In the face of the media storm over the protest on March 26, it’s important for all of us involved in fighting austerity to take a step back, whether we think the occupations and property destruction were useful or not. Ultimately, whatever their worth, it’s not through riots or occupations that we can defeat austerity. Only by causing economic disruption, and making it more expensive to carry through with the cuts than to make us concessions, will we win. And where we have the most power over the economy is in the workplace. It’s our work that makes up society and if we withdraw it by striking, or take other forms of direct action such as go-slows or work-to-rule’s, we – the working class – can call the shots and stop this attack on our class!
This short article was written by a member of the Thames Valley Solidarity Federation for inclusion in the upcoming fourth issue of 'The Ox-Fly', Oxford's radical newsletter, asking whether government is really the common foundation of our day-to-day lives...
‘Anarchy’ is a word that has a very bad reputation these days. The mere mention of it causes most people to imagine nothing but rows of burning cars, roaming gangs of looters and senseless violence in the streets. Anarchy, we are told, means nothing but the very breakdown of social order itself. Yet is it the truth? Is government really the vital foundation of our society?
This article was written by a Thames Valley Solidarity Federation member for Issue 3 of The Oxfly, a local anarchist newsletter produced and distributed in Oxford. It argues that winning the argument is all very well but society "is not a debating chamber but a power struggle between different groups with competing interests" - and we should fightback accordingly.
There has been a lot of talk in the anti-cuts movement about the importance of ‘winning the argument’. This strategy holds that the best way to go about fighting attacks on wages, living conditions and services is to point out the flaws in the pro-cuts arguments and suggest alternative policies which would avoid the need for cuts.
On Saturday 15th January around 50 people, including members of the fledgling Thames Valley local, marched across Reading from the Royal Berkshire Hospital to the Civic Centre to register their opposition to the government’s cuts in public services.
Leafleting the public along the way the turnout was double the number that attended the previous protest and culminated in a series of speeches outside the civic centre. Spokespeople from the Reading Save Our Services group, Unison, the Reading Trades Council, a Labour Party councillor and a councillor for the Green Party all took part. All made clear how the proposed cuts, both locally and nationally, would impact hardest on the poorest and most vulnerable members of the community, from cuts in services for children to the loss of up to 600 jobs at the Royal Berkshire Hospital.
We are very pleased to announce the formation of a new Local - Oxford and Reading!
Founded by a group of class struggle Anarchists and Anarcho-Syndicalists, the new Local will look to jointly cover both cities as a constituent part of the larger Federation. We will be looking to promote the messages of direct democracy, direct action and worker self-organisation in Oxford, Reading and the surrounding area.
We are due to have our inaugural meeting in the coming weeks, and shall be looking to complete our official afilliation with the Solidarity Federation very soon. If you are interested in Anarcho-Syndicalism and live or work nearby, get in touch with us! We can be contacted through the contact form here on the website.
Oxford & Reading SolFed