Saturday, 21 August 2010

The radical workers' bloc: making the case to the working class to fight our own battles

After David Cameron graced us with his presence to unveil the "big society" in July, Liverpool next month gets to play host to his party's "yellow wing" (sorry, the Liberal Democrats) next month. Their annual party conference will be at the Echo Arena from the 18th to the 22nd September.

The following release comes from the Liverpool Solidarity Federation;
The Merseyside Trades Union Council have called a demonstration at the Liberal Democrats’ annual conference. This has been billed as “against coalition cuts in public jobs and services” – but we want more.

Of course, we need to protect jobs.  Every job lost to redundancy means more workload for those who remain.  An injury to one really is an injury to all.  We also need to stop the cuts that take away vital services, hard-won by generations of struggle. But these are not Liberal Democrat, Tory, or even coalition cuts – they are cuts by the ruling class, which we would be facing whoever got into power.

Liverpool Solidarity Federation and others are forming a Radical Workers’ Bloc on the demonstration.  We reject the notion that a different government will bring about a solution for us – the cuts will be defeated on the streets and on the picket lines, not at the ballot box.

We need to send a message not only to this coalition government but to all political parties. The working class will not take these attacks on our livelihood lying down. We do not need anyone’s permission to fight back, and we do not need politicians or bureaucrats to lead us.

Join us on the Radical Workers’ Bloc on 18h September at the Echo Arena in Liverpool. Look for the red & black flags and the Liverpool Solidarity Federation banner.

Flyers and posters will be produced as soon as we have a definite time for the event. You can RSVP via Facebook here.
This is not about attempting to change the mind of the Liberal Democrats in government. It is not about urging rank-and-file Lib Dem members to try and change their party from the inside.

Both things are unattainable, the party being built in to the power structure of our capitalist system long before they entered into a coalition with the Tories. As I have argued previously, the differences between the three parties are differences of style, not substance.

Rather, what this protest represents is a chance to speak to and engage with other members of the working class who are angry, uncertain about the future, and determined to fight back.

This is our chance to put forward our view of what an effective fightback against the cuts will look like. That is, a movement built from the ground up, based on direct action and confrontation rather than lobbying and gesture politics. It is, in short, our chance to explain why the working class should drop the bureaucrats and fight our own battles.

That we can worry and agitate the Lib Dems, used to their false-image as the "nice" party nobody takes umbrage with, is just an added bonus.