The fuse has been lit …

Anarchy in the Sticks!

We had our meeting in Boscombe on Saturday and it was very encouraging, potentially we’ve got an enthusiastic crew spanning many age groups, genders, interests, and levels of experience. We aim to pull something together for April 2023 and we’re still evaluating potential venues. We’ve had offers from some lovely small ones but we may have to put the stalls seperate from workshops and catering.

If you’ve got any ideas e-mail dorsetbookfair@riseup.net with the subject line ‘venue’.

If you want to be involved, send us an e-mail with the subject line ‘Peregrin’ stating what you would or wouldn’t like to do, and any dates next year you will not be available. There are lots of possible roles ranging from physical graft to sitting in a chair minding something, or back room admin and online publicity.

Or use the contact form above.

The DRB Collective.

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How Many More Times? Democrats Side with Bosses Over Rail Workers!

Enough 14

Statement of Vermont AFL-CIO President David Van Deusen:

  • Democratic Party Fucks Over Rail Workers!
  • Rail Workers To Receive ZERO Paid Sick Days!
  • Rail’s Right To Strike Outlawed For This Contract Cycle!

 

U.S. Rail Unions went into this bargaining season with not a single day of paid sick leave in their Contract. Achieving paid sick leave was the top priority of Union members. And today, because of an act of Congress and because of the latest Democratic Party betrayal (the latest in a long line of betrayals), they still have no sick leave.

Every Union member and working class man and woman and child in the United States of America should be livid right now. President Joe Biden (a Democrat), the Democratic Party leadership in the House and Senate, and the vast majority of Democratic (& Republican) Party politicians in the Capital just fucked over Rail workers and sided with the billionaire bosses again. The Rail corporations, after years of record profits, shall not be required to pay workers if they have to miss a day of work due to illness. This is bullshit.

No matter how the Democratic Party apologists try to spin it, Congress had the power to grant Unionized Rail workers paid sick leave, willfully chose to not do so, and then imposed a contract which was voted DOWN by the rank & file of four Unions representing a majority of Rail workers in this country. The Democrats in the House chose to send TWO bills to the Senate (instead of tying the sick leave to the TA), and it was the Democrats again in the Senate who REFUSED to abolish the filibuster (which takes a simple majority) and instead agreed to a 60 vote threshold to pass the sick leave bill. And even after the sick leave bill failed to get the 60 votes, the great majority Democrats still voted to impose the TA. And in so doing, Congress also effectively outlawed strike activity in the Rail sector for this contract cycle. Thus the betrayal of Labor falls on the Democrats.

This is a huge win for the billionaire railroad owners, CEOs, investors, and the capitalist ruling class of the USA. And given that the two major political parties on the national stage are both firmly supported by the elite (and side with the elite at every crucial juncture), this was also a predictable outcome from the start (as was the failure of the Democrats to pass the PRO Act last year). As sad and sickening as this may be, it is a truth we must reckon with.

The national Democratic Party is NOT the friend of Labor. They are a capitalist party organized to represent the interests of the bosses. And even while they lack degrees of evil exhibited by the increasingly fascist Republican Party, we must not be so confused as to think them allies. They, like the Republicans, are a force we must struggle against (not within). If our collective aspirations as a Labor Movement is to see an empowerment of working people, these are realities we must come to grips with.

So long as the two major national parties are the Democrats (big capitalists) and the Republicans (capitalists with a fascist trajectory), we would be wise to soberly understand that the true power of workers will never be realized through supporting the better of two bad candidates in an election or spending tens of millions of dollars of PAC money to prop up a party which does not support us.

No, my friends, our true power can only be found in our labor, through our solidarity, in the factories, on the job sites, in our shops, in our communities, and by way of those actions we collectively choose to take outside bounds of the preferred limits of engagement set forth by the rigged system created by our class enemies. President Joe Biden is NOT pro-Union (even if he displays less visceral hatred of us than did Donald Trump). Congress is not pro-Union. And neither party will do the right thing unless and until they fear us.

So, let us channel our anger and put our focus and attention towards the hard task of organizing, let us be unafraid to call out and name our enemies, and let us build our Labor Movement into a force which puts the Fear of God into the hearts of those who would side with billionaires and millionaires over the people. And should the Rail Unions and their members choose to withhold their labor (act of Congress be damned), let us stand side by side with them as Brothers and Sisters, come what may, until victory, unbowed!

David Van Deusen

President of The Vermont AFL-CIO

DRB 2023 Planning meeting 12th November 2022 at 4:30 p.m.

Anarchy in the Sticks!

Comrades, we are meeting together with our co-sponsors Dorset IWW on Saturday 12th November at Obsidian Cafe, 14 Sea Road, Boscombe, BH5 1DB which will be open to all interested parties.

We are looking into spreading next year’s event across three adjacent venues in Boscombe so we need at least ten volunteers.

Anyone who wants to be involved will need to either come to this meeting, or if they cannot, please send us an e-mail to say what tasks you would like to take on and any dates you will not be available.

There will not be a Dorset Radical Bookfair in 2023 unless we get enough people to commit to it now, so it’s up to you.

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 From Allihies to Leadville, Another ‘Trail of Tears’.

The Spirit of Mother Jones Festival

Leadville Miner Memorial, (J Goltz),

Today as one descends into the community from the high Castletownbere road, the beauty of Ballydonegan Bay and Allihies village on the Beara peninsula in West Cork remains stunning to the eye. Alive with tourists, music and life in the summertime, it slumbers gently during the wild winter months. The hills all around are dotted with the remains of mine sites, there is a busy Copper Mine Museum providing a focus point for information, study and relaxation in the linear village. One can walk the Allihies Copper Mine Trail, in the footsteps of the miners. The village’s past is bound up with the local mines and their impact, its future is to tell the miner’s story.

Mining began here in 1812 at Dooneen, established by John Puxley, the local landlord, followed in 1813 by the Mountain Mine and in…

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Reading Group #27 – Unions

London Anarchist Federation

The London Anarchist Federation’s monthly reading group will have its twenty-seventh session on the 23rd of August at 19:00 at Decentre, just above Freedom Bookshop (84B Whitechapel High St, London, E1 7QX). The bookshop will likely be closed by that time so we will be using the back door to the freedom building, further into the alleyway than the bookshop entrance.

Given the recent increase in labour militancy in response to the rising cost of living, this reading group will be on how anarchists relate to unions and workplace struggles in general. There are two articles which we will be reading, with different perspectives on the issue:

From Union Renewal to a Self Managed Society, by Lucien Van Der Walt, is more optimistic about the possibility of unions as a vehicle for working class struggle against capitalism.

Red Flags Torn, by Ed Goddard, is more critical of formal…

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National construction wildcat on the way as strike wave spreads

Wessex Solidarity

libcom

A picture showing construction workers picketing an Amazon site during a previous wildcat in June 2021.

Construction and engineering employers have begun warning their workforce against taking part in a wildcat strike over pay on Wednesday 10th August, as strike action has spread from unionised workplaces into new areas such as Amazon warehouses.

Recent weeks have seen industrial action across the UK, as official strikes called by unions such as the RMT, Unite and CWU have been joined by unofficial wildcat actions. The wave of wildcat actions started with a strike at Cranswick Continental Foods in Pilsworth, and has now spread to Amazon warehouses, with workers at sites in Tilbury, Rugeley, Coventry, Bristol, Dartford and Coalville walking off the job or staging unofficial slowdowns over pay, and reports of the action spreading to Belvedere, Hemel Hempstead and Chesterfield.

Wednesday 10th August could see an even more dramatic escalation, as rumours are spreading of a national wildcat strike among engineering…

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What are Unions and Why Should You Form One?

IWW Scotland Blog

In the first of a series of articles exploring the basics of organising our workplaces, James Reed, a Fellow Worker from Clydeside IWW outlines what a union actually is and explores why you should consider forming one in your workplace or community.

You might not know much about trade unions, or maybe you’ve only ever seen them on the news. Or maybe you just joined the one in your workplace when you started the job, but you’ve not heard much about what it’s for or what it’s doing.

You might hear of strikes and union victories in other places, but think that sort of thing isn’t possible where you are. Or maybe you want to do things like that at your job too, but just don’t know where to start.

Not to worry: this article is for you.

What is a trade union?

So, what is a trade union?

At…

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TERFed out?

Anarchy in the Sticks!

Last time it was Boris De Pfeffle Johnson who pulled the plug on our activities. This year we’ve been shut down by the latest of her majesty’s policing agencies – Tom Browns Pub in Dorchester!

We’ve been in talks with this venue for months and had reached an agreement, to the extent of working out where everything was going to be, drawing a floor plan and making arrangements for hire of tables and other equipment. The Fourth Dorset Radical Bookfair was set for the 11th June 2022 and we began promoting the event online. Bands were booked for the afterparty. We had just started sending invitations to our supporters when the venue inexplicably went back on its word and cancelled our booking.

After a little probing we were told that some regulars who identify as “left feminists” objected to content at previous events they considered “extremist”. We seem to have…

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Mid-Feb round-up: rail, university and hospital strikes, and more