81% on a 54% turnout
  • Prospect: 75% voted for strikes on a 52% turnout
  • Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association (TSSA) in Northern Ireland : 77% vote for strikes
  • NASUWT: 82% in favour of strike action; 91% in favour of action short of a strike.
Ballot results due:
  • POA: balloting some members in health, ballot ends on Monday 21 November
Unions which previously balloted their members and will be participating in action on 30 November are:
  • PCS: live ballot over pensions, pay and cuts. Committed to November strike
  • UCU: members in Teachers’ Pension Scheme will strike again in autumn. Also won ballot last week for lecturers in older universities in USS pension scheme
  • NUT: committed to further coordinated strikes to defend pensions
  • ATL: committed to further coordinated strikes to defend pensions
  • UCAC Welsh teachers’ union: struck on 5 October and will also join 30 November
  • Unison Northern Ireland: struck on 5 October and will also join 30 November
Scab unions who vow never to go on strike, but whose class-traitor members will enjoy any gains won by those going on strike, standing in the cold on picket lines, losing their pay, campaigning tirelessly to ensure Nov 30th is a success:
  • Voice
Scab union who didn't trust their members enough to ballot them for N30, whose members are leaving in droves, and those who stay will enjoy any gains won by those going on strike, standing in the cold on picket lines, losing their pay, campaigning tirelessly to ensure Nov 30th is a success:
  • RCN

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Leicester Anarchist Federation is Re-established!

On Thursday November 3rd, a number of Anarchist Federation members met up in Leicester.  As a consequence, the Leicester AF group has now been re-established.
There has been no active anarchist grouping in Leicester for several years, but with the current capitalist crisis and the ongoing attacks on our class, we believe it is even more vital that a strong anarchist presence is built in every town and city. 
In the East Midlands, we already have an active AF group in Notts and our comrades from SolFed are also active in Northampton.  Now it's Leicester's turn to get active.

So, if you live in Leicester or the surrounding area, get in touch and get involved.  

For those further afield, information on your closest group can be found on
the main website HERE

It's time to build the anarchist resistance!