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Wildcat! #3

The third issue of Liverpool Solidarity Federation’s free local newsletter, Wildcat!

Contents:
- Why we need to look beyond the TUC
- Barcelona: General strike 2010
- Nick Griffin sent packing in Liverpool
- Radical Workers Bloc calls for class war against capitalism & ConDem cuts
- Crosby 1 Sainsbury’s 0
- Mini-Sudoku

France on strike! Talk and discussion on June the 28th

Talk and public discussion on June the 28th (Tuesday) at 6pm at The Cowley Club

From Brighton-SolFed, we want to support the French workers in their struggle against the Hollande government´s law aimed at reforming worker´s rights. Especially to the people facing police brutality and repression.

Nowadays in Europe, it is not unusual for governments to attack working conditions with the excuse of “deficit control” or the “competitiveness of the economy”. What is unusual (and amazing) in France, is the worker´s firm opposition.

This struggle concerns all of us. Their victory or their defeat will be ours, so we invite all of Brighton´s working class to show solidarity and join this event for the diffusion of information about these events and a discussion on our French comrades strikes.

General strike conference and a lesson in the arrogance of trade union leaders

In September 2012, TUC Congress overwhelmingly passed a resolution calling for co-ordinated national action, up to and including a general strike.

As the first step towards putting this motion into effect, a conference took place in Liverpool on 26th January organised by Merseyside Association of Trades Union Councils. Tellingly, the conference received no funding at all from the North-West TUC.

Members of our SolFed local attended, with the aim of engaging with rank-and-file trade unionists and arguing in favour of working-class self-organisation and direct action against austerity. We distributed a leaflet which read:

Protests and strikes all over Italy on Nov 14

Tens of thousands took part in demonstrations in about 100 Italian towns as part of the 14 November European general strike. Strikes affected many sectors including, amongst others, schools, railways, public transport and healthcare while students demonstrated around the country, leading to fighting with police.

The biggest protests were in Rome, where an estimated 50,000 people joined the demonstrations and which saw bitter fighting between police and protesters. Milan saw three different demonstrations with total attendance at around 10,000. One was from the CGIL (the largest of the mainstream unions), who had also called a four-hour strike for the day. The students held the largest demonstration in Milan, estimated at around 5,000, which also saw clashes with police. Sticks, eggs and flares were thrown at police, banks and an elite private university.

NLSF Members Out to Support Civil Service Rank-and-File

Today saw members of the North London Solidarity Federation join civil service workers, lay reps, and members of the newly formed Civil Service Rank-and-File Network in a two hour informational picket outside the London passport office.

Officially called as part of a series of lunchtime protests against government attacks on civil service terms and conditions, the demonstrations have been timed to coincide with the European general strike.

Early morning General Strike reports from Spain

As workers are on general strike in Italy, Greece, Portugal and Spain today, we will have updates throughout the day. Here are ongoing strike reports from Spain.

[update 14:00] Barcelona: a large roving picket, composed of pensioners, is blocking roads!

Violent police charges reported now in Valencia.

Caixa banks, responsible for the eviction of Emaya Egana who threw herself to her death just before the eviction, are covered in red paint all over Spain today.

Reports of evictions stopped today by force of numbers blockading the doorways.

Castro Urdiales, a small town, reports CNT demonstration of 400 people.

No trucks went in at MercaCordoba due to mass pickets.

1911: Liverpool in Revolt public meeting (audio+images)

Last year, around 50 people attended a public meeting hosted by Liverpool Solidarity Federation to discuss and commemorate the 1911 Liverpool general transport strike. The audio recording of the event is now finally available on Youtube accompanied by various images.

  • The first speaker was local historian Frank Carlyle who regularly appears on BBC Radio Merseyside. Frank talked about Liverpool's growth as a port city and the development of its working-class. Watch the video.
  • The second speaker was a SolFed member who had done extensive research into the events of 1911, some of the key figures involved in the strike and the influence of revolutionary trade unionism. Watch the video.

Highlights of a general strike report from CNT Madrid

00:00h The start of the strike. CNT militants head to the workplaces and the neighbourhoods.

00:15 Vallecas. The presence of a massive number of police, including plainclothes, taking people’s details, makes it difficult for people to picket the postal service and other places.

00:30 Police charge in Plaza de Santa Ana. A CNT comrade is injured by the police and has to go to hospital, needs stitches. Several arrests.

01:15 Mercamadrid. A large number of CNT pickets try to stop lorries leaving. They succeed at first, but a combination of police numbers and the passivity of the pickets from the reformist unions means lorries leave.

05:00h Entrevias depot. A picket of 100 people, a third of them members of the CNT. An enormous police presence, including horses, makes it difficult to picket. The few buses which leave have an escort of police motorbikes.

Massive turnout in general strike in Spain

Thursday’s general strike in Spain was more solid and more militant than the last general strike a year and a half ago. As economic conditions get worse, people see their rights taken away and unemployment, eviction rates and prices all rising while wages go down, and they are reacting accordingly. This labour reform is the most aggressive attack on workers’ rights since the transition to democracy.

The general strike started before midnight with pickets of the wholesale fruit and veg markets which receive deliveries all night. There were pickets of up to a thousand people and in many cases all delivery trucks were successfully turned away. There were also midnight pickets at night shifts in factories and at post offices and depots. In many cities groups of pickets went round closing down bars which were open after midnight.

The CNT calls a General Strike for March 29

Our Spanish sister section decided to call a 24-hour general strike for March 29, against the Labor Reform, the cuts, and the assaults on the working class. The CNT rejects any kind of negotiation over the rights conquered by the working class and demands the repeal of the Labor Reform. The strike call extends the call that has already been made for Galicia and the Basque Country. This call will be formalized in the coming days.

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