Direct action – Towards an Understanding of a concept by Harald Beyer-Arnesen

Steel City Wobs

Admin’s Note: I found this article on the website for the Anarcho Syndicalist review (formally known as the libertarian labor review) in its theory section if you would like to check out the website go to

This was from ASR issue #29

To understand direct action, we must define direct action. This article Goes some way to trying define it in terms of  Anacho-Syndicalist

Direct Action: Towards an understanding of a concept

by Harald Beyer-Arnesen, ASR #29

Campaigning for wage-workers to join the Industrial Workers of the World, Eugene V. Debs stated in December 1905: “The capitalist own the tools they do not use, and the workers use the tools they do not own.” To this one could add: At times direct action may mean putting the tools we do not own out of action, at times it may mean bringing them into play for our own, self-defined…

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New flyer and template letter for Leeds Deliveroo struggle

Cautiously pessimistic

A new flyer’s been designed publicising the ongoing campaign against the victimisation of IWW members working at Deliveroo in Leeds:

The Morning Star and Open Democracy both have new articles up on the ongoing issues at Deliveroo, and the mass bike ride in support of the sacked workers will be starting at 6 pm in Leeds city centre on Friday 10th March.

As mentioned on the flyer, there’s also a new template letter/email you can send – Deliveroo addresses I’ve been able to find are,, and, and if you copy in or it’ll allow the workers involved to see your support. The text is as follows:

Dear Sir/ Madam

As a Deliveroo customer, I am writing to express my disappointment at the treatment of your riders in Leeds. Your continued failure to reinstate those riders targeted for their union activity, is…

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Two hours watching police racism at Calais train station

Calais Migrant Solidarity

A witness account of a small sample of the ongoing police racism that is playing out all over Calais every day, since the eviction of the ‘Jungle’. Two hours. Seventeen people of colour detained. Nine arrested.
I haven’t been to Calais since before the brutal state eviction of the ‘Jungle’ in 2016, but in 24 hours here, it became clear that all that had changed was the particular manifestations of police racism. The violent near-daily attacks on the ten thousand strong migrant village allowed most of the repression to be kept out of the public eye, whereas now the violence and harassment has been distributed across the region, along with the thousands of migrants that have been forced to scatter since the eviction.

Where once the presence in an ‘illegal’ camp provided the pretext for police attacks, now skin colour alone is used to single-out, round-up and at times…

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Leeds Deliveroo update: Vice interview, concessions on breaks and communication, the fight for reinstatement goes on

Cautiously pessimistic

A quick update on what’s been happening in the Leeds Deliveroo dispute:

1) The company’s officially written to riders in response to concerns they raised, and the local IWW branch has replied. As the union put it:

“Last week several of our members, also riders at Deliveroo, wrote to the company to express their concerns about mismanagement in Leeds. They had been threatened regarding their right to unionise; their right to take breaks during shifts lasting up to 15 hours; and their right to work for competitors.

They Demanded:
1. Formal communication between management and riders, and an end to important information being conveyed through ‘Leeds Roos’ WhatsApp group.
2. The right to take breaks in line with those legally entitled to Workers.
3. A minimum of a 7 days warning period prior to Contract Terminations, allowing riders to rectify any issues with their Service Standards.
4. For…

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Interviews on surviving the Milo Seattle shooting, and helping with a mass escape from a detention center

Cautiously pessimistic

Just to flag up two new audio interviews that have gone out over the last few days:

Over in Seattle, someone interviewed the Industrial Workers of the World/General Defence Committee comrade who was shot while opposing a Milo talk there. It’s a fascinating interview, well worth listening to.

The Kite Line is a regular radio show from the Midwest, mainly focusing on prison issues, and they’ve just started a three-part series telling the story of a solidarity camp outside an immigrant detention center in Woomera, Australia, that was able to assist with a mass breakout in 2002. You can listen to the first part here.

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More sanctions, and that difficult second ESA application

scottish unemployed workers' network


Perhaps we were getting too complacent about the decline in sanctions. At last week’s much-too-busy stall we encountered three people who had been sanctioned – including one who had contacted their Work Programme Provider, Triage, to tell them that they couldn’t come to an appointment because they were going to be at college; and another who was on Universal Credit and doing part time work and whose job had clashed with his Jobcentre interview. As always, we advised them to appeal, and that it was worth doing this even after the statutory month if the DWP had clearly broken their own rules.

When the Scottish Government takes over the training schemes that replace the Work Programme these will be voluntary, but jobcentre sanctions will still continue, and David Webster’s most recent report gives considerable cause for concern. Also, the Scottish Government has just let us know – in response to…

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