There is currently a local in formation in Liverpool - see http://liverpoolsf.org/

Class war on the streets of London

On March 26th, London saw people assemble to protest and take direct action against the government. Most of the people there were marching quite simply because their jobs, their services, and their livelihoods are under attack. This included those of us in anarchist blocs, though we also argued for a much broader perspective and recognition that capitalism itself was the issue, not just the current "ConDem cuts."

Arriving in London, members of the Liverpool Solidarity Federation headed to Kennington Park. We met up with other SolFed members, as well as members of the Anarchist Federation and other class struggle anarchists to form the Radical Workers Bloc on the South London feeder march.

On the university picket lines

Today, Liverpool Solidarity Federation visited the UCU picket lines in Liverpool City Centre to show our support for those coming out on strike.

Whereas Tuesday's strike had been over attacks on pensions, today's was in protest at the threats to members' jobs. An 80% cut in teaching budgets from the government means that 40,000 jobs are at risk. This represents not only an attack on jobs but also on the education sector as a whole, as pickets were keen to stress when they handed leaflets to students urging them not to attend lectures.

One picket on Brownlow Hill told us that the area was a lot quieter than it would normally be first thing in the morning. There had been good support from UCU members, however by the same token the density of non-union members amongst the staff meant that there were still people going in to teach.

Solidarity with striking lecturers and teachers!

On Tuesday March 22nd and Thursday March 24th, the University & Colleges Union (UCU) are going out on strike over pay, job security and pensions.

There will be strikes and picket lines at Knowsley Community College, St Helen’s College, Hugh Baird College (Bootle), Southport College, Wirral Met, Liverpool Community College, Edgehill University, John Moores University, Hope University, and the University of Liverpool.

Liverpool Solidarity Federation expresses its solidarity with the strike and urges students to support it by joining and refusing to cross picket lines.

Protests and disruption at Liverpool Town Hall

Members of Liverpool Solidarity Federation were amongst the crowd of 300 people who gathered outside Liverpool Town Hall to protest as the council set its austerity budget. With £91m of cuts on the table, local people and community campaigns - including the Park View Project to rehabilitate alcoholics and the Whitechapel Centre for the homeless as well as more than a few nurseries and SureStart centres - joined activists and campaigners to make the council hear their message.

At first, people huddled on the pavement on both sides of the road. Spirits were high and there was a lot of shouting and chanting, but it wasn't until one woman walked into the road with a banner and everybody else joined in that things really kicked off. This buoyed everybody's spirits even further and there was a mood of defiance in the air.

Solidarity with the fight for jobs in Moreton

Today, members of the Liverpool Solidarity Federation travelled to Moreton, to show solidarity with workers at the Burton's biscuits factory fighting to save their jobs.

A march and rally, organised by the Unite union, saw several hundred people assemble at Moreton Shore car park. The march took in much of the surrounding area, with lots of support and banter from local people, an march past the factory before returning to the starting point for a rally. SolFed members carried our banner on the march in a visible show of solidarity, before handing out copies of our freesheet, Catalyst.

Councillor Joe Anderson is no ally of the working class

Joe Anderson, the leader of Liverpool City Council, is trying to paint himself as some kind of anti-cuts rebel. On 29th January he joined an anti-cuts march in Liverpool, not long after he wrote to David Cameron to withdraw Liverpool from the Big Society, and now he is asking people to march against the cuts this Sunday. This is nothing more than cheap political opportunism, and it should be rejected.

He tells us that the council is "bracing itself" for the cuts. He "warns" us that compulsory redundancies in the council will come. He is "incensed" by Liberal Democrats accusing him of having a "politically motivated" approach to job cuts.

Labour are the enemy too!

Lately we’ve witnessed some crass but unsurprising opportunism from the Labour Party. Recent student and trade union demonstrations in Liverpool and elsewhere have been addressed by Labour politicians and officials cynically attempting to convert widespread public anger and uncertainty into Labour votes.

Solidarity Federation at Witney Demo

On Sunday 9th Solidarity Federation members joined the march in Witney, Oxfordshire, constituency of Prime Minister David Cameron. The march, against postal privatisation and austerity cuts, was organised by the CWU (Communication Worker's Union) Eastern Branch. Solidarity Federation members from the new Thames Valley local as well as from Liverpool and London handed out leaflets arguing for anarcho-syndicalist methods in struggle and introductory leaflets about the Solidarity Federation which were well received by marchers.

Toxteth's Welsh Streets should be saved, but not because of Ringo…

A campaign to save Toxteth’s historic Welsh Streets from demolition has been dealt a blow after English Heritage refused to put a preservation order on 9 Madryn Street, the house where Ringo Starr was born.

The 11 streets of Victorian terraced houses were built by Welsh workers to house local dockers and their families. The area was also infamous for its radical political tradition.

Lack of central heating and persistent rising damp has driven the most recent residents out, but preservationists argue that modern restoration methods can make the homes habitable again. This is obviously an idea that the property developers don’t want to see gain traction, as simply restoring the houses would not justify massive asking prices.

Liverpool SolFed on the tragedy at Sonae

Below is the text of a letter sent by our local to the Liverpool Echo following the recent tragic deaths at the Sonae industrial plant. An edited version of the letter was printed in the newspaper on December 14th 2010.

I would like to express my condolences to the family and friends of the two workers, Thomas Elmer and James Bibby, who died following an accident at the Sonae factory in Kirkby.
 
It is tragic that, in this day and age, workers still risk losing their lives while simply doing their jobs.
 
It's not the first time Sonae has been in the news for all the wrong reasons. In the past there have been fires, chemical leaks and environmental concerns expressed by local residents.
 

Sonae industrial accident claims two lives

Two workers have been killed at the Sonae industrial plant in Kirkby after they were reportedly dragged by a conveyor belt into the workings of a silo.

It is believed that James Bibby (24) and Thomas Elmer (27) had been contracted in to carry out maintenance work at the plant which manufactures wood-based panels for use in the furniture and construction industries.

One Sonae worker told the Liverpool Echo: "For a long time, staff have been warning about concerns over safety at the plant."

Previously, the plant has been the scene of chemical leaks, fires, as well as other industrial accidents. Residents on the nearby Northwood estate have also raised environmental concerns about Sonae, claiming that emissions coming from the plant were having an adverse effect on their children's health.

I'd rather be a picket than a scab!

Liverpool Solidarity Federation members joined a picket line today to show support for comrades in the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union. The aim of the picket was to try and prevent scabbing by workers defying an overtime ban voted for by union members to defend civil service jobs.

Q&A with a SolFed member and PCS activist

What’s this action all about?
PCS have been in dispute with the government for some time now over proposed changes to the Civil Service Compensation Scheme [CSCS]. This is the scheme which says how much compensation members get if made redundant, and naturally with job losses on the horizon they want to lessen the cost. It was the previous government’s refusal to negotiate on this matter that necessitated the 3-day strike in March and the court case, which PCS won.

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Our leaflets

International week of action against Ryanair - placards
Poster designs, two unbranded and one with the SF logo on, for use at pickets and protests against ryanair recruitment scamming. (pdf)
International week of action against Ryanair - leaflets
Liverpool Solidarity Federation and unbranded versions of a public leaflet for the action against Ryanair. (pdf), (pdf)
International week of action against Ryanair - demand letters
As we begin the week of action against Ryanair, we hope that people across the world are writing, faxing, emailing and making phone calls in protest at the airline's exploitative recruitment practi (pdf)
Combat Workfare public leaflet
Leaflet handed to the public during the Combat Workfare demonstration in Liverpool. (pdf)
Workfare staff leaflet
A leaflet for the Combat Workfare day of action, specifically aimed at workers in the companies that support the workfare programme. (pdf)
Leaflet for Liverpool NHS demo - "Labour Won't Save the NHS"
Leaflet distributed by Liverpool Solfed members outside the Royal Liverpool Hospital. (pdf)
Liverpool leaflet for Adecco picket
(pdf)