Does the IWW have a future in these islands?

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Steve
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Nov 12 2004 08:33
OldGit wrote:
I heard that DAM sent a hit squad up to Hull to work the the malefactor over,but they couldn't even get the strongarm stuff right. There's not a mark on him, and he's still ducking and diving.

Wrong. Why is he ducking and diving? Fucking idiot as well as being a dodgy bastard. (Dodgy bastard is mild compared to what others think)

OldGit
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Nov 12 2004 11:59

Wrong. Why is he ducking and diving? Fucking idiot as well as being a dodgy bastard. (Dodgy bastard is mild compared to what others think)

"Dodgy bastard" as opposed to "dodgy bastards". Do I detect a hint of retraction, or are you still blackguarding people you don't know?

Wrong? Which part? My knowledge of the DAM paper business is as good as your knowledge of Hull IWW business, i.e., based on hearsay. I'd like to know the full story.

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Steven.
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Nov 12 2004 13:01
OldGit wrote:
I gave up on enrager forums after being labelled a racist,

Which fool called you a racist? When?

Your posts were always interesting

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JDMF
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Nov 12 2004 13:14
Steven. wrote:
OldGit wrote:
I gave up on enrager forums after being labelled a racist,

Which fool called you a racist? When?

Your posts were always interesting

yes, and more to the point, as an open forum whene participants rant from the safety of their computer screens somewhere far away there will always be people who for whatever twisted reason enjoy attacking others. So don't take it personally mate.

Namecalling, attacks and stuff like that is usually moderated on message boards. But this one is an anarchist one, which seems to mean leaving people alone to take in all abuse that is thrown at them wink

LiveFastDiarrea
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Nov 12 2004 13:47

Ignore the bit at the top, otherwise its relevant.

OldGit
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Nov 15 2004 00:43

I see what you mean, LiveFast.

I was accused of racism by someone who thinks Muslims are a race. I plead guilty to crude generalisation.

But back to the topic in hand.

As I see it, there are four opinions of the IWW in Britain:

1. Well-meaning but ineffective.

2. Not a union but a useful source of advice.

3. Complete waste of time.

4. Spawn of Satan (the DAM veterans' verdict).

So that's a thumbs down then?

We'll just have to struggle along without the approval of the enrager

crew.

Has the IWW a future in Britain? Well we've had our ups and downs but I'm keeping the faith. Who knows what the future holds? For the fundamentalists, a bitter hatred of those who don't think exactly like them. For the pea-brained (fuckwads?) a lifetime of verbal abuse punctuated by periods of self-abuse. For the IWW a long, hard slog.

Here's to the well-wishers, and, as Brendan Behan used to say, "Fuck the begrudgers."

Steve
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Nov 15 2004 08:48
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4. Spawn of Satan (the DAM veterans' verdict).

Who thinks this? Hope you're not referring to me. Or are you just reversing your opinion of SolFed?

Personally I'd go along with “Not a union but a useful source of advice.”

OldGit
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Nov 16 2004 01:06

I don't remember expressing an opinion of SolFed, but here's one; nice websites, don't know about the people.

I've never knowingly met a SolFed member. Of course I don't get around much any more, and I always avoid purely anarchist occasions. Not my style, and there's always a chance of meeting a rip-off merchant, as you can testify.

I'm told that someone's been peddling a canard on your members' only website, that we sign up full-time union officials. Why would anyone do that, except to poison people's minds against the IWW.

Then there's the "dodgy bastards" crack.

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Steven.
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Nov 16 2004 01:16
OldGit wrote:
I'm told that someone's been peddling a canard on your members' only website, that we sign up full-time union officials. Why would anyone do that, except to poison people's minds against the IWW.

Then there's the "dodgy bastards" crack.

Er well there was/is a union official member of the IWW, although he might've quit now. I won't say who he is but he is open about it - not saying anything about the politics of it he's a sound bloke and writes for Freedom too.

OldGit
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Nov 16 2004 15:10

OOPS!

BB
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Nov 19 2004 15:31
OldGit wrote:
I've never knowingly met a SolFed member.

Like you said, not knowingly...

BB
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Nov 19 2004 15:36
Steven. wrote:
I'll sort out the flags as soon as possible

Ed. By the way that's my quote an not there's!

p.s. where's our flags...

Steve
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Nov 19 2004 17:51

Isn't Dave Douglass IWW? Also NUM full timer?

The only IWW member I've met (from Blackpool) was at the last Manchester Radical Bookfair. He was also a member of the Labour Party although he admitted he had some problems with Blair's stance on some things.

OldGit
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Nov 20 2004 01:24

I wonder which is the more heinous crime, IWW membership or Labour Party membership. Surely the lowest circle of Hell awaits such a creature.

Bomber, you dawg!

RichardGriffin
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Nov 29 2004 12:54

I think on the basis of the IWW meeting held at the Bookfair on Saturday the answer to this threads question is 'YES' !!

Lazlo_Woodbine
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Nov 29 2004 13:30

Cool -- anyone able to post a longer report-back?

Sorry I couldn't make the assembly myself, BTW sad

BB
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Dec 1 2004 12:35
Lazlo_Woodbine wrote:
Cool -- anyone able to post a longer report-back?

Sorry I couldn't make the assembly myself, BTW :(

The draft minutes are up on the internal iww email list waiting for ratification. When thats done they can be thrown around...

Harrison
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Jan 9 2012 15:56

Just a heads up that a new Solidarity Federation local is in-formation in Hull.

You can email us
hull [at] solfed.org.uk

We'd like to meet any ex-members of Hull syndicalists or Hull IWW. We probably have different political positions, but I don't see why we couldn't work together where possible.

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CamelBlip
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Jan 21 2012 13:07

A few years back, around 2004-'06 the IWW was coming along quite well in parts of the UK, sadly, the UK doesn't have the historical embeddedness of the IWW for it to be as strong as the U.S or Canada. Although the IWW is clearly not an anarchist union, I would imagine certain workers get the impression you have to be a libertarian to join just by reading its preamble. I would argue that the Thatcher years have left a legacy of individualism and anti-unionism amongst parts of the public altogether giving organisations like the IWW little organisational success. It will take a while to shake that legacy off in my opinion - a few more recessions should do it...

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Awesome Dude
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Jan 21 2012 14:50
CamelBlip wrote:
A few years back, around 2004-'06 the IWW was coming along quite well in parts of the UK, sadly, the UK doesn't have the historical embeddedness of the IWW for it to be as strong as the U.S or Canada. Although the IWW is clearly not an anarchist union, I would imagine certain workers get the impression you have to be a libertarian to join just by reading its preamble.

Recently there's been a considerable influx of new members joining (mostly cleaners and bus drivers) who have very little connections to the "political milieu" (anarchist, marxists or social democratic). If this continues it will be interesting to see how the organisation squares it's mission to abolish wage labour (which is supported by a considerable number of long standing members) and the reformist demands being pushed by the new members.

CamelBlip wrote:
I would argue that the Thatcher years have left a legacy of individualism and anti-unionism amongst parts of the public altogether giving organisations like the IWW little organisational success. It will take a while to shake that legacy off in my opinion - a few more recessions should do it...

The organisation is however (painfully) emerging from being largely a libertarian network composed of politically radicalised activists, to an actual workplace based organisation open to all members of the class (though in reality managers, scabs, pigs, sexists. racists and fascists are excluded). Indeed debates are happening right now about the future orientation of the organisation.

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Steven.
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Jan 21 2012 19:16
Harrison wrote:
Just a heads up that a new Solidarity Federation local is in-formation in Hull.

You can email us
hull [at] solfed.org.uk

We'd like to meet any ex-members of Hull syndicalists or Hull IWW. We probably have different political positions, but I don't see why we couldn't work together where possible.

did you really just bump an eight-year-old thread for that?

Harrison
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Jan 21 2012 20:02
Steven. wrote:
did you really just bump an eight-year-old thread for that?

this thread is still one of the first results on google when you search "hull anarcho-syndicalism"

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Ramona
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Jan 21 2012 20:02

Christ, how embarrassing... But I guess it's a good example of how much our moderation policy has changed over the years wink

Good luck with the group by the way.

Harrison
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Jan 21 2012 20:07

Cheers, it was officially recognised at the SolFed National Delegate Council last Thursday.

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888
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Jan 24 2012 01:09
Awesome Dude wrote:
the reformist demands being pushed by the new members.

What are the reformist demands being pushed by new members? Or is this a predicted effect of an influx of new members? Because in practice I haven't seen it happen very much. But I have seen ideological anarchists try to push reformist measures.

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EdmontonWobbly
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Jan 24 2012 01:58
Quote:
Because in practice I haven't seen it happen very much. But I have seen ideological anarchists try to push reformist measures.

Yeah I've seen way more of this. There's way more calls from anarchists to ditch the preamble for example. Or in the past there was much more effort to take the IWW down a more legalistic route because that is what a "mass" organisation is supposed to do.

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Chilli Sauce
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Jan 24 2012 17:30

I mean, I think the IWW can be a victim of it's own success. So when the cleaner's branch held a meeting at Parliament with trade union "celebrity" speakers and MPs, I have little doubt the the cleaners thought that was a good thing. I mean, perceived wisdom says that if you've got such figures of authority on your side, it must be a good thing. However, that's not really in keeping with the preamble or the general principles of the IWW.

Not that any of this means, might I add, that the cleaners don't deserve support from radicals. I didn't go to the Parliament meeting, but I have gone to their pickets. I think the problem is when non-revolutionaries join a revolutionary organisation and begin doing non-revolutionary things.

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Serge Forward
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Jan 24 2012 18:10
Chilli Sauce wrote:
I think the problem is when non-revolutionaries join a revolutionary organisation and begin doing non-revolutionary things.

And that's the big paradox, the contradiction inherent in all revolutionary industrial unionism, revolutionary or anarcho syndicalism.

In non-revolutionary times, I guess we have to make our choice: either we aim for a mass industrial union that contains all sorts, politicised or not, revolutionists and reformists, or you go for a more politically coherent organisation that only allows revolutionaries/anarchists or what have you to join... otherwise, it's something in between with all the associated problems.

Of course, in revolutionary times, the politicised leaderships can often lag behind the formerly 'less politicised' rank and file or leaderships just fuck things up... the Spanish revolution being an example. Another paradox!

That doesn't mean we can't make something workable but we shouldn't be surprised at the difficulty of our task.

Still, we do our best.

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flaneur
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Jan 24 2012 18:31

Or you can have a politically coherent organisation that allows anyone to join, as long as they understand what that organisation can and can't do. We had this discussion on the AF forum and on here a while back, so I don't want to get in it again, but it's not either or.

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Jan 24 2012 21:38
Chilli Sauce wrote:
I think the problem is when non-revolutionaries join a revolutionary organisation and begin doing non-revolutionary things.

Thing is who decides who is "revolutionary" and what "revolutionary action" looks like? The cleaners have wildcated more times than any other group of workers in recent BiRA IWW history. For me thats more revolutionary than all the self-described revolutionary activists desperately clinging onto their theoretical (theological) works.

I view the process of a class in itself emerging into a class for itself involving dynamic interchanges between action and consciousness. The cleaners may hold reactionary views (many are conservative catholics) but the militant collective actions they took over the past few months have transformed their class consciousness. I would say some are now more "revolutionary" than some self identified "revolutionaries" because they are more willing to attack the present social arragement using direct methods (wildcat withdrawal of labour power).

The question for me is "what is revolutionary organisation"? I don't think it constitutes permanent organisations with "revolutionary" positions. Rather it is the actual struggle (direct conflict, e.g. wildcat) that is "revolutionary" organisation. The question then arises, do the working class need to build organisations who's task is to reflect, clarify and draw lessons from such movements? What should they consist of and what is their role in the struggle or should be...if any?