Friday, 4 March 2011

Solidarity with every occupation and every picket line!

In my last post, I noted that one of the speakers at the Liverpool City Council demonstration "fancied himself as the heir to Hugo Chavez in terms of long speeches." However, beyond this throwaway remark, it has to be noted that the speaker - Martin Ralph, Liverpool University's UCU rep - made some extremely good points about where the campaign against the cuts has to go next.

In essence, his call was that any service to be closed should be occupied. Workers should organise their own defence councils for local struggles. And that we should show solidarity with every strike, picket, and occupation that takes place. A direct action strategy.

It needn't be stated that I support this notion wholeheartedly. Indeed, it was at the heart of the pamphlet on anarcho-syndicalist tactics to beat the cuts that I recently drafted. Members of the Solidarity Federation have already been putting that into practice, showing support for PCS picket lines, the NUJ strike at the BBC, and Unite members rallying against job losses in Moreton.

Next, it will be members of the UCU. The union has just announced that it will be taking part in rolling industrial action from 21st March, and as Martin pointed out outside the town hall they will need solidarity. The Merseyside Network Against Fees and Cuts (MNAFC) plans to mobilise students to not only refuse to cross picket lines but also to show solidarity on them. I and others from SolFed will certainly be joining the lines and pledging our support.

As many people as possible need to follow suit. Not only in this dispute but in every one that comes up.

The government says it has contingency plans in place for strike action. But, as I've already noted, they can be defeated by rank-and-file militancy. Mass shows of solidarity across the country are undoubtedly part of that.